Quantcast

«

»

Dec 15 2012

[Thunderdome]

Velociraptor

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

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

683 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Argle Bargle

    There’s something about a new, fresh, untouched by human hands, virgin thread that makes me want to say…

    …oh look, shiny!

  2. 2
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Sniny, Rodney, sniny!

  3. 3
    michaeld

    It’s too shiny in hear I paid for blood of trolls… rawr….. RAWR !!! O.O! flop….

  4. 4
    Barkeron

    Thesis: Agnostics are more rational than atheists.

    Evidence: Empirical agnostics are of the opinion that the existence or non-existence of entities responsible for the creation of the universe cannot currently be proven, but think it’s possible to do so via the methods of science and rationality like empirical proof. Atheists, by contrast, insist on the ad hoc absolute that there aren’t any. Therefore agnostics are more sciencey.

    (Note: I’m not a troll, I just want to wrap my head around this seeming contradiction in the atheist attitude.)

  5. 5
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Thesis: People who are neutral on the topic of fairies are more rational than unbelievers in fairies.

    Evidence: Empirical people who are neutral on the topic of fairies are of the opinion that the existence or non-existence of fairies responsible for the dewdrops on roses and whiskers on kittens cannot currently be proven, but think it’s possible to do so via the methods of science and rationality like empirical proof. Unbelievers in fairies, by contrast, insist on the ad hoc absolute that there aren’t any. Therefore people who are neutral on the topic of fairies are more sciencey.

    (Okay, really going to recover from this migraine now.)

  6. 6
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Barkeron,

    You don’t know what agnosticism is.

  7. 7
    Rutee Katreya

    [quote]Therefore agnostics are more sciencey.[/quote]
    Because accepting, even provisionally, explanations that lack evidence is more, not less, science-y?

  8. 8
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Hint: There exists such a being as an agnostic atheist

  9. 9
    Barkeron

    Beatrice,

    stones and glasshouses?

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

  10. 10
    michaeld

    @Barkeron/Beatrice

    Or atheism. Atheism is a current belief on the subject of gods and says nothing about how convinced/certain one is or how provisional that belief is.

  11. 11
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    stones and glasshouses?

    Words and meaning?

  12. 12
    michaeld

    Essentially Barkeron,

    Agnosticism is about what you claim to know and atheism is what you believe. Similar but distinct ideas.

    How most atheists view it: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist_vs._agnostic

  13. 13
    Dick the Damned

    Barkeron, i’m an antitheist, atheist, & agnostic. It’s possible to be an atheist without claiming that there definitely are no gods. I just don’t believe in any of the buggers, & think that those who do are sadly misinformed; dangerously so, sometimes.

  14. 14
    Barkeron

    Only because agnostics say there’s not enough data to completely eliminate the possibility that, say, a Star Trek-style “energy being” with the mental complexity of an amoeba pooped out the universe as the Big Bang or other creation scenarios doesn’t mean they’re convinced there’s an invisible sky daddy who want us to slavishly adhere to his rules as laid down in a 5000 year old book written by anonymous prophets.

    Slippery slope, anyone?

  15. 15
    Amphiox

    However, there are other cases where they may or definitely do not work or are NOT applicable.

    Assertion without evidence. Specifics. Where were they tried and did not work? How was it ascertained that they did not work?

    In those cases more drastic measures may need to be reluctantly contemplated or used instead.

    Assertion without evidence. Specifics. What more drastic measures should be used? How should they be implemented? WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY WOULD WORK ANY BETTER THAN THE LESS DRASTIC MEASURES?

    Because there is ZERO evidence, ZERO, that dropping missiles on to sleeping children while targeting a suspected terrorist next door, or invading some islamic country somewhere does ANYTHING to stop future terrorist attacks. EVERY time Israel has tried it, it IMMEDIATELY lead to MORE rocket attacks on their territory. The Iraq War did NOT reduce the threat of islamic terrorist one iota.

    I’m not saying they should be our first choice or used when more humane alternatives exist

    YES YOU FUCKING ARE YOU FUCKING PATHETIC LIAR. It is your first assumption each and every single time you make this argument. You bring it up as justification your quasi-genocidal fantasies WITHOUT EVER EVEN MENTIONING TRYING LESS EXTREME MEASURES FIRST. You ASSUME that the more humane alternatives have already failed. That is the STARTING POINT of every single argument you have ever made on this subject. What else from this pattern can we conclude of you other than that these things are your first choice, your first assumption, the thing you immediately think about?

    and if things do end in those situations I know we’re already in major trouble and awful situations but sometimes, sadly, that may just be the unfortunate reality.

    Get some FUCKING PERSPECTIVE on the actual magnitude of the problem and the seriousness of the threat. You know what is the actual reality? The reality is that the Islamic Jihadist are NOT an existential threat to western civilization. They will NOT march in and take over our governments. They will NOT institute sharia law on everyone. They would not have even THOUGHT about bothering us at all if we hadn’t decided to mess with their local governments in order to get cheaper oil. Go research your fucking history.

    They are a few thousand armed with outdated rifles, crude home-made bombs, a collection of obsolescent short range rockets. We have STEALTH BOMBERS, BATTLE TANKS, NUCLEAR MISSILES, AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, SATELLITE GUIDED BOMBS.

    We are talking about a threat that, even if we did nothing but passive border control measures, would at its worst result in a few thousand deaths a year. TEN TIMES more than that are killed by regular gun-related violence in the United States alone. TWENTY TIMES more people die world wide from malaria. And no one is even contemplated an extirpation of mosquitoes.

    Only Israel faces a threat even remotely greater than that. And as for Israel, they have ALREADY TRIED pretty much everything you’ve ever suggested. How many wars has Israel fought with its neighbours? How many times did they in fact strike first, pre-emptively? How many times did they win those wars decisively? How many targeted assassinations have they done? How many smart missiles have they launched?

    How much safer are they now than they were in 1950?

    The gruesome, unconscionable things you advocate for were barely ethically acceptable as a response to a threat as big in magnitude as World War II. As a response to Islamic Jihadism, for the majority of the Western world, THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY. And for the only exception to that, Israel, THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN SHOWN TO NOT WORK.

    And yet here you are, still advocating for them. To what FUCKING PURPOSE? What do they do except create more carnage, more bloodshed, more death, and more BITTER, GRIEVING, ANGRY survivors for the terrorists to recruit?

    Have you never said things you’ve later regretted Amphiox?

    When I do that, I apologize and then I SHUT UP. I do not continue repeating the same stupid things over and over again after apologizing for them. I do not try to weasel out of them by saying essentially the same thing later cloaked in what I think is slightly more acceptable cosmetic language. If others continue to criticize my original comments, which they have every right to do, I do not reignite the mess with puffed up indignant self-defence.

    I am done talking to you StevoR. I don’t killfile people, but I am finished responding to your disgusting ass. When I found out about your other pseudonyms I thought I’d give you another chance, because I recognized them from other blogs on other topics and thought that they had sensible things to say, but you blew it. The utterly unforgiveable way you treated Ing was just one of many final straws.

    I am done with you. I reserve to right to talk ABOUT you in the future, but don’t ever be deluded into thinking that I am conversing WITH you ever again.

  16. 16
    janiceintoronto

    Hey, don’t make fun of my ‘energy being”!

    I’m being bullied.

  17. 17
    michaeld

    Barkeron if I tell you I have a Golden Tabby Tiger (very rare only 30 known to exist) that I’m keeping as a pet in my basement. Do you know that I do or don’t? Do you believe me?

    Now if I told you I trained it to dance the Charleston do you know? Do you believe?

    Are you getting some idea for the interplay of atheism and agnosticism.

  18. 18
    Barkeron

    Hey, don’t make fun of my ‘energy being”!

    I’m being bullied.

    Exactly, otherwise I must declare an agnostic crusade.

  19. 19
    Barkeron

    @michaeld,

    the skeptical, inquiring mindset dictates I should take a look into your basement. But how do you look into the time (space?) before the Big Bang? Or does Dawkins withhold information about his time travel trip?

  20. 20
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh jeezis christ. Another “I’m in junior philosophy school and I can’t see aaaannny difference in probability between the existence of a god and its non-existence! I just can’t say at all!”

  21. 21
    michaeld

    Nope can’t let you in my basement. Jones is busy training for his broadway debut (all very hush hush) and you can’t disturb him.

    Dawkin’s in the god delusion doesn’t claim absolute certainty of god. On a 7 point scale where 7 is certainty no gods exist he put himself as a 6 point something.

  22. 22
    frankensteinmonster

    But how do you look into the time (space?) before the Big Bang?

    .
    is that even necessary ? perhaps all the necessary information about the Big Bang is contained within the universe itself.
    .

    I can’t see aaaannny difference in probability between the existence of a god and its non-existence!

    .
    are we talking about a priori probability or a posteriori ?

  23. 23
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I just can’t say at all!

    “But I am going to talk about it a lot anyway. “

  24. 24
    michaeld

    From the new york times,

    On a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is certitude that God exists and 7 is certitude that God does not exist, Dawkins rates himself a 6: “I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”

  25. 25
    margareth

    Barkeron: Agnostics are more rational than atheists? Seriously? That’s absurd for several reasons but let’s begin with the simplest: Since neither of us can prove or disprove the existence of “god”, then I’ll let Occam’s razor decide. Which is more likely; an omnipotent sky deity who created the universe and the human race in all it’s cruelty and pettiness for his/her, what? Entertainment? Or is it the suggestion that we ARE the universe, growing and learning to question it’s creation, it’s purpose and it’s future? I’ll take the latter and since the universe and it’s laws do not NEED a creator or a supreme being, I think that doubly indicates the no god idea. What is “more rational” anyway? Looking at things empirically and analyzing the evidence based on observation or inserting an extraneous and wholly unnecessary deity into the equation?

  26. 26
    Bob Davidson

    @Barkeron

    The proposition, “god exists” is nonsensical. The antithetical proposition, “god does not exist” is also nonsensical. The logical statement you’re looking for is, “I have no belief in god.”

    To restate:
    god exists = theism
    god does not exist = strong atheism
    I have no belief in god = weak atheism

    This book will guide you to what you seek.

  27. 27
    vaiyt

    @15:

    Molly! Molly! Molly!

    Mind me quoting you when I see StevoR running their mouth again?

  28. 28
    Rey Fox

    Ah, so it’s the tired old “gotcha” of “You can’t absolutely positively 100% be sure that there is no God!” Perhaps. But the notion of God, or any of the notions of gods are so fucking absurd that I don’t lose any sleep over putting forth the monocle-droppingly bold proposition that they don’t exist.

    (And if a god or gods existed, the odds of them lining up with any of the human conceptions of it, especially the beloved 3O peeping tom Daddy, are exceedingly slim.)

  29. 29
    Nepenthe

    The antithetical proposition, “god does not exist” is also nonsensical.

    The proposition “Zeus does not exist” is not nonsensical though. We know Zeus doesn’t exist because if Zeus existed he would be the cause of lightning and Zeus is not the cause of lightning and I’m not sure if I’ve properly done the specific logic-y wording to make the implications work but you know whatimean.

  30. 30
    michaeld

    But Zeus is only responsible for 1 in every 100,000,000 thunderbolts. ha! check mate atheists ! ;p (jokeing)

  31. 31
    Rey Fox

    In other words, I’m still on firmer ground saying that a god doesn’t exist than I would be saying that one does. It’s not the riskless proposition of “maybe, maybe not, we could never know”, but I don’t care for that wishy-washy stuff.

    I think that certain theists and agnostics imagine that if the proof for a god of some sort were to ever come down (though they never say what that proof would look like), that us “strong” atheists would wail and rend our garments at our folly. Sure, being wrong would probably bum me out, particularly if there was enough reason to believe that this god was going to harm me for not living up to some silly standard of conduct, but I would probably adapt eventually. And I would figure that I couldn’t be blamed for not believing in that god before, given how flimsy the case for that god was.

  32. 32
    Rey Fox

    In short, I’ve been wrong before. I’ll certainly be wrong again.

  33. 33
    margareth

    Mathematics can support several different theories about the creation of the universe. It can predict things like multiple universes, string theory, brane theory, etc. What it cannot and does not predict or support is a god theory. I’m back to Occam’s razor. Inserting a wholly imaginary postulate into the mix is unnecessary and counter productive. Putting “god’ into the mix at all is to my mind, no different than the people who imagined we were on the back of an enormous turtle. It’s just something that was made up in order to comfort people who did not know the real answers. There’s nothing to base the concept of “god” on except some ancient superstitions of people who thought that the Earth was flat and the Sun revolved around it. We know better now than to just believe it or even to acknowledge the possibility just because scared, ancient people needed that comfort.

  34. 34
    michaeld

    … did we break him?

  35. 35
    Nepenthe

    But Zeus is only responsible for 1 in every 100,000,000 thunderbolts. ha! check mate atheists !

    Well fuck. I’m going to have to find some fatted calves to sacrifice now. This has ruined my (and at least one calf’s) weekend.

  36. 36
    margareth

    … did we break him?

    Maybe he’s doing the math….

  37. 37
  38. 38
    michaeld

    Maybe he’s doing the math….

    Math is hard….

    (block quote fail? crosses fingers)

  39. 39
    Argle Bargle

    Barkeron,

    I am an agnostic atheist. Since there’s no evidence for the existence of any gods (not just the popular ones but ANY gods) then I disbelieve in gods. As soon as some reliable, conclusive evidence is presented for the existence of a god or gods, then I’ll believe in them. But for now I’ll continue to disbelieve. That’s more rational then “I dunno if there’s gods or not so I’m not going to say one way or t’other.”

  40. 40
    margareth

    Math is hard….

    Especially when trying to prove a fiction using it.

  41. 41
    Fred Salvador, Onion Jumbler

    Only because agnostics say there’s not enough data to completely eliminate the possibility that, say, a Star Trek-style “energy being” with the mental complexity of an amoeba pooped out the universe as the Big Bang or other creation scenarios doesn’t mean they’re convinced there’s an invisible sky daddy who want us to slavishly adhere to his rules as laid down in a 5000 year old book written by anonymous prophets.

    Those agnostics need to propose some mechanism not contingent upon personal uncertainty or incredulity for such a being to exist within the universe for their “scepticism” (fuck you, that’s how it’s spelled) to be valid. We know that consciousness as a human experience is an emergent property of our animal neurochemistry and physiology – how does such a property exist in nature without having any equivalent circuitry to emerge from?

  42. 42
    asttei

    soo… does anyone else hate the new webdesign..?

  43. 43
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    While you’re looking stuff up at Wikipedia, Barkeron, check out null hypothesis, and explain how it relates to space amoebas and energy beings, much less creatures existing beyond the reaches of space and time (whatever that means).

  44. 44
    margareth

    Since there’s no evidence for the existence of any gods (not just the popular ones but ANY gods) then I disbelieve in gods.

    Spot on. Especially since the only reason to even include a god in the list of possibilities is because a bunch of superstitious cave dwellers without refrigeration believed in such a creature. If the people who were the root of western culture believed in the flying spaghetti monster, would we include that into our reasoning by default? If course we would. But just because a bunch of people worshiped deities a long time ago because they didn’t know any better is no reason to feel obliged to seriously consider the idea in every conversation.

  45. 45
    shripathikamath

    No one wants to discuss the latest Tea baggery in Tejas?

  46. 46
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Barkeron:
    Why is your brand of agnosticism reserved for the Abrahamic god? By your reasoning, every single god humans have created should all be on the ‘maybe they exist’ column. Same with dragons, fairies, elves, and Xenu.
    None of those things-including god-has any evidence of their existence. But please continue your wholly unscientific approach to imaginary creatures.

  47. 47
    Ichthyic

    late, but:

    Empirical agnostics are of the opinion that the existence or non-existence of entities responsible for the creation of the universe cannot currently be proven, but think it’s possible to do so via the methods of science and rationality like empirical proof.

    there is no such thing as an empirical agnostic. There are no agnostics that think it is possible to prove the existence of a deity with science. “science and rationality like empirical proof” is gibberish.

    run along.

  48. 48
    Ichthyic

    soo… does anyone else hate the new webdesign..?

    hate? No. I kinda like that they can customize backgrounds.

    but…

    many of the links that worked previously are now broken (using the banner to link to the homepage seems to not function in many pages on many of the FTB sites, for example), and navigation has become more difficult in some cases. All of the banners need to be reworked to be consistent in design with the new page design, sidebar is too large IMO… many other niggles.

    I’ve seen worse.

    overall grade for design and implementation (coming from the fact i used to do this for a living once upon a time):

    6.5

  49. 49
    sc_d4e1ad9f8b2234f2307517e0f26175a6

    We allowed to be a bit, er, verbally aggressive? Allow me just to say this, with respect to the events of the last day: Fuck the NRA, and fuck gun fetishists who think that the compulsion to horde semiautomatic weapons is more important than a six year old kid’s future.

    And let me also say, fuck people who participate in canned hunts, like Dick Cheney and Antonin Scalia, who think that blasting buckshot into birds for fun is fun. And fuck assholes who need to reaffirm their manhood by shooting wolves and other apex predators. Generally, fuck anyone who gets off on shooting slugs of hot metal through sentient flesh. And fuck the Republican extremists in this country who think teachers are the enemy, and who think that freedom means jacking off over a gun collection.

  50. 50
    Nepenthe

    We allowed to be a bit, er, verbally aggressive?

    Jesus fucking Christ, you must be new here.

    Welcome to the fold. :-)

  51. 51
    Fred Salvador, Onion Jumbler

    No one wants to discuss the latest Tea baggery in Tejas?

    I took one look at the title and decided there was no point, although I would like someone on that side of the pond to answer some questions for me.

    What is wrong with Texas? Was there some kind of super-moronising compound released into the water there or something? Why are Texans so ridiculous and awful and religious and odd?

  52. 52
    Fred Salvador, Onion Jumbler

    We allowed to be a bit, er, verbally aggressive? Allow me just to say this, with respect to the events of the last day: Fuck the NRA, and fuck gun fetishists who think that the compulsion to horde semiautomatic weapons is more important than a six year old kid’s future.

    And let me also say, fuck people who participate in canned hunts, like Dick Cheney and Antonin Scalia, who think that blasting buckshot into birds for fun is fun. And fuck assholes who need to reaffirm their manhood by shooting wolves and other apex predators. Generally, fuck anyone who gets off on shooting slugs of hot metal through sentient flesh. And fuck the Republican extremists in this country who think teachers are the enemy, and who think that freedom means jacking off over a gun collection.

    This.

  53. 53
    michaeld

    I dunno those lots of other people I’d rather fuck O.O

  54. 54
    Ichthyic

    Was there some kind of super-moronising compound released into the water there or something?

    Yes. It’s name is: Karl Rove.

    I’m not kidding.

    Rove nearly singlehandedly took a relatively sane state that was mostly progressive in the 80s, and used political hackery, media manipulation, and psychology to whip it into a froth of regression in less than 10 years.

    Which is why, of course, he was given high placement in W’s administration.

  55. 55
    Ichthyic

    many sources for that, btw, example:

    . Rove was also credited with having helped turn what was once a staunchly Democratic state, Texas, into a key Republican stronghold, a turnaround that climaxed with Bush’s victory over the popular Democratic governor, Ann Richards, in the 1994 gubernatorial election

    http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Rove_Karl

  56. 56
    Rey Fox

    Now that we’ve got Times New Roman, and the Gumbys, and the rotating banners, and got rid of the pale blue background, I think this site looks nicer than it did before. And comment numbers being searchable again, thank heaven.

  57. 57
    Mobius

    Is Pharyngula expanding? Is it taking over the Digital Cuttlefish? Informed blog readers want to know.

  58. 58
    michaeld

    And now that there’s a watery background my eyes don’t want to jump out of my skull in aesthetic protest. I hope everyone else follows suit in adding a back ground like million gods and pharyngula have.

  59. 59
    Nepenthe

    I love the new webdesign. Except the logo and how one side of the bit where the logo is displayed is curved and the other is not.

    I also like that Pharyngula has absorbed The Digital Cuttlefish.

  60. 60
    chigau (違う)

    Once again, clicking on your ‘nym above the comment box goes to the Dashboard.

  61. 61
    chigau (違う)

    yay!

  62. 62
    Dick the Damned

    Nepenthe, #50,

    Jesus fucking Christ, …

    Is there any evidence in the bible for this activity? (Not that anything in the bible is evidence for anything significant anyway.

  63. 63
    Nepenthe

    @Dick the Damned

    Sadly, the fucking popes cut out all the naughty bits. Woof, you should have seen the woodcuts!

  64. 64
    Ichthyic

    Is Pharyngula expanding? Is it taking over the Digital Cuttlefish? Informed blog readers want to know.

    both pharyngula and DC have rotating banners. I’m guessing the code for that points to the same source for the images, and the new designer didn’t notice.

    should be an easy fix.

  65. 65
    Ichthyic

    Jesus fucking Christ, …

    He would have had to have a schlong like a Tapir to accomplish that, no?

  66. 66
    margareth

    M’eh. I only ever lurked before and though the new design wasn’t what lured me out of my lurker status, I kinda like it. Though as a newb, my opinion in this regard is fairly valueless.

  67. 67
    Ichthyic

    hmm, trying new icon for my pic…

    testing…

  68. 68
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Jesus fucking Christ, …

    Is there any evidence in the bible for this activity?

    He was as celibate as a modern Catholic priest.

  69. 69
    margareth

    He was as celibate as a modern Catholic priest.

    Now that might be compelling evidence of a miracle since in order to be like a Catholic Priest, Jesus the man would have to fuck Christ the prepubescent boy. That would require a tapir schlong going through a time portal.

  70. 70
    otrame

    There are actually quite a few sane people in Texas. 41% voted for Obama. Demographics going the way they are, Texas will be a purple state very soon and blue soon after.

    It wont be that easy for most of the rest of the south, though.

  71. 71
    Ichthyic

    Demographics going the way they are, Texas will be a purple state very soon and blue soon after.

    well, it was blue in the 80s, as I noted.

  72. 72
    margareth

    There are actually quite a few sane people in Texas.

    Speaking as one of them, I have to point out that Rove isn’t the only reason this state turned red. It was reliably, deeply blue until the huge influx of rust belt refugees in the early 1980s. Now I’m not blaming them that the state has gone Republican since that event but that it changed the dynamic can’t be denied.

  73. 73
    rwgate

    Ivorybill @49- Welcome to Pharyngula. I’ve enjoyed your posts on Daily Kos and others. Hope to see you here a lot more.

