File this under “People Are Jerks” »« Is innumeracy a prerequisite to being an MRA?

In defense of the commentariat

There’s a bit of an argument going on at Ed’s blog, and as usual, one of the things coming up is the familiar complaint about the viciousness of the Pharyngula comments section. I’ve heard this many times before.

I tend to bristle at the idea of judging a blog by its comment section. As Jamie Kilstein said a few months ago, the comment section at PZ’s blog is the 7th circle of hell.

Yes, exactly. And I approve. I am quite fond of most of the commentariat here, even when they’re turning their teeth on me — it is exactly what I want, a fierce legion of harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics who can unreservedly shred fools and assholes and who are unrestrained in their expression. I’m not going to back away from my comments section at all; you are the people I want here, and I affectionately regard you all as my local meatgrinder.

Please don’t change. And when necessary, unleash hell.

Comments

  1. Dick the Damned says

    Yeah, fuck all the priests, rabbis, imams, & the rest of the parasitic peddlers of superstition & woo, but most of all, fuck the theologians.

    There, that feels better.

  2. consciousness razor says

    Yep, the 7th circle is about right. I came here for the blasphemers, but stayed for the sodomites.

  3. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’ve had to restrain my nit-pickiness about language to comment productively on this blog. I don’t really think that it’s a tone-argument per se, but I do get persnickety about using universals when we mean to say things like, “the overwhelming majority” and so on. I’m for accuracy in communication. But there’s a place for strong rhetoric and such is best written when really feeling it – which tends to make most folks less likely to be persnickety about precision.

    After I accepted that everyone else is inferior in writing rhetoric with perfect precision, I haven’t had to censor anything I say or would like to say at all.

    I even, at large but finite intervals, feel free to employ superficially supercilious, self-deprecating sarcasm.

  4. Stacy says

    Perfect timing! I just wrote this on the Secular Woman FB page, in response to someone who commented that she was afraid to comment on “FTB” because she “knew” that any disagreement would get her flamed:

    S__, it depends on which blog you comment on.

    The ethic on Pharyngula is, you don’t take it personally. You focus on substance and not the meanness. I’ve learned a lot reading and commenting there, but you have to develop a tough skin if you want to comment. Also, you have to have substance of your own, and be ready and willing to defend your argument.

    They’re tough on one another, too. It’s not a cult. And I know they’ll never give sexism or racism or homophobia a pass there, which is nice because those things are ubiquitous elsewhere. But when I’m feeling fragile I don’t comment there! Some other blogs on FtB are kinder and gentler.

    And yes I have learned a lot from the commentariat here. Among other things, I’ve honed my argument skills, and learned that I won’t fall apart if someone is “mean” to me.

    I’ve also learned that some of the funniest people in the world comment here. And I’ve stolen some of their best lines. So sue me.

    Oh, also, I’ve learned some facts and stuff. That was nice, too.

  5. starskeptic says

    “a fierce legion of harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics who can unreservedly shred fools and assholes and who are unrestrained in their expression”

    I know that one – that high-school’s outside Chicago, isn’t it?

  6. ChasCPeterson says

    Of course it ain’t no ‘cult’.

    On the other hand, Brayton’s got another point there, about U.v.T. tribalism. It happens.
    The commentariat here is what it’s become, and I wouldn’t keep reading if it wasn’t still the best place I know on teh internets. But there’s a lot of bulshit that goes down too; there’s no call for (more) self-congratulation around here.
    imo. But I’m a bitter old man.
    carry on, yout’.

  7. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I’ve had to restrain my nit-pickiness about language to comment productively on this blog. I don’t really think that it’s a tone-argument per se, but I do get persnickety about using universals when we mean to say things like, “the overwhelming majority” and so on.

    Having had my experiences erased by the straightforward reading of such universal statements somewhat regularly, I personally would strongly endorse greater efforts to support precision.

  8. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    And I know they’ll never give sexism or racism or homophobia a pass there, which is nice because those things are ubiquitous elsewhere.

    *cough* Let’s not go that far

  9. says

    Yeah, but Chas…have you yet realized that as one of the rude, critical, obstreperous regulars of the commentariat, you fit right into the description I gave above?

  10. poose says

    “a fierce legion of harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics who can unreservedly shred fools and assholes and who are unrestrained in their expression”

    I have to agree, commenting here is an experience in the strongest sense of the word. Be on message and succinct-or be meat. I never thought watching someone get disemboweled (or disemvoweled) could be so much fun!

  11. Stacy says

    there’s no call for (more) self-congratulation around here

    Point taken, but on the other hand, people are so quick to dismiss the Horde without realizing its good points. In meatspace, I’m always defending this place to otherwise intelligent people who just don’t get it.

    There’s nowhere like Pharyngula. In a good but admittedly not perfect way.

  12. bastionofsass says

    PZ Wrote:

    a fierce legion of harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics who can unreservedly shred fools and sassholes and who are unrestrained in their expression

    WTF, you big poopyhead!? How dare you! Cites with links or it never happened. *harumph*

  13. says

    I honestly can’t say that I’ve seen anyone come here and make an argument with some kind of evidence behind it who got seriously flamed or ripped into by the regulars. It’s just that a people tend to start out with argument from opinion or argument from everyone knows, and then they rightfully get jumped on for it, that’s all. I was actually very glad to find such a place. I’ve been called out for citations a few times, and on at least one occasion I hadn’t got any. I then acknowledged that I couldn’t find a source for it, and it might well be wrong, and stopped defending it. Like magic, no one else jumped on me There are a few people who hang out here who are prone to unprovoked assholishness, but they’re usually called out for it by one r a few regulars when they do it

  14. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    the comment section at PZ’s blog is the 7th circle of hell.

    I would rather enjoy the company of honest assholes in hell than put up with one iota of pious bigotry or bullshit.

  15. Lofty says

    Yeah people who whinge about this place can’t seem to grasp the idea of needing solid evidence to support their cherished arguments. They’ve never met actual science, before. This place is to myths what a Tesla coil is to moths. I love it.

  16. CHARLES says

    I am ashamed of you all; Piranha? Sharks?

    Surely PZ’s “rabid hordes” are Humbolt Squid!

  17. dobber says

    Maybe it’s me, but I love people who attack arseholes. They are definitely my kind of people. YOU are definitely my kind of people. Keep up the fabulous work. *relurking

  18. Anthony K says

    and I wouldn’t keep reading if it wasn’t still the best place I know on teh internets.

    Somehow, that means so much more because it comes from Chas.

  19. Crudely Wrott says

    The Horde is never wrong.
    Except when a part of it is and then the self-correcting function steps in.
    Much like science or certain kinds of silicone. Cut it and it heals.

    There are some arguments here that I chose not to join because I’ve no horse in the race but I follow as time allows because there is something elegant happening when opposing forces muster and meet and melt and flow and in the end there is something resembling resolution, like survival. Like life.

    Few things in life happen in discrete measures. Unlike ball games there are no quarters or halves in the game of life, which is a continuum, uninterrupted for eons. Instead there are large and smaller arguments that fit together in sometimes counter intuitive fashion that, while not always leading to solution, usually shows a way to progress closer to some compromise or to some overwhelming victory. It’s really hard to tell until the smoke clears.

    The commentariat across the whole of FTBs is the most informative and entertaining that one could hope to find. Their earnestness and earthiness is endearing as well as constructive. I think that the collective mind that they comprise is on par with Eddie, the shipboard computer that managed The Heart of Gold. With a little practice and the passage of time they might approach the power of Deep Thought. Even though such an evolution fills my heart with dread I realize that I am just a puny human and as such function as a mere neuron in a greater mind that is gaining awareness at a pace that takes one’s breath away. Still, something within me says that someday something wonderful is going to happen and this group, this Horde, will be able to proudly proclaim a critical role in making a fundamentally better world. (If any of us are still alive, which I doubt but we got kids, eh?)

    Though I’m just a tiny cell in a fantastically complex network there is a nebulous realization within me that says the world is actually changing and that this group, this commentariat, this mind, is part of the driving force. I am simultaneously humbled, excited and proud to occupy my humble station within it.

