Comments

  1. chigau (違う) says

    Cute babby at the top there.
    —-
    dalehusband
    Send him an email.
    —-
    Caine
    Probably.
    —-

  2. Owlmirror says

    The Pipeline essay on FOOF links to one on \text{ClF}_3 titled “Sand Won’t Save You This Time”.

    I’ve been thinking that maybe dropping the “This Time” and using just the abbreviation SWSY — prounounced “saucy”, of course — could be used as a general term to refer to Very Reactive Stuff (that I won’t work with).

    e.g.: “FOOF? Too SWSY for me, sorry….”

    “I’m too ttached to my fingers to work with stuff as SWSY as azidoazide azides”.

  3. cuervodecuero says

    So there I was today, minding my own business hunting through the shelves of the mineral/lapidary store for materials appropriate to my latest project. Quiet weekend, barely anyone to get in my way. Two older(at least, I hope they were older but then I was around to watch humans walk on the moon, with popcorn!) women were talking off to one side and despite my best efforts I ended up hearing their topic, keying on “this generation is too afraid to look for the truth…”. *Poink* go my ‘spend too much time on the internet’ ears.

    To paraphrase what followed, there was a lot of weird anxiety about today’s youth abandoning God and them being too caught up by the world to work on what was really true, ie: God needing to be in their lives, directing them away from being…something…lost…sorta. It had more concern troll than anything to it. I had a mild urge to bounce a fossil for sale off them and yell Lewis Black’s line “Fossil!” but I had someone waiting in the car.

    But just to remind me things go both ways in magic land, I was waiting at the till and one of the owners, on seeing one item left in a display tray, looked pleased and muttered about needing to make more. I asked the salesperson what the item was (little bag with paper and rock tucked inside) were.

    “Chakra kit,” was the deadpan answer. I couldn’t figure out if this was a sincere sell on the owner’s part or parting the gullible from their money. It really is a geology/jewelry industry supplies/tools-oriented store. Sales staffer and I eyed each other a ‘bated moment, as she is a member of my community mineral club, and then we did our exchange without further comment on it and I fled into the sunlight.

  4. comradebob says

    Jafafa; Basically you can do three things with electricity. You can create magnetic fields, you can create electrostatic fields, or you can create light/heat. The discharge of an electrostatic field through a distance creates sound energy (thunder) as well as heat and light. There is nothing that prevents this from happening within a dome. However, when the discharge of electrostatic fields happens within smart meters, the consequence is often fire.

  5. ltlftc says

    After that, lets discuss the merits of the NAAWP.

    I’ll try to parse that into something intelligible. Are you suggesting that Men’s Rights is just a guise for male supremacy? If so, can you cite any particular reason why?

  6. says

    ltlftc:

    Can someone justify their hatred of MRAs for me?

    Short answer? Misogyny is ugly and it’s been going on for far too long. Book suggestion: Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice, by Jack Holland.

    Here’s a helpful suggestion, please take it seriously. Go off for a bit and read many, many posts at Manboobz. Then come back for discussion here. Now, if you’re “Lee Coye”, just fuck off already. Thanks.

  7. ltlftc says

    Caine @ 16

    Short answer? Misogyny is ugly and it’s been going on for far too long.

    So your answer then would be that MRAs are misogynistic. Can you tell me why you think that?

    In the meantime, I’ll start reading Manboobz articles.

  8. rowanvt says

    @14-

    Well, let’s see. If what the MRAs wanted was actual equality, they’d be feminists. As a woman and a feminist who desires to someday have a child, I would *love* for my future husband to be able to have paternity leave to share those first few weeks with me. That is a case where patriarchy has also harmed men.

    But the MRAs we see are not after equality. They are after the status quo and sticking it to the bitches that won’t flirt/date/have sex with them. They want to be able to treat women how they want to treat women without any consideration that women are as individual as men. They constantly show this via such language as ‘stupid cunts’, ‘bitches’, ‘feminazis’, ‘fat sluts’, ‘whiny’, ‘emotional’, and ‘whores’, just to list a few.

    So tell me, individual, why are you so upset that I might find MRAs highly distasteful?

  9. Nepenthe says

    Are you suggesting that Men’s Rights is just a guise for male supremacy? If so, can you cite any particular reason why?

    I have a better and more fun (for us) idea. Why don’t you find us an MRA who is not a male supremacist and then bring his or her name back here for us, mmm?

    Go on, go get it. *balls fist, waves it in front of ltlftc, makes throwing motion*

  10. says

    ltlftc:

    Can you tell me why you think that?

    Easy. They are openly misogynistic and proud of it. Before we go any farther, would you possibly be confusing the group of men who are seeking things like equality and fairness in custody cases and the like with what the larger MRA contingent has come to be known by and for? Because those are two very different things. If this is so, it will cause a mass of confusion.

    Men like those at AVFM (search that, I’m not linking or spelling out) call themselves MRAs and consider themselves MRAs, but they are all about misogyny, not actual men’s rights. So, it would be helpful to clear that up. If you want to see an AVFMer in action, you can click over to this thread (now 2 pages long, lots of comments) and Ctrl+f for one ‘Lee Coye’.

  11. says

    So your answer then would be that MRAs are misogynistic. Can you tell me why you think that?

    because they’re cheering the fact that women will no longer be banned from combat position because then more women will bekilled and maimed
    because they claim that allowing women to vote is the first step in the downfall of western civilization
    because they are cheering the blockage of VAWA
    because they want to punish women for leaving broken marriages
    because they want to punish women for reporting rapes

    etc.

  12. says

    Speaking of thunder, we need to invent a really huge capacity capacitor (whoa, that messed with my brain for a sec) and then we can solve our energy problems by wiring them to lightning rods in Florida.

    Growing up in NY with its summer afternoon electrical storms, I always liked lightning. Until I moved to FL.

    Florida lightning is downright scary.

  13. Gregory Greenwood says

    ltlftc @ 17;

    So your answer then would be that MRAs are misogynistic. Can you tell me why you think that?

    Have you ever been exposed to the output of MRAs? The misogynistic character of their writing and statements cannot really be contested. If you can stomach it, you could look at the bile produced on MRA sites like AVoiceforMen, and in particular anything by that horrible bigot JohntheOther. The hatred and contempt for women fairly drips from every word written of syllable uttered by these people, as can be seen from their nasty tendency to engage in victim blaming and denial of the existence of rape culture and other forms of society wide discrimination against, and oppression of, women.

    Anyone who can look at such horrors as the brutal rape and subsequent death of that young student in India and immediately start ranting ‘but wot about teh menz?’ can hardly complain if they are accurately described as misogynists.

  14. ltlftc says

    rowanvt @ 18

    If what the MRAs wanted was actual equality, they’d be feminists.

    Are you saying that men as a group don’t face problems caused by societies laws and attitudes? Or are you saying that these problems are fixed by looking at them from a female perspective?

    That is a case where patriarchy has also harmed men.

    Could you please explain this one to me? As I understand it, the “Partriarchy” is a system that creates laws for the express benefit of men at the expense of women. How does Patriarchy fit into this idea?

    But the MRAs we see are not after equality. They are after the status quo and sticking it to the bitches that won’t flirt/date/have sex with them.

    That’s just an assertion. Citation needed. I accept that some men have this attitude. Should I hate all feminists because some feminists advocate for genocide against men? (Happy to cite if you challenge this claim.)

  15. Nepenthe says

    You’re not going to play fetch are you consonantmess.

    You want us to prove that every single MRA is bigoted, because you’re lazy or arguing in bad faith. Which is it?

  16. says

    ltlftc, I now think it’s safe to tell you this: Get to the fucking point right now or take a short walk off a tall cliff.

    We have been JAQed like this time and time and time and time and time again. Into the thousands of responses and explanations. You’ve been given plenty of fucking reading. Go do some.

  17. ltlftc says

    Caine @ 22

    They are openly misogynistic and proud of it.

    I realize that this is the claim. I often see it around here, but I rarely see it justified.

    Before we go any farther, would you possibly be confusing the group of men who are seeking things like equality and fairness in custody cases and the like with what the larger MRA contingent has come to be known by and for? Because those are two very different things. If this is so, it will cause a mass of confusion.

    Would you not call the people who advocate for equality and fairness in custody cases “Men’s Rights Advocates”? I can see that you’ve come to associate MRA with misogyny, but there’s plenty of reason on the internet to associate feminism with misandry. It seems unfair to paint all MRAs with the same brush, in the same way it would be unfair to paint all feminists with the same brush.

    Men like those at AVFM (search that, I’m not linking or spelling out) call themselves MRAs and consider themselves MRAs, but they are all about misogyny, not actual men’s rights.

    Obviously I can’t scour the entire site, but I’ll have a look for myself.

    So, it would be helpful to clear that up. If you want to see an AVFMer in action, you can click over to this thread (now 2 pages long, lots of comments) and Ctrl+f for one ‘Lee Coye’.

    I was following the latter half of that comment thread. I do recognize that Lee Coye was being discriminatory, and failing to justify himself. Even if he calls himself an MRA, I don’t see how this justifies the demonisation of all MRAs.

    Let me put it this way. If I see someone using MRA as a synonym for misogynist, it gives me the impression that they think that men as a group are not discriminated against, nor do men as a group face issues worth discussing. Presumably this is not the prevailing belief?

  18. rowanvt says

    You have reading comprehension problems, don’t you ltlftc?

    Are you saying that men as a group don’t face problems caused by societies laws and attitudes? Or are you saying that these problems are fixed by looking at them from a female perspective?

    *song-and-dance version of the blockquote* Iiiiiiiiiii…. Don’t know what Feminism actually isssssssssssssssss…….

    Men face far *fewer* problems than women. If a woman is raped, it is much implied or outright said that it either wasn’t rape, or it was her fault. Despite being stronger than my male coworkers, and knowing more, I get paid less as a veterinary technician than they do. Despite being stronger than my male coworkers, people always say “Oh, isn’t there a guy who could lift my dog for me?” I can easily pick up a 100lb dog. I had a man refer to my RVT exam as my ‘big girl test’. If I have kids, society expects *me* to be the one doing all the care and raising, and to stay home if required. As a woman, I’m expected to do emotions, not thinky.

    Feminism wants to bring equality to the sexes. That means fixing problems such as paternity leave, societal expectations of ‘manliness’ that a lot of men don’t fit into comfortably, and custody disputes. Feminism is not looking at something from a female perspective but is instead the radical idea that women are also human, and all humans should be equal.

