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Navy, you’ve got a nasty little worm in the works

I rarely do this, but we’ve got a troll who deserves an outing. wordplague has been plaguing this thread — 62 comments in 10 hours! — claiming to be a graduate student somewhere. He’s being over-the-top misogynistic, making rape jokes, bragging about making rape threats, making death and mutilation threats, and man, he really, really hates his advisor, who is a woman, working in a lab that uses lasers and liquid nitrogen. If I knew who he was, I’d be calling his advisor right now to warn her she’s got a time-bomb in her lab.

But I don’t know who he is. So I’m just going to release his IP address. All of his comments come from a couple of gateways at bremerton.nmci.navy.mil. I don’t know what research facilities they have in Bremerton — I know of the Bremerton Naval Hospital — but he may just be lying to us all. If any authorities at the naval institutions in Bremerton or NMCI want my assistance tracking down the creep, I’ll gladly forward the stuff I’ve got to them. He needs help.

Comments

  1. peterhearn says

    Hey PZ,

    People say mean things online that they would never say in real life.

    Welcome to the internet.

    Maybe you should ban him for disagreeing with you?

    Maybe you should reflect on better ways to handle criticism?

  2. DLC says

    Wow. I left that thread, not having anything of import to add. I missed a lot of hate-filled blather. I may be glad of it, sampling some of the stuff. goodnight.

  3. says

    Maybe you should reflect on better ways to handle criticism?

    Hey, Peter, maybe you shouldn’t be such a dense douchecake. Try reading the thread referenced in PZ’s post. Try reading the comments. All of them. There are over a thousand. Ought to keep you busy for a few, eh?

    Oh…and since when is some assclown telling rape jokes qualify as criticism?

  4. krisrhodes says

    I think it’s hilarious that peterhearn thinks that the rules of polite public interaction don’t apply to the internet except for the ones he wants.

    Guess what, you get to say mean things on the internet, and you also get thrown out of a place much more easily than you would a bar.

  5. spartonian says

    If he’s logged in to an NMCI machine, the administrators can track it to the user, and the Navy isn’t kind to folks indulging in hate speech….

  6. IslandBrewer says

    @Peterhearn,

    Awesome! I can get immunity from all crimes – threats, fraud, intimidation – if I just whine about being “censored” for disagreeing! Cool! I’m going to go threaten some people right now, then whine about “free speech” when some over sensitive target in my crosshairs complains!

  7. mythbri says

    @peterhearn

    Yup, people who post nasty shit on the Internet are real people that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near.

  8. theef says

    This guy was obviously trying to get a rise out of the crowd. He could barely spell or form a coherent sentence. I’m 100% positive that his story was bullshit and that he was using a proxy IP like a typical script kiddie. P.Z. Why are you giving this asshole more space on FTB. We need to stop engaging these idiots. Its been a free for all since TB started his “manly” war on Youtube.

  9. says

    Excellent work, peterhearn! Like a well-trained troll, you have now derailed the thread away from the nasty little misogynist who is a threat to his employer directly to you!

    And to do it so witlessly, completely ignoring the content of the post…oh, you’re good. Well, good at being an ass, which is a kind of ‘good’, I guess.

  10. says

    By the way, theef…his IP address matched exactly one other person in the database. You. Which makes me suspect dishonest troll playing games even more.

    Like I said, I’m not doing anything about it but banning wordplague. But if nmci.navy.mil were to ask me for records for this guy, I’d hand them over and let them take care of it.

  11. says

    peterhearn:

    Maybe you should ban him for disagreeing with you?

    Why? That’d be stupid and petty, and that isn’t the policy here.

    Also, there’s no need to do so. He’s already been banned for threatening violence. Or didn’t you bother to read the post to which you are responding?

  12. says

    Theef:

    Its been a free for all since TB started his “manly” war on Youtube.

    Oh fuck off, would you? Jesus Jumpin’ Christ, people like wordplague were showing up at Pharyngula Sciblogs, spewing vile, toxic shit all over the place *long* before TF came and went at FTB.

    When you don’t know one fucking thing about a subject, try keeping your mouth shut. That way you don’t prove you’re an ignorant idiot.

  13. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Peterdingleberry, fucking read what the sleaze has been writing before you dismiss it as just being critical of PZ. Even if this person did not say this shit to your face in meat space, do you really want to be around this specimen?

    Oh, just to be fucking clear, I would not want to be in the same room with you.

  14. rowanvt says

    By the way, theef…his IP address matched exactly one other person in the database. You.

    Intriguing. Makes me quite sad that I’m having to leave for work now.

  15. watry says

    I took the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the inhabitants of the Dungeon. WHOA. Is it just that there are more of them or is PZ just using more oversight (justifiably, of course, I’ve been glad to see them go)?

  16. Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa says

    I’d expect wordplague’s story to be bullshit. It’d be beyond stupid of his to reveal details of his supervisor and research field while self-admittedly trolling.

  17. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I’m 100% positive that his story was bullshit and that he was using a proxy IP like a typical script kiddie

    So Theed, are you the troll or are you running a proxy for little script kiddies through you employers network? I bet your superiors reactions would be interesting either way.

  18. says

    Making the assumption wordplague was simply trolling*, I am completely baffled why he** would do that. What makes people spout evil shit, unless they kinda halfway secretly mean it? Kind of a ha-ha, only serious approach to poking the ant-hill?

    I just don’t grok trolls in the least.

     

    * The alternative makes my head asplode.

    ** This too is an assumption, also.

  19. Robert B. says

    The Internet is in fact part of the physical universe, where one interacts with actual real human beings. In other words, it still counts as real life. Anyone who refuses to act accordingly is an asshat who’s deliberately feeding a cognitive bias in order to excuse their own unethical behavior.

  20. Alverant says

    PZ, thanks for doing this. Even if the guy was just venting and not planning anything (unlikely), what he did was still illegal and definitaly not the kind of person we want in our military. The guy works in a hospital. I wonder how he treats his female co-workers and patients. Someone who rants that much is probably going to do something, assuming they haven’t already.

    You might have had a hand in preventing another episode of workplace violence and saving a life. Too many people ignore the warning signs assuming someone else will do something. You didn’t. So thanks for being a decent human being and not one of the crowd.

  21. Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa says

    theef said:

    I’m 100% positive that his story was bullshit and that he was using a proxy IP like a typical script kiddie.

    PZ Myers said:

    By the way, theef…his IP address matched exactly one other person in the database. You.

    Okay, perhaps wordplague is beyond stupid.

  22. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    @ me at # 24:
    Theef, not theed you mobile-posting dolt!

  23. Alverant says

    @Nigel #25
    Do you know the odds of female military personel to be sexuality assaulted is about 1 in 5? This guy works in the military and sounded ready to snap. Threats aren’t trolling, they’re threats that should be taken seriously.

  24. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Maybe you should ban him for disagreeing with you?

    Why do all MRA fuckwits make this claim. Nobody ever gets banned for disagreeing. We disagree with each other all the time.

    What people get banned for is how they disagree.

    If they present arguments like “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up (link to evidence)”, that chances of a banhammer is nil. If they say “Agree with me or eat shit, be raped, and die”, then “Houston, we have a problem”. And the latter is what happens with a lot of TF apoligizers. Bombast and opinion replaces real argument with evidence, as they can’t show anti-harassment policies aren’t wanted by most women and that they aren’t effective in reducing the incidents of harassment. So attitude must replace argument. It is the attitude we are tired of, as it is opinionated bullying rather than evidenced backed argument. And the clue on evidence is that it is a legitimate source outside of yourself (and friends).

  25. gussnarp says

    A script kiddie using a proxy? Well, that could be possible, but it doesn’t make hate speech OK, and frankly it seems to me that if there’s one thing the Navy would be more concerned about than hate speech, it would be someone leaving one of their servers open for proxy abuse. I’d imagine that if someone was doing that, they’d be in for a real shit storm.

  26. islandstrust says

    So, I went to read the 1000+ comments on the Excellent Plan post (really, I’m odd that way), but they’ve been replaced with some 50 comments talking about the troll.

    Where did all the comments go?

  27. islandstrust says

    Nevermind. Found them. (There’s pages now? I got used to them being in a single endless scroll.)

    Happy reading to me.

  28. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Islandtrust, look at where the comments come to an end. You will find Older comments. Hit that link.

  29. Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa says

    Where did all the comments go?

    Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click at older comments or something to that effect.

  30. says

    @gussnarp, 32

    Yeah, I was about to say that…

    I suppose it’s possible that a server has been compromised and is the hack of the day in some chatroom and both theef and the other loser have been riding it. If this is true then the smart guys and gals at the navy will probably let the proxy run long enough to get data to arrest the clowns. So take note theef, your thieving days are limited.

    My experience with legit open proxies is that they are slow and unreliable to the extreme. Anyone who would use one to fill a super-duper humungous thread is OCD to the point of needing medical advice. Anyone who would use a compromised server from the navy as an illegal OP is too young or too stupid to survive prison.

  31. raven says

    peterhearn the idiot troll:

    Hey PZ,

    People say mean things online that they would never say in real life.

    True.

    But people also say mean things online that they say and do in real life. Including threatening to kill people and then killing them.

    1. We all know what happened to the death threater in Montreal. He was arrested and turned out to be mentally ill and have long standing substance abuse problems. He’s been treated by order of the court and so far seems to be much better.

    2. Diatribe foretold church shooting horror – The Denver Post
    ww.denverpost.com › Denver & the West
    11 Dec 2007 – As many as 20 bullet holes in the entryway at New Life Church in Colorado Springs serve as a reminder of Sunday’s shooting. Matthew Murray …

    Internet Forum Postings Reported To Be Those Of Colorado Church …
    ww.nationalterroralert.com/…/internet-forum-postings-ma…
    by Martin Jones – in 1,825 Google+ circles
    11 Dec 2007 – … Reported To Be Those Of Colorado Church Shooter Matt Murray … investigated by Colorado Springs Police, Arvada Police and the FBI, …

    Matthew Murray had an internet history that worried people enough to call the FBI. While the FBI was evaluating the threat level, he killed four people at his old church.

    3. In the Dark Ages, I once lurked on a forum where people still used their real names. One guy was having problems and then disappeared. His name was found months later in a newspaper article.

    He had a gun battle with the police after an inept daylight robbery went wrong. And was killed.

    That was when I realized that what you see of people on the internet is pretty close to what you get in real life. Which means peterhearn is a very stupid and ugly troll in real life.

  32. says

    Alverant:

    Threats aren’t trolling, they’re threats that should be taken seriously.

    I guess that’s what I was getting at — even if he were trolling, he’s gotta mean it on some level. Just like Tosh defending rape jokes by claiming an actual rape at his show would be funny, there’s something deeply disturbing in the twisted performance art that is trolling. And I don’t mean the content. I mean in the intent.

    It was just a thought I had after reading theef’s half-assed troll defense: It doesn’t matter if it’s 100% a troll. Saying that shit is in-and-of-itself evil. And I just can’t see how someone could provide those threats without actually supporting those threats in some way.

    But maybe that’s just because I’m incredibly naive about these things.

  33. raven says

    Death threats over the internet are a federal crime, a felony.

    There are lots of people doing long prison sentences right now for death threats.

    The ones that look serious I just turn over to the FBI which has a competent cybercrimes unit. They occasionally investigate and have been known to make arrests.

    It’s a stupid way to ruin your life but we all make choices. I’d rather they ruin their lives than end mine.

    PZ, if the threats look serious, turn them over to the local police and the FBI cybercrimes division. We pay their salaries and that is what they are for. The murder you prevent could even be your own.

  34. 'Tis Himself says

    Where did all the comments go?

    Long time passing,
    Where did all the comments go,
    Long time ago.
    Where did all the comments go,
    New pages moved them everyone.
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    </Peter, Paul & Mary>

  35. sundiver says

    Having spent more time in the Bremerton Shipyard than I might have liked, I can attest it’s a rather large facility, capable of overhauling a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. I don’t know what department would be using lasers and liquid nitrogen outside of the hospital but a yard that can overhaul anything that floats is bound to have all kinds of shit going on. This “wordplague” winner makes that asshole ericatkinson seem kinda easy-going now.

