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Aug 29 2012

[Thunderdome]

This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

666 comments

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  1. 1
    Usernames are smart

    だらける

    (not to be confused with ‘sloppy’)

  2. 2
    Usernames are smart

    Bah – I don’t have the right keyboard, so I blew that one. Should be (phonetically) namakemono.

  3. 3
    douglaslm

    Haiku’s are easy.
    But sometimes they don’t make sense.
    Refrigerator.

  4. 4
    carpenterman

    douglaslm;

    You stole that haiku from my brother-in-law’s tee-shirt.
    Who said this: “There is no problem so great or so complicated that it cannot be run away from.”

  5. 5
    Captaintripps

    Turtles have shells.

  6. 6
    chigau (違う)

    Usernames are smart
    だらける
    なまけもの
    wow

  7. 7
    ChasCPeterson

    Is it true that turtles “have shells”?
    Like you “have” a ribcage and sternum, I guess.

    Better to say that a turtle is, in part, a shell.

    p.s. do you refer to the original Captain Trips?

  8. 8
    julian

    Narwhals! Narwhals! swimming in the ocean, causing a commotion cuz they are so awesome!

  9. 9
    Brett McCoy

    If I had a nickel every time a puppet told me what to do, I’d have two nickels.

  10. 10
    John Morales

    julian, no linkee, no punch.

  11. 11
    dianne

    From the department of “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”, the latest Catholic excuse for child abuse, The priests were seduced.

  12. 12
    navigator

    Oh, this is random? Okey dokey…
    “Vaccinate! Vaccinate!”

  13. 13
    John Morales

    navigator, now why would one want to make people into cows? :)

  14. 14
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I thought a turtle was an inside-out fish.

  15. 15
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jesus fucking Christ Dianne. You all should really check out her link. Priest blaming the victims of sexual abuse, referring to Jerry Sandusky as “this poor guy,” and claiming no one knew child rape was so bad until recently.

    Even better? The commenters:

    Excellent article, thanks. God Bless Fr Benedict G.!

    What a fabulous interview.
    I was fascinated by what he had to say about abuse cases, although I’m certain it will make many people angry and/or upset. When you work with people as a psychologist or counselor (I’ve heard from others—I am not one) you find that things are do not generally happen in the simple ways most people think they do. Human beings are complex. Adults can behave in compulsive, sexually disturbed ways, but so can teens and even children (hypersexuality, for instance, is a symptom of bipolar disorder in minors). . .

    I think Father Groeschel should be declared a saint when he takes his last breath on earth. I dont know of any other priest that is as holy and devout and happy in his priesthood as he is. Always in the line with God’s will, no matter what comes his way. God bless him with many more years of taking care of His people no matter what the sitation.

    Yes, there are some dissenters, but not nearly enough.

    Faithful Catholics: you are moral monsters.

  16. 16
    Anne C. Hanna

    Okay, I don’t know what just happened there, but there’s a world of difference between a developmentally disabled person and an anencephalic fetus or something like that, and I definitely had no intention of equating the two. I also don’t know *anything* about this kid that cm mentioned, so I am in no way intending to make any statements about the actual child. I am discussing hypotheticals only.

    I don’t support deliberately subjecting beings of questionable sentience to pain if it can reasonably be avoided. To the degree that there’s anything there that can experience pain, or a reasonable suspicion that there might be, there’s a legitimate interest in avoiding pain. I even noted in my comments on abortion above that abortion should be humane. I do smush pest insects without remorse, but I try to kill them quickly and cleanly. So as far as I’m concerned, sexual “use” of a marginal human life in any form is repellent and right out. (Corpses are another story — a dead person cannot possibly be harmed by whatever is done to the body that used to be them. The people who are harmed by necrophilia are the loved ones of the dead person and other onlookers who are upset by it, but all possible harm to the dead person ceased the moment they became dead.)

    I just don’t see a “life” for which there is no reason to believe that there’s anybody “in there” to experience it as one which is worth preserving in any way that’s comparable to the life of an actual person. I’ve been in this situation in my own family. Three separate grandparents (between my partner and myself) have ended up in situations where all evidence indicated that their brains were so badly damaged that there was no hope of any substantial “mind” ever being generated by those brains again. In each case the decision was made (by people other than me) to let what remained die rather than continuing to animate what were, for all practical purposes, breathing corpses.

    I think these decisions were right. My only wish, in each situation, was that once we had accepted that there was most likely no person remaining whose life could be preserved, we could have just brought an end to everything quickly and painlessly, rather than essentially letting them starve/dehydrate to death. The body which used to be my grandfather was given “comfort fluids” as it was allowed to die, which meant that the process took a couple weeks. My partner’s grandmothers thankfully only took a few days each once the decision was made, but if there was anything of them left at that point, it’s hard for me to believe that it didn’t suffer that entire time, unnecessarily.

    I don’t understand people who don’t make this choice. It seems to me grotesque to prize sentiment and life for life’s sake so much that one goes to great expense and personal sacrifice to prolong the shadow existence of something that will probably never have much positive experience of life, and which may in fact be suffering terribly in ways which no available ministrations can substantially relieve. I also don’t pretend that it’s my right to make this decision for others (whether it’s people deciding for their own loved ones, or adults who have left living wills), any more than it’s my right to decide their religious beliefs for them. All I ask is that they don’t insist that I share their sentimental responses myself.

  17. 17
    ChasCPeterson

    I thought a turtle was an inside-out fish.

    No, it’s a

    wait

  18. 18
    navigator

    to John Morales

    Well, if you look at the importance of cowpox in the development of the smallpox vaccine…I say again, Moo Moo! You go, cows!

  19. 19
    julian

    From the department of “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”, the latest Catholic excuse for child abuse, The priests were seduced.

    I totally needed another reason to hate the Catholic Church.

  20. 20
    John Morales

    navigator, heh.

    (Actually, I was making an etymological and linguistic allusion)

    Anne, this may be a poisoned chalice, but the more I read you the more I think you’re a better me.

  21. 21
    chigau (違う)

    waiting

  22. 22
    Hurin

    Anne Hanna

    I don’t support deliberately subjecting beings of questionable sentience to pain if it can reasonably be avoided. To the degree that there’s anything there that can experience pain, or a reasonable suspicion that there might be, there’s a legitimate interest in avoiding pain.

    QFT.

  23. 23
    bcskeptic

    Ummm…molesting and raping children (well, anyone, but especially hideous when it is children) is never a grey area. It is always wrong! The dumb fucks who don’t realize this are despicable. All the more reason to work towards the annihilation of the Catholic Church.

    On another note, sitting up here north of you I sure as hell hope the Rethuglicans don’t get into the presidency any time soon. It makes me nervous to think such wingnuts could be running a country that has so much military power. One only hopes that cooler, rational, liberal heads prevail.

  24. 24
    Hurin

    John Morales

    Morales, you dishonest shitlord, CM hyperlinked the word “abused” to an article on sexual abuse of the developmentally disabled, and you immediately questioned whether “a mindless thing” could be abused at all.

    But cm was responding to Anne who was not speaking about the developmentally disabled (who most certainly are people), but about mindless beings, and my question to cm explicitly was about mindless entities.

    I get it that you were going off the context, but there is an adjoining wikipedia article which clarifies what is meant in that case:

    Brain injury or infection before, during or after birth;
    Growth or nutrition problems (prenatally, perinatally, or postnatally);
    Abnormalities of chromosomes and genes;
    Birth long before the expected birth date – also called extreme prematurity;
    Poor maternal diet and absent or minimal health care;
    Drug abuse during pregnancy, including alcohol intake and smoking;
    Drug-related prenatal developmental insult, such as thalidomide;
    Severe physical maltreatment (child abuse), which may have caused brain injury and which can adversely affect a child’s learning abilities and socio-emotional development;
    An autism spectrum
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmentally_disabled

    I’m sure you are aware that very few people (if any) suffering from this sort of illness are going to be aware at a level comparable to those who are clinically brain dead, or fetuses in the first two trimesters (I would consider both of these cases “mindless”). Some of them may be sapient at the level of children, but obviously children can still be abused.

  25. 25
    John Morales

    Hurin, I really don’t want to continue this, but yes.

    Yes!

    (Hell, I think of most vertebrates as people (in their own way), because they’re not mindless, and I treat my pets as family. I don’t have too many quibbles with Peter Singer, he’s probably as close to my own views as anyone)

  26. 26
    Rich Stage

    My rhymes have found a new home,
    grown in the purest of loam.
    My verse is rehearsed,
    perverse and accursed
    as I enter PZ’s Thunderdome.

  27. 27
    Anne C. Hanna

    John, I’ve got no idea what to make of that either.

    ———

    Also, I do really hope I’m misreading Amphiox, because hir reference to NDEs sounds superficially like ze’s favoring the kind of dualism that I wouldn’t expect to see people supporting here. So what did I miss in that discussion that’s being referenced?

    My impression to date was that the emerging understanding of NDEs is that they’re probably to some extent after-the-fact confabulations pieced together with scraps of information gathered before the brain went down and after it came back up, and do not represent substantial evidence that the mind keeps working even when brain activity is undetectable. As far as I know, there’s never been any real evidence that people who experience NDEs have information that could only have been obtained while their brain activity was stopped, but if somebody’s got something really good (meaning, well-documented at the time of the incident(s) using good data hygiene), please lay it on me.

    But my worries about creeping dualism aside, is this mostly about the imperfection of our measurement tools implying that we should give life/sentience/sapience the benefit of the doubt? If so, I sort of agree with that, with the exception that there have to be some limits on how far we can be expected to go. There’s a point in resuscitation attempts where the doctors do eventually have to give up and admit that the person can’t be revived, and that point comes sooner if there’s a triage situation or something similar where you would lose lives that probably can be saved in futile pursuit of one that probably can’t. And of course in a world of finite resources, we’re always in a triage situation to some extent. So even when we’re talking about preserving sapient lives, there’s a point at which rationality has to lead us to conclude that the doubt is so small that we can’t waste any further resources on it.

    The question then just comes down to line-drawing. I think that there’s a point where we can say that it’s not reasonable to expect anyone to work to preserve a life that seems, as far as our best efforts can determine, to have no mind attached to it. I also think that this should not be identical with the point at which we decide that that life has no further legitimate interest in being protected from unnecessary suffering. F’r’example, I don’t have any problem in principle with people choosing to kill and eat fish, which as far as we can tell have relatively marginal minds, but I *do* have an objection to making the fish suffer terribly in the process of being killed. Is this actually controversial here, or have we just been having communications glitches?

  28. 28
    Ing

    JM I want to know why you feel that I am to be forced to be part of a community I don’t wish to be and that I owe respect to people for building a community I do not respect.

  29. 29
    Hurin

    John, fair enough. No more continuations from me.

  30. 30
    Anne C. Hanna

    Since John’s brought him up, I should note that I too am somewhat influenced by Peter Singer. I don’t agree with him on everything, but he’s definitely shifted some things for me.

  31. 31
    Anne C. Hanna

    Also, a propos of precisely nothing, I think “shitlord” is a hilarious word. Shitlord shitlord shitlord. This is why I don’t do so good at places like Dan’s. :D

  32. 32
    Ing

    Actually scratch it I’m just in a bad mood and don’t care what John thinks. It’s still moronic. I’m finding myself knee jerk judging people who claim the atheist label as ‘probably an asshole” now. :(

  33. 33
    John Morales

    Ing, hey!

    This business of having to belong is unnecessary; you are your own self.

    (You can agree with certain propositions and hold certain viewpoints without being beholden to any particular label)

    Anne, from long experience, I make Amphiox to be no less a rational empiricist (and therefore non-dualist) than you or I.

  34. 34
    chigau (違う)

    Rich Stage
    Nice try but you are no Nassar Ben Houdja.

  35. 35
    shripathikamath

    Anything I want?

    OK, I will say that a reverse thunderdome beats a thunderdome.

  36. 36
    Jadehawk

    so hey. if i can convince a NZ university to let me get a graduate degree there, at the end of that I’ll have accumulated 210 points towards permanent immigration to NZ. and at 140, they let you in automatically.

  37. 37
    geoffshorts

    Hare Krishnas believe the moon is larger than the sun. I thought that was fairly random.

  38. 38
    Amphiox

    Also, I do really hope I’m misreading Amphiox, because hir reference to NDEs sounds superficially like ze’s favoring the kind of dualism that I wouldn’t expect to see people supporting here. So what did I miss in that discussion that’s being referenced?

    Oh no, never that!

    You weren’t here back during the Shiloh/Scifi NDE wankery incursion (and you can thank whatever gods you don’t believe in for that!), but I was just making a reference to that.

  39. 39
    chigau (違う)

    Jadehawk
    try University of Otago
    No one I’ve met seems to actually want to live there so there must be room.

  40. 40
    Amphiox

    There’s a point in resuscitation attempts where the doctors do eventually have to give up and admit that the person can’t be revived, and that point comes sooner if there’s a triage situation or something similar where you would lose lives that probably can be saved in futile pursuit of one that probably can’t.

    That point is typically dictated by cardiovascular/respiratory function rather than brain function, simply because in the heat of such situations, we can’t measure brain function reliably, or quickly enough.

    Resuscitation is mostly about restoring blood circulation and breathing/oxygenation (with supply to the brain being the foremost concern). If you fail that, whether the brain is still functioning or not at that particular moment is mute, because without a heartbeat, pulse, or breath, the brain can’t survive much longer anyways.

    Questions surrounding brain function and tests for brain death is what happens after a successful resuscitation. Now that the patient’s heart is beating again, oxygen is flowing into the lungs (usually with mechanical aid, of course), and oxygenated blood is circulating through the body (to the brain) again, only now is there time to step back and figure out: did we save the brain? Is there still some working brain there?

    If the answer is definitely “no”, then brain death is declared and all the other supports are withdrawn (unless the decision is made to support the body a little longer to allow for organ donation). If the question is “maybe no”, or “probably no”, THEN the question is whether to continue the support for the rest of the body in hopes of future recovery, or to stop.

    And that is another one of those fuzzy border areas wherein things must be assessed on a case by case basis.

  41. 41
    Orange Utan

    try University of Otago

    My workplace. If you’ve got questions, feel free to ask.

  42. 42
    Ing

    Oh fuck is Mabus back?

    FFS aren’t you on parole?

  43. 43
    Amphiox

    I’ll also add that there is a very tiny, but non-zero, number of patients who, after resuscitation fails and is aborted, don’t die, but spontaneously recover – the heart starts beating again and breathing starts up again and so forth.

    And a tiny, tiny, but non-zero, number of patients declared brain dead do not go on to die after discontinuation of life support, they recover spontaneously and wake up.

    And a tiny, but non-zero, number of patients, not brain dead, but in whom the decision is made to withdraw aggressive life support (in Canada termed Compassionate Terminal Care, or Comfort Care, and in Palin-world famously labeled as “Death Panels”), do not progress to death, but spontaneously recover.

    The decision to halt resuscitation, or aggressive life support, and so forth, is usually made on the criteria of practical futility. Not necessarily that the odds of this patient recovering are too low for us to continue, but that we, with our medical science and skill at this day and age, have nothing more we can do that will significantly improve the patient’s currently very low odds of survival, and since every medical intervention also inflicts a non-zero cost in time, effort, resources, risk, pain, and suffering, we stop, on the principle of primum non nocere.

  44. 44
    Amblebury

    AHEM! University of Otago is the first one I’d recommend. I just spent a week in the area, visiting daughter no. 1 who attends, studying Anth. Engl. and Gender, and writing for the university paper, Critic. Daughter no. 2 is heading there next year, starting a BSC in Geography. The academic record of the university is very strong in many areas. The library is terrific.

    Dunedin is fecking cold. That’s the big minus. Apart from that, it’s hands-down the best, and most affordable university town in NZ. The surrounding area – we just spent some time in Wanaka – is breathtakingly beautiful.

    Jadehawk, Let me know if there’s anything you need me to look into for you.

    http://www.wanaka.nz.com/

    And before anyone calls “Bias!” I’m an Aucklander, who spent many years living in Wellington, where I went to Victoria University. Which is also very good.

  45. 45
    Ing

    The latest Hitchens thread is pretty much my new exhibit A for why I doubt A+ will do much good. If we’re going to look the other way for people on shit the problems from A are just going to follow you

  46. 46
    Amblebury

    Orange utan Where, if might ask?

  47. 47
    Orange Utan

    @ Amblebury

    Dunedin is fecking cold. That’s the big minus.

    Not as bad as Fargo. I think I remember Jadehawk being up that way at some point.

  48. 48
    Amblebury

    Good point.

  49. 49
    Orange Utan

    Where, if might ask?

    I’m in a service division. I’m not an academic although as a staff member, I do get subsidies towards study which is nice.

  50. 50
    chigau (違う)

    Let’s face it.
    What passes for “cold” in NZ basically requires another sweater.
    As opposed to burning your furniture.
    (kidding)

  51. 51
    Orange Utan

    @chigau

    As opposed to burning your furniture.

    Stoopid fuckin drinkin culture.

  52. 52
    Orange Utan

    I assume one of the monitors have notified PZ?

  53. 53
    chigau (違う)

    I hope another monitor can send an alert, I’m current technology-challanged.

  54. 54
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Orange Utan

    I assume one of the monitors have notified PZ?

    Message in Lounge. Shame – it is sad that his treatment has not worked. :(

  55. 55
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau

    I have emailed PZ too…

  56. 56
    Ing

    Goddamn it Canada, can’t you do anything right?

  57. 57
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Isn’t it that time of the evening in the midwest where most people would be asleep?

  58. 58
    Orange Utan

    @theophontes

    Message in Lounge.

    Thanks.

    Shame – it is sad that his treatment has not worked. :(

    No disagreement there.

  59. 59
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Orange Utan

    Thanks

    To chigau.

    This just popped up in my email by coincidence: Deviant Art.

  60. 60
    John Morales

    [meta]

    xowarsxo = mabus = dennis markuze.

    (Obvious is obvious)

    Hey mate, you need your meds.

    (And you’re breaching your parole!)

  61. 61
    John Morales

    [OT + meta]

    Amphiox, you’ve made a parahomophonic error:

    If you fail that, whether the brain is still functioning or not at that particular moment is mute

    If you fail that, whether the brain is still functioning or not at that particular moment is moot

  62. 62
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    linking to Deviant Art from here always gets me scary warnings

  63. 63
    Suido

    @Jadehawk: Yes, that would be the fastest way to get citizenship in Australia.

    :P

  64. 64
    John Morales

    Ing @46, you’re very close to counselling based on despair.

    (Nay! There is always hope!)

  65. 65
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau (違う)

    scary warnings

    Huh? That is rather strange. I haven’t ever got them. (Perhaps because I log in automatically?)

  66. 66
    Ing

    @JM

    I have no idea what the hell you just said

  67. 67
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    If I try to go direct to satw.com, I get porn.
    If I go through google, I get to satw, nice and clean.
    Most of the links people post gets me warnings.
    I don’t understand it.
    but now I’m going to bed…

  68. 68
    Ing

    @Chigau

    Malware?

  69. 69
    Anne C. Hanna

    Amphiox, glad to hear you weren’t going dualistic about it.

    In regard to the saving of lives issue, I know that’s not usually about brain function right in the heat of the moment. I meant it as an analogy to point out that we’re willing to give up even on sapient life at some point. I just wanted to illustrate that sometimes we have to make decisions about how many more resources and how much more suffering we want to put into the pursuit of how faint of a hope. When somebody has late-stage cancer that’s unlikely to be survivable, they don’t always choose to suffer through the most aggressive possible treatments just for a 1% increase in cure rates. We don’t cryogenically freeze most people who die. We don’t throw all of our society’s resources into immortality research to the exclusion of everything else. While it’s true that some people who are determined enough or wealthy enough make significant commitments to all of these things, most of us don’t.

    Similarly, my family could have probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and months or years of anguish on maintaining the bodies of my grandfather and my partner’s grandmothers, in the hopes that there might still be someone in there who could someday be “woken up”, or that some new technology might come along to repair them. Some families might have made a different choice, but those who had the right to make the decision in our families’ cases concluded that the likelihood of salvaging anything of real value was too low to be worth what it would cost in our suffering and in the suffering of whatever scraps of the people we loved might still remain. Future technological advancements may shift this balance in ways that are hard to predict, but there’s still likely to be *some* kind of balance.

    I completely agree that the exact location of the balance point has to be decided on a case-by-case basis, just like most other medical issues (which is why “if I wanted the government in my vagina I’d fuck a Senator” and etc.). For the most part I’ve got no real interest in second-guessing any specific decision where I’m not privy to all the facts. But there are always cases where it seems pretty clear that people are going overboard in putting their reverence for life at all costs above the actual well-being of the individual involved and their family. Some of the “pillow angel” cases are particularly disturbing.

    I think it’s important to point these cases out as problematic, in the same way we would any other case of woo-based harm. I’m not going to try to get the government to dictate to those families the point at which they’re obligated to give up hope, and I understand that they have real emotions invested and deserve some sympathy because of that. It sucks when someone you love dies, or when a child you wanted turns out to be not just limited but essentially nonexistent as a person. And people don’t always react rationally in those situations. But, hell, some Catholics have real emotions invested in the sanctity of Communion wafers and have been led to such emotional investment by real and serious life traumas, and I don’t feel obligated to pretend that I think their behavior is rational or healthy either.

    I just feel like we have to go by the evidence here. Evidence says that our minds are created entirely by our meat, and if the meat is broken badly enough, there’s no real reason to believe that there’s a mind there any more. Yes, the exact point at which it happens is vague and hard to determine, but if a particular bit of meat has definitely gone well past that point, I don’t really see the point of maintaining sentimental attachment to it.

  70. 70
    Orange Utan

    @chigau

    If I try to go direct to satw.com, I get porn.

    http://satwcomic.com

  71. 71
    John Morales

    xowarsxo:

    Not Dennis Markuze – but a FAN!

    Yes Dennis Markuze – and a LIAR!

    :)

    (You are mentally ill)

  72. 72
    John Morales

    xowarsxo its post thus: “a dishonest liar”.

    Ayup! :)

  73. 73
    Anne C. Hanna

    (You are mentally ill)

    I see I’m not the only one with an irresistible urge to try to reason with those who have, in one way or another, been rendered immune to reason.

  74. 74
    John Morales
  75. 75
    John Morales

    [musical interlude]

    Mother

  76. 76
    Ing

    the idea that Mabus has a fan made me laugh and snort things up nose.

  77. 77
    anubisprime

    dianne @ 11

    I was going to tear the article apart paragraph by toxic paragraph.
    It is a whole world of fail and innuendo and is obviously primarily a short slimy, frayed and tatty threadbare rope to throw to the drowning clowns that comprise their victims.
    Which according to the posters response to that article they gratefully cling to like dingleberries to anal hair.

    But I have not got the cast iron stomach required, or the masochistic desire.

    And I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime

    Sums up the official and unofficial RCC position, and is a blatant slip of protocol in their handling, they have never been so blatant before preferring only to allude to that weak and deranged sliver of apologetic bullshite, but then again they have never been quite so desperate and aware that they are well and truly busted beyond repair!

    Now the damage control is focused firmly on the sycophantic brain dead legions that will buy absolutely anything with a jeebus stamp on it…from extremely piss poor apologetics to flagrant and boastful distortions of reality
    It will be a test of the RC indoctrination techniques, they never needed to kick in quite so badly.

    It appears these overtures are more akin to a DDT soaked house fly shaking itself to a quivering convulsive and panic laden imminent failure of vital organs.

    Long overdue…I would rather use a rolled up newspaper to swat these parasites into oblivion…but they seem to not require that assistance they are doing mighty fine swatting themselves all by their ownsomes!
    And they do not even realize it!

  78. 78
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Anna C. Hanna

    (You are mentally ill)

    …in one way or another, been rendered immune to reason.

    Mabus/Mabuze is quite literally mentally ill. He was supposed to be receiving treatment, but appears this has not helped him.

    Here an article in Global Montreal.

  79. 79
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Anne C. Hanna: Dennis Markuze, aka David Mabus, is known for more than just commenting here — he was filling PZ’s spam folder with a deluge of hate mail until a bit of pushing got the SPVM (the same SPVM that have been harassing student protesters for the past few months) to arrest him for criminal harassment. He was found to be mentally ill, and part of his sentence included treatment…but it also included not using social networking, which appears to have failed.

    There are others, too, like a certain person named Kw*k.

  80. 80
    Jadehawk

    @Jadehawk: Yes, that would be the fastest way to get citizenship in Australia.

    no thanks, I’m not suicidal ;-)

  81. 81
    embertine

    Hey all, as we’ve established the Mabus is not going to settle down by himself, isn’t there someone who is collating his breaches of parole in order to go back to the police? Can’t remember who it was…

    The comment about being in his car might be of use.

  82. 82
    Jadehawk

    What passes for “cold” in NZ basically requires another sweater.

    aww, that’s adorable. have I told y’all of that one time my eyelids were freezing shut on my walk to work?

  83. 83
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Oops: Mabuze Markuze.

    @ Setár

    not using social networking, which appears to have failed.

    He has a suspended sentence in this regard. He could face jail time now that he is misbehaving on the internet again. (Link here.)

    Dennis Markuze, 40, recently received the suspended 18-month sentence after he pleaded guilty to uttering threats toward eight people.

    Markuze … was ordered to “abstain from participating in a social network, blog and discussion forum” as part of the sentence.

    @ Markuze

    Please stop. You need professional help, not a year and a half locked up in prison.

  84. 84
    Orange Utan

    @Jadehawk

    no thanks, I’m not suicidal ;-)

    No snakes in NZ. In fact, they’re illegal. Zoos aren’t even allowed them. Doesn’t stop the bloody aussies from trying to come in though.

    No drop bears either.

  85. 85
    Jadehawk

    No drop bears either.

    excellent.

  86. 86
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Orange Utan

    drop bears

    *googles*

    Terrifying!

  87. 87
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Orange Utan wrote:

    Doesn’t stop the bloody aussies from trying to come in though.

    Them’s fightin’ words! At least all our parrots can fly…

    In other news, Greta has written an excellent post about the divisiveness (or not) of Atheism Plus.

  88. 88
    Nick Gotts

    Them’s fightin’ words! At least all our parrots can fly… – wowbagger

    But presumably the kakapo flew to Aotearoa*, found a cosy tuatara burrow at a low, low rent, decided it never wanted to be anywhere else, and shrank its wings.

    *I’m not using the most popular Maori name for the place (which if my source is correct, means “long white cloud”) because it’s ideologically sound (well, maybe just a bit), but because It’s just a much better name than “New Zealand”.

  89. 89
    insipidmoniker, 37th Emu of the Mild Dyspepsia

    Jadehawk,

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy your comments and I hope the NZ move turns out well. It makes me inexplicably sad that you are leaving the states. Can’t in any way blame you, though.

  90. 90
    Jadehawk

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy your comments and I hope the NZ move turns out well. It makes me inexplicably sad that you are leaving the states. Can’t in any way blame you, though.

    I won’t be leaving quite that soon. end of 2013 at the earliest, if I do my MS here as well probably more like 2015. but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead :-p

  91. 91
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Please stop. You need professional help, not a year and a half locked up in prison.

    I’m thinking these two things are not mutually exclusive.

  92. 92
    dianne

    Amphiox: Are there any documented examples of someone who was brain dead by all criteria (no spontaneous movement or respirations, no brain activity on EEG, no barbituates, warm, etc) and recovering even a little? I don’t know of any, but if there are, that suggests that there might be another piece of the puzzle that we’re not looking at. But I can’t help thinking that premature declaration when there was still function and/or the story is being told about someone who wasn’t brain dead but in PVS is more likely.

  93. 93
    dianne

    @91: In principle, no. In practice, the medical care, including psychiatric care, received in prison tends to be substandard.

  94. 94
    Nick Gotts

    I’ve sent PZ an email about Markuze spewing here.
    (First time I’ve used my temporary superpowers as a monitor!)

  95. 95
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    @91: In principle, no. In practice, the medical care, including psychiatric care, received in prison tends to be substandard.

    I’d settle for locked up and getting treatment, doesn’t have to be prison.