    Could you please explain this one to me? As I understand it, the “Partriarchy” is a system that creates laws for the express benefit of men at the expense of women. How does Patriarchy fit into this idea?

    *song-and-dance version again* Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii don’t know what patriarchy is, what patriarchy is, what patriarchy is. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii don’t know what patriarchy is aaaaaand I’m too lazy to research!

    Patriarchy is not just codified laws. It’s also attitude. The idea that the WOMAN stays at home, the WOMAN does the chores, the WOMAN sacrifices her career. It’s why a man will be called ‘assertive’, but a woman will be called ‘pushy’. Men are ‘tough’, women are ‘bitches’. Men get ‘upset’ or ‘discouraged’ or ‘irate’ while women get ‘hysterical’ or ‘hormonal’.

    That’s just an assertion. Citation needed. I accept that some men have this attitude. Should I hate all feminists because some feminists advocate for genocide against men? (Happy to cite if you challenge this claim.)

    *song-and-dance version* Iiiiiiiii……….. can’t do reading comprehension and I can’t recognise qualifiers to a staaaaaaaaaaaaaatement.

    Here, I’ll help you.

    “But the MRAs we see are not after equality”

    “But the MRAs we see”

    “The MRAs WE see”

    “WE SEE”

    That means, the ones that COME HERE are not after equality. Those that WE interact with. Not all. Some of them. Those we see.

  19. Nepenthe says

    Look. Crows are black (or very very rarely white). Crows are not colorful birds. We can point to three crows and say “look, they’re black” and you’re going to respond “But those are only three crows, the other ones could be pink.”

    You want to get into this discussion, bring us a pink crow and then we’ll talk.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but I rarely see it justified.

    What evidence do you require? Keep in mind, it is a legitimate claim, so minimal evidence should be required.

    Would you not call the people who advocate for equality and fairness in custody cases “Men’s Rights Advocates”?

    They call themselves that. A lot of them use it as cover for their misogyny.

    It seems unfair to paint all MRAs with the same brush,

    We paint them with the vilest brush until they prove otherwise. Which is seldom. Mostly it is cover for their misogyny.

    I don’t see how this justifies the demonisation of all MRAs.

    Gee, you aren’t being fair. You are wearing blinders. That is the problem with MRA apologists. They try to lessen the damage done by the viler crowd instead of condemning it rightly and with force. Why aren’t you doing that to Lee, and not questioning us? Your problem, accommodationist. And accommodationist is a swear word around her due to apologists like you.

    . If I see someone using MRA as a synonym for misogynist, it gives me the impression that they think that men as a group are not discriminated against, nor do men as a group face issues worth discussing.

    The MRA fuckwits have nothing to discuss with EVIDENCE. All they have is OPINION, ATTITUDE, and MISOGYNY. They were given a chance to show evidence to back their claims earlier by PZ 1500+ posts later, not one piece of real evidence presented by one of them…Think about that accommodationist.

  21. says

    Or are you saying that these problems are fixed by looking at them from a female perspective?

    no, we’re saying they’re resolved by looking at them through a feminist perspective.

    As I understand it, the “Partriarchy” is a system that creates laws for the express benefit of men at the expense of women.

    no. the patriarchy is a system that privileges men over women, but defines “men” in a very strict way that harms all those men not able or willing to conform to that definition.

  22. says

    Nepenthe:

    You want to get into this discussion, bring us a pink crow and then we’ll talk.

    All the years we’ve been doing this, I’d like to see one pink crow. Just one, one time. Before I die.

  23. Rob Grigjanis says

    Owlmirror @23: Did you use LaTex to create that? I have a vague memory of using it about 20 years ago.

  24. ltlftc says

    rowanvt:

    I’m seeing justifications for feminism. I wasn’t asking for that. You won’t hear any argument from me against the idea that society still holds some shitty attitudes towards women. The very notion that MRAs might have worthwhile things to say has you automatically trying to justify feminism, as if men’s rights are in diametric opposition to women’s rights. This is what I’m not understanding.

    What I asked for was a justification that MRA implies misogynist, or that men don’t have issues that require specific attention from people who’d call themselves Men’s Rights Advocates. One phrase, “Patriarchy hurts men too”, is a poor justification for focusing on feminist issues to the exclusion of all else.

  25. rowanvt says

    Reading comprehension fail continues I see.

    Here.

    Feminism Is. NOT. Just. About. Women.

    In fact, I stated MANY things that are damaging to MEN that feminism seeks to repair. If you are too stupid to understand that, I don’t think I can help you.

    You’ve also ignored the majority of my posts, which shows you are less likely to be simply too stupid, and more likely to be deliberately obtuse. Kindly fuck off.

  26. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The very notion that MRAs might have worthwhile things to say

    This you have failed at. What worthwhile things to say? Given a chance, they spoke of nothing they could evidence. Ergo, they have nothing worthwhile to say. What is your problem with EVIDENCE. You are aware their OPINION isn’t EVIDENCE, it is toxic waste.

    One phrase, “Patriarchy hurts men too”, is a poor justification for focusing on feminist issues to the exclusion of all else.

    Why should we give a shit about your OPINION accommodationist. Show us some evidence you right, as you are wrong unless you show yourself right. Here, the null hypothesis is MRA fuckwits are shitheads until proven otherwise. And you aren’t proving otherwise, as your OPINION isn’t evidence. Welcome to real science.

  27. nightshadequeen says

    ltlftc

    Please find a single example of an self-identified MRA who is not a misogynist. Go on, I dare you.

  28. ltlftc says

    rowanvt:

    In fact, I stated MANY things that are damaging to MEN that feminism seeks to repair.

    I see. Let’s take your assertion as true for the moment. So what you’re saying is, feminism hopes to repair “many” things about society that hurt men, therefore, no other group or ideological position is required to help deal with men’s issues.

    Yes, apparently I’m much too stupid to understand that impeccable reasoning.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, apparently I’m much too stupid to understand that impeccable reasoning.

    Just as we don’t understand your lack of reasoning. You aren’t as smart as you think you are. I haven’t seen you cite any evidence to back your OPINION. And as Christopher Hitchens said “that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. Your whole argument can *FLOOSH* be dismissed as evidenceless drivel, whereas we have a couple of years of evidence showing our null hypotheses are correct.

  30. rowanvt says

    Missing the point by a mile now. Nice avoidance string-of-random-letters. Your true colors are definitely starting to show now.

    I have yet to meet a single MRA that was not also a complete shit to women. If anything, most MRAs we’ve encountered would love to oppress women further. MRAs are, as far as we have seen, and I have already stated, NOT ABOUT EQUALITY. They are OMG WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ????

  31. says

    The very notion that MRAs might have worthwhile things to say has you automatically trying to justify feminism, as if men’s rights are in diametric opposition to women’s rights.

    men’s rights aren’t, but the MRAs are. because they seek to reverse progress for women, rather than work on the ways patriarchy is damaging men.

    One phrase, “Patriarchy hurts men too”, is a poor justification for focusing on feminist issues to the exclusion of all else.

    hardly, given that the harm that patriarchy does is a feminist issue regardless of who the target is. as such, “exclusively feminist issues” include the things that society does that harms men.

    So what you’re saying is, feminism hopes to repair “many” things about society that hurt men, therefore, no other group or ideological position is required to help deal with men’s issues.

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

  32. comradebob says

    Females’ desires change through life. As young adults, they desire children. As they age, they desire security. In contrast, men seek to practice a profession and copulate pretty much constantly through life. Therefore, the genders are fully compatible and can be happy together. Any organization that recognizes and supports this arrangement is fine by me so long as there are protections in place regarding females keeping a certain distance from machinery.

    Flight 3407:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgan_Air_Flight_3407

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    ltftc, if you aren’t prepared to back up all your claims with linked evidence, don’t bother posting. Your continued evidenceless opinion will be flushed down the toxic waste system each and every time.

  34. says

    Chigau:

    ltlftc is now officially a troll.

    This isn’t news, this is not the first time they have posted here, by a long shot. Previously, it [the commenting] tended more to drive-by stupid than extended argument. I remember the consonant mess nym, however, after the first few reads, I tended to scroll right past whenever I saw the nym.

    Seems that scrolling past or KFing is still the best option. The hoggling is getting to be a bit much.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, anybody claiming to be a comrade isn’t. They are liberturds or RWA fuckwits.

  36. ChasCPeterson says

    crows are black. I’m sorry.

    Nothing to be sorry about. It’s a large part of what makes them crows.

    (btw, if you’ve never seen it, Caine, you’d love Magpie Magic.)

  37. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    ltlftc *wipes spittle off mouth*, have you read those Manboobz articles yet? If you haven’t, go do that now. There is a wealth of evidence there for the idea that MRA (usually) = misogynist, and there is no reason that the folks here at Pharyngula should have to assemble a new compendium of such evidence solely for your benefit.

    Don’t post anything else until you have read a large number of those articles. If you want evidence, it’s right there for you.

    As for comment #48, yes, it is true that there is no ideological position required to deal with men’s issues other than feminism. The discrimination which men face is always a side effect of much deeper discrimination against women. Feminism is agreed upon (by people who actually know something about feminism, which is to say feminists) to be the advocacy of equality between the genders. And please, don’t start whining about how equality is not ‘feminine’ or some shit. The term ‘feminism’ was developed in the 19th century and the meanings change over time.

    What MRAs do you know who HAVEN’T said ‘all woemn r bitchez” or something similar at some point?

  38. says

    Jadehawk:

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

    QFMFT. Here, ConsonantDude, for your benefit:

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

    no you fuckwit, it means that feminists are actually trying to solve issues that harm men, while MRAs seek to reverse the progress done by feminists. Which sometimes even includes doing so to the detriment of men.

  39. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    Oops, I meant ‘the meanings of words change over time’, not ‘the meanings change over time.’ Sorry.

  40. chigau (違う) says

    fuck this
    I’m going to bed to read some sf drek that I’ve already read 20 times.
    ‘night all

  41. ckitching says

    ltlftc:

    When the vast majority of those who label themselves with the “MRA” title then go on to do little else but complain about women and feminists, it’s hard to see them as little more than anti-feminists. Combine that with the fact that “pick-up artists” and “MGTOW” are regular fixtures in their community, and malevolent actions taken by self-appointed leaders in the movement who have created sites like “register her”, and it’s no wonder the “Men’s Rights Movement” have been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    If these people where honest about their aims, they would be allies to feminists instead of opponents. Converting maternity leave into parental leave would benefit both men and women. Yes, they have talked up a storm about custody issues, but I have seen them do anything about it except use it as an opportunity to sneer at the National Organization for Women.