  74. 74
    Amphiox

    Potential entities as yet beyond the reach of empirical inquiry that could potentially be responsible for the creation of a universe:

    1. A quantum fluctuation
    2. A super massive black hole in an older universe
    3. Two older universes, colliding
    4. Time traveling astrophysicists from the distant future
    5. A pregnant space penguin (laying cosmic eggs)
    6. Wizards on a disc shaped world carried by four elephants standing on a turtle, experimenting with creation a region of space absent any narrativium
    7. A freak accident in a Warp Drive manufacturing plant, in another universe
    8. An UltraMegaLarge Hadron Collider
    9. Lisa Simpson
    10. Xeelee

    Innumerable other possibilities.
    Let us be agnostic about all of them, for the sake of argument.
    How many of these could even remotely be considered something akin to a god? (What is a god anyways?)
    So, taking all that above, what then is your agnostic a priori probability that a god exists and precisely how much greater is that number than zero?

  75. 75
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Lisa Simpson

    But we aren’t all Lutherans.

  76. 76
    John Morales

    rwgate:

    Ivorybill @49- Welcome to Pharyngula.

    It’s not Ivorybill @49, it’s a sc_mess — or so the nym proclaims.

  77. 77
    David Marjanović

    *sigh* I guess I have to be happy the dromaeosaurid in the OP picture has feathers at all, even though there don’t seem to be any on the head. The head shape is too simple, too geometric. The tail is probably too supple. The sickle claw might be a bit too small (!). The wing feathers are in the wrong place – they’re on the upper arm and the forearm, but if you look at a bird, including a chicken wing on your table, you’ll find they’re on the forearm and the hand, specifically the index finger (the middle one of the 3).

    Hey, Thunderdome.

  78. 78
    consciousness razor

    4. Time traveling astrophysicists from the distant future

    The future in our universe? How could that be right? All the other sciencey ones are also a little sketchy, but this one really sticks out to me.

    Lisa Simpson and Xeelee are fictional, so those definitely aren’t possibilities. Call me a dogmatist, but I’m just not so impressed with cartoon characters that I think they can do stuff, much less make stuff, much less make a universe.

    Also, you didn’t really cover one possibility: this universe* always existed (in some form), meaning it never was “created” in any sense of the word. That by itself takes the wind out of the argument that there must be a “creation of the universe” to even talk about, which would be why we’re coming up with all these possibilities (including a god).

    *Not other, “older” universes.

    So, taking all that above, what then is your agnostic a priori probability that a god exists and precisely how much greater is that number than zero?

    It could be extremely small and non-zero, or it could be exactly zero. Infinities make this one pretty hard. I don’t know.

    That’s why we should withhold judgment? … And what? Call it 50/50?

  79. 79
    chigau (違う)

    Hey David.
    It needs it’s fingers naked for all the rending and tearing.

  80. 80
    onychophora

    A note about the school shooting business. I am so tired of the “ban teh gunz!!” arguments. I am so tired of the “We needs teh Jeebus in schoolz!” arguments. I am so tired of the “dude was cray cray” arguments. I’d really like to plant the blame toward toxic levels of privilege and entitlement in our kyriarchy. This is an epidemic of suburban white dudes, and I think that’s rather telling. It is an epidemic of control–they are exerting the ultimate form of control over another person’s life. We’ve all seen this gradient of abuse, ranging from microagressions, sexism, racism, then to assult, pedophilia, rape, and murder. The video someone posted a few days ago showing one of Tim Wise’s lectures on racism from 2002 got me thinking about this.

    I blame all those that support and abet entitlement and control of one person over another.

    I blame the kyriarchy, whose toxic emissions produce this.

    It’s not a bug; it’a feature.

  81. 81
    onychophora

    When I hear “let’s ban teh gunz”, I hear, “well, dudes are dudes, and we can’t help them from killing people, so let’s take away their toys.” When I hear “We need Jeebus in schools”, I hear “We just need to control them harder; then the natural order with white dudes on top will be restored.” Hyperbole, I know.

  82. 82
    consciousness razor

    I am so tired of the “ban teh gunz!!” arguments.

    Uh… why? What’s wrong with banning guns?

  83. 83
    John Morales

    David,

    Hey, Thunderdome.

    Hey, where’s your gravatar?

  84. 84
  85. 85
    consciousness razor

    When I hear “let’s ban teh gunz”, I hear, “well, dudes are dudes, and we can’t help them from killing people, so let’s take away their toys.” [...] Hyperbole, I know.

    Well, okay… so you’re tired of your own hyperbole?

    Wouldn’t taking away their toys prevent some of them from killing people, or from doing it so easily? I mean, there’s no assumption in this at all which corresponds to “dudes are dudes;” but even if there were, wouldn’t it still be a way of preventing murder?

  86. 86
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Dear Horde,

    I want to propose that it’s good to not tell trolls that “you belong in / would fit in at / are just like people from the slimepit”.

    I see no clear benefit to us in saying this, as opposed to “you are a misogynist / racist / terrible person”. The latter gets the point across fine.

    Telling them all about the slimepit may encourage them to go there and band together. We’ve always had our independent, unaffiliated misogynists trickling in at Pharyngula, but I think they’ve become more annoying, and possibly more dangerous, since they’ve had a place to congregate and egg each other on.

    They organize harassment campaigns out of there, and it is not in our interest to grow their numbers.

    We should talk about the slimepit when it’s relevant, but I’m suggesting it’s not yet relevant when a “lone wolf” misogynist stumbles in here unaffiliated with the pit.

    (I’m saying this now because I was spurred by a comment from theophontes, but I’ve been wondering about it for a while.)

    What do others here think?

  87. 87
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Ah, a David Marjanović sighting. Most welcome.

  88. 88
    John Morales

    onychophora:

    I blame the kyriarchy, whose toxic emissions produce this.

    I blame gun culture, the which causes many, many more deaths and injuries* than just the mass-shootings that headline the news.

    * A significant proportion of which are “accidental” — funny how tools made for killing often accidentally kill or severely wound.

  89. 89
    michaeld

    @ Consciousness razor 78

    Suddenly you have me thinking back to Number of the beast….

  90. 90
    Inaji

    SG:

    I want to propose that it’s good to not tell trolls that “you belong in / would fit in at / are just like people from the slimepit”.

    I don’t say this. I don’t reference the slymepit unless it’s necessary (such as pointing out certain discussions, frinst., Stefanelli.)

    I see no clear benefit to us in saying this, as opposed to “you are a misogynist / racist / terrible person”. The latter gets the point across fine.

    I do say these things.

  91. 91
    John Morales

    ॐ:

    I want to propose that it’s good to not tell trolls that “you belong in / would fit in at / are just like people from the slimepit”.
    [...]
    What do others here think?

    I think if you want to propose it, go ahead and propose it.

    (Shan’t affect me in either case)

  92. 92
    John Morales

    michaeld @89, you allude to Heinlein’s pantheistic solipsism?

  93. 93
    consciousness razor

    I want to propose that it’s good to not tell trolls that “you belong in / would fit in at / are just like people from the slimepit”.

    I see no clear benefit to us in saying this, as opposed to “you are a misogynist / racist / terrible person”. The latter gets the point across fine.

    Yeah, I already try not to do that. Besides potentially provoking them to band together, it invites them to search for any dissimilarity in their shitheaded views, no matter how superficial. Then discussion becomes about whether that difference is in anyway relevant, rather than how fucking shitheaded they are in fact being (even if it’s not as shitheaded as the slimefucks, or not in the same way or for the same reasons, etc.).

  94. 94
    Paul K

    I would love to ban most of the guns currently available. I have nothing against hunting, or target shooting, or other uses. But there is no argument that will convince me that anyone needs, or should even want, the kind of killing machines we have now. Semi-automatic handguns that can hold 17 rounds? I’ve read that the killer yesterday had one of these, plus more. What possible excuse could there be for owning one of these, other than the fantasy of one day killing a large number of people at close range?

    The problem is that we do have them, and the nutjobs who somehow seem to be winning on so many fronts are never going to give them up. The SCOTUS will need to have major changes, and the other branches will need to actually think gun control is a good idea before we can ever hope they do something sensible about this.

    I’m another one who has little hope that this will see real progress in my lifetime, and I’m probably too old to ever get out of here, but I can dream, and maybe help my son find a way to get somewhere sane. In the meantime, I’ll keep beating my head against the wall of exceptionalism and entitlement fantasies of asswipes.

  95. 95
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    As someone who has said “go back to the slymepit”, there is merit in SGBM’s suggestion. In fact, I I agree. Will do my best to avoid comments like that.

  96. 96
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Anybody who has/had the Secret Comic Sans script, version 6.0.1, has it automatically updated to 6.0.2 yet? If not (since it might take up to a week before an automatic check), can you force an update by going into your Greasemonkey scripts, right-clicking on Secret Comic Sans, and choosing “find updates”? The new version is functionally identical, but I am curious about whether the update mechanism will work with Wikia-hosted scripts at all.

    navigation has become more difficult in some cases.

    For instance, some people were asking for FTB Recent to be the default tab in their sidebar. There is now a Greasemonkey script to do that.

  97. 97
    Nick Gotts

    When I hear “let’s ban teh gunz”, I hear, “well, dudes are dudes, and we can’t help them from killing people, so let’s take away their toys.” – onychophora

    Well that tells us you’re prone to mishearing, but nothing else. Try comparing the rates of gun death in the USA with that in other rich countries with less permissive attitudes to gun ownership (see here). Interesting to note that the second worst rich country is Switzerland, often used by gun-nuts as a “refutation” of the idea that more gun ownership means more gun deaths.

  98. 98
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    sgbm,

    Makes sense. I don’t think I ever mentioned the slimepit in relation to someone I don’t know for sure is from there, so it will be no extra work to refrain from doing it in the future as well.

  99. 99
    onychophora

    Banning guns does not address the underlying problem. It is at best an stopgap solution which may prevent death in the interim; my argument is not there.

    Rather, one issue is with what seems to be the underlying idea that “boys will be boys and they’re just going to act like that!” (sorry my shorthand ‘dudes are dudes’ did not work here. Fail.)

    I agree there are underlying cultural issues that must be addressed.

  100. 100
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Paul:
    Your mention of exceptionalism has me wondering…what do proponents of American exceptionalism mean when they use that phrase?

  101. 101
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    Did you decide whether you need this password or not? No hurry, just wondering.

  102. 102
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    There is also the underlying issue of a whole nation being raised to believe owning something primary use of which is to kill is some kind of a right.

    But hey, that’s not the real problem.

  103. 103
    onychophora

    Yup, the issue that “we” are raised to believe it’s our God given right (bygolly!) to control others, the nation, the ecosystem, and the world, using force if necessary.

    And if someone takes that away, To Arms! We’ll make them pay if it’s the last thing we do!

  104. 104
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    @99:
    A measure that prevents people from dying, stopgap or otherwise, is much better than continuing the path the USA is on.

  105. 105
    Nick Gotts

    Banning guns does not address the underlying problem. It is at best an stopgap solution which may prevent death in the interim – onychophora

    This is drivel. There are over 30,000 gun deaths per year in the USA. The “stopgap solution” you denigrate would save a large proportion of those lives, as well as far greater numbers of injuries. Moreover, in working for a gun ban, you would automatically be fighting the toxic masculinities you point to.

  106. 106
    michaeld

    John Morales

    Yup. Heinlein’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

  107. 107
    vaiyt

    When I hear “let’s ban teh gunz”, I hear, “well, dudes are dudes, and we can’t help them from killing people, so let’s take away their toys.”

    You’re the only one making the automatic association of guns with dudes, and then projecting it on other people.

  108. 108
    Paul K

    Tony:

    Even as an American, to me, the very idea seems bizarre and without any foundation at all. People who make claims about it seem to think we are somehow blessed; special in some way that truly makes us better than other peoples. Beyond criticism because, hey, we’re the Greatest Country in the World!! I think it goes back to some of the original colonists who were looking for ‘religious freedom’. Which meant freedom to oppress everyone who didn’t agree with your sect. It might have been Cotton Mather, of the Massachusetts colony, who started it, with the whole ‘shining beacon on a hill’ sentiment. America was going to be the place everyone looked to as a model for how to be, because god’s blessing.

    I’m not a historian, but there’s always been a real arrogance about American destiny among Americans, and we’ve used it to justify a lot of terrible actions. Hey, everybody who isn’t us, we can piss on you because, hey, we’re better than you. Come on, deep down you know it. And don’t you dare even criticize our ‘freedoms’, because, duh, America! And, ho ho ho! None of you can have any good ideas about, well, just about anything, compared to us.

  109. 109
    chigau (違う)

    ॐ #86
    I don’t know that I have ever recommended anyone to the slmpt but I won’t in the future.

  110. 110
    onychophora

    Sorry, I did not make myself clear. Gun bans are a stopgap solution which may prevent death. I’m not arguing about their utility.

    Rather, while reading various places around teh intarwebs, I saw very little “other” analysis through a social justice lens besides kneejerk reactions. I lament this. So I came here because y’all understand social justice issues, reason, etc., and that all these contribute and add to patterns we see. This problem is multifaceted, and there is not just one cause (but from reading facebooke, that’s all I hear).

  111. 111
    michaeld

    As to banning guns vs fixing underlying causes, can’t we do both. Maybe not banning outright but frankly guns should be at least as well controlled as cars (licences, registration, insurance, liability, training etc etc).

  112. 112
    onychophora

    vaiyt: Are the perpetrators of these massacres not all male? This seems to be an epidemic amongst white males. I wonder what is wrong, sociologically, that the majority of them would fit this phenotype? Is this a symptom of a backlash? Or is it coincidence? I only have guesses.

  113. 113
    consciousness razor

    Anybody who has/had the Secret Comic Sans script, version 6.0.1, has it automatically updated to 6.0.2 yet? If not (since it might take up to a week before an automatic check), can you force an update by going into your Greasemonkey scripts, right-clicking on Secret Comic Sans, and choosing “find updates”? The new version is functionally identical, but I am curious about whether the update mechanism will work with Wikia-hosted scripts at all.

    I’m not sure I did it the way you asked. I went to the Greasemonkey icon on a toolbar, clicked “Manage user scripts…” and it had found the update (maybe right then), so then I could update it to 6.0.2 (from 6.0.0).

    Let’s see if it works. I will now prove pantheism:

    God is love. “Love” is a word. Therefore, “God” is a word. “Word” is a word. In the beginning was the word, so everything is after God and everything is God, because “everything” is a word. Therefore, “everything” is “love,” and that makes me feel really nice.

    But of course we should all remain agnostic about this.

    Banning guns does not address the underlying problem. It is at best an stopgap solution which may prevent death in the interim; my argument is not there.

    Rather, one issue is with what seems to be the underlying idea that “boys will be boys and they’re just going to act like that!” (sorry my shorthand ‘dudes are dudes’ did not work here. Fail.)

    Okay, so we agree that banning guns isn’t intended to solve that problem, so what’s the problem? Is the idea that boys will be boys the only problem in the world?

  114. 114
    Caveat Imperator

    consciousness razor

    Also, you didn’t really cover one possibility: this universe* always existed (in some form), meaning it never was “created” in any sense of the word. That by itself takes the wind out of the argument that there must be a “creation of the universe” to even talk about, which would be why we’re coming up with all these possibilities (including a god).

    Especially since space and time are intertwined according to GR, can we really say that there was a time “before” the universe? Unless the universe is nested in another layer of universes, in which time is also a meaningful concept. This “explanation” reminds me of the justifications for panspermia; doesn’t truly provide a satisfying or conclusive answer and it’s hardly an “end” even if it’s true, but it feels more sensible than presupposing a godlike being for one simple reason. We are explaining a phenomenon that we know exists (life, universe) by positing an entity that more or less resembles it (life from elsewhere, another layer of universe,) instead of a timeless, transcendental entity that we can’t compare to anything we’ve ever observed before.

  115. 115
    John Morales

    onychophora, the vast majority are male, but not all.

    Jennifer San Marco

  116. 116
    Caveat Imperator

    Also, how in the nine hells do you do line breaks around here?

  117. 117
    Paul K

    onychophora:

    Are the perpetrators of these massacres not all male? This seems to be an epidemic amongst white males. I wonder what is wrong, sociologically, that the majority of them would fit this phenotype? Is this a symptom of a backlash? Or is it coincidence? I only have guesses.

    I think there’s got to be something to what you say. We hear all about these terrible mass shootings, but there are plenty of shootings of ‘just’ a wife/girlfriend/children that happen all over the country every day, and they also seem to be primarily the work of white men, though definitely not always.

  118. 118
    onychophora

    consciousness razor:

    Do I have to choose just one? There are so many to choose from! How about a hierarchical social order predicated on abuse and domination?

  119. 119
    John Morales

    caveatimperator, in the usual way: with the enter key.

    If you want to get a bigger gap between paragraphs than the rendering shows by default, you can space them with non-breaking spaces <nbsp;>.

     

     

    Like I have just done.

  120. 120
    John Morales

    [erratum]

    <&nbsp;>

  121. 121
    John Morales

    [FFS!]

    &nbsp;

  122. 122
    cicely

    Crap. I thought Ing was just leaving that thread.

    Me, too.
    :( :( :( :( :(

    StevoR, coddling you along is looking to be an expensive luxury. Are you worth it? Tell us why we should bother.
    *stomping right back out*
    -

  123. 123
    strange gods before me ॐ

    so then I could update it to 6.0.2 (from 6.0.0).

    Oh good. Thank you, consciousness razor. That answers my underlying question of whether updating from Wikia will work at all.

  124. 124
    Pteryxx

    but there are plenty of shootings of ‘just’ a wife/girlfriend/children that happen all over the country every day, and they also seem to be primarily the work of white men, though definitely not always.

    a point: as far as I know, *white* men are more likely to own guns, because of the social entanglement of black men with the criminal justice system: they’re more likely to have a criminal record (not necessarily a violent one) which makes them ineligible for licenses, and less likely to have or use guns casually because just possessing a gun, or possessing one when a crime goes down nearby, leaves them liable for increased sentencing (and suspicion and blame, etc).

    Personally I have a suspicion that young black men who exhibit even slight tendencies towards becoming gun-obsessed aggressors get quickly snatched up into the criminal justice system, warranted or not, while the same behaviors tend to be tolerated in young white men.

  125. 125
    Caveat Imperator

    Let’s try that here. That’s the html tag I was looking for. My html-fu is not so strong.
     
     
     
    New line is three lines down. Excellent. Thanks John!

  126. 126
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    cicely:
    I don’t think he is worth it. Like a few others, I have no intention of responding to anything else from him. Losing Ing was the last straw.

  127. 127
    Inaji

    You’re the only one making the automatic association of guns with dudes, and then projecting it on other people.

    Obviously didn’t come across the liberal lesbian gun lover in the other thread.

    As for the “it’s only dudes!1!!” nonsense, Amy Bishop comes to mind. There was another woman in Sacramento, I think, went on a shooting spree in a shopping mall. San Marcos, of course. There are more. Interestingly enough, female mass murderers don’t attract much attention.

    It’s almost as if people are all stuck in this gender stereotype groove…

  128. 128
    onychophora

    @124

    Even the tendency toward becoming just simply “aggressors” seems more tolerated–the strong, dominant and powerful.

  129. 129
    Paul K

    Pteryxx @124:

    Makes sense to me. Violence is certainly not the realm of just white men, but gun violence seems to be more often their method of choice. Opportunity would lead to that. Firing a gun is not much more difficult than pushing a button, so why not go for that, if you can, when you’re enraged and it’s there?
    (Just typing that made my stomach turn.)

  130. 130
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    As terrible as mass/spree/serial murders are–and yes, white males do dominate in these cases and most especially in the cases that get heavy media coverage–this is not how most murders are committed. Anyone can be a murderer. The young white male pushed to the edge who goes to a public place and takes out a bunch of people is not the archetype for the 30,000 gun deaths we see every year in the US.

    The “angry entitled white male” problem is a real issue, but it has more to do with toxic ideas about masculinity, privilege and fear than the fingers on specific triggers.

  131. 131
    Paul K

    I heard an interview on NPR last night with a reporter from Mother Jones. After the Aroura shootings, he did an in-depth article on mass shootings, and found that, by his definition, only one woman in the last thirty years had been a mass killer (Jennifer San Marco). His definition limited the events by requiring at least four deaths, other than the killer. Even with that limitation, there have been 61 in the US in the last thirty years.

    This is where I got my understanding that it was mostly men doing these things. It left out Amy Bishop, for one, since she ‘only’ killed three people. 43 of the killers were white males.

  132. 132
    Paul K

    Sorry, borked the link again.

  133. 133
    consciousness razor

    Especially since space and time are intertwined according to GR, can we really say that there was a time “before” the universe?

    I don’t understand the math or the physics, but I don’t think it’s been ruled out. Inflation could go in the past forever, like you said, so we could talk about time in terms of what is happening in a multiverse. There isn’t any need for an end-point of some kind.

    Another ideas it that there could be an origin in our past, from which time symmetrically “goes forward” in both directions. That basically amounts to another part of our universe which goes on infinitely in the past, relative to the direction of time for stuff in this part of the universe. You could say there’s a finite amount of time since the origin at t=0, but there’d still be infinite time beyond that, because it’s in this other half which is just “moving” the other way.

    If time somehow ends in that other half’s “future,” then the “past” for us is finite no matter how you construe it, but in that case it’s hard to tell how we could be talking about what caused stuff to exist, or what is supposed to explain everything, anyway. It would just be a question of how you measure time. That is, unless we toss time traveling designers or retro-causation into the mix too, which is about the time I would say that theory is really getting fucked up.

    If all of that is ruled out with some real physics, then it may not make any sense to talk about time before the big bang.

    Unless the universe is nested in another layer of universes, in which time is also a meaningful concept. This “explanation” reminds me of the justifications for panspermia; doesn’t truly provide a satisfying or conclusive answer and it’s hardly an “end” even if it’s true, but it feels more sensible than presupposing a godlike being for one simple reason.

    I don’t see how it would be any more unsatisfying or inconclusive than the alternatives. What would it be leaving out?

  134. 134
    consciousness razor

    “Another ideas it that” -> Another idea is that

  135. 135
    John Morales

    CR,

    I don’t understand the math or the physics, but I don’t think it’s been ruled out.

    They’re not intertwined, they’re a manifold.

    But that’s irrelevant; leaving aside that without a time dimension, the concept of ‘existence’ is moot, the concept of existence before time is incoherent no less that the concept of time ‘beginning’ to exist.

  136. 136
    jose

    I humbly submit this neato study (pdf) for the horde’s consideration.

  137. 137
    Caveat Imperator

    I don’t see how it would be any more unsatisfying or inconclusive than the alternatives. What would it be leaving out?

    What I meant is that neither a multiverse nor panspermia provide true answers; they just push the question back farther. We still have to come up for naturalistic explanations for whatever the “original” universe or life was, whatever that may be. Both explanations are, of course, far more parsimonious than gods.

  138. 138
    consciousness razor

    They’re not intertwined, they’re a manifold.

    Sure. I was trying to say I don’t really understand any of it: neither how to do the math, nor how physical stuff happens which is what the math is … modeling (or whatever the term is).

  139. 139
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I am but a small thinker from an island which harboured an American who seemed to pick up what we instinctively feel.

