The great renovation


My Scienceblogs site is a-changin’. National Geographic has been working behind the scenes to convert and move all the old data to a newer and prettier website, and the final surge of fixes is going into place tonight and tomorrow — so don’t bother commenting over there for a while until it’s all stabilized.

I suspect it will all go smoothly (and the new site is looking good) except for a little bit of drama. NatGeo has informed Abbie Smith that they want the ERV slimepit posts taken down, according to Abbie’s own account on facebook. There are various accusations as well that it’s us here at FtB who are responsible for the complaints that are bringing it down — which is not true. All along, NatGeo has been telling me that there will be new Standards & Practices rules at the National Geographic-branded Scienceblogs site — it’s why I took proactive steps to move all of the new godless anti-religion content to the new site at Freethoughtblogs. I’ve said since last August that there were posts that bugged our new NatGeo overlords, and that there were changes coming.

Abbie Smith is in denial. Now, in addition to implying that Sb crew at FtB are responsible for shutting down the slimepit, she claims I’ve been lying about the imminent changes.

NatGeo have been just fine. Not being sarcastic. PZ was blatantly *lying* about censorship from NatGeo last year.

So I said NatGeo would be lightly censoring content last year. This year, NatGeo is telling Abbie Smith to censor some offensive posts. Therefore, in Abbie Smith’s world, I was lying when I said NatGeo would be asking us to censor some content.

I don’t get it.

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    She’s become completely unhinged. Looks like Oklahoma got to her at last and made her yet another redneck moron.

  2. says

    She could voluntarily move out to a new hosting site, but that’s up to her.

    She won’t be invited to FtB, that’s for sure. But I did not complain to NatGeo about her blog at all — not one word.

  3. says

    Well, everything is different in Abbie Smith’s world.
    Yes is no and everything.
    So, the chronic looks like
    PZ: Yeah, they’ll ban the cussing, so I’m moving stuff over here.
    Abbie Smith: No, that’s a lie
    NatGeo: Hey, Abbie, we’re not going to host the cussin any longer, get rif of it.
    Abbie: This is all PZ’s fault!!!

    Did I get that right?

  4. kp71 says

    Why all the hatin’ on Abbie? She’s a good defender of evolution and I’ve learned a lot about viruses on her page.

    Also, *I* survived Oklahoma… I did my Master’s at OU and it was a fine institution. I moved on to a better fit for the Ph. D. Yes, outside of Norman, the state is an intellectual disaster, but it is possible to maintain a high level of brain activity if you don’t wander too far. LOL.

  5. consciousness razor says

    She could voluntarily move out to a new hosting site, but that’s up to her.

    It looks like slimepit.edu is open.

  6. nooneinparticular says

    What kp71 said. Can someone give us clueless folks the Reader’s Digest version? I used to read her blog some years ago, but got distracted. What has she done or who has she offended?

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ, any problem with the few of us still commenting over there? Will we have to tone it down discussing the dishonesty of creobots?

  8. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Anyone else suspect she’s reached the “paranoid delusional” threshold yet?

  9. mandrellian says

    Fffforget Abbie. She made it very clear how honest and honourable she is when she came down firmly on the side of the unapologetic hunter-fucker MRA douchebags last year – then did nothing but further fan the flames of misogyny when called on her crap. But that’s the last I’ll say on that topic, lest it flare up again.

  10. says

    NatGeo is not getting all draconian and burning everything down to the ground. They’re going to be exercising a light hand, I think — what might happen is that if a thread got too vicious and wild they’d drop a note to me asking to throw some cold water on it.

    So commenters shouldn’t worry about it at all.

  11. nooneinparticular says

    Sweet. A LMGTFY snark. I get it if you don’t want to explain or give any, you know, examples of why Abbi is so reviled here. Maybe someone else?

    I went to ERV after seeing PZ’s post and from what was a very brief look see nothing slimepitty about it. Is the problem in the comments she has/allows? Is that it? Or is the problem further back in the past and I would have to browse through older blog posts to find it?

  12. says

    I haven’t reviled Abbie here.

    She has a couple of posts with exceedingly long comment threads where some exceptionally slimy misogynists and freaks hang out, with her encouragement. Those are the ones that are being threatened with dissolution.

    I think many of her posts are very good, and I have no objection at all to her anti-creationism and science, of course. Unfortunately, she’s practically psychotic when it comes to people like Rebecca Watson or Ophelia Benson — the virulence in those threads is toxic.

  13. says

    I was curious to see what was going on over there (never a good idea) and also discovered Abbie’s claiming you’re leeching onto ScienceBlogs by having the Pharyngula “Lite” posts appear over there (and leaving out the content NatGeo would prefer not to have).

    Those guys have major anger problems. It can’t be healthy.

  14. nooneinparticular says

    OMG! Of course. How could I have forgotten?! I remember some of that, though I didn’t follow it all that closely. I guess I’d forgotten Abbie’s role in that. My bad.

  15. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Sweet. A LMGTFY snark. I get it if you don’t want to explain or give any, you know, examples of why Abbi is so reviled here. Maybe someone else?

    If you’re at all involved in the skeptical community you’d basically have to have been living under a rock to be unaware of the “elevatorgate” incident. Abbie, for reasons mostly unknown, lashed out viciously at Rebecca Watson in response to her saying “please don’t do that” as a side note in a public statement, with “that” being “ignoring women’s requests not to be hit on,” and anyone who supported Watson. She has nurtured a burning grudge (to the point of blatant fact-twisting, as referenced here) against “Twatson” (her appellation, I believe), Jen McCreight, PZ Myers, and other anti-misogynists, and a community of viciously misogynistic commenters who egg each other on in one or more threads she’s created specifically for that purpose (the “slimepit”).

  16. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    …apparently there are word filters in place for some of the terms she’s used in describing Rebecca Watson and her supporters, so my explanation just got eaten. Nice.

  17. Mr. Mattir, MQ MRA Chick says

    I’d never been over to the slimepit threads either, and now I have. Those people really truly need to get a life that does not involve endless whinging about Teh Bad Wimminz™. And no matter how much of a special snowflake I have been in my younger days, I’m pretty sure I would never have stopped to being the queen bee of such a slimehive. It must be pretty bad to be in Abbie Smith’s head…

  18. slc1 says

    Ms. Smith was also pretty hard on Chris Mooney and his former blogging partner, Sheril Kirshenbaum, referring to them as “mooneytits”. She also once suggested that Mr. Mooney could go fuck himself.

    However, it would appear that if she is going to stay at Scienceblogs, she is going to have to clean up her act. Too bad, I really enjoyed it.

  19. says

    @Azkyroth: I recommend that you rot13 any nasty quotes from the slimepit.

    Two reasons:
    a) they don’t get filtered out, and
    b) we don’t have to read the abuse unless we actively choose to do so.

    In the absence of spoiler-hider code at FtB, this a very easy and convenient method. Link to http://rot13.com if you want to make it extra easy for people to decode.

    There are other methods to avoid the filters, but they don’t have advantage b.

  20. Louis says

    Data point number #9823742356187 in “‘Heroes’ With Feet Of Clay”.

    I respect Abbie’s scientific posts/work.

    I do not respect her stance on most aspects of Elevatorgate/feminism. She made the odd good point about women being patronised, but sadly the few of these I noted were tangential/irrelevant/already catered for IIRC (standard disclaimers apply).

    I think some of the stuff she has done is hilarious, and well, that’s that. The doubling down over Rebecca….whew! That’s some far out stuff. And hosting the Hogglettes? Erm….no. Sad to see, sad to see.

    Ah well, if only everyone were as perfect as me…

    …we’d be really boned!

    Louis

  21. Pteryxx says

    ^ Seconding the request for rot13 of slimepit quotes. Some of us have to be armored up before reading those, thanks.

  22. Usernames are stupid says

    Er, there are lots and lots of free blogger space out there (blogspot, wordpress, etc, etc) or one could set up a private space of one’s own for a few coin.

    Don’t like the pad you’re at? Move on (dot com)!

    I don’t get it.

  23. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    What the fuck is rot13 and why is it presumed I’m familiar with it?

    All I did was quote her modification of Rebecca Watson’s name, anyway.

    Ms. Smith was also pretty hard on Chris Mooney and his former blogging partner, Sheril Kirshenbaum, referring to them as “mooneytits”. She also once suggested that Mr. Mooney could go fuck himself.

    Actually, her criticism of Mooney and Kirshenbaum was largely spot-on (though based on her attacks on feminist skeptics I suspect she was right for the wrong reasons about them), with the exception of the gratuitous gendered insults. At the time I suggested “Piss Moaney” and “Sore-il Hurtenbum” as alternatives that were…you know…actually relevant to the legitimate complaints (endless whinging about how MEAN the skeptical community was to both creationists and nominal skeptics who white-knighted for said creationists).

  24. Wowbagger, Vile Demagogue says

    I’m sure the slimepit folks can convince someone of a similar mindset to host a blog for them – Stormfront, perhaps?

  25. Louis says

    Nah, Stormfront are too honest. They admit they hate X. The Hogglettes? Not so much, they’re just being more “rational” {Eyeroll} than anyone who disagrees with them about their caricature of feminism.

    Louis

  26. slc1 says

    Re Wowbagger @ #30

    Since Ms. Smith is 1/2 Jewish, I don’t think she would be very welcome at Stormfront.

  27. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    How about that ERV get hosted by Men Going Their Own Way?

  28. says

    That’s just… appropriate? Abbie Smith is a pretty good science blogger with a pretty narrow-but-deep nasty streak when it comes to certain people/topics. Plus she’s a fan of pit bulls, which totally fits my “there’s no such thing as a bad dog, but lots of bad owners” belief about dogs in general and pits in particular.

  29. Louis says

    Oh for fuck’s sake Louis! I just realised that “Hogglettes” could be seen to be damning the Hoggle-esque posters at the Slimepit by virtue of some female quality. I.e. the use of the suffix -ette.

    MOTHERFUCKER! THAT WAS NOT WHAT I MEA….

    Oooh is intent magic now? No…still not magic…hmmmm…

    I was trying to indicate diminutive Hogglings. Not that being small is bad…or young…see? SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE? My inner policeman has gone wild.

    Right. See Hoggle. He is a turd. The Hoggloids are slightly less turdy turds than he is, or at least different species of turds. There. Got it. Substitute Hoggloid for Hogglette.

    Fuck.

    Louis (Annoyed at self)

  30. says

    Azkyroth,

    I don’t think Alethea presumed that at all. The rot13 is a version of the Caesar cipher – a way of encrypting messages. The traditional Caesar shifts each letter up or down by one, HAL becomes IBM. The rot13 shifts by 13, so Azkyroth becomes Nmxlebgu. The advantage is that the act of encryption is exactly the same as decryption.

    And I’d really encourage people not to directly quote that stuff. Toxic waste.

  31. WhiteHatLurker says

    What the fuck is rot13 and why is it presumed I’m familiar with it?

    Wikipedia is your friend – rot13 is a trivial encryption. As it was big before the internet got going, people assume others know what it is.

    What I don’t get is the hate for energy recovery ventilation (ERV). Heat exchangers are your friends, too.

  32. slc1 says

    Re Azkyroth @ #28

    In response to my posting a like from Physioproffe’s blog bad mouthing pit bulls, her response below might be described as acerbic.

    I handed DrugMonkeys ass to him on a platter (and his BFFs, including CP) in the SciBlogs back channel years ago. Their reaction to this was to attack my dog (because they are big smart adults, you see).

    CP/DM have periodically written negative posts about pitbulls in an attempt to ‘get me back’.

    Really all it does is demonstrate what sad, pathetic humans they are. Theyre so low on the totem pole they have to beat up on already abused *dogs* just to feel alive. And theyre still doing this *years* after my ‘assault’ on them.

    Its pathetic.

    People who care about animal welfare (including dogs) will keep doing what we do, and pit bulls will keep being dogs, and losers like CP and BM will keep being losers.

  33. Wowbagger, Vile Demagogue says

    Xanthe wrote:

    And I’d really encourage people not to directly quote that stuff. Toxic waste.

    Yeah, you might as well google pictures of vomit. Contains about the same amount of intellectual content as well.

  34. says

    Thanks Louis for correcting yourself. One of the slimepitters was using that exact schtick on Jen’s blog and denying it had any cis-/sexist overtones.

  35. Louis says

    Xanthe,

    No worries. We all screw up sometimes, especially me. One day, when I’m infallible and the revolution has started, I’ll be the first against the wall. Or something.

    Louis

  36. says

    Wowbagger, they regularly claim they are not just a bunch of women-hating men, as they are equal opportunity haters towards men given the right target to hate, and include a few women in their number. Nonetheless their levels of anger really look like the bad side (not saying there’s a good side) of the MRA movement, and those guys actually are misanthropes in terms of promoting a toxic masculinity in addition to their hatred of women and feminists.

    Pictures of vomit wouldn’t have the same negativity as the slime-pitters exude, either.

  37. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I get the same sick feeling from reading The Monument as I do from seeing the cover of Sweet Sixteen by Royal Trux.

  38. says

    What I don’t get is the hate for energy recovery ventilation (ERV). Heat exchangers are your friends, too.
    I don’t get the hate for endogenous retroviruses either, and Abbie actually writes really well on that topic. Her single-minded nastiness over certain people and topics made me stop reading her blog despite the good science posts, I just couldn’t continue supporting that sort of thing by giving her traffic.

  39. says

    PZ:

    No. NatGeo just found a few of her posts did not meet their S&P.

    Derp. Combination of too-quick skimming and wishful thinking.

    CR:

    It looks like slimepit.edu is open.

    “The Monument” is, indeed, educational. It teaches you a lot you’d have been happier not knowing.

    Nooneinparticular:

    Sweet. A LMGTFY snark.

    The perfect response to someone who wants someone else to do all their research for them, especially when the research isn’t particularly onerous.

    Slc1:

    Too bad, I really enjoyed it.

    Bless your heart.

  40. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    ERV was never more than moderately informative as a science blog*…not something to be ashamed of, but not all that exciting either. I never heard so many people singing it’s praises until it became such a source of controversy.

    *Never checked it out until the slimepit. Then tried to give it a fair reading considering Abbie is a pretty junior scientist. Without the slime, maybe I would have rated it ambitious to promising.

  41. consciousness razor says

    At the time I suggested “Piss Moaney” and “Sore-il Hurtenbum” as alternatives that were…you know…actually relevant to the legitimate complaints

    Nothing wrong with “Hurtenbum,” no sir. But those are both so clever and relevant that it’s a real shame your suggestions didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time. It’s good that you brought them up again.

  42. nooneinparticular says

    Daisy Cutter wrote

    “The perfect response to someone who wants someone else to do all their research for them, especially when the research isn’t particularly onerous.”

    The LMGTFY search brings up exactly two links that might have had something or other to do with why Abbie is hated here. One of them was to the Pharygula wiki which lists people who were banned, some of whom had contributed to the “slimepit”, but which does not explain what “the series of threads at ERV” was about. The other was to a “Phawrongula” wiki, whatever that is, that says nothing whatever about slime pits.

    So instead of being helpful and saying something like “Abbie aids and abets MRAs and other misogynists on her blog” or some such, I get a snark that does not explain anything.

    I had forgotten about Abbie’s role in “elevatorgate” (I ignored most of that kerfluffle anyway), so did not connect that with the “slimepit”. I asked for something simple. I got a snark. Which I really don’t mind. It was kind of funny. It just wasn’t helpful. At all.

  43. Stacy says

    NatGeo has informed Abbie Smith that they want the ERV slimepit posts taken down

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    There are various accusations as well that it’s us here at FtB who are responsible for the complaints that are bringing it down

    Apparently they think FtB is as obsessed by them as they are with FtB.

    It’s wishful thinking, really. They need FtB. They get off on hating it. I’m sure they’re all fappin’ away at the fantasy that somebody here cared enough about them to take the time to complain to NatGeo.

  44. says

    @SC (Salty Current), OM:

    “Irresponsible” is one thing, and there’s fair criticism there that doesn’t necessarily detract from someone’s overall record. Still maybe “pretty good” but not anywhere near “great.” That combined with the other stuff means I’ve not read anything she’s had to say since last summer.

  45. Uncle Glenny says

    What I don’t get is the hate for energy recovery ventilation (ERV). Heat exchangers are your friends, too.

    No no no. It’s the Easy Reading Version. Biblegateway gets a hit for erv+slimepit in the book of Job. (Fitting?)

  46. says

    Right. Eating them.

    Interesting. I don’t think I’d noticed that Richard Dawkins showed up later to make an animal welfare argument (he was the only one, I’m ashamed to say) on that post enthusing about branding irons and “a cross-section of locals eating big hunks of meat.” He should’ve known that animal welfarists like Smith were already on the case.

  47. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Xanthe,

    No worries. We all screw up sometimes, especially me. One day, when I’m infallible and the revolution has started, I’ll be the first against the wall. Or something.

    Louis

    Does this sort of melodramatic self-flagellation actually serve a purpose, or would simply making a note for future uses be sufficient?

  48. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Nothing wrong with “Hurtenbum,” no sir. But those are both so clever and relevant that it’s a real shame your suggestions didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time. It’s good that you brought them up again.

    Is your juvenile attempt to score points any less off-topic?

  49. consciousness razor says

    Is your juvenile attempt to score points any less off-topic?

    I didn’t realize anyone was keeping score. So what do I win?

  50. says

    “Irresponsible” is one thing, and there’s fair criticism there that doesn’t necessarily detract from someone’s overall record.

    It’s part of someone’s record. There are levels of irresponsibility. In that case, hers was fairly extreme, in that the falsehoods continued after the facts were pointed out to her and she had an opportunity to check her claims, and, as far as I know (I could be wrong), there was no prominent correction, either in the original post or in a separate one. It’s far worse, of course, to be irresponsible than it is simply to be wrong/boring/unoriginal.

    Still maybe “pretty good” but not anywhere near “great.”

    But “pretty good” with occasional irresponsibility of that sort is pretty bad, making “pretty good” itself maybe suspect. As I said, part of the record. Could still be “pretty good,” but for science bloggers instances of irresponsibility on that level are something to consider beyond general quality.

  51. says

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA Salty Cu(rre)nt still thinks the HPV vaccine doesnt work!

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

    The fact that a person this deficient in intellectual honesty is going into science should be a cause of concern.

  52. says

    @SC (Salty Current), OM:

    At this point we’re discussing matters that are sort of besides the point at this juncture, since neither of us consider ERV to be a blog worth reading. I feel like we’re acting like a couple of vegetarians debating whether pork or beef tastes better. Maybe I gave Abbie more credit than she deserves, but does it really matter, if neither of us actually cares to read her blog anymore?

  53. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    consciousness razor@60,

    So what do I win?

    A round trip ticket & a membership in the half-fast marching band!
    *
    *
    Actually met Abby (pre-elevatorgate) at a talk on evolution at a museum near the university, she seemed nice enough, but I could no longer read her blog after the whole slimepit thing started. Very sad.
    *
    *
    [There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don’t.]

  54. says

    At this point we’re discussing matters that are sort of besides the point at this juncture, since neither of us consider ERV to be a blog worth reading.

    I was questioning the “pretty good” assessment.

    I feel like we’re acting like a couple of vegetarians debating whether pork or beef tastes better.

    Actually, vegetarians could have tha

    Never mind.

    Maybe I gave Abbie more credit than she deserves, but does it really matter, if neither of us actually cares to read her blog anymore?

    If I’m not mistaken my quote from her @ #62 is quite recent. It supports my case that you’re giving her blog more credit than it deserves.

    It matters as far as the criteria we use for evaluating science blogs matter.

  55. says

    I guess this explains why those irritants have been popping up.

    Has J. Greg explained why he enjoys changing men’s names to women’s and vice versa?

    I don’t see the point.

  56. says

    So, umm… ‘splain this for me, PZed: how did you access that comment on Abbie’s Facebook page when only Abbie’s friends have access to it? It’s not a public post.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I thought you crossed deeply into creepy territory a long time ago, but this takes the creep to a whole new level.

    Recruiting little tattle-tailing minions to do your dirty work now? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  57. says

    I’m still waiting for her to congratulate me on receiving an NSF fellowship and say she’s sorry for saying I would never get it and that I suck as a scientist because of my blog. I’m sure it just slipped her mind.

  58. says

    dennisburger: I hate to interrupt your conspiracy fantasies, but there are quite a few reasons he could have that post, including that someone on Abbie’s friends list thinks PZ should hear it, but do go on with the conspiracies.

    People on this site love the conspiracies.

  59. says

    Has J. Greg explained why he enjoys changing men’s names to women’s and vice versa?

    I don’t particular care to know why, what I do know (after Natalie pointed it out) is that he’s not above using stunts like this to rile transgender people. Which makes him an asshole, in my book. :/

  60. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Recruiting little tattle-tailing minions to do your dirty work now? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Bless your heart.

  61. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Recruiting little tattle-tailing minions to do your dirty work now? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    I think it’s cute how much you think we care. No really.

    From this announcement and Abbie’s alarming interpretation thereof, some amusement and some schadenfreude, but I admit to some concern that this will rile them up again. Since I for one get sick from the stench of them, that possibility doesn’t make me happy.

  62. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Hey Azkyroth, it was a friendly suggestion, and I even gave a link. What more did you want?

    I guess I’ve too used to nastiness for the sake of nastiness and people using any mistake (real or imagined) I make as an excuse to try to make themselves look better by tearing me down. Sorry.

  63. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, I forgot:


    Recruiting little tattle-tailing minions to do your dirty work now? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    In your next report, please ask:

    1. Abbie Smith

    2. John Greg

    3. John C. Welch

    4. Commander Tuvok

    5. ScentedNectar

    to seat themselves firmly on a dry pineapple and grind.

    Thanks bubby, I knew you would. Kisses! xxoo

  64. says

    Hate to bust the narrative, but here’s what ERV wrote:

    Someone complained to NatGeo about ERV– said it was ‘sexist’ and ‘excessively vulgar’. Specific comments? No– they want all four of these *posts* taken down: http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/07/dawkins_coup_de_grace_in_vegas.php http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/07/the_monument.php http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/08/have_you_ever_met.php http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/11/periodic_table_of_swearing.php

    NatGeo is being just as fine and fair as you expect them to be. Theyre great.

    Obviously, PZ interpreted the ‘they’ in “they want all four of these *posts* taken down” as NatGeo, but the context makes more sense if it was the anonymous complainant(s). In other words, it was the person(s) making the complaint that wanted the posts taken down, not NatGeo.

    The content of the posts and the speculation as to who tried (unsuccessfully) to get NatGeo to censor are still fair game, of course.

  65. says

    Thanks Azkyroth – apology cheerfully accepted. Also, it sounds like some parts of your life currently suck; check your USB for some virtual chocolate.

  66. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Obviously, PZ interpreted the ‘they’ in “they want all four of these *posts* taken down” as NatGeo, but the context makes more sense if it was the anonymous complainant(s).

    That makes sense to me too. We’ll have to see what happens to clarify the meaning of the pronoun there.

    This is worse. It will stir them up without the added benefit of mild schadenfreude.

  67. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    The content of the posts and the speculation as to who tried (unsuccessfully) to get NatGeo to censor are still fair game, of course.

    Your elision of the concept of censorship (official state-sanctioned clamp-downs) with the ordinary filtering of posts that do or do not meet a host’s standards is (successfully) noted.

  68. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Surely you mean “conflation.”

    Yes, that’s it. Thanks for catching that error.

  69. Moggie says

    NatGeo have been just fine. Not being sarcastic. PZ was blatantly *lying* about censorship from NatGeo last year.

    Huh? If you predict what you think will happen in future, but it turns out you were wrong, how were you lying?

  70. consciousness razor says

    Surely you mean “conflation.”

    If anything, not an elision but an expansion or dilation.

    Anyway…

    the concept of censorship (official state-sanctioned clamp-downs)

    I don’t think censorship should be conceptualized that narrowly. I feel no better about corporations or other powerful groups suppressing information than I do when the state is acting as the censor.

  71. rickschauer says

    Congrats, Jen! Sweet! And congrats, PZ on the new digs.

    I haven’t been paying to much attention lately so must say I’m sorry about the ‘ol neighbor but I stopped reading her when my elevator no longer had a button for her floor.

  72. shoeguy says

    Abbie Smith and her ERV blog has taught me more about virology and scienc-ie stuff than any other science blogger, and I read a lot of,them. I’m sure there are lots of other venues for her to set up shop, and be damn happy to have her. Just retaining her sanity in Oklahoma is enough to prove her toughness, so the new Dark Overlords better watch their asses.

    Watching Ms. Smith’s methodical disassembly of a “creation science” preacher is a thing of logical beauty without equal. I don’t have the URL but it’s in ERV recently, and worth the effort to look up. Long live the Goddess of Oklahoma. I just wish she had time to post more often.

  73. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    For some reason, I’m guessing shoeguy doesn’t have to deal with the negative effects of virulent misogyny terribly often.

    Just a hunch.

  74. Ichthyic says

    so the new Dark Overlords better watch their asses.

    Yes, I’m sure National Geographic is just quaking in their boots that a post-doc viral geneticist might be slightly dischuffed.

    tell me, are you one of those people that think McDonald’s should be sued every time someone spills hot coffee on themselves?

  75. Ichthyic says

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    spoken truly like someone who has no real experience with reality.

  76. Ichthyic says

    Abbie Smith and her ERV blog has taught me more about virology and scienc-ie stuff than any other science blogger

    how does that excuse her voluminous levels of bullshit otherwise?

  77. Ichthyic says

    The fact that a person this deficient in intellectual honesty is going into science should be a cause of concern.

    +1

    …and I’ll note I seconded this when it was first noticed in her behavior years back.

    I don’t see a person like Abbey being able to really separate her narcissism from her work.

  78. Ichthyic says

    her response below might be described as acerbic.

    uh…no.

    that’s not acerbic.

    that’s bordering on paranoid schizophrenic.

  79. says

    There are four blogs that I follow religiously: Pharyngula, Insolence, WEIT, and ERV. It is disheartening to see this attitude towards one of my beloved blogger, someone whom I deem to be intellectual and with integrity (yes that’s right, integrity). So what if Abbie likes dogs, and god forbid pit bulls of all animal (seriously, why is this being used to attack her character in the first place?). So what if she has different views on ‘feminism’. I can accept that. PZ has different views, different morals, and I can accept that. The way I treat woman, or even other men, may not be how PZ or Abbie would. I don’t agree with PZ on everything, I don’t agree with Abbie on everything. But to attack Abbie on the content of her blog in terms of civility, on PZ’s blog of all things? I think that is a bit hypocritical. I mean FFS are you really going to rip Abbie a new one for calling people names on her blogs, under the comment section of Pharyngula of all places? Or for comments growing out of control? I will end with this, of the four blogs that I do read daily, there is something that I think unifies them all. Integrity, I feel that all four of those bloggers have integrity, without that I don’t think I could stomach their content everyday. Integrity in the sense that I feel based on reading their blogs the last two years, they are individual, evidence based individuals who. And if new evidence was to come along that would undoubtedly refute them, they would change.

    As for those who are attacking her scientific careers, stop being self-righteousness assholes. Based on reading her blogs, she is as intellectually honest as they come. I even remember reading a few blogs of her’s about how she would abandon her friend if that friend was to commit scientific fraud (a little extreme in my taste and probably not something I would do), or her criticism of scientist who accused other labs of fraud. Through her blogs she has shown that she is interested in scientific outreach, especially to children. She’s obviously in love with her field (Microbiology/Immunology) and there is no way you can refute that if you read her blog. Most important of all she’s almost done with her doctoral program, which is most certainly not an easy feat.

  80. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    So what if she has different views on ‘feminism’. I can accept that

    Yeah? I don’t accept being told that I should have to put up with openly hateful, misogynistic shit just to maintain some other woman’s fantasy of being a special fucking snowflake who’s Just One of the Guys after all.
    But to attack Abbie on the content of her blog in terms of civility, on PZ’s blog of all things? I think that is a bit hypocritical. I mean FFS are you really going to rip Abbie a new one for calling people names on her blogs, under the comment section of Pharyngula of all places?
    You can fuck off with this disingenuous, erasing shit right the fuck now.

  81. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Blockquote fail. Idiotic conflation of insults with misogyny in above comment belongs to chengvang.

  82. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    As for those who are attacking her scientific careers, stop being self-righteousness assholes. Based on reading her blogs, she is as intellectually honest as they come.

    Except for the incident which SC referred to above, when she was not. If you’re going to try to pretend that incident was not intellectual dishonesty, fine, but actually argue it, don’t just fucking ignore that it exists.
    Try and keep up.

  83. Louis says

    Azkyroth, #58,

    That’s not self flagellation, it’s humour.

    I did fuck up, that’s true, but it was (relatively) minor and I was making a comically, hyperbolic post about it. I was telegraphing the joke even. I mean, dude, get with the programme!

    It’s like I’ve said many times before, perfection in any matter is unattainable, the trick is not to desire perfection, but to desire improvement. I made a statement that could easily be misconstrued as being sexist. More than that it was unconsciously sexist, or at least had those connotations. In a limited text format I (tried to find a funny way to acknowledge the (relatively minor) slip on my part in the place I made it. That was in part to communicate the fact that I knew it was a slip, something relatively important I would argue.

    You can miss the obvious if you like, and be snarky about it, but ask yourself your own question, does your melodramatic mis-reading of a pretty obvious joke and drawing attention to your mis-reading serve any purpose? I didn’t reach into your computer and make you react. Why all the melodrama?

    Louis

  84. says

    You know me so well from one internet comment, I mean it can’t be that I truly believe what I say and that what I say is in full sincerity? No, based on what I wrote you have concluded that I am an idiotic disingenuous misogynist. For your information, I never told anyone that they have to accept jack shit, only that I can accept it. The things that I disagree with PZ doesn’t diminish my respect for him as someone who I view as a good college professor, an honest atheist who writes some pretty inspirational shit that are of secular nature (that is worth my time reading and sometimes makes my day), and someone who ‘tells it how it is’ such as his insistence on not giving credit to religion for the good nature of human and the oppression of women. As for me erasing shit, you’re either implying that I keep editing my comment after I post them which I don’t, or that I read my comment and edit them before I posts, which I do and don’t see anything wrong with that.

  85. ambulocetacean says

    Out of interest, does Fox/News Corporation have anything to do with ScienceBlogs?

    I ask because Fox is apparently the majority owner of the National Geographic Channel. The wiki page on ScienceBlogs doesn’t even mention Nat Geo. *shrug*

    Chengvang #98,

    The issue isn’t dogs or Abbie’s career. It’s misogyny. Did you really miss that?

  86. ambulocetacean says

    Chengvang, Also, “integrity” is a nothing word in your context. Islamic suicide bombers have integrity. Not wanting to Bin-Laden (al-Godwin?) the thread, just saying that beliefs honestly held can be absolutely fucking vile.

  87. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    No, based on what I wrote you have concluded that I am an idiotic disingenuous misogynist.

    [Citation needed]
    Distinction between criticizing what you said and making personal claims about your character.

    For your information, I never told anyone that they have to accept jack shit, only that I can accept it.

    Well, that’s fucking awesome for you. I’m so pleased for you, that you can accept people’s different views on whether other people ought to be treated like people. Cos that’s what being privileged is all about!

    As for me erasing shit, you’re either implying that I keep editing my comment after I post them which I don’t, or that I read my comment and edit them before I posts, which I do and don’t see anything wrong with that.

    No, but I understand how you would be confused based on what I wrote. That’s a writing failure on my part. I am saying that your claim that we are attacking ERV based on incivility is erasing the distinction between oppressive language and insulting language, and erasing the damaging effects of misogyny by conflating it with being mean.

  88. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Although, writing failure on my part admitted, how the fuck did you get any of my supposed implications from what I wrote? If you don’t know what’s going on, do everyone a favor and ask, don’t just spin wildly.

  89. theophontes 777 says

    @ chengvang

    No, based on what I wrote you have concluded that I am an idiotic disingenuous misogynist.

    My guess: an idiotic disingenuous apologist for misogyny.