  36. says

    There’s pages now? I got used to them being in a single endless scroll.

    It’s been like that for a year. 500 comments per page. Except in the mobile layout (last I checked).

  37. says

    What kind of loser would use a .mil server as a proxy anyway? Not a pro, I’d like to think.

    Hey PZ,

    People say mean things online that they would never say in real life.

    Welcome to the internet.

    Now, to say that to a guy who has been on the internet ever since there actually was an internet, is quite funny.

  38. garnetstar says

    This article says that they do testing in “Chemistry, Hematology, Urinalysis, Coagulation, Microbiology, Immunohematology (Blood Banking), Serology, Histology, and Cytology.”

    In chemistry research, we do use lasers and liquid nitrogen.

    I’m a woman who supervises Ph.D. students’ research, and I thought, even if the chances are enormous that this is a hoax, would I want to take the chance that it isn’t?

    And that was it. I contacted the Navy.

    So sue me,

  39. mepmep09 says

    Yep, what spartonian @8 said. Navy (and I’m sure DoD in general) has very clear policies prohibiting use of information systems for personally abusive behavior. And one of the essential features of NMCI* is tight monitoring and control over IT access.

    *Note that the Wikipedia entry for NMCI looks like it was written by one of its adoring fans (employee for one of its contractors, maybe?), but ignore the fawning treatment, and you’ll get the basic idea of what it is.

    In my experience, Navy really doesn’t need or want this sort of “publicity”, and along with every other Federal agency, Navy is very worried about the possibility of big budget cuts, so toxic stuff like this is likely to be dealt with swiftly that sends a message to others who might otherwise consider engaging in such hostile stupidity.

  40. says

  41. Matt Penfold says

    It’s been like that for a year. 500 comments per page. Except in the mobile layout (last I checked).

    The change to 500 was recent, in the last month or two. People were having problems with pages with more comments failing to load. The pagination limit used to 1000 I think.

  42. mepmep09 says

    Uh, syntax cleanup needed in Aisle 47. Please just do that in your own heads. Thankya.

  43. says

    ‘Tis Himself:

    Long time passing,
    Where did all the comments go,
    Long time ago.
    Where did all the comments go,
    New pages moved them everyone.
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Hahaha I love that song. I had to add some verses.

    Where have all the young trolls gone?
    Long time flaming
    Where have all the young trolls gone?
    Taken proxies every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the young grads gone?
    Long time ranting
    Where have all the young grads gone?
    Gone for lab work every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the lab hands gone?
    Long time posting
    Where have all the lab hands gone?
    Gone to troll blogs, every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

  44. raven says

    Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC), Bangor, Washington …
    ww.globalsecurity.org/wmd/facility/bangor.htm

    24 Jul 2011 – The U.S. Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE), Bangor is located on the … Trident submarines berth at Marginal Pier South and at Delta Pier North and South. … at Bremerton, Washington, was selected as the FBM submarine …

    FYI. Bremerton Navy base is where a lot of Trident missile submarines are based. These are nuclear bomb carriers. There might not be enough nukes to end the world but there is definitely enough to put a big dent in it.

    I’m getting all warm and fuzzy just thinking about a psychotic maniac near all those nuclear megatons.

  45. carlie says

    What krisrhodes said. Peter, if the internet doesn’t mean anything, then being banned doesn’t matter, and how anyone deals with criticism on the internet doesn’t matter. So why are you complaining?

  46. says

    carlie:

    So why are you complaining?

    ’cause Peter’s the Complainer-In-Chief. It is is job — nay, his duty — to complain at any potential banning of an MRA or MRA-like individual. As we all know, threatening rape and murder are just larks, but banning someone is serious fucking business.

  47. sundiver says

    Raven, that yard had all kindsa serious dangerous stuff back in the ’70’s when I was but a humble boiler tech laboring to help overhaul a carrier. There’s enough stuff there to fuck up your life that aint nuclear that the idea of a whackaloon in the same goddamn zipcode as that shit should give anyone with two adjacent brain cells terminal heebiejeebies, to say nothing of the nuclear stuff. Garnetstar, I’d say you did exactly the right thing, and if this guy’s actually in the Navy a UCMJ hassle’s definately in the future. Communicating a threat isn’t looked upon kindly in the military.

  48. Paul says

    Oh fuck off, would you? Jesus Jumpin’ Christ, people like wordplague were showing up at Pharyngula Sciblogs, spewing vile, toxic shit all over the place *long* before TF came and went at FTB.

    I’d say trolls were better back then. Even the toxic ones were less obviously trying to get banned. Hell, it took Survivor to get PZ to drop the hammer on some of the trolls.

    I’m 100% positive that his story was bullshit and that he was using a proxy IP like a typical script kiddie.

    Even script kiddies know better than to use .mil proxies. Who wants to use a proxy through a computer that operates with a limited user account? wordplague really wants us to believe he’s using a proxy. Just noting that if he was really using one, he wouldn’t care if you thought his IP is correct.

  49. garnetstar says

    Thanks, sundiver. What’s a UCMJ? It sounds delicious!

    Perhaps, since wordplague thinks he’s getting raped now, it will give him some perspective.

  50. Rasmus says

    It would be funny if he is a navy employee who’s idea of proxying is to ssh into his own navy account from his computer at home and browse the web through that, as if that would do shit to hide his identity to the navy.

  51. jasonlocklin says

    PZ, I suggest you email the abuse contact for the address ( http://whois.domaintools.com/138.163.106.72 )

    They either have an employee acting very unprofessionally on their computers and potentially dangerous, *or*, they have a hacked server acting as a proxy for nefarious use. Either way, they will want to know about it. Just posting this here is kind of below the bar (if something does happen, would you feel okay about having this information and having not contacted the administration?)

  52. sawells says

    “Uniformed Code of Marsupial Justice” for the win.

    Dammit, we need an “incipient nosecoffee” tag. I just had this suit drycleaned.

  53. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I’m curious how someone would use a .mil as a proxy. The armed forces have a firewall, the networks are pretty secure, etc… as far as I understand it.

    It doesn’t matter how tight you security is if you got the right insider.

    Said insider would be pretty darn stupid if they risk their neck running a proxy for little script kiddies though, so the most parsimonious explanation is that there was no proxy.

  54. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    What’s a UCMJ? It sounds delicious!

    Perhaps, since wordplague thinks he’s getting raped now, it will give him some perspective.

    No prison rape jokes, please okay thanks.

    These do not serve the cause of demolishing patriarchy.

  55. Gaebolga says

    ixchel, I believe that garnetstar was referencing the unfortunate tendency of “oppressed” menz to whine about how they’re getting “raped” by whatever person or organization isn’t giving them exactly what they want, like, right now, dammit!

    But I may be wrong on that score….

  56. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    I’m getting all warm and fuzzy just thinking about a psychotic maniac near all those nuclear megatons.

    There’s absolutely no evidence that this troll is experiencing psychosis, so maybe let’s refrain from stigmatizing people who do experience psychosis by attributing random assholishness to psychosis.*

    *Yes, I know that I’m talking to raven, and raven hates people who experience mental illness, but still, this stigmatization is worth opposing.

  57. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    I believe that garnetstar was referencing the unfortunate tendency of “oppressed” menz to whine about how they’re getting “raped” by whatever person or organization isn’t giving them exactly what they want, like, right now, dammit!

    I agree, but I think the next step of the “joke” implied was “if he thinks he’s getting raped now, just wait ’til prison…”

    Hence the reference to the UCMJ.

  58. says

    Hence the reference to the UCMJ.

    wouldn’t that imply the person knew what UCMJ was?

    anyway, I’d come down on the side of caution and simply point out that whatever garnetstar meant, it looks really fucking close to a prison rape joke, so clarification (if it wasn’t one) or retraction (if it was) would be appreciated.

  59. says

    While I never condone threats or abuse both sides are acting improper. PZ should know better and thus I’m going to talk about at length the toxic environment and how ashamed I am of him. Now excuse me I must go and shove my entire anus up my nose

  60. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    wouldn’t that imply the person knew what UCMJ was?

    anyway, I’d come down on the side of caution and simply point out that whatever garnetstar meant, it looks really fucking close to a prison rape joke, so clarification (if it wasn’t one) or retraction (if it was) would be appreciated.

    Right, fair enough. I’d also be satisfied with not doing it again.

  61. garnetstar says

    ixchel @69, I apologize, my post was ambiguous, and I see now that it could have been interpreted as you did. Sorry about that.

    I did mean what Gaebolga thought, wordplague said that his advisor was raping him by criticizing his performance. Since he’s such a fragile flower as to equate words with rape, I thought in a kangaroo court he’d learn what it really is to be pushed around.

    I didn’t know, actually, that the UCMJs could end in prison sentences (that’s what happens when you spend your life staring at the contents of beakers instead of attending to actuality), so sorry about that inadvertent reference.

    I will try not to be ambiguous in the future.

  62. Gaebolga says

    Jadehawk wrote:

    …because I read it as. “if he thinks his life is shit now, just wait until he gets to experience some actual trouble, the spoiled brat”

    Interesting; I read it as saying “now that he thinks he’s being raped, perhaps it will give him some perspective on what its like to be raped” (with the understanding, of course, that he really, really doesn’t get it at all…which is why it’s funny. If it’s funny. Or intended to be funny in that way. I could qualify that statement some more, if you’d like.)

  63. says

    To bring this back full circle, anyone who can write a post so full of vitriol that it takes me 4 takes to get through it, they deserves two things. A slow clap for stretching the abuse of people and the english language to new and hopefully never seen again levels of 4chanism. And a turbo-banhammer with backdating. And this is coming from me, the guy who generally only posts when I am voicing a disagreement (and not always in the best way).

  64. Celeste says

    I read it the same way Gaebolga did. It sounded like garnetstar was saying, “now that he thinks he knows what it feels like to have something horrible happen to him, maybe he’ll think twice about wishing it on others.”

  65. garnetstar says

    To further illustrate: one of my grad students once mentioned the Navy SEALs, and I thought…..

    No, I’m not going to embarass myself by telling you what I thought, but I did.

    I need to get out more.

  66. 'Tis Himself says

    problem resolved without drama, swearing, or whining about intent. How un-pharynguline of y’all ;-)

    I’m sorry, Ms. Jadehawk. I’ll try harder next fucking time.

  67. garnetstar says

    Not to babble on, but this one actually *is* funny:

    The only contact my family’s ever had with the military was during World War I. My grandfather, an Italian immigrant, signed up because the Army offered to grant citizenship to immigrants who joined.

    They forgot that, in order for my grandfather to function as a soldier, he’d have to be able to speak English. Oops.

    So he spent 1917 – 1918 in English class, never even learned what “ranks” are. Then the war ended, my grandfather became a citizen, and he could speak English as well!

    And that is why your Garnetstar is with you today.

  68. Gaebolga says

    Esteleth wrote:

    Intent! Still not magic.™

    [Emphasis original]

    I don’t know; they seem equally useful….

  69. otrame says

    @garnetstar

    Given the way immigrants from Italy were still being treated at the time, I think his willingness to fight gives him the right to citizenship, whether he actually did fight or not.

    Great story, though.

  70. RFW says

    @ #8 spartonian says:

    If he’s logged in to an NMCI machine, the administrators can track it to the user, and the Navy isn’t kind to folks indulging in hate speech.

    And if the crap is being relayed through a machine on the NMCI network, the Navy will take an equally dim view of outsiders utilizing their networks to spew hate. Can we say “Federal crime”?

    There may be a secondary issue in that some legitimate user of a machine on the NMCI network inadvertently allowed it to become infected with malware, which has then been exploited by what’s-his-face.