  96. 96
    SQB

    Dianne, Josh,

    That priest is full of bullshit! We know it was rape, because the kids didn’t get pregnant, right? (HT: Todd Akin)

    Speaking of that asshole, Dutch politician Kees van der Staaij from the SGP — a party that denies passive suffrage to its members although they are having a rough time in the courts over it — basically confirmed Akin’s ideas in a debate (we’re having elections as well). A shitstorm followed and he felt the need to have bodyguards accompany him to a party meeting. Wrote a commenter:

    What does he need bodyguards for? After all, it’s been proven that people rarely get hurt from involuntary beatings.

  97. 97
    MattP (must mock his crappy brain)

    Random derailment, but is anyone else getting “Atlas Shrugged II” ads?

  98. 98
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    (First time I’ve used my temporary superpowers as a monitor!)

    That’s probably better than super temperorary powers.

  99. 99
    usingreason

    Jesus is in my toast, I’m hungry, what do I do?

  100. 100
    Amphiox

    Are there any documented examples of someone who was brain dead by all criteria (no spontaneous movement or respirations, no brain activity on EEG, no barbituates, warm, etc) and recovering even a little? I don’t know of any, but if there are, that suggests that there might be another piece of the puzzle that we’re not looking at. But I can’t help thinking that premature declaration when there was still function and/or the story is being told about someone who wasn’t brain dead but in PVS is more likely.

    Premature and erroneous declaration is certainly a major possible consideration.

    And in clinical practice, depending on jurisdiction, there are some variations in what criteria are necessary to make the declaration. For example, EEG is not used all the time, everywhere.

  101. 101
    Amphiox

    I just wanted to illustrate that sometimes we have to make decisions about how many more resources and how much more suffering we want to put into the pursuit of how faint of a hope.

    No disagreement here. A good illustrative analogy would be when we decide to call off rescue attempts/searches for survivors after a major disaster. (Or even a hiker lost in the woods).

    When somebody has late-stage cancer that’s unlikely to be survivable, they don’t always choose to suffer through the most aggressive possible treatments just for a 1% increase in cure rates.

    This isn’t the best analogy though, since most of the time, it is the individual patient who makes that decision rather than a surrogate decision maker, and generally speaking, the choice isn’t maximum aggressive care versus no care, but a more nuanced decision pertaining to level of care and goals of care (ie if quantity of survival conflicts with quality of survival, what weight of import assigned to each).

  102. 102
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Jesus is in my toast, I’m hungry, what do I do?

    Ritual cannibalism. “This is my body you eat . . . .”

    Jesus is just telling you, “EAT ME!”

  103. 103
    TonyJ

    Hello all,

    Excuse me for barging in, but my Mother just came out on Facebook today as a libertarian, and I don’t know what to say to her.

  104. 104
    oolon

    Posted at the Slymepit just in case evil oolon decided to post nasty stuff there too… According to them I’m apparently going to be banned by PZ now as he totally bans *everyone* who posts over there at the evil pit. (Testing… Testing…?)

    Anyway not sure why I bothered as thinking about it what could evil oolon say at the Slymepit that counts as nasty? Comments on how nice Rebecca is looking in her new tshirt? I’m thinking of growing a beard so I can look more like PeeZus?

    Difficult to get your head around the bizarro world of the slymepit to manage that one.

  105. 105
    Amblebury

    Jesus is in my toast, I’m hungry, what do I do?

    Try smothering it with Vegemite. It worked with a cracker.

  106. 106
    dianne

    For example, EEG is not used all the time, everywhere.

    Really? I thought that there were certain definite requirements without which brain death simply could not be declared and that an EEG showing no activity was one of them. It’s not really my area, so could easily be wrong.

  107. 107
    Orange Utan

    @Wowbagger

    Them’s fightin’ words! At least all our parrots can fly…

    *snort* Ours just try to fuck you.

  108. 108
    Usernames are smart

    I don’t know what to say to her—TonyJ #103

    Nothing you can really say except tell her you love her.

    Libertardian thinking is incapable of seeing the end game of “government bad, corporations good.” I mean, if the Financial Crisis of 2008 (aka about as unregulated as you can get before you go back to trading in coconuts) wasn’t enough to cure anyone of that idea, there isn’t hope.

    Just sit back and enjoy the ride. And change the subject to Sports.

  109. 109
    ck

    So, Gina Rhinehart, Executive Chairman of an Australian mining company and the richest woman in the world, wants the poor to stop whining, and thinks the only reason they’re poor is that they need to “Spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working”. If they only did this then they could become rich the same way she did – by inheriting it from her father. Oh, and she wants minimum wage lowered. You know, so the poor can become richer quicker, or something. It certainly couldn’t be because of her extreme greed and avarice.

    I don’t understand why these kinds of things don’t lead people to want to revolt.

  110. 110
    joey

    Nightjar:

    joey, answer the question.

    What exactly is your problem with comprehensive sex ed?

    I don’t. My biggest beef is that sex ed isn’t comprehensive and detailed enough. Accurate and abundant statistics are a must for “comprehensive” sex ed. Ambiguous descriptions such as “highly effective” and “reduces the risk” and “to a lesser degree” without anchoring them using concrete data can only lead to false confidence.

    ———–

    KG:

    Look, shithead, the failure rates given for condoms in literature such as that of the CDC, are rates of pregnancies per woman using this as their only method of contraception for one year – and that includes women who didn’t always use a condom. The pregnancy rate per condom is estimated at .04% – that is, 4 in 10,000.

    Yes, I don’t dispute those figures. I was focusing more on the condom failure rates on STD prevention as opposed to unplanned pregnancies, as was indicated in my example.

    Now with regard to “axioms”, let’s hear what your “axioms” are. Come on, shithead, tell us what “axioms” you think we should be using.

    I believe in the dignity of the human person. That ALL human life (including infants) has intrinsic value, and that there exists things as inviolable human rights.

    ————

    strange gods:

    I’ve been guessing Christian. Am I right?

    Correct.

    ————
    Anne C. Hanna:

    If the kid genuinely isn’t sentient even at the level of a pet, then, well, it’s the parents’ decision what the right thing is to do and what level of sentimental attachment they want to feel, but I don’t have a problem with saying that there’s nothing there that I personally consider terribly valuable in its own right.

    You mentioned that a very young infant isn’t probably sentient. If so, should infanticide be justified as long as the decision belongs to the parents’?

  111. 111
    tkreacher

    My morality might have just shifted for the worse.

    Catching a little of the RNC I see Mittens claiming Obama promised to stop the oceans from rising. The truth of the claim is irrelevant. Whether it was a spin or not, irrelevent.

    It was the laughter that permeated the crowd after. It didn’t read to me as a “what a egomaniac” laugh. It seemed a “hahaha, ‘climate change’” laugh.

    And at that moment, my disgust at these idiots laughing at a thing that may threaten humanity, the haughty nature of their incredible ignorance, the blindly self-assured condescension of their deadly ignorance… my disgust shifted from mere disgust into the thought that they deserve what’s coming to them.

    These horrible, credulous, stupid, selfish god-soaked people are officially “others” to me now. The faceless, less than human kind of other.

    Or more accurately – more completely, maybe – my esteem for humanity itself slipped from its already tenuous and somewhat misanthropic position. This now even less respected set “human” further divided into a minority subset of decent and a majority subset of utter shit.

    That maybe I should just sit back and watch it burn, because fuck humanity.

    Or maybe I’m just in a bad mood, and it’ll pass tomorrow.

  112. 112
    Ing

    @Threker

    Here’s the worst part. They deserve it but they won’t be the ones affected.

  113. 113
    Ing

    also without even reading it just going to presume the response of “Joey you’re a lying idiot and need to grow the fuck up you spoiled little bratling” is appropriate.

  114. 114
    consciousness razor

    It was the laughter that permeated the crowd after. It didn’t read to me as a “what a egomaniac” laugh. It seemed a “hahaha, ‘climate change’” laugh.

    I don’t know. They laugh and cheer and chant “USA! USA! USA!” at the most absurd and meaningless things. I don’t mean to say you don’t have most of them pegged. You do. But the way they responded to it is … hard to put into words. Thinking about it for too long is like staring into the abyss.

    Climate change is at best an abstraction to them, even if it were real, though every right-thinking American knows it isn’t. They want stuff like jobs, low gas prices, never-ending war, and most of all “freedom.” You know: good old fashioned tangible stuff (plus freedom), not fancy big-picture ideas that never work. And they want them right now.

    I know I’m being way too charitable with many of them, but that’s quite a bit less monstrous than “LOL global warming! fuck it!”

  115. 115
    Suido

    @Jadehawk et al:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/flight-of-the-kiwi-20100521-w1uo.html

    50,000 NZers to Australia last year, cue political outrage about 13,000 refugees swamping us from the north.

    Sigh.

  116. 116
    ck

    I don’t know. They laugh and cheer and chant “USA! USA! USA!” at the most absurd and meaningless things. I don’t mean to say you don’t have most of them pegged. You do.

    These are the same kind of people who cheered and applauded the idea of letting uninsured people die because they can’t afford health care during the Sept 12, 2011 Republican debates. Assume the worst. Always assume the worst.

  117. 117
    Amphiox

    I was focusing more on the condom failure rates on STD prevention as opposed to unplanned pregnancies, as was indicated in my example.

    And the point was that so focusing in that manner was a transparently dishonest and invalid argument.

    I believe in the dignity of the human person. That ALL human life (including infants) has intrinsic value, and that there exists things as inviolable human rights.

    But, apparently, the right to bodily autonomy for pregnant women is NOT one of them.

    My biggest beef is that sex ed isn’t comprehensive and detailed enough.

    Someone who actually believes this does NOT make the kinds of arguments in favor of abstinence only sex education that the gooey does, seeing as there really isn’t ANY form of sex education LESS comprehensive and LESS detailed.

    What transparent dishonesty.

  118. 118
    Amblebury

    Suido Don’t get me started on the NZ exodus to Australia and other countries. This is what you get folks, when you inflict right-wing, libertarian thinking in an attempt to fix a nation that wasn’t broken.

    And it compounds, because a large section of the populace who think and would vote differently no longer live in the country. I’ve lived out of it, off and on, for ten years or more.

  119. 119
    Amphiox

    Really? I thought that there were certain definite requirements without which brain death simply could not be declared and that an EEG showing no activity was one of them.

    http://www.aan.com/professionals/practice/guidelines/pda/Brain_death_adults.pdf

    EEG is listed in section IV, under confirmatory laboratory tests, which are optional.

    A key part of the consideration is given here:

    Brain death is the absence of clinical brain function when the proximate cause is known and
    demonstrably irreversible

    Like all other medial diagnoses, brain death is actually a kind of scientific hypothesis – a hypothesis that you must then go ahead and test and confirm. And like with any scientific hypothesis, in order to be credible, you must have a plausible mechanism. ie, you have to have cause for the presentation of the symptoms of brain death, and that cause has to be one that is expected to be irreversible.

    So, for example, if you found someone unconscious but with no indication of what was the cause of their unconsciousness, and can find no likely cause on further clinical investigations such as MRIs and CTs, such that you cannot render a diagnosis as to what has caused the neurologic deterioration, then even if they fulfill every other criteria for brain death, you CAN’T determine that it is likely to be irreversible and you CAN’T declare brain death. (You CAN decide to transition from aggressive to comfort care, but you can’t declare brain death).

  120. 120
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Amphiox, I’m convinced. Where can I purchase an alarm system for my casket?

  121. 121
    Amphiox

    You mentioned that a very young infant isn’t probably sentient. If so, should infanticide be justified as long as the decision belongs to the parents’?

    I just KNEW the gooey was going to come back with this infanticide schtick in response to Anna’s posts. That was one of the reasons I took issue with Anna’s categorizations early up-thread.

    It’s not like it didn’t spend entire threads transparently trying to trap people into saying things in opposition to abortion that it could then twist around into making sound like support for infanticide.

  122. 122
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Personally, as a pro-choice vegan I’d love to see aborted fetal tissue meat products on store shelves.

  123. 123
    Amphiox

    Amphiox, I’m convinced. Where can I purchase an alarm system for my casket?

    Such things actually do exist!

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

    Or at least, people have tried to make them.

    Reliability, I do not think, was ever satisfactorily tested or demonstrated, though.

  124. 124
    Amphiox

    And as with any other scientific hypothesis, the more plausible the mechanism the greater the a priori likelihood of the hypothesis being correct, and lower the burden of proof and parsimony required to establish it.

    So if you have CT evidence of a gruesome and massive traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, and a clinical history of a 150km/h highway speed motor vehicle accident with ejection and head first impact into concrete, or say an MRI showing a massive stroke destroying the entire brainstem, your mechanism is very consistent with irreversible brain injury and you need fewer additional confirmatory findings to support a diagnosis of brain death.

    But if instead your MRI showed what appears to be an intact brainstem, or injuries that are not congruent with the severity of the clinical presentation of a deeply comatose patient, you don’t have a plausible mechanism for irreversible brain injury, and you might want more confirmatory evidence of irreversibility. And in these situations you might want to get an EEG, or a cerebral blood flow test, and other such laboratory tests, before committing to a diagnosis of brain death.

  125. 125
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Oh, I’m aware of the history. I didn’t realize it had been worked on as recently as ’95. But perhaps cryogenics would be a wiser investment? You can’t really do both.

  126. 126
    Amphiox

    And note that the criteria are for adults only.

    Young children are an entirely different and much more controversial ball of wax.

    Because the capacity for plasticity in a still-developing central nervous system fundamentally alters the possibility of irreversibility in ways that we still do not fully understand.

    It is, in fact, almost impossible to diagnose brain death in a newborn infant.

  127. 127
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Hong Kong is cool, or what?

    Yikes. Supervolcano found under Hong Kong:

    A supervolcano is one which is capable of producing 1,000 cubic kilometers of ash in an eruption. To put that in perspective, the hugely destructive Krakatau, whose explosion was said to be heard as far away as Perth, ejected only around 20 cubic kms.

    :)

  128. 128
  129. 129
    tkreacher

    consciousness razor #114

    In what is likely an actually valid golden mean, I’m probably being too critical and you, too charitable. heh

    Maybe when I wake up tomorrow my misanthropic Overton will be shifted back closer to center.

  130. 130
    Jadehawk

    My morality might have just shifted for the worse.

    Catching a little of the RNC I see Mittens claiming Obama promised to stop the oceans from rising. The truth of the claim is irrelevant. Whether it was a spin or not, irrelevent.

    It was the laughter that permeated the crowd after. It didn’t read to me as a “what a egomaniac” laugh. It seemed a “hahaha, ‘climate change’” laugh.

    I just caught snippets of that speech, too (and jesus fuck did he look smug during that climate change line). The bit that I found personally interesting was the shit about “abandoning” commitments to Poland by dropping the missile defense thingy.

    That is so fucking dumb. Poland didn’t want the fucking things there, but they were promised to be added to the visa-waiver countries if they let them. That was the promise the USA didn’t want to keep, and now Poles don’t want American missiles on their soil, because why would you wanna piss off the Russians for no fucking good reason?

    Yeah, I know, super-minor point. But just what the fuck is it with Romney and Poland recently, anyway?

  131. 131
    Jadehawk

    Suido Don’t get me started on the NZ exodus to Australia and other countries. This is what you get folks, when you inflict right-wing, libertarian thinking in an attempt to fix a nation that wasn’t broken.

    more space for me :-p

    besides, for NZ to catch up to the US (and especially this corner of it) would take longer than I’m likely to be alive. Though of course it would be better if the rest of the West didn’t see the clusterfuck that is the USA as something to aspire to. wtf is with that, anyway?

  132. 132
    Jadehawk

    and another thing about that speech… why the fuck was Romney talking about the Apollo missions? does he know those happened because of government?

    In fact, I think Republicans who talk about how awesome life in the 60′s was, economically, should get the tax-rates from those days tattooed on their forehead

    *grumble*

  133. 133
    Nightjar

    joey,

    My biggest beef is that sex ed isn’t comprehensive and detailed enough.

    Oh, sure that’s your biggest beef, joey. That must be why you started this discussion by trying to defend abstinence-only lack-of-sex-education, which is by definition less comprehensive and detailed that any other kind of sex ed.

    Accurate and abundant statistics are a must for “comprehensive” sex ed.

    Again, just who here do you think has a problem with that? I mean, I agree that accurate and abundant statistics are a must for sex ed. Along with a solid understanding of the basics of statistical theory and probability theory, and the basics of disease transmission and control, both hopefully learned elsewhere in school. Otherwise they’re not really that useful.

    But yeah, accurate information. All the information. That’s what teenagers subjected to abstinence-only lack-of-sex-education are not being given, and that’s why they are victims. Do you still disagree that they are victims, joey?

    Ambiguous descriptions such as “highly effective” and “reduces the risk” and “to a lesser degree” without anchoring them using concrete data can only lead to false confidence.

    And ambiguous descriptions such as “only marginally effective” without anchoring them using concrete data can only lead to exaggerated fears and a dangerous “why bother then” attitude towards condoms. The latter being a big part of the reason why abstinence-only sex “ed” fails so spectacularly.

  134. 134
    David Marjanović

    joey: *mock* *mock*

    But just what the fuck is it with Romney and Poland recently, anyway?

    Comrade Bush said: “Don’t forget Poland!”
    And never again hath Poland been forgotten.

    Though of course it would be better if the rest of the West didn’t see the clusterfuck that is the USA as something to aspire to. wtf is with that, anyway?

    What? Who does that?

  135. 135
    David Marjanović

    …other than that crazy party in NZ. And maybe the two or three wackos in Austria who’ve been proposing a flat tax for decades, though the US doesn’t even have a completely flat tax…

  136. 136
    Jadehawk

    What? Who does that?

    Canada and the UK, out of the top of my head.

  137. 137
    Nick Gotts
    Look, shithead, the failure rates given for condoms in literature such as that of the CDC, are rates of pregnancies per woman using this as their only method of contraception for one year – and that includes women who didn’t always use a condom. The pregnancy rate per condom is estimated at .04% – that is, 4 in 10,000. – me

    Yes, I don’t dispute those figures. – joey

    You prove once again what a dishonest little shit you are. You claimed that a condom which fails completely one time in ten would be more reliable than condoms now on sale. Now it is true that condom failure would not always lead to pregnancy, but for your 1-in-10 complete failure condom to give a pregnancy rate of 4 in 10,000, the chance of pregnancy from one act of unprotected PIV intercourse would need to be 4 in 1,000, or .004. I find a figure of 85% of women in a sexual relationship using no contraception will become pregnant within a year (I assume this means fertile women, if it doesn’t, the point is only strengthened). The same source gives an average “coital frequency” of 83 times per year. Now if the chance of not becoming pregnant from 83 acts of unprotected PIV intercourse is 15%, the chance per act is the 83rd root of .15, which turns out to be .977, so the chance of becoming pregnant per act is .023. Evidently, then, your 1-in-10 complete failure condom is much less reliable than condoms now on sale.

    With regard to STDs, the effectiveness of condoms varies with the disease, but contrary to your lies, they do give some protection against all, and good protection against most, as has been shown by references already given. Moreover, protection for the individual wearing or insisting on their partner wearing a condom, is by no means the whole story: with any STD, the public health aim is to reduce the number of new cases an infected individual causes: if this figure can be brought below 1 and kept there, the disease will die out and more generally, the lower it is, the fewer new cases; even where the degree of protection is relatively low, as with HPV, it can contribute to the reduction in new cases. So, of course, can abstinence. But the evidence is quite clear that abstinence only sex education doesn’t work: young people have sex anyway, but are less likely to use condoms. You have been claiming to want fully informative sex education, but given your long record of lying – including the lies you have told specifically about condoms – no-one believes you; and no-one else has been arguing against such a thing.

    That ALL human life (including infants) has intrinsic value, and that there exists things as inviolable human rights.

    ————

    strange gods:

    I’ve been guessing Christian. Am I right?

    Correct. – joey

    “Inviolable” except, of course, when your imaginary friend violates them or tells others to do so*. Have you actually read the Bible, joey?

    On a broader point, why did you spend so long lying about your beliefs, joey? You pretended over the course of several threads to be (your caricature of) pro-choice, including advocating a mother’s right to commit infanticide. You pretended during a long argument with me that all you cared about was your own happiness, which is of course completely incompatible with a belief in “inviolable human rights”, and that the only thing that would prevent you having your children tortured in return for a life of artificially induced bliss was that you couldn’t completely dismiss the remote possibility that there might be an afterlife in which you would be punished. While I consider Christianity to be both obviously false, and overwhelmingly pernicious in its effects, there are many Christians I can respect and admire. But not you, joey; most certainly, not you. All you’ve gained by this campaign of systematic lying is the universal and entirely justified contempt of everyone who has argued with you here. Are you satisfied with that outcome?

    * Or of course when it’s the right of a woman to bodily autonomy.

  138. 138
    David Marjanović

    …Yeah. I don’t want to think about the Canadian conservatives too much. The UK ones are strongly constrained by public opinion.

  139. 139
    David Marjanović

    have I told y’all of that one time my eyelids were freezing shut on my walk to work?

    …Wow. That’s badass.

    It makes me inexplicably sad that you are leaving the states.

    Heh. It makes me very easily explicably sad that you’re trying to go so far away from practically everyone else.

  140. 140
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    theophontes: we have one of those, too. Together, we are talking about an apocalyptic movie and it’s sequel. That’s without combining supervolcanos with other apocalyptic tropes.

  141. 141
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    *sees Joey posted*
    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha
    Nothing serious there folks, move along.

  142. 142
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Antiochus Epiphanes

    (link) Yellowstone Caldera

    I’ll come right out and say it: I have serious Caldera Envy.

    (… and OK, I’ll need to pretend that ours is not stone cold dead. It kinda puts a spring in one’s step thinking one’ll get blown to high heaven at any moment.)

  143. 143
    Badland

    @ 127 theophontes (坏蛋)

    Fortunately even by geological standards a volcano that last went bang 140 million years ago can comfortably be considered extinct.

    Tokyo and Fujian-san? Those poor urbanites are fucked

  144. 144
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Is your caldera really dead? Or *undead*?
     
    Supervolcano: Following the apocalyptic explosion of the Yellowstone caldera, a dystopian society of children wages war on mutant bears and big horn sheep for survival and supremacy in the West. Ex-forest ranger Will Smith (Will Smith) rescues them with the help of wildlife scientist Consuela Garcia (Selma Hayek). Mourning the loss of his family to the depredations of significantly altered bears, Will Smith finds love unexpectedly in the hearts of dystopian children, and his nerdy yet attractive co-hero.
     
    Supervolcano II: While the world suffers the economic devastation wrought by the Yellowstone Caldera, half-a-world-away, cocaine and sex-slavery merchants rise to power as part or the new world order that favors the ruthless* in the skyscrapers of Hong Kong. However, the Yellowstone caldera has awoken the sleeping giant beneath Hong Kong which erupts with unprecedented** devastation. Special agent Atonio George (Jason Statham)who has been leading the investigation into the corrupt municipal government must go head-to-head against the evil crime Lord Jason Wang (Donald Trump) to save his kidnapped daughter amidst the flames and rubble. He is assisted by the unlikely junk-skipper Wu (Jackie Chan), an ex martial arts expert with narcolepsy. Bone-breaking and hilarity ensue in this edge-of-your-seat thrillride.

    *It’s fiction. You have to suspend some disbelief here.
    **Somewhat precedented, I guess

  145. 145
    anteprepro

    Speaking of Republicans laughing about climate change, I just saw an ad for Self-Appointed Moderate Republican, Scott Brown. In it he BAAAAWED about how the fishing industry isn’t as successful nowadays and that he vows to destroy all regulations that the mean ol’ gubmint subjects those poor fishermen to. Because fishermen should be allowed to fish several species of fish to the point of extinction if it makes America some money!

    Is there even one Republican politician out there who isn’t a stupid and horrible human being?

  146. 146
    opposablethumbs

    KG to joey:

    All you’ve gained by this campaign of systematic lying is the universal and entirely justified contempt of everyone who has argued with you here.

    QFT, and may I just add revulsion; Joey has consistently showed himself to be so repugnant as to make my flesh creep. The horror is of course that there are people like this not just displaying their utter lack of morality on the internet but wielding power over others.

  147. 147
    anteprepro

    there are many Christians I can respect and admire. But not you, joey; most certainly, not you. All you’ve gained by this campaign of systematic lying is the universal and entirely justified contempt of everyone who has argued with you here. Are you satisfied with that outcome?

    Let me chime in to say: It’s not just the people arguing with joey who see how contemptible and dishonest he is. Though, in fairness, I was already holding joey in contempt for his first appearance here, where he was roughly just as dishonest and using roughly the same exact bullshit tactics and arguments as he is now. The fact that he is still pulling the same shit, X number of months later, and has only improved in the sense that he is willing to admit his agenda now, just makes it all the more clear that he deserves whatever mockery we can fling in his general direction. Even that may be more than he deserves.

  148. 148
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ badlands

    Fortunately even by geological standards a volcano that last went bang 140 million years ago can comfortably be considered extinct.

    I’m a gonna pretend I didn’t read that. (The buzz is in the lability.)

    @ AE

    cocaine and sex-slavery merchants rise to power as part or the new world order that favors the ruthless* in the skyscrapers of Hong Kong.

    Hey, that sounds just like me! (I want MY cut.)

  149. 149
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    You do remember that the “Benign Dictator for Life” stuff was in jest?
    Right?

  150. 150
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau

    Rather humid here. We’ve just had some rain .

    @ AE

    Yellowstone Caldera on CNN right now. (Synchronicity? Its creepy.)

  151. 151
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    Bright sunshine here. I’m going to do some laundry.

  152. 152
    Amphiox

    You do remember that the “Benign Dictator for Life” stuff was in jest?

    Ah, but which part was the jest, the “benign”, the “dictator”, or the “life” part?

  153. 153
    chigau (違う)

    Amphiox
    It was the “for” part.

  154. 154
    Amphiox

    Fortunately even by geological standards a volcano that last went bang 140 million years ago can comfortably be considered extinct.

    140 million years of plate tectonics should mean that the mantle plume hotspot that produced this supervolcano has moved elsewhere (or the rather the plate on top of it has moved elsewhere), so that even if the hotspot is still active, it’s not in the same place anymore.

    But I’m not sure if we can actually be sure about that.

  155. 155
    Amphiox

    In it he BAAAAWED about how the fishing industry isn’t as successful nowadays and that he vows to destroy all regulations that the mean ol’ gubmint subjects those poor fishermen to. Because fishermen should be allowed to fish several species of fish to the point of extinction if it makes America some money!

    Lack of government regulations to fish as much as they wanted sure didn’t help the Canadian grand banks fishermen when they (in combination with international fishermen) fished the cod stocks to total depletion, and left them all without livelihoods.

  156. 156
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I think we can all agree, apropos the above, that Politburo’s are like calderas.

  157. 157
    anteprepro

    Lack of government regulations to fish as much as they wanted sure didn’t help the Canadian grand banks fishermen when they (in combination with international fishermen) fished the cod stocks to total depletion, and left them all without livelihoods.

    Nope, don’t matter. All we should care about is whether it is profitable on the scale of one to three years. Anything past that don’t matter at all, because that’s a long time away and I don’t care about something that doesn’t benefit ME either immediately or close to it. It’s all about the money, and it’s all about the money RIGHT NOW. Fuck the current environment, fuck future money, and especially fuck the future environment. None of those matter as much as short-term profits!

    (Am I libertarian yet? Or will that only work if I’m shouting the above during a full moon?)

  158. 158
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    anteprepro:

    No, no, no. You’re doing it all wrong. You have to present your greed as a vehicle of principle. It isn’t just right to fish without concern for the future, it would be wrong not to.

    I mean, you personally, do not like that all of these fish have to die, but freedom is at stake. The fish die or the terrorists win.

  159. 159
    joey

    KG:

    You claimed that a condom which fails completely one time in ten would be more reliable than condoms now on sale.

    And I also explicitly stated in that post that I was focusing on STD prevention as opposed to pregnancy prevention. I said, “For the sake of argument, let’s completely ignore the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy (he/she has a perfect vasectomy or tubal ligation) and only focus on the possibility of contracting STDs.” Please take things in context.

    On a broader point, why did you spend so long lying about your beliefs, joey? You pretended over the course of several threads to be (your caricature of) pro-choice, including advocating a mother’s right to commit infanticide.