  90. says

    @Cipher #101

    There is something that I neglected to mention in my last comment, perhaps because I felt it was addressed already (when I said I don’t agree with everything that ERV or PZ said) or not important as my comment was too long already. One of the things that I do not agree with Abbie about is the hype of her reporting. I don’t actually fault her with this because her post about technological advances in the biological/medical field have always been ‘with this we could possible accomplish X’. Of course the chances of that happening are slim, but again I do not fault her on this. Partly because, it can, and as a biology major myself who have taken dozens of biology courses in college, preliminary research like these have always been hyped up by my professors whether you are in a lower division course or an upper division plant physiology course when it comes to the ‘Applications’ section of the course. As for Salty Current’s claim in post #50, which is that ERV misquoted that an HPV vaccine protected against 100% of HPV cancer (instead of the correct 75%). My answer is that, I’m not about to read 5000 comments on a blog to find the answer to that. But what I think is that ERV was advocating HPV Vaccination. It could be that she misread and misquoted, and hopefully she apologized for it. It could be that someone misquoted/misunderstood her like SC. It could be that she was a totally ass about it and never corrected her self and still think she was right. I’m saying, I’m not fucking reading 5000 comments on a blog to find out because even if what you are asserting is right 100%, it would tarnish my view of her but not enough to assert that her scientific career should burn for it.

    @ambulocetacean #104

    People are giving her crap because she said she is an animal lover and *gasp* she isn’t a vegan. Noooo, she is obviously not intellectually honest because post #46 have evidence of her eating a corpse of an animal, a hamburger!

  91. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    My answer is that, I’m not about to read 5000 comments on a blog to find the answer to that. But what I think is that ERV was advocating HPV Vaccination. It could be that she misread and misquoted, and hopefully she apologized for it. It could be that someone misquoted/misunderstood her like SC. It could be that she was a totally ass about it and never corrected her self and still think she was right. I’m saying, I’m not fucking reading 5000 comments on a blog to find out because even if what you are asserting is right 100%, it would tarnish my view of her but not enough to assert that her scientific career should burn for it.

    Lovely. Then don’t go arguing that people are being self-righteous because they’ve done the research you don’t want to do.

  92. says

    My answer is that, I’m not about to read 5000 comments on a blog to find the answer to that. But what I think is that ERV was advocating HPV Vaccination.

    “I’m not actually going to go through the effort to find out what’s true; here, have my bullshit conjecture instead”

    People are giving her crap because she said she is an animal lover and *gasp* she isn’t a vegan.

    apparently SC is not a single individual, but “people”.

  93. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    “I’m not actually going to go through the effort to find out what’s true; here, have my bullshit conjecture instead”

    “P.S. anyone who doesn’t agree with my bullshit conjecture after going through that effort is a self-righteous asshole”

    Here is my advice to you before I go off to bed, chengvang: Stop digging. You are speaking from ignorance and showing your ass. Your sincerity in doing so is not to your credit.

  94. says

    @105

    I knew that would come up, an analogy to how I used integrity and extreme religious belief. What I was trying to say is that the posts of Orac, PZ, Abbie, and Dr.Conye have struck me to be with integrity not because of the zeal of their writing like many of the very religious people they criticize, but that they backed up their views in an evidence based way and moral way. Their writings are backed up with the implications of how religion, culture, or dogma affect the people (or animals), even those in the minorities who have no voice. And in most cases when they are wrong, and shown to be wrong, they would correct themselves (at least in scientific matters). This doesn’t mean it is 100% of the time. Quite different from my culture where we have to head the words of the elder just because of their age, perhaps it is why I read the four blogs so religiously.

    @107

    Don’t play stupid with me and act like I accused you of shit you didn’t do. As if out of the blue I accused you of things. Okay fine, you didn’t call me an idiotic disingenuous misogynists. You only said that what I said was idiotic, disingenuous, and misogynists. Despite the fact that what I said was sincere, not meant to be idiotic because it wasn’t jibberish, and at no point did I ever fucking said one thing that could be construed as ‘women hating’. Happy?

  95. Ichthyic says

    Here is my advice to you before I go off to bed, chengvang: Stop digging. You are speaking from ignorance and showing your ass. Your sincerity in doing so is not to your credit.

    +1

    Chengvang is so out of their depth as to what the actual history is here, it’s fucking scary.

    it’s nice they think they’ve learned some science from Abbie.

    I rather doubt though, given the ignorance still exhibited, they really have.

  96. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    You only said that what I said was idiotic, disingenuous, and misogynists.

    [Citation needed]
    I didn’t actually say anything you said was misogynistic. Although your willingness to “accept” the open slimepit of misogyny at ERV doesn’t speak well of you. I’d say you’ve got some serious privilege blinders going on – it’s not your problem how women are treated.
    Your whining that I don’t know you waaaaa how could I ever reach such horrible conclusions about you becomes comically misguided when you apply it to the actual situation, rather than the imagined one where I called you personally an idiotic disingenuous misogynist.

  97. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Omg I’m stuck in the SIWOTI mire. GOODNIGHT. *temporary threadflounce*

  98. ambulocetacean says

    Chengvang #109,

    The issue isn’t being an animal lover and/or eating meat. It’s misogyny.

    If you really want to understand the problem that PZ and the Pharyngula regulars have with Abbie you will focus on that one word: misogyny.

    You will also pay attention to the examples of it that they provide (hint: scroll back up to the links in earlier comments).

    But if you DON’T want to understand what’s going on you can just keep talking about pit bulls and hamburgers and whatever else you like. You won’t learn anything and you certainly won’t convince anyone of your sincerity.

  99. Ichthyic says

    What I was trying to say is that the posts of Orac, PZ, Abbie, and Dr.Conye have struck me to be with integrity not because of the zeal of their writing like many of the very religious people they criticize, but that they backed up their views in an evidence based way and moral way.

    right, so Abbie’s fanboi slimepit is what part of that, exactly?

    you understand nothing.

    what part of her attack on Watson was “backed up by evidence”?

    what part of her fiasco regarding PepsiCo was “backed up by evidence?”

    what part of her calling PZ a liar, flat out, was “backed up by evidence?”

    oh, wait, YOU think this is all just about her love for pitbulls.

    ROFLMAO

    ignorant fuck.

    get some perspective; you have no clue what is going on here, and I’m betting nobody here is going to want to spend ten thousand words bringing you up to speed, either.

    just run along and play and forget you came here to erect your strawmen.

  100. says

    For those who are going to quote me, quote me in my entirety and take into account my first posts.

    I have already admitted that I am not going to read 5000 fucking posts to try and defend ERV on what I consider to be fucking trivial ass bullshit. Which was advocating HPV. Yes, maybe she misquoted the 75% to 100%, it was a bit confusing even for me because of the wording (it is 100% preventable for certain types of HPV cancer). It could be that she was wrong and never admitted it, I already conceded to that. So fucking quote that in if you’re going to quote me. But as I said before, while that may tarnish my views of her as a scientist. I will still take into account that she is a human being, a very capable human being who have shown interests and fascination with biology. Who have shown interest in the outreach of science to children and women. In humanizing scientists and the public perception of science. Who is intelligent enough to get into a PhD program in the biological science and will most likely complete it pretty soon.

  101. Ichthyic says

    Don’t play stupid with me and act like I accused you of shit you didn’t do.

    man, now THAT’S funny.

    it’s things like this that make me not invest in irony meters any more.

  102. Ichthyic says

    I have already admitted that I am not going to read 5000 fucking posts

    that’s the problem.

    there is a long history here you refuse to make yourself aware of, but instead INSIST you can make intelligent commentary about complex interactions by pulling shit out of your ass.

    seriously, is this how you approach everything in your life?

    might I recommend a career in ditch-digging?

  103. says

    not meant to be idiotic because it wasn’t jibberish

    you seem to have no idea what “idiotic” means. it does not mean jibberish, for starters.

    You only said that what I said was idiotic, disingenuous, and misogynists.

    actually no. she merely expressed disgust at the fact that you can accept such things; or, strictly speaking, she merely said that she can’t accept such things, and that you’re privileged.

    your reading comprehension is horrible. slow down, get a dictionary, do whatever it takes.

    or, you know, stop digging altogether.

  104. Louis says

    Chengvang,

    Hi, my name’s Louis, pleased to meet you.

    {Offers hand}

    I think what my colleagues here are getting at is that the level of misogynistic fervour in some of the comments at ERV is more than merely in error or a difference of opinion over the nature of feminism.

    That subset of comments is made by a subset of commenters who are regularly making expressions of quite astonishing misogyny. Believe me when I say it’s not the “niceness” or otherwise that’s at issue. As you rightly note, we here at Pharyngula Towers can occasionally, with the wind behind us and a favourable tide, drop the odd moody word.

    It’s not a matter of opinion that these comments I mention are misogynistic, it’s quite easy to examine their underlying (and overt) “logic” and demonstrate that. Don’t fret, many people inherit their misogyny from the largely misogynistic culture that surrounds them. They are, like me, like you, like everyone here unconscious misogynists. We grew up in a misogynistic culture like fish grow up in water. It’s not surprising we are wet!

    The trick is to not deny one’s own “wetness”, one’s own cultural legacy of misogyny. Don’t feel guilty about it, it’s no one’s fault, it just is. The trick is to be aware of it and to gradually combat it as best you can. Doubling down, as many of the commenters who make those oh-so-egregiously-misogynistic comments at ERV do by engaging in denial, is not good. Doubling down somewhere like here will get you the new metaphorical orifice of your choosing torn for you.

    Coming to somewhere like Pharyngula where this process is already at a very advanced stage for people like me, and old hat for people like Caine, Jadehawk, Cipher, Carlie, Ms Daisy Cutter, Giliell, Pteryxx, Audley, Josh, ‘Tis, Nerd, Rev BDC, Otrame, Ogvorbis, SC, LILAPWL, oh fuck I’m forgetting people and now I’ve gone so far I am going to piss people off by not remembering to include them YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I LOVE YOU DAMMIT…

    …you get my drift!

    As I was saying, coming to somewhere like this and making the error you have made (their misogyny, and Abbie’s support for it, is merely a difference of opinion about a subject) will get you verbally lynched. People will, at least, try to explain to you why this is not merely a difference of opinion. To be frank, most of us Pharyngulites are so utterly pig-sick of misogynists and their apologists, unwitting or not, that you’re likely to get a violation of the “Three Comment Standard for Newbies”! You’ll get a rusty, rotting, anally insertable porcupine pretty sharpish! I’m not saying that’s right, I’m not saying that’s wrong, but that cultural standard exists here. We’re not incredibly nice to misogynists, their apologists, even if these people are only cluelessly, incidentally so. Just like all of us can be and have been (and in my case probably will be again).

    So, even if you are not a misogynist, and I have no reason to think you are, you’re right, one comment is not enough for me, you are accidentally playing an apologist for misogyny on the internet. If that’s not your intent, and I sincerely doubt it is, then don’t do it. Four people so far have read your comment, and posted “rolling their eyes” at your apparent apologetics. It’s possible, just possible mind you, that the error is not ours/theirs but in fact yours.

    I say this as a fan of Abbie’s science, a fan of Abbie’s humour more often than not, someone who could not give a shit what dog she likes (I’ve had “dangerous dogs” in the past, it’s just not an issue for me), but also as someone who is genuinely dismayed by her utterly wrongheaded, counterfactual stance on some feminist issues and tendency to, shall we say, some “interesting” behaviour when in conflict with other people.

    Louis

  105. theophontes 777 says

    @ rorschach

    To preempt any urban legends : None of those anonymous complainants was me.

    IIRC, someone used your name to comment. The slimepit really lived up to its name. *spits*

  106. says

    I have already admitted that I am not going to read 5000 fucking posts to try and defend ERV on what I consider to be fucking trivial ass bullshit.

    then don’t offer bullshit conjecture on the topic. if you’re not going to do your homework, admit that those who did know more about it than you do, and shut the fuck up with your conjectures about it.

    Yes, maybe she misquoted the 75% to 100%, it was a bit confusing even for me because of the wording (it is 100% preventable for certain types of HPV cancer). It could be that she was wrong and never admitted it, I already conceded to that.

    shut the fuck up with your “maybe”. your speculation is insulting.

    Who is intelligent enough to get into a PhD program in the biological science and will most likely complete it pretty soon.

    I’m sure that impresses you, but considering that most people here either have a PhD or will sooner or later acquire one… that’s kind of insufficiently exceptional to give her a pass on intellectual dishonesty.

  107. says

    chengvang,

    could you please at least try to understand that our problem with Abbie is not pitbulls or HPV, this does not concern us in the slightest, although some of her views and posts on these topics were perceived by some as flawed, wrong or erroneous.

    The only thing that matters is the fact that her blog, hosted under the NatGeo flag, has provided shelter, and opportunity to slander and defame, to some very creepy misogynist assholes in the last 12 months.

  108. says

    @119

    No I don’t just think this is all about her pit bull. Like I said, I’ve been reading in mostly silence the last two years. I’ve been an atheist all my life but I’ve never been involved in any sort of community until about 2 years ago when I was 20,finished community college and transferred to the midwest. So yeah, I don’t know much about how shit went down ten years ago on some other different forums (pandathumbs,etc), but all of the incident that you mentioned, I’ve been up to speed with them. I’m actually with ERV on the whole Watson Gate. I’m actually with ERV on the whole Pepsico. As for her calling PZ a liar, I admit I don’t know much about that. I don’t have her on FB but I will take PZ’s word on his quote of her. As I said before, I read PZ’s blog as much as I do ERV’s, and PZ does not strike me as a man who would lie. I am hoping this is just a miscommunication between them. But obviously someone is in the wrong here, and my views on the person who is ‘lying’ would certainly be of a more negative light if it is resolved. But it wouldn’t be their undoing, I would still read their blogs. It would take more than pointing fingers at people and calling each other liars on petty things to make me burn someone at the stake in my mind.

  109. says

    To be fair to the “I don’t see what’s going on” people, it’s very difficult to get the gist of Internet drama, unless you’ve been in the middle of it. Yes, all the information is available online, but it’s split over multiple sources and spread throughout long threads of comments. There is no coherent form of indexing, and so it’s not even clear what to read.

    This is one of the reasons why we need to extend the Pharyngula Wiki. It has an article on the slimepit, but it’s very schematic, and lacks a wider context. Elevatorgate has no article at all.

    I have been putting a bit of work into the You’re Not Helping article, so that the next time Wally Smith causes trouble, newcomers can easily get the backstory. Someone should do the same for the Slimepit and Elevatorgate.

  110. Lars says

    It would take more than pointing fingers at people and calling each other liars on petty things to make me burn someone at the stake in my mind.

    People here aren’t asking you to burn anyone at the stake in your mind. That’s just another straw man from you.

  111. says

    So yeah, I don’t know much about how shit went down ten years ago on some other different forums

    what the fuck are you rambling about

    I’m actually with ERV on the whole Watson Gate

    shocking. guess any imagined accusations of “misogyny” would have been correct, after all.

    I’m actually with ERV on the whole Pepsico.

    in that case, you have demonstrated an inability to accurately identify and assess what intellectual honesty and integrity are. it would certainly explain why you insist Abby possesses them even when you’re unwilling to actually examine the evidence to find out whether that’s the case.

  112. says

    @126

    Okay, I’m not willing to read 5000 comments so I’m not privilege to make a comment on whether ERV is fit for the scientific community based on one possible misquote, despite all of her efforts in support of science. Got’cha.

    @127

    I don’t think so. I have assumed, and I think rightfully so, that this has always been about PZ and ERV’s disagreement. More specificly, Watson Gate and Pepsico incident. Now its about what he said she said about the new overlords of Sciblogs. This has always been about PZ vs ERV.

    @124 Louis

    Thank you for the sincerity, but I will not back down when I say that I have not said one thing that was misogynist nor was I trying to apologetically defend misogyny. You are right in that it is a difference in opinion, you have articulated it better than I have. I understand how Pharyngula works, when I said I read Pharyngula religiously, I meant the comments too. Meh, I was prepared. Its a small price to pay in voicing my opinion, on two blogs that matters very much to me.

  113. Matt Penfold says

    Chengvang,

    It seems you are coming to conclusions whilst admitting you have very little in the way of evidence. You have even admitted you are wilfully ignorant.

    And you wonder why people here are taking you to task ?

  114. Louis says

    Chengvang,

    I’m actually with ERV on the whole Watson Gate

    Given that Abbie’s position on the matter is so utterly awful it’s not even wrong, this does not bode well. If you’d care to expand on what you mean and what position this is and why you hold it, I at least will listen. It’s pretty old hat around here though, I wouldn’t expect a great deal of sympathy from me or anyone. On this at least, Abbie done fucked up and done fucked up again and again.

    Louis

  115. opposablethumbs says

    So raving misogyny, loathing, despising and railing against women as virulently as possible are “petty things”. Right, got it. You weren’t speaking from ignorance, you actually believe that shit yourself.

  116. says

    @131

    Sure, if you want to label everyone who disagree with you as a heretic. So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy who asked her to coffee super early in the morning, and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists for not agreeing with Rebecca. I’m a woman hater for that, I just hate all woman based on that example.

    Because I, like Abbie, thought it would be interesting to see the technology and research behind commercial food science and didn’t necessarily think it would lead to the corruption of science blog and its silence of its blogger, I don’t have any integrity at all.

    You have me all figured out.

  117. says

    Okay, I’m not willing to read 5000 comments so I’m not privilege to make a comment on whether ERV is fit for the scientific community based on one possible misquote, despite all of her efforts in support of science. Got’cha.

    no, you’re not getting anything. that’s a strawman. I told you to STFU about one specific topic, you’re claiming that I told you to STFU about a general topic.

    so, does this make you a liar, or an idiot?

  118. Louis says

    Chengvang,

    Oh bugger, please don’t do this to me!

    You are right in that it is a difference in opinion,…

    I said precisely the opposite.

    It’s NOT merely a difference of opinion regarding matters feminist between general Pharyngulites/PZ and Abbie/Slimepit threadizens. The Abbie/Slimepit threadizens are being obtusely, recalcitrantly, overtly misogynist. Now there is a spectrum there, from clueless and in denial to active and unpleasant, and not all are equal, but it is assuredly NOT a matter of opinion. Please read what I wrote again.

    Also, I said I don’t think you are trying to be an apologist for misogyny. I’ll amend that: I don’t yet think this. Given your comments re your stance of Elevatorgate and your misreading of my comment above, I am less than convinced that the benefit of the doubt I gave you was worth it. I hope I’m right to have given you the benefit of the doubt. I suspect on balance now that I am not. Please prove me wrong about that.

    Louis

  119. says

    To be fair to the “what is going on?” people, it’s very difficult to get the gist of internet drama unless you’ve been in the middle of it. Yes, the information is available online, but it’s usually split across multiple sources, and spread throughout long comment sections. These sources usually assume a familiarity with the topic and hand, and lack any form of indexing, and so it’s not even clear what to read.

    This is one of the reasons why we need to extend the Pharyngula Wiki. At present it has no article on Elevatorgate, and its coverage of the slimepit is brief and lacking in wider context. For my part, I’ve been extending the article on You’re Not Helping, so that the next time Wally Smith slimes his way onto the internet, newcomers will be able to read the backstory.

  120. John Morales says

    [meta – data]

    (Feel the love)

    Justicar– Totally fine for you all to have a tip jar– you all have to do GoogleAds and such to get paid. I however, have an entire group of professionals who work for advertising here on SciBlogs and NatGeo to make sure Im paid :) You gotta hussle fo yo munny, hunny. I just gotta sit back and the dollas roll in, yo!

    But this is why its funny that Myers wont comment here. He maxes out the SciBlog pay scale, but Im just a peon that normally gets a tiny fraction of his traffic, thus a tiny fraction of what he makes from blogging. If he commented here when he were addressing you all instead of B&W, then *I* would be getting like $5 for the conversation. Hes so petty, he doesnt want me having that $5, so hes commenting at B&W.

    Thats how pathetic PZ Myers is.

    Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 8:35 PM

    Remember, everyone– Myers is at his new place (half-assedly) because “HE WONT CENSOR HIMSELF/COMMENTORS!!!”

    Hes a grown man. He made his own bed, he can sleep in it.

    Posted by: ERV | August 15, 2011 8:49 PM

  121. Matt Penfold says

    You have me all figured out.

    Well you have made it very clear that the women’s rights are not important to you. What was it you said about them ? Oh, yes, you think they are petty!

    If you do not act like a decent human being you have no right to complain when you do not treat you like one.

  122. says

    Hmmm…. it worked that time. Lets try again:

    To be fair to the “what is going on?” people, it’s very difficult to get the gist of internet drama unless you’ve been in the middle of it. Yes, the information is available online, but it’s usually split across multiple sources, and spread throughout long comment sections. These sources usually assume a familiarity with the topic and hand, and lack any form of indexing, and so it’s not even clear what to read.

    This is one of the reasons why we need to extend the Pharyngula Wiki. At present it has no article on Elevatorgate, and its coverage of the slimepit is brief and lacking in wider context. For my part, I’ve been extending the article on You’re Not Helping, so that the next time Wally Smith slimes his way onto the internet, newcomers will be able to read the backstory.

  123. says

    Sure, if you want to label everyone who disagree with you as a heretic.

    “heretic”? very cute attempt at labeling.

    no, I’m simply saying that being on ERV’s side in these two instances is an excellent indicator for both misogyny and inability to accurately identify intellectual integrity.

    So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped

    oh look another strawman. see, this was predictable. whether you know that this is an egregious misrepresentation of the issue or not, it’s still a datapoint that this lie is trotted out in support of your position.

    actually, let me count the ways in which that statement was blatantly false:

    Rebecca was almost raped[1] by a socially awkward guy[2] who asked her to coffee super early in the morning[3], and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists[4] for not agreeing with Rebecca[5].

    1)is a blatant misrepresentation, since absolutely no one claimed she was almost raped. just because the likes of you cannot keep two separate lines of argument separate doesn’t actually make this claim a real claim
    2)Is directly refuted by research into the behavior of men
    3)Is a lie of omission (well, it’s three lies of omission, skipping the “in his room”, “after she said she was going to sleep”, and “after she said she was not interested in that kinds of stuff”)
    4)This is similar to 1) in its misrepresentation
    5)no, if anything he got slammed for claiming that it’s not possible to be attacked in an elevator because they’re sooooo easy to leave

    so yeah, you managed to squeeze 5 massive untruths into that statement. and you’re surprised that support for such lies are getting you slammed?

  124. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy who asked her to coffee super early in the morning, and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists for not agreeing with Rebecca.

    Since Rebecca never said or implied that she was almost raped in that elevator, I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

  125. says

    It’s possible that some badly coded spam-trap is automatically binning my posts. Let’s try again without the hyperlinks:

    To be fair to the “what is going on?” people, it’s very difficult to get the gist of internet drama unless you’ve been in the middle of it. Yes, the information is available online, but it’s usually split across multiple sources, and spread throughout long comment sections. These sources usually assume a familiarity with the topic and hand, and lack any form of indexing, and so it’s not even clear what to read.

    This is one of the reasons why we need to extend the Pharyngula Wiki (located at pharyngula dot wikia dot com slash wiki slash Pharyngula_Wiki). At present it has no article on Elevatorgate, and its coverage of the slimepit is brief and lacking in wider context. For my part, I’ve been extending the article on You’re Not Helping, so that the next time Wally Smith slimes his way onto the internet, newcomers will be able to read the backstory.

  126. says

    anyway, now that chengvang has outed themselves as a bog-standard slimepit denizen (albeit supposedly a passive one), we can all stop pretending anything useful will come from engaging them. Not like it’s not going to just follow the standard script of arguing with slimepit-denizens

    I’m going to sleep.

  127. says

    @137

    I was addressing people’s criticism of Abbie’s honesty and competence as a scientist. When referencing to you, I have kept on that subject. If you feel that I am going back and fourth and not on that topic, attacking points that are not in accordance to that subject. Either you are not understanding me or I’m not understanding you. It could be me, but I have tried to stay on that subject exclusively with you.

    @138

    Sorry, but you should take your benefit of the doubt back. While I don’t particularly mind telling my philosophy on how I treat and view women, I doubt anyone here would want to hear it. I don’t claim to know and remember every single comment made during the Rebecca Watson Gate incident. But the blog posts that Abbie did write (not her comments on them nor the comments made by others under the blog), I found myself agreeing with her mostly. If that by definition makes me a misogynists in your eyes, so be it.

  128. Matt Penfold says

    Rebecca was almost raped[1] by a socially awkward guy[2] who asked her to coffee super early in the morning[3], and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists[4] for not agreeing with Rebecca[5].

    What happened is that RW was approached by a man in an lift at 4am and propositioned for sex. The next day she made a comment about it, using it as example as to why women might not feel comfortable attending atheist/secular conferences.

    It is telling you feel the need to lie about what happened. Since you obviously have none yourself, I am at a loss to understand how you think you can identify integrity in others.

  129. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Chengvang:

    So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy who asked her to coffee super early in the morning, and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists for not agreeing with Rebecca.

    Oh, FFS!

  130. John Morales says

    chengvang:

    I don’t claim to know and remember every single comment made during the Rebecca Watson Gate incident.

    Care to quote Rebecca’s actual, original claim?

    (That refers to what she actually posted, rather than ERV’s spin)

  131. John Morales says

    Chengvang:

    I was addressing people’s criticism of Abbie’s honesty and competence as a scientist.

    Care to quote any such, since you claimed it exists?

  132. says

    chengvang

    Sure, if you want to label everyone who disagree with you as a heretic. So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy who asked her to coffee super early in the morning, and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists for not agreeing with Rebecca. I’m a woman hater for that, I just hate all woman based on that example.

    See what Jadehawk wrote.
    You obviously don’t care for accuracy, you obviously think it’s OK to strawman RW endlessly in order to make your narrative. It makes you at least an apologist for misogyny.
    So, you admit that, again, you actually didn’t bother to research the questions you’re writing about, but you’re totally willing to side with Abbie since her position fits your preconceptions.
    Just to get it out of the system:
    Do you think it’s misogynistic to call your opponent “Rebeccunt Twatson”?

    You have me all figured out.

    Most likely.
    ++++
    Yay for Jen

    ++++

    Someone complained to NatGeo about ERV– said it was ‘sexist’ and ‘excessively vulgar’. Specific comments? No– they want all four of these *posts* taken down:

    NatGeo is being just as fine and fair as you expect them to be. Theyre great.

    I’m wondering what the real story is.
    Given Abbie’s track record (see the SC-HPV-vaccine-incident), maybe people will understand that I’m taking her word with a grain of salt…

  133. says

    To correct myself, Rebecca never said she was almost raped. I apologize if I made it seem as if she said that. What I meant to say was that at the time, many people who was shitstorming the blog comments were the ones making the claim that she could be raped and that Richard Dawkins was a rape apologists for not acknowledging that.

  134. Ichthyic says

    You have me all figured out.

    well, it’s not like it’s hard or anything.

    we didn’t even have to read, like, 5000 of your posts or anything.

  135. Ichthyic says

    What I meant to say

    at this point, you’ve fucked up “what you meant to say” so many times already, that if you actually HAD something to say, nobody gives a fuck any more.

    come back in 10 years or so, when you have a clue.

  136. Matt Penfold says

    To correct myself, Rebecca never said she was almost raped. I apologize if I made it seem as if she said that.

    No, you actually did say that. It is odd you only take it back after you got caught lying.

    You really do not have a fucking clue about integrity do you ?

  137. Ichthyic says

    the blog comments were the ones making the claim that she could be raped and that Richard Dawkins was a rape apologists for not acknowledging that.

    fucking clueless git.

    that’s not even a strawman, since you probably think this is what was actually at issue.

    no, you’re just an ignorant fuckwit, who thinks he has something to say on the internet.

    pathetic.

  138. Ichthyic says

    While I don’t particularly mind telling my philosophy on how I treat and view women, I doubt anyone here would want to hear it.

    probably because it’s likely you would have to post 30 times before you got to the point where you meant to say what you meant to say?

    phht.

    man, I see a whole lot of ignorance packaged into an undergrad with a swelled head.

  139. says

    @154

    … Read my posts where I quoted you. They fell largely under that subject. Specifically, how I defended ERV by saying that I feel she would be a contribution to science based on how she has stated her views on scientific fraud, outreach of science to children and the public, current progress in her studies of a scientific field. I did concede that I was unwilling to read 5000 comments to ascertain if she indeed misquoted the efficiency of HPV vaccination. All this was under the subject of her intellectual integrity as a scientist. So that is why I am confused at you saying I am making up strawman, when it has always been under the subject of Abbie’s intellectual honesty as a scientist and her science career.

  140. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I apologize if I made it seem as if she said that.

    Someone’s taking extra lessons in nonpologies.

  141. Louis says

    Chengvang, #136,

    Okay this is really bad. Point by terrible point (I’m deliberately ignoring the Pepsi/integrity stuff, it’s not my issue here today):

    Sure, if you want to label everyone who disagree with you as a heretic[1]. So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy[2] who asked her to coffee[3] super early in the morning[4], and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists[5] for not agreeing with Rebecca[6]. I’m a woman hater for that, I just hate all woman based on that example[7].

    Bolded [numbers] mine.

    Ok, in order:

    1) No one is labelling anyone a heretic. This is untrue. It’s not that someone who claims to differ on this issue is merely voicing a different opinion about a matter of opinion, they are opining about a matter of fact. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion, no one is welcome to their own facts. That someone, me, you, or anyone, does something misogynistic/sexist/racist/homophobic/ablist/transphobic/whatever is not a matter of opinion. The simple doing of something like that does not globally make one a universal misogynist/whatever. No one has claimed it does. What is claimed is that we are all capable of these acts, largely as a legacy of our social conditioning, and that when one of us commits an act like this, being called on it is a good idea. At least for reasons of self correction and highlighting the issue for the purpose of future improvement.

    Please un-nail yourself from that cross. Martyrdom does not become anyone.

    2) No one, least of all RW, claimed RW was “almost raped” by anyone. What was claimed, what is claimed, is that:

    a) After a lengthy talk/discussion about how it is easy for men to (inadvertently) make women feel uncomfortable/threatened by approaching them in certain ways at public events, a talk/dicussion at which EG was present, RW mentioned that she did not particularly enjoy these types of approaches.

    b) At ~4 am, EG approached RW in a manner she had stated in his presence she was uncomfortable with/threatened by. He did this by following her when she was leaving to go to bed, isolating her in an elevator and propositioning her.

    c) The proposition, mild and inoffensive though it might be at face value, is commonly used as a code for sex. Whether EG meant that or not is moot. RW was well within acceptable cultural norms in understanding a proposal for “coffee in her room” at ~4 am to be a likely sexual proposition. A proposition delivered in a confined space by someone who had just listened to her state her unambiguous dislike/discomfort with said propositions and who had deliberately followed her and isolated her to deliver said proposition.

    That’s it.

    RW’s response? “Guys, don’t do that.”. Mild. Exceptionally mild.

    Internet’s response to RW’s response? “ZOMG TEH CASTRATING FEMINAZIS! WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ GETTING PUSSEH?” and so on.

    Not good.

    You misrepresenting this the way you have demonstrates egregious misunderstanding on your part. I am assuming it’s honest misunderstanding for the moment. Please do not disabuse me of this charitable notion.

    3) See 2) c). Inviting someone, or yourself, in for “coffee” is a commonly understood sexual code. Whether or not EG meant it that way is, as I said, irrelevant. It is readily interpretable this way. If I was a person who wanted discourse, as opposed to intercourse, with someone I would choose a different method of approach and phraseology to get this. EG didn’t, and therefore, innocently, inadvertently or otherwise, opened himself up to be misunderstood (or, indeed, understood) in this way.

    4) See 2) a) and 2) b). This was not merely “super early in the morning” as if that was the relevant aspect. The relevant aspect is this was after extensive discourse on the subject of men approaching women at public events in a manner that inadvertently at best was unpleasant/unwanted/threatening. Something that RW herself had said quite emphatically she did not enjoy.

    Please do not continue to misrepresent this.

    5) Richard Dawkins is not a rape apologist. What Richard Dawkins did was make an argument, sadly all too commonly heard, that as RW (and by extension the women complaining about such behaviour in men) were comparatively privileged and advantaged compared to, for example a Muslim woman in a much nastier and more misogynist state, that this was a complaint not worth making.