    Stay tune. I hope what’s-his-face has his affairs in good order, because he can soon expect a visit from Federal marshals.

  71. 'Tis Himself says

    garnetstar,

    My military experience lets me believe that story with no trouble at all.

    One day when I was in a submarine ever so many years ago I had just got off watch and was eating lunch with a friend of mine who was an A-Ganger.* We were just finishing when the A-Ganger’s chief told him there was a problem with the diesel. Since I had nothing else to do I went with my friend and we both worked on the engine’s lube oil pump. The Engineer came by just as we were finishing the job. He asked me why I was working on the diesel and I told him it was something different from what I usually did (which was valve maintenance). The next time we pulled into our home port I was sent to an eight-week diesel maintenance course. So because I helped a friend I was taught basic diesel repair.

    *In nuclear submarines there are two types of Machinist’s Mates (mechanics). Nukes who work on mechanical systems with any connection to the reactor (I was a nuke). Auxiliarymen who worked on non-nuclear machinery (air systems, hydraulics, potable and sea water systems, etc.).

  72. says

    nigelTheBold, Venomous Demonic Hater @25 –

    This stumps me, too. How on earth does one get jollies that way?

    And where does it come from? From them, somewhere inside them?

    Okay, that was enough thinking about that. Off to the brain bidet!

  73. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Thank you, Krasnaya Koshka, for that very disturbing image.

    Brain bidet?

    Is that like a normal bidet? Or do you have to hold your head up-side down? Every possibility worries me.

  74. says

    Janine, it’s rather easy if you have a flexible-hosed shower head with the “really, that’s supposed to be a massage? But it’s massively painful!” setting that I do. Because, well, it takes fairly ferocious water pressure to bidet a brain.

    But I’m done, and happy again.

  75. says

    Sheesh. And to think I stopped following that thread literally eight comments before wordplague’s first post because I thought it was fizzling out.

    Maybe I should start using the subscription feature.

  76. says

    Trolling is a power play made by those with no self esteem. The troll(s) in question know that they would just embarrass themselves if they tried to have a real debate with intelligent and charming Freethought commentators. Trolling is akin to indecent exposure–“Hey! I made someone prettier than myself look at my junk! That’s like 1/16 as good as actually having sex!”

  77. katansi says

    There’s also Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Subase Bangor in Silverdale a couple miles north which I think got combined into something like Naval Base Kitsap. Depending on how their internet is the networks could be linked back to the same whatever, I do not know how things like that work but the military does a lot of joint base operations when it comes to garbage like that. Subs come into both bases and I want to say that part of the nuke training is there and there are also Marines.

    SO! There is totally an MP unit on each base and they may be the people to contact.

    http://www.cnic.navy.mil/kitsap/index.htm

  78. Rip Steakface says

    I’m ashamed to know there are people as horrible as wordplague in my home state.

  79. spamamander, more skeptical-er and rational-er than you says

    Hmmm my ex father-in-law was a nuclear machinist at PSNS for many years after he retired from the sub service, which is why my ex is from Silverdale.

    (Absolutely kidding, none of my ex’s family would be involved in that kind of hate trolling. The worst thing I got from them was having to eat potato sausage when we visited the Minnesota clan.)

  80. puppygod says

    Looks like a Marine animal to me.

    Laugh if you want.

    Many years ago, when I was wee puppy, I read somewhere about US NAVY using orcas and sea-lions for retrieval of sunken training torpedoes. It just happened that week or so later I heard the name “Navy SEAL” for the first time in my life. It was pretty obvious conclusion…

  81. lawmom says

    So to sum up, a bored graduate student with nothing to do but babysit a lab in the overnight hours is upset that he was reprimanded for allowing the liquid nitrogen to run out. It seems that if he used this downtime to inventory supplies, he’d solve the discipline problem as well as the boredom issue all at the same time.

    As a taxpayer, I am offended that my hard-earned money is paying for this student to be playing on the internet when he should be working, regardless of the harmful nature of his posts.

  82. cjmitchell says

    @46 Garnetstar:

    Nitrogen and lasers can be used for all sorts of applications, including micro/cell biology, material science (surfaces or particle size/shape analysis), disassembly of machine parts or nuclear casings, etc… any or all of the above. I’ve never worked with them but I know researchers who have. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bremerton had many labs equipped this way, considering the size of the shipyard and research facilities.

    Bremerton, and facilities that work in nuclear or biological applications, do really take security seriously. If this troll is working with dangerous equipment, it means he passed a background check and is subject to continuing security evaluations. I suspect that they’ll be very interested in finding out who he is before they have a particularly unhinged moment IRL.

  83. A. R says

    PZ: I have a friend who occasionally does work in some of the Navy labs in Bremerton. I might be able to have them investigate a bit if you want.

  84. says

    Many years ago, when I was wee puppy, I read somewhere about US NAVY using orcas and sea-lions for retrieval of sunken training torpedoes. It just happened that week or so later I heard the name “Navy SEAL” for the first time in my life. It was pretty obvious conclusion…

    Dolphins not orcas. There’s a pretty good skeptoid podcast on that that also addresses rumors that they have dolphin assassins with knives strapped to their flippers.

  85. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Totally OT, but:

    Dolphins not orcas.

    Aren’t orcas dolphins?

  86. says

    @Gnumann

    Yes but not all dolphins are orcas

    To my knowledge the stories were about not-orcas.

    Cause you know the point of having a aquatic scout for investigation and recovery and mine disposal would sort of rule out the biggest species of dolphin.

    Same reason we don’t have sumo wrestlers act as jockeys

  87. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Same reason we don’t have sumo wrestlers act as jockeys

    Now, that I would like to see, but I’m a cruel man that don’t like horses very much (except for dinner).

  88. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ 115

    Well, yes, but according to wikipedia, both orcas and dolphins are part of the oceanic dolphins – the Delphinidae family of cetaceans.

    Is it wrong I posted this because I’ll probably never be able to use Delphinidae in every day conversation? Or orcas, for that matter.

  89. reasonabel says

    Hi, i’m from the Navy. If you could forward all information about this suspect to me I would appreciate it. Lord knows we don’t have anything better to do than police blogs.

  90. puppygod says

    Dolphins not orcas. There’s a pretty good skeptoid podcast on that that also addresses rumors that they have dolphin assassins with knives strapped to their flippers.

    Well, it was two decades ago or so. Though I’d swear I clearly remember photo of orca with forwarder claws-like contraption on the nose.

    Upon some googling and reading wikipedia article about U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program as it is apparently called, it seems that they did use orcas at some point, so I might not be confabulating after all.

  91. Gaebolga says

    Well, Fluffy, all you have to do to work “orca” into a conversation is to start talking about the odious film career of one Dino DeLaurentis.

    I think I just threw up in my brain.

  92. says

    @Fluffy

    The point was that orca is very specific, while the actual claim of trained cetacean wet workers…ha HA see what I did there…was not for that specific species, to the best of my recollection.

  93. says

    Upon some googling and reading wikipedia article about U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program as it is apparently called, it seems that they did use orcas at some point, so I might not be confabulating after all.

    huh…well fuck me.

    I guess I just gave the Navy more credit to have the foresight to recognize that for the goal of navigating wrecks, stealth sabatogue of ships and disarming mines you wouldn’t want an animal as big as a sports boat.

  94. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I guess I just gave the Navy more credit to have the foresight to recognize that for the goal of navigating wrecks, stealth sabatogue of ships and disarming mines you wouldn’t want an animal as big as a sports boat.

    Perhaps they thought the ability to chow down enemy divers in two gulps might be useful, though I would hate to be the one training them for that.

  95. Gaebolga says

    Well, maybe not for those purposes, Ing, but orcas can take out seals like they were kittens.

    Hell, maybe even Navy ones….

    Where’s ORCA Team 6?

  96. says

    @Gnumann

    Awesome but impractical

    Same result if you can just attach a blade to a dolphin or sea lion’s flipper.

    Plus it’s over kill. in the water against any of the Delphinidae or Sea Lion a human is just a big fleshy bobbing balloon of organs warped in cellophane.

  97. Gaebolga says

    Yeah, but if you get a Sea Loin on land they’re just a…one-ton wall of angry death.

  98. says

    Basically as I see it you already have boats, sumbarines etc for muscle and tanks…training sea mammels is to get speed, agility and stealth that human’s can’t match.

    plus I recall one goal to be to train them to slap an adhesive explosive pay load onto a target, so yeah smaller is better to avoid detection.

    For infiltrators you go with dolphins and sea lions, if you want to make a killing machine to give 00 status to you pick an orca because they already come with their own suit

  99. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    At least with sea lion pups, the orcas like to play with their food, kinda the same way as cats. So yes, smaller dolphins with blades lasers on their heads would be more effective.

    I think tumblers are especially vicious (just in case the overlord is listening, but I should expect he knows all these things).

  100. Gaebolga says

    Then again the military is the same org that spent a metric butt load of money putting a radio inside a cat only to then let the cat get hit by a taxi cab

    Yeah, okay…hadn’t heard that one.

    Dish!

  101. puppygod says

    plus I recall one goal to be to train them to slap an adhesive explosive pay load onto a target, so yeah smaller is better to avoid detection.

    Maybe they were hoping that enemy seeing orca will think along the lines of “Wow, it reminds me that one visit to the Marineland” and not “Drop the depth charges!”. Like many great military strategies, it might actually work.

    Once.

  102. says

    Most people wouldn’t think of the common house cat as being a potential master of espionage, but the CIA sure did. In the 1960s, American intelligence is said to have spent over $20 million on “Acoustic Kitty,” a top-secret project that used cats as recording devices. The project took a group of specially trained cats and surgically implanted microphones, antennae and batteries into their tails, and then set them loose near the Russian embassy. The idea was that an unassuming cat would be able to stride right up to groups of communist officials and listen in on their conversation, which it could then beam back to agents with its sophisticated radio equipment. The plan was eventually put into action, but the first cat sent into the field was supposedly run over by a taxi before it could make a recording, and operation ‘Acoustic Kitty” was abandoned shortly thereafter.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_Kitty

  103. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    specially trained cats

    Someone has too much time on their hands, time better spent on monitoring their networks I might add.

  104. Gaebolga says

    Wow.

    Poor cat. And cats.

    But aside from that: bwa ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  105. says

    There was also a WWII program that sought to use trained pidgeons as little diesel punk targeting computers for missiles. BK Skinner was involved (no surprise).

    I choose to imagine that that’s what’s controlling the flying turrets in Bioshock

  106. robro says

    Ing @ #139 — “American intelligence”…Isn’t that an oxymoron? The cat spy experiment isn’t a testament to intelligence.

  107. puppygod says

    There was also a WWII program that sought to use trained pidgeons as little diesel punk targeting computers for missiles. BK Skinner was involved (no surprise).

    Oh, I remember this one. It was pretty ingenious and actually quite promising. They trained pigeons to hit ship silhouette with their beaks and used touchscreen-like device to feed the signal into missile controls. But then somebody invented transistor and homing missile pigeons become obsolete.

  108. A. R says

    More bizarre military uses for animals

    1. Using chickens to keep nuclear land mines from freezing(Link) (UK)
    2. Using bats with incendiary devices strapped to them to destroy Japanese towns (that one has a twist ending) (Link) (US)
    3. Using dogs as anti-tank devices (Link) (Soviet Union)
    4. As sabotage weapons to destroy enemy factories (Link) (UK)

  109. reasonabel says

    While Orcas belong to the oceanic dolphin family, they are whales.

    This is just wrong. All dolphins are whales. Its the equivalent of saying that human beings are monkeys because because both are apes.

    To give you some idea:

    Whale -> Toothed Whales -> Dolphins -> Orcas
    Whale -> Baleen Whale -> Rorquals -> Blue Whale

  110. says

    @Robro

    It is an amazing testimony to the compartmentalization of competency.

    Actually making the cat was a triumph of engineering, surgery and batshit sadism/callousness.