    Today the blogosphere, tomorrow the world and someday, later on, of course, the Universe!

    Rejoice! and stay the course, my friends. The best is yet to come!

    (and so shall it always be, like Achilles running towards the wall, which is not disheartening, oh, no, but encouraging; things can always get better) ;^>

    Love,
    CW

  20. StevoR, fallible human being says

    Sometimes some of the commenters and some of the comments here at ‘Pharyngula’ are witty, intelligent, informative and generally great.

    Other times, other comments, ironically* sometimes even from the same people are just appalling personal abuse and nastiness.

    Its the proverbial Curates Egg – good in parts and bad in others.

    BTW. The Tentacled Overlord, himself seems to have noticed this thread as noted here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/12/27/it-appears-ive-started-an-atheist-cult/#comment-206980

    As I’m sure y’know already PZ; I love your blog but cannot stand some of those who comment there and yes I know that feeling’s mutual.

    ++++++++

    * If that’s the correct use of irony?

  21. StevoR, fallible human being says

    Durnit that’s also noted on Ed Brayton’s thread there – the ‘It Appears I’ve Started An ‘Atheist Cult’ one.

  22. glodson says

    I think it is quite nice around here. I don’t regularly comment, but I often lurk. And I can’t think of a time when a person was ripped for presenting a reasoned argument backed by evidence by a regular. That, of course, doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, just that it isn’t the norm. Hell, even as a non-regular poster, I have welcomed.

    Maybe I am just fucking weird.

  23. says

    StevoR:

    Other times, other comments, ironically* sometimes even from the same people are just appalling personal abuse and nastiness.

    So says the piece of shit who advocates genocide and says the worst of all possible things about people based on things they can’t help at all. You are a horrible excuse for a human being and here you are again, whinging about how you’re treated. You’ve been treated much more fairly and better by the horde than you deserve, StevoR. If you have a shred of decency, you’ll simply leave.

  24. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @ Ing:Intellectual Terrorist “Starting Tonight, People will Whine” :

    Off topic but FYI. I have apologised on a recent thunderdome thread for calling your friends Jihadists. I was wrong to do that and I’ll admit that and that I’ve gone too far in some of my comments here before.

    We’ve had a massive misunderstanding there and i think Ive been badly misjudged but that’s another topic for another thread and, well .. fuck it.

    You have my apology for that much anyhow.

  25. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @Caine, Fleur du mal : No I do not advocate genocide.

    Nor am I a piece of excrement.

    Nor am I leaving. I like this blog and have as much right to comment here as you do.

    We disagree, fine. You don’t have to abuse me and call me all sorts of false things because of that.

    I’m not the sort of person you think or have claimed I am but someone much better than that. Seeing as I’m me, I’d know, you wouldn’t.

    I’m not asking you or anyone else to leave because of me. Its a big enough planet and blog for everyone to participate and who knows, if you listen closely and read what’s actually written you may be surprised to find your straw is actually something very different and far preferable indeed.

  26. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Anyone have that link to the thunderdome thread where someone patiently compiled page after page of stevoR’s bigoted islamaphobic paranoia?

  27. consciousness razor says

    No I do not advocate genocide.

    You don’t now, or you never did?

    Denying it ever happened means you probably haven’t changed your position.

    So I would go for the first, if you want to have any chance of anyone who’s read your nonsense believing you. I wouldn’t blame them if they still didn’t, but if you pick the latter, your credibility can only get worse. Do you understand that? Worse. Not better, just because you say so. Worse.

    I’m not the sort of person you think or have claimed I am but someone much better than that. Seeing as I’m me, I’d know, you wouldn’t.

    Seeing as you’re a bigoted liar, I don’t think it would be prudent to take your word for it when you tell us how great you are.

    How about this? From here on, fucking prove it with your fucking comments that you’re not a bigoted fucking liar.

  28. Emptyell says

    Long time lurker. Occasional poster (maybe more often now that my sign in is working again). It is often said that the best defense is a good offense and there is plenty of exceptionally good offensiveness here. But it’s the sharp minds that keep me coming back.

  29. says

    CR:

    How about this? From here on, fucking prove it with your fucking comments that you’re not a bigoted fucking liar.

    StevoR made a big ol’ deal about how he was willing to be put on auto-moderation. Here’s a thought: put yourself on auto-mod, Stevo. Show us all you are capable of shutting the fuck up.

  30. Beatrice says

    Is this going to turn into another thread about StevoR? Oh.My.God I am so excited!!!!elventy!1one!!!

    Anyway… My teeth are still a bit weak, but I do love the shark tank here.

  31. Rodney Nelson says

    I like Pharyngula. One has to have a thick skin to comment here. One must be able to provide evidence to support one’s arguments. One must be willing to tell the self-appointed Thread Police to fuck off whenever they get too full of themselves. But all in all it’s an interesting place to hang out.

    The only place I don’t venture into is the Lounge. Each time I’ve read the comments there I feel I’m eavesdropping into an ongoing conversation between old friends, full of in-jokes and references nobody could recognize without greater intimacy than the casual visitor can have.

  32. rq says

    So…. Are we* Humoboldt Squid, or do I have to return the shark costume, or what? Dammit, I was so looking forward to wearing those teeth.

    *Yes, I put myself in with the rest of you lot. Swarm! Swarm!!

  33. arrenfrank says

    @ rq

    Keep the costume — there must be room around here for some Dr. Moreau chimerization. (Sharktopus?)

    …..No? I’ll get my coat.

  34. rq says

    arrenfrank
    We’ve already got lunganhas and goatriches in the Lounge. What more do you need? What more?

  35. says

    Honestly, I don’t get it. Why do people think you have to have a thick skin to comment here? Why is there this reputation of being “the 9th circle of hell” and so on? From my experience, you’re good as long as you’re a decent human being, willing to back down when you say something sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist, and, if you’re asserting something as fact, be prepared with the evidence to back yourself up. Oh, and don’t complain or exhibit concern about tone over substance. Yes, sometimes people attack with unwarranted rapidity or fierceness, but those incidents usually get sorted out pretty quickly.

    I don’t find it hellish or sharky here. I find it safe and friendly. In my opinion, the commentariat here is less hostile than that elsewhere (like, say The Friendly Atheist, where you’re bound to run into sexist douchebags in many threads there and Hemant does nothing about it). In short, I’d rather have the hostility of the crowd keeping away the assholes, than have a bunch of hostile assholes hanging around ready to ambush me with their sexist crap.

  36. chasstewart says

    Dick the Damned said “Oh yeah, & fuck all the religious apologists & accommodationists too.”

    Yeah, and fuck rape culture! Fuck it into the ground!

  37. thisisaturingtest says

    Well, PZ, “from hell’s heart I stab at thee!”-if it’ll make you feel better.

  38. ~G~ says

    Ibis3, Blighter and Trampler since 1971:

    I’d rather have the hostility of the crowd keeping away the assholes, than have a bunch of hostile assholes hanging around ready to ambush me with their sexist crap.

    Exactly how I feel, and why I don’t post many other places or enjoy many other comment threads outside of FTB. If I wanted to be outnumbered by idiots and assholes I’d go to almost any other place on the internet.

    It took me a long time to feel confident I understood the culture here, but learned that context and nuance is extremely important as it should be in any intelligent conversation. If one reads without actually thinking more deeply about the actual meaning of the words and sometimes knowing history of the topic, it may seem like people are too harsh.

    As a long time participant in the past in various fora, I understand that you learn to spot the assholes, idiots and trouble makers a mile away because their methods are highly predictable. It’s best to shut those people down asap, often harshly. People who have never stayed in one forum or debated about a particular narrow topic for years on end might not understand that.

    And PZ has stinky feet!

  39. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    I don’t get the “you have to be thick-skinned” to be here thing. You really don’t. You have to be willing to back up assertions with evidence, but this place, while rude, is not mean.

    I mean, shit. If we were mean, would we not long ago have raised 2 grand (and yes, that IS how much we raised! Go Horde!) to help out JAL?

  40. Matt Penfold says

    I mean, shit. If we were mean, would we not long ago have raised 2 grand (and yes, that IS how much we raised! Go Horde!) to help out JAL?