    I was playing devil’s advocate by arguing various positions/conclusions based on premises generally held by this community. Given these premises, I stand by the soundness of all the arguments that I’ve made, even though I personally don’t believe in many of the premises that form the basis of those arguments.

    I always thought that I made it obvious (in the content of my posts and the manner in which I posted) that I was assuming the devil’s advocate role in many of the discussions (not all, if you remember one of our earlier discussions regarding seizing Catholic schools and the First Amendment). If it was not obvious to some, or even if it was obvious, I can understand how the manner in which I’ve been debating can be viewed as dishonest. Let me rephrase that…it was dishonest. For that, I apologize to you and the forum community. I will no longer debate in such a manner.

    But given the understood premises (even though I personally don’t believe in them), I still stand by the validness of all the arguments that I’ve made. For example, my earlier arguments in defense of infanticide sound awfully close to what Anne C. Hanna has been arguing here, which are based on the premise that an infant has less value than an adult human due to its lack of sentience. My challenge has always been to dispute the arguments (if you can), or rethink the premises that form the arguments.

  160. 160
    Ing

    Joey shut the fuck up. You’re not helping you’re being a biggot fuck

    People have excplained multiple time and u don’t care because you’re a selfish arrogant shit who tells others what they think.

    ——

    Side note: I had an idea for a blog project to be a counterpart to A+. Where A+ is positive and active A- would be self reflective and be a constructive critic. Idea is to devote a blog by positive good atheists to look at the atheist culture and movement and offer strong critique. Not what arguements do or don’t work but on whether were being shits or being blind to privledged or acting just like dogmatic sheep. Thoughts?

  161. 161
    anteprepro

    No, no, no. You’re doing it all wrong. You have to present your greed as a vehicle of principle. It isn’t just right to fish without concern for the future, it would be wrong not to.

    I mean, you personally, do not like that all of these fish have to die, but freedom is at stake. The fish die or the terrorists win.

    Well shit. No wonder why I can’t rouse the rabble.

    And oh look, joey posted something! I’ll go celebrate by fetching the vomit trough and a basket full of rotten tomatoes for those who have finished using the former.

    Idea is to devote a blog by positive good atheists to look at the atheist culture and movement and offer strong critique. Not what arguements do or don’t work but on whether were being shits or being blind to privledged or acting just like dogmatic sheep. Thoughts?

    Sounds like a good idea to me. “Atheists Behaving Badly”? Or perhaps “Guys, don’t do that” if you wish to tempt fate.

  162. 162
    Ing

    I was leaning towards A- with ]uys don’t do that” being the tag line

  163. 163
    Amphiox

    I was playing devil’s advocate by arguing various positions/conclusions based on premises generally held by this community.

    In other words, being deliberately dishonest and setting rhetorical traps using ridiculous hypotheticals with no application to real life situations.

    We all knew that from the get-go, of course.

    <blockquoteAnd I also explicitly stated in that post that I was focusing on STD prevention as opposed to pregnancy prevention. I said, “For the sake of argument, let’s completely ignore the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy (he/she has a perfect vasectomy or tubal ligation) and only focus on the possibility of contracting STDs.”

    In other words, being deliberately dishonest and setting rhetorical traps using ridiculous hypotheticals with no application to real life situations.

    We all knew that from the get-go, of course.

  164. 164
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Please take things in context.

    Fuck. Joey, you owe me a brand new, super-duty, high-impact, GOP-level irony meter. You just smoked mine.

    I was playing devil’s advocate by arguing various positions/conclusions based on premises generally held by this community.

    Really? Please cite, with references, the one who stated that infanticide is acceptable. Or are you lying again? You know, bearing false witness and all that?

    Take your rhetorical traps and shove them. Seriously. If you had a valid argument to make you should have made it. Even if I, or others, disagreed with you, if you had been able to support your position, it could have been a good argument. You have, however, through your lies, strawmanning, just-so stories and your rhetorical assholery made it impossible for anyone here to ever take anything you write as even remotely honest. If you told me that the sky was blue I would feel the uncontrollable need to check and make sure.

  165. 165
    ronaldraygunz

    Here’s what I don’t get.
    http://www.celebratecommunion.com/gluten-free-communion-wafers-130.html
    You can buy gluten free communion wafers. Why do they need to be gluten free if they turn into the body of Christ? Wasn’t Jesus gluten free? Doesn’t that kind of ruin the whole faith in the transubstantiation thing if they have to be gluten free? I don’t get it. Someone needs to give me some direction here.

  166. 166
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Joey, the difference between “playing devil’s advocate” and trolling is zero. Ergo, you play the troll, you are considered a troll, and treated with the disdain trolls earn. And you have earned disdain, contempt, and ridicule.

    If you said “this is what I believe, and this (link to evidence) is the evidence to back it up”, we can and do discuss issues as you are being honest. Why haven’t you tried the honest, non-trolling tact? It can’t be because we are expected to learn from you when you are trolling.

  167. 167
    consciousness razor

    I was playing devil’s advocate by arguing various positions/conclusions based on premises generally held by this community. strawmen. Given these premises, I stand by the soundness of all the arguments that I’ve made, even though I personally don’t believe in many of the premises that form the basis of those arguments.

    It’s your problem if you genuinely believe many of them are valid (if not sound). Wait a second. Are you right now being a meta-devil’s advocate making a concealed meta-arguendo claim about their soundness that we’re supposed to implicitly accept?

    This also leads me to wonder why you won’t (or can’t) make a valid argument for positions you actually hold, based on facts as you actually understand and interpret them. It’s not just an issue of dishonesty, but that’s it’s generally not a valid way to arrive at conclusions. The alternative to whatever arguments people here give, whether they’re right or not, isn’t automatically your position. It’s almost never the case that there are only two sides, diametrically opposed to one another in every detail. That’s part of what makes you such a shitty devil’s advocate — that and the dishonesty, the sheer stupidity, and the utter lack of factual content.

  168. 168
    consciousness razor

    That’s part of what makes you such a shitty devil’s advocate — that and the dishonesty, the sheer stupidity, and the utter lack of factual content.

    And, of course, evasiveness short of outright dishonesty. It’s not hard to say “for the sake of argument” when that’s what you think, and that would clear up a lot. But you’re probably being evasive in another way. Isn’t all of this shit you argue about irrelevant, if the real issue you have with us is that we don’t believe in whichever brand of Christian god you think exists? Where are your arguments for that? You’re a Christian at an atheist blog, so should we assume that probably isn’t what your main beef with us is?

  169. 169
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Why do they need to be gluten free if they turn into the body of Christ? Wasn’t Jesus gluten free?

    *turning red and giggling*

    When I was a child of ~11, a priest explained this to me while I was undergoing yearly altar-boy training. It was so hilariously bullshitty, that I remember it like it was yesterday. Let me see if I can recapitulate the idea…

    Ahem….The body of Jesus Christ transubstantiated is not His earthly body, but is His glorified, heavenly body. Glorified flesh is not the same as earthly flesh. It is different in substance and….glory-content, namely. For all we know, it is made of the same stuff that unleavened wheat flour is made of. Now, one would never subject the sacrament to scientific scrutiny in a laboratory because, like, hell. But I’d bet you that glorified heavenly flesh is indistinguishable from wheat flour. And if someone did that experiment and that’s what he* found? Well, Antiochus…could you think of better proof of His love for us? Now if there are no more questions…

    *women wouldn’t likely do such a thing.

  170. 170
    Nick Gotts

    joey,

    And I also explicitly stated in that post that I was focusing on STD prevention as opposed to pregnancy prevention. I said, “For the sake of argument, let’s completely ignore the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy (he/she has a perfect vasectomy or tubal ligation) and only focus on the possibility of contracting STDs.” Please take things in context.

    First, the context of the entire discussion is sex education for young people, so your “for the sake of argument” is an absurdity. Second, the point is that you made entirely unsupported claims about the ineffectiveness of condoms currently on sale, citing no sources. But we can get a reasonable estimate of how effective current condoms are in relation to your mythical works-perfectly-nine-times-in-ten-and-not-at-all-the-tenth by calculating what effect the latter would have in reducing pregnancy risks. Neither bacteria nor viruses can penetrate a normal condom, unless it’s faulty, any more than sperm can; the comparatively poor performance of condoms in relation to HPV arises because the infective agent can be passed via contact with areas that are not covered by a condom.

    I was playing devil’s advocate by arguing various positions/conclusions based on premises generally held by this community.

    You’re a liar.
    1) Playing devil’s advocate does not require lying about your own position. Indeed, that term is generally used only if a person agrees with others in the discussion, but wishes to present the position of someone who disagrees. In any case, an honest person, arguing in good faith, would have said “I’m a Christian, but I’m going to put forward what I take to be the logical consequences of the following premises, which I believe you hold.” You didn’t do that: you simply lied, and went on lying for long periods of time. Why should we believe your current assertions about the positions you hold – for example, your claim that you advocate comprehensive and accurate sex education? We know you lie about the positions you hold, and continue to do so for long periods of time. No assurance you give that you are presenting your honest view now has any value whatsoever.
    2) Had you been an honest person and done as an honest person would, you would have identified the premises on which you based your position (I notice you have still not done so), and would undoubtedly have been told that these were not premises that are “generally held by this community”. In fact, in the abortion case you were repeatedly told, by many different people, that the premise on which the pro-choice position is based is the right of people (in this case, specifically women) to bodily autonomy, from which it quite evident that what follows is the right to end a pregnancy, and the death of the fetus, if it occurs, is a side-effect of exercising that right, while the right to kill an infant that is already born (or in the process of being born, so the pregnancy is being ended expeditiously) quite clearly does not follow. In the case of your argument for choosing an artificial ecstasy irrespective of the consequences for others, it was made abundantly clear that most atheists do not take psychopathic selfishness as a premise. In particular, I made it absolutely clear repeatedly that I value the happiness of others as an end in itself, and you simply refused to accept that this could possibly be so for anyone. Moreover, I made the point that if one did take complete selfishness as a premise, then even if one did have any doubt that this life is the only one we get (which I do not, nor I think do most of this community), such a doubt about whether there might be an afterlife to which one’s choices in this one made a difference could not rationally make any difference to those choices, since we have zero information about what difference those choices would make, whereupon you tried to insist that this was not the case. So, in both cases you were shown quite clearly that you were not arguing from premises generally held by this community, yet you continued to maintain them.

    Incidentally, unless I missed it, you have not specified, as I asked, what “axioms” you proceed from. (You have said that you consider people to have “inviolable human rights”, but you have not said what these are, nor whether this is an “axiom”, or follows from something else.) Why have you not specified your axioms, joey? You have repeatedly tried to insist that others do so, so if you were arguing in good faith, you would be prepared to put yours on the table for examination and questioning.

  171. 171
    tkreacher

    Antiochus,

    And if someone did that experiment and that’s what he* found? Well, Antiochus…could you think of better proof of His love for us?

    That’s one of the most insidious tricks authoritarian leaders use. They’ve already got the authoritarian follower under their thrall by the simple virtue of the follower’s broken mode of thinking. They pour in “facts”, the facts are believed. The follower doesn’t look outside of the in group for information and, even if they did, don’t trust the information or don’t have the reasoning skill to parse the information.

    But… just in case. Just in case you’ve got your hooks in a half-thinker. Someone on the low end of the high scale of credulous. Just in case they do start thinking. Poison the well.

    “Doubting your faith can be a sign that your faith is STRONG. It is a sign that you take your faith seriously. It strengthens your faith. Here, let me quote some scripture at you to demonstrate this truth.”

    “If God gave us evidence, our faith would be meaningless, and we would have no free will. If we didn’t have the choice to believe in Him we would not be free. Such is God’s love for us, that he would leave this world after sending his only begotten son to die for our sins, that we may have real freedom.”

    “All of this so-called evidence for evolution is a test of our faith. That there is a wicked plot to cast doubt on Biblical truth is PROOF POSITIVE that the Bible is the truth. Why else would the disbelievers, at the hand of the devil, make such a massive attempt to deceive? What other motivation can they have? ”

    It’s a safety net to catch those who might have a spark of critical thinking at their disposal. For those who trust their authorities on the face of it, but might have a stunted ability to connect thoughts when they are alone, in the dark of the night. Who might get uneasy at a blatant contradiction. Who might otherwise be lost from the fold.

    Fucking insidious.

  172. 172
    Nick Gotts

    I believe in the dignity of the human person. That ALL human life (including infants) has intrinsic value, and that there exists things as inviolable human rights. – joey

    I did miss that you intended this as a specification of your “axioms”. But it’s entirely useless, joey, unless you tell us what that “dignity” and those “inviolable rights” are, and spell out what you think follows from them. What things violate the “dignity of the human person”? If there’s an “inviolable human right” to life, are you a complete pacifist, joey? Complete, in that you cannot kill another person even in self-defense, or in defense of others? If not, then the right is not “inviolable”. But if so, it’s at least doubtful if you can call it “inviolable”, because you would fail to defend it. Would it be right for the government to force one person to give up a kidney to save another’s life? If not, the right is not “inviolable”. See, joey, this is why I say demanding that people specify their moral axioms is so useless – and in your case, so dishonest: when we come to specific cases, such “axioms” frequently turn out not to provide a basis for a decision. Demanding them of others is just another of your rhetorical tricks, a way you think you can show how superior you are.

  173. 173
    consciousness razor

    Sorry, I just noticed I made a big and confusing error. My first quote in #167 was supposed to start out looking like this:

    I was playing devil’s advocate by arguing various positions/conclusions based on premises generally held by this community. strawmen.

    I wasn’t saying I thought our (or my own) positions are invalid, and that if that were the case it would be joey’s problem. I was saying that if he thought those strawmen were valid, then that (in addition to strawmanning) is his problem, not ours. Because many of them clearly aren’t valid the way he’s presented them, which I won’t dwell on right now. But instead of doing any serious reasoning himself, he’s mostly distorting ours, accepting its “validity” at face value and ineptly using it against us to make cheap and irrelevant rhetorical points. Which is silly and rather boring.

  174. 174
    Hurin

    Joey

    For example, my earlier arguments in defense of infanticide sound awfully close to what Anne C. Hanna has been arguing here, which are based on the premise that an infant has less value than an adult human due to its lack of sentience.

    Your infanticide question is moronic. Why would it be necessary for the baby to have the same value as its mother in order for it to be unethical to kill it?

    Abortion is a special case, because a fetus depends on the body of another in order to develop and eventually get born.

    After it is born it is a special case, because babies develop into full grown humans.

    Even if a specific baby wasn’t going to develop sentience (we will say it is severely retarded due to some unspecified disorder) euthanizing it would still be unacceptable. Similarly, when and how animals can be killed is a matter of debate and regulation. I don’t support the wanton killing of house cats either, and in fact it would probably be against the law in most places under animal cruelty statutes.

  175. 175
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @Anne:

    I don’t know what just happened there

    Oh, that was me asking questions tersely on the internet (and probably coming across as angry, which I wasn’t), and causing derailment and aggravation. Sorry. It will happen again, I’m sure.

    For context, the child I’m talking about was born with something—the doctors don’t know what—which has left her with no motor function. I haven’t asked about EEGs (nor would I), but the fact that the doctors are still investigating seven years on suggests that it’s not a case of catastrophic brain failure. So she can’t move or communicate, but does seem to have pupillary response to members of family, affectionate hugs, etc. As to whether there’s a mind there, it’s distressingly hard to tell.

    This is why the sentience/sapience distinction strikes me as problematic (see also Amphiox’s comment about sentiometers), and makes language like “isn’t sentient even at the level of a pet” sounds like nails on a blackboard to me.

    However, I think we’re in (almost) complete agreement, except that that I’d quibble over language like:

    there’s nothing there that I personally consider terribly valuable in its own right

    … because people have used similar reasoning to go to some very dark places.

    I guess I’d prefer to start from right-to-life and carve out exemptions (and, @joey: yes, one of them would be for abortion).

    So, JM:

    You (like cm did in response to Anne) are equating mindlessness with developmentally disabled people

    *rearranging*

    cm [equated] mindless with developmentally-disabled

    Actually, I was trying to argue the exact opposite. :-/

  176. 176
    opposablethumbs

    KG #170 and #172 –

    we really, really need that squid button. I’d like to award you two tentacles and a beak (/highly inappropriate tauromachian reference (two ears and a tail))

  177. 177
    Nick Gotts

    opposablethumbs,

    I’ll treasure them!

  178. 178
    jflcroft

    I saw there was one post re: Seth Macfarlane on here – I honestly do not think an unmoderated forum like this is the best place to discuss what could potentially be an emotive and hurtful subject. What I will say is that I take the concern with the decision very seriously and that I have serious questions about it myself. We have certainly since that decision was made reconsidered our process for selecting candidates – for instance we recently vetoed a candidate because we felt they had similar problems to those Seth Macfarlane presented.

    We are certainly not ignoring the criticism on this point – I personally take it very seriously indeed.

  179. 179
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Is Seth McFarlane the cartoon guy?

    Disingenuous. I googled it. He is. I guess I’ll have to check out that cartoon and see what this is about.

  180. 180
    consciousness razor

    I honestly do not think an unmoderated forum like this is the best place to discuss what could potentially be an emotive and hurtful subject.

    Sure, you know, when I have emotions, I honestly think they should be moderated.

    And if you had seriously considered even a fraction of the things that were wrong with choosing MacFarlane as Humanist of the Year, wouldn’t you already have the same (or very fucking similar) emotions? What’s fucking “potential” about this for you?

  181. 181
    John Morales

    jflcroft:

    I honestly do not think an unmoderated forum like this is the best place to discuss what could potentially be an emotive and hurtful subject.

    Well, there’s nothing to stop you from moderating yourself, you know!

    (Or is it your own hurt you’re worried about? :) )

  182. 182
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gee, a HCH actually moderating themselves? I thought they got paid by the non-sequitor word to torment the atheist blogs….

  183. 183
    John Morales

    Back in the day, James wrote:

    It was a somewhat controversial decision, but I don’t think such an obviously wrong one as you seem to think it is.

    Contrast with

    We have certainly since that decision was made reconsidered our process for selecting candidates – for instance we recently vetoed a candidate because we felt they had similar problems to those Seth Macfarlane presented.

    Clearly, James is now admitting he believes it was a mistake and so does the organisation;, but what’s unsaid is even more interesting: there is to be no official public admission of that error nor revocation of this, um, prestigious award.

    (Spinning like a whirling dervish!)

  184. 184
    Amphiox

    There is a REASON it is called DEVIL’S advocate. Even theists long recognize that it is an evil and dishonest thing to do.

    Isn’t it ironic that gooey the self-proclaimed “christian” admits to deliberately choosing to act in a manner directly analogous to defending the Prince of Lies.

  185. 185
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I was playing devil’s advocate

    There’s such a thing as honestly being or playing devil’s advocate. It’s a useful exercise, but rarely happens on the internet. More frequent in this context is the belated claim of playing – in the sense of dishonestly faking – devil’s advocate. This is dishonest, disingenuous, and ill-intended (and of course in joey’s case laughably transparent).

    I maintain the hope, though, that at least a few joeys will have a reverse-Genesius experience, gaining real enlightenment in the course of their fakery. It’s entirely possible, for all but the most ideologically blinkered.

  186. 186
    consciousness razor

    Clearly, James is now admitting he believes it was a mistake and so does the organisation

    Maybe you’re kidding, but I’m not clear about that at all.

    jflcroft, what has changed since you made the comment quoted from July 6?

  187. 187
  188. 188
  189. 189
    ChasCPeterson

    Ha! I was there!
    Greek Theater, Berkeley. That was the second of three days.

    One of the most memorable weekends of my life.

  190. 190
  191. 191
    ChasCPeterson

    and yet now that I think of it I don’t actually remember it all that well.

    was definitely there, though. There and then.

  192. 192
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Greek Theater, Berkeley.

    *hopping along stones in the stream of consciousness*

    Oh! I’ve just read the sample of Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power. Can’t afford it quite yet [please feel free to make a donation on my blog :)], but it’s next on my list. Is anyone else reading it?

  193. 193
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Devil’s Advocate – Tampa style (in honor of the Moran convention)

    …Interesting comments.

  194. 194
  195. 195
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    There’s memorable and there’s memorable.

  196. 196
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Where did all the good times go?

    Top comment:

    Your cool because your watching this timeless song.

  197. 197
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Doh. Borked the title. *sigh*

  198. 198
    consciousness razor

    Devil’s advocate

  199. 199
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Ing

    Idea is to devote a blog by positive good atheists to look at the atheist culture and movement and offer strong critique. …Thoughts?

    Devil’s Advocate? ;)

  200. 200
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Devil’s advocate

    Holy…

  201. 201
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    consciousness razor, dammit, you’ve awoken an old rivalry …

    Lizst had a most fearsome adversary

  202. 202
    consciousness razor

    consciousness razor, dammit, you’ve awoken an old rivalry …

    Lizst had a most fearsome adversary

    Deep rifts!

  203. 203
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    ☆☆☆ Lizst was the world’s first true ROCK STAR! ☆☆☆

  204. 204
    consciousness razor

    I guess this is for me:

    Holy…

    :) He didn’t take his time on it, either, that’s for sure.

  205. 205
    consciousness razor

    ☆☆☆ Lizst was the world’s first true ROCK STAR! ☆☆☆

    This is not so, but I’d find it demeaning to be compared to a rock star anyway.

  206. 206
    consciousness razor

    That looks much crankier than I meant it to be.

  207. 207
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ CR

    Lisztomania (link):

    Though he only stayed in Berlin for a few months, a veritable “Lisztomania” (Heinrich Heine) broke out there in the spring of 1842. Swept away by the sheer brilliance of his playing, the public coveted and fetishized everyday items of his, including his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, and were awe-struck whenever a piano string broke or an entire grand piano came crashing down under his ferocious performance. “A divinity, and we hearken on our knees,” noted Robert Schumann.

    If that is not the ultimate Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle then I am a mere tardigrade.

  208. 208
  209. 209
    consciousness razor

    I know his biography well enough, but I must insist rock is a (not very well-defined) musical style, not a lifestyle.

    If that is not the ultimate Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle then I am a mere tardigrade.

    But you are a mere tardigrade. I could point to records in the Ministry of Truth demonstrating this, and they can’t be false.

  210. 210
    Jeebus

    Schumann?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMD7oYMKsW0

    Mah fayvorit.

    I was just blown away when I first heard the Rhenish Symphony, as conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

  211. 211
    Hurin

    I got to see Philip Glass memorialize Allen Ginsberg with this when I was in high school. Blew my mind.

  212. 212
    chigau (違う)

    What the … meh.

  213. 213
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ CR

    I must insist rock is a (not very well-defined) musical style, not a lifestyle.

    Then you have been doing it WRONG! (The music is merely a means to an end.)

    (If you have read the Minitrue archives correctly you would know that tardigrades do indeed lead » ¡ ROCK STAR ! « lifestyles.)

  214. 214
    consciousness razor

    “the public coveted and fetishized everyday items of his”

    Is that a rock ‘n roll lifestyle or is it a weird cultish economic materialism, or is that just a difference of degree?

    Then you have been doing it “WRONG!”

    No, I haven’t been doing it at all. This is the thing. It’s as if all music is supposed to be defined in relation to rock, instead of the reverse. That’s what I meant by it being demeaning to what I do, not that I consider them (or their work) beneath me.

    I won’t even touch how it’s as if history started when white people started playing it.

    (The music is merely a means to an end.)

    Not for me, but you still probably shouldn’t confuse the two.

  215. 215
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    As someone who held “punk rock” as a moral guideline for many years I must concur that rock and roll is a style of music, not a lifestyle.

    Also, happy (slightly late) birthday to me. I am now the proud owner of a brand new crock pot (vegan recipes welcome,) slightly broken iphone (you can’t make calls with it – no too different from a fully functional model,) a Dewalt dril/driver (which works great but the battery packs won’t hold a charge,) and crisp new pairs of double-front carhartts and high-top chucks (all black, of course).

  216. 216
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    dysomaniak: Imma monochrome black chucks guy myself. It’s because I’m a ninja. And because I feel black on the inside. And because I am naturally flat-footed, and like, fuck arch support.

  217. 217
    SubMor

    Ing@162:

    I was leaning towards A- with ]uys don’t do that” being the tag line

    I really like this idea. It should be so.

  218. 218
    John Morales

    A- is a silly nomenclature (unlike A+); it should be A° (A-null).

  219. 219
    consciousness razor

    Morales, that Richard fellow at Fincke’s blog is all yours. Free will!! I give up.

  220. 220
    Ing

    @John Morales

    I was going to do A Negative, but A-Null is a pun I don’t think I can pass up XD

  221. 221
    Anne C. Hanna

    To answer stuff from like a hundred posts and two days ago without reading the intervening stuff that I don’t have time to skim right now because I’m traveling…

    Amphiox,

    “You mentioned that a very young infant isn’t probably sentient. If so, should infanticide be justified as long as the decision belongs to the parents’?”

    I just KNEW the gooey was going to come back with this infanticide schtick in response to Anna’s posts. That was one of the reasons I took issue with Anna’s categorizations early up-thread.

    It’s not like it didn’t spend entire threads transparently trying to trap people into saying things in opposition to abortion that it could then twist around into making sound like support for infanticide.

    I don’t see how this nonsense of joey’s raises any problems for what I’ve said at all. Like a fetus, an infant has interests. Unlike a fetus, an infant does not generally have to (potentially) contravene the overriding interests of any other individual (the mother) in order to have its interests satisfied. Instead, its care can be transferred to others who *do* want a child, or an essentially negligible amount of resources per individual can be drawn from society as a whole to provide a paid carer. Unless the infant has such severe birth defects that its life is expected to be so short and full of suffering that terminating its existence is probably in its *own* best interests, or unless it is born into a society with such severe resource deficiencies that abandoned children cannot be supported without doing severe damage to the society, then its interests become the overriding ones, and killing it cannot be justified.

    Also, in re this:

    When somebody has late-stage cancer that’s unlikely to be survivable, they don’t always choose to suffer through the most aggressive possible treatments just for a 1% increase in cure rates.

    This isn’t the best analogy though, since most of the time, it is the individual patient who makes that decision rather than a surrogate decision maker, and generally speaking, the choice isn’t maximum aggressive care versus no care, but a more nuanced decision pertaining to level of care and goals of care (ie if quantity of survival conflicts with quality of survival, what weight of import assigned to each).

    The individual patient makes this decision when ze is in a position to do so, but if the patient were for some reason unable to make the decision for hirself (e.g. a legally incompetent adult human, a child, or a pet), then their legal caregiver has to make essentially the same decision on essentially the same grounds. In fact, when the decision is being made for someone who seems unlikely to be able to rationalize their suffering at some level, then as far as I can tell most people tend towards believing that the humane choice is the one that reduces suffering the most, rather than the one that prolongs life the most. So I’m not really convinced that this analogy is problematic in regard to the point I was trying to make with it.

    ———

    To others, in re Dennis Markuze, yes, I know his history. It’s because of that history of hostile and pathologically irrational behavior that I would be extremely startled if atheists telling him that he’s mentally ill were to actually have any effect at this point. I mean, it’d be nice, on accounta how mental health treatment would almost certainly be hella better for him than prison, and I applaud the attempt. It’s just that, given my recent experience of telling an apparently perfectly neurotypical and supposedly completely allied person that I am not 100% behind every single thing he’s ever said on the subject of civility, I am not very optimistic about attempts to get Markuze to accept any flavor of sweet reason whatsoever. That’s all. :P

  222. 222
    Anne C. Hanna

    *sigh* Reading further even though I should sleep now…

    cm,

    It sounds like the kid you’re describing is a case where it’s simply completely unclear what the status of the brain function is, in which case I don’t know why you’re perceiving hir as a reason to take offense at comments that were very carefully directed at situations where there’s a well-established and definitive absence of significant sapience/sentience. After all, locked-in syndrome is a real thing with adults, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t also things that happen with adults (e.g. massive hemorrhages) where the destruction of higher functions is probably reasonably unambiguous. So why would we expect that there won’t be cases with children where it’s reasonably unambiguous that a particular child’s brain is almost certainly never going to be able to produce a mind?