    Losing it the way they did and also actually thinking up that idea is a triumph of fucking idiocy.

    So yes, they ironically had to be fucking brilliant to reach that level of epic stupidity!

  111. David Marjanović says

    While Orcas belong to the oceanic dolphin family, they are whales.

    Wha – no, that’s not how it works. See comments 127 and 146.

    [insert shaken seal joke here]

    ?

  112. johnfreethinker says

    I am hoping someone can answer my challenge. It may not relate to what the original post contained, but it cuts to the bone of this blog.

    I have been recovering from a severe depression, in which I began to feel I had no hope at all. After I left the hospital, someone I trust told me part of my problem was that I did not believe we have life outside this body.

    Without hope in another and better world, it did seem that everything was bleak, especially the prospect of another depression. So I began studying about an afterlife, especially the phenomenon called the near-death experience (NDE). I read Moody, Van Lommel, Long, Atwater, and others on this subject. I researched NDE extensively on the Web.

    From the abundance of evidence, I have concluded that I will live again, in this or another world. I am not just a bunch of chemicals reacting, but a spiritual being temporarily traveling in this world. This realization is beginning to transform me into a much more peaceful, spiritual person.

    But am I now deluded in believing that consciousness goes on beyond death, and that therefore there is hope? This is my challenge: I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

  113. says

    johnfreethinker I believe is not new but is an old troll, IIRC if not I appologize.

    Also I think you’re lying. If not I apologize.

    Also go to TZT for this.

    I researched NDE extensively on the Web.

    If you did you would have found that it has a simple physiological explanation and can be induced in people who have no chance of actually dying.

    @David Marjanović

    Navy Seals.

    Get it?

  114. says

    @A. R.

    Thanks for the links. Nuclear mines, really?

    From wiki: “It does seem like an April Fool but it most certainly is not. The Civil Service does not do jokes.”

  115. dean says

    …have dolphin assassins with knives strapped to their flippers.

    No no no. You attach a limpet mine to a dolphin. Didn’t you ever see Day of the Dolphin?

  116. says

    I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

    What nonsense. Just because something ends is no argument against enjoying it while it lasts. That’s like asking “Why get high if you’re going to end up sober again later?” or “Why open the beer if there’s only 12 ounces in it?” or “Why watch Firefly when there’s only 14 episodes?” All of them very silly questions.

  117. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I am hoping someone can answer my challenge. It may not relate to what the original post contained, but it cuts to the bone of this blog.

    Not only are you very, very silly and pompous, but you’re also in the wrong thread. If you want to talk about something off-topic and also nonsensical, go here.

  118. says

    I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

    If we all promise to be as miserable as you think we should be will you leave us alone?

  119. Paul says

    This is my challenge: I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

    Presume there is no “spiritual being”.

    Let’s say you’re an astronaut. You’re going to be one of the first people to populate a settlement on another planet. You’re leaving in a week. You will never see any of the people that are not part of your mission again.

    Is there any purpose or value in the week before your trip, or do you ignore everyone else since they’re all “dead to you” within a week anyway?

    Won’t really touch on anything else since this feels like a troll, but I’m curious as to your answer.

  120. says

    @150

    So I began studying about an afterlife, especially the phenomenon called the near-death experience (NDE). I read Moody, Van Lommel, Long, Atwater, and others on this subject. I researched NDE extensively on the Web.

    If you researched it then you surely must have noticed that people “go” wherever they expect they would go before the NDE. That makes a strong case for it being a delusion instead of reality. People who take powerful hallucinogenic drugs report similar things.

    This is my challenge: I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death

    No one can prove a negative. I can’t prove there isn’t an invisible unicorn that directs the flow of after death spirits, but I can say that it seems pretty damn unlikely to exist because there is no real evidence of such a thing existing.

  121. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Won’t really touch on anything else since this feels like a troll, but I’m curious as to your answer.

    Which, again, he should place in this thread.

  122. says

    He’s posting on every fucking thread he can find. Fuck em. He’s a drive by. I also do not appreciate one second his dishonest coopting of people’s actual struggles with depression or suicidal thoughts. I don’t think he’s honest for one second and I think he’s a fucking monster for pulling the “believe in god or i’ll kill myself” card.

  123. reasonabel says

    Its the equivalent of saying that human beings are monkeys because because both are apes.

    Thats actually a bad analogy. Let me try again:

    While Orcas belong to the oceanic dolphin family, they are whales.

    While human beings belong to the great apes family they are apes.

  124. Paul says

    Which, again, he should place in this thread.

    Ah, I didn’t realize single threads that seem to have wrapped up weren’t fair game anymore (as long as things don’t get too silly). Also didn’t realize he was posting in multiple threads.

    So now there’s a Zombie thread on top of TET? What decides which posts belong in which?

  125. says

    I don’t get the upset with releasing someone’s IP address.

    A board I used to use (I think it was an NBC space tech board, years ago) used to put EVERYONE’S IP address in plain sight alongside their name in every comment.

    If I had a blog with people trolling and harassing, exposing their IP address would be a standard practice for me.

  126. mythbri says

    Regarding “Acoustic Kitty” – if I recall, the reason that the poor cat was immediately hit by a taxi cab upon deployment was because they had spent so much time training it to ignore distractions (and you know, not be a cat) that it didn’t even notice the cab as it made a beeline across the street toward the target.

  127. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    they had spent so much time training it to ignore distractions (and you know, not be a cat)

    Wow, that’s going to go a long way towards defusing suspicion.

  128. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    So now there’s a Zombie thread on top of TET? What decides which posts belong in which?

    TZT is for trolls, vitriolic arguments between regulars that make the social environment in TET unpleasant, and lengthy, involved arguments that derail/take over threads about other things (right now, a discussion about free will, for instance). PZ sometimes quarantines trolls to there as a mid-step between ignoring them and banning them. In general: Off-topic posting belongs in TET, unless it’s trolling, in which case TZT.

  129. says

    @mythbri

    Possibly, however I can’t shake the feeling that “we trained the cat too well” is a bit of a ego salvaging story for the actual problem of “we put a radio in a fucking cat”

  130. says

    Wow, that’s going to go a long way towards defusing suspicion.

    To be fair if you saw a cat acting strange would you presume it was somehow a spy or that it was just a cat?

  131. says

    @Ing

    I might assume it was something like the fly from 5th Element. I would also wonder, this project was in the 60’s how big was this cat and how short of range was the radio?

  132. says

    @Icaarus

    Yes but after you thought that would you then shake your head and remind yourself that that was a movie and you’re talking about real world security and a real cat!

    Refuge in Audacity.

  133. Owlmirror says

    To give you some idea:

    Whale -> Toothed Whales -> Dolphins -> Orcas
    Whale -> Baleen Whale -> Rorquals -> Blue Whale

    Phylogeny!


    Whale (Cetecea)
     │
     ├──Toothed Whale (Odontocetae)
     │   │
     │   ├─Sperm Whale (Physeteroidea)
     │   │
     │   └─Dolphin, Oceanic (Delphinidae)
     │      │
     │      ├─Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops)
     │      │
     │      └─Orca (Orcinus)
     │
     └──Baleen Whale (Mysticetae)
         │
         ├─Right Whale/Bowhead Whale (Balaenidae)
         │
         └─Rorquals (Balaenopteridae)
            │
            ├─Humpback Whale (Megapterinae)
            │
            └─Blue Whale (Balaenoptera)

  134. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    Then again the military is the same org that spent a metric butt load of money putting a radio inside a cat only to then let the cat get hit by a taxi cab

    I think that was the CIA, but your point still stands.

    This is the same bunch who, at the time, were supervised by a man who, half seriously, insisted that the way to destroy the Soviet Union was to drop condoms over the entire nation. The condoms were to be about two feet long and would be labelled: “Capitalist Condom: Extra Small.” I really wonder how seriously some of these people took their assignments. Or how seriously the managers took the assignments.

  135. says

    Which when you think about it is a moronic decision for a bugged bug. People are going to try to kill a roach even when it’s just a roach!

    Make it a lady bug where people will just ignore it.

  136. says

    Lets just back up one second, I completely missed the most amazing part of this. THEY TRAINED A CAT!!!!! Seriously??? How do you do that???

  137. mythbri says

    @Ing

    Based on the fact that they put a fucking radio in a cat, I have my suspicions about the methods of “training” they used as well. One is certainly cruel, the other is very likely cruel also.

    And honestly, if I saw a cat acting strangely it would not surprise me at all to discover that it was part of a vast feline conspiracy. The only thing that would make me doubt it is that it would be too conformist for them. ;)

  138. Owlmirror says

    Humans are monkeys, for a broad enough (phylogenetic) definition of “monkey”.

    But then, humans (and monkeys) are fish, for a broad enough (phylogenetic) definition of “fish”.

    Embrace your inner fish!

  139. reasonabel says

    @owlmirror

    It owns, but I can see how people get honestly confused on that subject.

  140. Owlmirror says

    I have never trained a cat, but it occurred to me that if you gave a cat food in association with the recorded sound of the target speaking in Russian (presumably from conventional bugs/microphones), you might get a Pavlovian tendency to associate the target speaking in Russian with food.

  141. says

    The sidetracks today have been kinda awesome. Nuclear subs, trained cats, various cetaceans, monkeys and other mammals. All while discussing marsupial codes of law. Just wondering if any official Navy response has been received to the original quackery that started this?.

  142. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    Ing:

    I am trying to find a book that I have that is a critical history of the CIA. If I recall (I last read the book a decade ago), it was an attempt at radio control of the cat — left, right, stop, go. The movements of the domestic cat were jerky as the interface between the radio transmitter and the parts of the brain that controlled movement were very approximate (not to mention (given the state of state of the art technology at the time) really large). They managed, with the final ‘prototype’ (yes, there were multiple tries at this), to get a cat that would go where the radio controller wanted it to go. The idea was to use the cat, with explosives, as an assassination device.

    The test was to walk the cat across a street and under a table at which sat three CIA officers. The cat was killed by a taxi while crossing the street.

    I will look for the book tonight and try to find that particular passage. It was from a time, pre-Vietnam, when the CIA assumed itself to be all powerful and capable of anything. Considering the experiments with LSD (which involved the suicide of some of the people involved), the various assassination attempts throughout the world (many would be absolutely hilarious if they weren’t actually trying to kill people) and the absolute and mind blowing gullibility shown by these intelligence professionals.

  143. raven says

    John the troll:

    This is my challenge: I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

    That is so simple. Your life is a net negative for the human species. It’s value isn’t zero, it is highly negative. You are a xian and a troll, a twofer.

    Yet you are still alive.

    This shows that belief in an afterlife (if it exists) does not provide value to people’s lives.

    Ask the suicide bombers in the ME and those who flew jets into the world trade center. They clearly believed in an afterlive where they would be humping their brains out with 72 virgins. And all they did of note was kill thousands of random strangers, another clear negative value for their existence.

    PS I realize john the notthinker is a liar and a xian, which is sort of a redundant, but my life was running out of purpose temporarily so I decided to play with a troll. A troll is at least real as opposed to any afterlife.

  144. says

    My mind is now imagining a combination of all topics.

    Trained orcas suddenly breach up out of the waves and flop themselves onto the deck of an enemy ship! They open their mouths and out runs two dozen trained kamakazi cats

  145. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Humans are monkeys, for a broad enough (phylogenetic) definition of “monkey”.

    But then, humans (and monkeys) are fish, for a broad enough (phylogenetic) definition of “fish”.

    Embrace your inner fish!

    I find it a bit easier to look at a macaque and think “hi coz!” than a salmon.

    OTOH there’s monkfish…

  146. Owlmirror says

    David Marjanović missed the opportunity to point out:

    — Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
    — Nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of phylogeny.

    So I guess I it’s up to me.

  147. says

    ‘Tis Himself #62

    The Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Reality aside, I prefer Firesign Theatre’s Secret Code of Military Toughness.


    Ing: Gerund of Death #120

    Also dolphin can also refer to a type of fish so…yeah.