    That is really quite impressive. And I know JAL is not the only person who has been helped.

    Wonder how much the ‘pit has raised, and how many people have been helped.

  41. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    FREE SPEECHES….er…FREEZE PEACHES…eh, fuck it.

    Oh, I brought the peach cobbler and ice cream.

  42. scott says

    There’s a lot of this pattern going on:

    Idiot: (Athiests|Liberals|Feminists) are bad! Because of reasons!
    Commentariat: Come again?
    Idiot: They’re jerks. Mean ones. Bullies, too.
    Commentariat: RAWR
    Idiot: See? Look at what happened to me when all I did was disagree with the hivemind!

  43. says

    I mean, shit. If we were mean, would we not long ago have raised 2 grand (and yes, that IS how much we raised! Go Horde!) to help out JAL?

    Not to mention almost $1000 to help my family stay afloat over the summer when my wife lost her job and had to move out of state to find work. The Horde helped pay for licences, and gas money for travel, food for me and my wife and my pets over the space of a month or so. And then when my car broke down in Oklahoma, Pteryxx offered to drive up and ferry me around town for a day or two while I figured out what I was going to do.

  44. says

    I don’t comment here much these days. Well, not nearly as much as I did before, anyway. Still, I read the comments regularly and all I can say is: you people ROCK!!! This place really is awesome, and anyone claiming that the commentariat here is mean, or -perhaps even more ridiulously-a hivemind clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There are very few places on the internet I know of, where so many smart, caring, passionate and wonderful people are gathered in one place. Damn it, I’ve grown to like y’all.

  45. rodriguez says

    What’s full context of Jamie Kilstein’s comment above? Did he say that in one of his shows, that somebody knows of? I’m curious to know what he’s specifically reffering to, or if he was making a general statement. If someone knows what episode he said it on, or if someone remembers him saying it on twitter, that would be great information to add to this discussion.

  46. Rodney Nelson says

    rorschach #46

    You are under a misapprehension.

    I looked at that list quite carefully and failed to see Strange Gods Before Me’s name anywhere.

  47. Tony the Queer Shoop (owner of the pink cotton ball of death) says

    I am with Beatrice. Can we please have another thread where the Resident Racist makes it all about him?
    I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it. /eyeroll

  48. ChasCPeterson says

    and how about you, Tony? It’s been more than 8 hours since StevoR posted anything on this thread. You’re stirring pointless shit.

  49. carlie says

    The only place I don’t venture into is the Lounge. Each time I’ve read the comments there I feel I’m eavesdropping into an ongoing conversation between old friends, full of in-jokes and references nobody could recognize without greater intimacy than the casual visitor can have.

    Come on in! We do have a tendency towards the in-jokes, but there’s a wiki somewhere that explains a lot of them, and we’re always happy to explain. I can’t speak for others, but all those who have just jumped in have been assimilated er, welcomed nicely.

  50. cyberCMDR says

    As someone who has stuck their finger in the Pharyngula buzzsaw a couple of times, I can say that I didn’t enjoy it when it happened. But it had the desired effect; I thought about what I had said and realized I had spoken foolishly.

    I forget where I heard it (something on TV), but someone had declared that “beautiful people” often seem to be reality impaired. The reasoning was that those around them don’t criticize when they say something stupid, for fear of being rejected by the handsome/beautiful/rich/famous/etc. person. As a consequence, these beautiful people sometimes fail to learn where the boundaries of common sense are.

    This is what Pharyngula brings to the table. No matter who you are, if you say something stupid you will be called on it. Pharyngula puts up clear, bright lines where reasoning goes awry, and explains to those willing to listen when their reasoning was faulty. It may be a matter of assumed privilege, or a theological assertion made without evidence, but those assumptions and biases will be pointed out. We poke holes in the arguments of the holy, and specialize in deflating egos when medically necessary.

    This is the intellectual equivalent of Marine Corps boot camp. It will get your mind in shape, and force you to recognize your limits and flaws. Few people want to find those limits and flaws; it’s a painful realization and they’d rather pretend that they don’t exist. But everyone has them, and only by understanding those limits can you stretch them.

    So, here’s to the Horde! You’ve been my drill instructor when needed, and friend as well. Keep Occam’s Razor sharp, and keep training the new recruits.

  51. Sastra says

    Please don’t change. And when necessary, unleash hell.

    And when not necessary, unleash heck.

    Heck, we could all use more of that.

  52. cicely (The Lessor of Two Weevils) says

    *growl! snarl! gnash!*

    We’ve already got lunganhas and goatriches in the Lounge. What more do you need? What more?

    As long as we’re dicin’ and splicin’ the lungfish and piranha DNAs, I see no reason not to go whole hawg and splice in some electic eel, as well. Feedback?

    IMPEACH FREEZES!
    -

  53. morgan says

    Well hell… I just flat out love this place. In all of my 63 years of silent snarkiness (being ladylike, ya know) I’ve never felt more comfortable than here. I don’t comment much – other folks are quicker, smarter and funnier than me and I let them make the points. But I read the comments here religiously and it sustains me. Carry on.

  54. cicely (The Lessor of Two Weevils) says

    *sigh*
    Spelling FAIL.
     
    That should be electric eel. Though eclectic eel is another, more amusing, possibility.
    -

  55. says

    Morgan:

    Well hell… I just flat out love this place. In all of my 63 years of silent snarkiness (being ladylike, ya know) I’ve never felt more comfortable than here. I don’t comment much – other folks are quicker, smarter and funnier than me and I let them make the points.

    There is always room for more snark. The more, the better. Besides, the same point is made by lots of different people in a single thread – there’s no telling which voice may get to someone though, which voice will be listened to, so all of them are important. That includes yours. Post moar.

    By the way, I was raised to be a lady too. Fuck being ladylike. :D

  56. johnfraser1 says

    i tried to participate in the blog comments a few days ago and in response was attacked and insulted by your “harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics” who also made incorrect assumptions about the motive/reasons behind my opinion.

    i expect rational argument here since it is a blog where i thought rationality reigned. ad hominem attacks, insults and the like are a diversion and get in the way of the real discussion.

    those kinds of remarks are in fact bullying.

    when a person makes an ad hominem attack against me, i assume they think their facts and rational argument are too weak or somehow not good enough to successfully support their point of view. thus their attack is a sign of weakness.

    PZ i think you could do better by showing your team of ferocious critics how to argue rationally and respectfully.

  57. says

    johnfraser1:

    i tried to participate in the blog comments a few days ago and in response was attacked and insulted by your “harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics” who also made incorrect assumptions about the motive/reasons behind my opinion.

    You were insulted, yes. There was good reason for that, too. You were not, however, attacked. Unless you’d like to tell us about the Pharyngulites who showed up at your door, of course.

    i expect rational argument here since it is a blog where i thought rationality reigned. ad hominem attacks, insults and the like are a diversion and get in the way of the real discussion.

    You expect rational argument? Here’s a protip: if that’s what you’re seeking, it helps to have a valid argument yourself. Let’s take a look at your incredibly rational argument, for which you claim to have been attacked over:

    johnfraser1
    [hush]​[hide comment]

    27 December 2012 at 2:28 pm (UTC -6) Link to this comment

    women decide whether they want to become pregnant and use sperm to do it. they are 100% responsible for their decision and the support of their children.

    those kinds of remarks are in fact bullying.

    when a person makes an ad hominem attack against me, i assume they think their facts and rational argument are too weak or somehow not good enough to successfully support their point of view. thus their attack is a sign of weakness.

    As already explained to you, there were no ad hominems. Go and educate yourself as to what that fallacy actually is – it’s not a synonym for insult. Bullying, eh? No, not bullying. I’ll use myself as an example. Here’s my response to your incredibly insightful, rational argument:

    Yes, they only use free range sperm floating about in the wild, I mean that stuff is never, ever attached to man in any way whatsoever. Nope.

    You know, all that is fine and dandy, johnfraser1, so let’s never hear about how men get shafted when it comes to decisions to terminate, how men get shafted in custody decisions, how men get shafted over child support, or how men want a child, okay?