    Here is my small thought. It is quite possible, perhaps probable, that stricter gun laws of the sort that Mr Obama may or may not be planning, would not have stopped the horrible killings of this morning. But that is a separate question from whether it is a good idea to allow private individuals to own guns. And that, really, is what I think I understand by gun control. Once you have guns in circulation, in significant numbers, I suspect that specific controls on things like automatic weapons or large magazines can have only marginal effects. Once lots of other people have guns, it becomes rational for you to want your own too.

    The first time that I was posted to Washington, DC some years ago, the capital and suburbs endured a frightening few days at the hands of a pair of snipers, who took to killing people at random from a shooting position they had established in the boot of a car. I remember meeting a couple of White House correspondents from American papers, and hearing one say: but the strange thing is that Maryland (where most of the killings were taking place) has really strict gun laws. And I remember thinking: from the British perspective, those aren’t strict gun laws. Strict laws involve having no guns.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2012/12/gun-control

  140. 140
    rwgate

    John @ 76- Ivorybill is a regular commenter and diarist on Daily Kos. He lists Pharyngula on his blogroll list, and his post here is the same as his post on Daily Kos today around 10:15am. When I read his comment here, under a different nym, I knew I’d read it earlier today.

  141. 141
    John Morales

    rwgate, yes, I figured something like that. Nonetheless, what I wrote is true.

    (Conclusion: he either doesn’t know how to or does not care to bother to change his display name when commenting here; neither alternative is admirable to me, nor does your little encomium predispose me to think otherwise)

  142. 142
    Ichthyic

    Banning guns does not address the underlying problem. It is at best an stopgap solution which may prevent death in the interim; my argument is not there.

    no, actually banning guns would solve the problem. long term.

    as you note, this indeed IS a cultural issue. It’s like america has become addicted to guns and violence.

    take away the guns, and the next generation will grow up without thinking guns were an automatic privilege and solution to problems.

    the generation after that will be wondering why in the fuck guns were ever so ubiquitous to begin with.

  143. 143
    Paul K

    Ichthyic:

    But ‘cold dead hands’ is pretty real to too many folks here; including Congress and maybe the SCOTUS. I would love your generational solution.

  144. 144
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    But ‘cold dead hands’ is pretty real to too many folks here; including Congress and maybe the SCOTUS. I would love your generational solution.

    I could always tell my 10-year-old, if you could tell me? (Yes, that a skip-generation thing.)

  145. 145
    Ichthyic

    I would love your generational solution.

    yeah, never said it was a politically viable solution, just thinking that theoretically, it would in fact work.

  146. 146
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    the generation after that will be wondering why in the fuck slaves were ever so ubiquitous

    And I’m out.

  147. 147
    Ichthyic

    the generation after that will be wondering why in the fuck slaves were ever so ubiquitous

    …and we call that “white privilege”

  148. 148
    Paul K

    yeah, never said it was a politically viable solution, just thinking that theoretically, it would in fact work.

    I agree, and I can dream of someday. It’s still a huge problem, but look how far we’ve come with, for example, drinking and driving. When I was in school, thirty years ago, many — most? — people I knew did it without a thought. (I never did, but probably only because I didn’t drive until I was nearly 30). I know it’s an analogy full of holes, but things can change, and I don’t wan to stop hoping.

  149. 149
    Amphiox

    Banning guns does not address the underlying problem. It is at best an stopgap solution which may prevent death in the interim

    Firstly one needs to stop equating “reasonable gun controls” to “banning guns”.

    Secondly, the underlying problem is a culture of guns and violence. Notice that first part of the description?

    Ban guns, and you solve half the problem right there. No guns, no gun culture. So it does address the underlying problem. Half of it.

    Now you’re left with is a culture of violence. But then we ask, given a culture of violence but no guns, what would be the effect? Violence would seek to express itself, but how? Given a choice between a culture of violence by fists and knives, and a culture of violence by guns, what is better?

    Consider the analogy to drug addiction to a very dangerous drug, say heroin. The underlying problem is an addictive personality. Remove the heroin, what happens? Perhaps the individual will seek another addiction. So the net effect of removing the heroin will be positive if the addiction that replaces it is a safer one, and negative if the addiction that replaces it is more dangerous. And that is why one common treatment for heroin addiction is methadone. Methadone is a nasty drug, but it is safer than heroin. Net win.

    Let’s go back to guns. Remove the guns, what’s left for the underlying culture of violence to resort to? What’s worse than guns? If you can give me a good argument that banning guns would lead to an increase in bazooka and tank violence, then I would say you have a valid point about “banning guns not addressing the underlying problem”.

    (Incidentally, I am not actually in favor of a ban on guns. I believe in reasonable gun control, not gun banning. I do not think blanket curtailments of individual liberty should not be preferred over reasonable controls that still allow access unless it can be demonstrated that reasonable controls would not work to solve the problem, which to date on this issue it hasn’t been, and I don’t think a blanket ban on guns is actually enforceable from a practical point of view.)

  150. 150
    John Morales

    Amphiox:

    No guns, no gun culture

    Hm.

    Let me try a straight substitution: ‘No gods, no god culture’.

    (Nope, it doesn’t work :) )

  151. 151
    Paul K

    John Morales:

    But I think we’d be much better off if guns were imaginary, too.

  152. 152
    John Morales

    Paul K, as you note, it is an empirical fact that we can have X without having X culture, and we can have X culture without having X*.

    (Conclusion: the problematic factor is the existence of the culture, and not the X, when the X culture is problematic)

    * I blame the pram culture — damn you, Rebecca Watson!)

  153. 153
    Ichthyic

    But I think we’d be much better off if guns were imaginary, too.

    ayup.

  154. 154
    Inaji

    John:

    Let me try a straight substitution: ‘No gods, no god culture’.

    (Nope, it doesn’t work :) )

    Damn!

  155. 155
    Pteryxx

    …So, does overblown entitled toxic masculinity have anything to do with mass shootings? Dunno, but a handful of MRAs seem intent on trying to demonstrate a connection:

    http://manboobz.com/2012/12/14/trigger-warning-a-voice-for-men-commenter-claims-that-the-newtown-shooting-is-evidence-of-the-oppression-of-men/

    *rolleyes*

  156. 156
    Inaji

    Amphiox:

    Now you’re left with is a culture of violence. But then we ask, given a culture of violence but no guns, what would be the effect? Violence would seek to express itself, but how? Given a choice between a culture of violence by fists and knives, and a culture of violence by guns, what is better?

    People often opine that back in [whatever] day, disputes and such were generally settled by what is now considered an old fashioned fist fight. Of course, that still takes place, but all too often, people are now bringing guns to the fight and you get a lot of dead people.

    This has been discussed a lot around here lately, because of the huge influx of people to work the oil fields. Most of them have been amazed that the majority of people here aren’t packing guns.

  157. 157
    John Morales

    [belated via Caine's comment]

    Amphiox:

    Violence would seek to express itself, but how?

    Code duello comes to mind.

  158. 158
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Caine,
    Growing up as I did in the country (70 people per square mile in the county, natch), guns were a constant fact of life.

    And, thinking back, I observe that the culture said that there were three times when it was appropriate to be carrying a loaded gun:

    1. You were a cop on duty, and
    2. You were actively engaged in a hunt.
    3. You were a farmer out on the sections of your property where predatorily wild animals (coyotes, in these parts) were seen.

    At any other time, if you were a “proper” person, your gun was unloaded and secured in its case.

  159. 159
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    And the people who weren’t “proper” were derided. And dismissed as being “not from here,” a meth-head, meth-cooker, meth-dealer, a generally bad person, or all of the above.

  160. 160
    Ichthyic

    Given a choice between a culture of violence by fists and knives, and a culture of violence by guns, what is better?

    I do recall really liking West-Side Story.

  161. 161
    John Morales

    Rev. BCD elsewhere:

    Morales, you are predictably tiresome.

    .

    Claiming that is one thing, demonstrating it is another. :)

    (Post hoc rationalisations are not predictions, though tiresome I surely am to those who cannot cope with my simple truth-speaking)

  162. 162
    onychophora

    @158

    I also grew up in rural America. It always fascinates me how divergent my background and conception of firearm usage is from people that grew up in large cities; I still struggle with it. Guns were just there, and they were just tools. Like a tractor or a chainsaw or something.

  163. 163
    Owlmirror

    hm

    testing:

    What does this look like?

    How ’bout this?

    or this?

  164. 164
    John Morales

    Owlmirror, it looks like PZ hasn’t yet tweaked the code to do what it did in the past; that is, it looks to me much like it looks to you.

    (Nonetheless, I have used q tags in the expectation that he will at some point)

  165. 165
    Inaji

    Esteleth, I’m in Norf Dakota. This state is bristling with guns. Almost every household has at least one, including us. Rifles here, two of them, living rural as we do. Ours don’t make an appearance unless it’s pheasant season and even that hasn’t brought them out for several years.

    The difference is still remarkable to those from elsewhere. There are a number of people here to work the fields from inner city life, where most people have a gun on their person and not a lot of reluctance to use it.

  166. 166
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ivorybill, you can change your display nym here. You may have to first change the “Nickname”, then click the “Update Profile” button, then change “Display name publicly as” and click “Update Profile” again.

    And here is a killfile script, to save you the trouble of John Morales. :)

  167. 167
    John Morales

    ॐ:

    And here is a killfile script, to save you the trouble of John Morales. :)

    Such as I have no need for a killfile script; for we need not limit our perceptions to appease our insecurities.

  168. 168
    Amphiox

    Let me try a straight substitution: ‘No gods, no god culture’.

    (Nope, it doesn’t work :) )

    To make the analogy work, you have to alter it slightly to:

    “No belief in gods, no god culture”.

    Because what is it, exactly, that produces “god culture”, extends it, elaborates it, perpetuates it? It’s not the existence of gods, but rather the belief in gods.

    If gods existed but no one believed in them, there would be no god culture (only small talking turtles, maybe).

    If gods did not exist but people believed they did, there is god culture.

    But gun culture is a little different, because it is centered around the object and, crucially, the effect of the object working. Whether it is “criminals” you’re self-defensing against, or animals you’re hunting, whatever, the heart of gun culture is about aiming the object at a target, pulling the trigger, and in so doing effecting physically destructive change upon that target.

    One could perhaps envision a “gun culture” centered about solely belief in guns without the actual object, wherein enthusiasts point their fingers at each other and yell “BANG!”, but somehow I think that will turn out to be something very different than what we currently consider to be “gun culture” today.

  169. 169
    consciousness razor

    And here is a killfile script, to save you the trouble of John Morales. :)

    Doesn’t everyone like “simple truth-speaking”?

  170. 170
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    Telling them all about the slimepit may encourage them to go there and band together.

    … comment from theophontes:

    slow17motion, might you not feel more at home at Teh Slyme Pit? What is it you really hope to gain on FTB?

    I just assumed, perhaps too impulsively, that because slow17 is of such like stripe to jstcr xe would know of it already. I take your point though: We should admit impediment to marriage of false minds.

    [Re: TeeeOhhhAre.]

    I have not had the chance to get into this properly. I have run it a few times, without success (mainland at least, no problem in HK). I am also having other problems with the PC (I suspect something dreadfully wrong with the graphics card). I’m wabbing a bit in getting it all fixed properly.

    @ cicely

    [Ing]

    Ing stay, StevoR go!

  171. 171
    consciousness razor

    Of course, it couldn’t be about disliking something (for some unstated reason, which I’m sure is reasonable). It’s about appeasing insecurities.

  172. 172
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales
    I regret to inform you that I have had hushfile for a few months now.
    and I sometimes engage it.
    You have never been in it.
    [except for that one time I put everyone except me in it.]
    [I have yet to hush myself.]

  173. 173
    Inaji

    John:

    Such as I have no need for a killfile script; for we need not limit our perceptions to appease our insecurities.

    You misread. It wasn’t intended for you:

    And here is a killfile script, to save you the trouble of John Morales. :)

  174. 174
    John Morales

    Amphiox:

    To make the analogy work, you have to alter it slightly to:

    “No belief in gods, no god culture”.

    There was no analogy, there was a substitution.

    Nonetheless, let me apply the inverse of the very same substitution to your amended claim: “no belief in guns, no gun culture”. ;)

    (Wow — it works! — though it still remains a straightforward substitution of terms and not an analogy ;) )

  175. 175
    John Morales

    Caine, I didn’t misread; I was noting the type of people for whom a killfile is desirable, and contrasting them to those for whom it is not.

    (The needy vs. the less-needy)

  176. 176
    John Morales

    PS Evidently, ॐ is of the opinion that Ivorybill is likely to be one of the needy people.

  177. 177
    John Morales

    If only killfile could be ported to audio and to input, people could become wise monkeys!

    (O happy monkey!)

  178. 178
    Crissa

    Chris fucking lying about my posts and fucking letting Caine throw transphobic slurs is beyond the pale.

    I know when to stand up and leave the fucking computer. But apparently they don’t.

  179. 179
    Nepenthe

    Well I’m impressed with John, are you impressed? I’m impressed.

    *eyeroll*

  180. 180
    John Morales

    Nepenthe, nah, it takes more than that to impress me. :)

    Crissa, you might have noticed that Chris’s tolerance level is order of magnitudes lower than PZ’s in most categories.

    (If not, I hereby draw your attention to it)

  181. 181
    Crissa

    Chris let a poster completely misrepresent what I said, to the point of letting her blare obscenities at me. Another poster used a specific transphobic slur that I have explained in detail why it is a slur to said poster – which is quite likely why they used it. They continued to yell at me for several more posts after I had left.

    Each of those are supposedly violations of the new rules. That’s just not fucking cool.

  182. 182
    chigau (違う)

    Crissa #178
    Using xe is not transphobic.
    It is an attempt to stop using gendered pronouns.

    So far, Chris Clarke makes bunny-substitutes.
    PZ will prevent you from commenting on Pharyngula.
    be careful

  183. 183
    Inaji

    Crissa:

    Chris fucking lying about my posts and fucking letting Caine throw transphobic slurs is beyond the pale.

    Oh FFS. You are such a fuckwit. Gender neutral pronouns are not a slur, full stop. They are often used here when there’s uncertainty. You flatter yourself in regard to what I know about you. Generally, I ignore you and don’t bother reading your posts because there’s only so much idiocy I willfully inflict on myself.

    When you do come to my notice, I tend to mix you up with a crisskentavwhatever, who I seem to remember identifying as male at one point. That was one or two years ago. So, I err on the side of caution. *shrug*

    And no one lied about your posts, Cupcake. Every pixel of your fuckwittedness is there for all to see.

  184. 184
    John Morales

    chigau:

    Using xe is not transphobic.

    True; it is merely insulting and rude when applied to a self-identified female, in that it’s denying their expressed gender identity.

  185. 185
    Inaji

    John:

    it is merely insulting and rude when applied to a self-identified female, in that it’s denying their expressed gender identity.

    Which was not my intent whatsoever, in spite of what Crissa believes. I don’t have a perfect memory.

  186. 186
    John Morales

    Caine,

    Gender neutral pronouns are not a slur, full stop. They are often used here when there’s uncertainty. You flatter yourself in regard to what I know about you.

    Fair enough, I should qualify my previous thus: “when knowingly applied”, which I believe you did not do.

    (But then, intent ain’t magic has been mentioned before)

  187. 187
    John Morales

    Caine, your #185 and my #186 crossed.

  188. 188
    Inaji

    John:

    (But then, intent ain’t magic has been mentioned before)

    No, it sure as hell isn’t. I do remember being thoroughly yelled at, along with Sally Strange and several others, by crissakentavwhatever for making the assumption of female gender, given the crissa part of the nym.

    Now I’ll remember this Crissa identifies as female.

  189. 189
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales #184
    Using an ungendered pronoun ‘denies’ nothing.
    Using ‘he’ on an identified ‘she’ denies the identity (or vice versa).

  190. 190
    Nepenthe

    @Crissa

    Someone used naughty words at you? Boo-fucking-hoo.

    Asshole.

  191. 191
    John Morales

    There you go, Crissa — it was not meant as a transphobic slur, rather it was a gender-neutral pronoun properly used when referring to a person whose gender is unknown to the respondent.

    (Don’t give up on this place; we may be contentious (as are you! :) ), but transphobia is foreign to the ethos here and there is no tolerance of it)

    chigau, I once again admit you have a point — it doesn’t deny, but it fails to acknowledge one’s gender.

    (Surely you see how this is a sensitive issue for transgendered people)

  192. 192
    John Morales

    Nepenthe, different people have different triggers.

  193. 193
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    I have not had the chance to get into this properly. I have run it a few times, without success

    Okay. I think that my beer.7z will help you. (By now it might have lost its fizz, but if so, I can brew up another batch.) Try downloading it, request the password, and see if what you find inside isn’t helpful.

  194. 194
    Inaji

    John:

    Don’t give up on this place; we may be contentious

    Yeah, but you see, Crissa doesn’t like that. It’s fine to cuss at anyone except her, it’s fine to criticise anyone except her, and so on. And she was damn offensive and insulting to Nepenthe.

  195. 195
    Inaji

    John:

    (Surely you see how this is a sensitive issue for transgendered people)

    So you’re assuming Crissa is transgendered? Or did I miss something again? (A lot of people protest gendered/homophobic/transphobic slurs on principal). C

  196. 196
    chigau (違う)

    I’m going to bed.

  197. 197
    Nepenthe

    @John

    People who don’t like being cursed at (shock! horror!) when they’re acting like fuckbrained assholes can scamper off to the parts of the internet where fuckwittery is tolerated but naughty words are not. And maybe let the door hit them in the ass on the way out.

  198. 198
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    It’s text, by the way. So you don’t have to download it to your computer inside the mainland. You can write down the contents and secret them across.

  199. 199
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Crissa is trans. No assumption, memory.

  200. 200
    John Morales

    [Third time is enough for now]

    Caine, Nepenthe: you have a point, again. (grr)

    I should have written “Don’t give up on this place because you imagine it’s transphobic“, up above.

    I’m not about to re-read the thread in question, but my impression was that Chrissa got triggered and it went downhill from there.

    (Not that I don’t trust both your instincts (and respect you) — but I have to go by my feeling; we’ll doubtless see whether I’m being too generous here)

    Caine,

    So you’re assuming Crissa is transgendered?

    If that is to what she took offence, then that’s the implication; again, it’s an impression, not an assumption.

  201. 201
    Inaji

    SG:

    Crissa is trans. No assumption, memory.

    Oh shit, I had no idea. I’m so sorry for the gender neutral pronoun being taken as a slur, fuck, I’m sorry.

  202. 202
    strange gods before me ॐ

    chigau,

    [except for that one time I put everyone except me in it.]

    Surreal.

    Like Garfield Minus Garfield.

  203. 203
    strange gods before me ॐ

    borked:

    Garfield Minus Garfield.

  204. 204
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    Thanks.

    I’ll be back in Shenzhen on the morrow and keep you updated.

  205. 205
    vaiyt

    About gender pronouns: I’m used to “they”.

    Are the perpetrators of these massacres not all male?

    It does not follow from the shooters being all male, that the anti-gun argument relies on shifting responsibility from men. Especially since the anti-gun argument is not directed just at spree shooters. Numerically, they’re just a tiny part in the problem of gun-related deaths.

    An argument in favor of gun control relies on the practical idea that reducing the availability of guns to the common schmuck reduces the opportunity for schmucks to shoot at other people when it’s not warranted. No gender assumptions required.

    It’s worked in other countries – granted, other countries don’t have large segments of the population who view the possession of guns as a basic human right (for people like them, natch – if those other different people have guns, they’re criminals and should be preemptively shot).

  206. 206
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I like Dinosaur Comics.

    In Thursday’s strip, read Utahraptor’s lines in the voice of consciousness razor.

  207. 207
    JohnnieCanuck

    If anyone cares to be counted in, the Atheist Census is back and racking up the numbers.

    Okay, I used preview and that is weird. Think I’ll just leave it as is, in case it helps in debugging. For the moment I am going to assume that it isn’t my screwup.

  208. 208
    JohnnieCanuck

    Oh, so it’s only preview that was screwed up. Still weird.

  209. 209
    opposablethumbs

    Oh, snap @ JohnnieCanuck – I just posted in the Lounge about the census being back up and was coming over here to see if anyone had mentioned it yet and you had :-)

    Maybe PZ will post the update?

  210. 210
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Crissa:
    Is it possible you’re assuming that Caine is aware that you are trans? If someone doesn’t interact with you on a regular basis they might have forgotten. Heck, she may not have known to begin with.

  211. 211
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I just got back from church! :-)

    Kid #1 soloed the first verse of Once In Royal David’s City. And nailed it.

    *proud*

  212. 212
    Inaji

    To Crissa/Charlotte/Whoever: feel free to threaten me right here on Pharyngula – leave my blog out of it. That’s for my work, not your little threats. Thanks.

  213. 213
    coelsblog

    Dear Horde,
    I gather that there has recently been some kerfuffle over whether atheism is a “guy thing” or not. Just registering at the atheist census I see that the gender balance is currently 75:25. You may want to click the link to balance it up a bit.
    atheist census

  214. 214
    Inaji

    coelsblog:

    You may want to click the link to balance it up a bit.

    I can’t, because I registered the first time around. Doing it a second time would be cheating, eh?

  215. 215
    chigau (違う)

    Caine #212
    ????

  216. 216
    Nepenthe

    I’m just going to leave this here because I’m incoherent with disgust and rage. A conservative friend of mine on facebook, in a discussion about gun policy, explicitly states that, while uncontrolled gun ownership will lead to both mass murders like the Sandy Hook massacre and the obscene murder and suicide rate in the United States, he values the right to own guns more than the utility of banning or controlling them. He states, correctly, that conservatism and liberalism are inherently at odds because of our respective conflicting values.*

    I just can’t believe that anyone would say, out loud, that repeated incidents of dead schoolchildren are an acceptable trade off for the “right” to own machines designed solely for killing people without restriction. And this is not an ignorant yokel, he’s both a life-long urbanite and one of the most rawly intelligent people I’ve ever met.

    *This is a paraphrase because the friend who started the discussion by posting the “wait until they’re buried” gambit and asked for people to justify their insensitive discussing gun control cowardly deleted the post after I pointed out that silence is as useful as praying.

  217. 217
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    Caine #212
    ????

    Some fuckwit going by ‘Charlotte’ quoted the exchange between SG and myself (Crissa is trans and my not knowing and being sorry about the pronoun) and said:

    Not good enough. We’re aware of other stuff.

    I’d prefer they keep their slimy tactics here.

  218. 218
    chigau (違う)

    Caine #217
    huh.
    Weird.

  219. 219
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    Weird.

    A nasty little attempt at intimidation.

    *shrug*

  220. 220
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Said before and I am afraid that I will repeat it for the rest of my life.

    There are times that I really hate my species.