    When I was a kid my parents took their first vacation to the Caribbean. My dad was all happy that he had caught a “big dolphin”. I was in tears.

  148. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Nuclear subs, trained cats,

    And to add to the chaos, I misread that.
    (Yes, my brain is a silly place sometimes.)

  149. johnfreethinker says

    I said that my life was becoming more spiritual, more hopeful, because I believe in life after death. For this I get compared to Islamic jihadis? I would rather jump out a window myself, if it would prevent another 9-11.

    So no one has an answer, only insults and that dreaded word “troll”. What I am trolling for is anyone who can answer my question, and you have not.

    Again, if my life (or consciousness) ends at death, where is hope?

  150. KG says

    But am I now deluded in believing that consciousness goes on beyond death, and that therefore there is hope? – johnfreethinker

    Yes. There is not the slightest reason to believe in any such thing.

    This is my challenge: I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

    Trivially easy: I believe “it all ends at death”, yet I have hopes, purposes and values. The same, of course, is true of millions of others.

  151. says

    @john

    If you didn’t want to be called troll you wouldn’t have splattered copypasta against all the walls.

    If life doesn’t end with death why not kill yourself?

    I also don’t think your earnest about your depression one bit and as someone who has had depression and all that jazz and know people who have had problems with suicidal thoughts I find your little jape quite offensive.

    So how about you answer my question; if we all promise to be miserable will you go away?

  152. johnfreethinker says

    Oh, and as for being a stealth Christian: that’s easy. Christ be damned, and the Father and Holy Spirit screw each other. Good enough? I do not believe in God, but I don’t disbelieve. I do believe that I will live beyond this life, or else there is no value and no hope.

  153. says

    FFS why should we even have to prove this. Isn’t the fact that we’re not utter depressed twits evidence enough?

    Frankly you sound like you’re personally offended that we’re all not suicidal or miserable.

    I don’t know if there’s hope in life but I have ample art supplies, a job offer lined up, and a nigh infinite amount of cartoons on Netflix and Going Postal arriving in the mail which is a close enough approximation for me!

    What’s that *listens to whispering*

    Oh I’m also married to someone wonderful…that’s nice too

  154. reasonabel says

    I said that my life was becoming more spiritual, more hopeful, because I believe in life after death.

    Ok, so why would you want to prejudice that by putting it up to scrutiny? Here’s your honest answer. There is no hope for you after death, you will cease to exist as a consciousness. There may be some glimmer of hope in that the things you do and create while you are alive could have an impact long after your death.

    There’s no hope for Leonardo Da Vinci from his point of view, but there’s still a lasting value in his life.

  155. says

    I said that my life was becoming more spiritual, more hopeful, because I believe in life after death.

    It makes me happy to think about the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
    Therefore…

  156. says

    Well we can’t KNOW that there’s no afterlife…but there’s no reason to hold out hope for one.

    Hell even if I wanted some form of non-death, there’s no chance for me to get the one I want. I want 12 regenerations to experience the universe through time and through 13 sets of different eyes.

  157. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Again, if my life (or consciousness) ends at death, where is hope?

    What a fuckwitted question. Only presuppositionalists use that fuckwitted and leading, but inane question. You see, what makes it inane is your deity is imaginary, you don’t have a soul, and when you die your existence ends. Prove otherwise with evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature like this, showing NDEs are scientifically explained as hypoxia, brain shutting down and starting up, and false memories. If you lie about that, what else will you lie about? I presume any and everything…

  158. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    Again, if my life (or consciousness) ends at death, where is hope?

    Obviously, I cannot speak for you or for anyone else, but here is my take:

    I will end — physically, mentally, my conscious and subconscious, everything — when I die. But, in a couple of ways, I will continue. My children, and their children, will be a part of this world. My goal is twofold — make the world a better place for my progeny and for everyone else in the world, and ensure that those who know me remember me in a positive way. Neither of those will make a bit of difference to me as I will be dead, but it helps me feel better now.

    And you will (I predict) either ignore what I just wrote, or try to twist what I have written into either hopelessness or a belief in an afterlife because you are a bit of an asshole.

  159. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    So no one has an answer, only insults and that dreaded word “troll”. What I am trolling for is anyone who can answer my question, and you have not.

    You can start with the fact that you posted your inane little “challenge” on a completely unrelated thread and apparently feel ENTITLED to decide the topic of discussion for a whole lot of people who have seen this shit repeatedly before and are bored to tears of it.

  160. johnfreethinker says

    This is very disappointing. I had really expected more than sophomoronic slurs. Now as to the point that we can have hope and value etc., without living beyond death: the Islamic jihadis on 9-11 had no value for others’ lives. but plenty of hope for an adolescent afterlife, according to their scriptures.

    Of course that invalidates Islam as a path to truth, but that is beside the point. If at death we become dust, so do our children and the entire species. So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

  161. 'Tis Himself says

    Dear John the troll,

    Believe whatever you want. Just don’t insist everyone else believe what you do.

  162. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    This is very disappointing. I had really expected more than sophomoronic slurs.

    Damn, I’m good. I predicted the asshole would ignore my comment and, lo and behold, it did!

  163. says

    If at death we become dust, so do our children and the entire species.

    I’m ok with that. Why is that such a problem for you to accept.

    I AM OK WITH THAT

    So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

    What is with this game: “either prove me wrong, upon which I threaten to kill myself or I mock you for not proving me wrong upon which I demand you be miserable”

  164. reasonabel says

    If at death we become dust, so do our children and the entire species. So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    Yes, entropy will win and eventually there will be nothing left. Not even photons of light. You believing otherwise won’t change that.

  165. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had really expected more than sophomoronic slurs.

    Then give us something other than fuckwittery and presupposition. Show your imginary deity exists with conclusive physical evidence, like an eternally burning bush or equivalent. Show your soul exists with similar conclusive physical evidence. Or, shut the fuck up as a person of honesty and integrity would do when they can’t put up the required evidence. Because if they can’t shut the fuck up, they are tacitly conceding they are liars and bullshitters. Your choice cricket. Choose wisely.

  166. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    john, you’re in the wrong thread. I told you this already. You are displaying a stunning lack of respect for the people here by derailing an unrelated thread to spew your bullshit.

  167. says

    Of course that invalidates Islam as a path to truth,

    Wait a tic…no it does not!

    Why would it? When did Islam get invalidated in this conversation? Where? Because you don’t like what the Jihadists did? Well if they’re right that hardly matters, now doesn’t it! And even if they’re wrong there’s still the rest of Islam that is not murderous and provides hope and meaning for a good chunk of the world population? Can you prove them wrong?

  168. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    How the fuck did we go from rape jokes to remote-controlled cats to life after death? What do they have in common?

  169. 'Tis Himself says

    I find value and hope in my present life. I don’t feel the need for my consciousness to continue after my death. So sorry, John the troll, you’ll not get satisfaction to your gotcha question from me.

    You might have better luck talking to some goddists. They do afterlives.

  170. says

    I mean if we’re going by what the consequences is and rejected thsoe we don’t like I’d much rather not think about a future where you keep blathering on when I want to talk about nuclear powered cyborg cats riding laser dolphins in their war against the Kangaroo/pigeon alliance.

  171. reasonabel says

    Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus
    17 July 2012 at 5:57 pm
    How the fuck did we go from rape jokes to remote-controlled cats to life after death? What do they have in common?

    Copter-cat, obviously.

  172. Paul says

    Oh, I was going to point out that I just saw John Freethinker on another thread (somewhere on FTB, too many tabs going atm to check) who was going full Islamophobe (“hello fellow Atheists, isn’t it terrible how those Muslims want to rape your women? Why can’t they be more like those Christians”).

    Looks like it’s the same guy.

  173. says

    How the fuck did we go from rape jokes to remote-controlled cats to life after death? What do they have in common?

    If we’re on life after death then that means we stopped talking ab otu remote cats and other biopunk ideas…a prospect I do not enjoy.

    Therefore until someone can prove otherwise we are still talking about murderous sea otters and espionage poodles

  174. says

    Oh, I was going to point out that I just saw John Freethinker on another thread (somewhere on FTB, too many tabs going atm to check) who was going full Islamophobe (“hello fellow Atheists, isn’t it terrible how those Muslims want to rape your women? Why can’t they be more like those Christians”).

    Thought so.

    Let me be snarky John Free Thought “I encourage anything that moves you more and more towards the spiritual realm”

  175. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    What do they have in common?

    Copter-cat, obviously.

    I was thinking more along the lines of all of them being people who think their view of the world should be adopted by everyone regardless of whether they want to or not.

    Coptercat works, though.

  176. says

    Btw John I gave a long thought out insult free response to you…but since you copy pasted your screed in so many places I have no idea where it is. Happy hunting!

  177. says

    I wish all of us (unbelievers) would get the memo that, no matter how irritating or ignorant Christianity and Christians can be, at least they are not going to bomb our towers or rape our daughters. Muslims will do these things and more.

    It is their doctrine, their history, and their practice. “Allah has given thee spoils of war”, Qur’an 33.50, and they have obeyed that and 1000 verses like it for 1400 years. At least Christianity teaches love; Islam teaches hatred, violation, and murder.

    To restate: Christianity is a thorn in our side. Islam is more like a venomous fang. We must pull out that fang and crush the serpent before we can pluck the thorn. Anyone who denies the imminent threat of Islam, I invite to google “Bare Naked Islam”.

    You’re a fucking monster John. I normally don’t do this but between your dishonest pity whoring upon the backs of people who actually suffered from mental illness and your racism let me make this perfectly clear.

    I really really REALLY wish you’d lose hope.

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    whateverthefuck the name of that godbot with an NDE-obsession was, right?

    I don’t think it is Shiloh/SciFi, as its shtick is a bit different. Kenny was the old one who was monomania on the subject.

  179. says

    Though Shiloh/Scifi I hate to say it, seemed above this bullshit.

    I posted my comment before seeing Paul’s link, which is another, possibly more parsimonious explanation. OTOH, scifi did try that schtick of “I’m not a Christian, but look, evidence for NDEs!” crap, which is why I immediately thought of sockpuppeting

  180. johnfreethinker says

    Actually, Islam is a good path- if one likes robbing, raping and murdering. Why not? Mohammed had a 9-year-old wife. Anyone who (sigh) calls me an “Islamophobe” should check out Bare Naked Islam. Even the Islamic afterlife is hell for women.

    Now could someone please tell me what value or hope I have, if life does not continue beyond death?

  181. says

    Shiloh/Scifi just read from a script and rewound the tape constantly. AFAIK he never pulled the “or I’ll shoot the bunny” gimmick.

    Here’s one thing I have hope for. I hope that one day we advance as a species to not have people like Johnfreethought.

  182. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    John, you can believe whatever the fuck you want, but that don’t make it true. Indeed, if you have to believe it, it probably isn’t true.

    What you say adds up to saying that if there is no life after death, you don’t have any hope for life after death. Which merits a “well, duh” from the audience.

    The only reason that anybody hopes for life after death is that a religion has told them there would be life after death. Whichever religious person told you that was lying to you. But somehow you end up over here bitching at us honest people for disappointing you. We didn’t lie to you, we didn’t make you tithe your allowance, we didn’t make you sit in stiff clothes on a hard pew all your sunny Sunday mornings. We aren’t the ones to be mad at or to be demanding explanations from.

    For you to say that you turning to dust condemns the species is really a dumb-ass thought. The species will go on, just fine without you, and will probably do a bit better without you depressing up the place, competing for resources and wasting bandwidth–plus your decayed body gets recycled (hopefully into someone a bit smarter).

    Your ‘nym is hilariously inappropriate, BTW.

  183. says

    Actually, Islam is a good path- if one likes robbing, raping and murdering. Why not? Mohammed had a 9-year-old wife. Anyone who (sigh) calls me an “Islamophobe” should check out Bare Naked Islam. Even the Islamic afterlife is hell for women.