    Once more, for the ultra-dim: take responsibility for your own reproductive ability. Carry or keep your own condoms, with absolutely no access by anyone other than yourself. Do not keep one “handy” in your wallet unless you wish to be a daddy. If you really, really don’t want sprogs, get yourself fixed and make sure you do the proper follow up. Not sure about that kid thing? Get fixed and store your precious, precious sperm.

    All in all, that was a mild response to your idiocy.

    PZ i think you could do better by showing your team of ferocious critics how to argue rationally and respectfully.

    We know how to argue rationally. You don’t get accorded automagic respect here, that needs to be earned. Posts such as yours are not an argument, and not rational. No respect. By the way, you don’t get to moan and whinge about having your *opinion* criticised and then stomp your feet over the lack of *argument* you get back. Want an argument? Offer one in the first place.

  58. Arren, idée fixe oblique says

    @ johnfraser1

    1. You still don’t know what constitutes an ad hominem. Educate thyself. Until you do, leave the borrowed Latin phrases the fuck alone.

    2. Equating real bullying with the relatively mild reprobation to which you were subjected by the horde is in fact asinine and disrespectful of what people who’re bullied experience. You could do better by not being such a whiny, self-involved jackass.

  59. John Morales says

    johnfraser1:

    when a person makes an ad hominem attack against me, i assume they think their facts and rational argument are too weak or somehow not good enough to successfully support their point of view.

    See, that’s where you’re going wrong.

    (Bad assumption!)

    … who also made incorrect assumptions about the motive/reasons behind my opinion.

    Heh.

  60. Rodney Nelson says

    who also made incorrect assumptions about the motive/reasons behind my opinion.

    When your opinion is based on a faulty premise, it really doesn’t matter what your motive or reasons are. GIGO.

  61. chigau (違う) says

    I can understand johnfraser1 being ‘surprised’ by the responses but how could xe be ‘disappointed’ since xe has never read any comment thread here?

  62. says

    Pfft. I’ve stopped reading several blogs in the last 18 months that enforced “civility” rules in the comments that did nothing but allow a few of the regulars to shut down anybody who strayed from the party line, no matter how politely, because the regulars either got to define what “civil” meant, or the blogmaster would shut down a thread as soon as someone disagreed with the consensus to avoid arguments.

    I don’t always like how hair-trigger and shouty it gets here, but at least everyone gets their say, and most of the shouting focuses on the content.

  63. says

    @Ibis3 #47:

    Why do people think you have to have a thick skin to comment here?

    No kidding.

    I’m about as thin-skinned as they come. Hate confrontation.

    But I try not to be a douche canoe when I do comment.

    Seems to work.

  64. vaiyt says

    johnfraser1, of the “women produce sperm out of nowhere when they want to become pregnant” quote, wants to lecture other people on how to be rational.

    Hey, genius, if what you want is a rational argument, it helps to not start with an absurd and evidenceless one-liner.

  65. gabby27 says

    I’d just like to second Naked Bunny with a Whip and say, yeah, I’m a really sensitive, wimpy person and I’ve almost never been bothered by the supposed “viciousness” here. It’s always directed at someone who deserves it; a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a transphobe, an ableist, an evidence-denying douche, a general hate-filled asshat. Actually, I feel *safer* here than most other places on the web because I know that bigotry and bullshit won’t be tolerated.

  66. says

    I think the ‘need a thick skin’ is likely to be more for those who wade neck deep into arguments. You are going to see yourself called things which are unpleasant, there will be speculations as to your character, etc. A thick skin is, while not necessary, helpful when you’re in the midst of damn near constant arguing with assholes in a thread which goes 1K+.

  67. Matt Penfold says

    Feel free to fuck off until you learn the difference between ad hominem fallacies and just being rude to shitheads

    Oh come on. He still has not worked out how to capitalise correctly. If he finds that a bit hard, asking him to learn what an ad hominem fallacy is seems a bit harsh. After all, he seems to be a bear with a very small brain.

  68. Gnumann+,who should not under any cirumstance be referred to as "gunman" says

    And johnfraser1 is very, very scared of the women getting anywhere near his honey pot!

    Dammit Caine! That image will put me off honey for quite a while.

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

    Uh, yeah. I feel safer here than I do in meatspace, sometimes. Here, the assholes and other assorted mixed bags of bigot-flavoured arsecandy get found out. They get outed and called out on the words that gave them away, and asked why they said those things. Yeah, the language isn’t full of fruit baskets and sweet flowery cack, why would it be? I’ll personally take substance over tone. Call a spade a spade, call an arsehole an arsehole – but back it up with solid reasons every time.

    The fact that those people feel unwelcome here? Feature. Not bug.

    If I, too, can survive here in this “circle of hell” with my PTSD, constant anxiety and fear of conflict, then it’s not looking good for the “thick skin” argument.

  70. says

    If I, too, can survive here in this “circle of hell” with my PTSD, constant anxiety and fear of conflict, then it’s not looking good for the “thick skin” argument.

    Ditto. There have been times when I’ve had to walk away because of the subject matter, but that had nothing to do with the Horde itself. Just me and my own responses.

    This is a good place. When someone comes in with sexist/homophobic/transphobic/racist/ableist/etc bullshit, I know there are people who are going to help me sharpen my teeth on the troll call that person out and not let up. That’s a good thing.

  71. says

    Another one with PTSD here and yes, I’m unapologetically mean when it comes to anyone advocating a position which relegates me* and others to less than full human status.
     
    *As a bisexual, mixed race woman, I have much to be mean about.

  72. ladyh42 says

    Another PTSD sufferer who feels right at home here. I’m maybe more of a lurker, but the ones who make me feel uncomfortable are the ones coming here and spouting sexist, racist bullshit. When I have seen someone have his head ripped off for no reason, I’ve seen the Horde member apologize for it after. Hell, if it wasn’t for the Horde I’d have a lot less ‘faith’ in humanity. I certainly have a lot less to do with other atheists.

  73. says

    @NateHevens

    I beg to differ with at least one of your characterisations. The Horde is not unforgiving.If the most asshaty of asshats and douchiest of douchebags and cakiest of cupcakes retracts their asshatish douchebag cupcakeness and *learns not to be a bigot or asshole* they are, in my experience, given full absolution and welcomed into the fold.

  74. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Count me in as another thin-skinned* person in meatspace who loves it here because the ‘viciousness’ of the horde keeps out, or at least eviscerates the arguments of, the actually vicious people.

    I really missed you lot when I was mostly incommunicado in the run-up to Monkey (in hospital with no internet access). But I felt myself ‘channeling the horde’ when I was unexpectedly visited by a Roman Catholic priest on the Friday morning**. I was sooooo disappointed that “There’s a priest here to see you” didn’t mean a Pastafarian. Apparently it is harder to change one’s religious affiliation in hospital records than by merely filling in a new form and submitting it.

    *Actually, I’m becoming a lot less thin-skinned nowadays, because watching the horde in action and occasionally having the courage to wade in myself has given me the facts, and thus the confidence, to argue with stupid premises without fearing the reaction. And it is amazing how facts and evidence, said with confidence, take the wind right out of the sails of those with neither.

    **One of my friends (another ex-Catholic) and her husband (lifelong atheist) were visiting at the time. I was very, very sick and also suffering severe photophobia so my eyes were covered. I couldn’t see the priest, which probably helped. So I started out by asking him “Do you get sent to all the ex-Catholics?!” and then proceeded monologue. According to my friend, my loooooong and thorough dissection of all that was wrong with the RCC was “The best Christmas present EVAR!!!!!” :)

    And a big thank you to the horde for standing up to the bigots, too. The half-brother of one of my grandsons is half Palestinian and, as it happens, a brilliant composer and musician. I don’t like people who think he isn’t fully human.

  75. morgan says

    Here is a hypothetical… suppose that the Horde (I love that that word is capitalized) relentlessly purges the netosphere of assholes and idiots. Suppose that the number of netospheric assholes truly diminishes as a result of that relentless purge. Suppose that the number of foes with which we do battle here at Pharyngula actually diminishes to the point that we no longer have enough of a population of assholes available to amuse us. What then? Simple boredom?
    I love you guys.