  42. Amphiox says

    I simply seek a safer life for America’s kids

    Then might I suggest you unplug your computer and give it some disadvantaged kid in your neighborhood?

    She will put it to much better use than you have thus far, or ever will.

  43. rowanvt says

    @comrade:

    My main desire in life was, and continues to be, to work a physically active job involving animals. Thus, I am a Registered Veterinary Technician. I went to school for 3 years and passed a board exam in order to get my license. I am the equivalent of a Registered Nurse for animals. It is a hard, dirty, dangerous job that I love. I love it even as I am sporting a severely swollen finger from a cat that bit me through thick leather gloves.

    So you can take that ‘female desire for security’ and shove into one of your own nether orifices, right back where it came from in the first place. I also work with such equipment as an x-ray machine and anesthetic machines. So fuck off.

  44. says

    As young adults, they desire children.

    *snort* The answer to that one would be some women want sprogs. Other women most definitely do not. Just like some men want sprogs and other men don’t.

  45. ckitching says

    In my opinion, Diane Feinstein’s paranoia regarding assault weapons in the hands of scary Citizens simply masks a far more deadly threat to America’s children. We must consider taking action.

    You’re right bob. She should be trying to ban handguns, in addition to the military-style rifles, and high capacity magazines. Or was that not what you meant?

  46. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Also, shitbag, when you are banned,you will still be able to read this blog.

  47. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how the MRA accommodationist didn’t want to present real evidence and fled…;)

  48. rowanvt says

    @ Bob, #74-

    I went to an all-female highschool. Of my group of 6 friends, only 2 of us even considered having children. The rest were, and still are, adamant that they never want kids. My own sister-in-law despises “vagina gremlins” and can’t stand to be around children. Same for my best friend.

  49. Snoof says

    In my experience, that drive [for children] in young women is absolute.

    Out of interest, have you ever actually asked them?

  50. says

    Rowanvt, I still vividly remember a conversation with a friend back when I was 20 or 21, in which I told them I did not want sprogs. The response was “yeah, get back to me on that when you’re 26.” I’m now 55, still no sprogs, never developed that “natural” desire to have any, either. :D

  51. Nepenthe says

    Ugh. I don’t want to deal with this sort of shit.

    Interestingly, the same year that Terrese Edmonds was killed (as the only casualty of the accident), a male train operator was also using a cellphone on the job. The result: 25 dead, 135 injured. There was also a train accident in China caused by the negligence of several men that killed 72 and injured 416.

    Clearly the gravest risk to life on the railways is women being too close to technology.

  52. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    Wow, bobicus is actually enough of an asshole to use a woman’s death as “evidence” for his sexist claims about women and technology. I’m…not really surprised.

  53. rowanvt says

    You know, it’s amazing. If women are so bad around machines…. why is car insurance on average cheaper for a woman than for a man? And how I have managed 12 years of driving without being the cause of any accidents? … And despite having been run into by a man?

  54. Lofty says

    Comeradbob, a Man’s man of extremely limited experience, let alone understanding. Sheesh, I know plenty of women who dislike small children, let alone wanting to have a baby. I also know some very competent women who use machinery, drive trucks etc without wilting from the effort. Have you never seen a farmer’s wife reap a thousand acres of wheat? I have.

  55. Snoof says

    You know, it’s amazing. If women are so bad around machines…. why is car insurance on average cheaper for a woman than for a man? And how I have managed 12 years of driving without being the cause of any accidents? … And despite having been run into by a man?

    Now, now, rowanvt. A single anecdote doesn’t prove anything.

    You need like three or four.

  56. comradebob says

    *** This post entails a degree of risk, although I understand my vowels go away before final banishment ***

    rowanvt; If you miss an exit while driving on the interstate, traffic laws do not allow you to back up.

  57. says

    Dalillama:

    Flamingos are pink because of the shrimp they eat; if you can find me a white crow, I bet we can turn it pink by feeding it enough shrimp. :)

    That would be an interesting experiment. Alas, if only we were talking about actual crows.

  58. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Shitbag, I am not threatening you with banning. That is not my job. But you will get banned at some point. I have seen dozens of self righteous douchecanoes like you get.

    You are nothing special.

  59. Nepenthe says

    As an addendum to 83: no, there were no billion death train accidents caused by women that year. All the other train accidents that year were either caused by men or machines. The only death in a train accident in 2008 as a result of a woman’s actions was Edmonds. Aind I spoke incorrectly before. It appears that Edmonds lost consciousness as a result of a medical condition.

    So, in sum, in 2008 97 people were killed and 551 injured in railway accidents directly caused by men’s negligence. One person was killed and 14 people were injured in a railway accident caused by a woman’s medical condition. Comradebob’s conclusion: women can’t be trusted with machines.

    It is my carefully considered opinion that comradebob can go fuck himself.

  60. rowanvt says

    *** This post entails a degree of risk, although I understand my vowels go away before final banishment ***

    rowanvt; If you miss an exit while driving on the interstate, traffic laws do not allow you to back up.

    Now…. now this might be a hard concept for you, so I’ll type slowly so you can keep up.

    When I miss an exit on the freeway… I get off the freeway on the next exit, then then take surface streets to my destination. Or…. or, I get back on the freeway…. and go back that exit!

    It’s a really stunning concept, I know.

  61. stevenbrown says

    @96: I know you think you just explained that carefully to comradebob but I think what he’s going to THINK you said was something like: “LoLZ ur so right. Us wimminz can’t drive. Also I want babies.”

  62. ckitching says

    One person was killed and 14 people were injured in a railway accident caused by a woman’s medical condition.

    Not only that, but the medical condition in question was sleep apnea which caused sleep deprivation. Guess which sex is more likely to suffer from sleep apnea? It’s not women.

  63. bluentx says

    as per ComedeBob linking to the Colgan Air page.. eh, what? The article says the male captain was in control at the time of the crash soooo… how was it the co-pilots fault?
    The investigation found errors on both their parts but Bob only mentions the woman…nice goin’ Mr. Egalitarian!

  64. Nepenthe says

    @bluentx

    I think his argument is literally that women make machines break by being near them. They don’t actually have to be in control of the machine. That explains why train accidents are a reason to keep women away from machines. I mean, what are the odds that none</i. of the people on either of those trains I mentioned in 95 were women, eh? QE-fuckin'-D.

  65. rowanvt says

    Damnit! Why can’t the anti-technology lady cooties break our ancient x-ray machine and processor so we can get digital?

  66. bad Jim says

    Now for something a little different…

    The discussion in a different comment thread seemed to involve unhappiness with calling right-wing ideas “crazy” and the like, because such language was insensitive to people with mental illness.

    The problem is that some ideas are not merely ignorant but ridiculous and malicious, so terms like “demented fuckwit” or “batshit” seem entirely appropriate. Moreover, most of us know better than to use opprobrious terms to refer to actual mental illness, so perhaps we should be given the benefit of the doubt if we apply such expressions to our common opponents.

    Apologies if I misunderstood and this isn’t actually an issue.

  67. bluentx says

    Nepenthe! How could you! With one comment you have single-handedly undermined decades of womens progress!

  68. says

    bad Jim:

    Moreover, most of us know better than to use opprobrious terms to refer to actual mental illness, so perhaps we should be given the benefit of the doubt if we apply such expressions to our common opponents.

    Perhaps you should actually read the numerous discussions we’ve had on this particular subject. Your intent does not fucking matter. Intent is not magic and splash damage is still the result. Along with the fact that you and others of your line of thought simply refuse to consider the matter and figure out that it is an easy matter to select a different word or phrase which is actually accurate.

    There’s also the matter of the rules here, which I’m getting damn fucking tired of c&ping to the clueless:

    No splash damage. I have no problem with insults (except, not in the Lounge!), and encourage everyone to use vigorous and creative language. Except…I insist that you be precise and focused. Stilettos, not shotguns. There are classes of insults that rely on broad spectrum stereotypes to be insulting: racist, sexist, ableist, ageist slurs don’t just hit your target, they hit everyone in that group. So when you slam Joe Schmoe for being “old”, you’re also slamming me, and we old people get tetchy and cranky about that sort of thing.

  69. says

    Nepenthe:

    I think his argument is literally that women make machines break by being near them.

    If that’s the case, why are all we uppity women mouthing off on the internet? Or are computers, tablets, phones, etc., not machines?

  70. says

    Catching up in here, I see that comradbob @57 decides being racist is not enough. No, he dropped a heaping stinky pile of homophobic bigotry on top of his racist views. THEN in an attempt to outdo himself he added sexist fuckwit to the mix.
    What is next?
    Are there any people you would like to make fun of their age?
    Perhaps you would like to use a mental disability as an insult?

    People like you disgust me.

  71. says

    @ rowanvt

    If women are so bad around machines…. why is car insurance on average cheaper for a woman than for a man?

    Actually that is all changing. In the future (in the EU at least) women will be subsidising all that testosterone fueled mayhem:

    Currently, a young woman will get a much cheaper deal on her car insurance policy because she is seen as a much lower risk on the road than a man of the same age.

    A female driver between 17 and 25 pays an average of £1,247 for her car insurance, while a man in the same age group pays an average of £2,004.

    But the European Court of Justice’s ruling, which follows a ten-year legal battle against the proposals by insurers, will put an end to women getting better deals on car insurance.

    (Linky)

  72. deoridhe says

    Feminism is called feminism because what is discounted gender-wise is the feminine; the soft, the gentle, the nurturing, the colorful, the collective, the sacrificing. One of the issues with feminism as it’s grown up has been is embrace of the hard, the strong, the competitive, the neutral, the individual, and the self-nurturing at the expense of those other things, instead of in addition to those things.

    Feminism operates at two levels; at one of them it’s about increasing individual choices, allowing women in particular but men as well to express who they are as individuals before who they are as gendered beings. On the second level it’s about elevating qualities and characteristics that are discounted and underpaid, making our being a collective species that takes care of each other as important as our being an individualized species that seeks unique self-expression.