    So if Islam is right none of that stuff matters though? So how do you invalidate it.

    Also please please PLEASE go meditate in a tumble dryer you fascist piece of shit.

  184. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    john, I have to conclude, from the fact that you’re still posting in the wrong thread, that you’re not actually reading the responses to you. For that reason,* I can’t be bothered to post any sort of response to your bullshit insincere questions.

  185. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Does anybody want to talk more about Whales? Whales are cool.

    I’m kinda afraid of whales. True story.

  186. says

    On the off chance Johnfreeballingit hasn’t compleatly shut off his mind, why don’t you read this thread http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/12/modern-bravery/ for people talking about what actual MEers are actually like.

    Fucking savage barbarian selfish racist thug. I would much prefer to be around my arab friends than any ‘freethinker’ like you. I wouldn’t trade 50 decent Muslims for you. If a mad man put you and a nice muslim in a death trap and made me chose who to save I would have already unlocked the Muslim chap and be skipping merrily along before he finished his posh laughter.

  187. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Now could someone please tell me what value or hope I have, if life does not continue beyond death?

    So far, you haven’t demonstrated that you have any value whatsoever. I suppose there’s at least a slim hope you might change that someday.

  188. johnfreethinker says

    “I really really REALLY wish you would give up hope.” and that to a man with bipolar II, one eye and no sleep. Amazing. But if anyone can answer my challenge, please email me at johnfreethinker@gmail. Otherwise I am out of here.

  189. says

    and that to a man with bipolar II, one eye and no sleep.

    I don’t care. that does not excuse your fucking assholery.

    I told you the “or I’ll kill myself” game was not going to work with me. If I thought you were not bullshiting even slightly I’d be ‘civil’ but I am damn sure you are cynically being exploitative. Because you’re shit. Shit does not deserve hope. Shit deserves a good flushing and some fabreez on the carpet it was on.

  190. grendelsfather says

    This is my challenge: I defy you to show that there is any hope or purpose or value to life, if it all ends at death.

    Not really a deep thinker, are you?

    If this life is all there is, then it contains the maximal potential amount of hope and meaning (and everything else). If nothing comes next, then that is where hope and meaning (and everything else) are absent.

    If there is eternal life, then whatever you do in this episode doesn’t matter at all in the big scheme of things. Except for derailing comment threads. There is a special place in hell for people who do that.

    It is up to you to maximize the potential for hope and meaning in this life, as it is the only one you get. Instead, you troll the Internet wanking away your short time and testing the patience and forbearance of the rest of us.

  191. reasonabel says

    I’m kinda afraid of whales. True story.

    Think of them as friendly fatsos who never got out the pool.

  192. says

    Now could someone please tell me what value or hope I have, if life does not continue beyond death?

    If you were really the freethinker you claim to be, you’d know that you have to make your own. That’s kind of the whole point: you don’t need to settle for an off the peg, one-size-doesn’t-really-fit-anyone packaged version, you get to have your own customized value and hope.

  193. 'Tis Himself says

    Does anybody want to talk more about Whales? Whales are cool.

    I’ve been told, but can’t find any evidence to support it, that certain whales’ vocalizations can be heard for thousands of kilometers in the open ocean. Imagine having a conversation when you have to wait hours to get a reply.

  194. says

    Think of them as friendly fatsos who never got out the pool.

    *slaps in the back of the head with a fish*

    Do you really want to go there when everyone is already right ticked off?

  195. Amphiox says

    Again, if my life (or consciousness) ends at death, where is hope?

    If you actually have to ask a question as stupidly idiotic as this, well, there’s no hope for you.

    But that’s your problem, not mine, as I have no trouble finding hope in my life.

    As for yours, well frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  196. Anri says

    Again, if my life (or consciousness) ends at death, where is hope?

    Well, I had a pretty decent lunch at a kinda fun new job, rode home on a powerful Italian motorscooter, and I will be joining my adoring spouse for an even tastier dinner this evening. We will also watch some cool TV and I will drink a yummy drink.
    Life is for living – that’s its point, or lack thereof.

    I have to wonder, though, if johnfreethinker’s real name is actually John, if I know him. He sounds like an old ex-friend of mine. If his last initial is “H”, I bet I know who it is. He was a semi-mystical non-Christian and was – quite frankly – too arrogant to even believe in his own death.

    Of course, realistically, the odds of it being the same person are vanishingly low… but it would be kinda cool anyway.

  197. reasonabel says

    I’ve been told, but can’t find any evidence to support it, that certain whales’ vocalizations can be heard for thousands of kilometers in the open ocean. Imagine having a conversation when you have to wait hours to get a reply,

    This is basically true, but instead of a conversation it must be like.

    Whale 1: I am laaarrggee
    Whale 2: And I am female
    Whale 1: I’ll be there in 20 days probs.

    Actually that is a conversation, never-mind.

  198. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Think of them as friendly fatsos who never got out the pool.

    Don’t do that.

  199. Amphiox says

    Now could someone please tell me what value or hope I have

    Are you really so incompetent and lazy that you have to plead for us to tell you what to think for you?

  200. Anri says

    and that to a man with bipolar II, one eye and no sleep

    Hmm, never mind, that doesn’t fit the description. Unless, of course, it’s bullshit – ’cause that would be spot on.

  201. says

    Seriously when your gimick is “I need a reason or else my life is meaningless and I’ll lose hope” you have to realize that is dependent on people actually LIKING you. Being a deplorable asshole is just going to make people agree that there’s no hope and send you on your despicable way.

  202. Paul says

    Think of them as friendly fatsos who never got out the pool.

    Now I’m thinking of Baldanders and the type of creature he was growing into from The Book of the New Sun. This is the opposite of comforting.

  203. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Think of them as friendly fatsos who never got out the pool.

    I think of whales as hippos who got washed out to sea. Hippos are killers, and a bunch of lost mutant hippos have got to be worse.

  204. A. R says

    Yeah, it’s not scifi. Xe always claimed to be an agnostic while godbotting. Believe me, after nearly a year or so of dealing with hir, I would recognize that troll. Raj, perhaps though?

  205. ImaginesABeach says

    Took my family to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago last week. They have several beluga whales. I have serious misgivings about the appropriateness of keeping whales in captivity.

    Unless they can be trained to eat trolls.

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . But if anyone can answer my challenge,

    Your challenged is a fuckwitted game. Your deity is imaginary, existing only between your ears. The soul doesn’t exist either. When you die, you die. Prove otherwise. Gee, by posting your e-mail and getting it spammed by the bots, you are acknowledging your defeat due to lack of evidence. Typical coward, afraid to admit they are wrong due to lack of evidence…

  207. says

    @IMaginesABeach

    Apparently at the Research Facility we visited on honeymoon the dolphins are free to leave whenever they want…they just don’t want to because it’s their home and they get free food and access to happy sexy time. YMMV

    I prefer to think of whales as bald Brian Blesseds

  208. says

    Hey look, a troll. Not even close to on topic either. They just march in and demand attention and answers. Don’t you all just love that sense of entitlement?

    John The Troll said:

    Otherwise I am out of here.

    Will they stick the landing?

  209. quentinlong says

    John’free’thinker is exhibiting a meme which is fairly common in Xtian thought, or at least what passes for thought among Xtians. That meme is, If it ain’t infinite, it ain’t worth shit. Life ends? Well, in that case life ain’t infinite, therefore life ain’t worth shit. The afterlife, being infinite (eternal) by definition, is clearly worth shit, maybe even shit-and-a-half or (o blessed day!) two shits.
    If John’free’thinker is actually serious here, he’s totally drunk the finite-ain’t-worth-shit Flavor-Aid, and therefore is either incapable of, or else unwilling to try, understanding any answer which is fundamentally 100% incompatible with the finite-ain’t-worth-shit meme, in which case there is no point in trying to converse with him/her/it/them. If, on t’other hand, John’free’thinker is Just Another Goddamn Godbot Troll, there is, again, no point in trying to converse with him/her/it/them. Whatever else people choose to do in response to John’free’thinker depends on which diagnosis they cleave unto, and what sort of response(s) they deem suitable for the diagnosis at hand…

  210. Owlmirror says

    If at death we become dust, so do our children and the entire species. So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    You can continue here.

  211. says

    If you can’t find meaning in living 80 years, what meaning is there in extending that 80 years to infinity?

    If life bores you that much, why ask for more?

  212. ImaginesABeach says

    I would be much happier if the whales were free to leave. However, while Lake Michigan is large enough to allow this, it is somewhat lacking in salt.

  213. says

    I would be much happier if the whales were free to leave. However, while Lake Michigan is large enough to allow this, it is somewhat lacking in salt.

    Apparently in last hurricane they did have a gate get torn. one dolphin used it to leave…and spend time in one of the female’s lagoons. Yay babies!

  214. A. R says

    johnfreefapper would appear to be an example of the species Trollodon assholicus racistii.

  215. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    But if anyone can answer my challenge, please email me at johnfreethinker@gmail. Otherwise I am out of here.

    Answered it, asshole, and you ignored it. Enjoy your coprophagic life choices.

  216. Owlmirror says

    Been a while since I was at a dissection of one but IIRC the idea was that Hippos are closer to Sirenia than Cetacea.

    Impossible. Hippos are artiodactyls; Sirenia are not.

  217. reasonabel says

    Apparently at the Research Facility we visited on honeymoon the dolphins are free to leave whenever they want…they just don’t want to because it’s their home and they get free food and access to happy sexy time. YMMV

    I prefer to think of whales as bald Brian Blesseds

    Without a pod they probably wouldn’t fare too well. Were these dolphins raised in captivity?

  218. says

    It’s so bizarre to listen to someone who’s convinced that only eternal life can have meaning. From my understanding of it, that argument could hardly be more wrong. What value is there to any given day when they will never run out? How could anyone possibly fill up eternity with meaningful experiences and not run out? It has value because it’s finite.

    Granted, I wouldn’t mind living until I had gotten quite bored. But even with my irrational worries about death and dying, I don’t think I’d want to be around forever.

  219. says

    Without a pod they probably wouldn’t fare too well. Were these dolphins raised in captivity?

    Believe so since most were born there. Probably no reason/inclination/thought of leaving.

  220. ImaginesABeach says

    A.R. – Ing is talking about dolphins (I believe on the East Coast), while I am talking about whales in Chicago.

  221. ChasCPeterson says

    IIRC the idea was that Hippos are closer to Sirenia than Cetacea.

    you do not RC.
    Hippos and cetaceans are sister groups. Sirenids are closer to elephants.
    all of the mammals

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not talking about Michigan

    Confusion, as the aquarium last mentioned was the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, on the western shore of Lake Michigan.

  223. reasonabel says

    Believe so since most were born there. Probably no reason/inclination/thought of leaving.

    At that point they’ve missed out. They actually don’t know what to do in the open sea. Sad in a way, but i’m sure they have a good life there.

  224. says

    If at death we become dust, so do our children and the entire species. So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    As Doug Erwin said:

    “Humans are going extinct eventually. Everything has, so far. It’s like death: there’s no reason to think we’re any different. But life will continue. It may be microbial life at first. Or centipedes running around. Then life will get better and go on, whether we’re here or not. I figure it’s interesting to be here now,” he says. “I’m not going to get all upset about it.

    We don’t get out of life alive. The same applies to the earth. One day, it will die too. We’ll be gone before then. *shrug* I love life and I’m going to enjoy every fucking moment of it, thank you. If you dislike it so much, there are options.

  225. says

    Well to distract from me looking like an idiot for spitting out a factoid from 10 years ago without checking let’s laugh at someone else being stupid

    Actually, as I said on the blog, I am becoming more spiritual and compassionate because of having life beyond this diseased one. I am beginning to be happy, something I never experienced in my life.

    Now for future discussions please remember that *Islam is not a race*. so I am not racist. Also I have no desire to commit genocide. That’s an, Islamic thing, “kill the kafir”. But I have spoken too much already. Peace to you,
    John

    Can’t you just feel the compassion from mr “those sand barbarians want to rape you?”