  76. says

    Morgan, there are *always* assholes. If one thing can be counted on, it’s assholery and stupidity. There have been fallow times at Pharyngula, we manage to amuse ourselves well enough inbetween chewtoys.

  77. morgan says

    Caine, I’m wondering if there could be some entrepreneurial endeavor in marketing assholes as chewtoys. Think about it. I have two slurpy corgis who eviscerate chewtoys with glee. Amusing, ya think?

  78. Nepenthe says

    @morgan

    I haven’t been active at Pharyngula long enough to speak to that, but as a Wikipedian I’ve found that the number of assholes is directly proportional to the popularity of the site (modified by a site-based constant that can only be determined experimentally, of course).

  79. says

    Ibis @ #104:

    @NateHevens

    I beg to differ with at least one of your characterisations. The Horde is not unforgiving.If the most asshaty of asshats and douchiest of douchebags and cakiest of cupcakes retracts their asshatish douchebag cupcakeness and *learns not to be a bigot or asshole* they are, in my experience, given full absolution and welcomed into the fold.

    I’m not gonna lie… that’s some pretty strict criteria to gain absolution… so yeah, I’d still say y’all are unforgiving.

    But please don’t get me wrong… that’s a good thing. It’s one of the reasons I love this place (even if it does scare me sometimes) and all of you. You’re all incredibly awesome. Even the James Randi forums couldn’t help me hone my skeptical skills the way y’all have, and, for me, as gullible as I am, being a skeptic just does not come easy.

    So, as I said… keep it up.

  80. says

    In other words, criterion for forgiveness should be as strict as possible. I love that it’s that strict, and would not complain if it were made stricter.

    It’s part of what makes this place so fucking amazing.

  81. says

    Morgan:

    Caine, I’m wondering if there could be some entrepreneurial endeavor in marketing assholes as chewtoys. Think about it. I have two slurpy corgis who eviscerate chewtoys with glee. Amusing, ya think?

    Hee. I think.

    Now what’s in my brain are the golden hemorrhoids:

    “But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods [hemorrhoids]. 1 Samuel 5.6

    The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction; and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they emerods in their secret parts. 5.9

    The solution? This:

    The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but…return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed…What shall be the trespass offering? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice…take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the trespass offering…and send it away…And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us. 1 Samuel 6.9

    Sounds like chewtoys to me! :D

  82. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    I’m not gonna lie… that’s some pretty strict criteria to gain absolution

    Rather than standards here being high I contend that other people are saps waiting to be burned

  83. says

    Rather than standards here being high I contend that other people are saps waiting to be burned

    No matter how you put, it still contributes to the shark-infestation that makes these waters so much fun.

  84. morgan says

    Caine, I can’t think for laughing so hard!!!! You get all the prizes and then some. See, see, see, It is all your fault. You told me to post moar!! grins grins grins.
    P.S. Where is the biblical Prep H?

  85. says

    Morgan:

    Where is the biblical Prep H?

    Oh my. God wouldn’t be happy about that at all, oh no. Still, it makes a person wonder. Hemorrhoids couldn’t be unknown, there had to be some way to deal with ‘em. So those must have been some monster emerods – so, big chewtoys!

  86. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Imagine if Elisha had had rogaine. Or a good weave. Would those boys mauled by bears have lived?

    Who knows, maybe one of them would have invented the steam engine 1500 years early!

  87. morgan says

    Hee, hee, hee, guffaw, guffaw. Chewtoys to sate the hounds of hell!
    I’m signing off now, my indulgent hubby is serving dinner. We sit on the floor.
    More tomorrow.
    A world of thanks.

  88. says

    Esteleth:

    Imagine if Elisha had had rogaine. Or a good weave. Would those boys mauled by bears have lived?

    Oh, you can’t keep an evil prophet down, he would have found some reason to have god slaughter those naughty boys.

    Back to golden emerods for a mo, what in the hell do you think the connection to mice was?

  89. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Back to golden emerods for a mo, what in the hell do you think the connection to mice was?

    Well, a “treatment” for the Black Death was to pluck a chicken’s ass and tape it to the bubo, so…

  90. says

    Oh, it was nothing exciting or grim:

    Now the LORD dealt severely with the people of Ashdod. He ravaged and afflicted the city and its vicinity with hemorrhoids; he brought upon the city a great and deadly plague of mice that swarmed in their ships and overran their fields. 1 Samuel 5.6

  91. cicely (The Lessor of Two Weevils) says

    Mice–>rats–>plague–>bubos–>emerods.

    Caine, I like my “explanation” better.
    :)
    -

  92. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Well, unlike the chicken-ass-on-your-bubo treatment, mice eating your fields actually does accomplish something other than pissing off a chicken and making you look like an idiot.

  93. ckitching says

    While the things I like about the Pharyngula comments section outnumber the things I don’t, the horde has some bad habits that PZ has tried and failed to correct through rules.

    There is a tendency to shout down people without bothering to make sure the person is being understood properly first. This is often the worst in the MRA threads where there are dozens of anti-feminists laying out nonsense. There was supposed to be a three post rule, but it’s rarely observed (and to be fair, it’s often extremely difficult to observe in MRA infested threads). It has resulted in friendly fire becoming a bit too common.

    Then there are the grudges, where a posters prior misdeeds are constantly brought up in new threads, even when it’s not related to the current article. Sadly, we have an example of that in this very thread. There was supposed to be a mind-wipe rule, but again, it’s rarely observed.

    I love the fact people are willing to take a passionate stand for what’s right, and aren’t afraid to say what they mean, but that doesn’t mean this place couldn’t be better.

  94. frankb says

    I love to lurk here and read. I get out the metaphorical popcorn all the time. There is always someone coming here to make claims they can’t back up. Those are the ones who suffer. I am not very elequent compared to the regulars, but if I have something to say I’ll write it. I keep my comments mild because I am afraid, very afraid.

  95. says

    ckitching:

    Then there are the grudges, where a posters prior misdeeds are constantly brought up in new threads, even when it’s not related to the current article. Sadly, we have an example of that in this very thread. There was supposed to be a mind-wipe rule, but again, it’s rarely observed.

    That’s not sad at all. The person in question made claims which were refuted. That person lies, all the time. He’s not someone who went away with a bad history and came back with different views. He hasn’t gone away at all and his views remain vile. You won’t find many people here willing to do a ‘mind wipe’ where he’s concerned.

  96. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    * If that’s the correct use of irony?

    Look it up you stupid racist fuck.

  97. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    ckitching, the three-post rule is pretty consistently followed for new posters. When crap is dragged from one thread to another, it nearly always has to do with some asshat who spouts the same shit over, and over, and over.

    Friendly fire can often be a feature, not a bug. Fuck knows I’ve learned a lot during the time I’ve spent here. Had my ass handed to me more than once, too. I deserved it every time.

  98. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    There shall be no mind wiping, ckitching.

    Also, there is no need for a three comment suggestion(Yes, it is a suggestion.) for repeat trolls.

  99. says

    Janine:

    There shall be no mind wiping, ckitching.

    No shit. People don’t work that way. At least I don’t and I’m not about to forget people who drape themselves in the most loathsome of ideals and try to pretend they are great.

  100. Amphiox says

    ckitching, the three-post rule is pretty consistently followed for new posters.

    My experience is that it is usually followed for content. But if the original post did not have any content in it, the three post courtesy is often not afforded.

    Which, IMHO, is as it should be.

  101. Amphiox says

    There was supposed to be a mind-wipe rule, but again, it’s rarely observed.

    There’s a mind-wipe rule???

    Why should there even be such a rule? The personal responsibility each of us must take for our own voluntarily chosen words does not disappear just because we move to another thread. There are many trolls who deliberately jump threads just to try to get away from that personal responsibility. We do not, as a rule, let them get away with it.

  102. ckitching says

    Caine wrote:

    That’s not sad at all. The person in question made claims which were refuted.