    This is a common tactic for minimising legitimate complaints, for silencing people who are complaining about an unjust status quo. Because someone is hip deep in shit, it does not follow that the person up to their knees in shit is not in the shit at all. Sure they are in less shit, but they are still in the shit! The fact that it is important to campaign for, for example, Muslim women’s rights as they are being infringed globally to an extent that the average white, non-Muslim Western woman’s rights are not, does not mean that campaigning for the average white, non-Muslim Western woman’s rights is bad. The relative severity of the complain of the most oppressed person does not change the oppression of the least oppressed person.

    It’s great if people can see the oppression of others and work against it, but to do this they also need to work against the oppression they themselves suffer. This is obviously a more general point than just Elevatorgate.

    Not only that, but surely if we are going to campaign for the most oppressed in the world, doesn’t it behove us to put our own house in order too? Not “first”, not “instead of”, but “too”, “as well as”. We can all work on different elements of the problem to achieve the same goals.

    Sadly, much as I admire the man, on this, Richard Dawkins was in error.

    6) It’s not about whether or not you agree with RW. This is not, regardless of how you wish to present it, a team game or a matter of mere opinion. You have in your post misrepresented the facts and formed an erroneous conclusion. Not good. Agreeing or disagreeing with RW is irrelevant. I agree/disagree with everybody about something, the important and relevant thing is how that disagreement arises.

    If it arises from mere opinion on matters of opinion, then de gustibus non est disputandum. If it arises because one party is not fully aware of, or is in denial of, the available evidence or reasoning…different ball game.

    7) Like I said above, if you are not a misogynist, stop playing an apologist for misogyny on the internet. Whether this is out of a false sense of balance or misplaced loyalty or genuine misogyny or something else I do not pretend to know.

    What I do know is that *I* am a misogynist. *You* are a misogynist. *Everyone here even the feminists” are misogynists. How? A misogynist is someone who does something misogynistic. Everyone’s done it. The trick is to be less misogynist than you were yesterday. The cultural legacy of misogyny is inescapable. We fish cannot escape the water forever, but we can evolve out of it with time! ;-) (Ohhh I could go into many ways that analogy is both perfect and imperfect but I won’t).

    HTH

    Louis

  142. Matt Penfold says

    … Read my posts where I quoted you.

    Please tell us what posts of yours quote John Morales, only I cannot find them. Did you just lie again ?

  143. John Morales says

    [OT]

    chengvang:

    [1] To correct myself, Rebecca never said she was almost raped. I apologize if I made it seem as if she said that. [2] What I meant to say was that at the time, many people who was shitstorming the blog comments were the ones making the claim that she could be raped and that Richard Dawkins was a rape apologists for not acknowledging that.

    1. You apologise if?

    (There is no “if”)

    2. Your ignorance of the events is egregious; those people were responding to those who objected to her discomfort and appeal to people by asking whyever Rebecca would feel creeped out.

    I did concede that I was unwilling to read 5000 comments to ascertain if she indeed misquoted the efficiency of HPV vaccination.

    You don’t have to read kilocomments, only the original and the response by SC*. Apparently, going to primary sources is beyond your purview, but you nonetheless feel free to opine based on spin alone.

    Bah.

    * Who is charmingly referred to as SaltyC**t over at ERV’s.

  144. Louis says

    Jadehawk, #142,

    Oh look, we had the same idea…

    …ZOMG TEH GROOPSECKSTHINK. ECHO CHAMBER. IDEOLOGICAL PRE-COMMITMENTS! ETC!

    Couldn’t be that, ya know, Chengvang is exceptionally in error in really, like, obvious ways, could it?

    Naaaaaaaaaaah. Never. Hush my silly mouth!

    Louis

  145. says

    @Everyone

    Well fuck me, I’m not perfect and I make mistake. Sometimes my memory isn’t fucking 100% clear, heck it isn’t most of the time. Sometimes I fucking generalize shit, or when writing I’m not articulate enough. Not to mention its quite hard to try answering half a dozen people at the same time. I admit to them, and my views are all prejudiced and biased on my experience and cultural upbringing. I can only hope to correct whatever deficiency as I continue growing in life experience. But I’m not about to sit here and be bombarded with people who call me vulgar names when I have not done so to anyone. My reason for commenting was only to voice support for someone whom I admire and who’s blog I enjoyed reading. Think of me as idiotic, mysogynists, a fucking fuckwit, or an undergrad with a swell head. I’ve said my piece, if you want to continue flaming me, go for it.

  146. Ichthyic says

    I’m actually with ERV on the whole Watson Gate.

    but you don’t know anything about it.

    I’m actually with ERV on the whole Pepsico.

    …but you don’t know anything about THAT either.

    now, how would you describe your behavior?

    I’m serious.

    step back, and take a look at what you said here.

    do you think you’re basing your support of Abbie based on the evidence of her argument?

    how so, given you don’t even know what the arguments were?

    if you were taking an chemistry exam, and figured you would do well by simply studying chemical terms in a dictionary… how well do you think you would REALLY do?

    I find your approach to “evidence” wholly unsatisfactory. I think, if you weren’t intent on being a complete fuckwit, you probably would agree.

    but I suspect you can’t help it at this point. You figure the internet is the place where you can display your idiocy at will and not be called on it, or even find support in like-minded unthinking idiots, who likewise refuse to actually understand what the issues are, but are happy to pick a side anyway.

    the world doesn’t need you.

    really.

  147. says

    This was not merely “super early in the morning” as if that was the relevant aspect. The relevant aspect is this was after extensive discourse on the subject of men approaching women at public events in a manner that inadvertently at best was unpleasant/unwanted/threatening. Something that RW herself had said quite emphatically she did not enjoy.

    Super early in the morning is when you have to leave the house at 4 am because you have to start work at 5 am.
    4 am in the morning after an exhausting conference and lots of chitter-chatter is very late at night ;)

  148. Louis says

    Ahhh, I have now seen Chengvang’s #148.

    Benefit of the doubt rescinded then. I shall mock the living fuck out of you as appropriate for as long as I can be bothered.

    It’s how I treat the egregiously moronic.

    Louis

    P.S. Incidentally Chengvang, doesn’t it disturb you that I’ve tried to engage you substantially, i.e. on matters of substance, and you’ve…well, shall we just say you’ve failed to respond in kind. Dammit, I just cannot stop being nice today. Must be something wrong with me.

  149. Ichthyic says

    Think of me as idiotic, mysogynists, a fucking fuckwit, or an undergrad with a swell head.

    actually, I suspect you probably have a significant degree of authoritarian personality, and expect Abbie of being always right simply because you respect her authority on other issues.

    this is not exclusive of you being any of the other things you list.

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My reason for commenting was only to voice support for someone whom I admire and who’s blog I enjoyed reading.

    Who gives a shit about what you think? You have an ego problem, thinking we would care about the inane opinion of someone who doesn’t understand evidence and how to use it, and then think about it to reach sensible conclusions. You fail. And you can’t shut up either, repeating yourself ad nauseum.

  151. Matt Penfold says

    Well fuck me, I’m not perfect and I make mistake. Sometimes my memory isn’t fucking 100% clear, heck it isn’t most of the time. Sometimes I fucking generalize shit, or when writing I’m not articulate enough. Not to mention its quite hard to try answering half a dozen people at the same time. I admit to them, and my views are all prejudiced and biased on my experience and cultural upbringing. I can only hope to correct whatever deficiency as I continue growing in life experience. But I’m not about to sit here and be bombarded with people who call me vulgar names when I have not done so to anyone. My reason for commenting was only to voice support for someone whom I admire and who’s blog I enjoyed reading. Think of me as idiotic, mysogynists, a fucking fuckwit, or an undergrad with a swell head. I’ve said my piece, if you want to continue flaming me, go for it.

    Now you are just tone trolling. You do know that just makes things worse ?

    Now it is true people have called you names. Personally I think they were justified, but take a look at how you have behaved.

    You have admitted to wilful ignorance. You have just plain lied. You have expressed admiration for misogyny. In short, you have not behaved well, and yet you seem to think your lack of honesty, integrity and manners should go unmarked.

    You are clearly out of your depth here, so I suggest you just fuck off. The good news is you get a free decaying porcupine to take with you.

  152. Ichthyic says

    Must be something wrong with me.

    I think you might be dehydrated.

    I recommend copious intake of fluids.

  153. ambulocetacean says

    Chengvang,

    Do yourself a favour and go back and re-read Jadehawk’s post at #142.

  154. John Morales says

    [meta]

    chengvang:

    Think of me as idiotic, mysogynists [sic], a fucking fuckwit, or an undergrad with a swell [sic] head.

    I hardly need your permission to form an opinion of you based on your comments here; I inform you that, were I to think of you thus, I would be exceedingly generous.

    (I’m not feeling generous)

  155. Louis says

    Ambulocetacean, #175,

    Good idea, it’s a fuck sight shorter and better than my #163.

    Ahhhh I’d be able to write shorter posts if I had the time to spend one them! ;-)

    Louis

  156. Louis says

    Icthyic, #174,

    I recommend copious intake of fluids.

    To be fair, between you and me, this is usually my recommendation for most things. As long as those fluids contain ethanol and/or some other form of intoxicant/hallucinogen.

    Hey, I just happen to take “better living through chemistry” very seriously. Professionally and personally.

    DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!

    Louis

  157. KG says

    But I’m not about to sit here and be bombarded with people who call me vulgar names when I have not done so to anyone. – chengvang

    Does that mean you’ll fuck off now, you pea-brained misogynist shitbag? I do hope so.

    I don’t have any integrity at all.

    You have me all figured out. – chengvang

    OK, I’m quote-mining here, but since this is about the longest stretch of indubitable truth in your farrago of nonsense and lies, I thought it worth repeating.

  158. carlie says

    I was addressing people’s criticism of Abbie’s honesty and competence as a scientist.

    And you do realize, I assume, that many of the people you are addressing are actually scientists? And since you have admitted that you are not one, I assume that you realize that they might have more expertise on what makes a scientist and how to judge someone’s demonstrated scientific technique better than you can?
    The incident SC referred to was not, as you said, a complex statement that is difficult to understand, not for a scientist (or anyone halfway versed in statistics). It was a very clear, simple statement. Abbie didn’t understand it correctly; fine, sometimes people skim, sometimes people are thinking of five things at once and not really paying attention. But then she doubled down when it was explained to her by SC, very clearly, in very simple terms, several times. She held fast to her wrong misinterpretation of the statement (and then added in a few dozen misogynistic slurs at SC for good measure). That means either her understanding of basic statistics is faulty, or she will cling to untruths in order to try to salvage her reputation or sense of self-worth or what have you. Either of those are very troubling characteristics for a scientist to have. The first could be remedied by a little more training; the second is something that either gets grown out of, or makes that person into someone whose research results are always suspect.

  159. Louis says

    Chengvang,

    You can of course take your ball and go home crying to Mummy complaining that the big boys and girls were mean to you. That is your right and privilege and no one will shed a tear as you exercise it.

    However, sarcastic though I may have been at times, I have yet to call you a vulgar name despite a profound desire to do so. I’ve engaged you politely, with no small amount of detail and humour, and tried to get you to understand where I am on this issue and where I think you’ve made errors.

    You are surely capable of skimming those terrifying posts which make you so terribly upset and respond just to me. You can try that if you like. Don’t worry, precious, I’ll be gentle.

    Ooopsie, your antics seem to be inspiring sarcasm in me. My inner arsehole is very close to the surface! ;-)

    But seriously, if you genuinely want a serious discussion I’ll play along. As indeed will everyone here, I’m far from special in that regard, but you’re going to have to deal with the substance not the tone, and appreciate your errors (or potential errors) a little better than you seem to be doing currently.

    Of course, you can act the muppet as currently are and I get to take the living piss out of you for sticking on your clown shoes and honking your nose whilst playing persecution for being called names of a fucking internet comment thread!

    Personally, if I were you, I’d dry up and stop being such a pissant by engaging the points people are making seriously. But whether you are capable and willing to do that is not up to me.

    Louis

  160. Louis says

    All clerical errors and grammatical fuck ups are not mine. They were inserted there by TYPO the one true GDO of Clerical Errors (May his spellcheck never fucntion properly).

    Fuck Typos and his fictional existence and pissy little followers. TYPO is the one true GDO of clerical errors. Yes I said it. Yes I mean it. Schism, motherfuckers, it’s what’s for breakfast.

    BRING IT ON!

    Louis

  161. carlie says

    Yes I mean it. Schism, motherfuckers, it’s what’s for breakfast.

    Would you like a cup of coffee to go with? You’ve been doing a lot of work over the last couple of hours here. I’ll even toss a shot of your favored liquor into it if you like.

  162. ambulocetacean says

    Chengvang,

    Do yourself another favour and re-read Louis’s comment at #163.

    Louis,

    I confess that I only skimmed your excellent #163; had I not I would have directed Chengvang back to that as well.

    I also loved your #124, though I’m not sure that “lynched” was the best choice of word. And if I was to be a complete churl I might have quibbled over whether porcupines are sufficiently ferrous to rust. Other than that, though, terrific ;)

  163. Louis says

    Carlie, #183,

    Liqueur coffee? Oh you are too kind! But one shot? Who the hell do you think I am? ;-)

    Louis

  164. says

    But this is why its funny that Myers wont comment here. He maxes out the SciBlog pay scale, but Im just a peon that normally gets a tiny fraction of his traffic, thus a tiny fraction of what he makes from blogging. If he commented here when he were addressing you all instead of B&W, then *I* would be getting like $5 for the conversation. Hes so petty, he doesnt want me having that $5, so hes commenting at B&W.

    Say what?

    There is one pay scale at Sb. Everyone gets paid the same amount per site visit, and it’s tiny, a fraction of a penny per visit — but it can add up if traffic is high. The value of a comment from me is exactly the same as a comment from anyone else (that is, nothing: we don’t get paid for comments at all). By not putting a comment on her site, or visiting it, I’ve cruelly denied her perhaps a tenth of a cent or two…but no one is obligated to visit a particular web page, ever.

    The petty resentment and delusional thinking in that comment, the self-righteous entitlement that turns avoiding a slimepit into an economic attack on her right to have my attention, leaves me gobsmacked.

  165. Louis says

    Ambulocetacean, #184,

    1) I was not begging for attention, I was mocking my own logorrhea. Thanks anyway. Sorry, I’m in frivolous humour today. It might have something to do with sleep deprivation and the cocaine/atropine/adrenaline/caffeine wake up combo I ingested recently. I can’t be sure. Everything does have interesting vapour trails though.

    2) “Lynched”. Excuse me a second.

    OI! OI! CHENGVANG! HEY! OVER HERE! WATCH THIS!

    Right back to you Ambulocetacean.

    You’re right. Despite the fact that I am of (exceptionally) mixed race and have suffered my fair share of (minor by comparison) racism I fucked up there. In the UK, my nation of birth and residence, the word lynched simply does not have the same cultural context and resonance it does in the USA (where a large number of our fellow commenters reside). You’re utterly correct to imply that I should have considered that context when choosing my words and you’re right that I chose poorly. I was in error.

    Please substitute:

    raped…no, that’s potentially sexist and certainly minimising rape.

    buggered…no, that’s potentially homophobic.

    Let’s go with “verbally smacked about”.

    BACK TO YOU CHENGVANG

    See Chengy-wengy, it’s so easy to inadvertently make statements that isolate a single group. It’s really easy to do this completely by accident. What I did was hardly serious, and Ambulocetacean very kindly brought it up in the mildest way possible. I made a statement that, regardless of my intent, could easily be misconstrued as referencing specific racially motivated events in different cultural settings. I can’t be expected to never do this. I can be expected to clarify and correct myself when misunderstandings arise. I’m not saying Amblocetacean misunderstood me, not at all, rather that I allowed myself to be misunderstood by {ahem} “infelicitous phraseology”. ;-)

    It really is that easy. No big deal, just correct it and move along. I’ve dragged this out because, well, let’s be blunt, you seem to have some trouble with the concept.

    3) You’ve never seen the iron porcupines of the Sierra Madre? Well inform yourself young human! Do so immediately, if not sooner. Forthwith, if indeed not fifthwith.

    I mean, if I stick a porcupine in a suitable electrolytic cell it should be possible to plate it at the very least…

    Louis

  166. Louis says

    PZ, #186,

    Many times I have considered changing fields enormously to study the psychology of “wrongness”.

    Abbie is clearly an intelligent person, and equally clearly she is doubling down in certain ways that are… simply amazing to me.

    Mind you, when I was doing my PhD it was such a pressure cooker environment I met a (very) few people who did exactly what Abbie is doing, I wonder if it’s not in part a situational response. You get bright men and women who simply cannot be wrong about some things, and so they lie and misrepresent and form little cliques and alliances and “other” people etc etc. I laughingly said that until I did my PhD I never really understood how genocide occurred, surely people would snap out of it, then I saw the irrational lengths some people would go to over intensely trivial things…and grokked it.

    Meh. Who knows. On this issue at least Abbie is off the deep end. I don’t know or fully understand why, but for her sake I hope she surfaces.

    Louis

  167. says

    @181

    Despite the passive aggressive sarcasm, I’ll play along with you since you haven’t called me any names yet except implied I was a moron.

    I accept my errors, I don’t claim to be writing an essay paper. In my haste to respond to some posters I have neglected to clarify myself or have written things that people have accused me of ‘lying’ about. I have made mistakes, but I assure you it wasn’t meant to be a lie. I have to admit, I haven’t been torched on an open forum before so things got a little out of hand when I tried responding to everyone.

    Anyways, I apologize for my generalization for the Watson Gate incident. It was not my intention to assert that Rebecca said she almost got raped in the elevator. Nor did I think it was she who called Richard Dawkins a rape apologist. If I did say any of those things, I apologize. It was not intentional.

    Now, the other points that people wanted me to address. Pepsico incident, I have already addressed that. I did not feel that allowing a commercial food and drink company to have their researchers post on sciblog would have corrupted it and lead to censorship. I recall a few bloggers who were MD, especially ORAC, was opposed to this because they felt it would lead to a conflict of interests, especially since so many medical issues are caused by obesity. That this would silence them in criticizing junk food and drink.

    As for Abbie’s career, I feel that she will be a contribution to the scientific community. As one poster up there said, I already know many people here have graduate degrees and I am aware as a user pointed out that I am merely an undergrad. So what I say here, interpret it as nothing more than the opinion of an undergrad studying and with a fascination of biology. Abbie have shown herself to be in support of science by blogging about scientific outreach, scientific fraud, and is completing a terminal degree in the field. Some poster have brought up an issue of her not recanting her mistake of a misquoted source, as I said before that thread is 5000 comments long. Lets say I take that at face value, fine. It diminishes my view of her. But not to the point where I agree she is not fit for the field of science.

    Lastly, is that I endorse misogyny by siding with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident. I will state, that as a man I will never know the injustice nor social equality that woman go through. I’m not saying I never did some pretty messed up things to girls in my early youth. But ever since college, especially with a broader liberal arts education and time away from my culturally conservative (Asian) family, I have grown to treat women as equal. That at least in my mind I have strive to treat everyone around me, with respect and equality, to not take advantage of anyone. I sided with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident because I felt it was unprofessional for Rebecca to oust a student like that in public. I felt that the student was undeserving of her criticism. Then when Dawkins decided to chime people (not Rebecca Watson) accused him of being a rape apologists, which I don’t think he is.

  168. says

    By not putting a comment on her site, or visiting it, I’ve cruelly denied her perhaps a tenth of a cent or two…but no one is obligated to visit a particular web page, ever.

    No, I think her logic (I’m using the word in the widest sense possible) is that had you posted on her site then your readers followers minions believers zombies would have gone there, too* and created an enormous traffic for her and earned her money. And you did not do so maliciously

    *that’s because when we joined the Collective we all got the tentacle chip implanted that sends us directly to whatever blog our squidly overlord is at. On the interwebs. I could tell you things but the damn chip is programmed in a way I can’t spill the beans. Actually, I’m not even allowed to disclose this argh uh yelp hellll……
    p

  169. says

    Well GOOD. I hope that the “MEDIA CONSPIRACY AGAINST PIT BULLS!!!111″ posts are on the chopping block too, that shit doesn’t belong on a science blog any more than truther crap.

  170. ambulocetacean says

    Louis, I didn’t think that you were begging for attention. I am glad that you pointed me back to your fine comment, which I had just skimmed.

    I will now go google these iron porcupines of which you speak, even though my current mammalian preoccupation is with the pseudocheiridae that are constantly thrashing through the trees around my balcony and clumping across my corrugated-iron roof. It’s like I’m bivouacking in some kind of arboreal marsupial habitat. Which, come to think of it, I am.

    PZ #186

    You giant poopy-head! Don’t you know that Abbie has a pit bull to feed?

  171. says

    cheveng

    I’m not saying I never did some pretty messed up things to girls in my early youth.

    wow, fuck you. also: gross.

    why the fuck would anyone care what you have to say about RW or rape apologism or well, fucking anything when that is how you discuss treating women?

    for the record, there is a *huge* fucking difference between siding against RW and siding WITH ERV. ERV’s approach was to call RW a cunt, bitch, twat, etc and egg on a mob of people who threaten to rape RW on a regular basis. That is what you support when you say you are supporting ERV’s views on the elevatorgate scandal.

    from some of what you’ve said it seems like you are unfamiliar with some elementary facts about what happened anyway. She didn’t post the guys name or picture, and by definition no one else saw them together, so elevator guy wasn’t “outed” (or a student as far as anyone can tell). So basically you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. If you are the same douche that posts at comrade physioprof’s I shouldn’t be horribly surprised, but I am irritated.

  172. John Morales says

    [OT]

    chengvang:

    I sided with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident because I felt it was unprofessional for Rebecca to oust [sic] a student like that in public.

    Why do you continue to exhibit your ignorance?

    That was an incidental consequence following the elevator incident; a separate matter.

    (Also, it was exhaustively discussed here on Pharyngula: Always name names! is the first of the threads on it)

    PS “oust”?

    (You really need access to a dictionary!)

  173. Matt Penfold says

    I sided with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident because I felt it was unprofessional for Rebecca to oust a student like that in public.

    Except she did not “oust” a student. No one, not even RW knows his name. Again you are lying. Why ?

  174. Louis says

    Chengvang, #189,

    Passive aggressive sarcasm?

    YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW!

    I’ve never been passive aggressive in my life! I’m all aggression, baby! ;-)

    I have to confess, the last thing anyone has EVER accused me of is passive aggression. I am chuckling IRL. Nice work.

    Now be a good chap/chappess and go back to Jadehawk’s #142 or my #163. Therein (and obviously in other posts too, but I reference just those for brevity…yeah THAT’S my strong suit!) lies some substance for you to respond to.

    Try that instead of this other drivel.

    Louis

  175. Matt Penfold says

    Passive aggressive sarcasm?

    YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW!

    I’ve never been passive aggressive in my life! I’m all aggression, baby! ;-)

    I have to confess, the last thing anyone has EVER accused me of is passive aggression. I am chuckling IRL. Nice work.

    Louis baby, Just accept you have now been ousted as passive aggressive!

  176. says

    nerd

    Who gives a shit about what you think? You have an ego problem, thinking we would care about the inane opinion of someone who doesn’t understand evidence and how to use it, and then think about it to reach sensible conclusions. You fail. And you can’t shut up either, repeating yourself ad nauseum.

    !!!awesome. I remember what I liked about this place now.

  177. Louis says

    Ambulocetacean, #192,

    Ahhh presumably then you are in the Antipodes not the Americas. Do you not have large guns also? I realise our American cousins have something of a preoccupation with the things but surely any Aussie worth their salt can annihilate the odd marsupial free of conscience?*

    Louis

    * Actually, I couldn’t in good conscience advocate this. But I can do so for Comedy Purposes™. Which is of course a Good Thing™.

  178. Matt Penfold says

    Lastly, is that I endorse misogyny by siding with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident

    You also endorse Abbie Smith’s encouraging her commentators to say things as Ophelia Benson should be kicked in the cunt. Now I do not find saying such things acceptable, but clearly you do. I would argue that makes me a better person than you.

  179. Matt Penfold says

    Chengvang, with regards your complaining people are being nasty to you, I refer you to this comment from PZ himself.

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/01/pharyngula-standards-practices/

  180. says

    @195

    1) I’m not saying that is how I’m treating women. I am saying and acknowledging that in my youth and through my cultural upbringing I made those mistakes. My family taught me to stereotype women by ethnicity and to view them as tools for men, and so I did view them as such. My friends which consisted of all hormone filled high school guys taught me to sexualize women and be inconsiderate of their feelings, to sleep around and cheat. Yes, I admit I grew up in that culture, at a time those were things I lived by. But it is not how I am now, with more education and more freedom away from home provided to me by college my views changed. I went from having all guy friends to having primarily friends that were girls and gays. The literature that my classes forced me to read and the constant preaching from my professors opened my eyes. Most important of all was the kindness I got to experience from others that changed me the most, by bonding and creating friends of different gender and ethnicity, building relationships with them.

    2) I didn’t say that she ousted elevator guy, I NEVER SAID THAT. She ousted a female student who replied to her story of being asked for coffee by a man in the elevator. Secondly, I don’t claim to know all of the comments in her blogs, but her blog posts about the topic.

  181. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I did not feel that allowing a commercial food and drink company to have their researchers post on sciblog would have corrupted it and lead to censorship.

    Who gives a shit what you think? Those with honesty sand integrity recognize a sell-out when they see it. Which means you lack certain moral precepts.

    But ever since college, especially with a broader liberal arts education and time away from my culturally conservative (Asian) family, I have grown to treat women as equal.

    Then why don’t you sound that way? You still sound like you don’t understand the concept of equality. Which starts with you being able to shut the fuck up and actually listen to women. I don’t see that, not in your reponses here, or your analysis of elevatorgate.

    I sided with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident because I felt it was unprofessional for Rebecca to oust a student like that in public.

    This had nothing whatsoevwer to do the inappropriate proposition of elevator guy, and you know that. Feeble explanation for you bad behavior, and not an excuse for it. Self justification is all.

    Take your pseudopolgy and fade into the bandwidth. You need to show evidence, not bullshit opinion, to change our minds.

  182. Louis says

    Matt, #199,

    Yeah I’m fine about the misattribution. No, really, honestly. I’m fine. Seriously, totally fine. I don’t want to go on about how completely and utterly fine I am about it.

    Louis

  183. says

    If I did say any of those things, I apologize. It was not intentional.

    You fucking did say them, but you lack the integrity to do so.
    This is a blog, we can qute it right back at you:

    So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy who asked her to coffee super early in the morning, and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists for not agreeing with Rebecca.

    Here’s step #1:
    Actually apologize.
    So far you haven’t, because you don’t acknowledge that you actually do so.
    Step #2:
    Intent isn’t magic. My toe doesn’t hurt any less because you didn’t step on it intentionally.

    Liberal arts major writing an essay? I hope you don’t write it like your posts here. Most people in academia don’t appreciate pompous writing from people who can’t take responsibility for their own fucking words.

  184. Matt Penfold says

    2) I didn’t say that she ousted elevator guy, I NEVER SAID THAT. She ousted a female student who replied to her story of being asked for coffee by a man in the elevator. Secondly, I don’t claim to know all of the comments in her blogs, but her blog posts about the topic.

    You really do not seem to be able to write clearly. Maybe you would be better off commenting somewhere a little intellectually taxing because you seem to be a little on the stupid side.

    And sorry, you claim you read her blog. You have no excuse for not knowing what people are saying in the comments. If you endorse her blog, you also endorse her encouraging and condoning misogynist comments. You clearly think that is acceptable behaviour, which tells us a lot about the person you are.

  185. Louis says

    Chengvang,

    I sided with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident because I felt it was unprofessional for Rebecca to oust a student like that in public.

    So because, in your opinion, RW was wrong to address a student at a talk where RW was a speaker the student was in the audience, this makes Abbie right about Elevatorgate? Or at least “on the right side”?

    I don’t even….

    What the….

    I am 12 what is this…

    Wherever it is you are doing your undergraduate degree, nip over to the philosophy department, find logician, get them to hit you with something heavy. It might take a few good whacks upside the noggin with a tome of relevance but in time, with suitable mockery and book beatin’s, you may be able to master simple reasoning.

    Look! I am becoming sarcastic again. Stop it, stop it! I can’t control the beast. It wakes within me. It speaks to me in terrifying whispers, urging me to mock you. Please make it stop, be sufficiently serious and erudite that the beast slumbers through boredom. Make the voices stop. The beast makes me mean, the beast makes me want to tell you you are a dipshit. The beast is wicked and weakens me. Help me defeat the beast. Deal with the substantial points made by Jadehawk and I (and others) without whinging about tone and irrelevancies.

    Louis

  186. John Morales says

    [meta]

    chengvang @204:

    She ousted a female student who replied to her story of being asked for coffee by a man in the elevator.

    No.

    Evidently, you are not just an ignoramus, but also either recalcitrant or incompetent (you don’t even read the comments in this thread (cf. my #196)).

    For your edification: oust

    (You probably meant ‘outed’)

  187. ambulocetacean says

    Louis, yeah, I’m in Oz. Brisbane, just moved up from Melbourne. We should probably take this OT stuff to The Endless Thread, but I have to leave now anyway.

    Very few people have guns in Oz. Mostly just farmers, criminals, psychos and cops (not that any of those are mutually exclusive). I’m still amazed by the fact that most British cops (and Kiwi cops) don’t have guns. If anyone’s taking delight in shooting possums I’m sure it’s the Kiwis. Australian possums are invasive species in EnZed.

    Anyway, g’nite.

  188. says

    My friends which consisted of all hormone filled high school guys taught me to sexualize women and be inconsiderate of their feelings, to sleep around and cheat.

    Really, yer honour, it wasn’t my fault, it was the hormones!
    Bullshit.
    Your friends were misogynist assholes because they grew up in a misogynist world which treats women as objects, not because of testosterone.

    I went from having all guy friends to having primarily friends that were girls and gays.

    I hope they read this. You might end up with less of them.
    So, gays can not be guys?
    Hey, Josh, did you know?
    Oh, and of course, you’re not friends with women, you’re friends with girls.
    Fuck off.

  189. says

    @198

    I have already addressed #142 and #163 in my reply to you. Which is the correction of Rebecca claiming to be rape and her calling Dawkins a rape apologist. As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that. While I don’t exactly ask girls to go drink coffee with me in the morning, I and many other people I know who’s presence I was with have asked girls to come back to the house for alcohol. It doesn’t necessarily ends up with sex. It could be because as a college student I’m unfamiliar with that … dating jargon, but I still don’t think it is known that asking someone to coffee that early is an invitation for sex exclusively. As for Richard Dawkins minimizing the incident that Rebecca, I understand that argument. I still side with Dawkins, there are more important things to talk about than a girl getting asked for coffee at 4-5AM. Especially with a lot of commentators (not RW) screaming rape and drowning the forum and blog comments.

  190. John Morales says

    [meta]

    chengvang:

    Secondly, I don’t claim to know all of the comments in her blogs, but her blog posts about the topic.

    Nice technique; whyever bother with primary sources, when you can simply opine on the basis of someone else’s opinions (jaundiced as they may be?).

  191. says

    127 roschach

    could you please at least try to understand that our problem with Abbie is not pitbulls or HPV, this does not concern us in the slightest, although some of her views and posts on these topics were perceived by some as flawed, wrong or erroneous.