    But the thing you’re talking about with this kid is not, “What do you do when it’s pretty clear that there’s nothing there?” (which was what *I* was talking about), it’s, “What do you do when you’ve either got no clue, or there’s at least some good reason to to be unsure?” In *that* case you look at the different possible outcomes and try to estimate their likelihoods and costs and benefits. Is it possible/likely that the patient will recover completely, or partially, or not at all? What do we know about the likelihood that they might be perfectly or partially mentally active or aware of their surroundings and yet unable to respond? In the different projected scenarios, how much will the patient be likely to be suffering, and how much emotional suffering and hardship will be imposed on their families and caregivers? What do we think that the person would do if ze was able to make this decision? And so forth. The right answer will depend incredibly sensitively on the specific circumstances, and there’s probably always going to be some guesswork, and even mistakes or injustices, at the edges. Perfection isn’t a reasonable expectation when we’re dealing in such murky realms. All we can do is our best.

    In this particular case, the parents apparently either decided that the kid’s chances of some positive outcome were high enough or the potential for the kid’s and their suffering was low enough that going to a great deal of trouble and expense to sustain its existence was worth the costs. It sounds like a case where I would probably not have made the same decision, but absent a clear demonstration that what they’re doing is objectively the worst thing for the child, which probably isn’t possible, it’s one of those things that decency demands we leave to individual decisions. And regardless of whether any particular decider would choose to sustain an infant born with this problem or terminate life support, the question in this case would not be, “Do we continue to maintain the existence of this body given that it almost certainly cannot produce a mind of any sort?” (a question to which I would say, if it were relevant, “No, such a body has no value.”). Instead, the question would be, “Is it humane to possibly allow a human mind to develop in a body which is probably incapable of allowing that mind to ever even communicate to the world around it?” (a question to which I would say, “Very likely not, and since the person will probably never even be able to end hir existence if ze finds it unbearable, I’m not going to do this experiment.”)

    It’s also not clear to me how what I’ve said leads to invocations of the Hitler zombie. Does it really automatically lead to pulling up the gas vans outside the local disability resource center if one says that there’s some level of brain malformation or damage at which essentially no mind to speak of can possibly be generated by that brain? And if so, how? Certainly, drawing a bright line isn’t going to be possible, and it will therefore generally be important to err on the side of caution, but there are still going to be a certain number of cases that are fairly clear-cut to anyone who is not a subscriber to a supernatural belief system. It’s not clear to me why it ought to be controversial to say that in those cases, such bodies are not persons and should not be valued as such, and that the perceived value at that point is more about the sentiments of the family members. As far as I can tell, the only reason to deny this is if one places an absurd and superstitious value on human-shaped things just because they’re human-shaped, and thereby unfairly devalues all other minds simply because they don’t happen to occupy human-shaped bodies. I just can’t support either of those things.

  223. 223
    mikmik

    Will ‘they’ quit calling it the God Particle? Jesus H. Christ, even Deepak Chumperawoo doesn’t like it, FFS:

    The possible discovery of the Higgs boson would not have been splashed across every major media if the tag “God particle” weren’t attached to it. Physicists hate the term, but they love the publicity

    But behind all the hoopla and uncertainty, the news flew around the world that a basic building block of the universe has been uncovered, bringing quantum physics closer to its triumphant goal of explaining creation — hence the inflated and rather silly label of God particle.

    Egads, what cruel and twisted universe have I woken up in? No TZT, Deepak not cashing in on a blatant opportunity, Mitt Fucking Romny, Esquire –
    [ " Esquire

    The friend of a hooker. Derived from the merging of the words escort (high class hooker) and squire (used as a term of endearment towards a friend)."I was mates with Judy for 3 months before I realized she was on the game, guess that makes me her esquire"] -
    leading Obama in the polls????????????????????

  224. 224
    strange gods before me ॐ

    TonyJ,

    Excuse me for barging in,

    It’s an open thread! You’re welcome to barge in. :)

    but my Mother just came out on Facebook today as a libertarian, and I don’t know what to say to her.

    I would start by asking her what are the important issues that libertarianism is correct about. If she lists only non-economic matters, it may be helpful to point out that progressives are pro-freedom on all these important issues, and her views may be better represented by progressive organizations like the ACLU. (Some people get the erroneous impression that libertarianism per se is just a devotion to civil libertarianism.)

    Since progressivism shares all the civil libertarian and anti-war stances with libertarianism, the only differentiating issue is economics. If a person isn’t enamoured of extreme right wing economic policies, then they probably shouldn’t self-identify as a libertarian. You’re welcome to copy this essay outright or rewrite it. (The licensing on our wiki permits you to do this if you explicitly attribute the authors. Since I am the sole author of that particular essay, I’ll waive that requirement for you; you needn’t acknowledge the source in your discussion with your mother.)

    Also it’s worth asking her how she plans to do politics differently because of being a libertarian. Is she going to vote Democrat? If so, then it’s probably not a big deal, maybe just one of those idiosyncracies of vocabulary — although she’ll have to get used to being initially opposed, for self-identifying as more dangerous than she really is, in any discussion with people who are familiar with typical right-wing libertarians.

    We’ve had success here at Pharyngula with convincing at least two libertarians to abandon that ideology. (I’m almost sure there are others I remember vaguely, but I’m sure of two.) I was already an ex-libertarian myself when I arrived here, and I’d be happy to provide more useful links if you can give more detail on what’s salient to her about libertarianism.

    Here are some collected bits from Chomsky that may be useful, depending on her answers to the above.

    +++++
    Usernames are smart,

    When you use mental retardation as an insult,

    Libertardian

    like using permutations of dyke or gay or queer as insults, this is hurtful to innocent bystanders.

  225. 225
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Esquire

    The friend of a hooker.

    Nope. From my Concise OED:

    esquire n. 1 (usually as abbreviation Esq) British a title appended to a man’s surname when no other form of address is used, especially as a form of address for letters. 2 archaic = SQUIRE.

    [Middle English from Old French esquier from Latin scutarius shield-bearer from scutum shield]

    HTH. ;-)

  226. 226
    Amphiox

    I don’t see how this nonsense of joey’s raises any problems for what I’ve said at all.

    It isn’t so much that there are any problems with what you said, only that the manner in which you said it was vulnerable to joey’s particular style of dishonest misinterpretation.

    The individual patient makes this decision when ze is in a position to do so, but if the patient were for some reason unable to make the decision for hirself (e.g. a legally incompetent adult human, a child, or a pet), then their legal caregiver has to make essentially the same decision on essentially the same grounds.

    In the case of terminal cancer it very rarely comes to this. Because cancer is a relatively slowly progressing disease, wherein the loss of mental competency occurs only quite late and near the very end of the disease process, if at all, the vast majority of cancer patients will have had time to consider their options with respect to end of life care and how aggressively they want themselves to be treated, and express those wishes to their likely surrogate decision-makers well in advance, while they are still fully capable of making such decisions, such that when the time comes that such decisions do need to be made on their behalf, those who are their alternative decision makers not infrequently already know what the patient had already decided that xe would have wanted.

    It is because of this rareness of applicability that I indicated that this particular analogy isn’t the best one available for the point I thought you were trying to illustrate (which I do not dispute).

  227. 227
    strange gods before me ॐ

    joey,

    I’ve been guessing Christian. Am I right?

    Correct.

    Thanks. I’d like to know a bit more. What do you believe is probably true regarding Hell?

    Eternal suffering? Annihilationism, with or without temporary suffering after death? Universal reconciliation, with or without temporary suffering after death? No Hell? Empty Hell? Separation from God, without suffering? Something else?

    Who (if anyone) do you think goes to Hell, what happens there, and for how long?

  228. 228
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    *steps away from the dome*

    (Or at least, the sulphurous bit of it that SG’s standing in.)

  229. 229
    joey

    Amphiox:

    In other words, being deliberately dishonest and setting rhetorical traps using ridiculous hypotheticals with no application to real life situations.

    Do you think gendercide against female fetuses and infants is just some ridiculous hypothetical? Do you think forced abortions, justified using utilitarian arguments, don’t actually happen in real life? Do you think state-run eugenics and euthanasia (thanks for the link, cm) programs are only stuff of science fiction and have no basis in reality?

    ————–
    consciousness razor:

    It’s your problem if you genuinely believe many of them are valid…

    You still haven’t gotten back to me on how you can square the existence of moral responsibility with the nonexistence of free will.

    The alternative to whatever arguments people here give, whether they’re right or not, isn’t automatically your position.

    Of course. But the present position must be abandoned first before there is any hope of ever reaching my position. Baby steps.

    ————–
    KG:

    First, the context of the entire discussion is sex education for young people, so your “for the sake of argument” is an absurdity.

    What’s wrong with focusing the attention on the STD failure rate of condoms as opposed to its unplanned pregnancy failure rate? There are dozens of other birth control methods that are just as effective (or more so) in pregnancy prevention, but condoms are the only real method to protect against sexually transmitted diseases during intercourse.

    Second, the point is that you made entirely unsupported claims about the ineffectiveness of condoms currently on sale, citing no sources.

    I cited a study that was performed 11 years ago. Are “current” condoms that much more different than they were a decade ago? I don’t know, maybe they are. I did a quick search and nothing came up that suggests so. But that particular NIH study that I cited seems to be the one source that is widely referenced when describing the effectiveness of condoms in preventing STDs, even in “current” websites.

    Why should we believe your current assertions about the positions you hold – for example, your claim that you advocate comprehensive and accurate sex education?

    You don’t have to believe any of my assertions about the positions I hold, nor do I really care. All I care about is the arguments that I’ve presented, not whether or not you believe what I claim to believe. Are my arguments valid or are they not valid? If they aren’t, then debate with me why you think they are not so. My own personal beliefs have no bearing on the validness of my arguments. They are simply irrelevant. If anything I thought that me explicitly offering my own personal beliefs from the start would only open the door to ad hominem fallacies, which is what I wanted to avoid. But I concede that in some threads I have not argued in good faith, and for that I have already apologized. And I apologize again for good measure.

    In fact, in the abortion case you were repeatedly told, by many different people, that the premise on which the pro-choice position is based is the right of people (in this case, specifically women) to bodily autonomy, from which it quite evident that what follows is the right to end a pregnancy, and the death of the fetus, if it occurs, is a side-effect of exercising that right…

    But the death of the fetus does not necessarily have to follow when terminating the pregnancy, a valid point that has been repeatedly brought to my attention. I would then ask on those numerous occasions whether laws restricting the termination of a healthy fetus up to a certain point would be justifiable (say third trimester), even if there would be no restrictions on terminating the pregnancy at any time. All I get are crickets chirping, a variety of ad hominem attacks, and a quarantine to TZT.

    In the case of your argument for choosing an artificial ecstasy irrespective of the consequences for others, it was made abundantly clear that most atheists do not take psychopathic selfishness as a premise.

    And what I repeatedly told you in that thread is that I never took selfishness as a premise, nor was selfishness the conclusion. The premises in which I formed my argument are no afterlife and no objective value system (basically that physicalism is true), and the main conclusion is that your own perception is the only thing that matters. That it would be rational to choose a simulated life of ecstasy as opposed to “real” life. I also didn’t argue that every atheist would take the offer, but rather that taking the offer of a simulated life would simply be a rational decision. I still stand by the argument.

    In another thread I argued that the feelings you have for friends and family are something more than biochemical reactions in the brian. But given physicalism, such feelings really are only biochemical reactions. So is it not rational, if it’s possible and you had a choice, to artificially alter your brain state to maximize your happiness for the rest of your life? And would it not be rational to convince your loved ones to the same?

    But it’s entirely useless, joey, unless you tell us what that “dignity” and those “inviolable rights” are, and spell out what you think follows from them.

    Fair enough. I think the most succinct way is to provide an example…

    A human infant has intrinsic value. He/she also has the right to live. It would be wrong to directly kill such an innocent human life. Even if both parents feel that it would be “better” for the family if the infant doesn’t exist (one less mouth to feed), it would still be wrong to kill it.

    ————-
    Hurin:

    Even if a specific baby wasn’t going to develop sentience (we will say it is severely retarded due to some unspecified disorder) euthanizing it would still be unacceptable.

    Why? Why does your position differ from Anne’s (maybe I missed your explanation)?

    ————–
    Anne C. Hanna

    I don’t see how this nonsense of joey’s raises any problems for what I’ve said at all. Like a fetus, an infant has interests.

    What does “having interests” mean? How does an fetus/infant “have interests”?

    Instead, its care can be transferred to others who *do* want a child, or an essentially negligible amount of resources per individual can be drawn from society as a whole to provide a paid carer.

    But none of this is required, is it? Again, why would it not be justifiable for parents to euthanize their infant child? This is what you said earlier…

    “If the kid genuinely isn’t sentient even at the level of a pet, then, well, it’s the parents’ decision what the right thing is to do and what level of sentimental attachment they want to feel, but I don’t have a problem with saying that there’s nothing there that I personally consider terribly valuable in its own right.”

  230. 230
    ChasCPeterson

    ah.
    yes, I detect a hint of…

    brimstone.

  231. 231
    chigau (違う)

    I brought popcorn.

  232. 232
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    *hands out grog and swill to everybody but Joey*

  233. 233
    Amphiox

    Ah yes, gooey the pathetic liar is back, this time making a transparently pitiful attempt at misdirection.

    Do you think gendercide against female fetuses and infants is just some ridiculous hypothetical? Do you think forced abortions, justified using utilitarian arguments, don’t actually happen in real life? Do you think state-run eugenics and euthanasia (thanks for the link, cm) programs are only stuff of science fiction and have no basis in reality?

    It is accused, rightly, of using ridiculous hypotheticals, and how does it respond?

    By MAKING UP NEW CLAIMS that are not hypotheticals, but ARE NOT THE RIDICULOUS HYPOTHETICALS THAT IT WAS RIGHTLY ACCUSED OF USING PREVIOUSLY.

    A truly pathetic display of intellectual dishonesty.

    But, as the gooey as brought them up, and as they are actually rather enlightening of what is going on in the gooey’s despicable mind, we might as well consider them now.

    gendercide against female fetuses and infants

    A violation of THE BODILY AUTONOMY OF FEMALES.

    forced abortions

    Another violation of A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO BODILY AUTONOMY.

    The right to CHOOSE to have an abortion is the SAME as the right to CHOOSE NOT to have an abortion.

    A forced abortion is EXACTLY THE SAME as denial of abortion.

    state-run eugenics and euthanasia (thanks for the link, cm) programs

    Again, ANOTHER violation of individual autonomy.

    All three, violations of BODILY AUTONOMY. All three, EXACTLY THE SAME as the gooey’s transparent desire to take away a woman’s right to choose an abortion. All three, EXACTLY THE SAME as the gooey’s transparent desire to control when young people have sex.

    The people of desire for and commit gendercide, forced abortion, and state-run eugenics and euthanasia are the gooey’s IDEOLOGICAL BEDMATES, his fellow tyrant slavemasters.

    That the gooey would even think to bring them up simply reveals the utter depths of hypocrisy to which it has sunk, and continues to sink.

    Utterly pathetic.

  234. 234
    consciousness razor

    You still haven’t gotten back to me on how you can square the existence of moral responsibility with the nonexistence of free will.

    Don’t even try to shift the burden. You haven’t given any reason to believe free will exists, and you haven’t said how anyone can square responsibility with free will. Do you ever do any thinking for yourself, or do you just let others do it then ignore and distort everything they say?

    If a rock is caused to fall downhill and that causes an avalanche, we say that rock is responsible for the avalanche. Even though something else (e.g., a gust of wind, a temperature change, etc.) must have caused the rock to move, we can’t leave the rock out of the picture, as it is a significant part of the explanation of the immediate causes of the avalanche. Likewise, if some person kicked the rock which caused the avalanche, they are responsible. (Or maybe two people kicked the rock together, with a third coercing them to do so with a gun. Obviously, one thing being responsible does not exclude other things from also being responsible, but that’s beside the point.)

    Of course that is not all there is to it. In the case of humans (or similar), the question becomes whether there is some additional sense of “responsibility” which applies to humans (perhaps varying from person to person or in different situations) but not to something like a rock. There is. We can respond in ways (and to different kinds of stimuli) that a rock cannot, which is to say we have an ability to respond that rocks do not. We can perceive things, remember things, predict what will occur when we do things, decide which things we want to occur, and so on. Rocks can’t do that. And those are types of responses to stuff out there in the environment, which means they are caused by that stuff, none of which is magical. Those kinds of responses distinguish us from a rock by being what accounts for agency and specifically moral responsibility. However, the relevant point is that the very concept of responsibility, with or without the moral components, requires that you are responding in some way to something else. Or the term doesn’t mean anything at all.

    (Like “free will” and “god” so often are, maybe it isn’t even supposed to mean anything. Maybe it’s only supposed to be a comfy-sounding word that’s really just a lot of nonsense, but that clearly wouldn’t be a valid option for something that actually exists.)

    So you tell me: if we freely will something to happen, and that means nothing caused us to have that will, what would it even mean to say we have responsibility? What would we have responsibility of, or be responding to, or responsible for? Would it be the lack of things which caused us to act a certain way, or the inability to weigh different factors in our decisions, since those factors are assumed not to exist? How would that make any sense at all?

    Of course. But the present position must be abandoned first before there is any hope of ever reaching my position. Baby steps.

    No, don’t treat me like a baby. I’m an adult who’s capable of abandoning positions by thinking for myself, but I’d rather not be manipulated by dishonest fuckweasels like yourself. But I’d need to know what the fuck your position is, assuming you even have one that can be articulated coherently. So you can shove your arrogant, evasive “baby steps” bullshit. This is quite obviously hard for you, not for us.

  235. 235
    Amphiox

    You still haven’t gotten back to me on how you can square the existence of moral responsibility with the nonexistence of free will.

    Only the most rigid of blinkered absolutist minds would even find this the slightest bit of a dilemma at all.

  236. 236
    Ing

    You still haven’t gotten back to me on how you can square the existence of moral responsibility with the nonexistence of free will.

    When an engine fails do you punish it, fix it or do nothing because it lacks will and thus isn’t responsible?

  237. 237
    Ing

    Now I’m a christian but I have to admit Joey I don’t see why you’re so hung up on the moral responsibility. The Atonement is all about moving the unbearable responsibility of sin away from people onto Christ, so it’s not a concept that’s consistent with Christianity anyway

  238. 238
    Ing

    Oh and as a Christian I of course think the only logical solution is to go out and kill a child bellow the age of accountability, preferably an infant. This is a great idea because the child gets to go straight to heaven without being tempted by sin, and you can have enough time to repent before you get the death penalty and get to heaven yourself! it’s the only logical conclusion.

  239. 239
    Hurin

    Joey

    Why? Why does your position differ from Anne’s (maybe I missed your explanation)?

    I don’t think it does, or at least not by very much. When I said

    Even if a specific baby wasn’t going to develop sentience (we will say it is severely retarded due to some unspecified disorder) euthanizing it would still be unacceptable.

    I didn’t specify anything abnormal or wrong about the baby, other than a severe lack of capacity to develop normal cognition. I assume the thing that Anne said, that you are telling me I disagree with, is that

    Unless the infant has such severe birth defects that its life is expected to be so short and full of suffering that terminating its existence is probably in its *own* best interests, or unless it is born into a society with such severe resource deficiencies that abandoned children cannot be supported without doing severe damage to the society, then its interests become the overriding ones, and killing it cannot be justified.

    (emphasis mine)

    But I actually agree with that statement. Note the emphasis, and the fact that the baby from my hypothetical (which has no sentience or sapience but is otherwise healthy) doesn’t satisfy her conditions for killing the baby. If we take that baby and add some sort of birth defect which is not treatable and causes it horrible pain, then I actually agree with Anne that killing it is justified. I think living things should be spared unnecessary pain whenever possible. By the way, that is also the why for not killing the baby that lacks sentience but is otherwise healthy.

  240. 240
    consciousness razor

    When an engine fails do you punish it, fix it or do nothing because it lacks will and thus isn’t responsible?

    There’s at least one option you left out: prayer. It’s exactly like doing nothing, except that it’s also a complete waste of time.

  241. 241
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    When an engine fails do you punish it

    In the UK, yes. Oh, yes.

  242. 242
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Them who are amused by my cataloguing of plagiarism will be amused again.

  243. 243
    opposablethumbs

    cm’s changeable moniker, I haven’t been to the youtube link but I presume you refer to the practice of giving them a stern warning and then – if they fail to mend their ways – a damn good thrashing?

  244. 244
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    opposablethumbs, yes. A “count to three” is also involved. :-)

    joey vs. Amphiox:

    “gendercide against female fetuses and infants”

    A violation of THE BODILY AUTONOMY OF FEMALES.

    It’s more subtle than that. There’s a toxic intersection between the one-child policy and Chinese preference for sons that has resulted in situations where you can have one child, but if it’s not a boy, you can try again.

    From there, people choose sex-selective abortions to achieve the desired goal.

  245. 245
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    … for example (though I suspect you know this already):

    China’s excess males, sex selective abortion, and one child policy

  246. 246
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Them who are amused by my cataloguing of plagiarism will be amused again.

    Nope. Disappointed. How hard is an href?

  247. 247
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Well, I’ve been watching the Mighty Boosh.

    So, some good has come out of today. :-)

  248. 248
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Nope. Disappointed. How hard is an href?

    Considering that it is above the reply square, not very hard. Unless one is a complete and utter idjit, who can’t even look up HTML tags. If they can’t, they have nothing cogent to say ever…

  249. 249
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Then why didn’t Tis use it?

  250. 250
    strange gods before me ॐ

    It’s even easier than rewriting half the content. That’s the weird part.

    +++++
    Well, this has brought back memories.

    This well-written comment from him. Lifted either directly from Iain MacSaorsa or via the collaborative An Anarchist FAQ.

    And this makes me a little bit embarrassed that I said nothing at the time. But I thought it would derail the project. I dunno.

  251. 251
    chigau (違う)

    2009?
    What’s up ॐ?

  252. 252
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I mentioned a couple weeks ago that the lifting from Bob Black’s The Libertarian as Conservative had stuck with me. Turns out it happened in the Why are Texans so unpatriotic? thread.

    2009?
    What’s up ॐ?

    Some unholy jumble of guilt about never saying anything back then because it would derail, and aggravation now to see that it’s still going on, and more guilt about seeing comments like these.

  253. 253
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    It Is really strange. Especially after being called out on it rather publicly.

  254. 254
    consciousness razor

    and more guilt about seeing comments like these.

    But now this comment from him, quoting part of KG’s response, has a nice little hint of irony in it:

    It’s only a puzzle to economists because they have such a (professionally) limited imagination.

    Citation needed.

    So I guess it all evens out in the end.

  255. 255
  256. 256
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Obvious now acknowledged, but I’m still being bad, just because I know the fall of every sparrow and I neglected to introduce myself as the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt.

    Harrumph. I’m going to go lick toads rain frogs.

  257. 257
    Nick Gotts

    Of course that is not all there is to it. In the case of humans (or similar), the question becomes whether there is some additional sense of “responsibility” which applies to humans (perhaps varying from person to person or in different situations) but not to something like a rock. There is. We can respond in ways (and to different kinds of stimuli) that a rock cannot, which is to say we have an ability to respond that rocks do not. We can perceive things, remember things, predict what will occur when we do things, decide which things we want to occur, and so on. Rocks can’t do that. And those are types of responses to stuff out there in the environment, which means they are caused by that stuff, none of which is magical. Those kinds of responses distinguish us from a rock by being what accounts for agency and specifically moral responsibility. However, the relevant point is that the very concept of responsibility, with or without the moral components, requires that you are responding in some way to something else. Or the term doesn’t mean anything at all. – consciousness razor

    That’s a pretty good summary of the compatibilist case!

  258. 258
    Nick Gotts

    joey the shameless liar,

    First, the context of the entire discussion is sex education for young people, so your “for the sake of argument” is an absurdity.

    What’s wrong with focusing the attention on the STD failure rate of condoms as opposed to its unplanned pregnancy failure rate?

    Because young people typically rely on them for both.

    Second, the point is that you made entirely unsupported claims about the ineffectiveness of condoms currently on sale, citing no sources.

    I cited a study that was performed 11 years ago. Are “current” condoms that much more different than they were a decade ago? I don’t know, maybe they are. I did a quick search and nothing came up that suggests so. But that particular NIH study that I cited seems to be the one source that is widely referenced when describing the effectiveness of condoms in preventing STDs, even in “current” websites.

    Here’s an update from 2004

    Abstract

    In June 2000, the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) organized a review of the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The review concluded that condoms were effective in protecting against transmission of HIV to women and men and in reducing the risk of men becoming infected with gonorrhoea. Evidence for the effectiveness of condoms in preventing other STIs was considered to be insufficient. We review the findings of prospective studies published after June 2000 that evaluated the effectiveness of condoms in preventing STIs. We searched Medline for publications in English and included other articles, reports, and abstracts of which we were aware. These prospective studies, published since June 2000, show that condom use is associated with statistically significant protection of men and women against several other types of STIs, including chlamydial infection, gonorrhoea, herpes simplex virus type 2, and syphilis. Condoms may also be associated with protecting women against trichomoniasis. While no published prospective study has found protection against genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, two studies reported that condom use was associated with higher rates of regression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and clearance of cervical HPV infection in women and with regression of HPV-associated penile lesions in men. Research findings available since the NIH review add considerably to the evidence of the effectiveness of condoms against STIs. Although condoms are not 100% effective, partial protection can substantially reduce the spread of STIs within populations.

    So, since this is the first item that came up when I googled “nih study condoms”, you’re clearly lying again: you just used the study that gave results you liked. I also cited a more recent study that does show a level of protection against HPV.

    You don’t have to believe any of my assertions about the positions I hold, nor do I really care. All I care about is the arguments that I’ve presented, not whether or not you believe what I claim to believe. Are my arguments valid or are they not valid? If they aren’t, then debate with me why you think they are not so. My own personal beliefs have no bearing on the validness of my arguments. They are simply irrelevant. If anything I thought that me explicitly offering my own personal beliefs from the start would only open the door to ad hominem fallacies, which is what I wanted to avoid. But I concede that in some threads I have not argued in good faith, and for that I have already apologized. And I apologize again for good measure.

    I couldn’t give a shit about your apologies, since there is no reason to believe they are sincere. The point is, you are established as a habitual and persistent liar, so nothing you say can be taken at face value. Your arguments are, as I have shown, based on premises that are not, as you dishonestly claim, generally held in this community, so their validity or otherwise is of no interest.

    But the death of the fetus does not necessarily have to follow when terminating the pregnancy, a valid point that has been repeatedly brought to my attention. I would then ask on those numerous occasions whether laws restricting the termination of a healthy fetus up to a certain point would be justifiable (say third trimester), even if there would be no restrictions on terminating the pregnancy at any time.

    You’re lying again: that point was most certainly met. It is a clear violation of bodily autonomy to force a woman to go through the dangerous procedure of giving birth if that is not the medically most advisable way of ending the pregnancy.

    In the case of your argument for choosing an artificial ecstasy irrespective of the consequences for others, it was made abundantly clear that most atheists do not take psychopathic selfishness as a premise.

    And what I repeatedly told you in that thread is that I never took selfishness as a premise, nor was selfishness the conclusion. The premises in which I formed my argument are no afterlife and no objective value system (basically that physicalism is true), and the main conclusion is that your own perception is the only thing that matters. That it would be rational to choose a simulated life of ecstasy as opposed to “real” life. I also didn’t argue that every atheist would take the offer, but rather that taking the offer of a simulated life would simply be a rational decision. I still stand by the argument.

    And it’s still complete, dishonest crap. Regarding your own perception as the only thing that matters is psychopathic selfishness, and it does not follow from physicalism – if it did, you would be able to show how, which you never even attempted – you simply repeated your assertion again and again. There is nothing irrational about caring about other people for themselves, and I made it quite clear repeatedly that I do care about other people for themselves.

    Incidentally, some atheists do believe in an objective moral code. I don’t, but what is quite obvious is that “God’s will” does not provide one, since one can simply ask why one should obey God’s rules – other than out of self-interest.

    In another thread I argued that the feelings you have for friends and family are something more than biochemical reactions in the brian. But given physicalism, such feelings really are only biochemical reactions. So is it not rational, if it’s possible and you had a choice, to artificially alter your brain state to maximize your happiness for the rest of your life? And would it not be rational to convince your loved ones to the same?