  221. 221
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    I went and reloaded the original TeeeOh!(Are?) that ixchel sent. It now gets no further than:

    establiXXing ‘n ncr1ptd drctry connXXn

    It just sticks there. This is the same as the new one. Further, a little bird told me that Teh VeeePea-En’s here no longer function. (But strangely a string of ates in the deee-EN-ehs seems to work on sell fone. But not Mr PC.)

    Something afoot (there always is) I wonder?

  222. 222
    Ichthyic

    I gather that there has recently been some kerfuffle over whether atheism is a “guy thing” or not.

    dear coelsblog…

    no.

    in fact, the argument was why there weren’t more female SPEAKERS.

    did you intend yourself to be ignorant of what the “kerfuffle” was actually about, or just intend to be an ass?

  223. 223
    rorschach

    theo @204,

    I’ll be back in Shenzhen on the morrow and keep you updated.

    I’ll be in Hanoi and Da Nang mid-January, we should go for drinkies!!!

  224. 224
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ rorschach

    I’ll be in Hanoi and Da Nang mid-January, we should go for drinkies!!!

    A stopover in Hong Kong is called for!

  225. 225
    rorschach

    hm, I think the flight is via Ho Chi Minh from here….:-( but HK is in the pipeline, maybe in April….

  226. 226
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ rorschach

    We can guzzle all the beers I owe SG.

    Ho Chi Minh

    I desecrated the landscape nearby, in Vung Tau. The trip there is best taken on the old Soviet era hydrofoil – that looks like a spaceship out of Flash Gordon.

  227. 227
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    There is a pic on teh interwebz:

    Pic.

  228. 228
    rorschach

    I desecrated the landscape nearby, in Vung Tau.

    What is it down there, oil industry or something?

  229. 229
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    I went and reloaded the original

    Don’t do that. Use the new one. I assure you the old one is never going to be better. You might as well throw the old one away.

    Something afoot (there always is) I wonder?

    I’m sure. Did you download beer.7z yet? I keep asking because it is intended to deal with precisely these kinds of problems.

  230. 230
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Vung Tau:
    It is the main holiday town in the area. Playground for the wealthy, many weekend apartments etc. It is a rather quirky place, long beaches, good food,…, gambling, kitsch and history.

    I see on google earth that they have not implemented my designs (makes sign of cross, *pheeuw*)

  231. 231
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    Aaah, OK. I have downloaded that. … It is shouting at me for the password now…

  232. 232
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I tried: “beer”.

    (That is probably too obvious.)

  233. 233
    strange gods before me ॐ

    rN9)Tp6h;i

  234. 234
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Sorry about the delay, afk.

  235. 235
    Crissa

    PS, Caine has only has this argument about gender neutral pronouns almost every time he’s deemed to reply to me.

    When PZ reset the rules, I stopped complaining.

    I thought we weren’t supposed to be using coded words anymore. And we’ve had the ‘I’ll remember Crissa is female’ apology before, too.

    *grumble*

    But I’ll take the oh fuck apology. It shouldn’t take me being outed, tho, should it? Maybe it’ll stick this time.

  236. 236
    Crissa

    PPS, I’d love to be seeing Shenzhen. My favorite packages come from Shenzhen. I have a huge pile of photos from my friend’s business trip there this summer.

    I don’t think my wallet could take me being there, tho.

  237. 237
    Crissa

    Oh, and I have no idea who wrote on Caine’s website, although that should kinda go unsaid. I didn’t even mention this argument to anyone. Why stress about it?

  238. 238
    rorschach

    PS, Caine has only has this argument about gender neutral pronouns almost every time he’s deemed to reply to me.

    Maybe there is your problem and source of misunderstanding.

  239. 239
    John Morales

    Crissa:

    Oh, and I have no idea who wrote on Caine’s website, although that should kinda go unsaid.

    On the contrary, it needed to be said.

    Why stress about it?

    Because you’ve been used as bludgeon to criticise Caine on her personal blog rather than here, where you two had words; this is both nasty and cowardly.

  240. 240
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    PS, Caine has only has this argument about gender neutral pronouns almost every time he’s deemed to reply to me.

    Caine is not “he”.

    And you were complaining that she was using gender neutral pronouns.

  241. 241
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Maybe there is your problem and source of misunderstanding.

    That’s really a non sequitur. Their mistaking each other’s gender are two independent events.

  242. 242
    Argle Bargle

    But there’s a difference. Caine used a genderless pronoun because she was unaware of Crissa’s gender. Crissa, who got all upset about the genderless pronoun, used a gendered pronoun because she was unaware of Caine’s gender.

    If anyone has a grievance then it’s Caine because Crissa made an erroneous assumption whereas Caine didn’t.

  243. 243
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    I tried the beer but seem to get the same problem of hanging. “10% handshake” in log. I’ll look at my machine in HK to see what I did differently, this PM. :’(

  244. 244
    strange gods before me ॐ

    If anyone has a grievance then it’s Caine

    Caine wouldn’t have apologized if Crissa didn’t have a grievance.

    Crissa has several times expressed her desire to not be referred to with recently contrived gender-neutral pronouns (she is okay with singular they). Sometimes regular commenters here have responded by deliberately misgendering her to taunt her. She is probably still sensitive to that history, which she remembers since it was stressful and personal for her, which others have more easily forgotten.

    Caine apologized, Crissa accepted this. If Caine wants to talk about Crissa calling her “he”, Caine will.

  245. 245
    John Morales

    ॐ:

    If Caine wants to talk about Crissa calling her “he”, Caine will.

    Indeed, and if others wish to, they too will do so.

    I do so now: Caine has only has this argument about gender neutral pronouns almost every time he’s deemed to reply to me. alludes to multiple interactions; I find it hard to believe that Crissa had not yet fathomed Caine’s gender at the time of writing that, in particular when Crissa seems very sensitive to gender issues and Caine hardly hides her gender identity.

  246. 246
    strange gods before me ॐ

    John Morales,

    You, more than other commenters, seem to have a habit of producing blockquotes that do not contain a p tag; i.e. the text node inside is a direct child of the blockquote.

    If you know how you do that, would you please do it right now and add a cite=creationist attribute to the blockquote? If you don’t know, would you just do your usual thing and add cite=creationist?

    Thanks in advance, for trying at least, even if it doesn’t work. (Might have been an older WordPress feature/bug.)

  247. 247
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Uh, I guess I’m the only one whose first thought after seeing Crissa calling Caine he was that it was done intentionally, in order to provoke a reaction such as the one it has successfully provoked, possibly using it as evidence of a double standard.

  248. 248
    John Morales

    ॐ, I do?

    Sure, and here it is:

    If you don’t know, would you just do your usual thing and add cite=creationist?

  249. 249
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Perfect. Thank you.

  250. 250
    John Morales

    Beatrice, oddly-enough, I tend to be generous at first, because I think Hanlon’s razor is a good heuristic absent sufficient prior knowledge.

    So, no, that was not my first thought .

  251. 251
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    John Morales,

    We can just point to this when I tell people I’m actually an asshole quite often, and they answer that I always seem nice. A suspicious asshole.

  252. 252
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    I just want to point this out, because I think it’s important that it does not become forgotten:

    Crissa LIED. Crissa was called out on that lying. Crissa doubled down and lied some more. Crissa was called out, yet again, for lying. Crissa threw a hissy fit for being called a lying liar who lies. Crissa made ableist remarks. Crissa then threw a hissy fit that they were being labeled as an ableist asshole for being an ableist asshole and then did some more ableist fuckwittery.

    Crissa is a lying, ableist asshole.

  253. 253
    strange gods before me ॐ

    PZ, this CSS for commenter-accessible Gumby should be specific enough to work. Instead of that kludgy code+p+blockquote trick, this is legit.

    div.comment-entry blockquote[cite~="creationist"] {background: url("http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/files/2011/08/tiny_gumby_trans.gif") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent; font-family: "Comic Sans MS",MarkerFelt,MarkerFelt-Wide !important;}
    div.comment-entry blockquote[cite~="creationist"] p {font-family: "Comic Sans MS",MarkerFelt,MarkerFelt-Wide !important;}

    I’ll crosspost to the “hey it looks different” thread.

  254. 254
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Hm. That overrides the Secret Comic Sans script. I suppose some users have been using both, selectively. Maybe to keep them separate instead, replace creationst with something else, like gumby.

    div.comment-entry blockquote[cite~="gumby"] {background: url("http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/files/2011/08/tiny_gumby_trans.gif") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent; font-family: "Comic Sans MS",MarkerFelt,MarkerFelt-Wide !important;}
    div.comment-entry blockquote[cite~="gumby"] p {font-family: "Comic Sans MS",MarkerFelt,MarkerFelt-Wide !important;}

  255. 255
    strange gods before me ॐ

    There shall be a Gumby here.

    And now to test q.

  256. 256
    strange gods before me ॐ

    PZ,

    q should have already been specific enough on its own, but, to future-proof:

    div.comment-entry q {font-family: "Comic Sans MS", MarkerFelt, MarkerFelt-Wide !important;}

    Or you could keep plain q unaltered, so that people familiar with other blogs don’t accidentally ComicSans someone. Instead:

    div.comment-entry q[cite~="gumby"] {font-family: "Comic Sans MS", MarkerFelt, MarkerFelt-Wide !important;}

  257. 257
    John Morales

    Code hacker’s in flight. Evening delight!

  258. 258
    Inaji

    Crissa:

    PS, Caine has only has this argument about gender neutral pronouns almost every time he’s deemed to reply to me.

    That is a flat out lie, Crissa. I use gender neutral pronouns fairly often and I only use them when I am uncertain about someone’s preference. If I make a mistake, I own up to it and try not to repeat it. As I’m sure you’re aware, I comment quite a lot, so mistakes will happen once in a while. You really do flatter yourself in thinking that I pay so much attention to you. I don’t. Most of the time, you reside in my killfile. I don’t particularly like telling you that, as I tend to think killfiles are private business. Sometimes I may respond to something you wrote that another person has quoted, which may have led to fuck ups on my part. That’s sloppy and stupid on my part and I won’t do it anymore.

    When PZ reset the rules, I stopped complaining.

    You not complaining. Right.

    I thought we weren’t supposed to be using coded words anymore. And we’ve had the ‘I’ll remember Crissa is female’ apology before, too.

    Coded words? What are you talking about now? If I have done the ‘Crissa is female’ apology before, I damn well don’t remember it. I don’t really consider you terribly trustworthy in this regard, Crissa.

    *grumble*

    Yes, yes, this is about all you ever fucking do.

    But I’ll take the oh fuck apology. It shouldn’t take me being outed, tho, should it? Maybe it’ll stick this time.

    Oh FFS! You scream, cuss, yell and have a fucking temper tantrum over me using a gender neutral pronoun on the basis you take it as a transphobic slur (which it is not), so I try to find out what the fuckety fuck is going on and you’re going to accuse me of causing you to be outed? Could you possibly be more godsdamned annoying?

    For what it’s worth, Crissa, I was appalled when I did find out about you and felt absolutely terrible about hurting your feelings. It was not intentional and despite you holding the grudge of the century against me, I would not deliberately do that to anyone.

    I don’t like you, you’re a nasty piece of work. Notwithstanding, I am not in the least transphobic and have never once in my life done anything to knowingly hurt someone on that score and that includes you.

    Oh, and I have no idea who wrote on Caine’s website, although that should kinda go unsaid. I didn’t even mention this argument to anyone.

    Why on earth should that go unsaid? You’ve had a hate-on for me for a long time, Crissa, because I dared to criticise what you have said. You certainly couldn’t manage to let one gender-neutral pronoun slide and you raised such a stink about it, I think it’s fairly clear you “mentioned” the ‘argument’ a great deal.

    Why stress about it?

    Did I say I was stressed? Here’s the thing, Crissa – I don’t care for being threatened. I realize you’re happily handwaving this away because it’s happening to me. Why don’t you picture the screaming tantrum you’d have if it happened to you? Might give a clue or three.

    One more thing, Crissa. Did you notice how I didn’t have a fit over you using an incorrect pronoun when you referred to me?

  259. 259
    coelsblog

    Dear Ichthyic

    in fact, the argument was why there weren’t more female SPEAKERS.

    The original question to Shermer and Shermer’s response were indeed about female speakers. The subsequent commentary, such as Ophelia Benson’s article, certainly did broaden the topic to atheism overall being “a guy thing”.

    did you intend yourself to be ignorant of what the “kerfuffle” was actually about, or just intend to be an ass?

    Neither.

  260. 260
  261. 261
    Argle Bargle

    Caine wouldn’t have apologized if Crissa didn’t have a grievance.

    Crissa’s “grievance” was based on Caine being unaware of Crissa’s gender and using a gender-neutral pronoun. To me, and this is strictly my opinion, Crissa didn’t have a grievance, she had a whine. Caine, being a polite person, apologized for her ignorance. Crissa has yet to apologize for her assumption of Caine’s gender.

    But the real reason why SGBM is bringing the whole thing up is that SGBM likes to play thread cop. Caine is his target this time.

  262. 262
    Inaji

    SG:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/10/18/if-only-hed-been-a-good-christian-he-might-have-gotten-away-with-murder/

    Yes, and? Gee, I explained about GNPs and I see that was Crisskentavr whatever the fuck, who had a massive fit at one point because people used she/her. I’ve explained GNPs in a lot of threads, SG, to a lot of different people. Crissa claimed I only did it with her, ever.

    Christ, I am done with this. Crissa, you are fucking killfiled. SG, if you have a problem with me, just get it out already. I am not climbing on a cross over someone who has a serious grudge nor will I do it to appease you.

  263. 263
    John Morales

    Rodney:

    But the real reason why SGBM is bringing the whole thing up is that SGBM likes to play thread cop. Caine is his target this time.

    Bah. ॐ may or may not like playing “thread cop”, but what he’s done here is what you yourself have done: expressed his opinion on the issue in response to another’s opinion on said issue.

    (Nor was Caine his target, you were his target, if by target you mean the person to whom he addressed his comment and who he was disputing)

  264. 264
    Inaji

    Yes, silly me, receiving a threat. The fucking nerve, eh?

    *eyeroll*

  265. 265
    strange gods before me ॐ

    But the real reason why SGBM is bringing the whole thing up is that SGBM likes to play thread cop. Caine is his target this time.

    I didn’t bring up shit. Read for comprehension and then either have the decency to apologize to me or go fuck yourself, Rodney.

    What I said to you is that Caine apologized and Crissa (at the time appeared to) accept the apology. There is nothing wrong with me saying this. I believe you are trying to start a fight with me.

    Yes, and?

    It’s a link.

    SG, if you have a problem with me, just get it out already. I am not climbing on a cross over someone who has a serious grudge nor will I do it to appease you.

    Lawd. Can I *eyeroll* gently?

  266. 266
  267. 267
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Well, after this, I think no one reading Thunderdome will ever forget that they need to refer to Crissa using female pronouns.

    I try to be sensitive about people’s desired gender expression, so I use “they” when I’m not sure about someone. I find Crissa’s argument about using “invented” pronouns really stupid, but that’s just me. They are all invented, some are just newer than the others. If the new ones get used often enough, they’ll become standard. I usually use “they”, but the non-standard pronouns can sometimes make sentences sound less awkward.

  268. 268
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Rodney,

    Crissa’s “grievance” was based on Caine being unaware of Crissa’s gender and using a gender-neutral pronoun. To me, and this is strictly my opinion, Crissa didn’t have a grievance, she had a whine.

    I think you have the luxury of feeling that way because you are cis. I think John groks the issue:

    chigau, I once again admit you have a point — it doesn’t deny, but it fails to acknowledge one’s gender.

    (Surely you see how this is a sensitive issue for transgendered people)

    I think Caine grokked the issue too and apologized accordingly:

    Oh shit, I had no idea. I’m so sorry for the gender neutral pronoun being taken as a slur, fuck, I’m sorry.

    That’s not simply a “polite” apology. That distinctly appears to be the apology of someone who realizes they may have unintentionally hurt someone and they regret doing so.

    If you can’t appreciate that, that’s not my problem. Don’t start a fight with me about your callousness, Rodney.

    Crissa has yet to apologize for her assumption of Caine’s gender.

    That’s true.

  269. 269
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh, and I do realize that for Crissa, the neutral pronoun can be especially hurtful and she should be addressed as she asked to be addressed.

    My disagreement in 266 is about her general statement.

  270. 270
    Inaji

    Beatrice:

    Well, after this, I think no one reading Thunderdome will ever forget that they need to refer to Crissa using female pronouns.

    I suppose not. As far as I’m concerned, Crissa can keep her pronoun persecution complex and SG can hold up her halo. I don’t need threats over it or any more grief. I’m out of here.

    Happy holidaze to all.

  271. 271
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I find Crissa’s argument about using “invented” pronouns really stupid, but that’s just me.

    So far as she argues that no one should call third parties by those pronouns, I find that argument sort of hopeless, since there are a considerable number of trans and genderqueer people who prefer them.

    So far as she insists upon not being called by those pronouns herself, end of discussion. I quote SallyStrange from June: “general rule of thumb: follow people’s suggestions for how they want to be addressed, whether you think it’s bullshit or not.”

    If the new ones get used often enough, they’ll become standard.

    Eh, they’ll never get used enough, because singular they is already standard. That niche is already occupied.

  272. 272
    strange gods before me ॐ

    SG can hold up her halo.

    Caine, you are dreaming.

    Certainly I’ve done nothing wrong to you here — I’ve explicitly defended your intentions. I don’t know what you want, but you are wildly misrepresenting me and I don’t like it.

  273. 273
    Crissa

    Caine apologized twice. What gives?

    Anyhow:

    The meaning of the name Caine is Son Of The Fighter
    The origin of the name Caine is Irish

    Not exactly an assumption on my part. Sure, someone could choose a name with a gender aside from the one they prefer, but at that point they should probably tell me which pronouns they want. But they chose the gendered name, it’s up to them to disabuse me of the assumption. It’s part of what one chooses as their appearance.

    Personally, I find third-gender pronouns horribly offensive. I’ve seen them used as such; and it’s harder to turn ‘they’ into an invective – it’s not a novel word, for instance. Calling someone cutesy diminutives can also be seen as a horrible affront. We’ve had this discussion several times, so while some people may have forgotten – they were informed at some point in the past.

    I did not intend to dismiss Caine’s receiving a threat. What I meant was that I would not ‘stress’ and go off and tell others or pursue it beyond this board.

  274. 274
    Crissa

    PS, Kate can call me a liar, but at no point did I lie. I didn’t even mistype. I read it dozens of times to be sure. If Kate wants to prove me a liar, that’s fine. I may have mistyped or wrote a bad argument. It happens. But I have yet to see a single point where Kate has posted my contradictions.

    If I recall, the error is on Kate’s part. It is a logical fallacy to assume because any proportion of set A fits into B that set B fits to A in a specific proportion.

  275. 275
    Crissa

    PPS: Caine’s gender isn’t in the icon (not that is common) nor on the attached blog (a little bit more common) and hasn’t been mentioned by Caine directly as far as I can tell anywhere on this page. Caine has used french words with female tenses to refer back to themself if I do a web search, but that’s about it. Hardly wearing it on your sleeve.

    Then again, I don’t refer to myself directly, either, aside from using a female name and a icon of a female figure. However, as has been pointed out, I’ve repeatedly – more than once – expressed my position on the topic.

    And that’s way more than needed to be said.

  276. 276
    Matt Penfold

    How do Americans and Canadians cope with recipes where the amount of other ingredients depends on the total weight of the eggs being used ?

  277. 277
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    I am typing this from my laptop, connected to Teeh-0-are. I got the following error in the log:

    Dec 17 21:35:09.394 [Warning] Bootstrapped 80%: Problem lies with the tardigrade.

    Solution: Pour libations (strawberry and apple daiquiri) to the Doublepape.

    (Real Solution: Added as many bridges as I could get my claws on.)

    Slow, but it works…

  278. 278
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Crissa:

    You lied. You know you did. You were asked to leave a thread because you lied, and here you are, lying about lying about lying.

    You’re a nasty, disgusting liar.

    You lie. You get caught lying and try to lie your way out of it even though the evidence of your lies is there for all to see.

    If you like, I can go back and quote the specific lies to which I am referring in the “got you kicked out of a thread” example.

    …or you can just cop to your shitty behaviour and quit being such an asshole. (I highly doubt, however, that you’ll stop being an asshole. That seems to be all you know how to do.)

  279. 279
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Matt Penfold # 275

    Use a scale? Most scales have both metric and imperial measurements. Otherwise you just do some quick math. 28 grams equals one ounce. 454 grams equals one pound. It’s not hard.

  280. 280
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Also @ Matt:

    You’d be surprised at the number of Canadians who use imperial measurements in cooking and baking. I use cups, pints, quarts, pounds and ounces almost exclusively. It’s what I grew up using, and it’s how most of the recipes I use are written.

  281. 281
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I was offended by everything I quoted in my #264, but in retrospect, I should have taken into consideration how Caine had had a stressful exchange here and then received a message on her blog that she found threatening. This could account for her feeling beseiged generally and thus misinterpreting something I said as an attack against her. I regret that I did not think of that when I replied. I figure this a misunderstanding and I wish I had responded with more kindness.

    Nothing similarly accounts for Rodney’s response, so I believe he was attacking me maliciously. I am tired of being a convenient scapegoat, and I hope for a retraction.

  282. 282
    opposablethumbs

    Hushfile and comic sans have both just disappeared for me today (I mean they’re gone again, after having been successfully restored since the change of appearance); could you tell me what I need to do to get them back? I’ve got hushfile 6.0.1 and comic sans 6.0.2. Many thanks for the help!

  283. 283
    cicely

    I’ve seen them used as such; and it’s harder to turn ‘they’ into an invective – it’s not a novel word, for instance.

    Cannot agree with this; ‘they’ is used at least quasi-invectively all the time
    They don’t feel things the same way we do!”
    They should just shut up about “what they are owed” and get a job, dammit!”
    …in other words, to “other” others.
    -

  284. 284
    cicely

    All words are meant to be used for communication.

    I’m not sure there is any word you can use, that can’t be used (with malice a-duringthought) to communicate something nasty.
    -

  285. 285
    ChasCPeterson

    ‘they’ is used at least quasi-invectively all the time…
    “They don’t feel things the same way we do!”
    “They should just shut up about “what they are owed” and get a job, dammit!”

    True. But that’s in its usual third-person plural.
    The discussion was about using ‘they’ as gender-free third-person singular.
    (About which: blah blah Chaucer blah Shakespeare. It grates. I don’t like it. But it’s better than ‘xe’. That’s my personal opinion. I sort of prefer ‘s/he’–and ‘her/his’ to ‘hir’–but I’m a stick in the mud. Are there more than two genders? Not in the English language. [Of course, I include myself in one of those two; I understand it's not so easy for some.])

  286. 286
    carlie

    But I’ll take the oh fuck apology. It shouldn’t take me being outed, tho, should it?

    That doesn’t even make sense. Either it was a conscious swipe at you because of knowing you’re trans, or your complaint requires being outed to understand, which necessarily means she didn’t know your status when making the statement. You can’t have it both ways.