    The only thing that matters is the fact that her blog, hosted under the NatGeo flag, has provided shelter, and opportunity to slander and defame, to some very creepy misogynist assholes in the last 12 months.

    speak for yourself on this- pit bull denialism (claiming that pit bulls are “nanny dogs” and perfectly safe to leave with children, insisting that canine behavior is only determined by nurture, that all attacks are a result of “bad” owners, that they don’t kill or maim more people than other kinds of dog, that legislating breeds of dog is the same as racism, etc) should be considered as irrational as any other ridiculous woo. Her response to these problems is to cry that there is a media conspiracy against pit bulls (despite there being multiple tv shows and personalities devoted to a positive image of the dog breed and none devoted to defaming them). I have been trying to get the word out about this for quite some time now, to get skeptics to discuss the serious problems caused by pit bull advocates, and have found great skeptic work from people involved in animal/public safety advocacy (dogsbite dot org is the go to website for this, and the owner has suffered a lot of harassment for starting the website). It is being ignored, and it sucks, because all of the fatalities and maulings are preventable, and only getting worse the more the myths about fighting dogs are passed around. The claims passed around in the pit bull community are downright fucking ridiculous, they deserve serious scrutiny. The most I have seen have been some posts from drug monkey and comrade physioprof, and those were both within the last month. I’ve emailed everyone I can think of.

    Of course I have a very serious problem with the misogynist shit that she says too, and the misogynists she encourages, but I refuse to pretend that her place in the pit bull community is a non-issue. I still believe that this will catch on as a legitimate inquiry in the skeptical community eventually, and hopefully victims of attacks and their families will then have some back up when trying to solve the problem.

  192. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m sure you apologize if anyone was offended by what you said.

  193. John Morales says

    [OT]

    chengvang: for your information, here is a transcript of a source*:

    Um, just a word to wise here, guys, uh, don’t do that. You know, I don’t really know how else to explain how this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but I’ll just sort of lay it out that I was a single woman, you know, in a foreign country, at 4:00 am, in a hotel elevator, with you, just you, and–don’t invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.

    * Scary beasts those, aren’t they? And oh, so very very hard to find!

  194. Matt Penfold says

    As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that.

    And there we have it. At last you admitting you have a dishonest fuckwit without any idea of how to behave decently.

    It was not just being asked for coffee that was the problem. It was the time and place of asking, and the suggested location they have coffee. At 4am, when alone with RW in a lift, and in his room.

    I simply do not believe you when you say you do not regard that as being propositioned for sex. No one can be that stupid, and face it, you are pretty stupid.

    You are simply lying to cover up your misogyny. I don’t know why you are bothering since we can see through you lies and hold you in contempt anyway.

  195. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    So what if Abbie likes dogs, and god forbid pit bulls of all animal

    Pfffft. I’m not feeling the love.

  196. Matt Penfold says

    I still side with Dawkins, there are more important things to talk about than a girl getting asked for coffee at 4-5AM.

    Asked for sex you mean. You have already been corrected on this, so you have no excuse for getting it wrong.

    And yes, there are more important things but that does not mean being proposition for sex is unimportant. Some of us have the intellectual capacity to worry about more than one thing. You seem to be admitting you can’t.

  197. says

    Some poster have brought up an issue of her not recanting her mistake of a misquoted source, as I said before that thread is 5000 comments long. Lets say I take that at face value, fine. It diminishes my view of her. But not to the point where I agree she is not fit for the field of science.

    I’m going to refer you to Carlie’s comment about this above, and add to it that this has nothing to do with any “misquoted source.” She made a dangerously false claim which I then said she should correct. She responded to that with a quotation from a source she didn’t bother to read closely enough to understand, and so failed to correct her error on an important issue related to her field and on which many people will believe her claims, which was irresponsible.
    The quote from her @ #62 is recent. She claims: “Salty Cu(rre)nt still thinks the HPV vaccine doesnt work!” That (setting aside the misogyny) is a totally dishonest characterization of what I said, as you should well know if you read my blog post. It’s worrisome that someone so willing to disregard the facts and to misrepresent people because of personal animosities is entering a profession in which that’s anathema.

    Now you have a choice. You can acknowledge that you got it wrong on the facts and that she dishonestly misrepresented me, or you can continue to spout this nonsense about “fucking trivial ass bullshit” and her being criticized for “advocating HPV.”

  198. says

    @212

    You’re going to get on me because I didn’t go the extra mile and put down that societal pressure and upbringing was also the cause of my friend’s and my misogyny, which is not hormone exclusive? I thought it was implied when I also recounted my cultural upbringing. But I guess I get points deducted because I didn’t include the pressure that Hollywood and magazines put on women which sexualizes them in a male dominant society? Secondly I never said that guys can’t be gay. Most of my gay friends are guys, that was what I meant. They wouldn’t be the tad bit upset if they read any of this, well, with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay. As for my interchangeable use of ‘girls’ and ‘women’, it was not used as a way to belittle the ‘female gender’.

  199. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    chengvang:

    I still side with Dawkins, there are more important things to talk about than a girl getting asked for coffee at 4-5AM.

    A real specimen, you are.

    So unimportant you think it is, that you’re going on and on about it, a year after the fact! ;)

    (Will it shock and surprise you that this post is about certain postings on ERV contravening certain posting policies ScienceBlogs after National Geographic took ownership, and Abbie’s contention that PZ “was blatantly *lying*” about the issue?)

  200. says

    As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that.

    Oh fuck not that bullshit again “Come up for coffee” (and yes, coffe, not “let’s have some beers”) is a well-known and established pick-úp line. Especially when you’re leaving a place that served coffee (probably good one made by a barrista) heading for a place where the best hope is Nescafé).
    Especially after the other person has just announced that she wants to go to bed.

  201. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that.

    Proving your misogynist nature. It is asking for sex. Even an old-fart like myself understands that. We reject your rejection.

    It could be because as a college student I’m unfamiliar with that … dating jargon,

    Or don’t want to know. Abject stupidity gives you denialablity. But it doesn’t impress us here.

    Especially with a lot of commentators (not RW) screaming rape and drowning the forum and blog comments.

    Nobody was screaming it was rape. But Shrodinger’s rapist was invoked to show why it was an inappropriate proposition by EG. You need to learn how to shut the fuck up and listen, as you obviuosly didn’t, can’t, and won’t. We aren’t interested in your ignorant and stupid opinions. Listening starts with you realizing that.

  202. Matt Penfold says

    As for my interchangeable use of ‘girls’ and ‘women’, it was not used as a way to belittle the ‘female gender’.

    Yes that is what it does. Care to explain why you did not know this ?

    Or are you just lying again ?

  203. says

    @220

    Please send me a link to where RW said she was asked for sex. If I was wrong I will gladly correct myself.

    @221

    I will go through the comments and send an e-mail to ERV. As I said such an event does diminish my views of her. I won’t be here much longer because I have finals soon, but if I am wrong you can expect an apology on your blog.

  204. John Morales says

    [OT]

    chengvang:

    the ‘female gender’

    Because sex and gender are interchangeable words, right?

    (Dictionaries are for wusses)

  205. says

    They wouldn’t be the tad bit upset if they read any of this, well, with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay. As for my interchangeable use of ‘girls’ and ‘women’, it was not used as a way to belittle the ‘female gender’.

    OK, now you’re just plumbing the depths of clueless idiocy. Stop now. If you keep chewing on your feet like that, you’re not going to be able to hobble away from this.

  206. Matt Penfold says

    Please send me a link to where RW said she was asked for sex. If I was wrong I will gladly correct myself.

    Already been provided fuckwit.

    The simple fact is that asking someone for coffee in your hotel room at 4am when alone with then in a lift at 4am is asking them to come back to your room for sex. If you are so oblivious to how humans interact with each other that you are not aware of this then you need to get help. Actually, I don’t believe you are not aware of this but are simply lying in a pathetic attempt to hide your misogyny.

  207. says

    jesus fucking christ, can someone just make a fucking flowchart of responses to stupid shit said about elevatorgate? It seems like the conversation always starts with Typical Dude arguing about something other than what actually happened, and once that is cleared up Typical Dude says “coffee didn’t mean sex!” and ignores all the other problems involved, and then moves on eventually to claiming that even if it did mean sex that it is perfectly okay to ask for it. After all he wouldn’t mind/it was a compliment/her feeling creeped out oppresses men etc. There hasn’t been a new thing said about elevatorgate since the day it happened.

  208. John Morales says

    [meta]

    chengvang responds to Matt:

    Asked for sex you mean.

    Please send me a link to where RW said she was asked for sex.

    Apparently, chengvang* fails to notice that Matt is claiming nothing about what Rebecca said.

    * I note that chengvang is the sort of nym that would be fodder over at the Slimepit.

    (The place where twatson and SaltyCu(rre)nt are but the least of the pejorative nominative salacious interpretations)

  209. says

    You’re going to get on me because I didn’t go the extra mile and put down that societal pressure and upbringing was also the cause of my friend’s and my misogyny, which is not hormone exclusive? I thought it was implied when I also recounted my cultural upbringing. But I guess I get points deducted because I didn’t include the pressure that Hollywood and magazines put on women which sexualizes them in a male dominant society?

    No, I “get on you” because you stupidly tried to invoke the biological fallacy of “hormones”, which is bullshit, but a handy excuse why guys get cut some slack. Honestly, if I believed half the shit people tell about what “hormones” make men do, then the only reasonable solution would be to pump them all wit estrogen.

    Secondly I never said that guys can’t be gay. Most of my gay friends are guys, that was what I meant.

    Of course you did.
    You constructed a sentence in which you opposed “guys” to “gays and girls”.

    I went from having all guy friends eating fast-food only to having primarily friends that were girls and gays. eating mostly fruit and veg.

    I suggest remedial English 101

    They wouldn’t be the tad bit upset if they read any of this, well, with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay.

    Your “friend” gets upset because you’re a stupid transphobic asshole.
    Tranny is a slur against trans people akin to nigger for black people. The only appropriate pronoun is the one of hir actual gender, the one xie tells you is. So, for a trans-man (that’s a guy with two X chromosomes) it’s he, for a trans-woman (that’s a woman with XY) it’s she.
    So, if xie is straight, and you call hir gay, you’re denying hir whole identity.

    As for my interchangeable use of ‘girls’ and ‘women’, it was not used as a way to belittle the ‘female gender’.

    That call isn’t on you. Women actually do feel belittled by being equated with children. there#s studies to show that.

  210. says

    I will go through the comments and send an e-mail to ERV. As I said such an event does diminish my views of her. I won’t be here much longer because I have finals soon, but if I am wrong you can expect an apology on your blog.

    Do it here. I’m not interested in dealing with you at my blog.

    This really isn’t about diminishing anyone’s views of someone. It’s about her bringing the behavior she exhibits on the slimepit threads into her science writing.

  211. Louis says

    Chengvang, #213,

    {Cranks the Sarcasm-O-4000 down as far as he can without breaking the lever}

    Okay, you’re breaking my heart. So much incomprehension, so little time.

    @198

    I have already addressed #142 and #163 in my reply to you[1]. Which is the correction of Rebecca claiming to be rape[2] and her calling Dawkins a rape apologist[3]. As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that[4]. While I don’t exactly ask girls to go drink coffee with me in the morning, I and many other people I know who’s presence I was with have asked girls to come back to the house for alcohol. It doesn’t necessarily ends up with sex.[5] It could be because as a college student I’m unfamiliar with that … dating jargon, but I still don’t think it is known that asking someone to coffee that early is an invitation for sex exclusively. As for Richard Dawkins minimizing the incident that Rebecca, I understand that argument. I still side with Dawkins, there are more important things to talk about than a girl getting asked for coffee at 4-5AM.[6] Especially with a lot of commentators (not RW) screaming rape and drowning the forum and blog comments.[7]

    Bolded [Numbers] mine.

    Seven points again? MOTHERFUCKER! Okay, let’s try to make this quicker this time.

    1) ORLY?

    2) Where in those posts (#142 and #163) did either Jadehawk or I correct you about the “fact” that it was RW who said those things? NO WHERE! To name but one example. You have not responded to what either of us actually said. You have responded to, what I will charitably all a misunderstanding of what we both said.

    Go back and re-read. This time for some modicum of comprehension.

    3) As with 2). You’ve missed the point of our actual criticism of your claims. Go back, re-read…or more likely READ…and try to comprehend. It’s not like we numbered each specific point we were dealing with and then explained in exquisite detail what was wrong with them…oh wait we fucking did. Holy shit!

    Hint: RW DID NOT SAY DAWKINS WAS A RAPE APOLOGIST NUH UH was not one of the points we made, nor was it one of the claims we addressed.

    Now, put on your big boy trousers and go and use those fantastic undergraduate reading skills and try again. Or I will mock you. I will. I cannot control the beast much longer.

    4) You reject that? You reject that? How wonderful! See also 5) below. But since you seem to be incapable of using Google as well as incapable of reading for even basic comprehension, here, let me Google that for you. No, really, no thanks necessary.

    5) What you and your friends do is not…{drum roll}…BINDING ON OTHERS. I know, shock horror. I realise that you might not be aware of the world outside your bubble yet, don’t worry, none of us are unless we try very hard. It hopefully happens with age. Oops sarcasm again, I just don’t do this nice stuff very well do I?

    Look it up, I even gave you the start of a link above. I’ll wait. The “come back to my place for coffee” is such an old and well known cultural single for a mild sexual proposal that even adverts (and a subsequent promotional video compilation and even novelisation of them) were made referencing the meme.

    Go on. Go explore those adverts they’re cheesily hilarious. They’re on Youtube. I’ll wait again.

    6) So even after having it painfully explained to you that, yes whilst there are vastly more serious matters than Elevatorgate in the world, the fact that these exist does not detract from the fact that minor issues also need addressing. That it is part of the whole, that it is not a zero sum game. Improving one does not mean we cannot improve the other.

    Saying that “X is more important we should talk about that instead” is another classic derail, by the way. It is used to deliberately not address legitimate concerns. You didn’t understand the shit analogy did you, was it too complicated. Come over here I just so happen to have a barrel of shit to help illustrate this with.

    You haven’t addressed what’s written in a meaningful sense, you’ve just said “nuh uh”. That’s not intellectual engagement, that’s infantile refusal to engage.

    This might cause mockery of an advanced nature.

    7) I am not responsible for the arguments of others. Deal with what *I* am saying when you deal with me, not with what you want me to say or what other people are saying. I have done you the courtesy of reading and analysing your posts and responding, albeit with no small amount of sarcasm, point by point illustrating precisely where, why and how I disagree/you are in error. You have not returned, and are not returning, that same courtesy. Hence my escalating sarcasm.

    I don’t care if a billion internet denizens said Richard Dawkins fucks babies. I have not claimed he does, I am not claiming he does, I will not claim he does, he doesn’t, so replying to me as if that claim is relevant to anything I am saying is…

    …I’ll be generous: Fucking Odiously Stupid.

    Now grow a fucking clue and respond to what is actually being said.

    Louis

  212. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, clueless chengvang still can’t shut the fuck up yet? That is the first step toward learning. Evidently it is so arrogant it thinks it doesn’t need to learn. Must be a liberturd.

  213. says

    skeptifem @ 215,

    I have had the misfortune to treat pitbull victims. My views about them can be looked up on my blog, let’s just say that I strongly agree with you on this matter. However, for the purpose of PZ’s post, and the assessment of what went on since EG, for me her views on pitbulls or Pepsico don’t really make a difference.

  214. slc1 says

    Re Ichthyic @ #97

    I think that Ms. Smith would be quite justified in paraphrasing a quotation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The critics like Physioproffe and Drug Monkey have not been content with attacks on me. No, not content with that, they now include my dog, Arnie”

  215. Louis says

    Also:

    Message to everyone,

    If you’re going to beat Chengvang up for his, perhaps injudicious, admission of less than perfectly feminist conduct in his youth, as opposed to his conduct here, then beat me up too please.

    I was not born a feminist. I was not born understanding these things. I grew up in a very conservative (UK standards), misogynistic environment. Hell, I spent 6 years in a boys boarding school. Believe me when I say I have come a LONG way!

    I said and did what I now know to be misogynist things as a younger guy and I still very occasionally screw up today. Fuck it, I’ve done things that would turn most people’s hair blue. Never nasty, never with bad intent, never violent or…you know…THAT kind of thing, but sufficiently cluelessly dumbly fucking sexist and misogynistic to be worthy of scorn and derision. And indeed comment.

    I know I shouldn’t, I know there are bigger problems out there (hahahahahahaha fuck you! That was a joke), but I do feel some modicum of sympathy for the (ostensible) Chengvangs of the world. I reserve the greater slice of sympathy for those actually suffering from the cluelessness he and his chums exhibit…and I exhibit(ed). Obviously, I hope that goes without saying. But still, there is a little bit of me that cringes inside every time some young male (undergrad) comes out with stuff like this. FSM help me, I was there.

    Whilst I might not be doing it/have done it for identical reasons and with identical intent (which is totes magic, didn’t you get the update? ;-) ) I still did it. And I wince as I remember the righteous fucking kickings I got because of it.

    I’m not saying go easy on him, FSM knows I’m not, but what this naive git dribbles out about his personal life demonstrates he is, hopefully at least, on a curve leading closer to enlightenment! And I hope is less fair game than his oh so fucking stupid words here. I know, I’m going soft. Shoot me now!

    For some reason I felt the need to stand up and “I am Spartacus” my past youth with the current youthful morons. Don’t ask me why, just be gentle with the porcupine. ;-)

    Louis

  216. says

    No, I don’t think that pitbulls are the main iddue here.
    But I think that Abbie’s idea that people write about pitbulls just to fuck with her shows a dangerous level of delusion. Everything is about her.
    PZ posts at B&W just not to give her traffic.
    Physioproffe and Drug Monkey post about pitbulls just to annoy her.
    Everything is about her.

  217. says

    Louis
    The problem isn’t that chengvang was an asshole in his youth, the problem is that he’s one now, but expects a cookie for probably not being as big an asshole as he used to be. Although it’s hard to believe how somebody who actaully calls a transperson “a gay* trannie” and thinks that it’s up to him to decide which pronoun is appropriate could have been a bigger asshole.

    *For the matter of clarity, gay is, odf course, not a slur. Yet I think to call a straight trans-person gay is to imply that you don’t accept their identity and think you can just call them gay because of chromosomes.

  218. Louis says

    Addendum to my #239,

    Maybe I’m feeling sensitive today or something, but I can actually feel those historical beatings I took (verbal more than literal…except for this one time…anyway) when I see Chengvang type a comment.

    It’s horrendous. It hurts to know I once looked at the world through eyes perhaps not much different.

    Meh. I’m just too nice sometimes.*

    Louis

    * LIES!

  219. Louis says

    Giliell, #241,

    Oh I agree he is an arsehole now and is cookie begging for reduced arseholery. I guess I am just feeling sympathetic for some mad reason, or empathetic. Or something.

    Fuck…am I channelling misogynists? ZOMG! POSSESSION! Quick get me Germaine Greer, an exorcist and some vodka. I reckon I can have this dealt with.

    I think my point was, I’m beating him up for what he is doing now. What he (claims to) have done before is a crap thing to beat him up for (which some were doing IIRC) given the resplendent opportunities he is giving us right this second. And if he deserves beating up for a claimed past, then fuck it, I need a whack or two! I imagine a lot of us do. ;-)

    Louis

  220. opposablethumbs says

    They wouldn’t be the tad bit upset if they read any of this, well, with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay.

    Well shit, PZ already said it but this? This is jaw-dropping industrial grade willful blindness. This is one of your “gay friends“? This is how you treat someone you consider a friend of yours? You ignore and refuse the actual request from someone you supposedly regard as a friend to avoid addressing them or referring to them in a particular way, when they have every reason to care deeply about it and you couldn’t give a toss. Wow. You’re such a wonderful, wonderful friend.

    As for my interchangeable use of ‘girls’ and ‘women’, it was not used as a way to belittle the ‘female gender’.

    Of course not. Tell me, have you ever come across any references whatsoever – say, literary ones – to what it means to call some adult male humans “Boy” as a matter of course?

  221. says

    And if he deserves beating up for a claimed past, then fuck it, I need a whack or two! I imagine a lot of us do. ;-)

    Louis

    Louis, darling, you don’t need to beg for that.
    Just say that you want a decent spanking and let’s move over to the couch.

  222. Matt Penfold says

    Well shit, PZ already said it but this? This is jaw-dropping industrial grade willful blindness. This is one of your “gay friends“? This is how you treat someone you consider a friend of yours? You ignore and refuse the actual request from someone you supposedly regard as a friend to avoid addressing them or referring to them in a particular way, when they have every reason to care deeply about it and you couldn’t give a toss. Wow. You’re such a wonderful, wonderful friend.

    I detect a pattern there. He calls someone he regards a friend a tranny, despite knowing that the friend hates him doing so. He refers to women as girls, despite being aware that doing so is regarded as being derogatory to women(*).

    (*) Even if he did not know there is no excuse. It is the sort of thing you are supposed to know if you want to be considered an adult.

  223. Louis says

    Opposablethumbs, #244

    I know what you’re referring to with “boy”, and yes, I cannot wait for Chengvang to step directly into that heffalump trap.

    I would say that context is king here, as ever. There’s a world of difference between “I’m off for a night out with the boys” and “Did you hear me, boy”. All referring to adult men. I don’t think it’s ambiguous either.

    I’m not sure the same world of difference exists between “I’m off for a night out with the girls” and “Oh look it’s that girl off the telly”. All referring to adult women. I’m happy to be wrong if someone wants to correct me.

    I’d also say that the “Did you hear me, boy” type of “boy” is quite an American “boy” in my experience (anecdote, not data) for the obvious reasons. When I hear “boy” directed at me, my mind races back to school and moody masters correcting my failure to adhere to the dress code or trying to get me to halt in my flight after some transgression. Although, I have had it used at me in a…oooh I don’t want to give it away…shall we say “context identical to that which you meant in your post”? ;-)

    I’m certainly not saying that the existence of innocent use precludes or erases the prejudicial use, but I think these words are more context dependent than, say, other more obvious words.

    Louis

  224. Anri says

    I wonder what would happen if people in general were willing to credit RW with enough intelligence to know when she was being propositioned or not?

    Of course, that would be admitting that Pink Fluffy LadyBrainz actually work well, which appears to be largely anathema, so I suspect I wait in vain.

    Correct me if I’m wrong (and ignore me if someone’s already heavily covered this angle) but the whole ‘uncertainty’ buisness about what RW thought was going on stems from the base belief that women are too dumb to figure out if they’re being hit on or not.
    This seems to go hand-in-hand with the PUA concept that women need to be conned into intimacy. There’s also a self-congradulatory element involved: “Women are really really good at figuring out that you only want to hump them, but I’m even smarter because I know the unlock women’s knees secrets from my PUA Manual”.

    (I hope the above makes sense – I didn’t sleep much and I suspect I’m free associating more than I should.)

  225. says

    @Ichthyic (waay up at 93):

    Er, you are aware the woman who sued McDonald’s for spilling coffee on herself was suing because she got 3rd degree burns on her thighs, lap, and stomach, right? Cause she was wearing sweatpants and the coffee was so freakin’ hot it burned off her skin and she had to get grafts.

    @chengvang:

    “Tranny” is an unacceptable, transphobic slur. Do not use it.

  226. says

    @Anri:

    Of course pink fluffy lady brains don’t work. It’s quite obvious that the menz have to help us around life, telling us what will harm us and what is going to be good for us. Heavens bless the menz, I wouldn’t be able to get dressed in the morning. “Oh, sir, which way do I put on my pants?” Also, math is hard. I prefer shopping!

  227. carlie says

    Louis, have three shots.
    *looks at thread in the last hour*

    Oh hell, let’s split the whole bottle.

    As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that.

    It’s common enough to be a sitcom trope.

  228. says

    Er, you are aware the woman who sued McDonald’s for spilling coffee on herself was suing because she got 3rd degree burns on her thighs, lap, and stomach, right? Cause she was wearing sweatpants and the coffee was so freakin’ hot it burned off her skin and she had to get grafts.

    There’s a documentary about it (which I still haven’t seen).

    Here‘s the filmmaker on Colbert.

  229. carlie says

    with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay.

    I’m guessing that person isn’t your “friend” so much as “someone who puts up with you because you’re in their social circle”. Seriously. And if you do consider them a friend, why do you do something they utterly hate? That just makes you an asshole.

  230. says

    Giliell:

    “Come up for coffee” (and yes, coffe, not “let’s have some beers”) is a well-known and established pick-úp line.

    I’ve posted this before, but I think it bears repeating: Eddie Izzard on coffee.

    And I have no interest in rehasing Elevatorgate for one exceptionally clueless fuckwit, I think I’m gonna bounce up out of here.

  231. Louis says

    Anri, #248,

    Of course, that would be admitting that Pink Fluffy LadyBrainz actually work well, which appears to be largely anathema, so I suspect I wait in vain.

    Pink Fluffy LadyBrainz actually work well?

    Oh hohoho. Hahahahahaha. It is to laugh. You makes the funny, no? Next the ladies will be thinking they are people or such ridiculousnesses.

    Louis

  232. Anri says

    Of course pink fluffy lady brains don’t work. It’s quite obvious that the menz have to help us around life, telling us what will harm us and what is going to be good for us. Heavens bless the menz, I wouldn’t be able to get dressed in the morning. “Oh, sir, which way do I put on my pants?” Also, math is hard. I prefer shopping!

    (emphasis added for outrage)

    Ah!

    I have discovered your problem!
    You dare – nay, you aspire – to wear MenZ StuffZ such as pants! This causes most of your problems by reducing access blood flow to your important ladybitz, you see. If GOD had wanted you to wear clothing closed at the bottom, HE wouldn’t have put you in skirts to begin with. It’s a slippery slope, my dear, a slippery slope.

    …next thing you know, you’ll be insisting on wearing flats, and we all know where that leads!

  233. Louis says

    Carlie, #252,

    A bottle? Considering it’s a weekday, a Tuesday no less, and with the prevailing wind and tide, I think that is acceptable. I have a marvellous calvados if you are of a mind.

    Louis

    P.S. Audley #255, it’s okay, he’s had it re-re-re-re-re-re-rehashed for him, using small words and poo jokes even. He still Doesn’t Get It™, but I have high hopes that hilarity may ensue, or perhaps enlightenment, or even both.

    I live in hope.

    Everything looks like hope when you’ve been to Slough.

    Louis

  234. dianne says

    Louis @247: Calling an adult man “boy” in the US has an additional racial element in that black men used to be called “boys”, regardless of their age, by white men as a way to dismiss them as childlike. It doesn’t have the same racial implication for women, at least not as much, because all women got dismissed as “girls” regardless of their age, so that it wasn’t as clearly a racial thing to call a black woman a girl. My advice is to use the term men for males over 18 and women for females over 18. Or 21, if you insist.

  235. Louis says

    Dianne, #259,

    I know, I was…erm…being subtle. I clearly failed…or overdid it or something!

    I know what heffalump trap Opposable Thumbs was setting for our (apparently absent) New Friend™. Hence why I alluded to it very obliquely (well…obliquely).

    I was presenting a slightly different cultural context from the American one, which I am sadly all too aware of, as (like I intimated) I’ve had that particular use of “boy” thrown at me when in the USA.

    Louis

  236. Louis says

    Anri, #257,

    …next thing you know, you’ll be insisting on wearing flats, and we all know where that leads!

    LESBOSHONY!*

    Louis

    * The Official Louis Term for the sexuality and act perpetrated by ladies who generally enjoy performing cumulonimbus upon other ladies and who don’t enjoy performing horatio upon gentlemen. May have something to do with the clematis, although I am not certain that it exists.

  237. Louis says

    I CAN HAS BORKQUOTE!

    Everything prior to the word “LESBOSHONY” is Anri, (apart from the mode of address obviously) everything including and after it is me. I am ashamed to admit.

    Louis

    P.S. I also did a double Louis in #258. This means I now have to play the song, down two extra shots, do a naked forfeit lap of the bar followed by yard of ale, and then encourage the large, scarred and generally intimidating barman to let me “have a go on his Mrs”.

  238. dianne says

    I know, I was…erm…being subtle. I clearly failed…or overdid it or something!

    Or I did, which is equally likely.

  239. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Wonderful to read this thread (although it has taken me ages to catch up, as it keeps leaping ahead of me).

    Thank you to all who have jumped on the misogyny etc. in this thread in such educational and entertaining ways.

    And a particular thank you to everyone defending against the transphobia!

    That’s all. Carry on! =^_^=

  240. says

    Wow, I sleep for a mere 10-12 hours and the comments move on without me.

    Having slept on it, I unreservedly reject Abbie Smith as a science blogger. Thanks to SC’s contribution to my knowledge, I’m done even paying token respect to her past record… which is also questionable based on current understanding of her tactics and behavior.

    And none of this has anything to do with pit bulls. I just personally/subjectively/emotionally have an instant distrust towards the sort of people who would own a pit bull. A pit bull is sort of like a handgun(guns don’t kill people, there’s no bad dogs only bad owners, blah blah blah), except a handgun usually doesn’t randomly jump out of its holster and shoot people. I’m not sure how far I trust people who would have a potential ticking time bomb around other animals and/or people, and think that it is cool to do so.

    But of course, mostly the misogyny. Sweet crispy chocolate-covered caramel Christ on a stick, the misogyny.

  241. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I detect a pattern there. He calls someone he regards a friend a tranny, despite knowing that the friend hates him doing so. He refers to women as girls, despite being aware that doing so is regarded as being derogatory to women(*).

    I think recognition of this pattern speaks broadly about the phrase “Intent isn’t magic”, which comes up time and again here, and I think is fairly meaningless. Intent is important*. One may stupidly commit a hurtful act, not intending to. Such a person is a clueless git. When such a person is told that such an act is hurtful, and continues to perpetrate it, then their intention has changed. They intend to do something that they know to be hurtful. Such a person is an asshole.
    The difference is that clueless gits (who are not assholes) can be fixed with something as simple as a clue. Assholes need more dramatic intervention, and should be recognized as being dangerous–chengvang seems to be the latter.
    In this vein, whether EG intended to invite RW to his room for sex is beside the fucking point. RW gave him the benefit of the doubt, treating him like a clueless git instead of an asshole, and offered him (and FFS anyone else who needed it) a clue—the context of a proposition largely determines the probability with which it will be interpreted as a threat. Not rocket science. You’d hope most men would know this. However, at this point, the now-clued-in-but-benign-git would maintain his intent to harm no one, which would necessitate a change in action. On the other hand, many assholes proudly indicated that they wouldn’t alter their actions, even in the face of the economy sized clue that they were handed, indicating that they actually intend to be threatening.
    Thus, assholes.
    *Not for determining whether an act was hurtful or not, but in estimating the potential of repeat offenses.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Refresh

    A pit bull is sort of like a handgun(guns don’t kill people, there’s no bad dogs only bad owners, blah blah blah), except a handgun usually doesn’t randomly jump out of its holster and shoot people. I’m not sure how far I trust people who would have a potential ticking time bomb around other animals and/or people, and think that it is cool to do so.

    Sort of encapsulates my attitude.

  242. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Awww, I missed the slimepot troll? Did y’all chew it to bits?! And didn’t save any for the rest of us?!

    *pout*

  243. Louis says

    Audley, #264,

    Glad to be of service. We wouldn’t want you naming your child after an Act of Depravity (That may or may not Destroy the Catholic Church and/or Society, as appropriate).

    Louis

  244. Louis says

    Dianne, #265,

    Of course it’s equally like that you made the error. In fact you did. I’m just far too polite to have mentioned it. Except then of course. After all, a gentleman does not bandy a lady’s name in such a manner and remain a preux chevalier.

    ;-)

    Louis

  245. Louis says

    Illuminata, #270,

    I believe some of his arse is still clinging to the door handle. Granted, it’s not the choicest meat, but if you’d been slacking off at work avoiding paperwork (sodding paperwork) AGAIN like I have been and therefore will have to compensate by working late into the night (I am a fucking idiot) you too could have helped to deal with a pointless fuckwit on the internet.

    I consider this day seized.*

    Louis

    * For given values of the word “seized”.

  246. nooneinparticular says

    What Improbable Joe said in 267. I had ignored elevatorgate when it came about. Not because I thought it was a silly argument that got way out of hand (in someways it was) but because I was busy in the real world. I spent some time last night going over some of it (would take weeks to read it all, I reckon) and though I still think it was a small thing that got way out of hand it was also very instructive in ways I did not expect.

    Have no idea what the Pepisco thing was. I won’t bother looking it up either. Had enough of the comments at ERV.

    I still think Abbie has some good sciencey things to say and she can be funny at times. But life is too short to waste on blogs like that.