    No, physicalism does not imply that feelings “are only biochemical reactions”, and I do not know of any prominent physicalist who has said that they are. When someone talks about their feelings, you can draw inferences about what they are likely to do, other feelings they are likely to have, etc., without knowing anything about biochemical reactions: if feelings were only biochemical reactions, this would not be possible. What physicalism does say is that feelings, thoughts and other mental phenomena, are wholly instantiated in physical events*: that the latter are in principle sufficient to account for the existence of the former. If you are going to argue against physicalism, it is both dishonest and ineffective to argue against a strawman version of the position, which is what you constantly do with all the positions you oppose. Nor, if feelings were nothing but biochemical reactions, would it follow that exclusive concern with your own brain state would be a rational response: it could not possibly do so, since “rational” would then have no meaning.

    But it’s entirely useless, joey, unless you tell us what that “dignity” and those “inviolable rights” are, and spell out what you think follows from them.

    Fair enough. I think the most succinct way is to provide an example…

    A human infant has intrinsic value. He/she also has the right to live. It would be wrong to directly kill such an innocent human life. Even if both parents feel that it would be “better” for the family if the infant doesn’t exist (one less mouth to feed), it would still be wrong to kill it.

    In the first place, a single example is obviously insufficient: you don’t even answer the simple questions I put to you, so I’ll put them again. Does the “inviolable” right to life mean you cannot kill even in self-defense or defense of another? Does it mean that the government should force one person to give up a kidney to save another’s life? If your “axiom” is of any use, it should surely enable you to answer such simple questions. The fact that you fail to do so speaks volumes.

    Now to your specific example. It isn’t, in fact, nearly specific enough. I am sure everyone here would agree that the parents would be wrong to kill such an infant in most circumstances – I certainly would. But suppose the infant is born in the middle of a famine. The mother is too malnourished to produce enough milk to keep it alive for long, and there are no other sources of milk available. I’m sure you feel able to sit in judgement over parents who, in those desperate circumstances, decide to kill the infant as quickly and painlessly as possible, but I don’t. Similarly, suppose the infant is born with a condition that ensures that it will have a short and painful life. Again, I’m sure you are smug and self-righteous enough to condemn them if they decide that a quick and painless death is better for the infant than the agony it would otherwise endure, but I’m not. In practice, such infants are often given only palliative care – their life is not deliberately shortened, but neither is it deliberately prolonged – but presumably to you this is a violation of their “inviolable right to life”.

    *Not, I would argue, wholly in biochemical reactions, but that’s a side issue here.

  259. 259
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    *erk*

    As much as the internetz has made it easier to plagiarise, it has also made it easier to detect plagiarism. This is my least favorite activity. I have really great software for evaluating documents, but my heart still sinks every time a paper comes up suspect*.

    As pathetic as Tis’ excuse is, I find it to be the second most common one offered, after “I didn’t know plagiarism was wrong.” I find that some students are sincere when offering this excuse.

    *and this happens all of the time, even though students know I have really great software.

  260. 260
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Maybe ‘Tis should make use of such software himself. He could at least make his theft less transparent. Running the first 5000 characters of that comment through plagtracker.com’s free service reports 87% stolen content.

  261. 261
    Amphiox
    But it’s entirely useless, joey, unless you tell us what that “dignity” and those “inviolable rights” are, and spell out what you think follows from them.

    Fair enough. I think the most succinct way is to provide an example…

    A human infant has intrinsic value. He/she also has the right to live. It would be wrong to directly kill such an innocent human life. Even if both parents feel that it would be “better” for the family if the infant doesn’t exist (one less mouth to feed), it would still be wrong to kill it.

    Notice how the gooey’s “example” does NOT, in fact, even come close to answering the question. It does not define what it means by “dignity” or “inviolable rights”. And indeed the last sentence is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT TO THE QUESTION AT ALL.

    Instead it deliberately sets up a false and outrageous dichotomy, artificially juxtaposing the gooey’s lack of actual response with something that few would argue against (especially that last part, whose deliberate inclusion for just this purpose is another example of the gooey’s utterly bankrupt intellectual dishonesty), in effect, “borrowing” (stealing, actually) legitimacy from something in reality only tangentially related.

    And of course, the goal and effect of such a juxtaposition is to delegitimize any questioning of the gooey’s original premises and the silencing of dissent.

    A classic strategy of tyrant slavemasters everywhere.

    Utterly pathetic.

  262. 262
    strange gods before me ॐ

    KG,

    That’s a pretty good summary of the compatibilist case!

    No, it is not, because nowhere does consciousness razor make the mistake of calling any of that “free will”.

    It’s a pretty good summary of something else, which is not free will; as Peter van Inwagen says:

    «Compatibilism is the thesis that determinism and the free-will thesis could both be true (And incompatibilism is the denial of compatibilism).

    Whatever you do, do not use ‘‘compatibilism’’ as a name for the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism. This can only cause confusion. If you must have a name for this thesis, invent a new one: ‘‘MR-compatibilism’’ or some such.» [emphasis mine]

    +++++
    Antiochus Epiphanes,

    As pathetic as Tis’ excuse is,

    I don’t see any response. Am I missing something, or did you perhaps mistake Flewellyn’s response for one from ‘Tis?

  263. 263
    Amphiox

    Another good example of the gooey’s rhetorical dishonesty:

    But the death of the fetus does not necessarily have to follow when terminating the pregnancy,

    This arose directly from its first attempt at dishonest hypotheticals, for which it was summarily and easily destroyed.

    a valid point that has been repeatedly brought to my attention.

    And so it seemingly acknowledges this destruction, but juxtaposes this acknowledgment with this:

    I would then ask on those numerous occasions whether laws restricting the termination of a healthy fetus up to a certain point would be justifiable (say third trimester), even if there would be no restrictions on terminating the pregnancy at any time.

    And in so doing, lend apparent credibility to it. But what the gooey deliberately DOES NOT acknowledge and leaves out, is that that second part is ALSO a blatantly dishonest hypothetical which as also addressed and also summarily destroyed in that prior thread, and that its tedious harping on this piece of dishonesty was one of things that got it exiled to the Thunderdome in the first place.

    No, laws of this kind are not justifiable because they are unnecessary (the situations where such laws would apply occur so rarely in real life that separate legislation to address them are a waste of legislative resources and time, and when they do occur, they are already covered under broader existing laws anyways), ineffective (these situations are so rare and individually unique that they each need to be dealt with on a case by case basis, by the individuals most directly involved, and cannot be well addressed with broad, generalized legislation), and heavy-handed (by imposing broad, generalized restrictions on situations that need to be dealt with on a case by case basis, such legislation actually HURTS the ability for the individuals involved to make the most appropriate decisions).

    This has NOTHING to do with the question of the fetus having or not having inherent worth, or how that worth compares with the inherent worth of the woman in the event of conflict between the two principles. There are LOTS of things that have inherent worth of various degrees for which it is NOT appropriate or justified to regulate through legislation.

  264. 264
    consciousness razor

    That’s a pretty good summary of the compatibilist case!

    Those are fightin’ words!

  265. 265
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    sgbm (and bystanders): That’s exactly what I did. My apologies to ‘Tis. Misattribution is as bad as no attribution.

  266. 266
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Or worse, in this case.

  267. 267
    Nick Gotts

    SGBM,

    No, it is not, because nowhere does consciousness razor make the mistake of calling any of that “free will”.

    It’s a pretty good summary of something else, which is not free will; as Peter van Inwagen says:

    «Compatibilism is the thesis that determinism and the free-will thesis could both be true (And incompatibilism is the denial of compatibilism).

    Dennett is undoubtedly a compatibilist (at least, in any sense of the term I am familiar with), but consciousness razor’s comment could have been taken straight from Freedom Evolves. Van Inwagen believes that determinism is incompatible not only with free will, but with moral responsibility, so I’m mystified that you rely on his view of incompatibilism, since it clearly contradicts consciousness razor’s, and, as I understand it, your own.

  268. 268
    ChasCPeterson

    gah.
    Plagiarism is bullshit. I hate plagiarism. ‘Tis (ha) the season for that speech, too, in lecture and lab, and then plus the demonstration of the might and invincibility of TurnItIndotCom, and yet some will still try it and then I have to be the badguy plus do a bunch of paperwork.
    bah.

  269. 269
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Dennett is undoubtedly a compatibilist (at least, in any sense of the term I am familiar with), but consciousness razor’s comment could have been taken straight from Freedom Evolves.

    I noticed. I was debating whether to poke at him for it, but, you know, not everything Dennett says is vacuous — and more importantly what consciousness razor said simply was not about free will.

    I initially felt consciousness razor’s summary to verge on wordplay, but perhaps it only verges. Upon consideration, it appears to be an account of “moral responsibility” which could make sense even though “moral blameworthiness” and “moral praiseworthiness” are incoherent. I may borrow it for my temporally unidirectional hold-ourselves-morally-responsible-for-the-future notion.

    Van Inwagen believes that determinism is incompatible not only with free will, but with moral responsibility, so I’m mystified that you rely on his view of incompatibilism

    I don’t. Van Inwagen holds libertarian free will to be true, while I hold hard indeterminism.

    All I point to van Inwagen for are his correct points that free will is not identical to moral responsibility, and compatibilism refers to the compatibility of free will with determinism (or indeterminism with roughly “adequate determinism” — the world we appear to live in).

    The usual sorting device here is not from van Inwagen, anyway, rather it’s Harry Frankfurt’s principle of alternate possibilities: “a person is morally responsible for what they have done only if they could have done otherwise.” If the PAP doesn’t hold in all cases, then there isn’t a 1 to 1 correspondence of free will to moral responsibility.

  270. 270
    consciousness razor

    what consciousness razor said simply was not about free will.

    Well the part KG didn’t quote was about libertarian free will, but that’s not compatibilist free will, so I don’t get it either. If somehow my argument that LFW and R don’t mix is also an argument that CFW and D do, I’m stumped. They don’t look to me like they have any terms in common at all.

    I initially felt consciousness razor’s summary to verge on wordplay, but perhaps it only verges.

    I’ll own that, up to a point. Part of this is an argument about words, how people use them and what they imply. If I have it wrong, someone else could do a bit of their own wordplay, saying just what it does mean and using it that way consistently. But if it’s just going to remain unanalyzed as some murky abstraction, we may never agree on it. No matter what, it’ll be awfully difficult making it consistent with an incoherent or vacuous term like “free will,” so I guess it doesn’t make a big difference either way.

  271. 271
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Just a note.

    If you seriously claim that “JAQ’ing off” shames people who masturbate, you are a fucking wanker, and you’re the type of person who has turned SJ into a fucking joke elsewhere on the internet.

  272. 272
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Ms. Daisy Cutter?
    Is there a referent?

  273. 273
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    AE: I have no referent to which I can link. I was told about this voice to voice.

  274. 274
    John Morales

    ॐ:

    … but, you know, not everything Dennett says is vacuous

    Neither is everything you say. ;)

    (But I’d rather read him than you, nonetheless)

  275. 275
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I suppose voice to voice, no one says “Jay-Ay-Cueing Off”.

  276. 276
  277. 277
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    John: I know, I know. But I find it amusing to do some things wrong.

  278. 278
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Also, Ms. Daisy Cutter…I wasn’t trying to antagonize you. That’s how I say it to myself. I just think it’s funny.

  279. 279
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Heh, AE, no worries, I didn’t take it as antagonistic. It was a reasonable question.

  280. 280
    Stephen T

    Referent for JAQing off.

    http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=425&p=5111#p4966

  281. 281
    John Morales

    Here I sit, waiting for the snipers at the Lounge to venture forth for some chastisement.

  282. 282
    mythbri

    @John Morales

    You are careful and precise in your comments. I’ve lurked at Pharyngula for a long time. You don’t say anything without fully intending it to be said. I don’t know why you chose to say that you were paraphrasing Jen when you said she couldn’t hack it, but I have no doubt that it was anything but deliberate. Poor timing and bad taste at best. Judgment and sneering at someone’s very real distress at worse. You can call it “truthful” if you want. I call it bullshit.

    Way past my bedtime, so this is post and run.

  283. 283
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales from The Lounge #42

    [meta]
    Since responding to everyone who addresses my simple and truthful (yet clearly controversial) claim would increase the proportion of my posts in this thread beyond PZ’s regulatory tolerance guidelines, I hereby desist.
    (Snipe away here (I can hack it ;)) or take it to Thunderdome)

    Trying to equate “I can’t take it anymore” and “can’t hack it” is not truthful.
    Those who pointed this out are not “sniping”.
    Your post would not exceed PZ’s “proportion” guidelines.
    Your whole comment was thoroughly dishonest.

  284. 284
    chigau (違う)

    and good night

  285. 285
    SallyStrange

    Ahem. John Morales: you are an insensitive, over-literal, pompous, self-admitted troll. (Remember when you said you sometimes post about things you don’t care much about, just to stir the pot? That’s trolling and it’s rude.)

    I wouldn’t miss you if you left.

  286. 286
    John Morales

    mythbri:

    Way past my bedtime, so this is post and run.

    :)

    Trying to equate “I can’t take it anymore” and “can’t hack it” is not truthful.

    Try Googling "can't hack it" meaning if you care to be disabused of that notion.

    Your post would not exceed PZ’s “proportion” guidelines.

    Yeah, it would have; from the Rules: “If you find yourself taking up 20% or more of a thread”.

    (Count my comments up to that point as a proportion of the total, if you disbelieve me)

    Your whole comment was thoroughly dishonest.

    If you deny the meaning of common idioms, I suppose so.

    John Morales: you are an insensitive, over-literal, pompous, self-admitted troll.

    But honest and truthful; you cannot deny my claims, only decry my character — for which I forgive you.

    I wouldn’t miss you if you left.

    I’d miss you, so there’s that asymmetry. ;)

    (But then, I’m not into being unfair to others)

    Oddly enough, the Rules for the Lounge also state “No personal attacks allowed at all.”

    (‘Twas not I that breached that particular rule)

    It’s OK, I can hack it)

  287. 287
    Ing

    @JM

    Not worth the effort

  288. 288
    Ing

    Oddly enough, the Rules for the Lounge also state “No personal attacks allowed at all.”

    (‘Twas not I that breached that particular rule)

    It’s OK, I can hack it)

    FFS. I’m seconding the “would not miss”

  289. 289
    John Morales

    Ing:

    Not worth the effort

    There there, you’re not that useless; your self-esteem issues are irrelevant, here.

    FFS. I’m seconding the “would not miss”

    I’d miss you too.

    (You have unique capabilities with regard to pop culture references)

  290. 290
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Setár has a complaint with a technological solution!

    I am fucking sick of the neoliberal dogma that passes for ‘sound economic arguments’ when ‘Tis isn’t around, and don’t want to have to constantly bug ‘Tis to re-stoke my faith in economic sciences.

    No problem! I will gladly write a bot for you.

    Just ask it a question about economics (or poison ivy herbicides). It will pass your question to Google, plagiarize the first result, make an error like changing “contractionary” to “contradictory”, and return it to you signed by ‘Tis Himself.

    For a couple extra bucks you can feel the whole authentic experience — the bot will preface its reply with “Here’s something I wrote on the subject a few years ago.”

  291. 291
    John Morales

    ॐ, what, no Markov chain?

  292. 292
    SallyStrange

    What would it take to get you to go away, John Morales?

  293. 293
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    @JM Markov chains are more creative.

  294. 294
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Hmmmm. Only for the trial version of the software. The paid version should preserve most of the text’s meaning. Authentic ‘Tistext is usually a meaningful, serious answer to the question.

    I really wonder about that switching of “contractionary”, though.

  295. 295
    SallyStrange

    Also, John Morales, “can’t hack it” means that you SHOULD be able to handle it and there’s something wrong with you if you can’t. Really. That’s what it means, I don’t care what Google says.

    There’s nothing wrong with Jen McCreight.

    Therefore you are fucking wrong. You are wrong because you are over-literal and insensitive, not because you are insufficiently concerned with being truthful.

    You are factually and morally wrong, because you are an asshole.

    I really would be cheered up if I could post here and not see your posts anymore.

  296. 296
    athyco

    “Hack” has the definition of “chop” so that “can’t hack it” does fall into acceptable paraphrase with “can’t take it.” If the word was purely a synonym for “chop,” for hard labor, I guess you’re home free.

    But it’s not. You must have heard of a hack writer, John. You must know about the virtually broken-down, mistreated horses drawing hackney coaches. The connotation of “can’t hack it” also draws from those references in scorn of substandard output and ability.

    You don’t see that?

  297. 297
    John Morales

    SallyStrange, I was here well before you, I shall likely be here after you — but a cheque or money order for no less than $10,000 would likely achieve your aim, once it clears.

    (Why do you dislike my honesty so?)

  298. 298
    consciousness razor

    Trying to equate “I can’t take it anymore” and “can’t hack it” is not truthful.

    Try Googling “can’t hack it” meaning if you care to be disabused of that notion.

    Yes, google knows all and will disabuse us when it’s convenient for you. I’ll skip the rather sparse result from the first link (an ESL site) and go to the second, an online dictionary with a more complete entry:

    hack it, Slang . to handle or cope with a situation or an assignment adequately and calmly: The new recruit just can’t hack it.

    So what the fuck is her assignment, exactly? And how is she handling it inadequately?

    Oh, hold on. Do you think maybe that’s not what she meant? Congratulations: you’ve started learning how to read better than a fucking chatbot.

    When someone less dense and shitheaded than you says something like “I can’t take it anymore,” they usually (and this can be inferred from context) mean something like they will not put up with it anymore. It’s a fucking figure of speech, as anyone who wasn’t such a ridiculously pretentious asshole would know. What they’d also know is that it is not her fucking job to “take” or “hack” bullshit from dense, shitheaded fuckwits (like you, for example), so she clearly was not talking about whether or not she’s adequate at fulfilling that job or any other. Thus, it’s completely fucking boneheaded (or dishonest) of you to claim otherwise.

  299. 299
    SallyStrange

    (Why do you dislike my honesty so?)

    I never said nor implied that it is your honesty that causes me to dislike you, therefore your claim of extreme honesty is falsified.

  300. 300
    strange gods before me ॐ

    hehe

    Neoliberalism seems to me the same free market bull Republicans are advocating. One would think you would have plenty of support. How do they answer when you hammer them with Chile under Pinochet case study (which led to the economic crisis of 1982)?

    Haven’t had the chance to bring that up yet. I’m getting -some- support there, yes, but part of me is really just wondering if this is all there is to destroying neoliberal arguments.

    Ah, a feature request. For added authenticity, I’ll have the ‘Tisbot check An Anarchist FAQ first before it queries Google generally.

  301. 301
    SallyStrange

    SallyStrange, I was here well before you, I shall likely be here after you

    You’ve got a good 30 years or so on me, so I doubt it.

  302. 302
    John Morales

    athyco, since you acquiesce to my contention in your first sentence, your adduction of polysemy thereafter seems rather strained if not futile.

    (But hey! At least you care about semantics)

    I note no-one disputes my actual claim (rather than its perceived phraseological connotations) that we do know the identity of the, but not that of the victimisers*.

    * Oh noes! I paraphrased again; the actual term was “bullies”. :)

  303. 303
    John Morales

    [erratum]

    “… of the victim”, above.

  304. 304
    SallyStrange

    So, it would take $10,000 for you to go away? Seriously? There’s no amount of mean anyone could be to you to convince you to seek out other fora? Certainly there are venues on the internet where assholishness such as yours is not only tolerated but praised.

  305. 305
    strange gods before me ॐ

    You’ve got a good 30 years or so on me, so I doubt it.

    Less. I asked him already. Like 15 or 20, unless you’re much younger than I think you are.

  306. 306
    John Morales

    SallyStrange:

    You’ve got a good 30 years or so on me, so I doubt it.

    :)

    That’s the spirit!

  307. 307
    John Morales

    SallyStrange:

    Certainly there are venues on the internet where assholishness such as yours is not only tolerated but praised.

    You imagine I’m here for praise?

    LOL.

    (I don’t think there’s even one regular that hasn’t called me an asshole or worse — maybe (maybe Nerd, but I can’t think of another possible candidate))

  308. 308
    SallyStrange

    You’re a liar, John Morales. You just lied, got called on it, and ignored it.

    Since you claim to value honesty, this ought to bother you.

  309. 309
    John Morales

    [meta]

    For the record, I was born on 5 November 1960 in Madrid, Spain.

    (Senility beckons?)

  310. 310
    John Morales

    SallyStrange:

    You’re a liar, John Morales. You just lied, got called on it, and ignored it.

    Eh?

    (Do elaborate)

  311. 311
    SallyStrange

    And honestly, I don’t understand at all why you’re here, whether it’s for praise or something else. I got over wanting to hang out with groups of people who don’t like me in 8th grade. That’s age 13 or thereabouts.

    You are an asshole, and I’m not, and I don’t really understand what motivates assholes. I don’t really care to, except that I really would like to know what, besides cash money, it would take to get you to inflict yourself on some other internet forum.

  312. 312
    SallyStrange
    You’re a liar, John Morales. You just lied, got called on it, and ignored it.
    Eh?

    (Do elaborate)

    Okay.

    (Why do you dislike my honesty so?)

    I never said nor implied that it is your honesty that causes me to dislike you, therefore your claim of extreme honesty is falsified.

    So.

    (Senility beckons?)

    Apparently.

  313. 313
    strange gods before me ॐ

    woot! I remembered the year and city.

    I really would like to know what, besides cash money, it would take to get you to inflict yourself on some other internet forum.

    I think we would all have to disperse or stop being interesting. It doesn’t matter to him whether we like him. He likes us, or most of us.

  314. 314
    SallyStrange

    Also “I can’t take it anymore” really does not mean the same thing as “I can’t hack it,” and your refusal to admit you are wrong about that betrays a lack of honesty.

  315. 315
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I should fix this, since I’m pretty sure it’s a bit wrong.

    It doesn’t much matter to him whether we like him.

    There.

  316. 316
    John Morales

    CR quotes (if poorly):

    Slang . to handle or cope with a situation or an assignment adequately and calmly:
    [...]
    So what the fuck is her assignment, exactly? And how is she handling it inadequately?

    In this case, situation, not assignment.

    (Selective reading is selective)

    When someone less dense and shitheaded than you says something like “I can’t take it anymore,” they usually (and this can be inferred from context) mean something like they will not put up with it anymore.

    I did quote her words after my paraphrase was questioned, you know… and she wrote “can’t” rather than “won’t”.

    (You imagine they mean the same thing?)

    What they’d also know is that it is not her fucking job to “take” or “hack” bullshit from dense, shitheaded fuckwits (like you, for example), so she clearly was not talking about whether or not she’s adequate at fulfilling that job or any other. Thus, it’s completely fucking boneheaded (or dishonest) of you to claim otherwise.

    Your flame-thrower has successfully incinerated that straw dummy.

    (You proud of that?)

  317. 317
    SallyStrange

    It doesn’t much matter to him whether we like him.

    Could you speculate on what the “much” comes from? Does it depend on the person or the situation?

  318. 318
    SallyStrange

    So, you still can’t admit that “can’t take it anymore” and “can’t hack it” really are different phrases with different words and different meanings.

    Pathetic.

  319. 319
    consciousness razor
    Slang . to handle or cope with a situation or an assignment adequately and calmly:
    [...]
    So what the fuck is her assignment, exactly? And how is she handling it inadequately?

    In this case, situation, not assignment.

    (Selective reading is selective)

    Her situation then, dipshit: give it. You failed to answer the questions.

    (Failure is failure.)

  320. 320
    SallyStrange

    I mean, this is obviously just John Morales’ ego talking.

    Bad Vulcan!

  321. 321
    John Morales

    [meta]

    ॐ, you know me better than SallyStrange.

    (And your correction is meet)

    SallyStrange @312, you imagine that’s a lie?

    <snicker>

    @318:

    you still can’t admit that “can’t take it anymore” and “can’t hack it”

    So, you contend that though she claims she “can’t take it”, she nonetheless “can hack it” for the same value of ‘it’?

    (Listen to yourself!)

  322. 322
    John Morales

    cr: Definition from your own selected source: “situation or assignment”.

    Your question: “So what the fuck is her assignment, exactly?

    (Why did you not write ‘situation’?)

    “(Failure is failure.)”

    Your new sig is duly noted.

  323. 323
    strange gods before me ॐ

    John, let me try to word this in a way you’ll care about.

    Your phrasing reminds some people of an insult, and, relatedly, has the potential to make Jen feel even worse if she were to read it. I’m fairly sure you would prefer not to inadvertently make Jen feel worse. Considering that, it might be worthwhile — on the off chance that someone tells her about this discussion — for you to note that you did not intend any insult.

    Could you speculate on what the “much” comes from? Does it depend on the person or the situation?

    I’m not sure quite what you mean, but what I meant is that he generally likes to be liked, but it’s not so important to him that he’d leave if he were universally hated. So it doesn’t matter “much” — not enough to make a difference for your purposes.

  324. 324
    SallyStrange

    SallyStrange @312, you imagine that’s a lie?

    I don’t imagine; I know why it is I don’t like you, and it’s not your alleged honesty.

    Your dodging, snickering, and attempt to read my mind are noted.

    @318:
    you still can’t admit that “can’t take it anymore” and “can’t hack it”
    So, you contend that though she claims she “can’t take it”, she nonetheless “can hack it” for the same value of ‘it’?

    I believe the value of “it” implied by both phrases are quite different. “I can’t take it” refers to an “it” which is a situation that is imposed, abusive in this case, not self-selected, and unnecessary. “I can’t hack it” refers to an “it” which is a necessary task or self-selected situation.

    If the value for “it” were the same for both phrases, you would be right, but it’s not, so you’re wrong.

    (Listen to yourself!)

    Take your own advice.

  325. 325
    SallyStrange

    cr: Definition from your own selected source: “situation or assignment”.

    Your question: “So what the fuck is her assignment, exactly?”

    (Why did you not write ‘situation’?)

    More dodging.

  326. 326
    John Morales

    CR:

    Her situation then, dipshit: give it.

    You need me to find information for you?

    Here: Goodbye for now

    Pullquote:

    I don’t want to let them win, but I’m human. The stress is getting to me. I’ve dealt with chronic depression since elementary school, and receiving a daily flood of hatred triggers it. I’ve been miserable. And this toxic behavior is affecting all parts of my life. With this cloud of hate hanging over my head, I can’t focus or enjoy my hobbies or work. It has me constantly on edge with frayed nerves, which causes me to take it out on the ones I love. I spend most of my precious free time angry, on the verge of tears, or sobbing as I have to moderate comments or read what new terrible things people have said about me. And the only solution I see is to unplug.

    To those of you who have provided endless support: Thank you, and I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve failed you for not being able to deal with all of this despite the support you’ve given me.

    (You want me to emphasise relevant bits?)

  327. 327
    AshPlant

    You know, John, I think you’ve probably garnered enough negative responses to make anyone not fanatically dedicated to being right all the time, no matter how trivially, semantically or technically, think again about their choice of words. Dismissing Jen as being unable to hack it is rude, and there’s very little gain for you in continuing to stick up for yourself against community criticism, other than a succession of the smug little nano-victories you seem to adore so much.

    I ask this in all genuineness; are you aspergic or otherwise socially impaired? Because your behaviour here reminds me exactly of my aspergic brother, who will routinely blurt out bizarre phrases like “You’re being a fucking cunt*, AshPlant.” or “You’re a bitch*!” in response to utterly trivial things, like me disagreeing with him on game rules, or the mother asking if he’d like to take his jacket off in the house. He’ll then defend these outbursts with that damn catchphrase, ‘I’m not being rude, I’m just being honest.’ Well. Yes. Honest about your feelings, maybe, but, actually, still quite rude and not exactly defensible. Aside from anything else, there are times when strict uncompromised honesty simply isn’t called for, but that level of social awareness is not something I associate with Aspergers.

    Now go forth and find another way of putting things that doesn’t imply you think Jen isn’t good enough.

  328. 328
    SallyStrange

    I’m not sure quite what you mean, but what I meant is that he generally likes to be liked, but it’s not so important to him that he’d leave if he were universally hated. So it doesn’t matter “much” — not enough to make a difference for your purposes.

    Oh well. Thanks for taking the time to explain, anyway.

  329. 329
    John Morales

    SallyStrange, fine, have it your way.