    We’ve had this discussion several times, so while some people may have forgotten – they were informed at some point in the past.

    Again, you’re trying to have it both ways. You can’t airily claim not to know Caine’s gender after all of the times she’s posted explicitly about it and claim that everyone should remember every comment you’ve ever made. You’re not a special snowflake we should all have burned onto our memories. This is especially true when you’re taking offense to a term that is, in its most common uses, not being used as a pejorative term.

  287. 287
    md

    Rare instances of violence make bad cases for policy. The raw emotions do make it irrresistable for some, though.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/15/4-archetypally-awful-reactions-to-sandy/singlepage

  288. 288
    strange gods before me ॐ

    md is linking to a right-wing libertarian site, if you want to save yourselves the trouble of clicking on it.

    +++++
    opposablethumbs,

    Hushfile and comic sans have both just disappeared for me today

    That’s weird. Is your monkey turned on? In Firefox’s Tools menu go to Greasemonkey and see if Enabled is checked.

    Or in your Navigation Toolbar at the top of the screen (where the URL bar is) or the Add-on Bar at the bottom (where a link’s destination URL preview pops up when you mouseover the link), look for the monkey’s head. Click on it and see if the colors get brighter. It may have been grayed out, indicating that Greasemonkey was turned off.

    Try refreshing the page once you’re certain it’s turned on. But if you’re using Chrome, sorry, I can’t begin to guess.

  289. 289
    Crissa

    carlie, there’s no reason to continue the argument. A previous incarnation of the argument has been posted; if I recall there’s several more, I’m not sure how much is retained since some of it was on second-page-comments. It’s unimportant, the argument is over. Caine apologized to me, and did not seek one from me. I’m not going to passive-aggressively use pronouns not requested… Something which has happened here.

    And no, it shouldn’t take being outed to get an apology – merely pointing out that the word is seen as a slur. It doesn’t matter if someone is the whatever being slurred, does it? It still hurts if it hurts.

  290. 290
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Though I suppose if I were to begin to guess, I’d say, ask somebody who knows Chrome whether there’s a way to toggle all user scripts on and off.

  291. 291
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    META

    Is your monkey turned on?

    Some phrases that show up on Pharyngula look really, er, strange? out of context. Even in context, sometimes.

    /META

  292. 292
    Crissa

    Now a different topic: Kate is very angry with me, but never, ever links back to this lie I supposedly said.

    Even if every murder in the country were due to clinical depression (this is just using actual numbers, not that I’m suggesting that any proportion let alone a majority) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm they would be vastly outnumbered by those diagnosed with the most severe form of depression: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/depression.htm In fact, there were 383,000 hospitalizations (2009) for depression and only 17,000 murders (2008), assuming the two years are typical. And that’s just depression, and just hospitalizations!

    Violence is atypical. And probably should be. It’s not a great step to think that those who’d make that choice are under some sort of mental illness or injury.

    But I also said that it’s not a useful label.

  293. 293
    Crissa

    The argument that one did terrible things and yet was not in any way mentally injured is also a stigmatization of mental illness – that accepting that the decision tree and actions were not sane is more scary than accepting that you’ve done them!

    Ugh.

    But anyhow, as far as I can tell, Kate is saying I said most people suffering from mental illness have the symptom of violence. Which, as far as I can tell, I never did say. I do not have the position, and I can not find where I might have accidentally said it.

  294. 294
    joed

    Psychologically speaking, why do these shooters go after the most defenseless of people.
    Hopefully this is the right thread to bring this up.
    What really gets me to thinking is the question as to why these sort of tragedies are directed at the most defenseless of people?!
    Why don’t these shooters attack a police station or military base? Seems they don’t have an escape plan or end up killing self as planned any way?
    Is there some psychological advantage(whatever that is) to going after children?
    Anyone have any ideas they care to share?

  295. 295
    Owlmirror

    Am I being paranoid?

    Is there a term for pasting in footage that subtly undermines the current voiceover in a video?

    Context: 60 minutes did a segment on the Newtown massacre. One of the points that came up was that Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Note that this was hearsay, from neighbors reporting what Lanza’s mother claimed. 60 minutes read from a statement from an Asperger’s support group.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2102-18560_162-57559459.html

    And while the voiceover said:

    “An Asperger’s support group told us today that patients are more prone to be victims of violence than the perpetrators of violence. And we don’t know whether Asperger’s played any role in the shootings, but friends told us that the condition did dominate the Lanza’s lives.”

    the footage that they chose to show was of police and emergency workers walking through the streets outside the school.

    Was it just an editing decision that was made in haste and whose impact was not well thought out? Or was it maybe something less pleasant?

  296. 296
    vaiyt

    Violence is atypical.

    Typical sheltered affluent first-world view. Do you think your neck of the woods is special? That you see less violence because your people are more mentally healthy? Are all those people dying in third-world countries just sick in the head, the poor retards? Think again, if you can use your brain at all. Fucking idiot.

    It’s not a great step to think that those who’d make that choice are under some sort of mental illness or injury.

    If that were true, we would see patterns of violence that correlate to mental disease rather than societal aspects. Do you have any evidence that indicates so?

  297. 297
    consciousness razor

    Violence is atypical. And probably should be. It’s not a great step to think that those who’d make that choice are under some sort of mental illness or injury.

    Not this shit again. You’re making a very giant leap.

    There doesn’t need to be any functional problem or abnormality with a person’s brain when they do something unethical. You’re just plain confused if you think you can turn every ethical or epistemological problem into a purely psychological one. Simply making irrational or unethical decisions does not imply you have some kind of fucking health problem, for fuck’s sake. And you’re doing no one any favors by pretending to know what you’re talking about with this handwaving nonsense. So shut up.

  298. 298
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Shorter joed:

    Hey, Pharyngulites, use the deaths of 28 people to entertain me!

    Um, no. Please fuck off.

  299. 299
    joed

    The military kills women and children and all sorts of defenseless folks often. The shooters get rewards for the killing. These soldiers are at the peak of physical health.
    These killings are ordinary and usual and happen daily. Healthy humans are capable of the most heartbreaking, immoral acts.

  300. 300
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Crissa:
    Do you have any evidence for your claim that violence is atypical? Or are you just better enlightened than the rest of humanity? From what I’ve seen, humans have exercised violent tendencies since forever, and continue to do so every hour of every day across the planet. Violrnce among human beings is *extremely* typical. Do you live on Paradise Island or something?

  301. 301
    joed

    @297
    Gosh CM wouldn’t you like to have some ideas about why these shooters go after defenseless folks rather than attack military or police. I sure am interested in the why of this. Certainly skepticism is real important and actual knowledge is necessary. I have the skepticism but not the knowledge therefore I asked.
    Sounds like you have a problem with that?! Or are you venomous just for fun?

  302. 302
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I’m not venomous. I have lots of answers to your questions. I’m just not interested in feeding your narcissistic need to use every fucking tragedy in the world to make every internet discussion thread about your feelings about the US military.

    As I said.

    Please fuck off.

    I’m asking nicely.

  303. 303
    Ichthyic

    gotta go with CM here. Joed’s obsession with warfare would be poignant, if it wasn’t so tiresome and artificial.

  304. 304
    consciousness razor

    Gosh CM wouldn’t you like to have some ideas about why these shooters go after defenseless folks rather than attack military or police.

    It’s easier to attack defenseless people, compared to the military or police, partly because they are defenseless are partly because there are more defenseless “targets” than there are well-defended ones, and partly because they’re likely to interact with defenseless people more often giving more chances for a violent response to occur. It may also be some who commit violence are in some way sympathetic to such authority figures, perhaps thinking they are allied together in violently defending the prevailing social structure as they see it. (You get this sort of mindset in the US with gun-toting “patriots” in “militias.”)

    Lots of possibilities, but some of the answers are pretty fucking obvious. It’s easier.

  305. 305
    consciousness razor

    I probably shouldn’t have responded to joed. I don’t really want to encourage him to ask even more stupid questions.

  306. 306
    Owlmirror

    Hm.

    Is Facebook a Factor in Psychotic Symptoms?

    ?!?!?!?!??!!!?!???

  307. 307
    opposablethumbs

    Is your monkey turned on?

    My monkey is indeed turned on now and everything is as it should be again. (it didn’t occur to me to check, as I certainly didn’t consciously turn it off – but also because I really am just that much of a technosaur). Thank you very much, strange gods before me ॐ . I really appreciate the fact that even technosaurs can get help with (embarrassingly) simple questions (without adding to the embarrassment :-D) (I have Firefox. I like Firefox, it doesn’t seem to present me with awkward surprise faits accomplis too often :-) )

  308. 308
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Is your monkey turned on?

    John Rentoul wants that question!

    Is Facebook a Factor in Psychotic Symptoms?

    Probably, that one, too.

    @Ichthyic, I didn’t grok your #147. But, for what it’s worth, my #146 wasn’t a poke at you, it was just (Saturday was a really ranty day for various reasons) a ranty snark at the fact that no matter what shit you try and stamp out, there’ll always be some good old boys (and they seem to always be boys) who want things back the way they were at some historically-privileged time they imagine they could have lived in.

  309. 309
    Nick Gotts

    Rare instances of violence make bad cases for policy. – md

    A typically stupid generalization.

  310. 310
    joed

    @303 consciousness razor

    Thanks for the ideas about the “why” defenseless people.
    I have talked with gun-toting “patriots” and seems the ones I have talked with have problems with just about everybody.
    What is “stupid” about wanting to get some reasonable/educated ideas about why people do this?
    Thanks for the response you did come up with.

  311. 311
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Gosh CM wouldn’t you like to have some ideas about why these shooters go after defenseless folks rather than attack military or police

    You know, I used to live in Belfast. Care to try that one over again? (Remember, I’m being nice.)

  312. 312
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I check in after a long absence, clicking on a comment by Owlmirror, and the first thing that catches my eye is

    Is your monkey turned on?

    My monkey is indeed turned on now and everything is as it should be again.

    Actual recent conversation with my mother (who for some reason believes I can help her with computer issues):

    My Mother: I keep getting a thing that says “Adobe Flashdancer has…”

    Me: laughter

    My Mother: That’s what it’s called….

  313. 313
    consciousness razor

    What is “stupid” about wanting to get some reasonable/educated ideas about why people do this?

    You easily could’ve anticipated some of the reasons. There’s no one answer to the question you posed, because it isn’t clear what the question really is. It’s not clear whether we need to explain basic concepts to you, or if you realize some of that and are trying to ask something more specific about specific kinds of incidents or specific people. If you did some of that work yourself while setting up the question, there wouldn’t be as much reason to dumb down the answers. But when we’re dumbing everything down, I call that “stupid” and “unreasonable.”

    And in this case, you’re apparently asking the question in such an asinine way, because you have an axe to grind with the military (and the police?), perhaps just the US military in particular. I’m a pacifist, so what I find repugnant about this line of thought is that you seem to think it would be good if people in the police/military were murdered, and I don’t think anyone should be murdered. So that pisses me off too.

  314. 314
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    What is “stupid” about wanting to get some reasonable/educated ideas about why people do this?

    What is stupid is that you expect people other than yourself to do your research. What part of that do you need explained to you in words of one syllable or less??? DO IT YOURSELF, AND LEAVE US OUT OF YOUR PARANOIA.

  315. 315
    Pteryxx

    seems like as good a place as any to leave this. It’s already been noted that the gun lobby’s basically prevented research that might lead to suggesting gun control, which is part of why the field’s befogged. Just saw a Salon article pointing out that the “more guns less crime” theory is based on flawed research:

    No one has done more to advance the “More Guns, Less Crime” argument than [John] Lott (that was the title of his book), so telling his story is unavoidable. To be fair, Goldberg does not rely on Lott’s research and mostly cites him as a pro-gun activist and commentator, a role he’s taken up since falling into academic disrepute.

    Working as an economist at Yale and the University of Chicago in the 1990s, Lott published a series of articles and a book that argued, for example, that more than 1,500 murders, 4,000 rapes and 60,000 aggravated assaults “would have been avoided yearly” if more states adopted right-to-carry laws. The research immediately entered the public discourse and that paper became one of the most downloaded in the history of the Social Science Research Network repository.

    But other scholars sharply criticized his methodology for having “multiple very important flaws.” For instance, he ignored the crack epidemic that ravaged urban, non-right-to-carry states but avoided rural, pro-gun states. (“This would never have been taken seriously if it had not been obscured by a maze of equations,” Rutgers sociologist Ted Goertzel wrote). Meanwhile, New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer suggested Lott was a gun industry lackey because his salary was funded by a foundation created by the owner of one of the country’s largest gun makers.

    But the real controversy started in 2000 when Lott was unable to produce any records of a national survey he claimed to have conducted. He said he lost the data in a computer crash, but was unable to produce any other records or the names of students who helped him with it, leading some critics to speculate that he fabricated the entire thing. Even conservative blogger Michelle Malkin eviscerated Lott over the data mystery.

    Lott took another blow in 2003 when Julian Sanchez, a fellow at the libertarian CATO Institute (no fan of gun control), revealed that May Rosh, one of Lott’s most vociferous public defenders on the Internet, was actually an alter ego created by Lott to boost his work and harangue critics. “In most circles, this goes down as fraud,” Donald Kennedy, the then-editor of the prestigious journal Science wrote in an editorial. Lott is now a Fox News contributor.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/18/the_answer_is_not_more_guns/

  316. 316
    joed

    @313
    Nerd, these questions are part of my research.
    Why are you so full of hate today. Not necessary you know.

  317. 317
    joed

    @312
    You are way off, I don’t want anyone to be victim of violence.
    My question is straightforward. Why do these shooters attack defenseless people rather than people that can defend self? There are perhaps many answers to this and skepticism is important when looking at this question.
    If I haven’t finetuned the question it is probably because I am not sure how to, but I wont let that stop me from asking. If you don’t want to attempt an answer then fine–don’t, but venom and malediction is not warranted.
    Thank you

  318. 318
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Really?

    Why?

    What’s easier? When you have a gun, facing someone else who has the ability to kill you, or someone who is unarmed, or armed with a vastly less lethal weapon?
    People are cowards. RWA wingnuts even more so. When’s the last time an armed shootout broke out in a gun club or at a firing range? When people shoot at other people with guns, we call it war and name the survivors heroes.

  319. 319
    joed

    OK, I forgot this is the Thunderdome. venom, malediction are almost necessary.
    Sorry.

  320. 320
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Venom? Where?

    I thought it was simply a statement of the blindingly obvious.

  321. 321
    Crissa

    I’m sorry, all evidence seems to point out that with less stress, mental injury, and less dire need, there’s less violence. There’s also less mental illness – at least in illnesses impacted heavily from outside factors, like depression.

    So I’ll continue; violence is atypical. The vast majority of humans never commit a violent crime. A goodly number are never pressed into a violent defense, either.

    A few per 100,000 is atypical, not typical.

  322. 322
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Again: where is your evidence?

  323. 323
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I don’t want anyone to be victim of violence.

    Hence your paranoia about drone operations. Do you have anything to feel guilty about? Or are you just a quivering mass of jello?

  324. 324
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Typo in that Salon article. Ms. Rosh’s first name was Mary.

    +++++
    opposablethumbs, it’s a very common question. You can reduce the chance of accidentally toggling it by removing the monkey’s face from your toolbars (you’ll probably want to use the method of ‘Context-click (right-click) on a blank spot in the toolbar and select “Customize”‘).

    +++++

    Actual recent conversation with my mother (who for some reason believes I can help her with computer issues):

    Any port in a storm. :)

  325. 325
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    You know what, I find it galling that you-crissa-whined about Kate not linking to your lies, yet here you are making an extraordinarily stupid, unevidenced claim. So put up or shut up. At this point, I think I’d rather you-and Joed-shut up.

  326. 326
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Again: where is your evidence?

    Rectal revelation.

    Note the evasion of this point (not for the first time).

  327. 327
    consciousness razor

    I’m sorry, all evidence seems to point out that with less stress, mental injury, and less dire need, there’s less violence. There’s also less mental illness – at least in illnesses impacted heavily from outside factors, like depression.

    Could you do any more handwaving? If you had all the evidence, maybe you would share just one piece of it with us.

    So I’ll continue; violence is atypical.

    People are violent every fucking day, all over the fucking planet. So in what sense is that “atypical”?

    The vast majority of humans never commit a violent crime.

    The vast majority of people with mental illness never commit a violent crime. What are we supposed to conclude from that?

    A goodly number are never pressed into a violent defense, either.

    A few per 100,000 is atypical, not typical.

    What do you think your fucking point is? A few what per 100,000 what?

    Whatever it is, how the fuck it supposed to get you from violence to “mental illness”? Show your work.

  328. 328
  329. 329
    ChasCPeterson

    jesus. I find myself trying to imagine SC’s mother.

    [exercise for the reader: try to imagine my mom.
    \
    bwaha.]

  330. 330
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I’m loving ‘rectal revelation’!
    ****

    Why do I get the feeling crissa is only focusing on _some_ types of violence? I think of all domestic violence and sexual abuse cases. I look at sports (football, boxing, Ultimate Fighter, etc). I think of homicide, mass murder and war. I think of drug deals gone wrong and turf war fights. Hell even drunken bar fights. Crissa must live in a bubble to think violence is atypical. What’s next: sex happens occasionally?

  331. 331
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Mother of SC

    Has MST written all over it.

  332. 332
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    crissa:
    From SGBM’s link above–

    Another 44 percent were victims of abuse (553,300 children), including physical abuse (325,000 children), sexual abuse (135,000 children), and emotional abuse (148,500 children)

    For the year 2006, 325K children were physicaly abused. Thats violence. That number exceeds your deeply stupid figure of 100K. And that is only one type of violence and only in the US at that.
    Have you done _any_ research beyond anal gazing?

  333. 333
    wytchy

    Have you done _any_ research beyond anal gazing?

    You have to admit, that blinking brown eye can be mesmerizing.

  334. 334
    vaiyt

    I’m sorry, all evidence seems to point out that with less stress, mental injury, and less dire need, there’s less violence. There’s also less mental illness – at least in illnesses impacted heavily from outside factors, like depression.

    Key words being outside factors. Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, that’s the common point that makes violence more common in some places than in others?

    So I’ll continue; violence is atypical. The vast majority of humans never commit a violent crime. A goodly number are never pressed into a violent defense, either.

    Wow, you just did an acrobatic fucking pirouette of logic there.

    Plenty of behaviors are atypical without being associated with mental illness. You’re pulling up a correlation out of your ass.

  335. 335
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    You know I’m sensing a trend here. Mesmerizing brown eyes. Rectal revelations. Anal gazing. Jinkies. I think these are clues. To the Mystery Machine!

  336. 336
    Amphiox

    So I’ll continue; violence is atypical. The vast majority of humans never commit a violent crime. A goodly number are never pressed into a violent defense, either.

    The vast majority of humans never walk on the moon.

    So, Neil Armstrong is mentally ill?

  337. 337
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    The martini has landed.

  338. 338
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    The vast majority of humans never commit a violent crime.

    Define “violent crime.”

  339. 339
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Oh, dear-me-oh-my, Crissa (That poor little speshul snowfwake) is upset that I didn’t link to her lies immediately? Oh, my, I am SOOOOO sorry that my off-net life intruded on your pathetic whining, Crissa. Poor little idiot. Give me 10 minutes and I’ll go back into the almost 1000 comment thread and pull them out for you, since you’re too much of a fucking asshole to just cop to your bullshit and stop with the fucking stupidity.

    …and while I’m on the subject of you being a fucking useless twit I’d like to ask you this:

    If people were supposed to know you were trans, how the fuck could you be “outed”? You can’t have it both fucking ways, sunshine.

    Fuck, but you’re a fucking stupid asshole. You want everyone to hold your hand and feel sorry for you and get yourself all in a tizzy when you’re not treated like some special person we should all respect, when you’ve shown no respect for anyone else.

    You give what you get, you shit-for-brains.

  340. 340
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Here, at comment #260, one example is pointed out by Chigau:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/14/before-you-reach-for-the-its-not-guns-its-the-cray-cray-argument/comment-page-1/#comment-514198

    …and you need to apologize for your ableist crap, right fucking now. If you want apologies for being offended you had better fucking start apologizing for your offensive crap.

    You were told to stop being ableist, and you keep doing it … over and over and over.

    STOP IT. STOP IT AND APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR.

  341. 341
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    I would like to ask everyone in this thread who is engaging Crissa to please go back to her cpomments and replace “mental illness” or “mentally ill” in her comments with the words:

    “Being a POC” and “POC”

    – or –

    “Homosexuality” and “Homosexual”.

    Do that, and you’ll see why asking for “evidence” on the matter, or treating Crissa as if they are trying to engage in a “conversation” is not only ludicrous, but deeply, terribly offensive.

  342. 342
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    …and this is the last thing I’m going to say in regards to the Crissa idiocy:

    If she didn’t want to be fucking “outed” all she had to say was “I am a woman, please refer to me as ‘her’ and ‘she’”

    Instead, Crissa chose to be, yet again, a complete fucking asshole and have a pity party for herself, the same way she accused mods of “abusing their position” for “comic sans-ing” her over her bullshit. (Although she seemed to be too stupid to realize it was the author of the tread who is the only one who can make that happen.)

    Crissa seems to think she’s got some “right” to continue to act in a manner which is offensive and that her “speech” ought to be without consequences, while fully expecting others to face consequences for their speech.

    With that said, I’m killfiling her ass. I can’t take anymore of her shit, and she can join Morales and a few select others who, over the years I’ve been reading Pharyngula, have proved themselves to be the lowest of the low. If she continues to whine about a lack of “evidence” for her lying bullshittery please go read the threads on the Newtown shootings and do a quick search for her username. You’ll find all the proof you need.

  343. 343
    rorschach

    @ 341,

    and she can join Morales and a few select others who, over the years I’ve been reading Pharyngula, have proved themselves to be the lowest of the low.

    Who the fuck are you that you would dare to pontificate like this here, call people “the lowest of the low”, as someone who as far as I can see has never participated in any comment threads until maybe very recently? If you killfiled John Morales, please do make sure you killfile me as well if you haven’t done so yet, because I don’t want to be read by you.

  344. 344
    rorschach

    Owlmirror @305,

    Is Facebook a Factor in Psychotic Symptoms?

    This sounds very plausible. Ironically, Facebook is also a great screening tool and early-warning system for suicidality, I see on average one or two patients every week brought to the Emergency Department by police for urgent Psych evaluation based on suicide notes or thoughts posted on their Facebooks.

  345. 345
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @rorschach

    Well, then, I guess it’s completely impossible for people to lurk and not participate, isn’t it? …and no, I don’t think you get to ask me not to read you, if you’re going to post here publicly. My killfile is mine, and mine alone, to fill or empty at my pleasure. Don’t like it? Ask to have me banned or stop posting.