    I also learned something in this thread. “Tranny” is transgenderphobic. I honestly did not know that. I have an old friend, now a transgirl, who refers to herself as a “tranny”. I’ll ask her about this when I see her next. I personally do not use the word, but not because I knew it to be offensive (I didn’t) but because it seemed to be a bit denigrating to some people I care about a great deal….oh….wait….

  247. says

    Having slept on it, I unreservedly reject Abbie Smith as a science blogger. Thanks to SC’s contribution to my knowledge, I’m done even paying token respect to her past record… which is also questionable based on current understanding of her tactics and behavior.

    I’m not sure how I feel about it. She’s probably good on the subjects close to her work in which she isn’t involved in any personal or political disputes. The problem is that there are many subjects in which she is, and you don’t necessarily know the story with any particular post. I don’t read her blog at all for the obvious reasons, but I think I’d be wary of all but the most narrowly educational science posts after seeing the same tactics carrying over into actual science discussions.

  248. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    How old is your friend, nooneinparticular? I am sure that she is a woman. Or if the fact that she transitioned is relevant, she can be called a transwoman. Save the use of “girl” for pre-teens.

  249. nooneinparticular says

    Oh my goodness! Janine, you are so right. Man I blew that, didn’t I? A thousand pardons. Damn.

    BTW, she’s 50.

  250. says

    @nooneinparticular:

    “Tranny”, “shemale”, “he-she”, and “trap” are all transphobic slurs. A trans-person may use the term in an attempt to reclaim it (ala gay men and lesbian women using “queer”) but coming from a non-trans, it’s a risk to take.

    (Also, transwoman is preferable)

  251. Louis says

    Nooneinparticular, #274,

    I still think it was a small thing that got way out of hand it was also very instructive in ways I did not expect.

    This. But perhaps not for the reasons you mean. Although also, perhaps for exactly the reasons you mean! I dunno!

    Elevatorgate should have been a tiny thing.

    1) Bloke does (minimum) crass/(maximum) threatening thing to woman.

    2) Woman says generally, mildly “Guys don’t do that”.

    3) Guys actually take note.

    4) There is no fourth thing.

    Whilst there is a problem at step 1), there is no problem at step 2), all the fooforaw came at step 3). Guys did not do step 3). In fact lots of people, men and women, worked, work and will work very,, very hard not to do step 3).

    It amazes me how hard people are working not to do step 3).

    Learn some things? Sure I did. None of them good.

  252. Louis says

    Katherine Lorraine, #278

    I have only recently discovered the “trap” slur.

    I am fucked off for two reasons:

    1) Ugh. Really? That’s as transphobic as a double bastard on toast.* Just when you think humanity cannot sink lower…we do! YAY US!

    2) I can now no longer use the Admiral Ackbar “It’s a trap” meme innocently.

    Of course number 2) is by far and away the greater crime when compared to millennia of murder, abuse, oppression and discrimination against transpeople…wait….I got that sign the wrong way around didn’t I. Tchoh maths!

    Louis

    * Which as we all know is the epitome of transphobia for some British reason I cannot fathom or adequately explain.

  253. nooneinparticular says

    Louis

    Pretty much the same here. Women have to put up with that kind of shit every damn day. That was not something I learned from the elevatorgate exchange. Mostly reading through some of the comments re-enforced the insidious nature of the misogyny in our culture. It was sad to see, though I should not have been surprised.

    I will say that, IMO, Rebecca probably should not have mentioned the student by name in her talk. That triggered a lot of nonsense.

  254. says

    @Louis:

    The problem of the term “trap” is that it carries with it a connotation of intention. It carries with it the thought that you’re only dressing and expressing yourself of the opposite gender in an attempt to trick the person you’re trying to attract. It’s the whole stupid trope of trans women only being women so they can trick straight guys into having gay sex.

  255. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    who refers to herself as a “tranny”.

    that could be reclaimation. My female friends and I call each other “bitch” for the same reason. Takes the sting out a little when some bigotted asshat tries to use it to shame and silence.

  256. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I will say that, IMO, Rebecca probably should not have mentioned the student by name in her talk. That triggered a lot of nonsense.

    That student criticized Rebecca Watson on her blog under her name. Rebecca did not wrong and outed no one.

    Besides, the nonsense was triggered by her saying; “Guys, don’t do that.” And, as the latest chewtoy demonstrated, too many people think that Rebecca claimed that she was almost raped.

    (Chewtoy, do not bother arguing the point; you made that claim. It is not an “if”.)

  257. ChasCPeterson says

    Sorry to interrupt The Louis Show; it’ll just take a second.

    Quoth Ms. Smith (May 21, 2012):

    PZ is just a stupid fuck.

    The kind of sad thing about that is that probably nobody would have heard of her if it hadn’t been for PZ’s efforts on her behalf.
    Because I have about a million lab reports I should be grading instead, I just took a little walk down Memory Archive; here are just a few examples:
    one
    two
    three
    four

    Why, one might might even deduce that it was PZ who opened the door and greased the skids for her to go from what she was (a narcissistic graduate student with a loud mouth and a blog) to what she is today (a narcissistic graduate student with a loud mouth and a blog on ScienceBlogs). That’s gratitude for ya!

  258. says

    … oh come on!

    :) Sigh. I know. I suppose it’s just hard for me to say something like “I unreservedly reject Abbie Smith as a science blogger,” even though it’s essentially true. Maybe because I’ve seen so many male bloggers get by with so much without being totally rejected. Maybe because the whole thing is just sad and I kept wishing she wasn’t saying what she was saying and that she’d turn a corner….

  259. Louis says

    Katherine Lorraine, #283,

    Oh yes, I get that. I think that is what, for me, makes it doubly horrible. Not merely are they denigrating you, not merely are they othering you, they are also making it about their dick. And worse!

    As I said. Ugh. How you deal with it is beyond me. I understand prejudice and stigma, but what transpeople have to put up with in most Western societies…

    …oh dear. Rage building. Quick, someone find me a moron to chew.

    Louis

  260. Louis says

    Chas,

    Sorry to interrupt The Louis Show; it’ll just take a second.

    Ouch.

    Meh, I have been a bit omnipresent today.

    Is it gauche of me to mention that you asked people to tell you to fuck off if you backslid? Far be it from me to refuse a request like that, but did that really need saying?

    Louis

  261. nooneinparticular says

    illuminata

    You’re probably right. In fact, I’ll bet you are. Honestly her being trans simply never comes up in our conversations anymore. She transitioned, oh, 9, 10 years ago. She lived with during part of it (she had some serious conflicts with family and needed to be somewhere else). But when we get together now we talk about old times (we grew up together), our kids, our asshole bosses, future plans, problems in our respective relationships, crap like that…almost never even touch on the changes she went through. But when she’s with some of her friends they call each other “trannys”. I should have caught on to that in the way you mean when your friends call each other “bitch”. I just didn’t occur to me.

    Now “trap” is not a word I’ve ever heard before and I don’t need anyone to tell me that it’s offensive.

  262. says

    @ skeptifem #215:

    Thanks for the reference to the Dogsbite.org website. Being both a skeptic someone who likes animals, I had meant for some time to try looking for reliable resources on the pit-bull issue, but dreading to wade through umpteenth partisan (or hopelessly clueless) forums.

  263. says

    @Louis:

    I was chatting with someone yesterday and we somehow got into the whole sexual orientation thing and he told me about a situation with a high-school aged transgender girl who he wnet out with, not knowing she was trans. At the end of it he expressed repulsion to being tricked by her. Of course I, as a transwoman, responded that it’s likely she didn’t want to mention it because telling someone you’re a transgendered woman usually results in violence, shaming, or public outing.

    And then I mentioned “trans panic” and he shut up.

    (and yes, he apologized for his transphobia, but I don’t know if he really understood what he was apologizing for :\)

  264. says

    :) Sigh. I know. I suppose it’s just hard for me to say something like “I unreservedly reject Abbie Smith as a science blogger,” even though it’s essentially true. Maybe because I’ve seen so many male bloggers get by with so much without being totally rejected. Maybe because the whole thing is just sad and I kept wishing she wasn’t saying what she was saying and that she’d turn a corner….

    I feel you on both counts. Male bloggers get away with more by default, and it isn’t fair. On the other hand, I dropped Staks Rosch’s blog after the whole flap with the “atheist of the year” award, and that’s not nearly the concentrated evil of the couple of ElevatorGate-related posts and subsequent comments on ERV. And like I said at the time, I feel like Abbie Smith has some deeper anger issues that are triggered by certain people/situation that aren’t actually related to those people (takes one to know one…) and I hope that she kind of finds some sort of peace for herself where she’s not driven to this sort of thing.

  265. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    PZ is just a stupid fuck.

    “Stupid fuck”? Really? Has Abbie never met any actual stupid people?

    Oh wait. Her commentariat.

    *erk*

    Why did I even look? The monkey house is closing down and the monkeys are going bananas, meanwhile delivering play-by-play of what’s going on here.
    It’s not funny. Those monkeys are going somewhere.

  266. says

    Chengvang:

    It is disheartening to see this attitude towards one of my beloved blogger, someone whom I deem to be intellectual and with integrity (yes that’s right, integrity).

    Hey, everybody, complaining that Abbie fosters an environment of misogyny hurts Chengvang’s ickle feewers!

    But to attack Abbie on the content of her blog in terms of civility, on PZ’s blog of all things?

    Another shithead who doesn’t understand the difference between “incivility” and oppressive behavior.

    I have already admitted that I am not going to read 5000 fucking posts to try and defend ERV on what I consider to be fucking trivial ass bullshit.

    So over-the-top misogyny and responses thereto are “fucking trivial ass bullshit.”

    I’m actually with ERV on the whole Watson Gate.

    Case closed, you are an idiotic disingenuous apologist for misogyny.

    So I didn’t buy the whole Rebecca was almost raped by a socially awkward guy who asked her to coffee super early in the morning, and that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologists for not agreeing with Rebecca.

    And, as already noted, a liar.

    I apologize if I made it seem as if she said that.

    …If I did say any of those things, I apologize. It was not intentional.

    Who’s handy with fauxpologies.

    many people who was shitstorming the blog comments

    Now there’s a telling choice of verb. Most of the feces was being flung by the soon-to-be inhabitants of the slimepit.

    were the ones making the claim that she could be raped.

    She absolutely could have been. This was 4 a.m. in a foreign country, in an elevator with a strange man, with nobody else within earshot.

    I’m not saying I never did some pretty messed up things to girls in my early youth.

    0_o

    And, yeah, I saw your “explanatory” follow-up comment. While it’s nice to hear that you didn’t sexually coerce anyone, the survivors of sexual violence who read Pharyngula don’t need to suddenly encounter a sentence like that just because you’re trying to earn a cookie.

    It could be because as a college student I’m unfamiliar with that … dating jargon

    You’re a fucking liar.

    As for my interchangeable use of ‘girls’ and ‘women’, it was not used as a way to belittle the ‘female gender’.

    You don’t get to be the judge of that, lentil brain. Women do. And “female” isn’t a gender but a sex.

    screaming rape

    Porcupine.

    with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay.

    Sideways.

  267. says

    Congratulations on the NSF fellowship, Jen!

    Josh, #80: How could you forget Justicar? Or Franc Hoggle?

    W. Kevin, #81: Obviously, the only people who could possibly be offended and complain about those ERV posts would be folks from Pharyngula.

    Giliell:

    So, gays can not be guys?

    I had been hoping that it was a typo for “guys.” Hope springs eternal.

    Matt:

    I detect a pattern there. He calls someone he regards a friend a tranny, despite knowing that the friend hates him doing so. He refers to women as girls, despite being aware that doing so is regarded as being derogatory to women.

    I can see why he holds Abbie in such high esteem.

    Audley:

    (Well, I guess we can cross “Horatio” off of the baby names list!)

    I suppose telling everybody you named him after Horatio Hornblower wouldn’t solve the problem?

    Nooneinparticular:

    I will say that, IMO, Rebecca probably should not have mentioned the student by name in her talk. That triggered a lot of nonsense.

    You really are incapable of posting a sensible comment without fucking it up somehow, aren’t you?

  268. nooneinparticular says

    “You really are incapable of posting a sensible comment without fucking it up somehow, aren’t you?”

    Good morning, Daisy! How pleasant to hear from you.

    This is issue is more than a year old and I am only just now getting a fuller picture of what happened. Not that you care, just saying. From my perspective, the effectiveness of Rebecca’s brief mention of the incident in the elevator and the importance of the underlying assumptions WRT the conference she was at was undermined by naming names.

    For those who disagree, I would ask, “would Rebecca’s point be any less significant had she not mentioned the student’s name?”. My answer to that would be, of course not. Also of course, Rebecca could not have known that her naming the student would cause such a shit storm. And a storm of shit it was.

    Pointing fingers at people is often a good way to bring attention to something or other. But it can also cause blow back. If the blow back plays a role in hindering the effort to raise awareness, ISTM that in that circumstance it would’ve been a better strategy to put all the focus on the issue and none on the person.

    Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and I don’t really fault Ms Watson. It’s just that it had some unintended consequences that ultimately reflected badly on a number of people.

    ’nuff said (by me anyway) on an old topic

  269. Aratina Cage says

    That student criticized Rebecca Watson on her blog under her name.

    I just wanted to point out that Stef McGraw was not writing on a personal blog, but on an organizational blog for UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers where she does a weekly op-ed called Fursdays wif Stef as an official of that organization (link to the post in question). Maybe that is a primary reason why Watson didn’t see any problem with publicly associating McGraw’s name with McGraw’s content. Additionally, McGraw stated Watson’s name and posted the clip of Watson’s video in her post criticizing Watson–effectively calling Watson out publicly on the organizational blog. So, it is a much more complicated situation than it is often depicted as. Not to mention that Stef McGraw has repudiated the slime coming from Abbie Smith’s blog as well.

  270. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Not that you care, just saying. From my perspective, the effectiveness of Rebecca’s brief mention of the incident in the elevator and the importance of the underlying assumptions WRT the conference she was at was undermined by naming names.

    Sure that’s great an all except she did not name the person.

  271. says

    Hmmmm…

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but that student that Watson mentioned by name that “triggered a lot of nonsense”? Didn’t the student in question basically say “Rebecca, please don’t do that” and then walk away from the whole thing? She didn’t stir up a shit storm or lose her mind or make a huge thing about it, IIRC. Again, it was a case of people with an axe to grind latching onto something minor as a vehicle for their anger and misogyny, rather than a proportionate response to any of the stuff that was going on.

  272. nooneinparticular says

    Rev BigDumbChimp wrote; “Sure that’s great an all except she did not name the person.”

    Oh. I did not know that. I was going by about a billion comments that said she did but come to think of it, I don’t recall anyone giving a direct quote from Rebecca’s talk. Curiouser and curiouser.

  273. Aratina Cage says

    Re: Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort #278

    “Tranny”, “shemale”, “he-she”, and “trap” are all transphobic slurs.

    Add “transfatty” to that, as I found out the hard way just like I did with “pop tart”. (Urban Dictionary has a way of constantly rapping me over the head, I swear!)

    .

    And well said, Antiochus Epiphanes, in #269. Intent does matter–for the person using the problematic language. For other people, it might not. If one didn’t intend to say what other people heard or read, then the one intending otherwise can learn why other people understood differently what was said or written and take steps to correct it.

  274. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but that student that Watson mentioned by name that “triggered a lot of nonsense”?

    Pretty sure no name was named.

  275. carlie says

    meanwhile delivering play-by-play of what’s going on here.

    That’s what’s so creepy. Have they nothing else to do with their time than stalk?

    Pretty sure no name was named.

    There are two separate situations being conflated. Elevator Guy was never named, and no conjectures of his identity have ever been confirmed.

    The other situation was of a blogger, Stef, making a public blog post on a national organization’s website that castigated Rebecca, and Rebecca metioned it (and her) by name during a talk as an example of women jumping on the misogyny bandwagon (paraphrase mine).

  276. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    carlie: that’s how I remember it as well.

    Nefarious lurkers:

    o,O

  277. Muz says

    This is off the races, but RE: PZ at #186
    I think AS is saying there that, if you, PZM, were post and argue on her comments she’d get more pageviews and therefore more money because us lot would come and watch.
    So you don’t post there to deprive her of that…acknowledged puny amount of money… or something.

    It’s still bonkers and I can’t tell if it’s a joke or not. But a slight tweak there.

  278. carlie says

    AE – just don’t say anyone’s name three times, or they’ll appear.

    Although it is kind of fun thinking of them lurking in the inky shadows, reading along, seeing comments about themselves, and being torn between the impulse to respond and wanting to stay incognito and unnoticed. Heh.

  279. Amphiox says

    nooneinparticular;

    Elevator guy was never named. Stef McGraw was named, but only in the context of citing her own blog post, which she signed her name to, in a public forum. Various castigators of Rebecca Watson tried to make a big deal about this, but really it was a rather pathetic and transparent attempt at finding something, anything, to criticize Rebecca about, to draw attention away from the point Rebecca was actually making.

    McGraw had no right or privilege to expect not to be named, any more than PZ would if someone were to quite a Pharyngula post in a public presentation.

    (And even if Watson tried to hide McGraw’s name, anyone could have found it with a few mouse clicks, since, again, she had signed her name to the cited blog post.)

  280. says

    The willingness of those like chengvang to post outright lies an fictions and to pass these among themselves as truths reminds me of the behaviour of various anti-science groups such as anti-vaxers and creationists. They also eat up lies and we see there droppings all over this blog and many others. I have to wonder if they accept this level of willful ignorance in these groups, or is it only acceptable when they display it?

  281. cm's changeable moniker says

    Louis:

    I have been a bit omnipresent today.

    I did a quick leaderboard. As at 17:22 GMT:


    /tmp$ perl -nle 'print $1 if /comment-author-(.+?)\b/' great-renovation.htm | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr | head -5

    40 louis
    17 ichthyic
    17 chengvang
    16 mattpenfold
    13 saltycurrent

    You’ve been a very busy boy …

    Well done!

  282. Trevor Goodchild says

    You know, I would think that a group of people who like to sermonize about mental illness in the skeptical community would be a little less careless about trying to diagnose bloggers with very serious disorders like paranoid schizophrenia in order to marginalize and discredit them. It also seems to be very unscientific to run around playing amateur psychiatrist on the internet. Or maybe the comments above relating to delusional disorder and paranoid schizophrenia weren’t meant to be serious — in which case at least a few of you appear to be perfectly happy to use two crippling mental illnesses as insults in the same way some people like to use the word “retarded”. It’s odd — this certainly isn’t the first FTB thread where this kind of callous use of mental illness as a tool for denigration went without protest from the other regular commentors.

    Am I supposed to conclude that this was a load of pious insincerity, or just that some of you have serious difficulty with consistency?

  283. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Trevor: Word

    I can find two instances in this thread that I missed before: Azkyroth at #13 and Ichthyic at #97. Are there others?

    this certainly isn’t the first FTB thread where this kind of callous use of mental illness as a tool for denigration went without protest from the other regular commentors.

    This has been less common thanks to an increase in the frequency of commenters calling bullshit, as you have done. I used to pull the same garbage myself until others were kind enough to kick my ass for it.

  284. slc1 says

    Re Improbable Joe @ #267

    Relative to Ms. Smith’s pit bull Arnie, we do have the testimony of a neutral observer, namely Jerry Coyne who visited her in Norman and spent part of a day with her. He met Arnie and found him quite friendly and non-threatening. Prof. Coyne is notorious for not being much of a dog lover, greatly preferring cats.

  285. says

    What I meant to say was that at the time, many people who was shitstorming the blog comments were the ones making the claim that she could be raped

    still wrong. just because you and the rest of the slimepit can’t comprehend an explanation of why elevators might be scary to women, doesn’t mean anyone actually claimed Rebecca “could be raped”.

    Richard Dawkins was a rape apologists for not acknowledging that.

    RD was rightly accused of being dismissive of the above explanations, because he claimed it’s not possible to be attacked in an elevator. his words were “zero bad”. that’s being an apologist for rape culture.

    I did not feel that allowing a commercial food and drink company to have their researchers post on sciblog would have corrupted it and lead to censorship.

    to absolutely no one’s surprise, chengvang just demonstrated that he’s got no idea what the PepsiCo thing was about, either.

    I feel that she will be a contribution to the scientific community.

    only if she stops lying, stops digging in her heels when someone shows her to be wrong, and stops taking being shown wrong so personally as to lie, lash out with slurs, and retrench. because if she doesn’t change that about herself, her ability to be a functioning member of the scientific research community will be severely compromised.

    I sided with Abbie on the Watson Gate incident because I felt it was unprofessional for Rebecca to oust a student like that in public.

    out, not oust; also, the Stef incident is a separate drama from the EG incident. Intelligent discussion about power dynamics, and/or difference of different media could have been had, but instead the slimepit descended into a full on verbal assault and slur-campaign on Watson and anyone who supported her right to criticize a detractor’s own public words in public the same way we do on the internet and at conferences day in and day out.

    Also, siding with ERV on an entire, complicated, multi-pointed issue because RW maybe possibly handled one tiny aspect of it not quite ideally?

    That’s not even bias. I don’t know what the fuck that is (but Ichthyic might be right; you might indeed be suffering from n authoritarian perspective and thus taking sides on issues based on your personal liking of the leaders of each “side”, rather than the merits of each individual issue)

    Then when Dawkins decided to chime people (not Rebecca Watson) accused him of being a rape apologists, which I don’t think he is.he was an apologist for rape culture, and he was 100% dismissive of Rebecca’s point. these are not a matter of opinion.

    I have already addressed #142 and #163 in my reply to you.

    no you haven’t. you’re just harping on how Rebecca didn’t say she was almost raped, ignoring that nobody else said that either, and ignoring all the other falsehoods identified in your statement.

    As for your claim that asking a girl for coffee at 4-5am is an invitation for sex and widely understood, I reject that.

    you don’t get to “reject” that. while you may not be aware of that well-known cultural trope, it doesn’t actually mean it’s not extremely well known. Well-known enough to have been on Seinfeld ages ago, for example)

    While I don’t exactly ask girls to go drink coffee with me in the morning

    as giliell said, “in the morning” is a misrepresentation. “in the morning” implies the beginning of a day, not its end as was actually the case.

    but I still don’t think it is known that asking someone to coffee that early is an invitation for sex exclusively.

    not “early”, you incoherent fuckweasel. “late”. it’s generally accepted that inviting an individual for individual activities up to one’s room/apartment (especially for activities that could be better done not in one’s hotel room, like having coffee) late at night when leaving the bar is asking for sex.
    if he didn’t want sex, he could have asked for coffee not in his hotel room, but the next day for lunch.

    I still side with Dawkins, there are more important things to talk about than a girl getting asked for coffee at 4-5AM.

    and you want to claim you’re not dismissive of women and women’s issues? pfff.

    Especially with a lot of commentators (not RW) screaming rape and drowning the forum and blog comments.

    stop lying.

    They wouldn’t be the tad bit upset if they read any of this, well, with the exception of one who is a tranny but utterly hates it when I call her/him (still debating) a tranny or gay.

    you fucking cissexist piece of scum. do not ever use the word “tranny”, do not ever question a person’s gender identification, respect their wishes to call them what they wish to be called.

    your cissexism is fucking disgusting :-/

    As I said such an event does diminish my views of her.

    it should, since her behavior during the “event” was un-scientific and unfortunately typical for her.

  286. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    slc1: I have a very friendly bear. Bring the kids over for a bear ride!

  287. says

    @slc1:

    You miss my point… and you know you made a pretty big error in logic there, right? :)

    Guess what? Before a dog mauls a baby’s face, it usually didn’t maul some other baby’s face first. Every criminal starts out with a clean slate. On the other hand, we know that some breeds are more prone to certain behaviors than others. Not just random violence either, some breeds need lots of attention and play time, and others are happy to lounge around the house and not bug you. Some breeds bark at everything, others are mellow almost all of the time. Some breeds are bred to be extremely docile, others are bred to be attack dogs. You might find me a dog from an active breed that matches my lazy lifestyle, but I think it is better for me AND the dog that I match the breed to my preferences. What sort of preferences does a person adopt a pit bull based on, that couldn’t be satisfied by a breed without a reputation for violence?

  288. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Admittedly Jerry Coyne has never met my bear, but many other famous people have and were not mauled.

  289. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Guess what? Before a dog mauls a baby’s face, it usually didn’t maul some other baby’s face first.

    Or a famous blogger’s.

  290. says

    I would think that a group of people who like to sermonize about mental illness in the skeptical community would be a little less careless about trying to diagnose bloggers with very serious disorders like paranoid schizophrenia in order to marginalize and discredit them.

    oops.

    the slimepit trolls were distracting, I missed any ableist BS

    so, to anyone being ableist in this thread: stop it; no slurring of people with psychological conditions by comparing them to ERV

  291. Stacy says

    @W. Kevin Vicklund #81

    Obviously, PZ interpreted the ‘they’ in “they want all four of these *posts* taken down” as NatGeo, but the context makes more sense if it was the anonymous complainant(s). In other words, it was the person(s) making the complaint that wanted the posts taken down, not NatGeo

    I’m curious to know whose interpretation is correct here: is NatGeo insisting AS take down some posts and/or comment threads, or not?

    Can’t check her blog for info; I’m wearing my new shoes. Does anybody know for sure?

  292. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    …no slurring of people with psychological conditions by comparing them to ERV

    And we probably ought to take it easy on the genuinely stupid, who really do not deserve to be associated with her minions ;)

  293. Stacy says

    @John Morales #139, quoting AS:

    Hes a grown man. He made his own bed, he can sleep in it

    Translation: That comfy, comfy bed I will never ever have. Well, he can have it. Those grapes were probably sou um, it’s all PZ’s fault.

    (As she looks longingly over her shoulder at PZ’s comfy bed.)

  294. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Stacy: Kind of hard to say. All we have is PZs report that NatGeo is concernd about any threa that might besmirch their image. Advertisement dollars and subscription revenue may play a role in that choice.

  295. Ichthyic says

    Er, you are aware the woman who sued McDonald’s for spilling coffee on herself was suing because she got 3rd degree burns on her thighs, lap, and stomach, right?

    wrong.

    hot coffee is hot.

    never should have been a court case.

    sad that you think it should be so.

  296. Ichthyic says

    …the bone in a tbone steak can be quite sharp.

    If I fell while carry a tbone on a plate, and it pierced my leg and I had to go to a hospital for serious lacerations…

    I suppose I should sue the restaurant for not dulling the bone sufficiently before I accepted the steak, and not sticking warning labels on it.

    it’s a pathetic lack of personal responsibility, and it’s lead to the US being such a litigious society that liability issues now trump all else when planning even things like school field trips.

    it’s fucking pathetic.

  297. says

    You know, I would think that a group of people who like to sermonize about mental illness in the skeptical community would be a little less careless about trying to diagnose bloggers with very serious disorders like paranoid schizophrenia in order to marginalize and discredit them.

    “Paranoid schizophrenia” is a bullshit diagnosis. It has zero meaning, and is set to be eliminated from the DSM-5 (which itself is chock full of bullshit, but at least this move makes sense). There’s currently a Campaign for the Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label entirely. Incidentally, it appears that the “paranoid schizophrenic” diagnosis became big in the ‘60s, applied to black men, so it was politically useful.

    The stigmatization and marginalization come from the widespread belief that “schizophrenia” is some sort of identifiable brain disease that can be treated with drugs. That’s been super for the drug companies – so-called antipsychotics are big sellers, and has led to nonconsensual drugging of adults and children with dangerous, useless drugs.***

    So this leaves me in a quandary. I prefer that terms like this are used colloquially rather than faux-clinically, but at the same time most people still believe they refer to some real clinical thing; while when people make the argument you are generally, I think they’re right in not wanting the label-based stigmatization – their heart’s in the right place – but at the same time they contribute to stigmatization in the larger sense by perpetuating this “crippling” brain-disease idea. So I guess my response is to say that of course Smith isn’t a paranoid schizophrenic in any clinical sense, because no one is.

    ***NOTE: I am not a doctor and am not recommending anything with regard to going off of these drugs. Anyone who’s considering stopping taking them for any reason should only do so as instructed by a qualified physician.

  298. Ichthyic says

    , but at the same time most people still believe they refer to some real clinical thing

    because it is.

    not only is it still in regular clinical use, but the genetics of it are still being unraveled as we speak.

    http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223%2805%2901389-2/abstract

    I haven’t a clue why there is a campaign to “eliminate” schizophrenia as a diagnostic term, but it’s more than well established.

    Is there a point to your post?

  299. John Morales says

    Stacy @323, wanting ≠ insisting, though insisting implies wanting.

  300. Ichthyic says

    btw, I read the articles you linked to.

    What you miss there is that the problem ISN’T that schizophrenia doesn’t exist as a diagnosable, treatable condition, it’s rather repeatedly stressing that the medical community has shown a poor track record in properly diagnosing it to begin with.

    this can be said of a great many real conditions.

    attention deficit disorder is real, but is very often misdiagnosed.

    I suppose you also think we should rid ourselves of this as well?

  301. Amphiox says

    wrong.

    hot coffee is hot.

    never should have been a court case.

    Not necessarily. It depends on details.

    Hot is a relative term. The question is if the company’s coffee was hotter than hot coffee is normally expected, by reasonable people, to be, and if so, whether that extra degree of hotness was what resulted in the third degree burns, whereas, regular hot coffee, at the degree of hotness that a reasonable person would expect hot coffee to be, would not, in a similar spill circumstance, have caused third degree burns.

    Additionally, it matters what the details of the circumstances of the spill were, if they were reasonably avoidable or not avoidable by the complainant, or if it was an accidental circumstance that no amount of personal responsibility could avoid.

    In this case, IIRC, McDonald’s had deliberately been making their hot coffee with water temperatures 10-20 C hotter than what is usually used to make hot coffee, so that the coffee would stay warm longer as a take-out item. The complainant had spilled the coffee onto her lap, and the hot liquid soaked through her clothing and caused third degree burns. I am no coffee expert, but I do not think that your usual home-brewed hot coffee, if spilled onto one’s lap, would be reasonably expected to produce third degree burns. Nor is it industry standards for hot beverages of any kind to be served at a temperature that, if spilled, would cause third degree burns.

    So in this case I think the complaint was at least potentially legitimate enough to see trial.

  302. Amphiox says

    If I fell while carry a tbone on a plate, and it pierced my leg and I had to go to a hospital for serious lacerations…

    I suppose I should sue the restaurant for not dulling the bone sufficiently before I accepted the steak, and not sticking warning labels on it.

    IF the restaurant had deliberately sharpened the t-bone more than it usually is sharp, to make their steaks look more appetizing or whatever, and IF a regular fall with a regular T-bone would not reasonably be considered likely to cause lacerations, BUT the additionally sharpened T-bone, because of its additional sharpness, BECOMES, as a result, likely to cause lacerations, then yes, absolutely, you SHOULD sue the restaurant, NOT for not dulling the T-bone, but for SHARPENING IT, and not telling you.

  303. says

    @Antiochus Epiphanes: “Intent isn’t magic” is a very useful point, because it prevent the erasure of harm. It really doesn’t matter to person X if person Y who harmed X did it by accident, negligence or on purpose. X is harmed regardless. Going on and on about Y’s intent does nothing to help or fix the damage.

    Where intent does matter is, as you correctly point out, the assessment of X’s motives. Clueless git or armhole? Culpably reckless driving or no-fault accident? Murder, manslaughter, or self-defence? No-one says that intent is nothing. But focussing on intent makes the harm to X into a mere sideline. X (who was actually harmed!) is not important, only Y matters to the conversation.

    @nooneinparticular: tranny is a very nasty slur in the US, and hence to be avoided on the internet. I do not know where you are from; in Australian queer circles it used to be a neutral to affectionate term, but that is fading fast under the influence of the US culture. Or it could be that your friend is using it in a reclaiming/defusing manner, in which case it’s fine for her but you should watch out.

  304. Stacy says

    Antiochus Epiphanes, thanks. PZ wrote

    NatGeo has informed Abbie Smith that they want the ERV slimepit posts taken down, according to Abbie’s own account on facebook

    –but according to post #81, PZ misinterpreted AS’s words; all that happened was somebody(ies) complained, but NatGeo has not requested the posts come down.