    So far there isn’t a widespread men’s movement embracing the feminine virtues; the most vocal men’s movement is doubling down on masculine virtues while blaming all of the negative consequences of them on feminists. The movement to broaden men’s self-expression is actually primarily happening through the male gay movement and things like being “metrosexual”, which brings serious homophobia into play as a weapon against men broadening their accepted territory. I try to be an ally to these men; I’d like a world in which we’re all encouraged to express our individuality and true nature (with expected bounds of not harming others) without being limited by gender (or racial) expectations.

    The discussion in a different comment thread seemed to involve unhappiness with calling right-wing ideas “crazy” and the like, because such language was insensitive to people with mental illness. The problem is that some ideas are not merely ignorant but ridiculous and malicious, so terms like “demented fuckwit” or “batshit” seem entirely appropriate.

    Equating words which indicate someone has a mental illness with being ridiculous and malicious is harmful to a population that is disproportionately victims of violence and abuse and yet is usually portrayed as violent and frightening. If you want to describe someone’s views as ridiculous, I recommend using the word ridiculous, not “batshit insane”. If you want to describe someone’s views as malicious and harmful, there are words for that. If you want to get creative, there are fun metaphors like equating the worth of people who carry these opinions with that of the fungus that grows under the bathmats at particularly disgusting gyms.

    In no way is using terms commonly used to denigrate the mentally ill necessary in order to express your disapprobation with people who are malicious, who seek to harm others, and who gain their enjoyment from the pain of others. If you think otherwise, you might want to consider why you think people who suffer from mental illnesses are so beyond the pale that their suffering should be used as an insult.

  73. bad Jim says

    Caine, I’ve read that, and I do understand the issue. But there has to be a vigorous way to describe certain ways of thinking. “Demented fuckwit”, by the way, was a phrase P.Z. once used to describe people who were trying to bring on the end of the world by breeding a red heifer, or something. There has to be something stronger than “this is a really misguided and ill-intentioned idea.”

    Perhaps there could be a usage guide. If “batshit” is out, is “fuckwit” okay?

  74. says

    Bad Jim:
    There doesn’t *have*to be a stronger term. There probably is, but just because YOU desire something to be stronger than ‘this is a really misguided and ill-intentioned idea’, does not mean the English language MUST conform to your wishes.
    That said, ‘fuckwit’ is quite acceptable. It is used often in these part.

  75. says

    bad Jim:

    Caine, I’ve read that, and I do understand the issue.

    Apparently, you don’t understand the issue, nor have you done much reading. If you did understand the issue and read any of the numerous discussions, you wouldn’t have posted what you did.

    But there has to be a vigorous way to describe certain ways of thinking. “Demented fuckwit”, by the way, was a phrase P.Z. once used to describe people who were trying to bring on the end of the world by breeding a red heifer, or something. There has to be something stronger than “this is a really misguided and ill-intentioned idea.”

    There are – words are a wonderful thing, you just have to expand your vocabulary and imagination. Why in the holy fuck do asses always bring up something PZ once said? Is he incapable of fucking up? Is he incapable of being stupid about something, then learning and growing from that experience? No. So that’s utterly irrelevant.

    Perhaps there could be a usage guide. If “batshit” is out, is “fuckwit” okay?

    Why in the hell does there need to be a guide? Yes, fuckwit is fine. It’s very fucking simple, outlined in concise, clear language in the fucking rule I quoted: NO SPLASH DAMAGE. No ableist insults or slurs allowed. Full stop. That means you do not get to use any euphemism for mentally ill or mentally unsound. If you can’t manage that, I suggest you take a handy vocabulary class.

  76. Nepenthe says

    @rowanvt

    Damnit! Why can’t the anti-technology lady cooties break our ancient x-ray machine and processor so we can get digital?

    Well, clearly you haven’t gotten the enough cooties on the machines. Cooties are secreted by ladies… so you have … I have a suggestion, but it’s rather obscene and should be done after hours. Maybe it’s better to wait until the cooties build up.

    @bad Jim
    -wit is ableist, as it references lack of intelligence as a negative and has been used in the context of referring to people with developmental disabilities (see “halfwit” “lackwit” “dimwit” etc), much like “idiot”, “moron”, etc.

  77. says

    @ deoridhe

    Feminism

    At this juncture, we could also point out that in Chinese philosophy this balance is dealt with overtly in the concept of Yin & Yang. The female and masculine aspects of the individual should endlessly be brought into balance to achieve harmony. To the extent that even Mao Zhedong (a poster-child for misogyny … perhaps more accurately, for misanthropy) declared: “Women hold up half the sky.”

    @ rowant

    [re: differential prices for insurance wrt sexes]

    The difference makes complete actuarial sense. Further it acts to punish the offenders and reward responsibility. However, and it is a capital HOWEVER, it also discriminates against a broad group and can, for example, harm responsible young men financially.

    There are ways to still balance things however. For example by giving individual reward for careful driving (including advanced driving classes) and enforcing existing laws against irresponsible driving.

  78. marilove says

    *snort* The answer to that one would be some women want sprogs. Other women most definitely do not. Just like some men want sprogs and other men don’t.

    What.

    I’ve NEVER wanted kids. I’m 31. Still don’t want kids. Have always been very much female. I don’t even dislike kids, exactly. I just really don’t want to be a parent.

    “In your experience” — oh for fuck’s sake.

  79. marilove says

    Well, I copied the wrong bit of text. I was replying to the notion that all young women desire children. Well, I was a young woman once; and now I’m in my early 30s; and I’ve never wanted children. DOES THAT BLOW YOUR MIND?

  80. deoridhe says

    Why in the holy fuck do asses always bring up something PZ once said?

    The PZ is our Shepard, and we shall not want.
    He maketh us lie down with cool science books.
    He leadeth us beside our awesome cephalapod overlords.
    He restoreth our minds, but only in a metaphorical sense.
    He leadeth us on paths of silly wittyness for His name’s sake.

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadows of assholes,
    I fear no half-baked theories
    For He is with us.
    His squid and his cute animals, they comfort us.

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of my life,
    And I shall dwell in the house of the Horde forever (or until we all die and get recycled into other living and not-living things).

  81. says

    Also, Bad Jim, using ableist language such as “insane”, “batshit” or “batshit crazy” in reference to a devoutly religious pro-life lawyer and politician is a way of othering. You are indulging in the No True Human Fallacy and by doing so, putting this person in a handy little box away from you, which is for the purpose of your mental comfort.

    Othering and sticking with the No True Human Fallacy does no one any favours, including yourself. Perfectly sane, normal people do horrible things all. the. fucking. time. Every day, every moment. We have a tendency to want to hurriedly stick people who do horrible things into that box, the one waaaay over there, because, ya know, a sane person wouldn’t do that. This denies the reality that all human beings are capable of saying and committing horrible things and acts, often in service to a particular belief or ideology. It is in no way helpful to pretend they aren’t normal people. They are.

    Try reading http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/14/before-you-reach-for-the-its-not-guns-its-the-cray-cray-argument/#comments for an in depth discussion on this matter.

  82. bluentx says

    bad Jim:
    I,myself, have what is considered a mental illness (clinical depression/anxiety).
    ‘Batshit crazy’ used to be a favorite expression of mine (especially in the case of Michelle Bachmann) -but you live and learn. I’m trying to break the habit of using that (and other) expressions that are considered offensive. I’ll probably slip up sometimes and use those careless expressions here as well as IRL. I expect to be and should be called out* for it. That’s how we learn not to be careless.

    *But please be kind friends. : )

  83. bad Jim says

    deoridhe, right-wing authoritarians aren’t necessarily “people who are malicious, who seek to harm others, and who gain their enjoyment from the pain of others”, though their leaders may be. They do often entertain ideas which may be impossible, contradictory or disproportionate, a conceptual clown-car, as it were, or a three-ring circus of the mind. They’re otherwise functional, and often considered good-hearted and kindly people, and not at all like actual schizophrenics. (I do have one cousin with that affliction, relatively well-controlled by medication, and she’s a liberal like the rest of the family.)

    That said, the paranoia and the disconnect between dogma and reality deserves a label (You’re afraid we’re going to be invaded by the U.N.? Have you ever seen them in action?) and I don’t think a word like “delusion” should be beyond the pale. Perhaps among ourselves we can just use code words like blackshirt and authoritarian and leave it at that; we don’t exactly have to rack our brains for examples.

  84. Cyranothe2nd says

    ltlftc–

    Groups are defined by their members. In feminist circles, Dworkin is considered extreme. In MRA circles, AVFM et al are considered the norm. THAT is the difference. It isn’t painting all MRAs with a black brush to say, “Hey, at some point your community’s failure to call this misogynist shit out means that your movement has become synonymous with misogyny.” because that is the simple fact. If MRAs want to change that, then they need to clean their own house, or form a splinter movement and call themselves something else.

  85. Nepenthe says

    That said, the paranoia and the disconnect between dogma and reality deserves a label (You’re afraid we’re going to be invaded by the U.N.? Have you ever seen them in action?) and I don’t think a word like “delusion” should be beyond the pale.

    It doesn’t matter. Delusion has been deemed unacceptable. Fuckwit has been deemed acceptable. So on Pharyngula, you call them fuckwits and when you go elsewhere you can use more evocative language.

  86. says

    Nepenthe:
    I got curious about the use of the word ‘wit’.
    ” More generally, one’s wits are one’s intellectual powers of all types. Native wit — meaning the wits with which one is born — is closely synonymous with common sense. [6] To live by one’s wits is to be an opportunist, but not always of the scrupulous kind. To have one’s wits about one is to be alert and capable of quick reasoning. To be at the end of one’s wits is to be immensely frustrated.”
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wit#section_1

    If alertness and quick reasoning are examples of ‘wit’, the addition of ‘fuck’ and the subsequent use of ‘fuckwit’ as an insult could mean someone who is not alert and/or has poor reasoning skills.
    There is also this:
    ” Much of this conflation has resulted from changes in meaning. In Early Modern English, “wit” and “sense” overlapped in meaning. Both could mean a faculty of perception (although this sense dropped from the word “wit” during the 17th century). Thus “five wits” and “five senses” could describe both groups of wits/senses, the inward and the outward, although the common distinction, where it was made, was “five wits” for the inward and “five senses” for the outward.”
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_wits
    As far as I know, Five Wits fell out of use, but I like the idea of wit referring to a faculty of perception. Add the prefix ‘fuck’ and calling someone ‘fuckwit’ could mean that person has serious issues with perception (not in a sight related way, but an obtuse lack of understanding way).