    I killfiled Morales because I have no patience for his pedantic BS wherein he treats real, suffering humans as little more than facets of an intellectual exercise, and when asked to cease this silliness he not only refuses, but seems to think that living, breathing, suffering people don’t really have the right to ruin his “fun”.

    If you like, I can go back to the post where that shit caught my attention, but it may take a bit because it was almost a year ago.

    Oh, wait… that’s right… it’s **TOTALLY COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE** that I’ve been lurking for several years, isn’t it? Or that I could have formed an opinion about people based on thousands of comments made by them over that time? Yes. Impossible. Totally impossible. I must have dreamed it all, right?

    Sheesh.

  346. 346
    Inaji

    Rorschach:

    Who the fuck are you that you would dare to pontificate like this here

    An excellent commenter and someone who wrote an article which featured in one of Chris’s recent posts.

  347. 347
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    No, Caine. I am not Kate Donovan! That’s not me! Don’t confuse me with her, please, you’re doing Ms. Donovan a GREAT disservice! She’s an excellent writer, and I’d venture to say a lovely person. I don’t really think I’m either of those things.

  348. 348
    keresthanatos

    “and she can join Morales and a few select others who, over the years I’ve been reading Pharyngula, have proved themselves to be the lowest of the low.”

    Wow, how do I gain entry into this hallowed group (the lowest of the low), short of being a polymath, with impeccable reasoning skills, published and cited many times, …… Inquiring minds want to know?????

  349. 349
    Inaji

    Kate:

    No, Caine. I am not Kate Donovan!

    Yikes, not enough tea! My apologies. Okay, I’ll just go with “you’re an excellent commenter”. That okay?
    I think you write just fine, btw.

  350. 350
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Keresthanatos:

    Stop. Just stop. Seriously. He’s there because he’s acted like a pompous ass, because he’s treated rape victims as if they were mere statistics even when said victims have asked him to stop doing so, and because he can be an insufferable jerk.

    If you want to do that kind of thing then, yeah, I’d killfile you. I really don’t think being smart or published is an excuse for acting like an asshat.

  351. 351
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Caine:

    Awww, thanks! Yep, I’ll take that. :)

    Enjoy your tea. Myself I’m having a nice cup of “FireHaus” coffee brewed in my bodum. I’d share, but I have a feeling that it might be cold by the time it got to you.

  352. 352
    rorschach

    I killfiled Morales because I have no patience for his pedantic BS wherein he treats real, suffering humans as little more than facets of an intellectual exercise, and when asked to cease this silliness he not only refuses, but seems to think that living, breathing, suffering people don’t really have the right to ruin his “fun”.

    That is your view and your right, but I dont have to like or respect it. Cheers.

  353. 353
    emburii

    I can see how John Morales could end up in someone’s killfile from, say, comment #167 on this thread. Insinuating intellectual laziness or insecurity on the part of others because they don’t have the same number of spoons to voluntarily put up with upsetting things, for instance, is a little off-putting. And his self-laudatory tone provides an extra-specially vile and ableist aperitif to that nastiness.

  354. 354
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Rorscharch:

    I’m not asking you to like it. You don’t have to like it. I don’t expect anyone to “like” or approve of what I do. I’ve never asked, even in real life, for anyone to blindly agree with my opinions. (Facts are a different matter, but that’s not what we’re discussing.)

    …but asking me to killfile you so I don’t read what you say? WTF? You’re more or less telling me you don’t think I’m worthy or fit to read your words, as if you have some sort of monopoly on your speech in public spaces. That’s just weird. Also, it’s not really how that kind of thing works.

  355. 355
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Shoot, I misspelled your name, Rorschach. I’m sorry I did that!

  356. 356
    rorschach

    You’re more or less telling me you don’t think I’m worthy or fit to read your words

    No, it’s just that from your short track record here I deduce that you are an angry moron. So just killfile me already. And those hard nuanced balanced thoughty considered informed openminded posts people here tend to post every now and then are clearly not for you.

  357. 357
    ChasCPeterson

    at comment #260, one example is pointed out:

    Crissa #208

    Some violence – and I’d say much or most – is the symptom of mental illness.

    Crissa #256

    I’m fairly certain I did not say that most mental illnesses had the symptom of violence.

    example of what?
    most X is due to Y.
    ≠ most Y causes X.

    3rd-Grade logic.

    a few select others

    oo! oo! choose me!!!

    My killfile is mine, and mine alone, to fill or empty at my pleasure. Don’t like it? Ask to have me banned or stop posting.

    lol

  358. 358
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Rorschach

    Nice. Real nice. You might want to use smaller words, though, so a moron such as myself can grasp the deep significance of such lofty thoughts. After all, if you think that kind of thing is beyond me, you might want to dumb it down enough for me to feel the full sting of your obviously weighty and superior intellect.

    It would be a crying shame if I missed even one barb from your sharp tongue, wouldn’t it?

    The tone policing, though, has got to go. Being angry about someone being an ableist asshole is perfectly justified. If you can’t understand why this might be so, then you have some self-examination to do. People get heated here all the time over others acting like privileged twits and I am not the only one to have ever thought John Morales was acting like a complete jerk, nor have I been the only one to call Crissa out for her shit.

    If you’d care to make an argument as to why I ought to respect or listen to John Morales’ opinion which does not involve some shitty argument from authority or popularity, I am more than willing to listen and discuss it with you. I won’t even use off-colour words, if that is your preference. However, if all you have is “He knows lots of stuff and has been published” then you’re making a very, very weak argument. There are many people who can make the claim that they have multiple fields of expertise and have also been published in journals multiple times. It doesn’t make them immune to being jerkwads, or insensitive assholes, or automatically make anyone who dislikes them or disagrees with them “morons”.

  359. 359
    rorschach

    if all you have is “He knows lots of stuff and has been published” then you’re making a very, very weak argument.

    ???
    I LOL’d though, when you suggested John was making arguments from authority or popularity. That’s at least one new irony meter right there. It’s 530 am here, so I will go to bed now and get back to this joke fest tomorrow…

  360. 360
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    No, I’m suggesting that in this very thread arguments were being made from authority or popularity for why John Morales was somehow worthy of listening to.

    Yes, you’re obviously tired. I get it. After all, if someone so brilliant can’t make sense of what an idiot such as myself is saying it indicates you’re not at your best. Hopefully after you’ve had some sleep you can parse my moronic ramblings well enough to be able to make sense of what I’ve very clearly said.

  361. 361
    strange gods before me ॐ

    rorschach is big on everyone knowing “their place” — though, to be sure, he’s not the only one here like that. If you want to have a bit of fun with him, call Hitchens a fuckbrained warmongering misogynist.

    ≠ most Y causes X.

    To be sure, the argument Crissa did make, that most violence is mental illness, is blatant bullshit. (Asked about war, she tried to characterize the willingness to fight as delusion.)

  362. 362
    strange gods before me ॐ

    To be sure, my writing suffers from the midday slump. Coffee time!

  363. 363
    chigau (違う)


    I not so sure…

  364. 364
    strange gods before me ॐ

    If you lack certitude, try an ethanol solution.

  365. 365
    carlie

    I am very happy for the existence of killfile for those who need it. I am grateful to those (sg) who have tweaked it to be usable for this site for people who need it.

    But isn’t the point of having it so you can completely ignore people? If you talk about who you have in your killfile and who you don’t, that defeats the purpose of ignoring the existence of said people.

  366. 366
    Ichthyic

    rorschach is big on everyone knowing “their place”

    best killfile him then, right?

  367. 367
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Nah, in my opinion it’s best to gently tease him. :)

  368. 368
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I dislike the idea of making people ‘know their place’. One of my first posts in TET back when got a ‘…and who are you?’ type response. It reeked of elitism as if I weren’t worthy of posting there.

  369. 369
    consciousness razor

    But isn’t the point of having it so you can completely ignore people? If you talk about who you have in your killfile and who you don’t, that defeats the purpose of ignoring the existence of said people.

    For some people, I use it to remind myself that I probably don’t want to waste my time with them, but that can change. If they say something useful or interesting, or if on the other hand they’re dominating the conversation with everyone else and need a good troll-smashing, then I don’t really care whether my handy little webgadget tells me I probably shouldn’t bother.

    Of course, that’s not a reason I’d tell someone they’re in my killfile. The reason I’d tell someone they’re in my killfile is basically just to piss them off a little before I stop responding.

  370. 370
    John Morales

    Tony,

    It reeked of elitism as if I weren’t worthy of posting there.

    Nothing to do with what you wrote, except it reminded me of a rather funny post from days of yore: ‘Life Reeked with Joy’, which I here share for any who might not have seen it before.

  371. 371
    strange gods before me ॐ

    rorschach,

    I LOL’d though, when you suggested John was making arguments from authority or popularity.

    You lol’d because you’re excessively sleepy so you parsed wrong.

    Read: “If you’d care to make an argument (as to why I ought to respect or listen to John Morales’ opinion) which does not involve some shitty argument from authority or popularity”

    Not: “If you’d care to make an argument as to why I ought to respect or listen to (John Morales’ opinion which does not involve some shitty argument from authority or popularity)”

    The argument from popularity was made by you, and an argument from authority was implied by keresthanatos.

    +++++
    Is John “published and cited many times”? This is not implausible, but I am interested as it is news to me.

    +++++
    Anyway, I object to any out of the blue invocation of Morales-as-bad-example, by kate_waters or anyone else, when he is not currently being a shithead. It is gratuitous.

    Besides being gratuitous, it is incomplete and inaccurate. John is also thoughtful and kind, and he makes an effort to understand others, sometimes more carefully and charitably than is standard around here.

  372. 372
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I don’t understand how JM’s “I’m willing to see criticism despite my insecurities” counts as ableism. Suggestions welcome.

    ===

    I also don’t understand how to understand this:

    The fathers of both Adam Lanza and James Holmes are connected to the LIBOR scandal. Both were scheduled to testify before the Senate, days after these two incidents.

    ===

    I will admit; I used to (with guilty pleasure) read the conspiracist rantings at various veterans’ websites.

    Now, I’m a bit more worried.

  373. 373
    Ichthyic

    I also don’t understand how to understand this:

    I read it, and the links.

    it’s a very tenuous connection, with no consistent underlying motive.

    what in the fuck would the purpose be, for an underling in an organization at best minimally related to the “libor” scandal, to have connected themselves to a mass killing?

    it makes no fucking sense.

    sorry, but this is exactly WHY conspiracy theories become popular… at some level, the “kevin bacon” effect kicks in, and everything “seems” connected.

  374. 374
    Ichthyic

    …of course, I could have gotten paid 6 figures by the “LIBOR CONSPIRACY” to say that.

  375. 375
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    At the risk of compromising my SciBlogs identity, I’d like to point out that a commenter who totally isn’t me despite having a very similar ‘nym commented on Stoat’s blog here. “Stoat” may not be his real name, either.

  376. 376
    ChasCPeterson

    the argument Crissa did make, that most violence is mental illness, is blatant bullshit.

    agreed

  377. 377
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    I realise I have really offended and upset some people here and I apologise for that.

    Of course, many of the people here have said some hurtful and offensive things that have made me pretty upset too. I feel far from “coddled” and more piled up and generally misjudged by those here.

    However, if Ing returns or if someone wants to gets in touch you can tell hir that I do apologise for calling hir friends “Jihadists” and that if xe returns I’ll say nothing further to her unless xe addresses me directly.

    I’ve taken a few days offline and may take a few more. I’m rethinking some things especially my conduct here as I always do whether some folks believe that or not. I’ve also emailed of PZ Myers and Chris Clarke and requested to be put on automoderation “probation” for awhile in the interests of blog harmony but have had no response from them on this.

  378. 378
    vaiyt

    @StevoR:

    We don’t give a fuck about harmony, in case you haven’t noticed. No amount of niceness will make you not a racist asshole, so you won’t be any more well liked here.

    I don’t believe your apologies, because I’ve seen you lie through your teeth way too many times.

    You’re offended? Good. Racist assholes like you should be offended. Maybe you could feel some shame for your stupid, dehumanizing opinions, but that might be asking too much.

    Just go away.

  379. 379
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I do apologise for calling hir friends “Jihadists”

    1a) that’s not all you said about them which you should apologize for. For one, you also claimed — knowing nothing else about them except that they’re Muslim — that they “want to committ genocide against Israel!”
    1b) and that’s not even the entirety of it. IIRC, you also — knowing nothing else about them except that they’re Muslim — accused them of being homophobes. This was the beginning of your attacks on Ing’s friends, again IIRC. You should apologize for this too.

    2) what, no explanation of how you understand that you were wrong? It is hard to believe that you are serious and honest about any apology, without an accounting of how you got to here from there.

  380. 380
    rorschach

    If you want to have a bit of fun with him, call Hitchens a fuckbrained warmongering misogynist.

    I’ll play because I’m bored (so who is having fun with who now?).
    Fuckbrained I would object to as a pretty obvious insult that is not saying anything other than you didnt like the guy. The other 2, meh, inflammatory and unkind, but that’s what Shermer complained about too the other day. So yeah, I give you those…

    ;)

  381. 381
    keresthanatos

    just trollin’ on the published and cited, though I would not be suprised if he was.

  382. 382
    puppygod

    @293 joed

    Psychologically speaking, why do these shooters go after the most defenseless of people.
    Hopefully this is the right thread to bring this up.
    What really gets me to thinking is the question as to why these sort of tragedies are directed at the most defenseless of people?!
    Why don’t these shooters attack a police station or military base? Seems they don’t have an escape plan or end up killing self as planned any way?
    Is there some psychological advantage(whatever that is) to going after children?
    Anyone have any ideas they care to share?

    I wonder whether these assumptions are even true. It might be a side-effect of media bias in reporting. I can recall of the top of my head at least five attacks on police stations in the mainland US. It seems that those would-be mass-murderers who chosen targats that can defend themselves, well, end up defeated. They go to the police station, shoot an officer or two and go down when officers return fire. So they don’t rack up enough victims to get more than only a brief mention on a global-wide news networks.

  383. 383
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ strange gods before me ॐ – 15th of December 2012 at 2:23 am

    From here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/05/thunderdome-11/comment-page-2/#comment-513906

    No I really wouldn’t say that quote now however drunk or sober I am.

    What’s wrong with the quote and what I’d say now to someone who said it?

    Well, the quote’s wrong because it suggests that African-Americans are somehow less loyal and less American than, say, Irish Americans or Native-Americans and there’s no evidence for that. It also implies that African Americans and other “hyphenated” Americans can’t or don’t fully support American values and that their own values aren’t also American and haven’t also contributed to forming US culture as we know it which again there’s no good evidence of or reason to believe. It also is an over-generalisation implying that all African-Americans are the same and have only the one collective opinion rather than being individuals with a diverse range of views and that holds true for all the other groups as well. Am I right?

    As for how my views have changed and evolved over time, well, it’s a long and personal story. For a while I was too left wing and eventually I woke up to that and for a while I reacted and overcompensated by becoming too rightwing before realising I’d gone too far the other political direction. For a long time I’ve thought about the dreadful and biased things I once said as an extreme leftwinger against Israel and the Jewish people more broadly and felt I had to make up for that in part by offering a good argumentative defense in their favour. There’s more to it than just that, natch, stuff I don’t even fully understand myself as well as stuff I do but that’s certainly part of it.

    Also for a time I felt utterly betrayed by and was furious at Obama for some of the policies he did and failed to do such as his cancellation of the Constellation human lunar return plan.

    Anyhow, I’m not the same person I was when I wrote that quote – or the older one too. When evidence and situations change and new insights occur I change my mind in response, what do you do?

    Do I perhaps have my biases that should be examined? Sure. Doubt I’m alone in this and suspect its part of the human condition generally. Have you (& everyone else here) stopped to rethink your own biases and prejudices in some of these issues too?

  384. 384
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Will the leopard actually change his shorts?

  385. 385
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @15. Amphiox :

    “It is your first assumption each and every single time you make this argument. “

    Hey Amphiox, are *you* really are telling *me* what my personal preferences are even when I’ve repeatedly told you what they >actually are? I meant what I said when I told everyone that my first preference is for a peaceful non-violent resolution here.

    Sheesh, what next? Are *you* going to tell *me* that *my* favourite colour is really blue after I’ve told everyone its actually red as well or something?

    Why do I get the feeling that if I said the Moon was made of mainly basalt-like igneous rock some people here would still claim I’m really arguing that its made of green cheese based on one silly long forgotten joke I made five years ago or something even tho’ I’ve since repeatedly made my actual serious view perfectly clear?

    ”That is the STARTING POINT of every single argument you have ever made on this subject. What else from this pattern can we conclude of you other than that these things are your first choice, your first assumption, the thing you immediately think about?”

    Maybe that I do know the history and what’s been tried and failed before here? Because, y’know, that would actually be the case. That ever occur to you?

  386. 386
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @.383 Ogvorbis:

    Will the leopard actually change his shorts?

    Maybe. Maybe it was always a pantomine leopard and the crowd never did properly see or judge what was inside seeing instead only the spots before their own eyes painted on by others hands?

  387. 387
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    StevoR:

    Re; #383 and #382:

    Are you actually claiming that you did not make racist, bigoted, and warmongering statements over the last year or more? Or are you claiming that these repeated statements were one-off jokes and that we have all managed to not see all the places where you stated otherwise?

    You claim that your views have changed. As I stated, I’ll have to wait and see.

    Claiming joke-that-everyone-failed-to-grok or claiming others-put-words-on-my-screen-that-I-never-used is not blowing warm air up my shorts. If you (as I have done, here and in meatspace) have made statements with which you no longer agree, own up to them, apologize, and don’t get snitty when others, such as me, fail to instantly see that you are now a completely different person who no longer sees all Muslims as supporters of terrorism, no longer sees Islam as an existential threat to the west and thus a valid target for nuclear weapons, or advocates immediate and unrestricted preventive war with Iran. So excuse the fuck out of me that I see two weeks of ‘I didn’t mean it’ or ‘I have changed’ and compare it with a year or more of ‘bomb ‘em all’ and am not impressed. You may have changed. Don’t expect me, or anyone else, to accept it without further evidence. And that evidence will be in your comments to come.

  388. 388
    vaiyt

    I meant what I said when I told everyone that my first preference is for a peaceful non-violent resolution here.

    You can “tell” us what we’re supposed to think about your opinions all you want, StevoR. What we actually got in your actual opinions about the actual subject is another matter entirely.

  389. 389
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Someone wake me when our resident xenophobic racist leaves the place he really doesn’t like posting, but does so anyway, again.
    The desperate pleading is getting pathetic. As is requesting to be put in moderation. One would think an adult who is trying to change would police their own fucking posts.
    (Yes, I am being passive aggressive here)

  390. 390
    md

    Anyone have any opinions on the Hagel nomination, or the Washington Post/establishment GOP’s reaction to it? I couldn’t be more pleased with Obama over it (well, Ron Paul as Sec. of Treasury perhaps) and was wondering if there was any common cause to be found. You guys taking the WaPost’s line or supporting the Eisenhower Republican?

  391. 391
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    md:

    We have to wait for PZed to give us the party line. The we can tell you what ‘us guys’ think. /snark

  392. 392
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ogvorbis:
    Too true. We love our groupthink here. Thinking for ourselves and coming to the same conclusion as PZ is out of the question.

  393. 393
    md

    Ogvorbis,

    nice dodge/snark

  394. 394
    Inaji

    StevoR:

    I realise I have really offended and upset some people here and I apologise for that.

    Of course, many of the people here have said some hurtful and offensive things that have made me pretty upset too. I feel far from “coddled” and more piled up and generally misjudged by those here.

    The bit I have emphasized is why I am no longer willing to give you a chance. You took the opportunity to reflect and truly apologize for how deeply you have offended and hurt people and turned it straight into a notpology with your “hey, people have said nasty things to me!!1!”

    The loss of Ing is a very serious one to our community, StevoR. They were a long time, welcome part of our community, unlike yourself. Look at everything you wrote in this thread – you start off with “sorry”, rapidly run into notpology and from there, launch right into your usual “you fuckheads are all wrong” and sing your idiotic “I’m soooooo misunderstood” song.

    You have not thought one bit nor have you changed at all. Not one iota. As I said several threads ago, your willingness to stay off certain topics doesn’t mean jack shit. You’re still a poisonous bigot under the silence, one whose toxicity will continue to poison this community.

    Others might be willing to give you a chance, I am not. It would be stunningly nice and good form if you simply left of your own accord. Hint: do the right thing.

  395. 395
    Amphiox

    I meant what I said when I told everyone that my first preference is for a peaceful non-violent resolution here.

    If StevoR wants to rehabilitate his reputation here, this is not a good first step.

    The above statement, regardless of its truth, is irrelevant. Here is why:

    The discussion was about drone strikes, double tapping, targeting assassinations, pre-emptive invasion and the like, used against Arab and Muslim civilians.

    StevoR says that is JUSTIFIED self-defence. That’s his argument.

    What is “justified” self-defence? What does it mean to say or imply that something is “justified”?

    Something is only justified if it is a better option than available less harmful alternatives. If its superior effectiveness outweighs its greater cost. It DOES NOT MATTER if you say that you “prefer” alternative Y. If you say that alternative X is JUSTIFIED you are AUTOMATICALLY saying that in that given situation X is BETTER than Y. You are ASSUMING that Y does not work or will not work. If you do not make the assumption, you CANNOT say that X is “justified”.

    If StevoR was really telling the truth about not making that assumption, he WOULD NOT HAVE EVER EVEN ATTEMPTED to make the “justifiable self defence” argument at all. The very fact that he made that argument is proof that he DID in fact make that assumption, and is now lying about not making that assumption when he made that argument.

    If I say or imply “I was JUSTIFIED in killing him, but yeah, I preferred to resolve things peacefully” that second statement means JACK SQUAT SHIT. By saying the first statement, I turn the second into a irrelevant hypothetical. I am saying that circumstances made it so that my preference in the second part became unavailable and thus I was justified in acting as I did in the first part, even if it was against my preference (boo hoo, poor me, forced to do what I really didn’t want to do).

    All that StevoR has ultimately said with all this is that those dirty brown jihadist terrorist muslims FORCED him to support drone strikes, targeted assassinations, collateral damage on civilian children, and pre-emptive first-strike wars, because THEY made it so that peaceful resolution was not possible, even though he, StevoR, pure and noble as always, would have “preferred” it that way. Thus shirking all personal responsibility for his original views and arguments, and giving ZERO evidence that they have in fact change in any way at all.

    It’s pathetic.

  396. 396
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    If I do not get involved in the latest round of StevoR donning the hairshirt, it is because I do not give a fuck what he has to say.

  397. 397
    Nick Gotts

    StevoR, dishonest little shit,

    Maybe that I do know the history and what’s been tried and failed before here? Because, y’know, that would actually be the case.

    No, it wouldn’t.