    I will stay tuned.

    (By the way, what was up with the italics in #326? Can’t discern any hidden message there, try as I might ;)

  305. says

    What you miss there is that the problem ISN’T that schizophrenia doesn’t exist as a diagnosable, treatable condition, it’s rather repeatedly stressing that the medical community has shown a poor track record in properly diagnosing it to begin with.

    No. That’s incorrect.

  306. Ichthyic says

    I do not think that your usual home-brewed hot coffee

    being an expert on home brewed coffee, otoh, I pour boiling water on to coffee grounds in a press, and let them sit for no more than a minute or two.

    the coffee would indeed be hot enough to cause burns.

    this is why I’m very careful not to spill it on myself.

    look, this is even beside the point… the point is, it’s the very IDEA that one would sue a company for having hot coffee to begin with. Nobody could have thought to even make a request to lower the coffee temp for takeaways? no, of course not. SUE THE FUCKERS. that’ll teach em! What the fuck do you really think McDonald’s learned from being sued over hot coffee?

    the only thing to be learned from that was that they probably should have civil lawyers review every single aspect of their business for even potential lawsuit issues.

    is this really a good thing for business? I sure as hell don’t think so.

    We grew up in a litigious culture. I think it influences what now is even considered to BE “reasonable”.

    I’ve seen it have tremendous influence, within all aspects of society, from personal relationships, to business, to children’s education.

    perhaps it’s too late to get a better perspective on how civil law should be more appropriate utilized, and taught, but it doesn’t stop me from making the legit complaint that it IS abused.

  307. Weed Monkey says

    Amphiox

    Not necessarily. It depends on details.

    Hot is a relative term. The question is if the company’s coffee was hotter than hot coffee is normally expected, by reasonable people, to be, and if so, whether that extra degree of hotness was what resulted in the third degree burns, whereas, regular hot coffee, at the degree of hotness that a reasonable person would expect hot coffee to be, would not, in a similar spill circumstance, have caused third degree burns.

    That simply doesn’t fly. Every drip coffee maker works by heating the water to over 90 °C, which is scalding and damn near to boiling. That is the standard temperature for hot, fresh coffee.

  308. Ichthyic says

    No. That’s incorrect.

    shall I quote the article you linked to?

    …the diagnosis of schizophrenia was meaningless because of poor levels of agreement between psychiatrists about key symptoms of schizophrenia. They were also unable to discriminate between sane and insane people (Rosenhan, 1973).

    sorry, but again, the scientific literature is filled with thousands of articles that can correctly identify the details of this condition.

    that diagnosticians fail to properly diagnose it is not based on it not being a real condition, but rather an issue of poor training.

    if you want to slam the medical community for having ever poorer diagnostic skills training, I’m all for it.

    …but when you have a condition that can be specifically traced to identifiable alleles… that’s not a fiction.

  309. says

    I haven’t a clue why there is a campaign to “eliminate” schizophrenia as a diagnostic term.

    Those words in blue are links.

    but it’s more than well established.

    If it weren’t used, there would be no campaign. “Paranoid schizophrenia” is so well established they’re getting rid of it.

  310. Ogvorbis: strawmadhominem says

    no, of course not. SUE THE FUCKERS.

    If I recall correctly, the victim’s first try was to write a letter to the company asking if they would be willing to help her out with some of the out-of-pocket medical costs. When McDonalds (no idea if it was the store, the region, or the home office) turned her down rather rudely, then she contacted a lawyer. And, in the trial, the corporation’s attitude towards the victim had a great deal to do with the size of the settlement. In other words, ‘SUE THE FUCKERS’ was not the first thing she did. And if McD’s had helped her with the (IIRC) rather large out-of-pocket expenses, this would never have happened. Corporate hubris had as much, or more, to do with this than our ‘litigious’ culture.

  311. Ichthyic says

    And I’m a bit skeptical that you read all of those links in ten minutes.

    I focused on the one that identified as a movement to eliminate the terminology usage within the medical community, as it seems central to the argument you are making.

    how many scientific articles regarding schizophrenia research have you actually read yourself?

    did you read any of the genetics studies?

    how can you be tracing a condition to a specific set of alleles if it’s fictional in nature?

    you think all those papers are just lying for research bucks?

  312. Ichthyic says

    And if McD’s had helped her with the (IIRC) rather large out-of-pocket expenses, this would never have happened. Corporate hubris had as much, or more, to do with this than our ‘litigious’ culture.

    fair enough. bad case on point then.

    but surely you see the point I’m making?

  313. Ichthyic says

    “Paranoid schizophrenia” is so well established they’re getting rid of it.

    be clear now…

    I see two things in those papers:

    -eliminate the attached word “paranoia”
    -eliminate the entire diagnostic term “schizophrenia”.

    which is it, exactly, that you are arguing for?

  314. says

    @Antiochus Epiphanes: “Intent isn’t magic” is a very useful point, because it prevent the erasure of harm. It really doesn’t matter to person X if person Y who harmed X did it by accident, negligence or on purpose. X is harmed regardless. Going on and on about Y’s intent does nothing to help or fix the damage.

    Where intent does matter is, as you correctly point out, the assessment of X’s motives. Clueless git or armhole? Culpably reckless driving or no-fault accident? Murder, manslaughter, or self-defence? No-one says that intent is nothing. But focussing on intent makes the harm to X into a mere sideline. X (who was actually harmed!) is not important, only Y matters to the conversation.

    @nooneinparticular: tranny is a very nasty slur in the US, and hence to be avoided on the internet. I do not know where you are from; in Australian queer circles it used to be a neutral to affectionate term, but that is fading fast under the influence of the US culture. Or it could be that your friend is using it in a reclaiming/defusing manner, in which case it’s fine for her but you should watch out.

    @Ichthyic: the point is, it’s the very IDEA that one would sue a company for having hot coffee to begin with. Nobody could have thought to even make a request to lower the coffee temp for takeaways? no, of course not. Actually, in this case, yes, they did ask. Repeatedly. They were keeping their coffee about 20 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the usual takeaway standard. So hot as to be undrinkable. And there had been several other prior burn incidents. That was part of the evidence in the case. Read this: http://www.mgrlaw.net/mcdonalds.htm

  315. says

    It’s not funny. Those monkeys are going somewhere.

    I can’t help but feel there’s something missing, here. That line… it’s absolutely perfect for the piece, sure. But methinks, just mebbe, it deserves a little somethin’ extra to mark the moment. Y’know… like they do in the standard-issue Hollywood thriller.

    (Mulls…)

    Oh. Right.

    (/Plays ominous chord.)

  316. says

    shall I quote the article you linked to?

    You’re quoting a sentence and a half from one link, ignoring even the paragraphs that follow it. You’re not interested in engaging with the arguments or thinking about this critically, and you’re wasting my time.

  317. Ichthyic says

    let me revisit something I quote above from your link:

    They were also unable to discriminate between sane and insane people (Rosenhan, 1973).

    now THAT is an issue where I could easily get on board with removing, or modifying heavily, the use of those terms within the medical community.

    “Sane” is indeed a meaningless term, and one that has been terribly abused historically.

    schizophrenia surely has been abused as well, but at least it IS an identifiable condition.

  318. Ichthyic says

    You’re not interested in engaging with the arguments or thinking about this critically, and you’re wasting my time.

    well, fuck off then.

    you’re good at that.

  319. cm's changeable moniker says

    Among the schizophrenia patients who remained continuously on antipsychotics throughout the 20 years of the study, only 17% ever entered into any period of recovery during any of the six follow-ups. By contrast, among the schizophrenia patients who remained off antipsychotics after the two-year follow-up and for the remainder of the 20 years, 87% experienced two or more periods of recovery.

    There’s a part of me, conditioned by auto-regressive stochastic vol models, that’s screaming “increased volatility makes for longer deviations from the mean”. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I’d need better evidence.

  320. Ichthyic says

    engaging with the arguments

    you mean the argument they made that there is no scientific basis for the diagnosis of schizophrenia?

    where I responded by posting a link to a recent article detailing the genetics of it?

    but, that’s not “engaging” to your mind any more.

    engaging to your mind means agreement only, AFAICT.

    Yes, I must be wasting your time.

    off you go then, Quixote.

  321. says

    Oh looky! The slimepit has a new look (the renovation has happened).

    Still stinks, though

    i.e. the slimepit threads are there, converted to the new format. Comment numbers and links to individual comments have gone bye-byes.

  322. nooneinparticular says

    Ichthyic and SC; you guys may have been talking past each other. Easy to do, I’m afraid.

    From the link SC provided, SC is right that “they” are deleting the term “paranoid schizophrenia” from DSM V, but that is because they claim that using subtypes, including the “paranoid”, “classic” and several other subtypes, to describe the disorder is not useful. They are not eliminating schizophrenia as a recognized disorder. The new guidelines appear to be just refinements of the older diagnostic tools. There is also clear evidence that at least some loci contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia, as Ichthyic correctly points out. So I’m not sure where the disagreement is.

  323. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Stacy: Kind of hard to say. All we have is PZs report that NatGeo is concernd about any threa that might besmirch their image. Advertisement dollars and subscription revenue may play a role in that choice.

    Stacy

    (By the way, what was up with the italics in #326? Can’t discern any hidden message there, try as I might ;)

    You could do what I did, and open a note-taking application; carefully re-read AE’s comment, typing into the note each italicised letter. Bingo! It makes sense! =^_^=

  324. says

    One of the slime-pitters, who I will acknowledge can be a reasonable poster on other subjects away from the toxic morass of misogyny, didn’t like what I had to say upthread about the slime-pit resembling the Men’s Rights Activist douchebags. I said in part,

    Nonetheless their levels of anger really look like the bad side (not saying there’s a good side) of the MRA movement, and those guys actually are misanthropes in terms of promoting a toxic masculinity in addition to their hatred of women and feminists.

    Notung responds:

    So is anyone here actually an MRA? Does anyone actually care about Men’s Rights? I don’t know anything about ‘Men’s issues’ and have never cared about them at any point in my life. I believe in equality. Maybe some MRAs do as well, but you’d have to ask them. I’m not one of them.

    You need to read what I said: your eructations really look like the same sort of hateful trash talk that the MRAs indulge in. I didn’t say you were MRAs… just from where I’m callin’ the shots, the misanthropic garbage you guys spew is indistinguishable from it, in terms of tone, volume, or stench.

    These guys will say anything.

    As I then thought of doing the ego-surfing thing, I found another quotation of mine (referencing this meme) paraphrased by another slime-pitter to imply that I fuck children. Stay classy, guys. People with think you guys will say anything.

  325. Stacy says

    Tigger, yeah, I acknowledged my stupiditude up at #361.

    In my defense, it’s sunny here today, and, shiny things. Ooh, look, there’s one now….

  326. ChasCPeterson says

    What you miss there is that the problem ISN’T that schizophrenia doesn’t exist as a diagnosable, treatable condition, it’s rather repeatedly stressing that the medical community has shown a poor track record in properly diagnosing it to begin with.

    No, the idea is that there is no single ‘condition’, just a diagnosis, reached via a Chinese menu of symptoms (at least two from column A and three from column B). It’s a syndrome, not a disease, and given the diagnostic statistics, it’s a very poorly defined syndrome.

    you mean the argument they made that there is no scientific basis for the diagnosis of schizophrenia?
    where I responded by posting a link to a recent article detailing the genetics of it?

    Do you even read the crap you google up? That review is about one candidate gene, and it’s clear that the evidence is very weak. But since the way that such correlative studies are done is to start with a population that has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and the alleged problems have to do with the diagnosis itself, it is irrelevant to your claim. Nobody uses genetics to diagnose schizophrenia. Nobody. Ever. It’s the Chinese menu, every time.

    the scientific literature is filled with thousands of articles that can correctly identify the details of this condition.
    that diagnosticians fail to properly diagnose it is not based on it not being a real condition, but rather an issue of poor training.

    As usual in such discussions, you fail to link to even one of these thousands of articles with which you evince such familiarity.
    Again: there is no difference betwen the ‘condition’ and the ‘diagnosis’. They are one and the same thing. The rest is a house of cards.

  327. nooneinparticular says

    ChasCPeterson wrote; “No, the idea is that there is no single ‘condition’, just a diagnosis, reached via a Chinese menu of symptoms (at least two from column A and three from column B). It’s a syndrome, not a disease, and given the diagnostic statistics, it’s a very poorly defined syndrome.”

    I don’t get it. Are you saying that because it is a disorder with a constellation of symptoms that it is therefore not real?

    If so, I wonder then what you think of Autism. Or Alzheimer’s. Or Depression.

  328. says

    The great renovation has problems:

    Service Unavailable

    The service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Looks like the new décor has been rolled out to all of the various scienceblogs, though.

    [meta] Comment fail: the 7th last word of #365 should be “will”, not “with”. Furrfu. Is the <abbr> tag no longer working properly?

  329. slc1 says

    Re Antiochus Epiphanes @ #318

    That’s about like comparing apples and watermelons. Bears and elephants are wild animals, dogs are domesticated animals. Not going to make the cut. Try again.

  330. says

    I don’t get it. Are you saying that because it is a disorder with a constellation of symptoms that it is therefore not real?

    no, he’s saying that the symptoms are all there is to the condition.

    think of it this way. the classical symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain that may wander into your left arm. but a heart attack isn’t chest and arm pain. OTOH, with a lot of mental health issues, the “disease” really is just a reified collection of symptoms.

  331. John Morales says

    Huh.

    I went to ScienceBlogs.

    I selected Pharyngula from the drop-down.

    I hit this very post’s twin.

    I saw no comments.

    I tried to post a comment: “What happened to all the comments?”

    I got this “error”: You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

    (The competence of the change-over astounds me.

    But not in a good way)

  332. nooneinparticular says

    Jadehawk

    Gotcha. I see where he/she is coming from. Still, the chest and radiating arm pain are symptoms of a real medical condition. There is no question that schizophrenia is a real disorder, just as Autism is, despite the fact that for both the diagnostic criteria are entirely behavioral (like depression and Alzheimer’s). And there is no question that schizophrenia has a genetic component; it is heritable. If a member of your family has it you have a higher risk of developing the disorder yourself.

    So I’m still not sure why ChasCPeterson took Icthyic to task.

  333. John Morales says

    PS When I tried to click for Pharyngula home over there, my monitoring software picked up that it wanted to redirect via an advertising domain.

    (I notice these things)

  334. John Morales says

    My Scienceblogs site is a-changin’. National Geographic has been working behind the scenes to convert and move all the old data to a newer and prettier website, and the final surge of fixes is going into place tonight and tomorrow — so don’t bother commenting over there for a while until it’s all stabilized.

    Never were truer words written!

  335. John Morales says

    Not to harp on it, but to me “all the old data” includes all the comments.

  336. says

    There is no question that schizophrenia is a real disorder

    you missed my point. schizophrenia is a collection of symptoms. if there is an actual condition underlying those symptoms, the way a heart attack underlies the symptoms of arm and chest pain, we don’t actually know what it is. or whether it even is one thing, or a cluster of things that produce similar symptoms. we don’t know

    despite the fact that for both the diagnostic criteria are entirely behavioral

    you’re missing my point. the difference is not that the diagnostic criteria are behavioral. the diagnostic criteria for a brain tumor are also behavioral, but they’re symptoms of a tumor. in the case of many mental diseases, the diagnostic criteria are all there is. we don’t know what underlies them, or whether it’s one thing or different things. or whether it’s an extremely popular, reified Type I Error and these sets of symptoms are cause by different things, and occur together randomly rather than as symptoms of a single underlying disease.

    And there is no question that schizophrenia has a genetic component; it is heritable.

    and you can catch obesity from your friends, but that doesn’t make it a transmittable disease.

    besides, since “schizophrenia” is just a collection of symptoms, and you don’t even need to exhibit all of them to be diagnosed… what exactly is it that’s heritable here?

  337. David Marjanović says

    Comment numbers and links to individual comments have gone bye-byes.

    Even the most basic special characters have gone bye-byes, too. It’s all mojibake now. And the layout… :-/

    We’ll see how this will change. The comments on Sb Pharyngula aren’t visible yet, except for the latest few ones.

    but a heart attack isn’t chest and arm pain.

    Similarly, Alzheimer’s has all those plaques in the brain, and in full-blown autism a part of the brain is simply missing (so its neighbors are adjacent).

  338. David Marjanović says

    Not to harp on it, but to me “all the old data” includes all the comments.

    Way upthread (in the comment I just quoted) someone said the entire slimepit has been ported, just not its comment numbers. So, I suppose, give it time.

  339. says

    There is no question that schizophrenia is a real disorder,

    Scroll up to #332. Read the entire second link, at least. Take it seriously, step back and mull it all over.

    Maybe try to think in terms of informed questions rather than floating assertions.

  340. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Trevor Goodchild,

    very unscientific to run around playing amateur psychiatrist on the internet. Or maybe the comments above relating to delusional disorder and paranoid schizophrenia weren’t meant to be serious — in which case at least a few of you appear to be perfectly happy to use two crippling mental illnesses as insults in the same way some people like to use the word “retarded”. It’s odd — this certainly isn’t the first FTB thread where this kind of callous use of mental illness as a tool for denigration went without protest from the other regular commentors.

    Thank you for saying this.

  341. nooneinparticular says

    Jadehawk

    I don’t want to belabor this, but the bits where I said schizophrenia is a real disorder and that it is heritable were not in reference to what you said about the reification of symptoms, that was in reference to ChasCPeterson’s post in response to Icthyic.

    Substitute Autism for schizophrenia and you are in the same boat. Both are heritable (less clearly so with Autism) and both are defined by a constellation of behavioral symptoms (your point about a brain tumor is taken, but I would point out that at some point after the initial diagnosis MRIs and other tests can reveal the tumor – the source of the behavior changes) which may or may not point to some underlying legion. The relatively strong heritable component to schizophrenia has made it hopeful that the loci responsible can be found. If and when it is, we may then be able to say -those people who have whatever loci are found have this kind of schizophrenia, but those people who are “normal” at those loci but have the symptoms of schizophrenia have another form.

    It seemed to me that Chas was trying to say that schizophrenia is not a real disorder because it is characterized by a broad set of symptoms. He also disputed the heritability of the disorder. But I’m suspecting I misread what he wrote.

  342. says

    So I’m still not sure why ChasCPeterson took Icthyic to task.

    to clarify my snark here: Ichthyic specifically said it’s genetic. Not everything that clusters like that is necessarily genetically heritable (to use two other obvious examples: poverty is hereditary but not genetic; cancer from toxins in the environment cluster as if it were hereditary, but is also not genetic).

    plus, even if we grant that the causes of schizophrenia are genetic, since we don’t know what they are, and since there are many symptoms of schizophrenia and we don’t know whether they’re all caused by the same thing, what exactly is it that’s heritable in this instance? the likelihood to have a doctor identify a sufficient number of mental symptoms on the “Chinese menu” of schizophrenia diagnosis?

  343. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Bears and elephants are wild animals, dogs are domesticated animals.

    My bear is domesticated and therefore not dangerous.

    Not related: I felt a great disturbance in the force as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  344. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Regardless of the etiology of schizophrenia, does it benefit anyone to use that term as an insult?

  345. says

    but the bits where I said schizophrenia is a real disorder and that it is heritable were not in reference to what you said about the reification of symptoms, that was in reference to ChasCPeterson’s post in response to Icthyic.

    I’ve no idea why you think I don’t know that.

    Substitute Autism for schizophrenia

    I can’t, any more than I can substitute a heart attack for schizophrenia. one is an identified disease, the other is a set of symptoms

    If and when it is, we may then be able to say -those people who have whatever loci are found have this kind of schizophrenia, but those people who are “normal” at those loci but have the symptoms of schizophrenia have another form.

    and then and only then will “schizophrenia” be an actual disease. right now, it is indeed a “chinese menu” of symptoms for which we don’t even know whether a single unifying cause exists.

    It seemed to me that Chas was trying to say that schizophrenia is not a real disorder because it is characterized by a broad set of symptoms.

    a set of symptoms is not a disease, it’s a set of symptoms. that doesn’t make the symptoms not real, but that means that claiming that there’s an actual “disease” that is schizophrenia, or depression, or whathaveyou is incorrect. they are symptom-clusters, and the problem with that is that symptoms do not have a one-to-one correlation with causes

    also, yes, you absolutely should read SC’s links

  346. nooneinparticular says

    Thanks of the clarification, Jadehawk and you are absolutely correct. With schizophrenia the incidence of schizophrenia amoung identical twins is a little over 60% (IIRC). If it were solely driven by genes that incidence would be much closer to 100%. Either there are developmental or environmental influences that act independently of genes or as you have patiently pointed out to me the definition of schizophrenia is too broad and it encompasses different disorders.

  347. David Marjanović says

    With schizophrenia the incidence of schizophrenia amoung identical twins is a little over 60% (IIRC).

    Wow. That makes it screamingly obvious that, whatever schizophrenia is, it’s not a single hereditary disease.

  348. John Morales says

    David,

    That makes it screamingly obvious that, whatever schizophrenia is, it’s not a single hereditary disease.

    I don’t see it as obvious.

    Other explanations (e.g. a susceptibility that needs to be environmentally or situationally-triggered) are possible such that the susceptibility is genetic yet allows for such a degree of correlation.

  349. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    This thread got so much better after chengvang left.

    Louis, you’re awesome.

    Thanks to Trevor for calling out the ableist remarks. I still have a long way to go on that one; I’m genuinely working on it, but not there yet.

  350. says

    Regardless of the etiology of schizophrenia, does it benefit anyone to use that term as an insult?

    To me, the recent threads on which many people (including her brother) were suggesting that homophobic-rant woman should be dismissed or shouldn’t have been allowed to participate in a public forum simply because she’s an “untreated schizophrenic” are a huge concern. As the people at my link note, “Sayce (2000) has described in detail the implications of stigma, particularly the loss of citizenship associated with being a psychiatric patient.”

    This marginalization and stigmatization, along with the imposition of a stigmatized and relatively hopeless identity and other effects, for people with this diagnosis are of greater concern to me than some people using these “medical” terms colloquially. In fact, in this day and age whatever serious damage that could come from such an “insult” is due to the widespread acceptance of the brain-disease model. (And, again, the subtype “paranoid schizophrenia” is now on its way out – oops! – so there aren’t any “paranoid schizophrenics” to harm. Of course, there never were. There were people harmed by this stupid diagnosis, who along with others could be incidentally harmed by the colloquial use of the term because of beliefs that the diagnosis was valid.) So, the harms are real, but it’s those beliefs that are the fundamental problem. I understand the motives of people challenging the use of the terms in these contexts,* but I don’t think they understand the larger problem and how they might be contributing to it.

    When people defend others against such terms on the basis that it harms people with “mental illness” (read: brain disease), they, with good intentions, play into the extremely harmful notion that there’s a brain disease that we call schizophrenia.

    *And I agree, especially as a person subject to them in the past few weeks, that they’re often used – intentionally or not – as a marginalizing ad hom, which is not good, but that’s part of the same problem.

  351. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    When people defend others against such terms on the basis that it harms people with “mental illness” (read: brain disease), they, with good intentions, play into the extremely harmful notion that there’s a brain disease that we call schizophrenia.

    Too much of a stretch for me.

    But hopefully we can agree that people shouldn’t use “schizophrenia” as an insult because it stigmatizes mental difference.

    That much remains true regardless of how much or how little the speaker understands about any alleged symptoms, diagnoses, whatevs.

  352. says

    But hopefully we can agree that people shouldn’t use “schizophrenia” as an insult because it stigmatizes mental difference.

    I don’t think so. I’m suggesting that the stigma comes from the idea that there’s a disease entity “schizophrenia,” and that characterizes a set of people who allegedly “have it.” So, again, if people use it as an insult (and every instance of someone saying something sounds schizophrenic isn’t using the term as an insult), that’s where the harm – to the person spoken of and to people with the diagnosis – comes from. I understand the objections to harm, but I think the nature of these objections contributes to a greater harm: perpetuating this false idea and identity. I’m not dismissing the immediate harm (or denying anyone’s motives in using it as an insult), but want to address the larger harms.

    There are many characterizations and insults involving “mental difference”[s] that I have no problem with but for the fact that they’re embedded in this framework. That, as I was saying above, is what makes it complicated. I don’t see mental differences in this essentialized and one-sided way, and I want that idea to change.

  353. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Just so I’m clear, SC: you’re not disputing that people called schizophrenics (whatever the reality may be) experience real and sometimes severe symptoms (of whatever underlying condition) such as delusions?

  354. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    I’m suggesting that the stigma comes from the idea that there’s a disease entity “schizophrenia,”

    I don’t think so. The stigma about the symptoms associated with a schizophrenia diagnosis is the same stigma that was applied to demonic possession. It predates the notion of mental illness.

    So, again, if people use it as an insult (and every instance of someone saying something sounds schizophrenic isn’t using the term as an insult),

    But from your point of view there simply is never an appropriate use of the term “schizophrenic”, whether or not it’s an insult, because you just don’t believe there is any such thing. Right?

    I understand the objections to harm, but I think the nature of these objections contributes to a greater harm: perpetuating this false idea and identity.

    Then please let me know how I can make objections about the inappropriate labeling of schizophrenia which: 1) will not entangle me in a deconstruction of the very idea of mental illness, which I am not willing to participate in, and 2) do not require me to implicitly accept the premise that there is no such thing.

  355. says

    Just so I’m clear, SC: you’re not disputing that people called schizophrenics (whatever the reality may be) experience real and sometimes severe symptoms (of whatever underlying condition) such as delusions?

    No! Of course not!

    Many of the people involved in the movements I’ve been talking about are people who’ve experienced (and often suffered from and struggled with) these things. (Some are discussed at the Mad in America link I gave @ #332, but I haven’t had time to follow the links there.)

    I’m so glad you asked that, because I often get the feeling that that’s what people think I and others are arguing – that there’s no experiential reality there. But I’m not at all. Hell, my series about Fromm is about understanding causes of real mental ill-being.

    I do think that some experiences are classified as symptoms when in other cultures they would be understood differently, but that doesn’t mean that I think it’s merely a matter of interpretation.

  356. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I thought as much, SC, but wanted the clarification. I suspect that, yes, that might need to be pointed out upfront for some readers.

  357. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Anyway, the typical referent of “schizophrenia” as insult is psychotic symptoms.

    So hopefully we can agree that people shouldn’t use “schizophrenia” as an insult because it stigmatizes people who experience psychotic symptoms.

    If the next objection is that not all the psychotic symptoms should be regarded as related, please just save me some back-and-forth and pretend I said the referents of “psychosis” should not be stigmatized.

  358. says

    Then please let me know how I can make objections about the inappropriate labeling of schizophrenia which: 1) will not entangle me in a deconstruction of the very idea of mental illness, which I am not willing to participate in, and 2) do not require me to implicitly accept the premise that there is no such thing.

    ditto. I mean, “schizophrenia” being basically a social construct would make it similar to race… and racial slurs are still bad. so i’d think insulting people by calling them mentally ill, even if that mental illness doesn’t actually exist is still bad. so how do i effectively call that out?

  359. says

    The stigma about the symptoms associated with a schizophrenia diagnosis is the same stigma that was applied to demonic possession. It predates the notion of mental illness.

    This is very vague. It’s much more complex historically.

    But from your point of view there simply is never an appropriate use of the term “schizophrenic”, whether or not it’s an insult, because you just don’t believe there is any such thing. Right?

    No. The term could capture, and has captured, a vague and changing set of cultural ideas. I remember when “schizo” meant something like “behaves one way at one point, and another soon after” – unpredictable. I don’t think I have a problem with the use of words to capture/mock different kinds of thinking or behavior, as long as they’re not connected to these silly but powerful psychiatric notions. The problem is that they are – we increasingly lack terms to describe experiences that aren’t burdened with these corporate-psychiatric meanings, with their additional gender and race connotations. But then we return to the larger problem….

    Then please let me know how I can make objections about the inappropriate labeling of schizophrenia

    You’re assuming I agree with your premise, I guess, but I don’t.

    which: 1) will not entangle me in a deconstruction of the very idea of mental illness, which I am not willing to participate in,

    Why would I let you know that? I think the deconstruction of the dominant contemporary understanding of mental illness is urgently needed.

  360. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    No. The term could capture, and has captured, a vague and changing set of cultural ideas. I remember when “schizo” meant something like “behaves one way at one point, and another soon after” – unpredictable.

    Still is, though it declined somewhat when it stopped being teen slang. Anyway it was/is ultimately a referent to the diagnosis.

    I don’t think I have a problem with the use of words to capture/mock different kinds of thinking or behavior, as long as they’re not connected to these silly but powerful psychiatric notions.

    This one will never not be.

    Why would I let you know that? I think the deconstruction of the dominant contemporary understanding of mental illness is urgently needed.

    Come on. Please don’t fuck with me. I don’t have time for all that. It’s not like I haven’t thought about what you’re saying before. But I can not now and will not in the foreseeable future be able to figure it all out to my satisfaction.

    You can deconstruct mental illness all you want in this thread; I haven’t objected to that and I don’t care to. My disagreement is about where stigma attaches. (I think it’s at pretty much every magnification level imaginable.)

  361. says

    I thought as much, SC, but wanted the clarification. I suspect that, yes, that might need to be pointed out upfront for some readers.

    Yes, definitely. Thank you for requesting the clarification.

    ***

    Anyway, the typical referent of “schizophrenia” as insult is psychotic symptoms.

    So hopefully we can agree that people shouldn’t use “schizophrenia” as an insult because it stigmatizes people who experience psychotic symptoms.

    If the next objection is that not all the psychotic symptoms should be regarded as related, please just save me some back-and-forth and pretend I said the referents of “psychosis” should not be stigmatized.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. The typical referent of “schizophrenia” is a brain disease, which is stigmatizing. That’s the fundamental problem with using it as an insult, and I don’t see how you’re getting away from that.

    If people were just talking about certain experiences, it would be a very different issue. This is the same problem I’ve been talking about all along. If people could say “You hearing voices?” or “You hallucinating?” (or “You psychotic?”) and it wasn’t connected to these beliefs about a lasting brain disease but just referring to temporary states, I wouldn’t have a problem.* (On the one hand, I know this can be a terrifying experience; on the other, sometimes not, and an “it happens” framework counters the stigma.) And I want that to be the case, not just because I think the schizophrenia brain-disease model is extremely harmful, but because I think it’s false.

    Anyway, as I said in my first post about this, that’s why it’s a dilemma: there’s harm in the insult (assuming this is how it’s being used), there’s harm in the frameworks in which the insult is condemned, and there’s really no way to address it without getting into a big thing.

    OK, have to go for now. Goodnight, all.

    *Unless these were linked to an oppressed group.

  362. says

    Also, I will not engage in attempting to diagnose the slimepitters with a mental disorder.

    What I will do is apply a popular term that is congruent with a person or group constructing a narrative where xe is The Most Awesome Person In The World™ and anyone with rational objections is just Out To Get Hir® and needs to be Taken Down By All Means Humanly Possible©: sociopath.

  363. says

    I agree we should never use schizophrenia or any mental illness as a slur. But this is the problem with the Chinese menu approach, a lot of people, or religions for that matter, will tick some boxes there at some point. As Harris has been quoted of saying, if you say you pray to a god through a hairdryer people may call you crazy or diagnose you with some disorder out of the DSM, but leave out the hairdryer and it’s perfectly acceptable behaviour.

  364. ChasCPeterson says

    So, about the Great Renovation:
    erv is up and running, including the archives and the four threads under question, all comments seemingly still there (and now paginated), and drawing new stoopid from the pitizens.

    Pharyngula is munged–no comments visible (except, weirdly, on some of the older archive posts), and I can’t get a new one to post either (although Owlmirror did).

    My guess is that PZ needs to go in and click a few switches to re-access everything.

    By the way, the archives of Brayton’s defunct blog are now titled ‘Dispatches from the Creation Wars’–is that a NatGeo change?

  365. says

    By the way, the archives of Brayton’s defunct blog are now titled ‘Dispatches from the Creation Wars’–is that a NatGeo change?

    no, he said way back when the move to FTB happened that he was going to change the SB blog to that name

  366. Weed Monkey says

    Recruiting little tattle-tailing minions to do your dirty work now?