    (I wasn’t trying to correct you about anything. I just found this to be interesting and offer up a possble reason why ‘-wit’ can be acceptable).

  87. says

    Deoridhe:
    Where is the sign up sheet to be your personal cheerleader?
    In lieu of that, the three excellent comments I have read from you in the last hour or two warrant a tasty adult beverage. Please, take a look at the many fine wines PZ provides for us and take your pick (if you drink). We shall USB it your way :)

  88. Nepenthe says

    Well, I’ve offered up any number of reasons delusion is acceptable, Tony. It hardly matters.

    What does fuckwit mean? In a literal sense, someone with fucked wits. Someone with impaired thinking, implied to be innate as wits are innate. Ableist. Because there’s nothing wrong with having impaired thinking or senses.

    In a etymological sense, it seems to come from insults like lackwit and half-wit, words specifically used for people with developmental disabilities, but made more obscene. See and compare “fucktard”.

    Note: I’m not saying that you should stop using the word. I only will if it’s decided to be taboo here or if someone is personally offended by its use. I just note that the decision about which words are okay and which words aren’t is often arbitrary.

  89. says

    Caine:
    Very true, and lackwit works just as well with the definitions of ‘wit’ I gave above.
    ****
    Talking about insults reminds me of something…when someone is called a ‘fucker’ or ‘fuckface’, what are they being called? How does the insult work?

  90. says

    Nepenthe:
    I actually wasn’t aware that ‘delusional/deluded’ were seen as unacceptable.
    I agree wth you about ‘-wit’. As I hit submit, I realized that wit refers to some innate characteristcs of an individual, and used as an insult could be ableist. There would need to be a way to distinguish willful ‘lack of wit’ from ‘inherent lack of wit’. Your points have merit. I am not married to any of the prior terms and if they are deemed unacceptable I have no problem not using them. If they’re seen as acceptable, great.

  91. deoridhe says

    They do often entertain ideas which may be impossible, contradictory or disproportionate, a conceptual clown-car, as it were, or a three-ring circus of the mind.

    All great descriptors. Slurs for the mentally ill are not. Why is this a challenging concept for you, exactly?

    They’re otherwise functional, and often considered good-hearted and kindly people, and not at all like actual schizophrenics.

    So actual people with schizophrenia like your cousin, aren’t considered good-hearted and kindly people? Maybe this explains why you’re struggling with not using slurs for the mentally ill as general insults…

    Seriously, a few of the people with schizophrenia I know are liberal, a few are conservative, and more don’t give a fuck because they are more concerned with a variety of other things, including mastering Halo. Shockingly, having a mental illness is not co-morbid with other characteristics, including political affiliation.

    Personally, I think delusional and paranoid both have valid uses as descriptive terms for those sorts of situations outside of mental illness (schizophrenia, for example, is not simply being delusional or paranoid or having hallucinations, but rather is a cluster of symptoms, and there are even syndromes that have hallucinations without delusions) but the standard slurs (crazy, insane) which were the initial issues do not. I do know people with mental illnesses who use those words for themselves in a variety of ways, but that is a situational thing (see: reclaiming) and using them as insults is not on the table at all.

    *flails at Tony all embarrassed like* I like a nice Piesporter, very, very cold?

  92. says

    I’m not giving up (willful) fuckwit, it’s much too accurate and handy. Same goes for (willful) lackwit.

    Delusional, deluded and paranoid are all acceptable. The caveat being that they are used when accurate.

  93. ckitching says

    Perhaps you all are overthinking it. If no one is actually offended, and people only know of the potential for splash damage after thinking about it and examining the etymology of the word, it probably isn’t really damaging any unintended targets. -wit variations could conceivably be ableist if you squint at it just the right way, but also not ableist if you squint at it a different way. Why not wait for someone, who actually is offended by it, to flag it?

    And I hate to lose words that mean “apparently normal people acting poorly” that don’t require swearing.

  94. deoridhe says

    Piersporter is delicious, and very sweet.

    Also, there is no such think as overthinking. It’s like being sensitive – however thinky and sensitive you are is perfectly right!

  95. stevenbrown says

    @ Caine:
    That doesn’t clear up the point that Nepenthe made though.
    If using ableist slurs is an issue because intent doesn’t matter then I can see why people would question the use of fuckwit.
    After all someone could say the same about the word crazy: That it’s about people who willfully embrace irrational, reality rejecting ideas.
    Not saying people should use crazy as an insult or that people shouldn’t use fuckwit.

  96. stevenbrown says

    oops. That was @#137 Boy comments happen quick here. Or maybe I’m just a slower writer :P

  97. says

    Steven, yes, I understand that, however:

    After all someone could say the same about the word crazy: That it’s about people who willfully embrace irrational, reality rejecting ideas.

    This is wrong. Crazy means insane or mentally ill, which is not something someone can be willful about – it’s part of who they are, and they can’t decide to stop being mentally ill. If people could choose to not be mentally ill, how wonderful that would be.

  98. stevenbrown says

    I understand that but wit is used to mean intelligence. at a certain point intelligence, or lack thereof, seems to be part of who a person is as well.
    I was mainly agreeing with Nepenthe that the ban on certain words but not others is fairly arbitrary.
    I listened to a panel of well known NZ feminist authors, you can listen to it here if you want, and one of them pointed out that using the work ‘fuck’ as an insult was degrading to women and homosexuals because of the connotations.
    While I disagree with that I can certainly understand where she was coming from.

  99. ckitching says

    The fact that people with mental illness sometimes self-identify as “crazy” is enough to push it over the limit of unacceptable to use as an insult.

  100. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Delusion is a current medical term. Like retarded. You should not diagnose people unless you are qualified to do so. Antiquated medical terms like idiot have been pretty well divorced from their old implications of medicalization — and the test we can use to know this, as well as judge other similar questions, is that so many people are surprised to learn that words like idiot and moron were at one time medical designations.

    Regarding words like stupid or dimwit I would only reiterate what I said to Fincke.

    I try to at least be cognizant of what I’m doing when I call someone stupid. The reason I think about this, I suppose, is that I have a friend who fairly regularly gives his thoughts to me and then says something like “but I know you probably think I’m stupid.” Thing is, I’ve never called him stupid, or anything like it. What’s happened in his life is a lot of people have called him stupid, and he notices that I am somewhat clever, and his feelings of inferiority cause him to infer that I think he’s stupid. It’s unfortunate.

    So I am sensitive to the notion that calling people stupid is suboptimal. But it’s not as though stupid people are an institutionally oppressed class (yet). So it’s not ableism. But it might be suboptimal without being ableism.

  101. Nepenthe says

    Nepenthe, the way fuckwit is used here is not so much in the impaired sense, but the willful fuckwittery sense.

    We have ceased to use words here not because we used them in the -ist sense, but because others do. Sometimes you even have to look damn hard to find that usage. Or look at the language of 13-year-old-boys-on-the-internet, for whom any word is an -ist slur of some sort.

    Furthermore, you have no idea over the internet whether someone is impaired or whether they are willfully ignorant. Do you know whether I’m engaging in this conversation because I’m an asshole or because my meds changed this week and my impulse control has gone down to zero? For all you know Lee Coye was a lovely gentleman until he got a blasting rod through the brain.

    Further furthermore, we’ve had these discussions before. How many innocent electrons died while we rationalized and wrangled over the anally inserted porcupine? How many convincing arguments were there about why that was totally okay? There’s really only one possible ending. The word/image/thought will be excised.

    Re delusion, strange gods made an impassioned case about it being unacceptable a few Thunderdome’s back and also in the Alex Jones on Piers Morgan thread. I assumed the case was settled, since no one besides Nick Gotts and myself argued the counterpoint.

  102. stevenbrown says

    Tony: Yes, yes I do. What I was pointing out is that a fairly common use of the word wit is very tied to intelligence. Are you suggesting that everyone is equally intelligent and some people are just lazy? I would say that while you can certainly educate yourself and exercise your brain there are probably some inherent differences between individuals.

  103. says

    Steven:

    I understand that but wit is used to mean intelligence. at a certain point intelligence, or lack thereof, seems to be part of who a person is as well.

    This is getting too godsdamn silly. FFS, there’s a world of difference between someone being willfully ignorant, say, and someone who is actually ignorant. We get both types here. There’s a world of difference between someone being willfully stupid (like JAQers) and actually stupid.

    I am now getting really pissed off, so I’m not even addressing the idiocy over fuck. I’m out.

  104. bad Jim says

    I’m going to need a lexicon, because logic is failing me tonight. “Batshit” is out, “Fuckwit” is okay. “Delusion” is out. Is “paranoia” okay? How about “shit-for-brains”?

    Perhaps your intent is to drive people away, to create a gated community. We have those in my town, but most of us prefer to live in neighborhoods where you can’t be fined for having a basketball hoop above the garage. It’s one thing to point out that a phrase which would go unremarked in normal conversation has a connotation which might be considered derogatory, and another to suggest that anyone using it is concealing a foul agenda.

    Too many comment threads wind up being pissing contests about an injudicious choice of words. I guess I’m just complaining that it isn’t a spectator sport, that I don’t find it edifying to read commenters speculating about the insensitivity or malignity of other commenters, not all of whom, as far as I can tell, harbor evil intent. Occasionally I’ll note a giant comment count, dive in to find out what happened, and find nothing much.

    Back to craziness. I was a kid when I moved to Southern California fifty years ago. I was amazed to find antisemitism commonplace. The local congressman warned that barefoot Africans were training in Cuba to invade us (and thought this ought to worry us). Things have improved locally since then, but the problem that millions of voters are motivated by ideas barely tethered to reality still shapes our nation’s politics. Something like mass insanity gave us the invasion of Iraq, millions displaced and at least tens but more probably hundreds of thousands killed as a result.

    How do we characterize that? Polls tell us the belief that Obama isn’t an American continues to increase. That’s not just ignorance (unless I’m wrong about the polls!). It actually is a willful delusion.

  105. stevenbrown says

    Sorry I upset you Caine.
    I’ll stop talking about this as well after this post because I don’t actually have any desire to change how people talk here.

    FFS, there’s a world of difference between someone being willfully ignorant, say, and someone who is actually ignorant.

    Ignorance does not equal intelligence. Wit refers to intelligence or perception. If it ONLY referred to perception then it would be a perfect insult but it has the alternate meaning if intelligence.