    She can hack it (the situation), though the stress is getting to her.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she’s been miserable.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she can’t focus or enjoy her hobbies or work.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she spends her precious free time angry, on the verge of tears, or sobbing.

    She can hack it (the situation), though the only solution she sees is to unplug.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she feels she failed people for not being able to deal with all of this despite the support she’s been given.

    (I stand corrected; she’s hacking it just fine)

    </snark>

  330. 330
    consciousness razor

    More dodging.

    He probably thinks he’s toying with us, proudly demonstrating his expert trolling skills.

    Why would he think that’s a good idea right now? No fucking clue. He’s better than us, so maybe he’ll be kind enough to explain it one day, when people here still won’t give a fuck about him.

  331. 331
    John Morales

    AshPlant:

    Dismissing Jen as being unable to hack it is rude, and there’s very little gain for you in continuing to stick up for yourself against community criticism, other than a succession of the smug little nano-victories you seem to adore so much.

    There is no such dismissal, there is but acknowledgement of her very own claim.

    (What you characterise as nano-victories are but the repudiation of false claims; as for community criticism, this is trivial in context — I’ve had worse, and far-better founded at that)

    I ask this in all genuineness; are you aspergic or otherwise socially impaired?

    I don’t think I have Asperger’s, and I can fit into any milieu — but yeah, I’m asocial by nature.

    Now go forth and find another way of putting things that doesn’t imply you think Jen isn’t good enough.

    Whatever makes you imagine I think she ain’t good enough?

    Again: my original contention (the which engendered all the opprobrium towards me) merely stated that we know who the victim is but not who the victimisers (“bullies” in the original) are. No more than that.

    (FWIW: I think she’s coped with more than most people could, and for longer to boot; you may care to note what I wrote in the Lounge)

    (This is the circle-jerk hive-mind echo-chamber in action!)

  332. 332
    AshPlant

    Why is apologising for your choice of words so difficult, John?

  333. 333
    John Morales

    CR, I see you now descend to the third person perspective.

    (Got anything to say about the inclusive OR you yourself quoted?)

  334. 334
    SallyStrange

    SallyStrange, fine, have it your way.

    She can hack it (the situation), though the stress is getting to her.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she’s been miserable.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she can’t focus or enjoy her hobbies or work.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she spends her precious free time angry, on the verge of tears, or sobbing.

    She can hack it (the situation), though the only solution she sees is to unplug.

    She can hack it (the situation), though she feels she failed people for not being able to deal with all of this despite the support she’s been given.

    (I stand corrected; she’s hacking it just fine)

    Dearie me, John Morales, clearly you don’t stand corrected! Why do you lie? Oh, right, silly me: the snark tag turns a paragraph of anger and bitterness into Honesty™. Just like Ashplant’s brother.

    As I said before, and as others have said, and you’ve repeatedly ignored (I won’t speculate on your motives for ignoring, but it doesn’t make you look good): the phrase “hacking it” is mostly used to refer to a situation in which the assignment or situation is appropriate and self-chosen, and failure to “hack it” denotes general incompetence. Ordinary people are able to “hack it”; people who are failures cannot.

    I realize Jen said that she feels like a failure but I disagree with her assessment. I don’t think any ordinary person can or should be expected to “hack” the gales of hostility and harassment she has encountered. Retreat in the face of such inhumane treatment is a normal, healthy response to the situation.

    Do you think that Jen’s feeling is correct, that she not only feels like a failure–she is a failure?

    If not then you’d best choose a different phrase than “she can’t hack it.”

    If you do think she’s a failure, well, you’re an asshole, but we already knew that. And of course you’d also be wrong.

  335. 335
    John Morales

    AshPlant, I have no difficulty in apologising when it’s merited; you might care to try to convince me an apology is merited.

    (Have you read my #329?)

    Best I can do is say it would have been (in retrospect) better to quote her own words (“can’t cope”) rather than idiomatically paraphrase (“can’t hack it”).

    Same semantics, different words.

    (Ironically, tone arguments are supposedly not welcome here)

  336. 336
    SallyStrange

    Whatever makes you imagine I think she ain’t good enough?

    LOL! Why, your choice of words! Specifically, the phrase, “she can’t hack it,” which is applied in situations where the person who is failing to cope is expected to cope, and where ordinary people could cope, and where only failures and those who aren’t good enough can’t cope.

    Words. Words are what make people think things about you. Yes indeedy.

    Again: my original contention (the which engendered all the opprobrium towards me) merely stated that we know who the victim is but not who the victimisers (“bullies” in the original) are. No more than that.

    In fact it did mean more than that. The fact that multiple people took “she can’t hack it” to specifically mean “she is not good enough” is enough to disprove your assertion. Come on, Humpty Dumpty. You’ve been around Pharyngula long enough to know what they say about intentions. And the meaning of words.

    (FWIW: I think she’s coped with more than most people could, and for longer to boot; you may care to note what I wrote in the Lounge)

    In that case, it makes absolutely no sense that you would cling so stubbornly to a phrase which specifically implies failing to cope with a situation that ordinary people would be able to cope with.

  337. 337
    consciousness razor

    CR, I see you now descend to the third person perspective.

    Yes. When I’m talking to another person about a third, I refer to the third in the third person. If that’s a “descent,” then maybe I don’t want to go up.

  338. 338
    opposablethumbs

    JM, you have demonstrated time and again that you have an exceptional command of language. Therefore you appear self-deceiving (or disingenuous) at best and to be deliberately needling at worst when you say that you (still) cannot see any difference between “can’t take it any more” and “can’t hack it”. The literal meaning may be the same but the connotations are different; the implied opinion of the speaker towards the person who can’t take it/hack it is different.

  339. 339
    strange gods before me ॐ

    AshPlant, I have no difficulty in apologising when it’s merited; you might care to try to convince me an apology is merited.

    Well, I don’t really care about any apology, but — in case you didn’t notice my #323 — I do think it would be worthwhile to specify that you intended no insult.

  340. 340
    opposablethumbs

    Oh, SallyStrange said it much better in #336.

  341. 341
    John Morales

    SallyStrange:

    As I said before, and as others have said, and you’ve repeatedly ignored (I won’t speculate on your motives for ignoring, but it doesn’t make you look good): the phrase “hacking it” is mostly used to refer to a situation in which the assignment or situation is appropriate and self-chosen, and failure to “hack it” denotes general incompetence. Ordinary people are able to “hack it”; people who are failures cannot.

    <sigh>

    Around and around we go.

    Is is not by now obvious that when I wrote “can’t hack it” it was a paraphrase of “can’t take it”?

    Had I merely quoted that, would everything have been fine and none of this discussion have taken place?

    (You’re arguing about the terminology, not my original contention!)

    Do you think that Jen’s feeling is correct, that she not only feels like a failure–she is a failure?

    A failure at what?

    Obviously, she hasn’t failed either at inspiring people or being a successful blogger; equally obviously, she has failed at persevering with blogging* in the face of months’ worth of personal abuse and misrepresentation.

    If you do think she’s a failure, well, you’re an asshole, but we already knew that. And of course you’d also be wrong.

    It is not I who thinks of people in such simplistic terms as ‘failures’ or ‘successes’ — never mind the actual logic of it (remember? “A failure at what?”).

    * For now; she has left the door open and I’m personally hopeful she will resume in good time.

  342. 342
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Still not over the strengthsplaining, eh John? Tell me, should I still be standing up to bullies myself without demanding support to either correct or throw out the bully (because the bully is totally going to listen to me alone, right?) and get a more egalitarian social structure?

  343. 343
    SallyStrange

    A failure at what?

    Generally, when people say things like, “I feel like a failure,” they mean “a failure at life,” or “a failure in general.” It’s never true but a lot of people have this feeling and it’s quite distressing.

    You don’t know this–because you’re asocial, I surmise.

    It would be wise to defer to people who aren’t asocial on matters such as these.

    Just another small example of how your arrogance trips you up.

  344. 344
    John Morales

    ॐ, huh. Yeah, I missed your #323; I’ve been furiously multitasking (puppies don’t feed themselves!)*.

    Considering that, it might be worthwhile — on the off chance that someone tells her about this discussion — for you to note that you did not intend any insult.

    I can’t see the point, but FWIW of course I didn’t intend insult. My comment would have been identical in meaning if I’d just quoted her own words (“can’t take it”) instead — it was a pedantic note that we know who she is but not who all the bullies were, contra the claim I was addressing.

    * Worth a thought, this business of replying thoughtfully to many comments aimed at one in near real-time; it’s what contentious outsiders and trolls experience.

  345. 345
    SallyStrange

    Is is not by now obvious that when I wrote “can’t hack it” it was a paraphrase of “can’t take it”?

    It’s been obvious all along; what is mystifying is your inability to admit that the paraphrase was at best inaccurate and at worst insulting to Jen.

    Had I merely quoted that, would everything have been fine and none of this discussion have taken place?

    Yup! Is there something wrong with that? Different words mean different things. Different phrases mean different things. That is why they are different and not the same.

    (You’re arguing about the terminology, not my original contention!)

    I do not care about your original intention. We are arguing about the meaning of words. Well, really we are arguing about how to not hurt people’s feelings when you aren’t intending to, which is, as I say, a subject on which you should defer to people who have better empathy and communication skills than you do.

  346. 346
    SallyStrange

    Sorry, contention, not intention.

  347. 347
    SallyStrange

    My comment would have been identical in meaning if I’d just quoted her own words (“can’t take it”) instead

    For fuck’s sake, no, it would not have been identical in meaning! It would have had a different meaning! We know this because you did not quote her–you used different words instead. And guess what? They had a different meaning. So different that several people took an insult from your words where none was intended.

  348. 348
    SallyStrange

    And this is why I’m skeptical about John Morales’ claims of hyper-honesty.

  349. 349
    John Morales

    SallyStrange:

    … what is mystifying is your inability to admit that the paraphrase was at best inaccurate and at worst insulting to Jen.

    I’m hardly in a position to claim it wasn’t seen that way, but I maintain it was not inaccurate.

    But, because of that, I’m more than happy to retract the original phrasing and just quote Jen, thus:

    – begin amended quotation –

    Improbable Joe:

    And it is a fucking shame about Jen McCreight… I guess we know who the REAL bullies are, don’t we?

    Not really, but we know who the real victims are; those who can’t hack it cope.
    (Ah well, fucking shame and all that stuff)

    – end amended quotation –

    IOW: we know who the real victim is more so than “who the REAL bullies are”.

    (And yes, it’s entirely possible that someone who can cope in the same circumstances is also a victim, for the nitpickers)

  350. 350
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Well, that was invigorating!

    :|

  351. 351
    SallyStrange

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

  352. 352
    rorschach

    Dismissing Jen as being unable to hack it is rude, and there’s very little gain for you in continuing to stick up for yourself against community criticism

    Who the fuck are you? Greetings from the community.

  353. 353
    John Morales

    SallyStrange, go Google and find an example where “can’t hack it” means other than “can’t cope with it” or “can’t take it”.

    Go on, try it! — because I’m pretty sure it is you who is misusing the idiom.

  354. 354
    feedmybrain

    So now JM has agreed with what was being said all along I have a question that I’ve been pondering.
    Frankie Boyle (Scottish comedian) caused controversy with this joke.

    ‘Apparently the Saudi Arabian Paralympic team is mainly thieves’

    It got complaints for insulting the less abled. My first thought was that it’s a joke at the expense of Saudi Arabia’s draconian laws and not the team but is there unacceptable backsplash?

  355. 355
    feedmybrain

    Oh, I was wrong. He hasn’t agreed at all. And round and round we go.

  356. 356
    rorschach

    Now, English is not my first language as you all know, but googling I find this reference to 60′s slang:

    HACK IT:”I tried a straight job down at the post office but I couldn’t hack it.”

    That seems to be synonymous with “can’t cope” or “can’t deal with it”.

  357. 357
    Nick Gotts

    John Morales,

    Different phrases can have the same denotation, but very different connotations: “can’t hack it” has strong connotations of failure, incompetence andor insufficient determination which “can’t cope” and “can’t take it” lack.

  358. 358
    SallyStrange

    Go on, try it! — because I’m pretty sure it is you who is misusing the idiom.

    Right, sure, me and everybody else here, which is just a wild coincidence, because Google is the ultimate authority on everything and supplants all our lived experiences…

    John, no. Words and phrases don’t work that way. If Google agrees with you on the meaning of “hack it,” then I’ll be sure to keep that in mind the next time I’m talking to Google. In the meantime, I’d advise you, if you want to facilitate communication with people posting here, you stick with the commonly accepted meaning of the phrase as determined by the usage of the actual people conversing with each other right here and now.

    However, since you’ve insisted and my curiosity is piqued…

    Googling “hack it”: first results are for software programs.

    Googling “slang hack it”: Online Slang Dictionary:

    hack it

    verb

    to perform one’s duties.

    We had to fire him – he just couldn’t hack it.

    Googling “hack slang”:

    Online Slang Dictionary: Hack, noun: hack

    noun

    an untalented professional.

    He’s just some consulting hack.

    a cough.

    That’s quite a hack you’ve got there.

    an untalented golfer.

    He is not a good golfer, he is a hack.

    Better luck next time, asshole!

  359. 359
    strange gods before me ॐ

    John, in my experience, which I suspect is similar to Sally’s — “can’t hack it” has, for some reason I’m unable to pinpoint, acquired a connotation of derogating weakness, while “can’t take it” has less so, and “can’t cope” least of all.

    So while I couldn’t say confidently that you’re using the idiom wrongly, I think there may be polysemy here, such that Sally is not using it wrongly.

  360. 360
    SallyStrange

    I tried html but I couldn’t hack it.

    Strong connotations of failure!

  361. 361
    SallyStrange

    John, in my experience, which I suspect is similar to Sally’s

    Who needs experience when there’s GOOGLE?

  362. 362
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Some of this is gratuitous.

  363. 363
    John Morales

    SallyStrange, hm.

    I wrote “can’t hack it (an idiom is an entire phrase, not just part of it), you looked up “hack”. Obviously, I used it as a verb and not a noun, so the noun meanings are inapplicable.

    So, let’s look at your adduced links:

    From your first link: “to perform one’s duties.”, which implies that “can’t hack it” is equivalent to “can’t perform one’s duties”.

    Not quite what I meant, but pretty close — obviously, Jen’s blogging is only a duty in the sense she wishes to do it.

    From your second link: (1) “to work on a computer programming or computer software problem.” — clearly a different sense and inapplicable to what I wrote.
    (2) “to play with a Hacky Sack (footbag.)” — clearly a different sense and inapplicable to what I wrote (and what the heck is a footbag?).
    (3) “to cough.” — clearly a different sense and inapplicable to what I wrote.
    (4) “to explore the problem-solving capabilities of a computer and its software.” — clearly a different sense and inapplicable to what I wrote.
    (5) “to withstand.” — precisely the sense of what I wrote and entirely applicable to what I wrote.
    (6) “to use a particular computing technology.” — clearly a different sense and inapplicable to what I wrote.

    In short, you’ve looked up a single word and used the noun meaning, rather than the intransitive verb which clearly applies, and when I look at your own link, it supports my contention.

    (Try harder!)

  364. 364
    John Morales

    SallyStrange:

    Strong connotations of failure!

    And “can’t take it” has no connotations of failure?

    (heh)

    Who needs experience when there’s GOOGLE?

    Thing about Google is that it’s not a human with prejudices and ideologies; it’s a mindless non-curated bot that collates internet information and provides access to such.

    (As close to an independent arbiter as you’re gonna find)

  365. 365
    John Morales

    ॐ, I grant that in the USA such connotations might apply, but at best you’re speaking of a matter of degree, not of kind — and that doesn’t reflect the accusations against me.

  366. 366
    SallyStrange

    The accusations against you are to do with your stubbornness and your lack of empathy and your refusal to just accept that there are regional differences that you may be unaware of and your inability to recognize that your asocial tendencies blind you to things that seem obvious to other people and your arrogance and your inability to admit possible error and so on and so forth.

    Really not a whole lot to do with the actual meaning of a particular phrase. It was just the launching point to comment on your overall pattern of behavior.

  367. 367
    Nick Gotts
    what consciousness razor said simply was not about free will. – SGBM

    Well the part KG didn’t quote was about libertarian free will, but that’s not compatibilist free will, so I don’t get it either. If somehow my argument that LFW and R don’t mix is also an argument that CFW and D do, I’m stumped. – consciousness razor

    Let me admit I didn’t go back and read the context – the endlessly repetitive arguments about free will have long since bored me – it was an off-the-cuff comment; but if you’ve read Freedom Evolves (and if you haven’t, I once again recommend it), I think you will see what I mean.

    The usual sorting device here is not from van Inwagen, anyway, rather it’s Harry Frankfurt’s principle of alternate possibilities: “a person is morally responsible for what they have done only if they could have done otherwise.” If the PAP doesn’t hold in all cases, then there isn’t a 1 to 1 correspondence of free will to moral responsibility. – SGBM

    That’s true on your interpretation of the term “free will”, but not mine, nor that of compatibilists in general, according to which we are morally responsible for (and can deserve praise or blame for), those and only those things we do freely (meaning, intentionally and without coercion or rationality-disabling pathologies). But in any case, “could have done otherwise” is itself in need of analysis. It’s not clear that it means what you take it to mean, so that in a deterministic world, no-one could ever have done otherwise than they did. Assume the world is deterministic. Now, take a case like Gavrilo Princip shooting Franz Ferdinand. Even in a deterministic world, “Gavrilo Princip could have refrained from shooting”, or (and this doesn’t involve decisions, so this isn’t just about free will) “Gavrilo Princip could have missed”, appear reasonable things to say, while “Gavrilo Princip could have turned Franz Ferdinand into an elephant” does not. They are all logical possibilities, and if the world is deterministic, none of them are physical possibilities – so what is the difference? Or do you claim that there isn’t one, and the intuition that there is, is simply wrong? Assuming he was sane, you would surely say Princip was morally responsible for the assassination (if I’m wrong here, I have misunderstood your position). But if there is a difference between the sentences I quote, why doesn’t it justify not only attribution of moral responsibility, but also liability to praise and blame, and a distinction between acts carried out freely and otherwise? If there isn’t a difference, then not only talk about moral responsibility and free will, but vast chunks of talk about causality become moot; it seems to make no sense to talk of any one event or condition causing another, since such talk relies on counterfactuals making sense: that if the specified cause had been absent, while other relevant things remained the same, the effect would not have happened. To return to my example, historians debate whether WWI would have happened without the Princip assassination – citing the high state of tension between the opposed alliances, the shifting balance of military power, the characters of the principle political actors, and so on. Are such debates simply empty noise?

  368. 368
    Louis

    John,

    In my (naturally idiosyncratic and limited) experience, “can’t hack it” has stronger connotations of “capacity” rather than “willingness” than does “can’t take it any more” which is more open to modification on the basis of context as to the ratio of “capacity” to “willingness”.

    More than that “can’t hack it” specifically refers to a more permanent or global assessment of “capacity”, e.g. I wouldn’t say of a top flight marathon runner like Paula Radcliffe if she broke her leg that she “couldn’t hack it” with regards to a (specific?) marathon. She clearly can hack it, and boy has she!

    “I can’t take it any more”, especially in the context of Jen’s post and history falls more on the side of “willingness” rather than “capacity”. Sure there will be elements of “capacity”, one’s ability to be unaffected by vitriolic abuse for example, but that’s certainly no crime (not saying you think it is). And in the case of Jen, like Paula Radcliffe, I think she has more than amply demonstrated that she can hack it, and boy has she hacked it!

    I think her post is strongly about “willingness”. She’s simply unwilling to exhaust herself by putting up with the abuse she’s receiving any more. The good work she does (advocating for X) has, for her, become too costly in terms of the abuse she gets for that work. That’s not an issue of “capacity”, that’s the rational consideration of a sensible person! Paula Radcliffe could complete a marathon on her fictional broken leg, as she’s completed so many before, but her time would be poor and the pain she would endure would not be worth the rewards of reaching the finish line. More than that, her running on that leg is likely to cause her more damage.

    Psychological injury and disease is as real as anything physical, and I hate to say it, from an outsider’s perspective it seems a lot more painful. I’d rather break my leg than have clinical depression any day of the week. If the recent bout of abuse has helped to trigger an episode of Jen’s depression (and since the underlying causes of these diseases are ferociously complex and involve a variety of interlocking factors there’s no reason to suspect that this time for some reason it has managed to do so where it didn’t in the past) then Jen needs to take that as seriously as a broken leg for a marathon runner. Rest, recuperate, heal.

    The “hack it” paraphrase to my mind too strongly implies that Jen’s decision, very rational decision IMO, to rest, recuperate and heal is to do with her lack of capacity as opposed to her current lack of willingness. That she has also mentioned that her capacity for tolerating abuse has been reduced (temporarily, because injuries heal to some degree) is coincidental to this, not causative in my view. The “can’t hack it” paraphrase is one that read to me as accidentally tilting that balance in favour of a judgement of capacity, not of current willingness.

    But then I’m hardly going to take you to task for the use of idiom now am I? ;-)

    Just thought that might help a bit.

    Louis

  369. 369
    Nick Gotts

    And “can’t take it” has no connotations of failure? – John Morales

    No, in most cases it doesn’t. The sensible thing to do, John, even if you still think you’re right, would be to apologise and move on. But your ego won’t let you.

  370. 370
    SallyStrange

    Not quite what I meant, but pretty close — obviously, Jen’s blogging is only a duty in the sense she wishes to do it.

    I recall you taking issue with CR when he used that definition. For fuck’s sake man, it’s an idiom, a piece of slang–usages will vary. Also, Jen’s “duty” certainly does not encompass being the target of sexist harassers, which is what is being talked about here.

    The point is, when informed that some people see it this way instead of that way, you doubled down and refused to admit that there might be multiple meanings and if there were, well, yours was the most right and everyone else was wrong for seeing meanings that you didn’t put there on purpose and yadda fucking yadda.

    Shit like that makes me wish you would go the FUCK away.

    Later, Humpty Dumpty.

  371. 371
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Setár is going to look into this himself, because, you know, vendetta. (I guess my vendetta makes search engines unreliable.)

    Okie doke, Setár. I’m happy to help you out. Here’s yet another case to look into.

    From the Contrarianism so easily blurs into denialism thread, compare ‘Tis Himself’s comment #15 and Meagan Falvey’s review, Weakonomics.

    See how ‘Tis writes the first sentence all by himself: “While Freakonomics was fun reading, there was one major problem with it.”

    He begins in the middle of Meghan Falvey’s fourth paragraph; she’s already introduced Steven Levitt by this point, but ‘Tis hasn’t. So he adds some clarity.

    ‘Tis Himself: “Instead, economist Steven Levitt’s method was”
    Meghan Falvey: “Instead, Levitt’s method is”

    Himself: “then to reveal the core rationality that animated all players.”
    Falvey: “then to shake these off to reveal the core rationality that alone animates all players.”

    Himself: “were all based on the idea that human action was oriented”
    Falvey: “are all based on the idea that human action is oriented”

    And so on. Those are just from his first paragraph.

    The change from present to past tense is because Falvey wrote this in 2005, when it was a contemporary book review of Freakonomics; but ‘Tis Himself plagiarized it in 2009 for the release of SuperFreakonomics.

    Sad comments begin.

    It’s comments like #15 that earned you the OM, ‘Tis Himself :-)

    @ 15, Tis Himself.

    Wow…Well done, sir. I think you hit it exactly, eloquently, and elegantly. A refreshing read! Thanks…And good luck widda Boss…

    At least this time someone said something.

    ‘Tis Himself, was comment #15 a blockquote fail?

    It must be. It’s copied right out of “Weakonomics” by Meghan Falvey.

    Not quite copied. So not a blockquote fail.

  372. 372
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    John, your comment was wrong in any case.

    Improbable Joe:

    And it is a fucking shame about Jen McCreight… I guess we know who the REAL bullies are, don’t we?

    Improbable Joe was making the point that the ridiculous FTBullies crowd and not the bloggers here are the real bullies. We already knew this, of course, but this latest is just more evidence of their relentless harassment of bloggers here and others. He didn’t have to name individuals to make the point about who the real bullies are (and aren’t), though we could easily name several who’ve engaged in and supported the real bullying while endorsing the fake meme.

    Not really,

    So, yes, really.

    but we know who the real victims are; those who can’t hack it.

    This is wrong. The real victims are all of those subjected to this harassment. People have different personal circumstances and different responses at different moments, but they’re all victims. Rebecca Watson and Greta Christina are still blogging, and that doesn’t make them any less victims. People who don’t discuss it publicly are equally victims. And so on.

    (By the way, I think you needed a colon there rather than a semicolon.)

  373. 373
    SallyStrange

    but we know who the real victims are; those who can’t hack it.

    Morales was being sarcastic here; he was agreeing with Improbable Joe’s point about the irony of one of the alleged #FTBullies being bullied off the internet.

  374. 374
    John Morales

    SallyStrange,

    Really not a whole lot to do with the actual meaning of a particular phrase. It was just the launching point to comment on your overall pattern of behavior.

    Fair enough.

    I think her post is strongly about “willingness”. She’s simply unwilling to exhaust herself by putting up with the abuse she’s receiving any more. The good work she does (advocating for X) has, for her, become too costly in terms of the abuse she gets for that work. That’s not an issue of “capacity”, that’s the rational consideration of a sensible person!

    I entirely agree with this, and I did so before I wrote my contentious comment.

    Just thought that might help a bit.

    Yeah, it does.

    KG,

    The sensible thing to do, John, even if you still think you’re right, would be to apologise and move on. But your ego won’t let you.

    Some will consider this a notpology, but for what it’s worth, I apologise for making people believe I was somehow disparaging Jen.

    It was not my intention, and to her I apologise for any hurt I may have caused thereby and add that she stands high in my estimation.

    (As for my ego, it’s pretty stout, it can hack it. ;))

    SallyStrange:

    The point is, when informed that some people see it this way instead of that way, you doubled down and refused to admit that there might be multiple meanings and if there were, well, yours was the most right and everyone else was wrong for seeing meanings that you didn’t put there on purpose and yadda fucking yadda.

    The point is that I accept others see it otherwise, but nonetheless I am not wrong.

    (I note you haven’t actually searched Google for the phrase so as to dispute my contention, and that your efforts thus far have backfired)

    I would be perverse not to admit that there were connotations of which I was unaware, but I made it damn clear what I was claiming from very near the beginning of this disputation.

    Shit like that makes me wish you would go the FUCK away.

    Some people might be affected by such personal animus to the degree that they would be hurt by it; but I’m not one of those.

    Later, Humpty Dumpty.

    What happened to “not a whole lot to do with the actual meaning of a particular phrase”? ;)

    Look: you failed at your attempt to show me to be wrong; all I have to go by is the claims of multiple posters here about how they personally perceive my paraphrase, the which claims I cannot but accept.

    (Again: care to show an actual usage of that idiom where it doesn’t mean what I claim it means?)

  375. 375
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Morales was being sarcastic here; he was agreeing with Improbable Joe’s point about the irony of one of the alleged #FTBullies being bullied off the internet.

    I don’t get it. (It’s far too early in the day for me to attempt fully coherent thinking, though, so that’s likely the problem.)

  376. 376
    John Morales

    SC:

    So, yes, really.

    We don’t know specifics, we know generalities — but I take your point.

    (Will you take mine, that we only know some (and those mostly by ‘nyms)?)

    but we know who the real victims are; those who can’t hack it.

    This is wrong. The real victims are all of those subjected to this harassment. People have different personal circumstances and different responses at different moments, but they’re all victims. Rebecca Watson and Greta Christina are still blogging, and that doesn’t make them any less victims. People who don’t discuss it publicly are equally victims. And so on.

    Um, if it’s wrong that those who can’t hack it (and Jen was mentioned by name and clearly is one of those in the context of my reply) are victims, then it must be the case that they are not victims.

    (Also, see this comment where I explicitly make that very point)

    (By the way, I think you needed a colon there rather than a semicolon.)

    You are quite correct in this.

  377. 377
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Good though it is to be able to dispute with people who are (at least) as capable as I rather than trolls, it’s kind of depressing that it’s over such matters as these.

    (Need MOAR trolls!)

  378. 378
    Louis

    John,

    I entirely agree with this, and I did so before I wrote my contentious comment.