    How fucking low can you go? Being a brave schoolyard bully now?

  367. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    rorschach, are you drunk trolling, sober trolling, or just a really slow learner?

    But this is the problem with the Chinese menu approach, a lot of people,

    It’s a pity that you started off here with what could have been a decent point, and then decided to derail it with your incompetency:

    or religions for that matter, will tick some boxes there at some point.

    As you know, this is not true.

    False beliefs that are attributed to the individual’s culture or education are excluded from a diagnosis. And that’s a broad exclusion; it’s not a special exemption religion.

    There are good reasons for this. To begin with, healthy children believe what their parents teach them — as Dawkins is fond of pointing out, that’s evolutionarily adaptive. (I know I have to namedrop a Great Horseman for you to be capable of listening.)

    In adulthood, there is social reward for believing in culturally-approved ideas, and for transmitting those ideas to others.

    So healthy brains, functioning normally, pass around complete bullshit all day long, because they’re socially rewarded for it. There are reasons we should not be surprised by this, and I’ve heard no plausible reason we should expect otherwise.

    As Harris has been quoted of saying, if you say you pray to a god through a hairdryer people may call you crazy or diagnose you with some disorder out of the DSM, but leave out the hairdryer and it’s perfectly acceptable behaviour.

    And that’s the way it should be. That’s because the hairdryer suggests the individual may be experiencing salience dysregulation, but merely praying to a god indicates only that the person is learning memes as expected.

  368. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Setar,

    Also, I will not engage in attempting to diagnose the slimepitters with a mental disorder.

    What I will do is apply a popular term […] sociopath.

    I know you probably believe this is not a diagnostic term, but you’re wrong.

    (Taking the approach of “how can I tread really close to the line of this taboo without crossing over” is an easy way to fail. When you want to talk about what a bad person someone is, may I suggest you just call them a bad person.)

  369. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    That’s because the hairdryer suggests the individual may be experiencing salience dysregulation, but merely praying to a god indicates only that the person is learning memes as expected.

    Meh. Praying is itself a (conceptual) hairdryer. Just because one doesn’s use somatic components, it doesn’t make it non-magical.

    (As some wag put it, practicing wishcraft)

  370. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Meh. Praying is itself a (conceptual) hairdryer.

    Except… without a hairdryer. That turns out to be an important distinction, although in a culture where people prayed only through hairdryers it’d be the other way around.

    Just because one doesn’s use somatic components, it doesn’t make it non-magical.

    Indeed. In the future, may I suggest you collect these terribly insightful comments which have nothing to do with mine, and instead of posting them, just read them aloud to your pets.

  371. says

    That simply doesn’t fly. Every drip coffee maker works by heating the water to over 90 °C, which is scalding and damn near to boiling. That is the standard temperature for hot, fresh coffee.

    Ehm, no.
    Because 90°C is nowhere near the temperature the coffee has when it’s in your cup.
    Since this discussion comes up often, I suggest you make the simple empirical test of meassuring the temperature at different points.
    Let’s take the “hot water over coffee powder approach”.
    You heat your water to 95° which was the temperature the coffee had when it landed on that woman’s lap.
    You pour it over the coffee-powder, which means there’s going to be a big surface that’s in contact with cold air.
    You let it sit for some time (or constantly keep pouring it over the water in the filter). That takes some more minutes for it to cool down.
    Then you pour your coffee into a cold cup. More pouring and the china takes some of the heat.
    The coffee from my Senseo machine fresh in my cup had a little more than 70°C. That’s more than 20° difference. I don’t have to expect coffee to 20° be hotter than normal the same way I don’t have to expect it to be 20° colder.
    If you order ice-cream you don’t expect a glas of cold milk.
    Just because 70° and 90° are both hot doesn’t mean they’re equal

  372. Amphiox says

    re @419;

    Exactly. Hot coffee might be made at near boiling temperatures, but it is definitely not served at that temperature. Personal responsibility ends with reasonable expectation. It is neither right nor fair to expect people to be paranoid-crazy-prepared-a-la-Batman.

    When you buy a hot beverage (and this applies to ALL hot beverages, not just coffee) you expect that it will be hot, and that if you spill it on yourself it will hurt a bit. But it is DEFINITELY not a reasonable expectation that the hot beverage will be SO HOT that it will cause a third degree burn!

    And this is why that McDonald’s lawsuit was completely legitimate to litigate (whether a decision for or against is the right outcome depends on specific details of the case).

    It is analogous to buying a car and getting into a moderate fender-bender (entirely your own fault) but to have the windshield shatter into razor sharp shards that lacerated your face, because it wasn’t made of safety glass. Just because you should assume personal responsibility for the crash doesn’t mean that the manufacturer did not owe you a duty of care to make their glass safe in the event of an accident, and that you shouldn’t have the opportunity to hold them liable in a court of law of they fail in this duty of care.

  373. Weed Monkey says

    Ok, sorry I seem to have been wrong. I usually have my hot beverages at home so it’s only my problem how hot I drink it.

  374. Amphiox says

    I’ll also add that to criticize a lawsuit, any lawsuit, based on a headline-type description, like “Woman sues MacDonald’s for coffee being too hot”, as frivolous, is an activity fraught with peril.

    It is DIRECTLY analogous to someone like Sarah Palin criticizing a scientific study (like say, about fruit flies) for being a waste of taxpayer money.

    Unless you have the specific details of the case in question, you really cannot make a valid judgement. If a case actually makes it to trial it means that a judge (a legal expert with many years of training) has reviewed the evidence and the legal issues associated with them and concluded that the action was legitimately worthy of proceeding, just as a grant application has been peer reviewed and approved before the money is given.

    Judges (for the most part) aren’t idiots. Truly frivolous cases are mostly thrown out of court. A few slip through, but they are exceptions.

  375. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Giliell:

    Just because 70° and 90° are both hot doesn’t mean they’re equal

    True. The latter is almost 6% hotter.

  376. Amphiox says

    And I will also add that IF it actually IS the case that hot coffee, in the cup, is always expected to be at a temperature high enough to cause third degree burns if spilled, then hot coffee qualifies as a biohazardous substance, no different from concentrated sulfuric acid, and there should be a law MANDATING that it be labelled with a warning label, and a company like MacDonald’s, that doesn’t possess the proper licensing, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SELL IT.

    And indeed, individuals should not even be allowed to handle or drink the stuff, without a proper safety training course and a license.

  377. says

    sgbm @ 414,

    what does believing that one is filled with holy spirit, or that a cloud man speaks to you, have to do with culture or education? You assert this connection, but I don’t see how that would follow just from buying into one’s parents traditions and teachings. This is where I always have at least a certain understanding for the mental illness analogy, that it is not immediately obvious why voices out of a TV telling someone to kill their mother should be treated differently from voices from the sky telling someone to blow themself up, or to wage war on another country or tribe, or to found a church, or to go and make disciples.
    Why do you think that false beliefs that result from cultural traditions should be treated differently? You talk about culturally-approved ideas, but in the case of religion these ideas are only a framework that individuals will fill with their own interpretations and feelings and impulses. Not every child brought up Jewish or Catholic will end up listening to celestial instructions.

  378. says

    And I will also add that IF it actually IS the case that hot coffee, in the cup, is always expected to be at a temperature high enough to cause third degree burns if spilled, then hot coffee qualifies as a biohazardous substance, no different from concentrated sulfuric acid, and there should be a law MANDATING that it be labelled with a warning label, and a company like MacDonald’s, that doesn’t possess the proper licensing, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SELL IT.

    And indeed, individuals should not even be allowed to handle or

    Not to mention handing it in an open vessel to somebody in a moving vehicle.

    True. The latter is almost 6% hotter.

    I haven’t quite figured out what basis you’re using for your 6%, but it doesn’t matter. There’s ony a pretty small bandwidth of temperatures humans can handle safely. Within that range we can pretty well distinguish temperatures.
    Most people are able to find out if somebody has a temperature by putting their hand on the forehead. My “educated guesses” doing so with my kids usually lie within +/- 0.5°C of what the thermometer says (which has its own tolerance, of course). But there’s some kind of critical threshold that says “danger, stay away”. Very hot and very cold things are pretty indistinguishable, both sensory wise and in terms of damage they cause. So, everything above that is “hot” everything below that is “too cold”.

  379. says

    @316

    Relative to Ms. Smith’s pit bull Arnie, we do have the testimony of a neutral observer, namely Jerry Coyne who visited her in Norman and spent part of a day with her. He met Arnie and found him quite friendly and non-threatening. Prof. Coyne is notorious for not being much of a dog lover, greatly preferring cats.

    *headdesk* that is so not the problem. This is like saying that the problem skeptics have with jenny mccarthy could be remedied by meeting her son and seeing that he doesn’t have autism since the diet. How nice her dog is has nothing to do with the problem of pushing nonsense woo about an issue. I don’t care about her dog or how nice it is or isn’t, I care that she calls multi-decade studies about animal fatalities a media conspiracy. I care that she posts fluffy stories of hero dogs, but none about maulings or killings, to dishonestly try to make a good pr campaign for fighting dogs. I don’t know how the fuck someone in the skeptic community could say an anecdote matters in these cases, but I see it over and over again when discussing dogs. Any criticism of her pit bull advocacy is dismissed by saying that we all just must hate her dog personally, fucking ridiculous. What other topic would this kind of bullshit go unquestioned?

  380. says

    re: callin someone a sociopath:

    I know you probably believe this is not a diagnostic term, but you’re wrong.

    ASPD is a condition that can be diagnosed, but I feel very uncomfortable when folks lump it in with other mental disorders, especially in the context of respecting a “sufferer” of the disorder. There is no known treatment and generally people with ASPD continually hurt other people, not to mention they don’t really suffer at all from their condition. Sociopaths don’t need our sympathy or help.

  381. says

    re:mcdonalds coffee

    If the label “hot” should be enough warning for any temperature why not “cold”? If I went to sub-zero and ordered an ice cream only to get a cup of liquid nitrogen would I deserve to be burned? There must be some limit to what temperature can reasonably be expected when ordering food.

  382. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    skeptifem:

    If I went to sub-zero and ordered an ice cream only to get a cup of liquid nitrogen would I deserve to be burned?</blockquote?

    Liquid nitrogen ≠ ice cream but coffee = coffee.

    (Silly comparison)

  383. says

    skeptifem

    Sociopaths don’t need our sympathy or help.

    Although I think you’re correct in your evaluation, I think you’re wrong in your conclusions.
    First, the fact that there’s no known treatment for it doesn’t mean there can’t be. If we write them off, it will of course never be found.
    Secondly I think it is in our utmost self-interest to help them, because if they can’t be helped then we all suffer.
    Third, although they don’t suffer themselves, I have sympathy for somebody whose condition means that they’re missing out on many things that make life good. Like love, friendship, being connected to people.
    I highly recommend this article.

  384. says

    If the label “hot” should be enough warning for any temperature why not “cold”?

    Because: Definitions. The definition of hot is more or less:” not fit to handle with bare skin”, while “cold” includes a much broader range, from 25° for your bathwater, 12° for your drink, 0° for the air in the morning to -10° for icecream which are all pretty safe to handle (for a while) with your bare skin.

    But you wouldn’t expect your ice-cream to be -40° cold which would hurt you and cause damage.

  385. says

    @Amphiox:

    Unless you have the specific details of the case in question, you really cannot make a valid judgement.

    That’s what bothers me too. People trumpet the McDonald’s case as a frivolous lawsuit without even being aware of the circumstances. It’s as easy as Googling or Bing…ing(?) Stella Liebeck (warning, don’t Bing Stella Liebeck if you’re planning on eating, there are images.)

    The McDonald’s corporation received well over 700 complaints about their coffee being too hot for consumption and causing burns up to and including third degree. They knew that the coffee would severely scald someone if they drank it after receiving it. They were aware of this and refused to lower the temperature of their coffee or even warn people “oh yea, the coffee’s really hot so you probably want to let it cool down for a few minutes.”

  386. KG says

    Both are heritable (less clearly so with Autism) and both are defined by a constellation of behavioral symptoms… which may or may not point to some underlying legion – nooneinparticular [emphasis added]

    Yes, it’s a tricky diagnosis, demonic possession ;-)

  387. says

    Because: Definitions. The definition of hot is more or less:” not fit to handle with bare skin”, while “cold” includes a much broader range, from 25° for your bathwater, 12° for your drink, 0° for the air in the morning to -10° for icecream which are all pretty safe to handle (for a while) with your bare skin.

    But you wouldn’t expect your ice-cream to be -40° cold which would hurt you and cause damage.

    You are saying the definitions are based on the expectations of people and then claiming to speak for everyone. I think that “hot” on an item intended for consumption would mean that it is not so hot that it cannot be consumed. that is the same standard I am applying to “cold”. I don’t think that my definition is any less reasonable than yours.

  388. says

    @433

    Third, although they don’t suffer themselves, I have sympathy for somebody whose condition means that they’re missing out on many things that make life good

    What makes life “good” is a matter of opinion, and the difference between what makes life worthwhile for normal people vs. sociopaths is precisely what makes sociopaths so problematic. There isn’t any evidence that sociopaths feel any deficiency in the way you are assuming.

    saying that there could be a cure someday is fine, but it doesn’t say anything about how people should deal with the trauma associated with dealing with sociopaths.

    the article you linked to was about a child. children aren’t supposed to be diagnosed with personality disorders. it isn’t ethical or sensible.

  389. says

    I think that “hot” on an item intended for consumption would mean that it is not so hot that it cannot be consumed. that is the same standard I am applying to “cold”. I don’t think that my definition is any less reasonable than yours.

    So, how would you handle an item that has a centre that’s expected to be hotter than the surface? Label it “hot and too hot”?
    Also, what is the temperature of (safe) hot coffee and hot soup?
    What’s the temperature of cold coffee and cold beer?
    Most (safe) coffee is quite some degrees hotter than you can drink and I usually have to blow on my pizza several times when it’s fresh out of the oven before I can put a piece into my mouth. Most food and hot beverages are served at a temperature above that you can put into your mouth. Yet they’re not served at a temperature that will cause 3rd degree burns. 1st degree burns, on the other hand are pretty common and to be expected.

  390. ChasCPeterson says

    What is ‘hot’?
    What is ‘cold’?

    Questions that have preoccupied philosophers since at least the time of Archimedes.

    Clearly, it depends on the meaning of the word ‘is’.

  391. says

    What other topic would this kind of bullshit go unquestioned?

    o_O

    ***

    pitizens

    :)

    I am surprised those threads are still there, and really that NatGeo didn’t put an immediate stop to it. That’s not disappointment/criticism – just an expression of surprise that they’re OK with having that associated with their name, under their banner. Weird.

    also, that would be ‘tattle-taling’

    Thank you for pointing this out. It bothered me at the time.

  392. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Rohrschach: not for me, but

    Why do you think that false beliefs that result from cultural traditions should be treated differently?

    They have different underlying causes. You asked before:

    This is where I always have at least a certain understanding for the mental illness analogy, that it is not immediately obvious why voices out of a TV telling someone to kill their mother should be treated differently from voices from the sky telling someone to blow themself up, or to wage war on another country or tribe, or to found a church, or to go and make disciples.

    Few of the religious actually hear any voices other than those coming from leaders in their community. They aren’t delusional. They’re just wrong. In that regard, religion isn’t revealed so much as taught. And as such, religious indoctrination isn’t really different than most instruction that children receive formally and informally—from a trusted adult who wears the mantle of authority. What makes religion such a successful meme isn’t how it’s taught, so much as the message itself, believe or burn. The message is so compelling that adults who are otherwise rational will spread the same crooked message to their offspring, who learn it much like learning to read or tie their shoes.

    SC: As usual, I’m just going to have to mull over what you have written. I don’t quite get your point just yet—which I’m sure you have actually made clearly—so I’m going to have to work for this, I think. In the past, it’s always been worthwhile. So on this particular topic, my eyes are open and my mouth is shut for the time being.

  393. David Marjanović says

    There isn’t any evidence that sociopaths feel any deficiency in the way you are assuming.

    That they don’t feel it doesn’t mean they don’t have it – it doesn’t mean they couldn’t be happier otherwise.

    the article you linked to was about a child. children aren’t supposed to be diagnosed with personality disorders. it isn’t ethical or sensible.

    Read the article. It explains why it may be both ethical and sensible in this case.

  394. says

    @skeptifem:

    What other topic would this kind of bullshit go unquestioned?

    …ummm, sexism/misogyny? It is probably a coincidence though, right?

  395. Anri says

    And that’s the way it should be. That’s because the hairdryer suggests the individual may be experiencing salience dysregulation, but merely praying to a god indicates only that the person is learning memes as expected.

    So, how many people have to tell a person that an object is worthy of reverence before we can safely go from a diagnosis of mental illness to a presumption of religious teaching?

    In other words, why do we excuse the belief that someone is being spied on and having their lives manipulated by invisible aliens, just because they think those aliens have halos?
    Simply because the latter belief is more widespread?

    I’m asking seriously here – how is this distinction made, on the professional level?

  396. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    what does believing that one is filled with holy spirit, or that a cloud man speaks to you, have to do with culture or education?

    Jesus Fucking Christ, rorschach.

    As you should be aware, there is a strong correlation between one’s religious beliefs and where one grew up. (One of your Great Horsemen has pointed out this correlation, hasn’t he?) And since religious belief is not passed on genetically, that strongly suggests cultural transmission, doesn’t it.

    These beliefs have to do with culture or education because that’s how they are acquired. That is what distinguishes them from beliefs which are invented by the individual, which may indicate that the individual is not functioning adaptively. Merely passing on culturally accepted memes only indicates that the individual is functioning adaptively.

    You assert this connection, but I don’t see how that would follow just from buying into one’s parents traditions and teachings.

    It’s like you are completely unaware that there are massively successful cultural institutions which teach people that they are filled with holy spirit, or that a cloud man speaks to us.

    This is where I always have at least a certain understanding for the mental illness analogy,

    No, you don’t. You have never known what you are talking about on this subject. You never even learn how to adapt your bullshit to anyone’s counterarguments. If you had a rudimentary understanding of mental illness, you would have become at least slightly better at avoiding trivial errors which reveal your total incompetence.

    that it is not immediately obvious why voices out of a TV telling someone to kill their mother

    It is in fact immediately obvious why this is different, because there is no widespread belief that the people on television speak specifically to individuals, and tell them to kill.

    should be treated differently from voices from the sky telling someone to blow themself up, or to wage war on another country or tribe, or to found a church, or to go and make disciples.

    Now here, if you knew anything about the subject, I might think you were deliberately being slippery.

    If a person actually hears voices, that is if they have a false sensory perception in the absence of related sensory stimulus, and this occurs when fully conscious not just on the edge of sleep, then that can be diagnosed as a hallucination, regardless of culture or education.

    The culture and education exemption applies to ideas, not sensory perception.

    Of course, it may require a bit of interviewing to determine what a person means when they say “I hear God.” A lot of people just mean that they have culturally acquired some ideas about what God wants and they find these ideas highly motivating, and when they feel a strong desire to act upon these ideas they call this being spoken to. Sensory perception can be investigated with questions like “what does God’s voice sound like?”

    Why do you think that false beliefs that result from cultural traditions should be treated differently?

    Because they don’t indicate a malfunctioning brain. They indicate a brain doing exactly what brains evolved to do, for evolutionarily adaptive reasons. Healthy brains, functioning normally, pass around complete bullshit all day long, because they’re socially rewarded for it. There are reasons we should not be surprised by this, and I’ve heard no plausible reason we should expect otherwise.

    You talk about culturally-approved ideas, but in the case of religion [and politics, and any science that is not rigorously mathematically understood, and what counts as art, and what the meaning of any particular work of art is, and what it means to live a good life, and how we should treat each other, and whether morality can be objective, and what are the possibilities for the future of humanity,] these ideas are only a framework that individuals will fill with their own interpretations and feelings and impulses.

    Yeah, transmission of memes is not perfect replication. Great insight there.

    Not every child brought up Jewish or Catholic will end up listening to celestial instructions.

    And not every child brought up in 1930s Germany ended up believing in or fighting for Nazism. But you understand that Nazism was not a mental illness, right? Not every child brought up today as a conservative or a liberal will end up believing in conservatism or liberalism, and so on.

    Cultural transmission of ideas does not have 100% “penetrance.” I never implied that it does, so this is an irrelevant tangent.

    Again, it’s unfortunate that you chose to troll an otherwise potentially useful discussion with your hobby horse.

  397. KG says

    Anri@446,

    Why not just read LILAPWL’s explanations? They answer all your questions, except for the ridiculous:

    how many people have to tell a person that an object is worthy of reverence before we can safely go from a diagnosis of mental illness to a presumption of religious teaching?

    Of course it’s not a matter of specifying an exact number, but of the cultural context. If an adult brings up a child in complete isolation, then the answer is 1.

    Sheesh. When supposedly rational atheists come out with such irrational fuckwitted crap as you and rorschach are doing here, it brings me near to despair.

  398. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    So, how many people have to tell a person that an object is worthy of reverence before we can safely go from a diagnosis of mental illness to a presumption of religious teaching?

    At first glance this appears to be only the Sorites paradox, which would make it a very hard question.

    Luckily there are some other factors which can be considered. For instance:

    Psychotic symptoms have a much more compelling “weight” in the mind than most ideas.

    You can raise your children to believe that a secret cabal controls the world and are trying to destroy People Like Us. They may believe this into adulthood, but will typically assign as much importance to it as the average American worries about the ChiComs. Sure, when you bring it up, the kids will think about it, but otherwise they’ll be thinking about how to get you to buy them cars, how to get noticed by their crushes, etc.

    Someone experiencing a first psychotic episode, who invents the same ideas about a secret cabal, will be thinking about them all the damn time. The problem will intrude into almost every other thought.

    In other words, why do we excuse the belief that someone is being spied on and having their lives manipulated by invisible aliens, just because they think those aliens have halos?
    Simply because the latter belief is more widespread?

    I’m asking seriously here – how is this distinction made, on the professional level?

    Your question doesn’t really specify the significance the individual attaches to these ideas. If someone reports they constantly feel themselves being watched and manipulated by angels, and the interview is really typical of interviews with people who feel beset by aliens, it sounds very different than the answers you’ll get if you ask a random person “do you believe that angels can see what you do?” (Both will say yes, but the healthy individual does not place unusual importance upon the notion.)

    Also there is the matter of duration. Interviewing a patient should involve asking them how long they’ve felt this way. Psychotic symptoms have a beginning, and usually have precipitating factors. The person going through a psychotic episode has not always felt that they were being watched by angels, at the very least they have not always had the overwhelming salience attached to that idea.

    Your question also implies that this belief of being watched and manipulated is the one and only symptom. That is unlikely to happen in the case of psychosis. There is a substantial literature of cases where psychosic symptoms have been expressed through religious symbolism, but psychosis tends to invade other domains of ideas. (To the example you give, there is often some inconsistency to the patient’s conviction that angels are watching, but absolutely no one else is, not the government, neighbors, aliens nor time travelers.)

  399. says

    salience dysregulation

    Damn – I don’t have time for this today.

    I guess I’ll just take comfort in the fact that at least van Os gets that “schizophrenia” is bogus, and await psychiatry’s diagnostic wonders of the future. Which I’m sure will just happen to coincide with whatever the drugs are supposed to act on.

    Carry on.

  400. Anri says

    Thanks for the interesting reply, life!

    My question was overly nonspecific because I lack the knowledge to make it more specific. To summarize what I understood of the situation:
    There isn’t really any hard line between sincere, deeply-held religious belief and diagnosable mental illness. There are things that are more likely to result in one conclusion than another… but I have to say that I’ve seen all of the things that you noted as being indicative of illness (specific onset event, assumption of deep signifigance, coloring multiple aspects of one’s life, etc) in the strongly religious.

    Would it be safe to say that, as our understanding of mental illness evolves, a substantial territory of ‘religious experience’ has been moved – with greater or lesser certainty – into the ‘mental illness’ column? Or am I reading too much into this?

  401. Anri says

    KG:

    Of course it’s not a matter of specifying an exact number, but of the cultural context. If an adult brings up a child in complete isolation, then the answer is 1.

    So, the actual answer to my question is: it varies, because it’s a complex question.
    Thank you.
    I apologize for not reading closely enough further above to see that yep, it’s been covered before.

    Sheesh. When supposedly rational atheists come out with such irrational fuckwitted crap as you and rorschach are doing here, it brings me near to despair.

    Sorry ’bout that, KG.
    The question was more than a little tongue-in-cheek, but I’ll make sure to vet stuff through you next time.
    Just so it doesn’t upset you, yanno. *smile*

    . . .

    Ok, having done more upthread reading:
    Determining mental illness has more to do with making certain that:

    1) sensory input maps similarly to the real world as other experiencing the same thing – and others who have experienced it at other times and places,

    and

    2) given similar inputs, that typical conclusions are reached.

    In other words, we don’t consider a soldier’s desire to kill people dressed a certain way to be mental illness because most people, when put into the same situation with the same inputs, come to the same conclusion. If someone reacts the same way because of reading what they percieve as a subtext in Macy’s circulars, we can make better conclusions about their being ill because the inputs aren’t there for most people.

    These sort of features can help us determine what is acculturation and what is culturally accepted mental illness.
    Is that closer?

  402. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    There isn’t really any hard line between sincere, deeply-held religious belief and diagnosable mental illness.

    That’s false. If you’re getting this impression it might be that I’m making too many assumptions about what you already understand psychotic symptoms to be like. You should probably read some personal accounts from people who have experienced psychosis.

    but I have to say that I’ve seen all of the things that you noted as being indicative of illness (specific onset event, assumption of deep signifigance, coloring multiple aspects of one’s life, etc) in the strongly religious.

    That’s because you evidently aren’t thinking about what a psychotic episode is actually like. There is, for instance, no evidence whatsoever that heddle is experiencing anything like psychosis, though he can point to the time when he didn’t believe as he does now, it’s “deeply significant” to him (although i’s obvious you are still really underestimating the mental “weight” of psychosis), and yada yada.

    Would it be safe to say that, as our understanding of mental illness evolves, a substantial territory of ‘religious experience’ has been moved – with greater or lesser certainty – into the ‘mental illness’ column? Or am I reading too much into this?

    That’s trivially true of everything described as mental illness; there was at one time no understanding of mental illness, and so no explanation for why people might think, without evidence, that the neighbors were spying on them. Mental illness has come to account for a lot of things.

    Again, I think you will have a hard time finding anyone who’s mentally ill who is only expressing this in common religious terminology. I’m not absolutely ruling this out as a logical possibility, but I have never heard of it and to be honest I don’t believe it happens. There frequently aren’t religious terms for all the experiences, so there ends up being some spill-over. So there may be angels watching all of us, but this guy over here also is certain, with no evidence, that his wife is cheating and conspiring against him.

  403. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    So, the actual answer to my question is: it varies, because it’s a complex question.

    It varies, but that does not make it a complex question. The question is trivially investigated by interviewing the person about where they got this or that idea from.

    Clinical psychiatry involves talking to the person and asking them questions. Asking in the abstract “what about a person who thinks X” is a quick and easy way to depart from the realistic.

  404. Anri says

    Again, I think you will have a hard time finding anyone who’s mentally ill who is only expressing this in common religious terminology. I’m not absolutely ruling this out as a logical possibility, but I have never heard of it and to be honest I don’t believe it happens. There frequently aren’t religious terms for all the experiences, so there ends up being some spill-over. So there may be angels watching all of us, but this guy over here also is certain, with no evidence, that his wife is cheating and conspiring against him.

    Ok, that’s a substantial distinction, thank you.

  405. says

    That’s trivially true of everything described as mental illness; there was at one time no understanding of mental illness, and so no explanation for why people might think, without evidence, that the neighbors were spying on them. Mental illness has come to account for a lot of things.

    So what cause(s) are you proposing for this illness? (Given some of the terms you use, something to do with serotonin, perhaps?) Is it the same for each episode? How are you defining psychosis, exactly, and how does this differentiate it clearly from nonpsychotic extreme experiences? What’s the evidence that establishes the link between this cause and the illness you define as psychosis? How does that square with the social-political-institutional history of the formation of these diagnostic categories and of accepted etiologies and treatments?

    Again, I think you will have a hard time finding anyone who’s mentally ill who is only expressing this in common religious terminology.

    In the comments to the post at my last link @ #332 is this. But since you’ve already defined mentally ill as not-religious, you just seem to be restating your assumption here.

  406. says

    That comment, by the way, sounds a lot like Franco (substitute Communists and Jews for Nazis):

    References to a “Judeo-Masonic plot” are a standard component of Francoist speeches and propaganda and reveal the intense and paranoid obsession of the dictator with masonry. Franco produced at least 49 pseudonymous anti-masonic magazine articles and an anti-masonic book during his lifetime. According to Franco:

    “The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Spain can be explained in two words: masonry and communism… we have to extirpate these two evils from our land.”

  407. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    So what cause(s) are you proposing for this illness? (Given some of the terms you use, something to do with serotonin, perhaps?) Is it the same for each episode? […] What’s the evidence that establishes the link between this cause and the illness you define as psychosis? How does that square with the social-political-institutional history of the formation of these diagnostic categories and of accepted etiologies and treatments?

    I don’t know why you’re asking me any of this shit, as I already said I’m not interested in taking part in that kind of deconstruction.

    How are you defining psychosis, exactly, and how does this differentiate it clearly from nonpsychotic extreme experiences?

    I am using the James Morrison’s guide to the DSM-IV. The only one of the five types of psychotic symptoms that is being challenged here is that of delusion (the others being hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and negative symptoms), so:

    “A delusion is a false belief that cannot be explained by the patient’s culture or education; the patient cannot be persuaded that the belief is incorrect, despite evidence to the contrary or the weight of opinion.

    Delusions can be of several types: Grandeur. [I’m omitting the examples for each type.] Guilt. Ill Health. Jealousy. Passivity. Persecution. Poverty. Reference. Thought Control.

    Delusions must be distinguished from overvalued ideas, which are beliefs that are not clearly false but continue to be held despite lack of proof that they are correct. Examples include belief in the superiority of one’s own race or political party.”

    In the comments to the post at my last link @ #332 is this.

    There’s a lot in there which isn’t religious.

    But since you’ve already defined mentally ill as not-religious, you just seem to be restating your assumption here.

    Wrong. It’s just that ideas which can be traced to the person’s culture or education are not sufficient for a diagnosis. I already indicated that mental illness can manifest with religious themes. “I am Jesus Christ” is a pretty common delusion, and wouldn’t be attributable to upbringing unless the person had actually been raised by a cult who regarded the child to be Jesus Christ.

    (I feel sorry for Tenzin Gyatso.)

  408. says

    Setár #406:

    As a victim of bullying in school until the point where I stopped socializing pretty much at all, fuck you and your bullying bullshit.

    Umm… huh? As someone who was beaten up on average three times a week in junior high school for being weird, for talking weird, for being socially awkward, I can safely say that I’m familiar with bullying. And pointing out that PZ is wrong to take Abbie’s comments–which were addressed only to her friends list on Facebook–and not only air them out publicly, but to completely misrepresent what she said with his pitiful quote mining… could you explain to me how that makes me a bully?

    Did he, or did he not, quote a private post to which he has no access? Did that, or did it not, require him to collude with someone who, at the very least, poses as one of Abbie’s friends on Facebook?

    I mean, I get that the Cult of PZ must rise up to stamp out any and all dissent, but seriously, you can do better than this. At least the person who corrected me for misspelling “tattletaling” had a point.

    And don’t get me wrong here: I’m not “rising up in defense” of Abbie or anything. She hasn’t been violated. She made a comment amongst friends on Facebook. The fact that it ended up being repeated publicly is no big deal to her. I’m sure she couldn’t care less.

    I’m merely pointing out that the method by which PZ gained access to that comment, and his decision to not only broadcast it, but mangle its intent, as well, are shady.

    So, tell me, Setár, exactly how does that make me a bully?