    I’ll stop arguing for the sake of arguing now.

  106. Nepenthe says

    But it’s not as though stupid people are an institutionally oppressed class (yet).

    *slow blink*

    Even accepting that to be true, isn’t judging people based on lack intellectual ability inherently ableist? Or does a person have to have a signed paper from a medical professional before they’re considered subject to ableism?

  107. John Morales says

    bad Jim:

    I’m going to need a lexicon, because logic is failing me tonight. “Batshit” is out, “Fuckwit” is okay. “Delusion” is out. Is “paranoia” okay? How about “shit-for-brains”?

    Depends on context, but I can tell you right now that nobody has shit for brains.

    Perhaps your intent is to drive people away, to create a gated community.

    That’s a stupid claim. Were that the case, then the straightforward way to implement that would be to make participation dependent on being invited in having met certain selection criteria, as with any gated community.

    It’s one thing to point out that a phrase which would go unremarked in normal conversation has a connotation which might be considered derogatory, and another to suggest that anyone using it is concealing a foul agenda.

    And a third thing to be contumacious when some group advises that one is breaching the group’s norms.

    Too many comment threads wind up being pissing contests about an injudicious choice of words.

    Your concern is duly noted.

    How do we characterize that [anecdote provided]?

    Antisemitism and racism and risible claims and poor argumentation.

    Polls tell us the belief that Obama isn’t an American continues to increase. That’s not just ignorance (unless I’m wrong about the polls!). It actually is a willful delusion.

    You sure about that?

    You’re stating a matter of fact which is not obvious to me.

    (What polls?)

  108. deoridhe says

    So, you’re deliberately using slurs aimed at mental illness and don’t care, as well as doubling down by equating it with racism now.

    How charming.

  109. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Even accepting that to be true, isn’t judging people based on lack intellectual ability inherently ableist?

    I think people with a 100 IQ are pretty stupid. Are people with a 100 IQ oppressed? If they are not an oppressed class, then how can it be ableist?

    I’m going with something like “racism is prejudice plus power” here. If we start oppressing people with 100 IQs then I’m going to call that ableism — and there are ways to do it, and this might even happen in the next century; it needn’t be a far-off sci-fi scenario. But if they aren’t oppressed then it’s distracting to lump that in with oppressions and call the whole package, of oppressions and non-oppressions, all ableism.

    Or does a person have to have a signed paper from a medical professional before they’re considered subject to ableism?

    No, if someone’s pretty obviously mentally retarded but never diagnosed as such, it’s going to constitute micro-oppressions against that individual to call them stupid.

  110. John Morales says

    Nepenthe:

    Even accepting that to be true, isn’t judging people based on lack intellectual ability inherently ableist?

    Well, yes, unless the issue upon which judgement is made depends on intellectual ability — much like judging people’s mechanical skills when seeking a mechanic.

    Difference is between judging a person’s intrinsic worth as a person vs. judging a person’s ability at something.

  111. bad Jim says

    “Crazy” used to mean literally unhinged, as in “the crazy door of the jakes”, found in Joyce’s Ulysses. My original proposal was to recycle useful old words. (I would really like to have “gay” back. What teenager now would want to be caught reading Nietzsche’s “The Gay Science”, which I have to admit I haven’t read.)

    It might, just might, be wise not to immediately assume the worst of anyone who comments. It would certainly be nice.

  112. John Morales says

    bad Jim:

    It might, just might, be wise not to immediately assume the worst of anyone who comments. It would certainly be nice.

    It might, just might, be wise not to immediately assume people here assume the worst of anyone who comments.

    (Niceness is irrelevant)

  113. strange gods before me ॐ says

    “Don’t do that.”

    “Don’t assume the worst of me.”

    “Well-meaning people do things which shouldn’t be done. Nobody is assuming the worst of you. But again, don’t do that.”

    “This is a gated community.”

  114. says

    Stevenbrown:
    I am *really* curious to see how ‘fuck’ can be degrading to women and homosexuals-most especially because heterosexual men fuck too. Unfortunately, my phone won’t play the video. Is there a transcript available?

  115. ckitching says

    “Crazy” used to mean literally unhinged, as in “the crazy door of the jakes”, found in Joyce’s Ulysses.

    Etymology is fun and interesting, but it does not tell us what a word means today. Today, crazy means mentally ill. Just as gay means homosexual. The fact these words had different meanings in the past is interesting, but ultimately not important to the discussion of if they should be used in the way you want to use them.

  116. strange gods before me ॐ says

    (I would really like to have “gay” back.

    Too fucking bad.

    What teenager now would want to be caught reading Nietzsche’s “The Gay Science”, which I have to admit I haven’t read.)

    That’s less important than gay people’s self-identification.

    Regardless, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft is already translated by some Nietzsche scholars as The Joyous Science and The Joyful Science when they’re talking about it. It should be possible to talk some publisher into making the switch.

  117. Nepenthe says

    @John Morales

    I utterly fail to see how calling someone commenting on a blog a lackwit is at all analogous to mechanical skills. There is no serious social stigma against people with poor mechanic skills. Nor does it take an excess of brain power to comment.

    @strange gods
    You can do the analysis the same way as with race or gender or sexual orientation. The “disabled” are a far less coherent class than racial/gender classes. (Yes, there’re liminal spaces, but there is some common sense of what a black person is and what a woman is and what a lesbian is, and more importantly, what each is not.) Nearly everyone is impaired in some way or will be at some point in their lives. The class of people oppressed by ableism is humanity.

    I really don’t have the energy to carry through this argument though.

  118. says

    I see this place as a gated community of sorts. While just about anyone can enter, all must adhere to the standards to be welcomed. One of those standards is ‘no splash damage’. There are terms that are agreed upon (such as homophobic or gender related slurs) and some-as we see in this thread-that have not been fully agreed upon (though that is subject to change). A tremendous benefit to that is that people who belong to an oppressed group can post here and have some place where they either aren’t oppressed or where people have their backs. This can be helpful to many people who, in meatspace, may have no such safe haven.
    Stevenbrown- are you part of any marginalized, oppressed, discriminated against group? If you have the privilege of not being in such a group, that may be why you fail to understand the importance of a safe space.

  119. Nepenthe says

    @Tony

    Can’t listen now, but an argument I’ve read is this: In the current concept of fucking (and a lot of old concepts*), the one who is fucked is degraded by the act. “Fuck you” means “I fuck you” means “I degrade you by penetrating your body”. Said to a woman, it can be read as a rape threat. Said to a man, it’s not only a rape threat, but turns the insulted person into a woman and we all know how bad it is to be a woman.

    *I spent part of my afternoon reading about the extremely detailed vocabulary the Romans had for describing sex. The terms for a person who is fucked are insults. The terms for a person who fucks are generally positive. The terms are incredibly specific.

  120. John Morales says

    Nepenthe, your question was whether it was “inherently ableist”, and that is what I answered.

    If you truly consider one can only be ableist in regards to issues to which “serious social stigma” applies, then the answer is no, since that would make it “extrinsically ableist” — that is, dependent on external factors.

  121. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You can do the analysis the same way as with race or gender or sexual orientation.

    Whatever that means.

    The “disabled” are a far less coherent class than racial/gender classes. (Yes, there’re liminal spaces, but there is some common sense of what a black person is and what a woman is and what a lesbian is, and more importantly, what each is not.)

    I agree with this. And it’s fine to talk about edges. Now, will someone argue that people with IQs of 100 are an oppressed group? Are on the edge of being an oppressed group?

    Relevantly, will someone present a substantive argument that people with IQs of 100 are thereby disadvantaged in society in some quantitative way? For I can show that regarding diagnosed mental illnesses.

    Nearly everyone is impaired in some way or will be at some point in their lives. The class of people oppressed by ableism is humanity.

    Even if we were to grant the first sentence, it would not follow that someone currently being called stupid is currently being oppressed by ableism.

    BTW, your stance appears to have changed so quickly that I suspect disingenuity. 134 also suggests this. Please don’t lie about your beliefs; it’s really annoying and not conducive to anyone’s understanding.

  122. Owlglass says

    I know it is a somewhat revolutionary idea, but have you considered leaving slurs and insults away entirely? Other than that, any form of negative intelligence or capacity judgement is inevitably ableist. You cannot know where intentions end and incapabilities begin. And IQ 100 is not “pretty stupid” but by very definition the average, the top of the bell curve.

    To the alleged MRA guy, read this one, and perhaps try “Jailbreak the Patriarchy”:
    http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2012-12-a-letter-to-the-guy-who-harrassed-me-outside-the-bar

  123. stevenbrown says

    Tony: Sorry I got distracted there for a bit.
    I can’t find a transcript sadly. I had a quick scan but couldn’t find the bit where she said that just yet. It’s about an hour long so I’m having trouble.
    Now that I think about it I realize I was wrong and it was ‘fucked’ that she had an issue with not fuck which is an important distinction as I guess she was implying that women get fucked and so describing something that is broken as fucked is offensive.
    As I said I didn’t agree with her. I was trying, and looking back probably failing, to use it to illustrate that it is arbitrary where the line is drawn.

  124. bad Jim says

    The point of a gated community is to exclude people. People here are frequently telling other people they are not wanted.

    The gated communities of the town where I still live once explicitly excluded people based on their ancestry, which I found surprising, misguided, or worse; I found their thoughts surprising, even unfathomable, but I’m not sure that I could describe them in a way that no one here would find objectionable. Let’s say that, like many Americans even now, they were strongly invested in a frightening fantasy barely attached to reality.

    As for birtherism being even more common than it used to be, I’m not going to root around to cite the different polls whose results I’ve read, much less discuss the methodology, or speculate why people answer the way they do. It’s clear that there are a lot of people who don’t like Obama.

    Lazy is probably the term to use. Ideas are disseminated, collected and sorted by value, and the market that sets the price may not enforce consistency among the products on sale. People whose cognitive sufficiency I might call into question are probably dealing with a disjoint market, where anything liberal is labeled “Communist”, female labeled “filthy”, non-European labeled “undesirable”.

    The problem is not just that I prefer certain products on offer which they deem utterly unacceptable (Clinton, Kerry, Obama) but that they deny the very existence of the data I use to make my choices (Europeans spend half as much on health care, live longer, and cover everyone)(Iraq did not present a threat to the US)(Interest rates are still huddling in a foxhole).