    Maybe it was always a pantomine leopard and the crowd never did properly see or judge what was inside seeing instead only the spots before their own eyes painted on by others hands? –

    These are not the words of someone who has had a genuine change of heart about all the bigoted and even genocidal remarks they have made over a long period here. Even if one adopts your view, that people here have been terribly mean and unfair to you, it’s incomprehensible why you want to continue posting here. Just fuck off.

  398. 398
    Amphiox

    Maybe that I do know the history and what’s been tried and failed before here? Because, y’know, that would actually be the case.

    Pretty much a straight out flat admission from StevoR that he WAS in fact lying about not just assuming that more benign methods of self-defence had already been tried and failed.

    ONE DOES NOT AND CAN NOT MAKE THE ARGUMENT OF “JUSTIFIED” SELF DEFENCE UNLESS ONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT MORE BENIGN ALTERNATIVES HAVE ALREADY FAILED, OR ONE ASSUMES THAT THEY HAVE FAILED.

    Since StevoR has just admitted that he did NOT know, that means that he DID assume it.

    Pitiful liar.

  399. 399
    Nepenthe

    Caine is right. Go away Stevo. You are boring and annoying. Ing is awesome. This was a shitty trade.

    [Semi-OT]

    I’ve never seen a leopard wearing shorts. Thus, I think it’s highly unlikely that it will change its shorts.

  400. 400
    John Morales

    Amphiox, there are many kinds of justification, and you only speak of one kind.

    (‘It pleases me’ is another)

  401. 401
    consciousness razor

    Amphiox, there are many kinds of justification, and you only speak of one kind.

    (‘It pleases me’ is another)

    That’s irrelevant. When you’re talking about defending yourself by harming others, rather than not harming them, “it pleases me” isn’t justifying a damn thing. It doesn’t refer to anything about the actions or situations it’s supposed to justify, except that something causes “pleasure” to “me.” Even a totally naive straw-hedonist who was only concerned with his or her own “pleasure” would have to take into account what all the other options would be like and compare them to one another.

  402. 402
    mountainbob

    Can You (any ‘you’) help me? I d/c’d my subscription to FTB when I changed my E-dress (due to Micro Soft discontinuing ‘hotmail’. Now, though I am registered, I cannot figure out how to re-subscribe. PLEASE! With maple syrup and chocolate on it! A figurative hug will go to the person who provides the solution! Bob

  403. 403
    John Morales

    CR: The common sense of a ‘justification is ‘the stating of one’s basis for some action or belief’ — claiming something is the minimally-sufficient action to achieve one’s goal is but one type.

    Even a totally naive straw-hedonist who was only concerned with his or her own “pleasure” would have to take into account what all the other options would be like and compare them to one another.

    Maybe your straw-hedonist has to, mine certainly does not. :)

    (And she certainly doesn’t need to justify her pleasure-seeking by claiming it’s minimally-sufficient; for her, more is better)

  404. 404
    consciousness razor

    The common sense of a ‘justification is ‘the stating of one’s basis for some action or belief’ — claiming something is the minimally-sufficient action to achieve one’s goal is but one type.

    We’re not talking about “the common sense” of the word.

    It’s a specific concept in ethics, and while there are a lot of different flavors, the sorts of things which factor into a justification (e.g., “pleasure”) are distinct from what’s necessary for something constitute any kind of justification at all (e.g., “this is why we should X rather than Y,” when that is the form the reasoning is supposed to take for a particular claim). Amphiox didn’t offer any alternative factors to “pleasure” (just anything “benign,” which is uninformative), so any differences in that regard would not themselves make it a justification rather than a non-justification.

  405. 405
    John Morales

    CR:

    It’s a specific concept in ethics

    It’s the very same concept in ethics, and what is justifiable in one particular ethical framework may not be in another.

  406. 406
    consciousness razor

    It’s the very same concept in ethics, and what is justifiable in one particular ethical framework may not be in another.

    Something you call an “ethical framework” may not be one at all. I’m sure you could continue down this rabbit hole for a long time, but the ability to play with words isn’t having a point.

  407. 407
    Argle Bargle

    strange gods before me (silly squiggle) #264

    Read for comprehension and then either have the decency to apologize to me or go fuck yourself, Rodney.

    I apologize for not responding sooner. Meatspace intervened for the past couple of days.

    SGBM, you do fucking play thread cop. Just because you’re too convinced of your own rectitude to admit it isn’t my fault. If I was an asshole like you I’d tell you to fuck off and die but I’m not quite as much a shithead as you are, so you can fuck off and stay alive. If you really want an apology then I guess you’ve got a long wait. I haven’t done anything I feel needs apology. So suck it, shithead.

  408. 408
    John Morales

    CR:

    … but the ability to play with words isn’t having a point.

    Exactly! ;)

  409. 409
    John Morales

    [[silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle]] [[silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle][silly squiggle]]: silly squiggle?

    Heh.

    (As if ideograms are but silly squiggles, unlike alphabetic graphemes)

  410. 410
    John Morales

    Rodney:

    If I was an asshole like you I’d tell you to fuck off and die but I’m not quite as much a shithead as you are, so you can fuck off and stay alive. If you really want an apology then I guess you’ve got a long wait. I haven’t done anything I feel needs apology. So suck it, shithead.

    <burp>

    Ah, nothing like a surfeit of irony.

  411. 411
    John Morales

    SteveoR, any comment on this story?

    Israel under fire over settlements decision

  412. 412
    chigau (違う)

    Rodney Nelson #406

    (silly squiggle)

    Since you appear to be capable of copy-pasting, try copy-pasting the silly squiggle into a translator.
    Also try to understand that not all written languages use The Alphabet™.

  413. 413
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    md I think it’s fine. I need to read up more on it the details. But if Kristol hates it, it can’t be all bad

  414. 414
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    iPad posting flail, ignore a few extra words there. Editing failure.

  415. 415
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I’ve taken a few days offline and may take a few more. I’m rethinking some things especially my conduct here as I always do whether some folks believe that or not. I’ve also emailed of PZ Myers and Chris Clarke and requested to be put on automoderation “probation” for awhile in the interests of blog harmony but have had no response from them on this.

    This is interesting and maybe promising. I think it signifies a recognition* that you sometimes say things you shouldn’t. That’s not rare. But it’s the wrong path to distance yourself from responsibility for it and leave it to others to control which of your statements become public (even if they have the time, which I doubt PZ and CC do). A better plan would be to try to critically edit your own posts, especially to scan them for rightwing talking points and strings of assertions that don’t respond to what people have said and don’t rest on evidence you’ve seen yourself. You could also check your writing for a lack of humility. If you find these problems, either don’t post or rewrite.

    I think you’re trying to make too clean a break between conduct and content. People are reading, rightly, much of your content as the product of disrespectful conduct. Intellectual conduct. Epistemic conduct.

    *partial

  416. 416
    ChasCPeterson

    Blaming anybody but Ing for Ing’s putative departure is ridiculous.

  417. 417
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Blaming anybody but Ing for Ing’s putative departure is ridiculous.

    Blaming Ing for Ing’s reaction to StevoR’s nastyness?

  418. 418
    John Morales

    theophontes, not blaming, but assigning responsibility for action taken.

    (What, would you have it that Ing was at the mercy of StevoR)

  419. 419
  420. 420
    consciousness razor

    Blaming anybody but Ing for Ing’s putative departure is ridiculous.

    Responsibility (as JM would have it) can be shared.

  421. 421
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I replied to the rat pictures on the other thread but then noticed (wasn’t shocked) that there was an ongoing discussion about cooking and eating animals, so I left again.

    The pictures are adorable.

  422. 422
    John Morales

    CR, would you say that StevoR is not responsible for his remaining here, despite the ongoing animosity and outright repudiation he has (and) is facing from many?

  423. 423
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Chas:

    Blaming anybody but Ing for Ing’s putative departure is ridiculous.

    Clearly not everyone agrees with you. Yes, it was Ing’s decision, but SteveoR is an important component in that decision.

    I’m still wondering why that racist shithead is still allowed to post here.

  424. 424
    Inaji

    SC, thank you! More and more of them are exploring the tree. Much excitement over Ratmas. :D

  425. 425
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ StevoR #382

    Do you see yourself as some kind of “white knight” for the West? (Be this under the banner of left (anti-semitic StevoR) or the right (anti-islamic StevoR). You hero you!

    And here you, poor misunderstood StevoR, are being judged not by those lights, but rather by how much humanity you display in your writings. No wonder you are so at odds with the ethos of Pharyngula.

    With regard to your pro-west|anti-islamic diatribes, might I suggest that you do a little homework and see how the forms of “radical Islam” that you are so quick to fob off on all of the Muslim world actually came about.

    Learn your (western) history. Observe that in Iran, the democratically elected prime minister Mossaddegh was deposed by the ‘Merkins (in cahoots with the British) for placing his own people’s interests above the interests of BP (yup, the dirty oil company – originally Anglo-Iranian Oil). Your precious “West” behaved like a bunch of thugs.

    Observe in Afghanistan how the CIA worked flat out to promote and radicalise the cause of Islamic fundamentalism. The Afghanis now suffer for ‘Merkin shortsightedness and meddling.

    Observe how ‘Merkins built up the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia by placing their (and the House of Saud’s) interests above the interests of the people of that country. What was then convenient (and driven by greed) has now come back to bite them.

    The so called “Islamic extremist/Jihadist” is very much a product of the West that you hold so dear. The main losers in this devil’s pact have been the peoples of the Middle East, those very people you have sought to demonise.

  426. 426
    consciousness razor

    CR, would you say that StevoR is not responsible for his remaining here, despite the ongoing animosity and outright repudiation he has (and) is facing from many?

    No. Why would I say he’s not?

  427. 427
    Ichthyic

    Do I perhaps have my biases that should be examined? Sure.

    well, no better time than the present!

    I’m interested in StevoR’s take on what is going on with the Polio vaccination volunteers being killed in Pakistan.

    questions:

    -is this an inevitable result of the Islamic religion, that these aid workers should be murdered?
    -is it a political statement?
    -is it just terrorism?
    -is there any reason why militant factions might be claiming that vaccination programs are a cover for something else?
    -is there any reason for any pakistani to believe what these militant factions are saying?
    -is the pakistani government in collusion with the people who killed these vaccination workers?
    -are most pakistanis in collusion with the people who killed these workers?
    -what do you think the best approach should be to resolving the situation?

    use your best abilities and knowledge to tell me what you think is going on over there, and answer the questions as best you can, and honestly.

  428. 428
    John Morales

    CR,

    No. Why would I say he’s not?

    Well then, would you say Ing is not responsible for xir choosing to depart this place?

  429. 429
    Amphiox

    Amphiox, there are many kinds of justification, and you only speak of one kind.

    The kind I speak of is the kind that is relevant to the context in which I use it.

    (‘It pleases me’ is another)

    Substitute this definition of “justification” and StevoR hardly comes off any better. Indeed I had hardly think of any alternative definition by which StevoR does not come of WORSE than he does with the one I used.

  430. 430
    John Morales

    Amphiox @428, I can’t dispute anything you’ve written there.

  431. 431
    consciousness razor

    Well then, would you say Ing is not responsible for xir choosing to depart this place?

    No, and I already implied that when I said it can be shared. To put it another way, it isn’t bijective.

  432. 432
    John Morales

    CR, but leaving and not leaving are the complements of the same choice, which entails that if one is not responsible for the one, one cannot be responsible for the other.

    (Whence your purported asymmetry where responsibility for leaving can be shared, but responsibility for not leaving cannot?)

  433. 433
    consciousness razor

    (Whence your purported asymmetry where responsibility for leaving can be shared, but responsibility for not leaving cannot?)

    There isn’t one. I disagreed that “StevoR is not responsible,” meaning that I think he is responsible, which doesn’t imply there are no others who are also responsible. It could be that there’s only one responsible party for something in one kind of situation, while at the same time multiple people are responsible for other things in different kinds of situations; but it’s certainly not ridiculous in general to hold more than one person responsible for something.

  434. 434
    John Morales

    Fair enough, CR.

    (And thanks for playing along with the Socratic technique; you are a rare specimen)

  435. 435
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    Are you not treating such circumstances too cut and dried?

    If I set fire to my house and the fire brigade choose to arrive and put it out, can I say that they undertook such action purely off their own bat?

    Surely I bear some responsibility for the whole sequence of events. Further, the fire brigades’ reaction was perfectly rational and justified, given my prior actions.

  436. 436
    John Morales

    theophontes, <blink>

    Can you map Ing and StevoR to this example of you and the fire brigade, so as to alleviate my bemusement?

  437. 437
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    {theophontes smirks gently and waits before answering …. in order to fill John with ……………………ANTICI……………………..}

    I ——> StevoR
    fire —–> inflammatory remarks wrt Muslims
    house ——-> Pharyngula
    fire brigade ——–> Ing
    action ——–>Ing’s response to the inflammatory remarks
    own bat ——–> independent of others actions/comments

    .
    .
    .
    {……………………………PATION!}

  438. 438
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    PS: Is that injective or surjective?

  439. 439
    John Morales

    theophontes, neither; it is merely absurd.

  440. 440
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    theophontes, neither; it is merely absurd.

    I take it this response on your part was predicated by my comments?

  441. 441
    John Morales

    theophontes, no; it was occasioned by your comments.

    (Predication means something different)

  442. 442
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    Does predicated not also mean “based upon”? I am happy to substitute “occasioned“.

    Then: Can we not say that Ing’s reaction was occasioned by StevoR’s comments?

    @ (my) # 424

    Anglo-Iranian Oil … Anglo-Persian Oil Co.

    (Commenting from the hip is not standing me in good stead.)

  443. 443
    John Morales

    theophontes:

    Does predicated not also mean “based upon”?

    I suppose so, but it generally a specific type of a type of subsequence: it typically refers to a necessary antecedent.

    Then: Can we not say that Ing’s reaction was occasioned by StevoR’s comments?

    Yes, we can. So what?

    (My retort was occasioned by your comment, but you are not responsible for my choosing to reply)

  444. 444
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    but you are not responsible for my choosing to reply

    Aah, this is the sense of Chas’s comment I suppose.

    My concern is that this can be construed as indicating that the upset that StevoR occasioned can somehow be ignored. That he is somehow innocent of the turn of events.

    The fire-brigade could ignore the fire, Ing could ignore the insults. We could say that there is no real compulsion to react in a particular manner. But in both cases the instigators have done something to the other party that was not of their choosing. We cannot then proscribe a right¹ to reaction by making it all about the victim. That can amount to saying “Suck it up ’cause no one compelled you to react in such a manner”.

    ¹ Is this too moralistic a term? In a strictly logical sense I could be accused of being naughty.

  445. 445
    Useless

    Hello? Anybody in there?

  446. 446
    John Morales

    theophontes,

    My concern is that this can be construed as indicating that the upset that StevoR occasioned can somehow be ignored. That he is somehow innocent of the turn of events.

    If you want to imagine Ing was somehow forced off this site because StevoR made obnoxious comments about Muslims, that’s your prerogative.

    If you want to make that case, I don’t see how you can avoid characterising Ing as a helpless and manipulable victim who just can’t cope with PZ not banning a commenter who trash-talks about a group of people among whom some are xir friends, rather than as someone who is just disgusted with that and therefore chose not to participate in the site in protest.

    (Me, I think Ing left as a protest to PZ’s tolerance, not because xe was victimised)

    Ing could ignore the insults. We could say that there is no real compulsion to react in a particular manner.

    Yes. Yes, indeed.

    (Isn’t that the whole point of killfile, to ignore commenters that annoy you?)

    But in both cases the instigators have done something to the other party that was not of their choosing.

    Plenty of commenters annoy other commenters; hell, I’m pretty sure plenty of commenters annoy StevoR — and they’re targeting him specifically, not just a group of people among whom he has friends.

    (Yet he hasn’t left — not yet, anyway. I can see people are working on it, so perhaps it will get to him in due course)

    We cannot then proscribe a right to reaction by making it all about the victim.

    To what proscription do you refer?

    (As far as Ing being a victim, I addressed that above)

    That can amount to saying “Suck it up ’cause no one compelled you to react in such a manner”.

    The non-compelling part is the truth, but I don’t see where any exhortation to “Suck it up” comes into it.

    (Accepting reality is not sucking it up)

  447. 447
    Dhorvath, OM

    Rats came to my house. Does that make it ratmas or are there other rituals to observe?

  448. 448
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    I think Ing left as a protest to PZ’s tolerance, not because xe was victimised.

    We could note that pretty much everyone is offended by the idea of giving someone a platform to spew bile. That much is not unique to Ing (hell, there have been dozens of different reactions, not just leaving.) Are we going to omit the one common denominator in all of this?

    To what proscription do you refer?

    “Blaming anybody but Ing for Ing’s putative departure is ridiculous.”

    (Proscribe²: Denounce or condemn. Saying an action “is ridiculous” sounds, IMHO, like a denunciation. The upshot is we must not look at the broader context. Would Ing have left if StevoR had been banned long before spouting the remarks that occasioned the reaction in question? (I cannot know for certain, but I certainly doubt it.)

    Accepting reality is not sucking it up.

    This much I understand. We should, however, cast our net more widely to determine what all the real causes and circumstances are behind the final reaction. Ignoring these does not give us a full understanding of the issue in question. Now that would be ignoring reality.

  449. 449
    consciousness razor

    Ing could ignore the insults. We could say that there is no real compulsion to react in a particular manner.

    Yes. Yes, indeed.

    (Isn’t that the whole point of killfile, to ignore commenters that annoy you?)

    Plenty of commenters annoy other commenters; hell, I’m pretty sure plenty of commenters annoy StevoR — and they’re targeting him specifically, not just a group of people among whom he has friends.

    Advocating for genocide shouldn’t be construed as merely “annoying,” and it isn’t something that should be ignored. So while someone may not be compelled to act on that in a particular way, they certainly are obligated to do something about it.

    The non-compelling part is the truth, but I don’t see where any exhortation to “Suck it up” comes into it.

    (Accepting reality is not sucking it up)

    It’s this confused idea that StevoR isn’t morally responsible for Ing leaving (because Ing wasn’t “compelled” to make that choice) is where I’m getting the implication that Ing is the one who has to “suck it up.” It’s apparently fair game for StevoR to be as bigoted and genocidey as he wants without being held responsible for what happens to the environment here as a result, because the rest of us are expected to be unethical (simply ignoring how “annoying” he is) or else whatever happens is our fault.

  450. 450
    consciousness razor

    It’s this confused idea that [...] which is where

    I shouldn’t have even tried that phrasing. It’s too convoluted.

  451. 451
    John Morales

    <sigh>

    I do like to argue, but not about such subjective opinions.

    I leave it at this: I think it’s giving StevoR too much credit to claim he’s responsible for Ing’s departure, and that to do so is an insult to Ing’s autonomy.

  452. 452
    Nepenthe

    Rat. Mas. *squeee*

  453. 453
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @422.Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ :

    I’m still wondering why that racist shithead is still allowed to post here.

    Maybe its because I’m not actually that?

    Ing~wise :

    Any individual can only ever control one person (if that sometimes!) – themselves.

    I am responsible for what I personally choose to do or say.

    Ing is responsible for what xe does or says. If Ing wanted to be here hirself xe would still be unless PZ banned hir. I cannot ban her nor would I even demand or request that Ing be banned.

    Ultimately its PZ Myers and Chris Clarke’s blog and Ing’s own decision as to whether xe returns and participates or not.

  454. 454
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @397. Amphiox

    “Maybe that I do know the history and what’s been tried and failed before here? Because, y’know, that would actually be the case.- StevoR

    Pretty much a straight out flat admission from StevoR that he WAS in fact lying about not just assuming that more benign methods of self-defence had already been tried and failed.

    Not at all. Its a statement that I’ve actually studied the issue and judged that these methods have in fact been tried and failed.

    ONE DOES NOT AND CAN NOT MAKE THE ARGUMENT OF “JUSTIFIED” SELF DEFENCE UNLESS ONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT MORE BENIGN ALTERNATIVES HAVE ALREADY FAILED, OR ONE ASSUMES THAT THEY HAVE FAILED.

    Since StevoR has just admitted that he did NOT know, that means that he DID assume it.

    Huh? No. I didn’t.

    What I am claiming is that in my view and my understanding, based on knowing something of the actual history here, the alternatives have been tried and failed.

    Two words for you Amphiox : Oslo accords.

    Alright another three words : Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

    Israel *has* tried to make peace, multiple times in many ways. People are *still* trying for peace between Israel and the Palestinians incl. Israelis and I hope they eventually succeed but reality is that these attempts have so far been failures.

    Now I know the history here is considered contentious by some people and we’re clearly not going to agree on this issue. We’re coming at this from very different perspectives and see things here totally differently but you are completely wrong to call me a liar because of that fundamental disagreement.

  455. 455
    Nick Gotts

    Israel *has* tried to make peace, multiple times in many ways. – StevoR

    Yes – by illegally annexing occupied land, building illegal settlements on occupied land, ethnic cleansing, illegal destruction of property on occupied land, illegal collective punishments, campaigns of state terrorism, bombing campaigns against civilians including undefended cities, electing terrorists and racists to high office…

  456. 456
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @426. Ichthyic
    19 December 2012 at 10:51 pm (UTC -6) Link to this comment
    Do I perhaps have my biases that should be examined? Sure.

    well, no better time than the present! I’m interested in StevoR’s take on what is going on with the Polio vaccination volunteers being killed in Pakistan. Questions: (numbers added for convenience – ed.)
    1. is this an inevitable result of the Islamic religion, that these aid workers should be murdered?
    2. is it a political statement?
    3. is it just terrorism?
    4. is there any reason why militant factions might be claiming that vaccination programs are a cover for something else?
    5. is there any reason for any pakistani to believe what these militant factions are saying?
    6. is the pakistani government in collusion with the people who killed these vaccination workers?
    7. are most pakistanis in collusion with the people who killed these workers?
    8. what do you think the best approach should be to resolving the situation?
    use your best abilities and knowledge to tell me what you think is going on over there, and answer the questions as best you can, and honestly.

    My answers :

    1. No, not necessarily inevitable. The culture and the political situation in Pakistan as well has a lot to do with why the aid workers were murdered although the religion has shaped and influenced that culture and the political situation as the religion. The Islamic religion certainly hasn’t helped the situation because of religious leaders making frequent extremist anti-Western and I think also anti-vaccination statements.

    2. Yes. I think so.

    3. Terrorism is also usually political and this is also true here.

    4. Yes because of the precedent of the use of a vaccination survey in tracking down Osama bin Laden although this particular vaccination to the best of my knowledge had no such background or use and was purely what it claimed to be –an attempt to eradicate polio from Pakistan and thereby benefit the local population.

    5. See above.

    6. I don’t know. The Pakistani secret service is notorious for having links with the Taliban and other terrorist groups that are extremely murky and so it is plausible but uncertain.

    7. I don’t know. Most Pakistanis is vague term. The numbers that could or would have colluded are probably very small, maybe a hundred or so in the loosest sense of colluding in terms of working with the Jihadists who killed the aid workers, sheltering and cooperating with them. Whether more Pakistanis approve of these killings or not I’m just not sure.