    Ah cool.

    Not sure I knew about your agreement before hand, or even if I should have! ;-)

    I’m happy to acknowledge my weaknesses on that front, my reading has not been universal of late, I may have skimmed something.

    Louis

  379. 379
    John Morales

    Louis, you couldn’t have known, since I didn’t mention it explicitly before then.

    It’s a bit of a shame people think the worst of me, but I guess I have to cop the reputation I have acquired, unpleasant and frustrating as it may be for me at times.

    (C’est la vie)

  380. 380
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    We don’t know specifics, we know generalities — but I take your point.

    (Will you take mine, that we only know some (and those mostly by ‘nyms)?)

    Joe’s point was general, so the argument that we only know some individuals or the matter of whether we know them by ‘nyms aren’t really relevant. My “Yes, really” stands.

    Um, if it’s wrong that those who can’t hack it (and Jen was mentioned by name and clearly is one of those in the context of my reply) are victims, then it must be the case that they are not victims.

    No. My point was that people’s method of coping with the bullying is not relevant to, much less decisive in determining, whether they’re real victims or not. If people are being bullied, they’re victims, however they respond to it. If your point wasn’t that the ones who “can’t hack it” are the real victims – implying that those who “can hack it” are not – then I don’t know what it was, or why you found this question of hacking it relevant to the dicussion at all.

    (Also, see this comment where I explicitly make that very point)

    I just saw it a minute ago, actually. It makes me even more confused as to your purpose in the can’t-hack-it comment.

  381. 381
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Nick, I’ll get back to you when this thread slows down. It’s actually too unpleasant for (even) me right now. But I am dismayed at questions I feel like you’re familiar enough to answer for me by now. “Are such debates simply empty noise?” — such debates may be part of a causal chain which leads to the prevention of another war. Same sort of reasoning as why I was trying to get John to clarify that he meant no insult, not because he’s blameworthy for his initial phrasing nor praiseworthy for apologizing, but because the situation is slightly better now that he’s said as much; I can step away from the computer with reasonable hope that this will be over soon.

  382. 382
    rorschach

    So, I get tweets:

    felch grogan ‏@felch_grogan

    @clinteas Look, it’s FTB’s chief censor, doc dropper, mass complaint generator Martin. More cowardly, vile than even @gregladen #atheismplus

    Just imagine what his likes would do if they knew who I and my family were. They’re doing it now to silence Jen, and they will not stop. So what to do? To wait for legislation isn’t an option. I think the only solution is for decent people, including atheism dignitaries, to stand up and speak out against this.

  383. 383
    strange gods before me ॐ

    PS: can we still call you Knockgoats?

  384. 384
    John Morales

    SC,

    It makes me even more confused as to your purpose in the can’t-hack-it comment.

    Take the comment as a whole and evaluate it given the context of the one to which I was responding (the one I quoted), and it should be clear I’m stating that we know specifically who the victim is, but not specifically who the bullies are.

    It should never have been a big deal — and I early in the piece admitted it was pedantry.

    (There was no deep allusive meaning and no intended slight to Jen)

  385. 385
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Take the comment as a whole and evaluate it given the context of the one to which I was responding (the one I quoted), and it should be clear I’m stating that we know specifically who the victim is, but not specifically who the bullies are.

    OK. I’ll just reiterate that we know other specific victims who’ve adopted different coping strategies more suited to them and their circumstances, and that Jen’s decision isn’t relevant to identifying her as a victim.

    It should never have been a big deal — and I early in the piece admitted it was pedantry.

    The reason I commented on it was that your remark seemed to me to play into the notion that bullying doesn’t count if you ignore it and that people somehow choose to be victims by “letting it get to” them. Those ideas serve to normalize bullying and to transfer responsibility and accountability from the bullies to their victims. I don’t think you meant to insult her or to support those ideas, but that’s how your post read to me initially.

    And with that I’ll drop it from my end.

    (P.S. – Yay, puppies!)

  386. 386
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    SGBM, another thing before I go to bed: cut the condescension, too. You definitely don’t sound objective when you sound like a libertarian sitting atop their high AMAZINGLY TOTALLY ALWAYS PERFECTLY RATIONAL! horse.

    Between hounding ‘Tis on the A+ forums and waving your case around there, dumping it on the table in front of me when I mentioned ‘Tis for what he is known for regarding that thread in the Lounge, and then being highly condescending here when I suggested that you, yes, you, SGBM, might be human and have a conflict of interests, you’re giving me every fucking reason to believe that you’re spinning this out of a cloth similar to that preferred by Ayn Rand.

    And this is after I read your posts on the Atheism+ forum and was thoroughly shocked by them. I already told you that I acknowledge the merits of your argument, which is why I wanted to look into it myself in order to avoid the conflict of interests that exists between you and ‘Tis, but…no, you’re so AMAZINGLY RATIONAL! that you’re in the perfect position to just do this for me.

    Give me a fucking break. I’m going to go to bed. Hopefully when I wake up you’ve dropped the superhuman crap and actually realized (even though I know you’re going to claim otherwise) that you’re subject to the same cognitive pitfalls as everyone else.

  387. 387
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Going to…go to bed…

    And this is just the start of the day where I can’t buy beer. -sigh- ‘night.

  388. 388
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Setar,

    SGBM, another thing before I go to bed: cut the condescension, too.

    Back at you. This comment from you was extremely condescending. I’m irritated by it. And your #386. You are not one to be lecturing others about condescension.

    You definitely don’t sound objective

    Where did I claim to be objective?

    when you sound like a libertarian sitting atop their high AMAZINGLY TOTALLY ALWAYS PERFECTLY RATIONAL! horse.

    In this particular case my horse and I are being rational. I’m going to enjoy the ride.

    Between hounding ‘Tis on the A+ forums and waving your case around there,

    Hounding! By pointing out that he plagiarized Stiglitz and Welker, I am hounding him! I am the bad guy! For “waving around” the fact that he plagiarized, right in the thread where he plagiarized.

    (Tell me, Setar, does it bother you because you’re uncomfortable saying this stuff about an “ally”? My secret shame: that’s exactly why I kept my mouth shut for years.)

    dumping it on the table in front of me when I mentioned ‘Tis for what he is known for regarding that thread in the Lounge

    Hey, I like to have fun. Not my problem if you don’t.

    and then being highly condescending here when I suggested that you, yes, you, SGBM, might be human and have a conflict of interests,

    Of course I have a conflict of interest. If I didn’t dislike him, I’d have taken his secret to my grave.

    But yeah, I’m going to be condescending to you when you’ve been condescending to me and you can’t be bothered to Google.

    you’re giving me every fucking reason to believe that you’re spinning this out of a cloth similar to that preferred by Ayn Rand.

    Good god, man, listen to you. You’re a conspiracy theorist now. You’re having fever dreams.

    How could I be making up nine cases of plagiarism?

    (Apologies if I’m undercounting — I’m sure it’s at least nine I’ve documented so far.)

    And this is after I read your posts on the Atheism+ forum and was thoroughly shocked by them.

    Great!

    I already told you that I acknowledge the merits of your argument,

    Great!

    which is why I wanted to look into it myself in order to avoid the conflict of interests that exists between you and ‘Tis, but…

    But you were condescending when you said that to me, so I’m irritated about that, and in turn I’m having a laugh at your expense.

    no, you’re so AMAZINGLY RATIONAL! that you’re in the perfect position to just do this for me.

    I actually am in the perfect position to show you his plagiarizing Falvey, but that happens to be a memory thing, not a rationality thing.

    Give me a fucking break.

    No. You’ve been making false claims about me yet again. I don’t like it.

    I’m going to go to bed.

    Sweet dreams.

    Hopefully when I wake up you’ve dropped the superhuman crap and actually realized (even though I know you’re going to claim otherwise) that you’re subject to the same cognitive pitfalls as everyone else.

    I note again that I make no claim of being superhuman, I know that I make cognitive pitfalls, you are making false claims about me again because they serve a convenient and shallow narrative which does not account for my actual humanity, and if you had an ounce of introspection you’d be embarrassed at how condescending you are right now.

    If you like, I’ll suggest you try being openly condescending as fuck, like me. It’s more fun than being a hypocrite.

    Oh, and one more thing. Since I know that I’m not wrong about the plagiarism — this is kind of an open secret among the long-time regulars here, see, why don’t you start at #242 and scroll down; it’s just that you’re not in on the secret — since I know this isn’t a cognitive fuck-up on my part, you just look like a fool to me. It’s like if I you were to tell me that some kid in your old neighborhood was an asshole and I responded that I’ll have to look into it, see, I’m just not sure about your cognitive biases and of course you’ll have a conflict of interest if you didn’t get along with that person. So yeah, I’ve got to enjoy watching you make an ass of yourself — it’s the only tolerable way to cope with the absurdity of what you’re saying.

  389. 389
    strange gods before me ॐ

    … like if you were to tell me …

    (strike that extra ‘I’)

  390. 390
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    sgbm: Maybe ‘Tis is Welker and Stiglitz. Ever think about that?

    And seven other people. I mean can’t you give an ally the benefit of the doubt?

  391. 391
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Duuuuuuude

    I seriously considered the possibility that he might be Bob Black though. In the very beginning. I am not joking.

  392. 392
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Back at you. This comment from you was extremely condescending. I’m irritated by it. And your #386. You are not one to be lecturing others about condescension.

    Or the value of tone arguments, for that matter. Am I mistaken, or is this the person who talked about finding me and punching me in the face?

    ***

    sgbm: Maybe ‘Tis is Welker and Stiglitz. Ever think about that?

    And seven other people. I mean can’t you give an ally the benefit of the doubt?

    You know, that was my initial thought when I first read one of sg’s posts about this – that he was the person he was allegedly plagiarizing (when I thought it was only one). Just assumed there had to be some explanation like that.

  393. 393
    ChasCPeterson

    aw, man. Possibly the stupidest argument ever on Pharyngula and I missed it.
    A couple of quick calls from the sideline then:
    Morales gets full, uh, acknowledgement for being perfectly and precisely Morales throughout. There’s no reason to doubt his stated intent and accuse him of malice or assholishness, or even avoidable insensitivity, when his notoriously tin ear is sufficient explanation. [p.s. John: it's transitive]
    sgbmOM has been the most rational participant.
    Sally Strange did not fare well imo. It takes some brass to brandish the Humpty Dumpty quote after being the one person insisting that the particular connotations an idiomatic phrase has for her are the only correct ones, period, I don’t care what g**gle sez. Oo but then later pretending she was arguing for polysemy all along. Then there was the unfortunate noun/verb mix-up (though she wasn’t the first). And hey, internet logicians! True or false; this is a true argumentum ad hominem:

    You are factually and morally wrong, because you are an asshole.

  394. 394
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Am I mistaken, or is this the person who talked about finding me and punching me in the face?

    You are not mistaken.

    You know, that was my initial thought when I first read one of sg’s posts about this – that he was the person he was allegedly plagiarizing (when I thought it was only one). Just assumed there had to be some explanation like that.

    I know, right? That’s why I seriously thought he might be Bob Black, since that was the first one I noticed.

  395. 395
    rorschach

    Jebus. My throwaway blog post on Jen quitting has just overtaken the eternal number one post I ever did, on the female g-spot. It must be serious. Look, I care about this, but if the comments don’t clear up soon, I’ll just close them. Cheers.

  396. 396
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    My initial thought as well. However, it would have made sense to provide attribution if anonymity were important to him.

    I realize that some of my disgust is with myself, for having been duped. I always admired the clarity with which ‘Tis wrote about economics. Le Sigh.

  397. 397
    ChasCPeterson

    ‘Tis Himself is probably under a lot of stress right now. He has said that he was employed as the official economist for these guys.

  398. 398
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Alright, well, he may have said it here but let’s not talk about his employer in this particular thread, okay?

    Web crawlers can do interesting things.

  399. 399
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    OpposableThumbs @162 in Jen’s C’yaLaterz thread:

    One of those QFFT moments:

    The shits harassing JM are so far gone in hate that they would rather try to silence an atheist activist – undermining the very movement they claim to care about – than hear a woman speak. They are despicable.

    At least the shits were too busy circle-jerking over their seeming victory that they took until the 160′s to start tossing off in here. If only a mod were handy. A handy reminder that Jen was dealing with Major League Assholes. I can’t even grok the degree of cretinism and wankery…cretankery(!) a person has to have flowing in their vacuous skull to show up here at this time just to toss some more.

  400. 400
    Louis

    McC2lhu,

    Comments like that are extremely divisive you know. How dare you and Opposablethumbs point out that hoggling haters have (temporarily?) robbed the atheist movement of a prominent and high achieving advocate simply because she’s a Woman Without Licence and With Bigger Ideas Than They Have. For shame, for shame!

    ;-)

    Louis

  401. 401
    anteprepro

    Gotta confirm what sgbm said about ‘Tis. And I’m not quite sure that sgbm was the first one to make these charges (though sgbm was probably one of the first to notice): I believe I remember seeing the original charges made by some random trollish person a year or two ago on the old website. That troll seemed like he had an agenda, and it would have been easy to dismiss their charges. I almost did myself. Until I actually checked their links. And….yup. ‘Tis had comments that were virtually identical to material printed elsewhere. His initial defense was that he was the author to the wikipedia article he plagiarized. That excuse was less plausible for the later cases brought up, which he mostly just ignored. It’s amazing that ‘Tis has continued to plagiarize, even after being called out on it like that. Lesser people would realize that it damages their credibility, pays off very little, and would at least try to make a greater proportion of original comments in the future. Or at very least, cite sources properly. Fucking disheartening.

    [Googles shit]

    Yep. It was almost one year ago exactly. If you want to be depressed, read the responses onward from here. I actually read the evidence presented on sciblogs and it actually was convincing (sadly, those comments are now wiped). An example poured over to the same thread at FTB as well and was promptly ignored.

    I guess we have blind spots too.

  402. 402
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Louis:

    I haz a shaym :(

  403. 403
    Louis

    Whether or not I like ‘Tis, whether or not I like his accusers, plagiarism is a bad thing. I have to confess this “open secret among the regulars” is news to this irregular regular, and not good news.

    I’m not willing to hold ‘Tis’s feet to the fire to the same degree I would a colleague or student etc because this is “comments on a blog” not “real work”, but this is more than the odd missed citation and not good.

    What conclusions should one draw? That ‘Tis’s arguments have been wrong? Hardly. That some of them weren’t “his”, sure! Someone on the internet perhaps isn’t who they said they were, big whoop! Someone on the internet is too lazy to write their own post, or too dishonest/lazy to represent quoted work accurately, or too busy to do much more than quote an article from memory poorly or copy/paste poorly? I can’t really be bothered to care that much. I don’t care if ‘Tis is a Harvard educated economist or a banana or both, he seems to know more about economics than I do (which to be frank isn’t hard) and what he has said interests me more than who has said it.

    That doesn’t change the fact that passing off others’ work to this extent, even implicitly, as your own is a big no-no and bang out of line. Pretty damned dishonest and sour tasting. Not good, ‘Tis.

    Of course I have a conflict of interest. If I didn’t dislike him, I’d have taken his secret to my grave.

    This from Javert, however, is also despicable. Although I imagine getting anyone to understand why there’s a world of difference between plagiarising an article or nine in internet comments (as opposed to some more formal context) is less unpleasant than the rather pathetic mentality this abject scum exposes here is a futile effort. Vengeance is thine, eh, Javert?

    Abhorrent.

    You are exactly the sort of hoggling netizen that makes the net unpleasant. What you are doing is malice, spite, and frankly I cannot imagine acting on that basis. You don’t even care about his arguments, you’re just lashing out at an “enemy” in the most primal and vile way. An “enemy” who isn’t even threatening you.

    Anger? Sure! I fuck up that way all the time, but this is pure venom. I couldn’t give a fuck if Tis’ is an ally or not, this is simply the vitriolic pursuit of someone because you don’t like them. I actually feel creeped out by your behaviour, and indeed have for a while…

    …a solution presents itself…

    Welcome to my killfile, you are the first, and likely probably only denizen. I can cope with heat, some levels of dishonesty, anger, even dislike, but actual malice? I confess I had my suspicions but have long tried to give you the benefit of the doubt (despite appearances perhaps). That’s way over every line I’ve ever cared about. To me you are no different to the Hoggles of this world, whatever topics we may “ally” on.

    Louis

    P.S. Oh and to any fuckwit who decides to pull the oh-so-witty “why do you feel the need to tell us you’re killfiling someone?”, look in the fucking mirror. ‘Tis’s actions in plagiarising things are wrong, people are commenting about it, this is a good thing. If you are truly so fucking stupid as to mistake malice for righteousness….that’s your own affair, maybe Javert will get company, not that you care of course.

    P.P.S. And yes, before StrawVulcan arises, good on Javert and others for exposing ‘Tis’s plagiarism. He done wrong as far as I can be bothered to tell based on their efforts.

    This fact is orthogonal to Javert’s stated malice in motivating him to act. {Shudder} That’s just fucking abhorrent. Deliberate malice crosses the line. That’s bullying, that’s actually what I would call “active evil”.

  404. 404
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Malice? Malice???!!!!

    Heaven forfend.

    Louis: You could achieve the same level of irony with less wind. Combine as below.
     

    I couldn’t give a fuck if Tis’ is an ally or not, this is simply the vitriolic pursuit of someone because you don’t like them.

    …abject scum

  405. 405
    anteprepro

    I’ve never seen a regular killfile a regular over so little. Especially whilst admitting that the killfiled regular is absolutely right . All sgbm did was admit bias. That is laudable. And it reflects poorly on us if we continue to ignore ‘Tis’s plagiarism, as we have been until sgbm dared to speak up. It reflects even more poorly on us if our reaction to that revelation is as defensive and dismissive as some of the reactions to sgbm have been.

    I expect better of this place. I really do.

  406. 406
    Hurin

    Louis

    And yes, before StrawVulcan arises, good on Javert and others for exposing ‘Tis’s plagiarism. He done wrong as far as I can be bothered to tell based on their efforts.

    This fact is orthogonal to Javert’s stated malice in motivating him to act. {Shudder} That’s just fucking abhorrent. Deliberate malice crosses the line. That’s bullying, that’s actually what I would call “active evil”.

    Except that his actions aren’t bullying by the usual definition, or out of line in anyway. I’m trying really hard to comprehend how someone can be engaging in “active evil” while limiting themselves to ethical courses of action.

    If I continue debunking the arguments of a creationist or MRA on this site after I’ve come to personally dislike them (which often happens to me in the course of a discussion with the various trolls who come to this blog, btw) have I suddenly crossed a line between appropriate commenting, and “active evil”?

    I understand what you are saying here, and I can agree that it would be better if SGBM had completely pure motives for outing ‘Tis, but I think your characterization of the event goes too far. I don’t think the existence of petty motivations is adequate for establishing something as “evil”.

  407. 407
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    antepro: It is especially surprising in that Louis would never act on the basis of malice or spite. I guess his moral indignation knows no bounds, but in an even-handed, impartial way.

  408. 408
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    ANyone else seeing a seriously fucked up layout on this page?

  409. 409
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    SGBM is HISTORIES GREATEST MONSTER!

  410. 410
    Hurin

    Anyone else seeing a seriously fucked up layout on this page?

    I’m not seeing anything out of the ordinary.

  411. 411
    dianne

    SGBM is HISTORIES GREATEST MONSTER!

    I thought that was Rebecca Watson. So confusing.

  412. 412
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Have you ever seen them together?

  413. 413
    consciousness razor

    I thought that was Rebecca Watson. So confusing.

    It’s her fault that SGBM is “HISTORIES GREATEST MONSTER!” It’s also her fault that it should’ve been “HISTORY’S” and that now it’s too late to change that. It’s also her fault that anyone, anywhere, has ever blamed someone for something.

  414. 414
  415. 415
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    And a blockquote fail. Perfect.

    So…

    Jen McCreight stops posting because of a campaign of harassment while this arrogant lackwit continues to blog here.

    I learn that a member of this community has been abusing its trust for several years, for what reason I have no idea.

    I read otherwise intelligent and compassionate people talking about how when they listen to pigs they hear “Eat me!” (Pigs are smarter than dogs and very affectionate. They’re probably expressing their desire for a belly rub or their delight in playing or curiosity…or, more realistically in the world we live in, trying to convey their profound misery and sorrow. But it’s just so hilarious to joke about how all you hear is that they want to be killed and eaten.)

    What an unhappy day on the internet.

  416. 416
    David Marjanović

    Ooh. Plagiarism of epic proportions. I’ll have to read up on it.

    I actually read the evidence presented on sciblogs and it actually was convincing (sadly, those comments are now wiped).

    They’ll be back.

    Maybe they are already. The threads are gradually coming back in chronological order.

  417. 417
    Aratina Cage

    On ‘Tis Himself, well Brownian and I noticed it years ago, too. And we weren’t silent. You can go back through all his comments here and on Scienceblogs and any that are long (you’ll see) are almost guaranteed to be plagiarized. I’ve been trying to steer him clear of it when I see it happen by leaving little comments reminding him to link to sources so people don’t think he wrote whatever it was he copypasta’d, but alas I guess he continues to do it. What’s strange is that I actually still like much of what the real ‘Tis has to say despite it.

  418. 418
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh dear. Not good at all ‘Tis. This significantly changes my perspective about him.

  419. 419
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Oh my. I forgot about Ed Kagin. Lackwit, indeed. At least nobody can say that FtB discriminates against lazy writers and thinkers.

  420. 420
    Anthony K

    Oh my. I forgot about Ed Kagin. Lackwit, indeed. At least nobody can say that FtB discriminates against lazy writers and thinkers.

    And “I think atheist culture is actually better than the norm”, says PZ.

  421. 421
    Eristae

    Test!

  422. 422
    Eristae

    God damn it.

  423. 423
    chigau (違う)

    Toast?

  424. 424
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    The threads are gradually coming back in chronological order.

    Oh Lord. When they get to about two years ago, remind me to cut off my Internet. ;-)

  425. 425
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    On TWO computers now – a seriously fucked up layout. Everything this is squished into the center, surrounded by black now.

    but only sometimes, cuz when i refresh it sometimes reverts to normal. WTF

  426. 426
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    On ‘Tis Himself, well Brownian and I noticed it years ago, too. And we weren’t silent.

    No you weren’t. ‘Tis has admitted to writing about economics in the past, so he may have ghosted part of an econ book. IIRC, it left a bad taste in his mouth.

  427. 427
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Interesting. The fucked up layout ALSO erases the embedded links in PZ’s posts…..

  428. 428
    chigau (違う)

    Illuminata
    Your computer is **possessed**
    [scary organ music]

  429. 429
    strange gods before me ॐ

    #398 is exactly the kind of comment that malicious hogglers are known for.

    and I can agree that it would be better if SGBM had completely pure motives for outing ‘Tis, but

    Hey, I can agree with that too. I didn’t speak up when I first noticed it because I was afraid my then-libertarian friend would stubbornly take the plagiarism as a reason for discounting the substance. Cowardice.

  430. 430
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Scary organ music.

    It’s in A minor. Super-super-scary.

  431. 431
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    (Although C minor is scarier.)

  432. 432
    Anne C. Hanna

    Wow, it really is Uncomfortable Conversations Day here in the ‘Dome, innit? Necessary, maybe, but not at all pleasant post-travel catchup reading. I think I preferred getting all snarled up about the best way to argue with joey. :/

  433. 433
    strange gods before me ॐ

    More plagiarism.

    This comment from ‘Tis Himself over at The Digital Cuttlefish blog, beginning at the “There’s an old story” line, is plagiarized from Larry Swedroe’s essay The Twenty Dollar Bill.

    Again some changes, like “There is an” to “There’s an”, and “Economics professors Dwight Lee and James Verbrugge of the University of Georgia explain the power of the efficient markets theory in the following manner” to “Lee and Verbrugge explain the power of the EMH”.

    Like he did with Iain MacSaorsa’s writing, he cites the same sources that Larry Swedroe cited, without noting that he’d lifted all of Swedroe’s own writing.

    Cuttlefish thanks him, of course. And why not? It’s so well written.

    Comments are still open over there, so I guess I’ll go over there later and let Cuttlefish know what’s up. I expect someone will scold me for not being a virtue ethicist, so in case anyone else would like to take the heat instead of me, I’ll wait a while.

  434. 434
    consciousness razor

    SGBM:
    I commented on it, leaving a link to your comment here and to the article, but it’s awaiting moderation, probably because I’ve never commented there.

    I expect someone will scold me for not being a virtue ethicist, so in case anyone else would like to take the heat instead of me, I’ll wait a while.

    If they don’t, they could at least scold you for having the kind of character it would take to identify and discuss ethical theories.

  435. 435
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Thanks, CR.

    If they don’t, they could at least scold you for having the kind of character it would take to identify and discuss ethical theories.

    *snerk*

    Excuse me. I need to go metahoggle now.

  436. 436
    consciousness razor

    Thanks, CR.

    No need. Intellectual property rights being taken seriously are in my own interests. It’s fucking personal, even when I’m not the one getting shit on at the moment.

  437. 437
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    FWIW, I agree with John Morales and I was very surprised by the pushback. There is no significant difference between the meaning of the terms “can’t hack it” and “can’t cope with it” and “can’t take it” in my vocabulary. It doesn’t have anything to so with a job, or a professional evaluation, or any of that kind of thing. Perhaps this is a case where words mean things, but not quite the same things to everyone. (I’m also wearing a jumper and eating a biscuit, and I keep a potplant in the bathroom.)

  438. 438
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Timon for Tea at B&W is a piece of shit and I can’t stand him. I don’t want to get into an argument with him today because I’m not in a good mood and I’ll soon start swearing and cursing at him incoherently.

    Grrrr. Can’t stand him

  439. 439
    broboxley OT

    #437 you are wearing a sweater eating a cracker and growing weed in the bathroom means its not getting enough light.

    On Tis, the cut and scrape from the link at #433 appears as if the quoted material was the point, the copying without attribution was lazyness. In any case, Tis knows his stuff but absolutely needs to cite sources.

    Years ago elsewhere I had a friend who would absolutely do the same thing. We would call him on it and request cites but he explained he was too busy, we all knew he was lifting the material and it wasnt until we told him that the group could be sued for using copyrighted material that he finally relented and made “fair use” of the material, properly cited and annotated

  440. 440
    ChasCPeterson

    you are wearing a sweater eating a cracker and growing weed in the bathroom

    no, the sweater is eating a cookie.

  441. 441
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Perhaps it’s a regional thing?

    He left teaching because he couldn’t __________ as a teacher.

    He left teaching because he could no longer ___________ the low pay, bad working conditions, and racism of his colleagues.

    In the first sentence, I think someone would use “hack it” or “cut it,” implying that the problem was primarily with him and his not being up to the task to begin with. To me, there’s a connotation of inadequacy or failure. In the second, I’d use “cope with,” “deal with,” “tolerate,” “take,” or the like, and the emphasis is on the social conditions constraining his options and shaping his decisions. If someone used the first group of phrases in the second example, as I would read it, they’d be normalizing the social conditions as an inherent part of the job of teaching – making it sound like everyone who wants to teach should have to tolerate them.

    (A kind of tangentially related situation arose recently when two people suddenly dropped out of the competition on Project Runway. The responses were ridiculous. On the one hand, to other contestants were all emotional, crying that they’d “lost two people.” It’s a reality-TV design competition, FFS, not Guadalcanal. On the other hand, they were going on and on with this “Fashion’s not for sissies” narrative in which some people just can’t “hack it.” This was even after one of the two people had explicitly said that he’d found that experience wasn’t the right path for him and that he was going to find his own way forward….)

    A big part of the problem is that in US (and especially my regional) culture, and others as well, there’s such a strong emphasis on individual competition and “success.” If people don’t finish grad school, for example, it’s so often treated as a failure on their part rather than the result of a recognition that it’s unsuited to them or they to it, a desire to pursue other opportunities, government policies that make it financially unworkable, bad advisors, institutions or departments that don’t provide adequate support, personal commitments, or many other reasons that aren’t about individual deficiencies of character or ability.

    Because of this culture, when some of us hear people talking about others not being able to “hack it,” it seems to carry the baggage of – and feed into – that toxic and distorted hyper-individualistic, sink-or-swim, people-are-entirely-responsible-for-their-own-fates way of thinking. I don’t believe John meant it that way, both because I get the impression that the phrase doesn’t have those same connotations everywhere and because I know that he knows that McCreight’s an extremely capable blogger and opposes the harassment, but it struck me that way as well when I first read it.