  125. says

    Nepenthe, this website was cited as an argument that the ‘fuck you’ language is part of the insidiousness of rape culture, which references a 1982 book, Men on Rape, by Timothy Beneke. And we’ve had other citations as to the meaning of sexual acts being referenced as profanities, such as a discussion in Carl Sagan’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors where they are likened to dominance displays establishing a power imbalance between the parties who are swearing or being sworn at.

    However, I am cautious about drawing too much into the argument, since it is now something of a game of Gotcha! to dishonestly reframe a dialogue such as:
    C: Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good. You already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake.
    B: Fuck off.
    … as being an excuse to accuse ‘B’ of wishing rape on ‘C’, and that concomitantly ‘B’ is in favour of rape threats, rape culture — by asserting that any invocation of ‘fuck you’ or ‘fuck off’ is rape language, irrespective of context.

  126. Beatrice says

    As someone who has been called stupid more times than I can count, by the same person well on his way to convincing me I’m crazy, I don’t feel particularly hurt by people using stupid or variations as insults.

    You can do the analysis the same way as with race or gender or sexual orientation.

    Whatever that means.

    I think this has more to do with education and therefore classism, if I’m understanding correctly. I don’t really see stupid people being oppressed, but if there is any splash damage then it’s in people who lack education, possibly because of their race or gender, who are sometimes called stupid as a silencing method.
    /rambling

  127. strange gods before me ॐ says

    but have you considered leaving slurs and insults away entirely?

    Yes, I’ve considered it. I refer you again to my dialogue with Fincke on the matter. It’s a stupid idea. There is no reason to stop using insults which are not slurs about oppressed groups.

    Other than that, any form of negative intelligence or capacity judgement is inevitably ableist.

    No, it isn’t. Lumping everything together like this does not help people. It matters whether a subgroup experiences quantifiable discrimination which disadvantages them in society.

    You cannot know where intentions end and incapabilities begin.

    That’s a reason for caution. And I’ll grant that it’s suboptimal to insult people for capacities beyond their control. It isn’t nice, and like I said to Fincke, I’m open to arguments that we should not do it.

    But it isn’t always ableist — it isn’t ableist when it doesn’t correspond to something like prejudice plus power.

    If there’s a reason why we should not do it, it is nevertheless not because of ableism.

    And IQ 100 is not “pretty stupid” but by very definition the average, the top of the bell curve.

    That is my point, both as a joke about the commenter mentioned earlier who bragged of having a “three digit IQ”, and seriously, seriously though, 100 is pretty stupid. Have you talked to any of these people? :)

  128. John Morales says

    Owlglass:

    I know it is a somewhat revolutionary idea, but have you considered leaving slurs and insults away entirely?

    I know that if you have, you have clearly decided against it, as this quoted sarcastic insult demonstrates.

    And IQ 100 is not “pretty stupid” but by very definition the average, the top* of the bell curve.

    Stupidity is quite meaningful as a relative measure; it’s no less reasonable for someone with an IQ of (say) 125 to consider someone at 100 “pretty stupid” than it is for someone with an IQ of 100 to consider someone at 75 “pretty stupid”.

    * That’s the mode, the median and the mean in a normal distribution.

  129. bad Jim says

    I suppose that Nietzsche’s intended contrast was with economics, “the dismal science”, so it’s sort of an inside joke to begin with. Oh, well.

  130. strange gods before me ॐ says

    The gated communities of the town where I still live once explicitly excluded people based on their ancestry,

    We’re trying to stop people from actively hurting us and our friends and loved ones. We judge this only based upon their actions. If you are a hate-filled bigot but you never act in such a way as to indicate this, no one will ever know.

    You’re being criticized for the things you said, and you’re conflating that with being criticized for your ancestry. That’s racist.

  131. Nepenthe says

    Typo. That was supposed to be “You can’t do the analysis the same way as with race or gender or sexual orientation.”

    Your argument about people with IQs of 100 is absurd (from the Latin surdus: deaf, as in a deaf person). If you thought a person with a BMI of 24 was fat because you’re extremely thin, would it be okay to use fat shaming language because they’re a normal weight person and not technically oppressed by fat shaming? No. Because it splash damages people who are really fat and are oppressed by it. When you call someone stupid because they’re not as intelligent as you, you’re splashing on people who are actually oppressed for their intellectual ability. And yes, I think things like segregated schools or ghettoization within a standard school, institutionalization, and forced sterilization do count as oppression.

    Short summary of my opinion: I think the decision on whether a particular word is ableist enough to stop using is generally arbitrary, which has been my overall point in this thread. I don’t give a shit about mental-illness-related language. I do give a shit about arbitrary standards. “No splash damage” “this word damages x people” “Well, they’re not oppressed and plus we like that word.” Well, I think a month ago you would have flamed yourself as a bigot for saying that.

    I also think that ableism is a poorly defined concept with a whole lot of bullshit and hand waving stuck inside it and that disability theory in general has a lot of weak crap in it.

    And I really, really hate when people get offended on my behalf. Are you offended personally by the word “crazy”? Great, I’ll stop using it because I like you. Are you objecting because it theoretically offends people like me, who are rather disabled by mental illness? This is me not giving a shit.

  132. John Morales says

    Nepenthe:

    I don’t give a shit about mental-illness-related language. I do give a shit about arbitrary standards.

    No inherent standard can be arbitrary, definitionally.

  133. strange gods before me ॐ says

    if there is any splash damage then it’s in people who lack education, possibly because of their race or gender, who are sometimes called stupid as a silencing method.

    Right, I try to be sensitive to this. I’ll excerpt some of my discussion with Fincke:

    [Fincke:] Stupid is a serious word that torments […] people […]

    “Stupid” is just not a word that smart people have ruining their self-esteem from the time they’re little kids.

    And even yet, it is a false and belittling word that is counterproductive to constructive discourse. Calling someone stupid tempts them to either slink away in shame or to fight back with equal emotional abuse.

    There are perfectly good words for telling someone that a specific idea is no good. False, empirically refuted, fallacious, absurd, illogical, unsupported by evidence, irrational, rationally indefensible, superstitious, biased. All these might work and many more. There’s no need to then personalize it by calling the person stupid or the idea stupid, which has the implication of bashing the person for thinking it.

    [me:] Even if Bob worries that he is stupid, it’s not clear that if Bob hears Alice called stupid, Bob is likely to feel personally attacked as well.

    An insult clearly referring to an oppressed group, like trans people, is different in this way.

    [Fincke:] First of all your example is bullshit. If you, as a smart person with big ideas, call someone stupid, I guarantee you people who were belittled as stupid growing up will feel that you are picking on all people you think have lesser intellectual prowess than yourself and will resent you for it.

    [me:] Hm. I don’t know. It’s possible but I’d like to see a citation. People have told me that I make them feel not very smart, and I try to be sensitive to this, but none of them have ever told me that my calling some other person stupid made them also feel belittled.

    So here’s the thing. I am already pretty careful. I am open to the possibility that I should be more careful. But I want to call John Morales a stupid ass sometimes. I already know he’s not going to be made to feel unduly inferior because of it. Honestly now, is someone else observing me say this to John going to experience this as an oppressive microaggression by proxy?

  134. Beatrice says

    SGBM,

    I’m not arguing against usage of the word “stupid”, I was just trying to figure out where the splash damage from the word could be because I’m not seeing it in the way Nepenthe explains.

    As I wrote before that, I don’t feel slighted when people throw around stupid as an insult even though it has been used against me in a very hurtful way in the past.

    I followed that argument with Fincke and reread most of it this morning, and I am not in agreement with Fincke. (I especially resent him how he treated Natalie there, but that’s off topic)

  135. Nepenthe says

    Honestly now, is someone else observing me say this to John going to experience this as an oppressive microaggression by proxy?

    I’ve never been called stupid in an intellectual sense because that would be absurd–though I’ve been repeatedly called stupid all my life for other reasons–so I don’t know. You’d have to ask someone who actually is stupid.

    However, regardless of any individual person perceiving that exchange as a microaggression, you’re still advancing the idea that there is something bad about being stupid, that people with less intellectual ability should be ashamed of that or some such.

    Some reading from FWD.

  136. Owlglass says

    Oh noes, John! You got me there! \o/ (only half a cheer, other half looks like Munch’s “Shriek”). I am in terror, and deeply apologize for having said something sarcastic. However, unlike sarcasm, abusive swearing is, well, abusive. And that’s the whole point. If it isn’t intended, then why resort to it at all? I find it less worse than claiming someone else adheres to certain ideologies they actually haven’t expressed or endorsed themselves. That’s just a lazy Argumentum ad Papio, as I like to call it for now, which is the frequent combination of association fallacy combined with an ad hominem (person X is P, and people of P are always wrong, thus person X’s opinions is wrong).

  137. bad Jim says

    Sorry, strange gods. I never mentioned my ancestry. All this time I’ve only been criticizing the gatekeepers of several wealthy beach communities and speculating about how to characterize their thought processes without incurring the ire of what seems to be another set of gatekeepers.

    I know everyone here is a right-thinking liberal feminist atheist, like I am, but you come across as the worst sort of up tight Orange County right-wing racist republican assholes at times. You’re too good for us. You don’t like our smell or our shoes or whatever. Quick on the trigger: ka-BLAM! Goodbye!

    The problem is that we’re allies. One way or another, kinda sorta, you’re my favorite kind of people. Godless, fearless, generous, capable. But for whatever reason you’re acting like assholes. Sure, this is Pharyngula, this is your place, you can do whatever you want, exclude whomever you choose.

    But forgive me if I note that it reminds me of several neighboring communities.

  138. strange gods before me ॐ says

    When you call someone stupid because they’re not as intelligent as you, you’re splashing on people who are actually oppressed for their intellectual ability.

    It’s possible, like I said to Fincke. But I’d like some evidence of that. “Even if Bob worries that he is stupid, it’s not clear that if Bob hears Alice called stupid, Bob is likely to feel personally attacked as well.”

    Do you experience it as a microaggression when I say someone else besides you is stupid?

    Does anyone? Can you point to evidence of this? I am open to the possibility of changing my language if so. But I’m not impressed by hypotheticals.

    And yes, I think things like segregated schools or ghettoization within a standard school, institutionalization, and forced sterilization do count as oppression.

    I agree. I think it would be terrible to pick on someone who’s experienced these things by calling them stupid.