    For StevoR, I’m not sure his genocidal views were actually relevant to the comment he posted. It usually feels like a derail and grudge holding. He’s said more than a couple repugnant things in the past and offered piss poor excuses for them, but I’d rather not see every unrelated thread he posts into turn into “Why StevoR is a terrible person”. Frankly, he’s not that important and I don’t think his ego should be fed like that. On the other hand, I think things are a bit different for johnfraser1, since bringing up his comment history actually did poke holes in his BS “holier than thou” attitude, although perhaps this is closer to one of the examples PZ actually mentioned in his rules.

    Janine wrote:

    Also, there is no need for a three comment suggestion(Yes, it is a suggestion.) for repeat trolls.

    I don’t think the three comment thing had to be all in one thread, so if they’re repeat trolls, I’d imagine most would’ve blown past three comments easily enough. It was listed as a rule when PZ posted his “New Rules”, so that’s what I called it. Rule or not, I’m sure there are a lot of exceptions, and I know it’s extremely hard to stick to, even if everyone wanted to.

  103. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Frankly, he’s not that important and I don’t think his ego should be fed like that.

    Then don’t be an ass and defend him.

    StevoR came in, once again, complaining about how mean everyone is to him. And you defended him from people telling him to shut up with his bullshit.

  104. says

    ckitching:

    Frankly, he’s not that important and I don’t think his ego should be fed like that.

    It would be more honest to say it’s not important to you. He’s said a whole wealth more than a couple of offhand remarks about genocide – Christ, we’ve endured fucking *pages* of it, repeatedly and recently. It might be well to keep in mind that perhaps you don’t see every little thing that goes on here.
    You certainly weren’t participating, so I can see why you might give him a pass. What you would do personally does not apply to all of us and some of us think things like integrity are important, along with refusing to provide cover for a known bigot.

  105. Amphiox says

    StevoR came in, once again, complaining about how mean everyone is to him.

    Indeed. That is the most telling thing about StevoR. The majority of StevoR’s activity on this blog can basically be put into two bins. One is full of quasi-genocidal rantings that either outright support genocide or support policies that would have the real world effect of being indistinguishable from genocide regardless on initiating intent, and the other is full of self-defensive rantings about why the stuff in bin 1 is not genocidal and complaining about how poorly everyone is treating him by calling him out on it, and that self defense invariable circles around inane redefinition of the idea of “intent” and related concepts, which means that he completely and utterly ignores the second critique – of genocidal EFFECT. If you advocate a course of action that has the EFFECT of preferentially murdering innocent arab children in their sleep then a defence of “the intent of that action wasn’t to kill those children so its not genocide and wah wah wah how mean you are to me to call it genocide”, all the while STILL advocating the same action that gets those innocent children killed, really doesn’t cut it.

    That tiny minority of posts from StevoR that do not fall into either bin 1 or bin 2 have generally been received well, because most of the time they are sensible things about science and so forth. But they are such a tiny minority they are hardly noticeable.

    If StevoR really wants to rehabilitate his reputation on this blog and stop people from calling him out on quasi-genocidal ravings than all he has to do is STOP saying quasi-genocidal things. Demonstrate that his views have changed, and stop complaining about being critiqued for those original posts like a pathetic child. Those posts were his words, freely chosen, freely repeated, freely doubled-down on. They will be with him forever and he will be criticized for them forever. That is what it means to take personal responsibility for one’s free speech.

  106. says

    Those posts were his words, freely chosen, freely repeated, freely doubled-down on. They will be with him forever and he will be criticized for them forever. That is what it means to take personal responsibility for one’s free speech.

    I thought PZ’s (remember, the guy who owns the place) Reset rulewas pretty clear:

    Reset. One persistent problem here is that the regulars develop a history, and at times, it is utterly stultifying. You don’t let grudges go, you resurrect long-dead arguments, you start citing passages from year-old comment threads. Stop it. It inhibits people from changing, and it poisons every discussion with ancient irritations that most people don’t know anything about. Every time I start a new thread, pretend I asked you to look into a little red light, and poof, everything is reset.

    So as far as I can see, what Caine and others here are arguing is not what PZ asked us to do. It’s pretty much the direct opposite.

  107. says

    So as far as I can see, what Caine and others here are arguing is not what PZ asked us to do. It’s pretty much the direct opposite.

    Really? So you think StevoR’s posts are long dead arguments, do you? I had no idea that the last two weeks constituted ancient.

  108. says

    Caine, which part of

    Every time I start a new thread, pretend I asked you to look into a little red light, and poof, everything is reset.

    are you having trouble with?

  109. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Great! I will also mind wipe all of the people that I like. Every time I comment, it will be as if I know no one and no one knows me. I expect no one to remember what I have written in the past and will condemn all those who quote my words back to me.

    (jazz hands)Mind wipe!(jazz hands)

  110. says

    Great! I will also mind wipe all of the people that I like.

    But that’s not what this rule is about at all, and you know that.
    PZ’s reset rule makes sense to me, how is someone supposed to change and learn if everytime they comment they get slapped with some old shit they said, whether it was 2 weeks or 2 years ago? We all do it sometimes, but I think we should be aware of it, and try to not do it.

  111. consciousness razor says

    What is unclear about “Every time I start a new thread…”?

    What’s unclear about StevoR’s opening salvo in this thread? Are we supposed to pretend it wasn’t bringing up old grudges from previous threads? That only happened once other people responded to his whining? Whining about what, I wonder? If he whines but it doesn’t get into specifics, does that mean it’s not about anything at all?

  112. says

    Chas:

    Caine, you’re lawyering.

    Ever so sorry. I should know better than to pay attention to content. Listen, let me know when you climb down off that cross you’ve erected over the grudge you’re carrying against me and manage to bring up at every opportunity. I’ll happily go by your example.

  113. says

    In reference to the last dozen posts or so:

    The Peez just endorsed the Horde. Whatever complaints about his rules and the breaking of his rules should and really must come from him… and apparently he’s pretty happy with the way things are.

  114. Amphiox says

    I thought PZ’s (remember, the guy who owns the place) Reset rulewas pretty clear:

    In case you forgot, it was StevoR himself who brought up the topic of his prior behavior and the responses to him on prior threads, and he did it in reference to the topic of this thread, seeing as the TOPIC of this thread IS the nature of the commentary of previous threads.

    By making that link he changes the issue from old to current, and makes it PART OF THIS THREAD’S CONVERSATION. Sure there was a reboot at the start of the thread. StevoR didn’t have to reload the old file after the reboot, but he DID.

    And once he did that, there is no way anyone can respond or comment to HIS POST ON THIS THREAD without referencing his prior behavior. So you complaining about that is tantamount to you telling the rest of us to shut up entirely about that topic and not reply to StevoR at all, or to comment, as I did, on other’s replies to him.

    Well, I can tell you outright where you can shove your sanctimonious attempt at censorship, but I don’t think I need to be that explicit.

    Now if StevoR had commented on something else and then someone else brought up his prior history out of the blue to attack him, then you might have a point.

    Since he did not, you do not.

  115. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I’m sorry, people, if it breaks the spirit of the new rules; but I’m with Caine on this one.

    If someone has a history of making genocidal comments on almost every thread they participate in, whilst whining that they’ve never done any such thing as an opening salvo each time, then jumping on them the next time they start with a whine before they get a chance to mount their hobby-horse again isn’t failure to re-set – it’s self defence.

  116. says

    Well, I can tell you outright where you can shove your sanctimonious attempt at censorship

    Quoting the blog owner’s rules is censorship? Ok then. We clearly live on different planets.

  117. says

    Tigger:

    I’m sorry, people, if it breaks the spirit of the new rules; but I’m with Caine on this one.

    Thank you. All in all, I’d rather go back to discussing God and his monster emerods in the secret parts. Altogether more interesting and fun.

  118. Amphiox says

    Quoting the blog owner’s rules is censorship? Ok then. We clearly live on different planets.

    Quoting the rule in a situation where it clearly does not apply as a blunt hammer to quell someone else’s freedom to reply as his or she wishes most certainly is.

  119. says

    Yes, “The Peez”… I’ve been trying to make that a “thing” for almost as long as I’ve been trying to make “I’mma stick my pee-pee in it!” work as a catch phrase. I figured “PeeZee” is almost like “Fonzie” and so The Peez was born, fully-formed in my head with a leather jacket and a jukebox full of… well, for some reason I imagine that The Peez listens to some pretty extreme metal. Also lives in a room above a garage and jumps over tanks of tentacled beasties with his motorcycle.