  409. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Dennisburger,
    Setár quoted one word from your post. The word was “tattle-tailing [sic].” As someone who has also been bullied, you are no doubt aware that frequently legitimate attempts to get someone with authority to intervene on your behalf are shamed as whining and “tattle-taling.” (At least, I’m of similar experience to what you describe (although I’m a cis woman so the type of bullying was probably different for us) and I’m certainly aware of that.) That association is what Setár is pretty clearly reacting to. I personally would lay off that kind of phrasing if I were you because it doesn’t make you look particularly mature or well-intentioned, but I’m not you (and thank goodness for that).

  410. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Whoa! I completely failed at my post. That’s entirely my fault. You and I did not have similar bullying experiences in high school – while we were bullied for similar reasons, yours ranged to physical assault and mine did not. The rest of what I said stands, but I shouldn’t have conflated our experiences like that. I’m sorry.

  411. says

    @ ChasPeterson #409:

    So, about the Great Renovation:
    erv is up and running, including the archives and the four threads under question, all comments seemingly still there (and now paginated), and drawing new stoopid from the pitizens.

    Pharyngula is munged–no comments visible (except, weirdly, on some of the older archive posts), and I can’t get a new one to post either (although Owlmirror did).

    According to Orac at Respectful Insolence, his blog also lost the last two months of comments in the transfer. Something’s borked all right…

  412. says

    I don’t know why you’re asking me any of this shit,

    Because you’re making condescending assertions without any substance to back them up, and many people will accept them because the needed deconstruction hasn’t taken place (though the movement is growing and gaining momentum).

    as I already said I’m not interested in taking part in that kind of deconstruction.

    OK, then. This will be my last response to you.

    I am using the James Morrison’s guide to the DSM-IV.

    But that definition is

    Oh, that’s right. You’re not interested in critical thinking.

    The only one of the five types of psychotic symptoms that is being challenged here

    Well, that’s the only experience in that manual’s particular grouping that’s being discussed here.

    “A delusion is a false belief that cannot be explained by the patient’s culture or education; the patient cannot be persuaded that the belief is incorrect, despite evidence to the contrary or the weight of opinion.

    I can’t imagine what “explained by” is supposed to mean here. People have a wide variety of delusions that draw from their culture (including religion) and education. Some are widely shared and taken to greater or lesser extremes. Many are original in some respects, because people are creative and don’t merely reproduce what they’ve learned.

    But it’s impossible to carry on with this since you only want to answer one question but not in relation to the others, so there’s no point.

    There’s a lot in there which isn’t religious.

    I don’t think so. Pretty much all comes down to demons. But I don’t know what that would be a test of. Even any arguably nonreligious elements are still cultural.

    Wrong. It’s just that ideas which can be traced to the person’s culture or education are not sufficient for a diagnosis.

    But I don’t think that’s what Anri is suggesting.

    I already indicated that mental illness can manifest with religious themes. “I am Jesus Christ” is a pretty common delusion, and wouldn’t be attributable to upbringing unless the person had actually been raised by a cult who regarded the child to be Jesus Christ.

    You’re doing it again. This assumes that there are two options: a belief entirely attributable to and reasonable to a great extent within a given culture ((and, actually, I’m not so sure thinking you’re a prophet or messiah is unreasonable within a cultural tradition that believes in prophets and messiahs), or a belief that’s a symptom of something called “mental illness” which you’ve defined by the “symptoms” themselves. It’s a false dichotomy, and you’re just going around in circles.

    Going now.

  413. says

    @ lilapwl:

    Interesting quote about the distinction between delusions and overvalued ideas. So it’d be the difference between believing you’re Jesus, and believing that a piece of unleavened bread is the holy body of Christ when you’re a Roman Catholic.

    The tricky part would be someone hearing the voice of Jesus, say, or that of Satan. If this person is the kind of Christian who believe God, the Devil or angels can speak to humans directly, they may act upon the voices, instead of thinking that there’s something wrong with their brain and going to a doctor ASAP!

  414. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Because you’re making condescending assertions without any substance to back them up,

    It’s condescending to say that psychotic symptoms exist? I don’t think so. What I don’t care about is whether they’re caused by serotonin.

    and many people will accept them because the needed deconstruction hasn’t taken place

    You have the ability to do whatever deconstruction you like, and were doing just fine without my help. I’m sure you’re also capable of talking past me as though I weren’t here. Just don’t drag me into it. I don’t want to be a part of it.

    I can’t imagine what “explained by” is supposed to mean here.

    The clinician should talk to the patient like a reasonable human being and ask questions like “what led to your belief?”, and the clinician should try to see if the responses make it understandable how a person could come to these beliefs given their culture and education.

    But it’s impossible to carry on with this since you only want to answer one question but not in relation to the others, so there’s no point.

    Thank you for finally noticing that I really meant what I said in the beginning.

    I don’t think so. Pretty much all comes down to demons. But I don’t know what that would be a test of. Even any arguably nonreligious elements are still cultural.

    Clinical diagnosis is about interviews. Often you can’t just take a sample of writing on the internet and trivially come to conclusions about whether the person is experiencing delusions or not.

    For one, we don’t know why this person was ever referred to mental health professionals in the first place. Whatever that was about, it might not have been limited to the ideas we’re now seeing be written out there.

    One of the things there which might be useful to talk with them about is their use of the term “genocide”. It would help to know what they mean by that; whether they understand the meaning of the word, and if so why they’ve decided this constitutes genocide, and also whether they can be talked out of that belief.

    But I don’t think that’s what Anri is suggesting.

    Anri said my answer provided “a substantial distinction, thank you.”

    This assumes that there are two options: a belief entirely attributable to and reasonable to a great extent within a given culture

    Erroneous insertion of “entirely”.

    ((and, actually, I’m not so sure thinking you’re a prophet or messiah is unreasonable within a cultural tradition that believes in prophets and messiahs),

    Clinical psychiatry involves talking to the person and asking them questions. Asking in the abstract “what about a person who thinks X” is a quick and easy way to depart from the realistic.

    The person you linked to seems to be involved with a Charismatic sect which teaches that pretty much every one of their members is a prophet. Indeed that would not constitute a delusion.

    Pretty much nobody is told that they are the messiah. But in any case diagnosis would have to involve asking them how they came to believe that what they’re saying, as well as just what they mean by what they’re saying.

  415. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Interesting quote about the distinction between delusions and overvalued ideas. So it’d be the difference between believing you’re Jesus, and believing that a piece of unleavened bread is the holy body of Christ when you’re a Roman Catholic.

    Yep!

    The tricky part would be someone hearing the voice of Jesus, say, or that of Satan.

    Not tricky from a diagnostic standpoint; what’s necessary is to determine if they’re talking about a sensory perception, or using the term “hearing” much more loosely, like “I just think this is what Jesus wants me to do.”

    So some questions to ask are “what does the voice sound like?” “is it as loud as my voice right now?” “does it sound like it’s coming from anywhere in particular?”

    If it’s a sensory perception then it’s a hallucination and thus not subject to the culture/education exemption, which is only for beliefs.

    If this person is the kind of Christian who believe God, the Devil or angels can speak to humans directly, they may act upon the voices, instead of thinking that there’s something wrong with their brain and going to a doctor ASAP!

    But yeah this happens. It’s something preachers ought to be clearer about. I was raised in one of the mainstream churches and at least in my youth group it was occasionally made clear that if you’re really hearing hearing God then you should talk to someone like your school counselor because that’s not how God “talks” to people. But I don’t know how common this advice is.

  416. Louis says

    SC,

    I’ve not really said anything about the mental illness posts you make, at least partly because I am not sure where you’re coming from. I don’t ask the following so I can pigeon hole you (and thus pre-agree to or dismiss what you’re saying), but because I am genuinely confused by some of what you are posting.

    What’s your “agenda” with regards to mental illness?

    And I use the word “agenda” with a shudder because it sounds infinitely more biased than I mean it to, but it’s late and I’m tired! I hope what I mean is clear even if I have chosen the wrong words! (Ain’t that a stinker!)

    Louis

  417. says

    Cipher #461:

    I’m sorry

    Seriously, Cipher, there’s no need to apologize for conflating our experiences with bullies. You were bullied. I was bullied. It sucked for both of us, K? That’s beside the point.

    What I’m trying to understand is how my calling PZ out for misquoting a private comment of Abbie’s, to which he had no access, and pointing out that to he had to use a mole, a snitch, a tattletale–whatever word you want to use–to gain access to that comment, amounts to bullying on my part.

  418. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I’m trying to understand is how my calling PZ out for misquoting a private comment of Abbie’s, to which he had no access,

    What evidence do you have to back up that assertion? I didn’t see much but the same allegation above. That is the problem you are running into. Evidence. How PZ didn’t come into the communication from legitimate means. Even from Nat. Geo.

    That is my problem with your repetitious “bullying”. If you made one or two assertions, and let it drop, fine. You are obsessed…

  419. says

    @ dennisburger:

    A problem I see with “snitch” and “tattle-tale”: this is exactly the kind of words used by bullies who don’t want to be called out on their bad behaviour. It’s the kind of label the bullies and their clique apply to victims who do complain. So it’s not exactly surprising if this elicits negative reactions from former victims.

    /my 2 ¢

  420. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    @dennisburger: You don’t seem to have a grasp between assertive and aggressive. One big difference, assertive is defensive in nature. Aggressive is aimed at other people. You are being aggressive toward PZ, and that is noted by those who have been bullied as aggressive behavior. You have nothing there to be defensive about. Abby making the same case you are would be assertive, defending her reputation. So, time for you to bow out…

  421. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Seriously, Cipher, there’s no need to apologize for conflating our experiences with bullies. You were bullied. I was bullied. It sucked for both of us, K? That’s beside the point.

    Thanks for that. And yeah, it is.

    What I’m trying to understand is how my calling PZ out for misquoting a private comment of Abbie’s, to which he had no access, and pointing out that to he had to use a mole, a snitch, a tattletale–whatever word you want to use–to gain access to that comment, amounts to bullying on my part.

    What I meant to explain with my comment is that it doesn’t seem that Setár was trying to argue that those things were bullying. Just the use of the one word “tattle-taling” brought up some powerful negative associations with bullying. He can correct me later if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that he would have quoted more than just the one word if he meant to call you out on something else in your post.

  422. says

    It’s condescending to say that psychotic symptoms exist?

    Yes, because not only are you repeatedly referring to certain experiences as “symptoms” without saying of what, but you’ve inserted this is a condescending lecture about how you know this because of how much is now allegedly understood (by others and presumably yourself) about “mental illness.” It’s an argument from “I know much more than you” in which you refuse to explain beyond your assertions what it is you know and how you know it.

    I don’t think so. What I don’t care about is whether they’re caused by serotonin.

    You can’t have it both ways. If you’re calling something an illness, which the DSM people and everyone else clearly understands to mean some sort of disease of the brain, then you have to explain what you mean by this. I don’t care if you think one sort of experience is a true delusion while another isn’t. But if you’re going to call the experiences you consider true delusions “symptoms” or expressions of a “mental illness,” which you know has stigmatizing effects and which I assume you know can have terrible consequences for the person so “diagnosed”/labeled, but you’re not going to defend this framing, then I’d say you’re being uncharacteristically ethically irresponsible.

    Experiences that you consider truly delusional – and I’m not accepting the line you’re trying to draw, but leaving that aside – seem to have a number of causes, and often they occur and then go away, but you haven’t responded to any of the criticisms I’ve presented of the idea that they’re “symptoms” of a “mental illness.” So there’s no reason for anyone to think this is a meaningful category when talking about these experiences (although people will by default because our culture tells them that these are brain diseases…which I guess means that thinking you’re mentally ill because you have delusions isn’t a delusion in our society :)). “The distinction between that experience and one symptomatic of mental illness” is meaningless – though damaging – verbiage insofar as you’ve provided no basis for thinking “mental illness,” or any specific so-called mental illness, is a meaningful and valid scientific category. Given that, it means nothing to say that someone is exhibiting “symptoms” of this “mental illness” while another isn’t.

    The addition of this clinical-speak, especially terms like “symptom” and “mental illness” is scientifically unsound and adds precisely nothing to our understanding of these experiences, however narrowly you define them. In fact, as the position piece I linked to @ #332 argues, they not only ascribe false meaning but remove meaning, sometimes in damaging ways, it’s likely that they compromise recovery (understood broadly), and their stigmatizing and other harmful effects can’t be denied. I would dismiss it as an exercise in futility, except that the exercise itself – including discussions that assume this model has a real basis – has very real negative effects.

    For all of your talk about what “clinical psychiatry involves” and “clinicians” should and shouldn’t do – and I certainly agree that they should talk to and try to understand where people are coming from – you haven’t given anyone any reason to think there’s any point to the “diagnostic” process you describe. The point can’t be to distinguish/diagnose “mental illness” since you’re not even trying to make the argument that that’s a scientifically or clinically (in any sense other than “people agree on it”) meaningful term (and I refer here not just to the umbrella term but to the specific forms of alleged “mental illness” under discussion here). It’s harmful to the people who are subject to it, as a growing movement of them is arguing, and again I don’t understand why you would ignore this because that seems uncharacteristic for you.

  423. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    A problem I see with “snitch” and “tattle-tale”: this is exactly the kind of words used by bullies who don’t want to be called out on their bad behaviour.

    Yep. That was the original objection by Setar.

    “Mole” at least does not have that connotation, I think.

  424. Wowbagger, Vile Demagogue says

    A problem I see with “snitch” and “tattle-tale”: this is exactly the kind of words used by bullies who don’t want to be called out on their bad behaviour.

    That’s pretty much how I read it.

  425. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Yes, because not only are you repeatedly referring to certain experiences as “symptoms” without saying of what

    All I’ve been talking about since #393 has been psychosis.

    but you’ve inserted this is a condescending lecture about how you know this because of how much is now allegedly understood (by others and presumably yourself) about “mental illness.”

    I really and truly do not give a flying fuck about this objection at this point. I asked you way back at #397 to

    “please let me know how I can make objections about the inappropriate labeling of schizophrenia which: 1) will not entangle me in a deconstruction of the very idea of mental illness, which I am not willing to participate in, and 2) do not require me to implicitly accept the premise that there is no such thing.”

    And you shit on that request, preferring instead to use me as a sounding board or a Socratic exercise. Which is okayfineIguess if that’s what you want to do but then I’m just going to take the existence of mental illness for granted, as I clearly indicated I was not willing to do otherwise.

    Remember this?

    Why would I let you know that? I think the deconstruction of the dominant contemporary understanding of mental illness is urgently needed.

    Talk about condescending.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    I’m not going down the rabbit hole with you, SC.

    I’d say you’re being uncharacteristically ethically irresponsible.

    I already told you: “I don’t have time for all that. It’s not like I haven’t thought about what you’re saying before. But I can not now and will not in the foreseeable future be able to figure it all out to my satisfaction.”

    I have people in my life for whom this framework is functional, and all in all I consider that a good thing. I’ll get to the details on my own time, thank you.

  426. says

    All I’ve been talking about since #393 has been psychosis.

    That makes no sense unless you think psychosis is something other than a term that describes those experiences. Anyway. Moving on…

    And you shit on that request, preferring instead to use me as a sounding board or a Socratic exercise.

    I’m trying to talk about the effects of this framework on people with the sorts of experiences you’re talking about. You care about stigmatizing people in general, and I don’t get what you don’t care if you’re doing it here.

    Talk about condescending.

    I don’t see how “I think it’s urgently needed” is supposed to be condescending. If someone were making an argument that implied gender essentialism and you wanted to deconstruct gender essentialism, I can’t imagine you’d see stating that as condescending.

    I have people in my life for whom this framework is functional, and all in all I consider that a good thing.

    Of course, the same can be said of religion.

    But fine. I thought perhaps I could talk about it “around the edges,” but our views on this (as far as I can tell) are too far apart, so that was a mistake on my part. So I apologize for returning to the same points despite your stated preferences, but it was because I care about this. I will really try now to exit the conversation completely, and I’m sorry if I’ve upset you.

  427. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Of course, the same can be said of religion.

    Yes, the same could even be said of structural engineering.

    I don’t see how “I think it’s urgently needed” is supposed to be condescending. If someone were making an argument that implied gender essentialism and you wanted to deconstruct gender essentialism, I can’t imagine you’d see stating that as condescending.

    It’s a false analogy unless you can explain how there’d be an instance where Person A says something offensive about gender and even though all that Person B wants to say is “please don’t talk about gender that way”, there is absolutely no way for Person B to do that without reinforcing gender essentialism.

    In fact by the time I got around to saying “So hopefully we can agree that people shouldn’t use ‘schizophrenia’ as an insult because it stigmatizes people who experience psychotic symptoms”, there was no strong reason for you to object to this.

    If you think psychosis is only a term that describes those experiences, then you could have tweaked it to “people shouldn’t use ‘schizophrenia’ as an insult because it stigmatizes people who have psychotic experiences” and agreed to that much.

    If people were just talking about certain experiences, it would be a very different issue. This is the same problem I’ve been talking about all along. If people could say “You hearing voices?” or “You hallucinating?” (or “You psychotic?”) and it wasn’t connected to these beliefs about a lasting brain disease but just referring to temporary states, I wouldn’t have a problem.

    You said this in response to my pointing out that the referents of psychosis should not be mocked. I don’t know whether it was meant to be slightly tangential, but the way it sounded, it seemed like you would not mind if people used “you hearing voices?” as an insult.

    I hope that’s not what you meant, since this would mean insulting people for things beyond their control. One may point out that episodes of hearing voices are often temporary, and that’s true enough, but it’s still wrong to insult people for temporary things beyond their control. If someone gets hit really hard in the head and for a few weeks they smell an unpleasant odor which no one else smells, it’s fucked up to mock them for it. Insults about hallucinations or other psychotic experiences are wrong, as they are simply gratuitous unkindnesses; no matter how temporary, it’s certainly no better than mocking someone for a pimple.

    Unfortunately I get the impression that you did mean you’d be okay with that, since you apparently offered up “schizo” as something that only meant unpredictable, and you seemed to imply that this was okay, like you didn’t know or simply didn’t care that it was derived from a popular misunderstanding of the schizophrenia diagnosis — from the notion that it was synonymous with dissociative identity disorder. None of the above should be the target of mockery.

  428. says

    sgbm #415:

    I know you probably believe this is not a diagnostic term, but you’re wrong.

    (Taking the approach of “how can I tread really close to the line of this taboo without crossing over” is an easy way to fail. When you want to talk about what a bad person someone is, may I suggest you just call them a bad person.)

    Oh fuck off. I was given the usage by the first real friends I have ever had — all of whom are regular commenters here — after describing having been treated like complete shit by someone who fit that exact same bill.

    I’m going to listen to them long before I listen to someone who has made statements to the effect of having a vendetta against me and being willing to use anything and everything possible to smear and bully me into adhering to their narrow worldview.

    I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with your empathy that makes you think it acceptable to bully people that you’ve had disagreements with in the past. But, frankly, at this point I am not interested.

    Fuck off, SGBM. DO NOT TALK TO ME ANYMORE UNTIL YOU DROP THE FUCKING VENDETTA.

  429. says

    Yes, the same could even be said of structural engineering.

    Right. That’s totally analogous.

    It’s a false analogy unless you can explain how there’d be an instance where Person A says something offensive about gender and even though all that Person B wants to say is “please don’t talk about gender that way”, there is absolutely no way for Person B to do that without reinforcing gender essentialism.

    Um, no. The analogous case is one in which the thing said by Person A that’s offensive about gender is offensive because of essentialist cultural beliefs. Person B, with the best of intentions, is saying “Please don’t say that because [explanation based on gender essentialism].” Person C recognizes that the serious offense and harm are real because of the essentialist understandings, and wants to challenge the essentialist meanings so that the insult wouldn’t be directed at an oppressed group but just a general thing that actually lessens gender essentialism. Person B then says he only wants to talk about the insult and only wants to do it in a way that promotes essentialism and prejudice. Person C finds this odd. That’s analogous.

    In fact by the time I got around to saying “So hopefully we can agree that people shouldn’t use ‘schizophrenia’ as an insult because it stigmatizes people who experience psychotic symptoms”, there was no strong reason for you to object to this.

    Of course there was. It’s stigmatizing because people believe that there’s a real mental illness “schizophrenia” and that some set of experiences are symptoms of it or of something called psychosis that’s an illness and not simply a name given to some set of experiences. I don’t think that’s true, I think it causes stigma, and I think we should get away from it. If we did get away from it, then these characterizations/insults would be in a totally different context with different meanings and effects.

    You said this in response to my pointing out that the referents of psychosis should not be mocked. I don’t know whether it was meant to be slightly tangential, but the way it sounded, it seemed like you would not mind if people used “you hearing voices?” as an insult.

    I would not mind it if people understood that this was an experience that people have, often temporarily, that it exists in a spectrum of unreal thinking, and that it’s not symptomatic of a brain disease. We say things like “You’re losing your grip” or “You’re ragey” or “Starfart!” or what have you all the time, and people don’t get up in arms except to the extent that these statements trigger the stuff about “mental illness.” (The comment about her alleged anger issues drew no such outrage.) It’s the “mental illness” stuff that’s the problem.

    I hope that’s not what you meant, since this would mean insulting people for things beyond their control.

    So are many, many insults. Saying “insults about anything beyond someone’s control are bad” in general is a very different argument. Setting it against the problems caused by the belief that “schizophrenia” is a real (often genetic) brain disease is ridiculous. These are in different universes of significance for people’s lives.

    One may point out that episodes of hearing voices are often temporary, and that’s true enough,

    But this elides the issue. It’s that they’re often temporary and they’re it. The idea that they’re temporary manifestations of some ongoing brain disease is not scientifically grounded.

    but it’s still wrong to insult people for temporary things beyond their control.

    It’s more complicated than this, though. Because I was saying that such comments (I was really thinking more along the lines of characterizations than insults in any case) would be OK – to the extent that any insults at that level would be, and again this is a silly point to be making in light of the larger question – in a world in which they aren’t linked to a stigmatizing notion of mental illness, but also that I could see talking about it in this way as conducive to people’s understanding that it’s not about brain disease.

    The world in which we live is one in which people with a “schizophrenia” diagnosis are stigmatized, many well-intentioned people think everything they say should be dismissed and that they should be denied their civil rights, and people often accept the idea that they should be “on their meds” even sometimes coercively. At least one subtype appears to have functioned in a racist political way. That’s the context into which comments like “You sound schizophrenic” fall. And this is the context in which I have to consider hypothetical insults. I believe that we should contribute to a world in which people understand that we’re talking about experiences and not brain disease. In the meantime, as I’ve said, I’m concerned that “schizophrenia” or “psychotic” insults harm while doing nothing to change the larger problem, and at the same time I don’t want to oppose that harm in a way that perpetuates the larger problem that causes the harm to begin with.

    If someone gets hit really hard in the head and for a few weeks they smell an unpleasant odor which no one else smells, it’s fucked up to mock them for it.

    This is a bizarre hypothetical and I don’t see the connection. And you’ve moved from terribly stigmatizing to not very nice. See above.

    Insults about hallucinations or other psychotic experiences are wrong, as they are simply gratuitous unkindnesses; no matter how temporary, it’s certainly no better than mocking someone for a pimple.

    Look, if acne were considered the result of something fundamentally broken inside people, with a diagnosis of Acnic considered an identity having the same stigma and terrible effects as that of schizophrenic, a changed world in which people mocked one another for pimples, recognizing that it’s simply a skin problem that’s usually temporary (the causes of which in some cases usefully point to larger problems) and something many people deal with would not only be a vast improvement but would confirm and foster this better understanding. If there were a movement of people diagnosed as Acnics protesting the label and calling it a sham, I assume you’d support it and not want to focus exclusively on blog comments saying “He must be an Acnic.” You’d address the larger problem.

    Unfortunately I get the impression that you did mean you’d be okay with that, since you apparently offered up “schizo” as something that only meant unpredictable, and you seemed to imply that this was okay, like you didn’t know or simply didn’t care that it was derived from a popular misunderstanding of the schizophrenia diagnosis

    Oh, good grief.

  430. Trevor Goodchild says

    a changed world in which people mocked one another for pimples, recognizing that it’s simply a skin problem that’s usually temporary

    So… with this analogy you’re saying we should mock schizophrenia, or the symptoms of schizophrenia? Fascinating. Abhorrent. But fascinating.

    At least you finally made your point.

  431. says

    So… with this analogy you’re saying we should mock schizophrenia, or the symptoms of schizophrenia? Fascinating. Abhorrent. But fascinating.

    At least you finally made your point.

    Lackwit.

  432. Louis says

    SC,

    If you have the time I’d appreciate an answer to my #468 if you get a chance.

    Would I be correct in summarising your answer (based on the little I’ve read from you here and elsewhere) to be along the rough lines of:

    “Medicalising” a series of behavioural/experiential phenomena we loosely call “mental illness” leads inherently to stigmatisation of people exhibiting these phenomena and is suspiciously convenient for a large industry to make profit from by dishonestly twisting the science to fit preconceived notions.

    BTW I’m happy for that summary to be wrong, I’m just trying to get a clearer picture on where you’re coming from here.

    Thanks.

    Louis

  433. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I’m having some difficulty following the arguments re. schizophrenia.

    I don’t expect anyone who is part of the argument to take time out to explain stuff to a layperson like me; I just thought it might be of some small interest to someone to see how an outsider like me, largely unversed in psychiatric terms, sees the argument.

    I have understood that accusing someone of a mental illness is wrong on many levels: firstly, the chances of them actually having been diagnosed with a mental illness aren’t zero and using a mental illness as an insult against them is really horrible behaviour; secondly, any people reading may have been diagnosed with a mental illness and will also be damaged; thirdly, and most importantly, mental illness should not be an insulting concept any more than other illnesses are and by using the labels as insults the stigma that attaches to mental illness is exacerbated and that the very concept of ‘mental illness’ is likely a faulty idea.

    As far as schizophrenia in particular, I gather from reading the above that it is being seen by many as a bucket diagnosis for a random set of behaviours which may or may not have any biological origin and is going to be refined/changed/dropped altogether (I got a bit confused as to which).

    So that using schizophrenia as an insult in particular is even more stigmatising as, in addition to the above objections, it perpetuates a myth of a mental disorder that possibly doesn’t even exist as a genuine syndrome.

    I may be a bit confused, however, by SC. I’m not sure if I’ve interpreted your comments correctly. They seem to me to be asserting that the various aspects of anything labelled ‘mental illness’ and in particular what has hitherto been called schizophrenia, aren’t pathological symptoms of anything, but part of normal human experience; that unless there is an actual infection or tumour, there is no brain defect at all? Please correct me if I’ve misinterpreted your comments.

    Now, I suffer from auditory, olfactory and visual hallucinations (and bouts of paralysis) presumed to be symptoms of vascular migraines*. I do have a diagnosed cardiovascular condition where my arteries go into random spasms (including those in my heart) which would probably explain the symptoms if assorted parts of my brain are being temporarily starved of oxygen. They aren’t ‘real experiences’ in the sense that they originate externally or anyone else could sense them, but they are ‘real’ in the sense that they are actual misfiring neurones and are caused by an actual physical and detectable disorder and my brain is actually experiencing them, even if they are self-generated. Fortunately, they have diminished in frequency and intensity since I have been on the proper medication for them.

    When I was younger, because of cultural upbringing and a need to rationalise bizarre internal experiences, I used to think that I was hearing the voices of the dead, or telepathic messages from the living. I now think that what is happening is that old memories are being triggered by brain circuits suffering from a reduced oxygen supply and these memories are being interpreted by other brain circuits as current experience.

    I’m in favour of the old psychiatric model of mental processing differences being scrapped altogether. Mental experiences that harm no-one should be accepted as a normal part of human variation. Only people whose lives are disrupted by their non-typical brain, or who pose a threat to others, should have intervention. Not with a label, (especially one which carries such stigma that it makes the person subject to prejudice and ill treatment), Instead, the person experiencing them should be given the cognitive tools to cope e.g. with education about what is likely to be actually happening in their brain, behaviour training to cope with the effects and medication only if an actual physical disorder (such as migraine, epilepsy or tumour) is found or the anxiety, depression or whatever isn’t amenable to behavioural changes.

    *Temporal lobe epilepsy was considered, but thought less likely given that I already have a diagnosis of a plausible trigger.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Teal deer: After reading the arguments about using schizophrenia as an online insult (conclusion: don’t!) I read SC’s comments and thought they carried the implication that she thinks that not only is there no such thing as schizophrenia but no such thing as mental illness in the psychiatric sense; that unless the brain has a detectable physical flaw there is nothing disordered about what is currently diagnosed as disordered thinking, just different ways of experiencing life. I’m inclined to think that, once it is established that the experiences are causing no harm, then labelling them as a ‘mental illness’ or ‘disorder’ is counterproductive and that if they are causing harm then there are better ways of helping people to cope than by calling them mentally ill.

  434. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oh, great. I spend an hour marshalling my thoughts on the subject, trying to make sense, and Louis comes along in the meantime and sums up the whole thing in a paragraph.

    I am not fit to walk in your shadow! =^_^=

  435. Louis says

    Tigger_The_Wing, #487,

    Hardly! I think you did a better job than I did. More words =/= bad.

    Mind you given my prolix tendencies…I might be biased. ;-)

    I think we should now have an entirely irrelevant and comedy Humble-Off where we each try to out humble the other. It’s clearly important for some reason. Probably sex. It’s usually sex.

    Just me? ;-)

    Louis

  436. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Hmm. Ghey Secks with Louis. I think I have a free slot in my calendar!

  437. Louis says

    Hey, I’m kinky enough to involve both a calendar and a colander.

    This humility thing, I cannot has it when it comes to kink apparently.

    Louis

  438. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    SC,

    If someone gets hit really hard in the head and for a few weeks they smell an unpleasant odor which no one else smells, it’s fucked up to mock them for it.

    This is a bizarre hypothetical and I don’t see the connection. And you’ve moved from terribly stigmatizing to not very nice.

    It may sound bizarre, but it’s a not-too-uncommon result of a concussion. The connection I’m trying to make is that for a while there is false sensory perception.

    Yes, for the purposes of that comparison, I’m deliberately trying to drop the notion that the experiences themselves are stigmatizing. I’m trying to meet you on what I understand to be your terms.

    So you say it would not be very nice to mock someone for the head injury. That’s what I’m looking for. And I’m trying to get some agreement that both in the current world, and in the better world you would like, it would not be cool to mock someone for hearing voices.

    I get that in your better world it would not be stigmatizing. So maybe most targets of such mockery would take it with bemusement, like “okay whatever, that says more about you than me”? And the person mocking might be seen the odd one for getting fixated on whether so-and-so is hearing voices? What I’m hoping is this would tend to cause most to consider this douchey behavior, at least a mild embarrassment, a faux pas.

    I mean surely you’re not trying to say that we should consider it completely morally neutral behavior, let alone encourage it?

  439. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Setar,

    Oh fuck off. I was given the usage by the first real friends I have ever had — all of whom are regular commenters here — after describing having been treated like complete shit by someone who fit that exact same bill.

    I understand that, but I’m not sure what relevance it has to the facts.

    You indicated that you did not want to use a term for “mental disorder” to insult someone, and you thought “sociopath” was not such a term. That’s admirable, but you were mistaken. It is in fact a term referring to mental disorder.

    I know that you’re a person who cares about accuracy, so I figured you should be informed of your error.

    As for my advice about what you might say instead, of course that’s just my opinion and I understand why you’re not inclined to take it. I trust that you’ll be able to separate your feelings about that from the factual correction I presented.

  440. richardh says

    Just because 70° and 90° are both hot doesn’t mean they’re equal

    True. The latter is almost 6% hotter [on the Kelvin scale].

    Very good. Now try comparing excess over body temperature, which might actually be vaguely relevant to something.

  441. Tigger_the_Wing says

    richardh – is there some way of comparing (joules? It is many a long year, nay, decade since I last was in a science classroom) the amount of energy that can be transferred to skin by liquids of differing temperatures?

    To my mind, there is an obvious increasing danger – water at 40ºC is harmless, at 100ºC it kills by instantly cooking any cells it hits and the danger increases with every degree between – but is there a way of graphing that? Would it be a straight line or some kind of curve? I wish I knew…