    In Jen’s case, of course, there’s no question about her abilities as a blogger. She’s great at it, she loves it, and people enjoy reading and are influenced by her work. And the situation is obviously not wholly specific to her but representative of a larger problem in the movement that needs to be addressed collectively. The failure is the community’s (and possibly FTB’s…? Is there some way she could be provided with tech support that would remove some of the moderation responsibilities so she wouldn’t have to confront it and better secure her site?). We need, somehow, to be clear in action that we’re not going to normalize these harassment campaigns or treat them as part of the job of blogging or speaking publicly in our community.

  442. 442
    broboxley OT

    no, the sweater is eating a cookie.

    I thought that a biscuit was an unsweetened cookie, so in american it would be a cracker. OBTW help yourself to a few commas as you noticed I have extra

  443. 443
    AJ Milne

    I’m just reposting this here (original at Jen’s announcement) ‘cos a) I typoed on the first version anyway and b) I really would like to repeat it and I guess I need a venue in which people will have some clue what it’s about and won’t shriek ‘Language!’ at me–response to another comment on the same thread:

    This woman took on the Iranian theocracy with her boobs. What exactly are you doing with your balls?

    Yeah. That.

    And y’know, speaking of, what I think is the other really sad thing about this?

    I was just looking back a bit at that boobquake coverage. That was good stuff, by and large. Nice moment of media prominence for an atheist blogger, nice demonstration of a sense of humour, and, in fact, actually a pretty coherent demonstration in its own attention-grabbing little way of demonstrating just how silly is one specific religious claim, at least…

    … and on top of that, so far as I ever saw, the reaction of those being so (justly) ridiculed was, as I recall, pretty paltry. Oh, there was a bit of standard theological excuse-making, how, see, actually, the deity in question might pass on the earthquakes for now so that sinners might work their way deeper into hell (yay, loving god). But I went looking ’round, trying to find some nice death threats or rape threats or vilification campaigns or so on over this, and came up quite short. And, I note, critically, here: whatever those mullahs and their followers did or said in response, Jen McCreight was still blogging in the aftermath to that particular event.

    Now, granted, the Iranian mullahs and Islamic states in general are pretty fucking nasty to women they actually have judicial control over, so don’t let anyone be imagining I’m letting them off the hook or nothin’.

    But then, the reality is, methinks, women-hating assholes will work within the means they have, and the drooling fucknuggets of the web have at their disposal primarily the opportunity to post endless anonymous hate and threats and puerile bullshit about blow jobs in an effort to hound a vocal woman off of the net, so that’s what they do. Lucky for us, I guess, they don’t have actual village mobs at their disposal to stone women who might have unapproved sex to death in broad daylight; mostly, they have to stick to darker corners and psychological warfare via TCP/IP.

    Anyway, still, it’s an observation and comparison I now feel compelled to make: Jen McCreight pointed out the stupidity of an Islamic mullah, and not a whole hell of a lot happened. Point out that the Islamists got some pretty shitty attitudes toward women, and hey, it’s a bit of press, some muttered excuses from those mullahs, and we go on our way.

    And then Jen McCreight tries to point out some of the atheists and skeptics of the web got some pretty iffy attitudes toward women and equality, tries, hey, to ask that equality of the sexes in the west and in the movement and at the conferences in particular be made something more of a priority…

    … and the abusive, nasty shit goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until she has to take her leave.

    So thank you, you clueless fucking losers, for making even the mullahs look relatively good, at least in this one little way. I can’t tell you how impressed I am by this dazzlingly edifying display. And I am hereby doing a nice slow clap for all y’all, right now. Well done, people. Well done.

  444. 444
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    AJ Milne: Word.

  445. 445
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Note this. Note the casual dismissal of women’s and minority rights as “mild dissent.” Note the fact that this person cannot conceive of us as fully human. We’re merely over-emotional and “going apeshit.” From a commenter at Kagin’s blog:

    New Atheism was a term coined by an outsider (Gary Wolf) to describe Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris, etc. whom he (falsely IMO) thought were more assertive in their athiesm (see http://atheism.about.com/od/fundamentalistatheists/a/What-Is-New-Atheism.htm)

    I think OfficialSpokesGay’s post is a good example of why A+ is such a turnoff. I know atheists who would also say,

    “We’re people. This isn’t a frivolous matter of taste. How dare you be so flip? You bet your fucking ass I’m going to exclude people who think {animal,gun,whatever} rights to full equality are as silly as chocolate or vanilla.”

    Going apeshit on people for even mild questioning or dissent seems to be the main distinguishing feature of Atheism+ at the moment.

    Note the drawing of an equivalence between my civil rights and [what the author clearly sees as mere 'special interest' things].

    Understand this. These people really, truly do not care. They do not see us as full people. Their empathy stops short. Do not underestimate how willing these people are to sell you out or leave you to the tender mercies of others who will hurt you worse. I don’t care if they call themselves rational, liberal, or atheist. They are dangerous and they are adversaries.

  446. 446
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, and ‘Tis? Are you reading this? What the hell are you doing? Do you understand that people here who’ve liked you are losing respect for you at a breakneck pace? You understand that your behavior is getting seen by lots of people, right?

  447. 447
    Amphiox

    You bet your fucking ass I’m going to exclude people who think {animal,gun,whatever} rights to full equality are as silly as chocolate or vanilla.”

    This is more than just doing a false equivalency. This is a deliberate and blatantly dishonest mischaracterization and misrepresentation of the original post.

    This is creationist/godbot (ie texpip/gooey) level LYING.

  448. 448
    Aratina Cage

    On Tis, the cut and scrape from the link at #433 appears as if the quoted material was the point, the copying without attribution was lazyness. -broboxley

    I don’t think so. That doesn’t explain why seemingly random words and phrases are skipped over or replaced with synonyms or similar sounding phrases in the “quoted” material. It also doesn’t explain why ‘Tis appeared happy to accept credit for writing the material. It also doesn’t explain why ‘Tis is not here in the Thunderdome right now apologizing and/or explaining himself. I never got one bit of thanks from him when I pointed out the correct source of the material he copied. Instead, he would just disappear from that thread for a long while. His being called out on this is way overdue, I’m sorry to say.

    My theory is that ‘Tis was trying to create a completely fictional online persona (an economist, which he is probably not) and got caught up in it. He might not have been prepared for all the accolades some of his “writing” received here and felt too embarrassed to say that he was plagiarizing other people. And besides, for him to be honest about it would shatter his economist front.

    Oh yeah, and I doubt his (Catholic) brother was real either. Probably just him trying out a new persona.


    I’m glad that’s off my chest. I almost did a blog post on it a long time ago about how a Molly winner was pulling the wool over a lot of people’s eyes on Pharyngula, but it’s so much better to be able to air it here in the ‘dome.

    Other than that, I like ‘Tis and hope he doesn’t think it means I hate him or his opinions or anything. I just don’t trust his facts and recollections as much as I would other peoples’ and am always sure to highlight large swaths of the text in his comments and paste them into Google Search to check if he is plagiarizing, which he often is when he talks about economics, and I hope he finally decides to come clean about it.

  449. 449
    Hurin

    It also doesn’t explain why ‘Tis is not here in the Thunderdome right now apologizing and/or explaining himself.

    Is ‘Tis aware that this discussion is occurring? I don’t think he wanders into this thread that often under ordinary circumstances, so he might not have noticed that he has come under scrutiny.

  450. 450
    Aratina Cage

    Hurin, read the next two sentences of mine.

  451. 451
    Hurin

    Hurin, read the next two sentences of mine.

    Got it. Sorry for the silly question.

    This thread contains mentions of a previous time when he has been publicly called out, and I wasn’t sure which episode those sentences were referencing.

  452. 452
    Aratina Cage

    Sorry for being snippy, Hurin. Yes, ‘Tis’s not responding to my gentle nudging to not plagiarize is a habit of his. I can’t recall him ever responding to me about it (or Brownian), and I really do believe I scared him off by offering up the original sources on some of the threads where I caught him doing it.

    I’d like to see that habit of his broken. I really would. I want him to be brave and show himself here today and acknowledge that he has been doing this and say whatever else he feels he needs to say about it. It is his silence about it that I can’t stand, and his continuation of what is generally considered to be an unethical practice.

  453. 453
    Anthony K

    Gah, between this business of ‘Tis, fuckheads like Kagin, and all of the issues of sexism and bigotry surrounding the atheosphere, I’m almost at a loss for words.

  454. 454
    anteprepro

    Ick. Josh, that thread is awful. I thought that the “equality is really about bearing arms and animal liberation, right?” post you brought here was low. But that *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* post that you correctly interpreted as “feminism is raping atheism!” was so fucking low that reading it made me sink through two stories. Fucking horrible.

  455. 455
    vaiyt

    In short, the Gnu A* crowd can’t take it as well as they dish it out. It’s all well and good when they are the ones admonishing others for not being bold enough, but when some other people call them on THEIR unexamined privilege, assertiveness is A Bad Thing(tm)

  456. 456
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Don’t insult Gnus! :))

  457. 457
    Anthony K

    In short, the Gnu A* crowd can’t take it as well as they dish it out.

    That’s it. In a nutshell.

    A vs. ~A is the only division they care to consider. It’s a fucking laugh riot when Hitchens humiliates some theologian in a debate, but when people note that Harris or Kagin are just as fucking unskilled and unaware of it on certain subjects as any creationist born they’re displaying an oh-so-terrible ‘us against them’ mentality.

    A New Atheist seems to be someone who’s inordinately proud of the historically accurate scale-model trebuchet they built with which to launch stones from within their glass houses.

  458. 458
    strange gods before me ॐ

    broboxley,

    On Tis, the cut and scrape from the link at #433 appears as if the quoted material was the point, the copying without attribution was lazyness.

    No, you aren’t looking closely. It isn’t a copy and paste job. Most of these instances are not.

    When he plagiarized from f_rushingr he changed some words. When he plagiarized from Jason Welker he took out a lot of words and made the very weird error of changing “contractionary” to “contradictory”. Is that a sloppy attention to his spellchecker’s suggestions?

    When he plagiarized from Joseph Stiglitz he rewrote roughly half the words. When he plagiarized from Bob Black he explicitly took credit for Black’s writing: “Some years ago I wrote about this very thing”. When he plagiarized from An Anarchist FAQ he added words to integrate their text right into his own second paragraph.

    In reply to Cuttlefish, he explicitly takes credit for Larry Swedroe’s writing:

    You do know the one about the $20 bill lying on the ground, don’t you?

    Do you really want me to write about the efficient market hypothesis? Even if you don’t I will.

    There’s an old story …

    And he changes the text. Here’s a selection of changes. The first line in each is ‘Tis Himself’s rewrite, the second line is Swedroe’s original. You can see what he’s doing, taking out some unnecessary words, it’s like he’s trying to improve the text:

    There’s an old story about an economist
    There is an old story about a financial economist

    walking down
    who was walking down

    The friend says
    The friend stops and says

    The economist coolly replies
    The economist turns and coolly replies

    The economist says
    The economist turns and says

    an investment in
    an 'investment' in

    would be a poor one.”
    would be a poor one. I am also certainly not aware of lots of people, if any, getting rich mining beaches with metal detectors."

    understand is an efficient market
    understand is that an efficient market

    it’s so unlikely to find one that it doesn’t pay
    it is so unlikely to find one that it does not pay

    … here I will skip a few because I’m getting bored. He ends by changing the (1) that Swedroe used for citation into a ¹.

    That’s not laziness at all. That takes work. See #250 above: “It’s even easier than rewriting half the content. That’s the weird part.”

  459. 459
    strange gods before me ॐ

    [An href is] even easier than rewriting half the content.

    I mean, I know lazy. Sometimes I paste without using a blockquote or prettifying the URL. Just drop the plain ugly URL at the beginning of my comment, copypasta, and submit comment. The absolute minimum effort required for attribution, and it works great.

  460. 460
    broboxley OT

    SGBM #458, I was being lazy reading it. That did take a lot of work. Doesn’t make much sense either. It is too easy to get caught unless you are pinching blackstone (shuffles off to check) FUCK!

  461. 461
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    It is exactly that kind of attention to covering one’s tracks that I use to decide whether students understand that plagiarism = dishonesty.

  462. 462
    ChasCPeterson

    yep.

    And in other malfeasance news, Hauser is still guilty.

  463. 463
    CJO

    That’s not laziness at all. That takes work. See #250 above: “It’s even easier than rewriting half the content. That’s the weird part.”

    It’s not weird at all, if you consider that the whole point of it was to be esteemed in the community as a person with knowledge of and insight into a particular field of study. An href would have been easier, yes, but counterproductive.

  464. 464
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    SGBM is right to highlight this and go to the work of pointing it out. Regardless of how any of us feel about the personalities or past conflicts or allegiances involved, this is a straight up case of someone lying. It’s not a few mistakes, it’s egregious. It’s “I don’t trust a thing you say” egregious.

    This should disturb anyone here no matter whom they like or dislike.

  465. 465
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Sigh.

    When I first saw the accusations, I thought this was a case of swiping someone’s words wholesale and claiming them.

    But no.

    This is worse. It would be easier to say, “as so-and-so said in their excellent book…” than rewrite as has been done.

  466. 466
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    In short, the Gnu A* crowd can’t take it as well as they dish it out. It’s all well and good when they are the ones admonishing others for not being bold enough, but when some other people call them on THEIR unexamined privilege, assertiveness is A Bad Thing(tm)

    Yeah, they want to talk, but they don’t want to listen. I think part of their attitude is due to the fact that they didn’t think of it (A+) first, therefore it’s Not A Valid Topic For Discussion(TM).

  467. 467
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Well, that’s disturbing.

  468. 468
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Sounds like Hauser got off pretty easy. I wonder if he’ll work in academia again.

  469. 469
    Hurin

    Aratina Cage

    Sorry for being snippy, Hurin.

    No hard feelings.

    I’d like to see that habit of his broken. I really would. I want him to be brave and show himself here today and acknowledge that he has been doing this and say whatever else he feels he needs to say about it. It is his silence about it that I can’t stand, and his continuation of what is generally considered to be an unethical practice.

    I agree. I’d like to be charitable to ‘Tis, because I’ve always found him informative. I actually think I could be charitable if this was a one or two occurrences of unintentional plagiarism, especially if there were an apology (not that I would even expect that to be noticed). This business of repeated plagiarism of long passages with some of the words changed is very concerning though. It looks blatantly deceitful.

  470. 470
    carlie

    The “there’s an old story” thing I can easily say isn’t much of an issue, because the whole point of there being an old story is that it’s told the almost the same way every time, and is simple enough to remember. Some of those others really have me shaken, though, and I’d like to hear what ‘Tis has to say about it.

  471. 471
    carlie

    (and I only mean “isn’t much of an issue” to me personally, because I’m one to often repeat stories as close to verbatim as I can get.)

  472. 472
    consciousness razor

    (and I only mean “isn’t much of an issue” to me personally, because I’m one to often repeat stories as close to verbatim as I can get.)

    You’re ignoring that even that case, what he plagiarized (and changed) wasn’t just the “old story” itself. And even if it were and you still wanted to repeat it verbatim (i.e., without changing things, which isn’t what happened), you could do that by linking to the source where you actually got the “verbatim” version of the story and save yourself a lot of trouble. But if that’s not what you’re doing and you want to dishonestly represent yourself as someone who can spin a good old yarn, then all of that is irrelevant.

  473. 473
    carlie

    And I just checked it past what I read here, and realize it’s a lot more than the story itself. I am very sad and confused.

  474. 474
    carlie

    sorry razor, cross-posted with what you wrote – I was reading it and typing while you were telling me to do the same.

  475. 475
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yeah, sorry. This is way beyond being charitable. ‘Tis needs to ‘splain. That’s it.

  476. 476
    ibyea

    @setar
    I am sorry to say this, but at this point, it doesn’t matter whether sgbm has a conflict of interest or not because the fact that Tis was plagiarizing was thoroughly demonstrated to be true.

  477. 477
    Aratina Cage

    Add this to the list SGBM drew up in #458: http://freethoughtblogs.com/hallq/2012/03/02/not-so-different-part-2/#comment-2327

    And that one is a twofer, a cross-posting with a year-long gap between each copy! (And plagiarized from Wikipedia no less.) And I see ‘Tis still hasn’t showed up here while I write this.

    @Hurin

    I’d like to be charitable to ‘Tis, because I’ve always found him informative.

    For me it is that I caught a friend (not a close friend, but a person I consider a friend nonetheless) doing it. Ugh. I had finally got to the point where my raging SIWOTI about it had subsided and I was quite happy to go about adding original sources to his economics comments whenever I saw them and nothing more, but there is little point in doing that now that it is a ‘dome issue.

    Now back to Barack for me.

  478. 478
    ibyea

    I like Tis, so it sucks that he is doing this. Is he a complete fake? I hate to think of him this way, but it is entirely possible. I wonder why he did all of this.

  479. 479
    opposablethumbs

    I also like ‘Tis (a great deal, in fact), and find his economic summaries/comments very informative. The thing is, “just” by being someone capable of remembering, finding, understanding and paraphrasing the information he posts he was actually providing a valuable service for people like me who find economics impossibly impenetrable makes their head explode.

    I wish he’d go on doing it and attribute everything that ought to be attributed; it’s still valuable information to many people that some of us wouldn’t have the first idea how to find let alone parse.

  480. 480
    John Morales

    [meta]

    I well recall from when I was at school that substitute teachers were “fair game”.

    (Perhaps I have grown up some, since then)

  481. 481
    carlie

    I second everything opposablethumbs said. He’s been around a long time and made a lot of really good expressions of support to a variety of people on a variety of topics; I sincerely hope this was just done out of a desire to impress.

    And I also apologize to everyone who has pointed out this problem in the past but I never noticed it being said, particularly sg and Aratina.

  482. 482
    broboxley OT

    I am not an economist. I have spent most of my life studying it from a historical perspective. Tis must have some sort of background for he finds the type of material to copy that is consistent, so he knows the subject. He may be an odds setter at a sports book for all I know, he does have enough background to explain factors intelligently. That being said any posts would have to be read as his point of view, rather than his words.

  483. 483
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Good news! Chris Hallquist is moving to Patheos.

  484. 484
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Strange trip.

    And that one is a twofer, a cross-posting with a year-long gap between each copy!

    So I looked up the older thread. Browsing through it, in addition to the plagiarized comment, I see this comment about Bob Avakian. It links to a piece which points out his homophobia.

    As I’ve mentioned, I’m a fan of Mike Ely, a critic of Avakian, so this stuff is especially delicious to me, the way some people enjoy reading about Mel Gibson’s fuckups. I decide to Google homophobia+avakian.

    On the first page of search results, this thread at Almost Diamonds. I see a comment from ‘Tis Himself:

    This stance stemmed from the RCP’s perception of the U.S. working class as white and male. To his credit Avakian now admits the RCP’s objection to busing was a mistake. Other, similar mistakes included the RCP’s views on homosexuality, youth culture, and unmarried couples living together–all of which they opposed as being ultimately bourgeois.

    The arguments, then and now, made by Avakian show the logic of following ideological doctrine. Acts can be rationalized which would otherwise appall the person doing the rationalization. Likewise, mistakes are made when the doctrine itself is based on an incorrect understanding of the situation.

    In 2005, Ron Jacobs wrote:

    Like other early stances of the RCP, their stance on busing stemmed from the RU/RCP’s perception of the US working class as white and male and acknowledges the mistakes made as a result of that perception. Some of those mistakes included their stance on homosexuality, youth culture, and unmarried couples living together-all of which they opposed as being ultimately bourgeois. The arguments made by Avakian throughout the book indicate the logic of following ideological doctrine. Acts can be rationalized that would otherwise appall the person doing the rationalization and, likewise, mistakes are made when the doctrine itself is based on an incorrect understanding of the situation.

  485. 485
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ah, Patheos. The graveyard of misfit atheists.

    Even better—he’s going to work for the Singularity Institute. For rillz.

  486. 486
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Make that twice he’s plagiarized Ron Jacobs.

  487. 487
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I could swear I’ve seen ‘Tis Himself in some thread on Pharyngula yesterday.

    Shame he couldn’t be bothered to come here and explain what’s going on.

  488. 488
    Dhorvath, OM

    It’s shame that has him not coming here to explain.

  489. 489
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    In that case I don’t get the carefree commenting on other posts.

    I’d probably crawl into a hole and avoid internet for the rest of my life. But then again, I wouldn’t be able to go through with something like this in the first place.

  490. 490
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Tis must have some sort of background for he finds the type of material to copy that is consistent, so he knows the subject.

    I don’t think this is apparent. On subjects of which I am knowledgable, I find it far easier to compose a paragraph or two of my own than to hunt through the writings of others looking for an apt passage.

    I don’t deny that much of what ‘Tis has posted here seems astute to me, but then again, I have no understanding whatsoever of economics.

    If you don’t mind reiterating sgbm or aratina, what first led you to suspect plagiarism? Was it inconsistency in method, style, or just that you had read exactly what ‘Tis had cribbed?

  491. 491
    Dhorvath, OM

    AE,

    On subjects of which I am knowledgable, I find it far easier to compose a paragraph or two of my own than to hunt through the writings of others looking for an apt passage.

    I find such work virtually impossible and prefer to compose as well. However, it has become apparent to me while on this site that other people are both far better at research and remembering relevant passages/authors than I.

  492. 492
    anteprepro

    Even better—he’s going to work for the Singularity Institute. For rillz.

    That is rather lulzworthy. I’m pretty sure people tried to argue sense into him about Less Wrong and the Singularity to no avail. So whatever.

    As for Patheos: What is up with that place? Is it all Catholics and kid-glove atheists?

  493. 493
    carlie

    It’s shame that has him not coming here to explain.

    I wish he would – I think the general sentiment is of perplexity, not of malice or mockery.

    I find it far easier to compose a paragraph or two of my own than to hunt through the writings of others looking for an apt passage.

    If I could regain the time I spend actively looking for writings of others I know exist and read once and need to find to quote in any way, I’d add a few years onto my lifespan. I’m too disorganized and memory-challenged to plagiarize.

  494. 494
    Aratina Cage

    @Antiochus Epiphanes

    what first led you to suspect plagiarism?

    I’m trying to find the thread where I first asked him about it with Brownian being the only other person who seems to have noticed. No luck so far.

    I think what tipped me off was that I didn’t understand something he had written (not an economist here!) and highlighted a bunch of his words around a key (and obscure) term and searched for them on Google, and came up with a search result that was almost word for word the same.

    So I went back and applied the same method to his other lengthier economics posts, and they were ALL plagiarized.

    Forget Turn-It-In when people are copying off the Web (especially off of Wikipedia). Just use Google.

  495. 495
    Aratina Cage

    and they were ALL plagiarized.

    Well, either that or ‘Tis Himself has been really busy publishing all over the place under numerous pseudonyms, many of which include fake biographies. :P

  496. 496
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Ahh. By accident. I’ve done that. I had a student once crib a wikipedia article* and then fail to remove a hyperlinked citation toward the end.

    I usually set Turn-It-In up so that when students submit assignments, they are automatically scanned. I still have to use Google sometimes to find original sources. Before I had access to Turn-It-In, I’m sure some must have gotten by me, just because people do the strangest things.

     
    I once had a student who turned in a really well-written paper with just one whole paragraph yoinked verbatim.
     
    I had a graduate student who actually cited (later, and inappropriate to context) one of the papers that she had palgiarised heavily.
     
    I had a student who cribbed about six pages of a paper, and changed nothing but the citations, but didn’t include any of the fabricated citations in the bibliography.
     
    Heh. I almost forgot. I once had a student who bogarted a power-point presentation from the interwebs, and failed to remove an acknowledgments slide. Good times.
     

    *Of all things.

  497. 497
    Nick Gotts

    SGBM

    Nick, I’ll get back to you when this thread slows down. It’s actually too unpleasant for (even) me right now. But I am dismayed at questions I feel like you’re familiar enough to answer for me by now. “Are such debates simply empty noise?” — such debates may be part of a causal chain which leads to the prevention of another war.

    My point was that your viewpoint calls into question the whole idea of causal chains (and is thus self-undermining), because reasoning about these involves regarding some counterfactuals (specifically, what one might call “reasonable” or “plausible” counterfactuals, such as “Princip could have refrained from shooting” or “Princip could have missed”) as true when interpreted in a way which makes “Princip could have turned Franz Ferdinand into an elephant”, false. If we take (what I take to be) your view, that in a deterministic* universe, all counterfactuals are false unless we take them to be referring to logical possibility (in which case all my three examples are true), then there is no way to pick out certain events as causally significant: every event (at least, every event within the past light cone of a given event) is of equal significance.

    PS: can we still call you Knockgoats?

    Certainly, old man Jenkins!

    On the ‘Tis question, you’ve thoroughly justified your persistence. I’ve had arguments with ‘Tis that sometimes turned acrimonious, but I’d somehow missed, until quite recently, the plagiarism charges.

    *It’s more straightforward to think about these things in a deterministic universe, but I think at least “straightforward” indeterminism doesn’t make much difference. In a deterministic universe, the laws of physics and the initial conditions determine all subsequent events. In an indeterministic one, we can regard the chance events as part of the boundary conditions. I think things may get more complicated with QM, because at least according to some interpretations, the past becomes indeterminate, so the initial or boundary conditions are not defined, and we have to think all the time in terms of the sum-over-histories.

  498. 498
    AJ Milne

    If you don’t mind reiterating sgbm or aratina, what first led you to suspect plagiarism? Was it inconsistency in method, style, or just that you had read exactly what ‘Tis had cribbed?

    I just have to say the former reporter in me is mostly just kinda impressed. I’m beginning to think I’m just not paranoid enough anymore or somethin’. However it came about, here’s a technical Oscar for you both to share.

    And re ‘Tis coming to explain, I’d kinda like that to see that happen, too. I guess obviously. But I’m not even sure what my motivation is, exactly.

    Curiosity, mostly, I think. And because the awful amateur psychologist in me now has all these stupid ideas about how this happened, all probably exactly wrong, and I’m trying to be properly sensitive enough and shut that guy the fuck up about it, and I’d really like to hear what ‘Tis has to say about this.

    Oh, okay, and because I think most of you are pretty decent people in your various complicated ways, and I still put ‘Tis into that despite all of this. But then I’ve got roughly the resolution of a radio astronomer on this, I’m afraid. My general sensitivity to individual personalities is pretty bad on the net especially, honestly.

    Seriously, ‘Tis, if you’re reading this: I’m not sure I even feel so much betrayed, personally. Don’t tend to follow anything closely enough that I could, and I’m not even very good at attaching single sets of words to specific imagined personalities anyway, and I don’t even recall whether I even read any of the cribbed bits in question… Probably not, on balance…

    But I think people kinda do and kinda might be expected to. So please explain? It kinda looks to me like a lot of them might mostly forgive you all the fucking same, and if you can just somehow transition actually to citing things correctly, it does look to me like at least you get this stuff well enough that people appreciate your trying to put it together for them.

    Seriously, I feel guilty when I steal a joke, even when I’m pretty sure the guy I heard it from stole it, too, so try anyway to hint where I heard it, whether or not I’m sure I remember. I’m not sure I can even relate, here. But it looks to me like you’re kinda liked here. So maybe it’s worth it: just own up and try to fix, y’know?

  499. 499
    broboxley OT

    #490 Antiochus Epiphanes

    he finds the type of material to copy that is consistent, so he knows the subject.

    well he knows enough to post a consistent viewpoint. As an example if I posed as a theologian and appeared to write passages of Pauline viewpoints one day then followed by Hadiths that were opposite in nature another day an amateur theologian would take notice.

  500. 500
    CJO

    SC, forgive me if the reason for your antipathy is well-known, but why are you glad to see Hallquist headed elsewhere?

    Not being leading or disingenuous; I honestly haven’t paid much attention to him. I posted a comment, on a post about ancient philosophy I think, and I’ve dropped by a couple of times to read posts about biblical interpretation and the like. Not that I was terribly impressed, but not that I thought he was terrible either.

    He’s not one of the haters is he?

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