  226. carlie says

    So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    Wow. Bit full of yourself, aren’t you? You think everything revolves around you?

  227. A. R says

    Aquarium confusion: That would be the result of my brain overloading. I’m going to go bash my head against a wall now.

  228. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Hippos are closer to Sirenia than Cetacea

    Oh, the huge manatee!

  229. Valindrius says

    @170 – Icaarus:

    I was going to make that precise comparison because it was a deeply amusing and incompetent concept. I didn’t realise somebody had actually done it. It’s as if the CIA took ‘it’s like trying to herd cats’ as a challenge. I wonder if they experimented with other idioms by trying to create actual chocolate fireguards or using camouflage to change a leopard’s spots. They clearly took ‘a fool and hir money are soon parted’ to heart.

    As an aside and if anyone is willing to answer (here or elsewhere), does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful? My experience has been that thoughts and acts are corrupted and warped so that anything, irrespective of whether it inspires me normally, can become self-destructive or can be dismissed as futile. As a result, abstract concepts aren’t a defence or helpful in returning to stability.

    Flowing from that, I’m struggling to understand how somebody could pin their entire ability to exist on a single conceptualisation, as if it’s immutable and immune from such factors. Is this common or is was it an unrepresentative view offered by somebody despicably trying to use suicidal behaviour and depression as a hollow rhetorical device?

  230. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Sorry, Ing, I wasn’t giving you a hard time, I was just going for the lame pun.

  231. says

    As an aside and if anyone is willing to answer (here or elsewhere), does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful? My experience has been that thoughts and acts are corrupted and warped so that anything, irrespective of whether it inspires me normally, can become self-destructive or can be dismissed as futile. As a result, abstract concepts aren’t a defence or helpful in returning to stability.

    Exactly.

    Is this common or is was it an unrepresentative view offered by somebody despicably trying to use suicidal behaviour and depression as a hollow rhetorical device?,

    The later

  232. John Morales says

    Valindrius:

    As an aside and if anyone is willing to answer (here or elsewhere), does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful?

    That specimen is just trolling, and is not worth discussing; that said, delusions are delusional and if they give one hope it’s just pathetic.

    (Bah)

  233. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful?

    No. I do far better focusing on the concrete: job accomplishments, family, books, that sort of thing. Abstractions tend to head either to childhood and cub scouts or to the 2001 terrorist attacks. Both of those show up anytime I try to go for abstract hopes, dreams, non concrete brain farts. Reality is a pretty good defense against the places where my brain wants to go.

  234. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    Here’s hope for you:

    After you die, you go to a place filled with clouds and Christians, you are issued a harp, and a Bronze-Age psychotic expects you to entertain him.

    For fucking ever.

  235. says

    If such abstractions were actually useful Christians would never commit suicide. Yet they do.

    That’s the thing about depression, it’s not just a blue state where someone shaking a shiney object in your view can distract you out of. If it were no one would be depressed because it feels awful. If you could get out of it by either finding an abstract hope or even just by doing something you love people would. It’s a problem because it is difficult and traps you.

  236. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I can’t think of any “abstract hopes” anything like what jft posted that would make sense to me even on good days. O.o But yeah, what Og said. Too much time spent just thinking, especially about my life, is the worst possible thing for me; I get stuck inside my head, and it’s not a nice place. Have to focus on the concrete, and have to spend time “doing”.

  237. reasonabel says

    I don’t think anyone has ever committed suicide because of the eventual heat-death of the universe. There’s far more immediate concerns usually, maybe even limited to the death of the sun.

    We have 100 years on this planet if we’re really really lucky. When I think about that its more of a motivator than anything.

  238. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    Plus it’s rather cruel to say that people are depressed because they havn’t found “hope” or something to believe in.

    Fairly standard modern US right wing tactic. If you have a problem (you are sick, you are poor, you are depressed, you suffer from an addiction) it is all your fault. The sick are ill because they eat too much, or smoke, or are not exercising, therefore I (the ‘I’ in this case being the anti-tax right winger) should not have to pay for your medical care. If you are poor, it is because you have made bad choices, or you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal saviour, therefore I should not have to pay to help you. If you are depressed, it is because you have no hope, you don’t have faith in the afterlife, you are an atheist, therefore I need have no pity for you. If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, whatever, it is because you have made bad choices, you are weak, you are a self-involved child, therefore I should not have to pay extra taxes to cover their treatment. If someone is dumped on, and it is their fault, then no one should have any reason to help the person being shit on. Matter of fact, until they save themselves, society has no legal, ethical or moral responsibility. Voila: Randian libertarianism in action at the social service level.

  239. says

    As an aside and if anyone is willing to answer (here or elsewhere), does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful?

    No.

  240. Loqi says

    Plus it’s rather cruel to say that people are depressed because they havn’t found “hope” or something to believe in. It’s bullshit.

    QFT. My own depression has exactly fuck all to do with “hope.” In fact, my mood often isn’t at all related to anything going on in my life. Most of my days pass with generally positive events happening. If I weren’t depressed, I’d be having a wonderful day!

  241. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    @ johnfreethinker #197

    Again, if my life (or consciousness) ends at death, where is hope?

    Hope for what? I have lots of hope but don’t believe I am going to have “life after death”.

    And now I see dear john took off. Sometimes I hate being in this timezone!

  242. RealityBasedSteve says

    #FTBullies made me run a proxy server for script kiddies.

    Close to 20 years ago I was an Operations NCO for the Medevac (helicopter ambulance unit) at Ft. Lewis WA, and we often flew to Whitby and Bremerton. It’s been quite a while, but I seem to recall that you didn’t fly into that airspace without making prior coordination. (don’t think they would actually shoot you down, just lots of paperwork, which might be even worse). I know a tisch about networks and security because of my current job (but I’m no expert), but I can assure you, based on my experiences lately at Ft. Campbell KY and Arnold Air Force Base, TN (where they do very cutting edge research), their IT folks would LOVE to hammer this guy.

    I’m of the opinion that over time a persons real personality will show in forums. It’s too hard to maintain any type of lie and keep all your facts straight. A person who is a jerk in a forum is going to be a jerk in R/L. Oh, he may be very nice to you when you meet, but I will bet that over a short period of time the mask will slip. He’ll be nice to you, and to people who can help him, but not to those who can’t help him (in this scenario). As a wise man once said, “A nice person is who bad to his waiter isn’t a nice person)

    By the same token, I’ve found that people who reach out, who help, who maybe go out of their way to help somebody out with some info on a forum tend to be really nice people in R/L.

    RBS

  243. reasonabel says

    Fairly standard modern US right wing tactic. If you have a problem (you are sick, you are poor, you are depressed, you suffer from an addiction) it is all your fault

    Thats a fairly standard political tactic invoked by both left and right when it happens to suit their cause.

  244. Valindrius says

    Thank you for the responses, they’re greatly appreciated and I apologise if the question evoked any negative emotions and memories. I should have included a warning. I was too focused on the incredible contrast between personal, or shared, experiences and JFT’s perspective thus neglected to do that.

    Also, I completely agree that emphasis on the material can be helpful and that implications of weakness due to a lack of ‘hope’ are wilfully or ignorantly detrimental. It’s why I was shocked by somebody claiming that it was a solution and wondered if my outlook was wrong.

  245. Amphiox says

    We have 100 years on this planet if we’re really really lucky.

    And how many people actually succeed in filling up all of those years with useful and meaningful activities? Without wasting or misusing any of their moments?

    Better to focus on living well today than on living forever tomorrow.

  246. says

    Bullshit. Give an instance of the left using it. It’s a fundamental difference in philosophy between liberal and conservative. It’s like saying that both Jews and Christians rely on Jesus

  247. Amphiox says

    Humans are going extinct eventually. Everything has, so far. It’s like death: there’s no reason to think we’re any different. But life will continue. It may be microbial life at first. Or centipedes running around. Then life will get better and go on, whether we’re here or not. I figure it’s interesting to be here now,” he says. “I’m not going to get all upset about it.

    Erwin didn’t mention it, but let’s not forget the possibility of speciating into descendent species before going extinct.

  248. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    reasonabel:

    Yeah, you’re right. Liberals and progressives are always trying to privatize social security, do in any step towards universal health care, gut education, social services, welfare, low-income housing, funding for drug rehabilitation, and other such low cost ways to make life better.

    That is sarcasm.

    I don’t know where you live, but here in the US, it is the radical right wing conservatives who have introduced the whole idea that the poor ‘own their poverty’ and have then used it as an excuse to cut welfare and housing budgets. And it is done so that we can pay for part of the tax cuts for the rich. So, unless you can back up your ‘well, both do it!’ bullshit, get lost. Again.

  249. Amphiox says

    Thats a fairly standard political tactic invoked by both left and right when it happens to suit their cause.

    I’m not aware of any significant example of the left doing this to any significant degree.

  250. John Morales says

    [meta]

    UID = “reasonabel”, you stand out like a sore thumb.

    (This is Pharyngula)

  251. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    If at death we become dust, so do our children and the entire species. So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    Oh, that hope. Then you have a stunted concept of reality and a very weird view of value. Which is anything but a surprise.

    You are saying that if you don’t get to go on forever, then what’s the point of the universe? Sheesh. That would make you one special snowflake. Your deeds go on, if you have actually managed any. Just the way the deeds of others go on, say the deeds of those who conquered the formerly high rates of infant mortality*. And the deeds of da Vinci, and Einstein, and so many others.

    Oh, but that doesn’t go on forever! Well, so what? The universe seems not to be going to do that, either. So according to you, it has no value either.

    Not going on forever appears to be a condition of existing and if there is no existance, there’s no anything. Get over it and contribute something other than a story of what you say was your depression, and what you say is your great hope. Meh.

    *And may I add a note of appreciation for those who developed painkillers?

  252. says

    So there is no real value, and no hope, unless I believe that I will continue.

    All life is meaningless unless I personally am the center of and the reason for the existence of the entire universe.

  253. Drolfe says

    ‘Tis Himself
    17 July 2012 at 6:18 pm
    Imagine having a conversation when you have to wait hours to get a reply.

    What? Never used T-mobile? Wink!

  254. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    From my understanding of it, that argument could hardly be more wrong.

    Christian Philosophers: “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

  255. otrame says

    How the fuck did we go from rape jokes to remote-controlled cats to life after death? What do they have in common?

    Idiots?

  256. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    As an aside and if anyone is willing to answer (here or elsewhere), does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful?

    No. I came to realize I was depressed when I started to think about abstract hope as a reason not to be depressed. It meant it was time to look for something here and now to consider, otherwise it was straight into the tightening spiral of punitive thoughts.

    Fussing over a plant was and is better for getting out of depression, doing something useful right now, regardless of scale. 3 am is still a problem for me with the insomnia and all, so I listen to podcasts. I have hours of them all ready to go. Amazing all the great stuff you can learn.

  257. reasonabel says

    Bullshit. Give an instance of the left using it. It’s a fundamental difference in philosophy between liberal and conservative. It’s like saying that both Jews and Christians rely on Jesus

    This was implemented in the old eastern european soviet bloc. If you weren’t fit to work for any reason it was taken as laziness or an insufficient commitment.

  258. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    This was implemented in the old eastern european soviet bloc. If you weren’t fit to work for any reason it was taken as laziness or an insufficient commitment.

    …liberals and progressives are not communists. Equivocating between “The Lefts” is deeply dishonest and cowardly.

  259. reasonabel says

    …liberals and progressives are not communists. Equivocating between “The Lefts” is deeply dishonest and cowardly.

    This is the left as experienced by millions of people. I don’t think you’re communists, or as bad as the rampant capitalism nowadays, but you’d be fools to ignore history.

  260. says

    Horseshit. Utter horseshit

    I don’t think you’re communists, or as bad as the rampant capitalism nowadays, but you’d be fools to ignore history.