  120. consciousness razor says

    But that’s not what this rule is about at all, and you know that.

    This situation is not what the rule is about. Do you know that now?

    PZ’s reset rule makes sense to me, how is someone supposed to change and learn if everytime they comment they get slapped with some old shit they said, whether it was 2 weeks or 2 years ago?

    In fact, it isn’t every time StevoR comments. But in a case like this, when he whines about the old shit he’s been slapped with before and how mean everyone has been to him for being a racist shitbag (note that he didn’t go into detail about that last part, oddly enough), it’s fair for others to respond. It would make no sense if the rules meant that we couldn’t.

    It’s fair, but in this case, it can also let those who haven’t been following his long history of fuckwittery know exactly what kind of complaint they’re getting from StevoR: that we’re mean to bigots like him. That wouldn’t have been apparent if you weren’t aware of the context of his comment. Really, StevoR should consider it a favor: we helped him clarify his point by giving it context, so all the lurkers who happen to be genocidal bigots like him will know his complaint is totally justified.

    It’s a win-win situation, I guess, if you leave aside the fact that we have fucking genocidal bigots who people feel like they ought to defend by badgering us with their misinterpretations of the “rules.”

  121. ChasCPeterson says

    In case you forgot, it was StevoR himself who brought up the topic of his prior behavior

    no, he didn’t.
    Here’s his comment:

    Sometimes some of the commenters and some of the comments here at ‘Pharyngula’ are witty, intelligent, informative and generally great.
    Other times, other comments, ironically* sometimes even from the same people are just appalling personal abuse and nastiness.
    Its the proverbial Curates Egg – good in parts and bad in others.
    BTW. The Tentacled Overlord, himself seems to have noticed this thread as noted here :
    [link snipped]
    As I’m sure y’know already PZ; I love your blog but cannot stand some of those who comment there and yes I know that feeling’s mutual.

    No reference whatsoever to his prior behavior, nothing even explicitly about people’s responses to him, just generalized observations about commenters and comments, i.e., the topic of the OP.
    In response, Caine offered:

    So says the piece of shit who advocates genocide and says the worst of all possible things about people based on things they can’t help at all. You are a horrible excuse for a human being and here you are again, whinging about how you’re treated. You’ve been treated much more fairly and better by the horde than you deserve, StevoR. If you have a shred of decency, you’ll simply leave.

    …which has little or nothing to do with the OP; it’s just Caine going off in nasty fashion on someone she doesn’t like because of shit that happened days to months ago.
    So the rest of your rule-lawyering comment is moot. Try reading for comprehension instead of tribal confirmation bias, is my suggestion.

    (p.s. to Caine: no grudge. I mean, you’ve more than once said some rank bullshit about me that’s pissed me off, but that’s not the only reason that I don’t like you.)

  122. Beatrice says

    Chas,

    He made a generalized statement which was pretty obviously about him (it even says “cannot stand some of those who comment there and yes I know that feeling’s mutual.” in the end).
    All it lacked was a giant neon sign flashing ME in the background.

    Of course, since you were mind wiped at the beginning of this thread, you have forgotten that StevoR likes to use every loosely related topic to talk about how mean everyone here is to him.

  123. rq says

    Going to skip all the comments in between and go ahead and respond to
    carlie @68 re: assimilationwelcoming into the Horde
    And I can say that, while I was somewhat apprehensive at the first, I have consistently been reassured (explicitly and implicitly) that I am welcome here and in the Lounge and that it is worth sticking around, if only to start understanding all the in-jokes. For those who want to join the hivemind club, so to speak, it takes a bit getting past the initial fear, but if your intentions are true, you get to belong in a remarkably short time.

    and

    cicely @72
    Here and here are some eclectic eels for you. And I think the lunganhas would only do better with some electricity attached (or self-produced, as the case may be). Further discussion in the Lounge. ;)

  124. carlie says

    That was a pretty clear self-reference by SteveOR, and I agree with everything Amphiox said at 151. If he wants us to get past the awful comments he’s made, he needs to stop talking about them. Stop complaining about how he’s been treated because of those comments, stop trying to explain how nobody understands him, stop making barely-concealed references to how everyone is so mean to people who just “express a different opinion”. Just. Stop. SteveOR would do well to observe a rule that some other sites have, “no talking about the boards on the boards”. I don’t like that rule in general, because it prohibits a lot of friendship-making discussion, but SteveOR needs to practice it for awhile. Comment on the OP. Comment on substantive things that other people comment on. DO NOT comment about your feelings, or what you think of the personalities of others, or bring up how anyone has ever disagreed with you in the past, or how you’re really such a good guy who’s misunderstood and misjudged. JUST. COMMENT. ON. THE. TOPIC. Try it for awhile. See how you do.

    Because otherwise, every thread SteveOR is in becomes all about SteveOR, and every time he brings it up it does reset the reset button so that it comes up again.

  125. insipidmoniker, 37th Emu of the Mild Dyspepsia says

    The only fear I have commenting here is that I’m not going to think through my arguments and end up feeling like an ass. That makes me comment more rarely, but I hardly think it’s a bad thing. I don’t agree with, or like, everyone that comments here, but it’s probably the best community I’ve encountered on the web. I learn a lot from this place, and just lurking has definitely had a positive influence on my ability to argue and think rationally. Keep it up, hivemind!

  126. opposablethumbs says

    I comment relatively rarely because – superficial appearances notwithstanding (ooh, all that naughty, naughty language that makes people clutch their pearls so tightly!) – the standard is bloody high. People here are overwhelmingly smart, well-informed, eloquent and disposed to take no bloody prisoners thank you very much.
    .
    There is nowhere else I can think of where I would feel that most people would watch my back and where I would know I was in plenty of good company in watching theirs when it comes to the issues of “treating people like things”, as Granny W. would say.
    .
    Occasionally it may happen that a well-intentioned baby will get thrown out with the misogyny-sullied bathwater. This is a pity, but my advice to any such babies would be to LURK MOAR and think more before posting; unfortunately, to err in the opposite direction means letting some nasty shit go unchallenged and losing the safety that less privileged people need more (and have less of, everywhere but here).
    .
    I’m definitely a minnow, but I feel safer in this shark-tank than in any elegant aquarium.

  127. carlie says

    John,
    cf. Beatrice @161. He was commenting on it, enough so that it was a topic. But I won’t keep discussing it, because I’m really tired of threads being about him.

  128. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The only people who would need ‘thick skin’ to comment here are bigots and the uninformed but stubborn (i.e those who refuse to take in new information). Since those two groups would be largely (imo) populated by privileged persons, who would therefore be unused to being challenged and/or corrected in less-than-fawning tones, I imagine such a blog as Pharyngula would be an upsetting experience.

    And so the fuck what? they have the whole fucking world in which to be clueless fuckheads. They don’t get to have Pharyngula too, as long as The Peez sets the rules.

    And Janine, Caine, Amphimox, etc etc – I fucking adore you peoples.

  129. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @36. consciousness razor :

    “No I do not advocate genocide.” You don’t now, or you never did?

    I’ve already admitted many times that I’ve posted a few things here – & elsewhere – that I shouldn’t have aid and don’t really believe when I got carried away.

    I tried to clarify myself afterwards and have apologised for this.

    I freely admit I’m imperfect and have fucked up at times.

    I shall try to do better in the future.

    @163. carlie :

    I’ll try.

    Ever had a scab you can’t stop picking at or an itch you know you shouldn’t scratch but do until you bleed heaps?

  130. Lyn M: Necrodunker of death, nothing but net says

    a fierce legion of harsh, sarcastic, opinionated, ferocious critics

    Sarcastic? Moi? Vous?

    I am shocked I tell you all, shocked!

  131. evodevo says

    The commentariat tells the truth and they only think it’s hell………. apologies to Harry T.

  132. strange gods before me ॐ says

    No, not in context of the pattern here. I am being used as his convenient target because he believes I am fair game to abuse whenever he feels like it. That is bullying.