    8. I’m not sure of that either. Capturing or taking out the actual specific Jihadists who committed the murders because murderers should always be brought to justice combined with an education campaign in the region and working closely with the various locals to reassure and convince them seems the best combination to me.

  457. 457
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ 424. theophontes (坏蛋) 19 December 2012 at 10:40 pm (UTC -6)

    @ StevoR #382 Do you see yourself as some kind of “white knight” for the West? (Be this under the banner of left (anti-semitic StevoR) or the right (anti-islamic StevoR). You hero you!

    Um, thankyou.
    Not quite. I see myself as a Westerner supporting Western values – including feminism, human rights, gay rights, environmentalism, secularism, democracy and a whole lot of other ideals. Do you see yourself and your values that differently?

    And here you, poor misunderstood StevoR, are being judged not by those lights, but rather by how much humanity you display in your writings. No wonder you are so at odds with the ethos of Pharyngula.
    With regard to your pro-west|anti-islamic diatribes, might I suggest that you do a little homework and see how the forms of “radical Islam” that you are so quick to fob off on all of the Muslim world actually came about.

    I’ve already done plenty of homework when it comes to reading about the history of the region. Also, if I may say so, whilst understanding the origins of Islamic extremism may be interesting, (& hopefully we can learn lessons on what not to do from it) I think the more relevant question is how do we deal with the current problem posed by the Jihadists today?

    Learn your (western) history. Observe that in Iran, the democratically elected prime minister Mossaddegh was deposed by the ‘Merkins (in cahoots with the British) for placing his own people’s interests above the interests of BP (yup, the dirty oil company – originally Anglo-Iranian Oil). Your precious “West” behaved like a bunch of thugs.

    Some Westerners did, sometimes , yes, and that was wrong. The West doesn’t always live up to its own ideals and isn’t always perfect I’ll grant you. I did read & enjoy that ’Empire of the Mind ‘ book after all which I think you recommended.

    Observe in Afghanistan how the CIA worked flat out to promote and radicalise the cause of Islamic fundamentalism. The Afghanis now suffer for ‘Merkin shortsightedness and meddling.

    As well as from Soviet meddling and the USSR’s invasion during the 1980’s which teh US helped lfree teh Afghanistanis from and the Talibans brutality and the Talibans stupid decision to shelter Osama bin Laden and a whole lot more factors besides too. Yes, the USA made some in retrospect pretty bad decisions Afghanistan~wise. Hindsight’s great ain’t it? If they’d know then what the mujahideen at the time would evolve into I’m sure they’d have decided differently. The USA and CIA isn’t however the only factor responsible for making Afghanistan the hell it is today or solely to blame either.

    Observe how ‘Merkins built up the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia by placing their (and the House of Saud’s) interests above the interests of the people of that country. What was then convenient (and driven by greed) has now come back to bite them. The so called “Islamic extremist / Jihadist” is very much a product of the West that you hold so dear. The main losers in this devil’s pact have been the peoples of the Middle East, those very people you have sought to demonise.

    I don’t seek to demonise the people’s of the Middle East. Nor once again, btw, do I wish to see a genocide against them.

    The Jihadist movement and Islamic radicalising may have been partly influenced by and a reaction against the West but it is essentially derived from Islamic culture and Islamic beliefs. To scapegoat the United States plus the wider Western world and claim its all their fault is, in my view, incredibly simplistic and one-sided and wrong and ignores other more relevant factors.

  458. 458
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @453. Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    Israel *has* tried to make peace, multiple times in many ways. – StevoR

    Yes – by illegally annexing occupied land, building illegal settlements on occupied land, ethnic cleansing, illegal destruction of property on occupied land, illegal collective punishments, campaigns of state terrorism, bombing campaigns against civilians including undefended cities, electing terrorists and racists to high office…

    No, by political negotiations, by attempting to swap land for peace, by unilaterally withdrawing and handing over land to the Palestinians for self-government, by many international talks and endless diplomacy incl. offering the Palestinians about 90% of what they’d demanded only to have the Palestinians turn that down.

    Yes, some Israelis have done some terrible things some times. No nation, no person is perfect. You can come up with a long list of nasty things the Israelis have done, if I want I can come up with an equally long list of horrendous things the Palestinians have done starting with homicide-suicide terrorist attacks, hijacking international aircraft, bringing up a generation of brain-washed children raised to glorify such terrorist acts, firing rockets at innocent civilians, calling for another nation to be totally exterminated, etc .. ad nauseam.

    Have you ever tried seriously thinking about the other side of this issue, looking at how it must be tobe in the Israeli sides shoes KG?

  459. 459
    md

    SteveO,

    Good luck getting any traction on this issue. You’d think leftists would defend a country created out of a multilateral U.N. resolution, who for a long time was the only place in the world an Arab citizen had any democratic representation. Wasn’t it just a year or so ago when an elected Arab-Israeli member of the Knesset was calling for Iran to hurry up and get the bomb and restrain her country she was elected to represent. Find me the Jewish analog in the Islamic world. I suppose we can say nice things about Iran for not persecuting every last one of its Jews out of the country in ’47 like most of the Islamic world.

    There is a lot of high falutin talk around here about morality and human rights, but the abandonment of Israel by the international left is I suspect more a result of Israelis no longer accepting their meek role as victim, the buisness and technological (capitalism!) success of Israel, and the diminution of the collectivist kibbutz in Israeli life.

    Further its kind of odd, dont’ you think SteveO, that so many here take the side of the blatanly anti-immigrant Palestinians in this debate, particularly when they criticize them so in the U.S. Why is it that a milllion plus Arabs can live in Israel but if and when Palestine gets a state it must be ethnically cleansed of Jews trying to build a better life for themselves, and why would universalist human rights activists support a people with such a policy, while criticizing others with far milder anti-immigrant positions?

  460. 460
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I see the bigots haven’t left yet. Leave. You have nothing cogent to say, just your paranoia, which is illogical ravings. Because you aren’t listening, there is no reason to try to teach you to think rationally.

  461. 461
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    by attempting to swap land for peace

    Interesting.

    I’m sure a different kind of a dishonest shit would say that settlers and Native Americans also “swapped land for peace”.

  462. 462
    Nick Gotts

    You’d think leftists would defend a country created out of a multilateral U.N. resolution, who for a long time was the only place in the world an Arab citizen had any democratic representation. – md

    Well well, two barefaced lies in a single sentence!
    1) I, along with most leftists, “defend Israel” in the sense of defending its right to exist within fairly negotiated borders – I don’t even insist that it be confined to the borders defined by the U.N. resolution to which you refer – which is quite different from defending its right to illegally annex occupied land, build settlements on occupied land, undertake state terrorism, bomb undefended cities, etc.
    2) There have been Arab citizens of the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, most if not all west European countries… with democratic representation, for many years.

  463. 463
    Nick Gotts

    As for the garbage about immigration, immigrants in most countries are not insisting that people who were there before the immigrants arrived have no right to return to the homes from which they fled during a war.

  464. 464
    md

    —in the world

    Major mistake. Meant the Middle east.

  465. 465
    vaiyt

    Why is it that a milllion plus Arabs can live in Israel but if and when Palestine gets a state it must be ethnically cleansed of Jews trying to build a better life for themselves,

    What part of “trying to build a better life for themselves” includes the Israeli state building settlements in Palestinian land, then walling the Palestinians out of their own fucking territory?

  466. 466
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Rodney Nelson, you demonstrate your malice, and probable hypocrisy, as well as your evident stupidity and/or dishonesty.

    For the sake of gratuitously attacking me, you change the subject while ignoring the substantive challenges to your narrative. Let’s recall what you asserted about me in your initial attack.

    [Rodney:] But the real reason why SGBM is bringing the whole thing up is that SGBM likes to play thread cop. Caine is his target this time.

    There are multiple claims here:

    1) that I brought up some whole thing (whatever this thing is, is as yet unidentified);
    1.1) implicitly, whatever this supposed thing is, it is objectionable to bring up (else you would not be objecting);

    2) I like to play thread cop;

    3) depending upon 1 and 2 being true: as indicated by the definite article, there is no less and no more than exactly one real reason why I allegedly brought up the aforementioned, unidentified, some whole thing, and that is because 2;

    4) depending upon 1 and 2 being true: in allegedly bringing up the aforementioned, unidentified, some whole thing, I was targeting Caine.

    Clearly you cannot sufficiently argue your case on the truth of 2 alone. This was already pointed out to you by John Morales.

    [John:] Bah. ॐ may or may not like playing “thread cop”, but what he’s done here is what you yourself have done: expressed his opinion on the issue in response to another’s opinion on said issue.

    (Nor was Caine his target, you were his target, if by target you mean the person to whom he addressed his comment and who he was disputing)

    And if by target you mean something else, you cannot argue your case without showing that I performed some action which had a target; i.e. you will have to identify the as-yet-unidentified some whole thing, and demonstrate 1, in order to have any chance of arguing 4.

    The fact that I did not bring up shit was carefully explained to you already, and identified as that which you should apologize for.

    [Rodney:] But the real reason why SGBM is bringing the whole thing up is that SGBM likes to play thread cop. Caine is his target this time.

    [me:] I didn’t bring up shit. Read for comprehension and then either have the decency to apologize to me or go fuck yourself, Rodney.

    What I said to you is that Caine apologized and Crissa (at the time appeared to) accept the apology. There is nothing wrong with me saying this. I believe you are trying to start a fight with me.

    [me:] http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/15/thunderdome-12/comment-page-1/#comment-514757

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/15/thunderdome-12/comment-page-1/#comment-514784

    Check carefully whether 199 comes after 178.

    Now you selectively quote only “Read for comprehension and then either have the decency to apologize to me or go fuck yourself, Rodney”, and you pretend that I was telling you to apologize for saying that I like to play thread cop.

    [Rodney:] SGBM, you do fucking play thread cop. Just because you’re too convinced of your own rectitude to admit it isn’t my fault. If I was an asshole like you I’d tell you to fuck off and die but I’m not quite as much a shithead as you are, so you can fuck off and stay alive. If you really want an apology then I guess you’ve got a long wait. I haven’t done anything I feel needs apology. So suck it, shithead.

    You suggest my issue with you is that I won’t admit something which no one here has disputed.

    At the same time you still fail to back up the claims of yours which people have disputed.

    By the way, I said go fuck yourself. I didn’t say fuck off and die, and I think you’ll have a hard time finding me saying that regarding an offense of this degree. In being the kind of asshole who says it sometimes, I am in fine company (cf. the first result when googling "fuck+off+and+die"+site:freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula of someone here issuing the command).

    Back to the subject at hand. I will attempt to understand you charitably. The only hint you give regarding the as-yet-unidentified some whole thing you mention in #260 is that you quote me there saying “Caine wouldn’t have apologized if Crissa didn’t have a grievance.” If this is the some whole thing I am alleged to have brought up and targeted Caine with, there are two obvious problems with your claim. First, I didn’t bring it up. As John noted, I was responding directly to your own dissection of whether either of them had grievances.

    Second, you selectively quoted me, overlooking my attempt to defuse tensions — to reduce the likelihood of a spiraling rehash of recriminations — by my noting that Caine had satisfactorily addressed Crissa’s grievance: ‘Caine apologized, Crissa accepted this. If Caine wants to talk about Crissa calling her “he”, Caine will.’

    It would be ridiculous for you to claim that I was “targeting” Caine by pointing out that Caine had already satisfactorily addressed the matter. And if discussing who has a grievance qualifies as “playing thread cop”, then you are a hypocrite when attacking me for joining you in the discussion. So, was that quote from your #260 the as-yet-unidentified some whole thing I am alleged to have brought up? Or can you identify something else?

    The reason I responded to your own dissection of whether either of them had grievances was that I don’t want to see unanswered the implication that someone who’s trans cannot have a legitimate grievance about language which, intentionally or not, does not acknowledge someone’s identified gender. Again, I considered Caine’s apology satisfactory and a sincere expression of regret at the realization that she may have unintentionally hurt someone.

    Because I am justified in seeking fairness, I object to these vague and unsubstantiated claims about my intentions. I’ll open up the opportunity for criticism more broadly to you and everyone else: if you can quote me here doing something wrong to or about Caine, please do so. Please note my #280; if I have otherwise wronged her here then I shall not want to let it pass without acknowledging and probably apologizing for it.

    Rodney, so you won’t again imagine you can get away with cherry picking, I will reiterate what I already pointed out to you: what you should apologize to me for is your claim that I brought up something which I in fact did not bring up, and your claim that I targeted Caine. In addition you should apologize to me for claiming that I was playing thread cop and for your using that claim as an occasion to attack me. I like playing Tetris, but you are not justified in claiming that I’m playing Tetris whenever I’m using a keyboard. This is not a moral outrage like advocating genocide, which arguably must not be allowed to rest — attacking me out of the blue, for an annoyance that I’m not doing at the time, is simply gratuitous and demonstrates your malice.

  467. 467
    Inaji

    SG:

    if I have otherwise wronged her here then I shall not want to let it pass without acknowledging and probably apologizing for it.

    You have not and we’re good.

  468. 468
    Inaji

    Dhorvath:

    Rats came to my house. Does that make it ratmas or are there other rituals to observe?

    I’d say that’s up to you. :D

    Nepenthe:

    Rat. Mas. *squeee*

    It’s proving to be a most popular holiday here. :D

  469. 469
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Caine, I am relieved to hear it.

  470. 470
    Nick Gotts

    Major mistake. Meant the Middle east. – md

    A very telling one. Those Arabs – they belong in the Middle East and nowhere else, eh? Besides which, Lebanon, despite the years of civil war and foreign intervention. is a clear counterexample to your claim.

  471. 471
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Rodney, stop playing a thread cop!

  472. 472
    Amphiox

    Israel has actually not ever negotiated peace in good faith with the Palestinians. Negotiating in good faith means halting the creation of new settlements on Palestinian land without Palestinian permission. They have never done that.

    To this day the PLO, under Abbas, has been pursuing a policy of attempting to negotiate peace with Israel. The current Israeli administration’s response has been to ignore and marginalize them, while simultaneously pursuing policies that legitimize the PLOs main rival for power, Hamas.

    It’s almost as if the current Israeli administration WANTS the primary power among the Palestinians to be a terrorist organization hostile to them, so that they will have an excuse to continue being belligerent.

  473. 473
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    md:

    an elected Arab-Israeli member of the Knesset was calling for Iran to hurry up and get the bomb and restrain her country she was elected to represent

    (She’s not an ambassador, she was elected to represent the people who voted for her.)

    And she might well have a point: The Upside of a Nuclear-Armed Iran

  474. 474
    Ichthyic

    I’m gonna have fun with this later, but right now have to go and have my teeth ground with a dentist drill…

    Steve’s responses, starting in the very first sentence:

    The culture and the political situation in Pakistan as well has a lot to do with why the aid workers were murdered although the religion has shaped and influenced that culture and the political situation as the religion.

    bias fail, big time.

    oops.

  475. 475
    Ichthyic

    for correction to bias on first point, see:

    Pashtun

    that’s as good a place to start as any (note that this has fuckall to do with Islam).

    I’ll hold off the rest until later.

  476. 476
    vaiyt

    You’d think leftists would defend a country created out of a multilateral U.N. resolution, who for a long time was the only place in the world an Arab citizen had any democratic representation.

    You’d think?

    Hint: “defend” isn’t the same as “support its political decisions unconditionally”.

    Another hint: one can support Israel’s continued existence AND be against the murderous, dishonest policies of the Israeli state.

    Yet another hint: Being a democracy for your own doesn’t excuse being belligerent and oppressive outside your borders. That lame excuse doesn’t work with the US and doesn’t work with Israel either.

  477. 477
    Amphiox

    Yet another hint: Being a democracy for your own doesn’t excuse being belligerent and oppressive outside your borders. That lame excuse doesn’t work with the US and doesn’t work with Israel either.

    Nor did it work for Classical Athens, or Republican Rome.

  478. 478
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    I do like to argue, but not about such subjective opinions.

    What is especially interesting about this is that it is a social question with, as you have well remarked, a logical dimension to it too. A quintessentially appropriate question for here, that spans the divide between objective|subjective. But fair enough, we can leave it there.

    that to do so is an insult to Ing’s autonomy.

    Not at all, Ing’s response may equally be construed as autonomous, rational and consequent. The “drol in die drinkwater” was not of Ing’s doing.

  479. 479
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ vaiyt and Amphiox

    Being a democracy for your own doesn’t excuse being belligerent and oppressive outside your borders.

    Nor did it work for Classical Athens


    Thucydides
    has Pericles say:

    For what you hold [Athenian Empire] is, to speak somewhat plainly, a tyranny; to take it perhaps was wrong, but to let it go is unsafe.

    Oh for such honesty in these times.

  480. 480
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I had to get out of the house so I ventured to Books A Million. I picked up the DVD Into the Universe, by Stephen Hawking. So far, it is quite interesting. I just learned about panspermia for the first time. Totes cool!

  481. 481
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Sheesh. Wrong thread.

  482. 482
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ StevoR #455

    Westerner supporting Western values

    Am I (African living in China) chopped liver?

    feminism, human rights, gay rights, environmentalism, secularism, democracy and a whole lot of other ideals. Do you see yourself and your values that differently?

    Yes. As opposed to your beloved America, my country expresses itself through its African Humanist values as inscribed in our constitution. All these human rights are enshrined and further, importantly, enforced by law. Contrast this with ‘Merkin oppression of basic human rights within her own borders.

    I think where you are going wrong is conflating your idealised version of humanism with western values. You’re pinning that tail on the wrong donkey, damnit!

    I think the more relevant question is how do we deal with the current problem posed by the Jihadists today?

    Or gun deaths? Or why one is 8 times (in USA at least) more likely to get killed by a cop than by terrorist action (Jihaddist or not)? Why are we not getting through to you?

    The West doesn’t always live up to its own ideals

    That is putting it mildly. Why blame a tiny minority amongst the victims of ‘Merkin meddling for all the worlds problems? Surely you see how grotesquely unfair and disproportionate your views are?

    Hindsight’s great ain’t it?

    And they continue with their reactionary bullshit to this day! Don’t get me started on the sordid details of broken thinking, of exceptionalism and the othering of half the planet.

    To scapegoat the United States

    The US is guilty of all these things. That is not scapegoating for Jeeebus sake. Perhaps a little contrition and basic humanity will go a long way to ameliorating past fuck ups.

  483. 483
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Tony

    Sheesh. Wrong thread.

    This is the Thread of Threads. It is always The Right Thread® .

  484. 484
    Inaji

    Theophontes:

    Don’t get me started on the sordid details of broken thinking, of exceptionalism and the othering of half the planet.

    StevoR is highly invested in The No True Human fallacy.

  485. 485
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Caine

    Why am I still arguing with that person?

    / rhetorical

    OK, now I really have seen everything: Uganda’s own Ray “Way of The Master” Comfort: Banana therefore GAWD Teh Ghey!!!1!

    Link to animated GIF.

    .

    Reverend Martin Ssempa warned that gay men and lesbians “have more chance of experiencing death from HIV.”

    The Raw Story.

  486. 486
    MissEla

    OK, trying to post one last time before bed. Did the new theme switch turn on auto-mod or something? Or did I turn something off by accident? Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!

  487. 487
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @472. Ichthyic : How? Really how? Where exactly in the supposed bias in what I said then?

    @458. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls :

    I see the bigots haven’t left yet. Leave. You have nothing cogent to say, just your paranoia, which is illogical ravings. Because you aren’t listening, there is no reason to try to teach you to think rationally.

    Seems you need to check your vision because I for one am no bigot and I’m certainly reading – my computer doesn’t speak you see!

    @482. Caine, Fleur du mal :

    StevoR is highly invested in The No True Human fallacy.

    Eh? No, I’m not. I freely recognise that all humans are well human and messed up to varying degrees, me included. Not sure what you’re referring to there at all.

  488. 488
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ 484

    472
    458
    chopped liver
    482

  489. 489
    John Morales

    Oh hey, StevoR. Care to respond to my #410?

  490. 490
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    Heh, John, you are also chopped liver! (At least I feel less alone :)

    Mayan prophecies: Life after the (non) end of the world

    Link:BBC

  491. 491
    John Morales

    Rebutted.

  492. 492
    John Morales

    I see StevoR is quiet.

    Hey, StevoR, what do you say about Operation Cyclone?

  493. 493
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    South African version of chopped liver:
    Skilpadjies

    Is there such a dish in Australia? There was a similar dish in Roman times. Also YHWH used to have a foodgasm for the stuff.

    Exodus 29:13

    … the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.

    It is to die for!

  494. 494
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Oh wait, stop cooking, that is the Devil’s food! It is the opposite of YHWH’s favourite.

    Romans/Zef (hecatomb/braai chefs): Caul fat from around the kidneys wrapped around liver.
    YHWH (Supreme sky-daddy of the uniBerse!): Caul fat from liver and kidneys.

    OMFG! I am going to hell for muddling my menu…

  495. 495
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Seems you need to check your vision because I for one am no bigot

    Still lying to yourself. Then lying to us bigot.

  496. 496
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Seems you need to check your vision because I for one am no bigot

    Prove to us you aren’t a bigot by going away for a year. No posts here whatsoever. Then I will stop calling the obvious bigot a bigot.

  497. 497
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ StevoR

    Reading Pfffffft to much work? Here is a video instead:

    CIA and ISI nurtured Mujahideen and Taliban

  498. 498
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Thunderdome Quizz in form of monkey-puzzle. (1st Prize: Banana):
    .
    .
    .

    1. Select the correct term from the list to finish the following sentence:

    “As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.”

    We now practically read it, “All men are created equal, except Negroes.”

    When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, “All men are created equal except Negroes, and foreigners, and ………

    A. Jihadists
    B. Mujahideen
    C. Palestinians
    D. Jews
    E. Catholics

    2. Who does the above quote belong to?

    A. George W. Bush
    B. Barack Obama
    C. Abraham Lincoln
    D. Rachel Maddow
    E. Rebbeca Watson
    F. Rodger Rabbit

  499. 499
    dianne

    Re all the “arm the teachers” laws being proposed here and there throughout the US: I have an idea for a response that should sink them all without a trace:

    1. Add the following amendment: If teachers must be armed then teaching should be considered a hazardous position and $50K added to their current salary to compensate for the danger.
    2. In order to avoid incurring debt due to the increase in teachers’ salaries, taxes on people making $250K+ will be increased as much as needed to meet the increased need.
    3. Additional funds will be needed for training teachers in marksmanship and professional development. These funds will be added to the tax bills of those making $250K+.
    4. If there are no people making $250K+ in a given district the federal government will supplement their income as needed, with the funds again coming from those making $250K+ nationally.
    5. Profit!

    Watch the bills disappear like magic.

  500. 500
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    OK, can the NRA be laughed out of politics now?

Comments have been disabled.