    Well then you shouldn’t have said “both sides are just as bad” fuckwit.

  261. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Oh ok. I wanted to talk science stuff and have fun.

    Feel free to start any time.

  262. says

    Oh ok. I wanted to talk science stuff and have fun.

    Glances upthread.

    Hey look, a liar. You know who also lied?

    STALIN!

    (etc.) blah blah.

  263. John Morales says

    [meta]

    reasonabel:

    Oh ok. I wanted to talk science stuff and have fun.

    So go to an open thread and do that, instead of wanking on about how liberalism entails communism (what, does conservatism entail fascism?).

    This post is about the troll whose IP points to bremerton.nmci.navy.mil.

  264. reasonabel says

    Hey look, a liar. You know who also lied?

    STALIN!

    I hope you felt big calling somebody a liar.

  265. otrame says

    reasonabel, if you are not a troll from the slympit looking to get banned as a sort of merit badge, you should know that discussions of the type you want are limited to the TZT thread. Your mention of communism proves you are either a) really, really ignorant; or, b) a lying right-wing troll.

    If you stay here, you will be eviscerated and then PZ will tell you to take it to TZT the next time he looks in.

    Oh, I see you are going for the flounce. Try to stick it. It will be the best for everyone.

  266. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    Gets out scorecard.

    Will he stick the flounce? Odds anyone?

  267. otrame says

    Oh, and Ing, thanks for that bit of Brian and Freddy. One of my favorite songs ever.

  268. 'Tis Himself says

    Will he stick the flounce? Odds anyone?

    If he’s in the Eastern Time Zone it’s 10 pm so he’s quite possibily gone to bed. Since he only threatened to go sleepy-bye, he could be back tomorrow. The flounce is only for going to bed.

  269. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Will he stick the flounce? Odds anyone?

    Normal odds are about 5 not sticking to 1 sticking. But those are house odds, not your system odds. Just keep in mind what Vegas says to those with a system, “WELCOME”.

  270. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    @ Nerd and ‘Tis

    Points taken. Also some giggling.

  271. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Thats a fairly standard political tactic invoked by both left and right when it happens to suit their cause.

    And here I was thinking the string of emails from some of our outside sales group was the dumbest possible thing I could have read today…

  272. Amphiox says

    Notwithstanding that communism has nothing at all to do with the liberal/progressive left, when the discussion, as specifically mentioned on the post that began is, is of the US political right and left, references to politics in Eastern Europe are completely irrelevant and blatantly dishonest to even bring up.

  273. koliedrus says

    I’m just here to find out if the people abusing a military network have been dealt with.

    I apologize in advance for scrolling through the spiritual crap due to time constraints. It’s entirely possible that I missed something important.

  274. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Hippos are scary, but hippos + water + lotsa unsold pumpkins after Hallowe’en are fuckin’ awesome!

    True story.

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  275. Randomfactor says

    A reason for hope, courtesy Ambrose Bierce

    A pessimist applied to God for relief.

    “Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness,” said God. “No,” replied the petitioner, “I wish you to create something that would justify them.”

    “The world is all created,” said God, “but you have overlooked something—the mortality of the optimist.”

  276. says

    If you weren’t fit to work for any reason it was taken as laziness or an insufficient commitment.

    le wut. my grandfather retired in his 50’s because of a heart attack, on a full and very generous pension. no one called him lazy or insufficiently committed.

    and my mother was on paid maternity leave for something like 6 years, and no one called her lazy or insufficiently committed, either.

    I call bullshit.

  277. says

    oooh, wait. was this meant in the “the 5-year-plan failed? oh, must be the workers’ fault! It’s unpossible that our plan as faulty!” sense?

    yeah, I can buy that some communist government engaged in deflection of blame.

    but if that’s what it was, it was a False Equivalence (also, a Tu Quoque, but nevemind that for now) to bring it up as a response to the constant blaming that people get from the right, since none of the leftist/communist ideologies contain blaming workers as part of their framework, nevermind as a key component. OTOH, right-wing ideology (especially right-wing libertarianism) is pretty much based on the Just World Bias and the denial of so much as the existence of structural and systemic problems.

  278. says

    It’s time to start documenting the phenomenon.

    I’m starting it. Email your observations of commenters with self-designated ‘nyms including “reasonable” “rational” “atheist” “skeptic” etc. to sally lichtenstein 303 at yahoo.

    Seriously.

    “Reasonabel” my left butt cheek.

  279. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    @ Jadehawk

    Totally. I was debating libertarianism with a teacher here, when he actually said that feeding children from poorer families was not a good idea as it bred a sense of entitlement in them.

    I said that it seemed to me that in the wealthiest society on the planet, children should have a sense that they are entitled to an adequate diet. He tried to explain how that just rewarded the poor for being poor. And then I sort of lost it, and had to walk away. I have to work with this guy, so slapping him silly is not a good move.

  280. Paul says

    I’m starting it. Email your observations of commenters with self-designated ‘nyms including “reasonable” “rational” “atheist” “skeptic” etc. to sally lichtenstein 303 at yahoo.

    Pursuant to this thread, I suggest including “Freethinker” and variants as well.

  281. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    “Reasonabel” my left butt cheek.

    Where’s a “Reasoncain” when we need one? ;/

  282. Paul says

    Notable exceptions, also, such as “skeptifem.”

    Ah, and here reading your original post I thought the idea was to document the frequency of complete moral bankruptcy from people with those nyms, which would include people like skeptifem if only so that the percentage of people who use the terms properly vs. those who call themselves Freethinker and post the drivel above could be quantified.

    But that’s likely a worthless exercise anyway. As they say, 90% of everything is utter rubbish, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t assume that also applies to people with self-designations of “reasonable”, “skeptic”, etc.

  283. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Ah, and here reading your original post I thought the idea was to document the frequency of complete moral bankruptcy from people with those nyms, which would include people like skeptifem if only so that the percentage of people who use the terms properly vs. those who call themselves Freethinker and post the drivel above could be quantified.

    …are you calling skeptifem “morally bankrupt” or am I badly misreading? O.o

  284. spamamander, more skeptical-er and rational-er than you says

    I hope that obviously snarky and sarcastic addendumsto ‘nyms making fun of the “rational/ skeptic/ freethinker” trope won’t be added to that there Wiki entry.

  285. ildi says

    This was implemented in the old eastern european soviet bloc. If you weren’t fit to work for any reason it was taken as laziness or an insufficient commitment.

    I call bs on this, too. Everybody had jobs. Once you got trained or educated or whatever, you had a job. As my aunt used to put it, it may have involved “moving your pen from one side of the desk to the other”, but it was a job. Communism in eastern Europe collapsed for economic, not ideological reasons in the late 80s. People were guaranteed jobs and fixed prices for staples like rent and milk and bread. The system was unsustainable, especially with the U.S. under Reagan bumping up the cost of the arms race. After the regime change the news was filled with people having to deal with evictions and homelessness for the first time when rents were no longer capped.

  286. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    …are you calling skeptifem “morally bankrupt” or am I badly misreading? O.o

    I don’t think she is, but I had to read it twice to arrive at that conclusion.

  287. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    Skeptifem is pretty awesome on gender issues and feminism; otherwise, she’s pretty clueless.

  288. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Errr… Paul would probably identify as a “he” and not a “she”. Sorry for the misatribtution. The joys of being a lazy got posting on the phone…

  289. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    [OT + meta]

    Skeptifem is pretty awesome on gender issues and feminism; otherwise, she’s pretty clueless.

    Huh. I remember her being a complete fucking idiot about sex work and a few closely related topics, and sensible and insightful otherwise. I don’t recall anything else grabbing my attention.

  290. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    After the regime change the news was filled with people having to deal with evictions and homelessness for the first time when rents were no longer capped.

    A (supposedly) popular joke from the early days of post-soviet Russia: “What has Capitalism done in a year that communism failed to do in seventy? Make communism look good!”

  291. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    Where’s a “Reasoncain” when we need one? ;/

    Off at the Conference of Nod.

    Will a “Reasonseth” do?

  292. keori says

    As an aside and if anyone is willing to answer (here or elsewhere), does anyone with depressive episodes find abstract hopes akin to those mentioned by John helpful?

    Late to the thread, but had to answer this, as I’m currently dealing with a depressive episode as part of Bipolar I. Which sucks. A lot.

    Ahem. NO.

    The only thing that makes depressive episodes better, aside from Better Living Through Pharmacology, is tangible, real-world events or accomplishments that give a sense of “Hey, I’m worth something here!” A major contributor to that feeling is that, having grown up a girl in a mormon household, my self-acceptance is very performance-based. IOW, if you weren’t getting Olympic gold medals and working 40 hours a day, then obviously you were a failure and Jesus hated you and guiltguiltguiltguiltguilt. (That conditioning carried over into my adulthood and is currently being excised from my psyche with the help of a good therapist.)

    It’s all well and good to speak in abstract hopes about “Jesus loves you” and all that garbage but when the here and now – you know, WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE – is so horrible you want to stop existing, that abstraction doesn’t do a helluva lot, even for True Believers. Consider that Utah has twice the national average in anti-depressant prescriptions. Not coincidence.

    (Also, John is full of shit, but we all knew that.)

  293. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    This was implemented in the old eastern european soviet bloc. If you weren’t fit to work for any reason it was taken as laziness or an insufficient commitment.

    Liberals are not communists. Try again.

    This is the left as experienced by millions of people. I don’t think you’re communists, or as bad as the rampant capitalism nowadays, but you’d be fools to ignore history.

    No, that is the strawman left created by modern conservatives. And I am a professional historian, so I laugh at your second sentence.

    But you still haven’t stated why you think that the left, or the socialists, or the progressives are blaming the poor, the sick, or any other down-trodden group for their problems as a way to compensate for the massive tax giveaway to the wealthy.

    Oh ok. I wanted to talk science stuff and have fun.

    No, you’re just doing your normal schtick with a nicely done derail.

  294. Paul says

    …are you calling skeptifem “morally bankrupt” or am I badly misreading? O.oM

    Sloppy wording. She was the “those who use the term properly”. But I reversed the order, which I didn’t pay much attention to since I didn’t use the word “respectively” to indicate that consistent ordering was maintained.

  295. reasonabel says

    Liberals are not communists. Try again

    Obviously not, and I didn’t say that they were. The question was about left and right. No distinctions were made between how far left and how far right. However, it was late so I chose the easiest example that sprung to mind. The reaction to that was staggering. Quite vicious.

    No, that is the strawman left created by modern conservatives. And I am a professional historian, so I laugh at your second sentence.

    But you still haven’t stated why you think that the left, or the socialists, or the progressives are blaming the poor, the sick, or any other down-trodden group for their problems as a way to compensate for the massive tax giveaway to the wealthy.

    Its not that the left are doing this. Its that this can be done and has been done by left identifying groups in the past. It is not an argument that has been patented and so you should be wary of it from any political group.

  296. douglashudson says

    Not to feed the troll, but whenever the question about the purpose of life comes up, I always think of the great line by Carl Sagan: “[Humans] are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.”

    We are part of an astounding wonder, and we have the great fortune to have the ability to actually understand that wonder on an intellectual level. What greater purpose could there be?

    It’s true that my individual consciousness will end one day; but the Cosmos of which I am a part will continue, and I am grateful that I had an opportunity to experience it, even for a little while.

  297. KG says

    The question was about left and right. No distinctions were made between how far left and how far right. However, it was late so I chose the easiest example that sprung to mind. The reaction to that was staggering. Quite vicious. – unreasonabel

    The “question” arose in a context: the assertion that blaming the poor for their poverty is a “Fairly standard modern US right wing tactic.” Your claim was a general one: that the left blames the poor when it suits them. But if you only had the example of the Soviet bloc (itself highly dubious) in mind, it was disingenuous not to make clear what you were thinking of, since the context was US politics. If you had had any other examples in mind, clearly you would have brought them up by now.