  133. Rodney Nelson says

    I’m not bullying you. In fact, I’m pointing out your bullying. Sorry if reality doesn’t match your injured fee-fees. There’s a really simple fix to stop me from calling you a bully. Stop playing thread police, whining about perceived “insults” to others, and stop bullying people and I’ll stop mentioning that you’re a bully. Keep on bullying people and I’ll keep calling out your bullying. Your choice.

  134. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Rodney,

    By picking on me here where I was not even participating, you are demonstrably bullying me. The links I’ve provided show the pattern. You make no argument and give no links to evidence your assertions.

    Please stop bullying me now.

  135. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    I am being used as his convenient target because he believes I am fair game to abuse whenever he feels like it.

    Hmm.

    Rodney:

    I’m not bullying you. In fact, I’m pointing out your bullying.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Stop playing thread police, whining about perceived “insults” to others, and stop bullying people and I’ll stop mentioning that you’re a bully.

    <Spoing!>

    (Dammit!)

  136. Rodney Nelson says

    You’re the bully, SGBM. I’ve seen you bully others and I pointed out your bullying at the time. However you’ve determined that me talking about bullying is somehow bullying and you’re going to whine until I stop. Somehow my bullying is bad but your bullying is good. I also know that none of my arguments will convince you that you’re a bully. You’re just “correcting” people in your self-appointed role as thread police and since your intentions are as pure as the driven snow, that’s not really bullying.

    I make an offer. You stop bullying and I won’t comment on it further. But the next time you bully someone I’ll call you out on it.

  137. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You’re the bully, SGBM.

    Have you construed yourself as not-a-bully by inventing a false dichotomy in which if I am a bully then you therefore are not? Bad logic.

    (Fact: I am not a bully. Also, I do not assert what I’d consider an essentialist claim — that you “are a” bully — but you are demonstrably bullying me here in this thread.)

    I’ve seen you bully others and I pointed out your bullying at the time.

    I don’t believe this is true. The only interaction I recall with you is when you began bullying me in Thunderdome. You should back up your vague claims.

    However you’ve determined that me talking about bullying is somehow bullying

    No, I’ve determined that gratuitously attacking me as you did here and in Thunderdome, and maliciously making false claims about me as you did in Thunderdome and are now doing here — and generally using any pretense as an excuse to kick at me even where I am not participating, that is bullying.

    and you’re going to whine until I stop.

    I am going to point out that I am being treated unfairly, and I am going to insist upon my right to fair treatment. Who calls that “whining”?

    Somehow my bullying is bad but your bullying is good

    If I have bullied someone, it is probably not good. But again you fail to even attempt to make your case. These vague insinuations amount only to an underhanded method of further bullying.

    You lash out at me, I say it hurts, and you lash out at me again now for “whining” about being bullied while you claim that I deserve all this because I’ve brought it upon myself — yet you give no evidence of what I’ve done to deserve it.

    I also know that none of my arguments will convince you that you’re a bully.

    Is this how you justify to yourself the making of unevidenced claims? That is intellectually lazy, at minimum.

    You’re just “correcting” people in your self-appointed role as thread police and since your intentions are as pure as the driven snow, that’s not really bullying.

    Bullying is bullying. Correcting people may or may not constitute bullying, depending upon how it is done. But without any context, with only your vague unevidenced claims, there is no reason to take your assertions seriously.

    I make an offer. You stop bullying and I won’t comment on it further.

    How do you justify your current bullying of me here in this thread, apropos of nothing?

  138. says

    Jesus Fucking Christ! How about both of you go to your corners and fight the good fight* instead of each other? Enough.

    Frinst., there’s a prime idiot by the name of Edward Gemmer in the Piero Corsi thread, who simply will not shut the fuck up about how sexism is biological, whoops, can’t do a thing about it, so shut the fuck up, women. How about turning those “bullying ways” there?

    Just a thought.

  139. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I am more able to focus on other things when I am not being attacked. How about you don’t tell me not to defend myself?

  140. John Morales says

    ॐ, you can defend yourself at Thunderdome, and Rodney can attack you there.

    (Spare this thread)

  141. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    I’ve already admitted many times that I’ve posted a few things here – & elsewhere – that I shouldn’t have aid and don’t really believe when I got carried away.

    I tried to clarify myself afterwards and have apologised for this.

    I freely admit I’m imperfect and have fucked up at times.

    I shall try to do better in the future.

    You lying sack of shit. You were perfectly clear that the problem with my friends were that they were jihadists and that you could see no way they could view me as a friend.

    You are lying to try to get people to sympathize with you. This is not an apology this is a cynical ploy.

  142. says

    SG:

    I am more able to focus on other things when I am not being attacked. How about you don’t tell me not to defend myself?

    You aren’t being attacked. That sort of language doesn’t help, SG. Hopefully, this will help you feel better:

    Rodney, this latest feud was started in defense of me, and while I appreciate the thought, I’d appreciate it one hell of a lot more if you stopped. Just stop. Get past it, over it, let it go, whatever.

    Now, if you two simply have to keep fucking going until the planet collapses, please remove it from this thread and take it to the sanctioned fight arena. Okay?

  143. David Marjanović says

    *bites chigau (comment 10)*

    I was going to post this here, but decided it was safer at my blog… :p

    I posted there (awaiting moderation):

    You rarely, if ever, give someone a chance to try and explain themselves.

    …What would that even mean in a place where all communication is done in writing, where we can’t literally shout over you? We can’t ban you. We can’t stop you from writing comments.

    Why are there people who feel shut up when they’re insulted?

    That’s one of many things about many people that I simply don’t get.

    There shall be no mind wiping, ckitching.

    No shit. People don’t work that way. At least I don’t

    I do, in the sense that I recognize that stopped clocks are right twice a day. That’s also why I’m against depriving convicted felons of their right to vote: why shouldn’t a murderer know best what to do about the economy, or an embezzler how best to improve education? It doesn’t make sense. Assholes don’t hold The Asshole Opinion; they’re not monoliths any more than anyone else.

    StevoR came in, once again, complaining about how mean everyone is to him.

    To be scrupulously fair*, that’s only obvious from experience (it is; I agree with comment 141 and 161), as already pointed out by comment 160. In the comment in question, StevoR didn’t mention himself.

    * I value completeness for its own sake.

    The only people who would need ‘thick skin’ to comment here are bigots and the uninformed but stubborn (i.e those who refuse to take in new information). Since those two groups would be largely (imo) populated by privileged persons, who would therefore be unused to being challenged and/or corrected in less-than-fawning tones, I imagine such a blog as Pharyngula would be an upsetting experience.

    Exactly.

    ॐ, you can defend yourself at Thunderdome, and Rodney can attack you there.

    (Spare this thread)

    Seconded. It’s getting off topic.

  144. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    To be scrupulously fair*, that’s only obvious from experience (it is; I agree with comment 141 and 161), as already pointed out by comment 160. In the comment in question, StevoR didn’t mention himself.

    REALLY? Why the fuck do so many people rush to defend this asshole?

  145. says

    SG:

    I am. I note that you are consistent enough in your dispute with the English language, but the terminology for this is “personal attacks” and I am not alone in using it.

    Okay, I give in. I sure as hell don’t want to get into this fight with you two. Could you both possibly take this to Thunderdome, though? Please?

  146. says

    David Marjanović @ #191

    I approved your comment and replied to it. I think you perhaps misunderstood my point. All of that was actually supposed to be a compliment. I love how damn cruel and unforgiving this place is. It was put best by another commenter on that blog post: “terrifying, yet refreshing”.

    This is perhaps the only shark tank in the world I’m happy swimming in, even if it terrifies me sometimes.

    The way you guys tear idiots apart is a sight to behold. One of the wonders of the world as far as I’m concerned. If anything, I sometimes feel like y’all could be a bit more on the offense than you already are. The best part about all of it is that the people you all attack so damn well are people who deserve it… even people like me. I can be, and have been, amazingly stupid, and ultimately I’m better for the attacks I’ve received here for my idiocy.

    I’ve received more training in skepticism from y’all here than anywhere else on the web, and y’all have made it possible for me to look at myself like I never have. I love all of you because of it.

    My blog post was not a condemnation; it was a show of support.