    Short summary of my opinion: I think the decision on whether a particular word is ableist enough to stop using is generally arbitrary, which has been my overall point in this thread.

    Nothing is a priori, which is what I believe you mean by not-arbitrary. Of course you’re always going to be disappointed if you want the world to conform to logic. It doesn’t. Evidence and experience matter too, and it is only on the basis of evidence which we can make useful judgements about how to act in the world.

    “No splash damage” “this word damages x people” “Well, they’re not oppressed and plus we like that word.” Well, I think a month ago you would have flamed yourself as a bigot for saying that.

    I fucking well know my own beliefs, which I’ve held and articulated for years here. It matters whether people are actually oppressed. I’ve been flamed for saying this, too, by many commenters for days on end in nasty fights with Bill Dauphin. So I fucking well know what I think, because I’ve had to think very carefully about it a lot.

    “No splash damage” is worth taking seriously and discussing.

    “this word damages x people” is worth taking seriously and discussing.

    “Well, they’re not oppressed and plus we like that word” is definitely a strawman, a distortion of anything I’ve said. Mildly stupid people are objectively not oppressed, and oppression matters. But it might nevertheless be too unfair and too unkind to call them stupid. And I am open to the arguments that we therefore should not do it. It just isn’t ableism. There are of course other actions we should not do even though these actions do not target oppressed groups. And so the badness of these actions should be argued, as unacceptable badness, but not by lumping them in with group oppression.

    I also think that ableism is a poorly defined concept with a whole lot of bullshit and hand waving stuck inside it and that disability theory in general has a lot of weak crap in it.

    So you were fucking lying when you said calling people stupid was ableism? You don’t believe the shit that’s coming out of your mouth, and you’re being a tiresome bating asshole instead of trying to engage important topics reasonably?

    Or do you accept that ableism is a thing, and you just disagree with some things that are said about it?

    I have to ask, because right now what you’re saying is not obviously distinguishable from “I also think that sexism is a poorly defined concept with a whole lot of bullshit and hand waving stuck inside it and that feminist theory in general has a lot of weak crap in it.” In both cases, it’s a fucking useless, empty, vapid critique that should either be substantiated or discarded.

    And I really, really hate when people get offended on my behalf.

    When have I ever, ever indicated that my arguments about this have ever been about you, Nepenthe? One time I linked to your treatement by the professionals to bolster my argument against a too-hopeful trust in the mental health care system. But I did that for me, for my argument.

    Are you offended personally by the word “crazy”?

    YES! Jesus fucking Christ how many times to I have to tell people this.

    Fucking goddamn, it’s not like I’m new here.

  139. John Morales says

    Nepenthe, it’s in the definition of the words.

    (An inherent property exists whether or not it’s recognised, an arbitrary one only when it’s deemed to exist — this is somewhat analogous to the analytic-synthetic distinction)

  140. Beatrice says

    I know everyone here is a right-thinking liberal feminist atheist, like I am, but you come across as the worst sort of up tight Orange County right-wing racist republican assholes at times. You’re too good for us. You don’t like our smell or our shoes or whatever.

    I don’t understand who you are referring to with the parts I bolded.

  141. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’ve never been called stupid in an intellectual sense because that would be absurd–though I’ve been repeatedly called stupid all my life for other reasons–so I don’t know. You’d have to ask someone who actually is stupid.

    Great. Now if I was a bullshitter like you, I’d turn your bullshit argument around and say “don’t get offended on the behalf of stupid people.”

    However, regardless of any individual person perceiving that exchange as a microaggression, you’re still advancing the idea that there is something bad about being stupid, that people with less intellectual ability should be ashamed of that or some such.

    Agreed. I’m not sure that I care, or should care.

  142. Nepenthe says

    Do you experience it as a microaggression when I say someone else besides you is stupid?

    I already said no. I’m not intellectually challenged. Is this the only criterion for whether it’s okay to use a word? If you call a straight man “faggot” in a closed room, is it not homophobic?

    Does anyone? Can you point to evidence of this? I am open to the possibility of changing my language if so. But I’m not impressed by hypotheticals.

    Apparently some people do. Peruse FWD at your leisure.

    I’m out. I’m not mentally stable enough to continue this conversation atm. (The answer to the hypothetical posed to Caine was C. I’m an asshole who feels like her face is melting fucking psych meds)

  143. strange gods before me ॐ says

    bad Jim,

    The problem is that we’re allies.

    I decide who my allies are.

    I care why someone feels excluded. If I make you feel bad because you have a penis, or some stupid shit like that, then whatever, let’s talk about it.

    But I do not give a fuck whether you feel unwelcome because you can’t argue as well as I can.

  144. John Morales says

    Owlglass:

    However, unlike sarcasm, abusive swearing is, well, abusive. And that’s the whole point.

    And a sarcastic insult is, well, sarcastic.

    And that’s the whole point.

    You’ve switched topics from insults to abuse, so either you misstated your original point or you’ve misstated your current point.

    If it isn’t intended, then why resort to it at all?

    <snicker>

    If it isn’t intended, one is not resorting to it.

    I find it less worse than claiming someone else adheres to certain ideologies they actually haven’t expressed or endorsed themselves.

    Well, if that’s insulting, it’s a fallacious insult.

    (And a fallacious insult is, well, fallacious)

    I find it less worse than claiming someone else adheres to certain ideologies they actually haven’t expressed or endorsed themselves.

    So what?

    That’s just a lazy Argumentum ad Papio, as I like to call it for now, which is the frequent combination of association fallacy combined with an ad hominem (person X is P, and people of P are always wrong, thus person X’s opinions is wrong).

    If it’s just a lazy fallacy, then it’s not an insult, is it?

    (Or do you think all lazy fallacies are insults?)

  145. John Morales says

    bad Jim:

    I know everyone here is a right-thinking liberal feminist atheist

    You think you know that, but you don’t; for example: I’m not one such.

  146. bad Jim says

    We’ve got a prize for modesty!

    But I do not give a fuck whether you feel unwelcome because you can’t argue as well as I can.

    and political cluelessness:

    I decide who my allies are.

    Good luck if you decide your allies are evangelical Christians.

  147. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I already said no. I’m not intellectually challenged. Is this the only criterion for whether it’s okay to use a word? If you call a straight man “faggot” in a closed room, is it not homophobic?

    That would be homophobic — and let’s hang on to this thought for a minute. [place it in box C for closed room]*

    Apparently some people do. Peruse FWD at your leisure.

    Alright, I will have a look.

    +++++
    *Opening that box:

    If a straight man calls another straight man a faggot in private, and no one else is around, does the target not have any right to speak up and say “that’s homophobic”? Of course he does, and he should.

    If two straight man are speaking in private and one of them calls a third straight man a faggot, does the other straight man not have any right to speak up and say “that’s homophobic”? Of course he does, and he should.

    Now you implicitly admit that it is legitimate for one person to object to language on another’s behalf. You don’t want anyone else to ever be bothered by a mental illness slur directed at you personally, Nepenthe? Okay, so noted, and I suppose every reader here will do their best to respect that wish.

    But the implied extension of your argument — that no one who isn’t crazy is allowed to object to mental health slurs — that is bullshit. Straight people should object to anti-gay slurs, on principle even if they don’t know a single out queer person; and likewise everyone is allowed to object to mental health slurs. Because everyone can recognize when a wrong is being done.

  148. frankensteinmonster says

    I know everyone here is a right-thinking liberal feminist atheist, like I am, but you come across as the worst sort of up tight Orange County right-wing racist republican assholes at times.

    .
    Any group that persists long enough to be noticed will sooner or later attract this sort people – mindless raging tribalists who will label anyone who does not completely agree with them ( or, just looks funny, or looks as an easy target ), as an outgroup member, and start bullying him immediately. And groups which are defined more or less by their antagonism against something are especially vulnerable to slowly turning into an authoritarian cesspool. Unfortunately, this works even when the antagonism is completely justified.

  149. Beatrice says

    bad Jim,

    I decide who my allies are.

    Good luck if you decide your allies are evangelical Christians.

    Well, that would be really stupid of him, wouldn’t it?

    Now, you claim that his statement is wrong because allies proclaim themselves allies and people they claim to be allied with just have to accept it. So, an evangelical Christian could proclaim her/himself SGBM’s ally and SGBM should accept them? Their homobhobia aside, they say they are actually his allies, so they must be.

    Well, that will get us far.

  150. strange gods before me ॐ says

    We’ve got a prize for modesty!

    What, my nym didn’t give me away?

    I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    and political cluelessness:

    Jim, I know what my interests are, better than you know what my interests are. For this reason, it is impossible for you to be my ally if I do not decide that you are my ally.

    Don’t fucking tell me you want to by my ally. Show me, by acting like someone I would want as an ally. At the moment, this means shutting the fuck up and apologizing for your presumptuousness.

  151. says

    Dipping in with a spur-of-the-moment thought without having read the entire backhistory of this disagreement, so please ignore me or tell me to shut the fuck up if this is poorly-targeted or repeats something that’s already been said…

    It seems to me that the big problem with potentially-ablist insults related to mental health and intellect is that most of us Gnu Atheist/A+ types hold the aspiration to clear thinking and a solid relationship with reality as something like the highest possible value. We don’t generally consider skin color, ethnicity, nationality, sex/gender, sexual preference, gender conformity, conventional attractiveness, or physical ability to be terribly important (except insofar as we want to prevent them from being used to oppress people), so we lose nothing by dropping insults related to these issues from our vocabulary. But if we don’t have good insults to hurl against the crappy and reality-denying tendencies of the worldviews we oppose, well, that feels like a real loss, especially since many of us consider do ridicule and insults in general to be sometimes-useful (and often-satisfying) elements of our rhetorical toolkit.

    I’m not saying that these concerns excuse doing splash damage to people with intellectual disabilities or mental health issues. (Indeed, some of you may remember me getting rather peeved about PZ’s use of “mad” to describe Al Stefanelli’s obnoxious and incomprehensible turn to the slimy side of the force, in light of Al’s open discussion of his own mental health issues.) But there is a value structure in play here on the side of retaining these insults, and I don’t think most of us actually want to dismantle that value structure completely. So it seems to me the question is: How do we get rid of the things that hurt people who we don’t think deserve to be hurt, without doing unsustainable damage to that value structure?

    Anyway, that’s my (probably worthless) hit-n-run. Good evening, ‘dome.

  152. bad Jim says

    Beatrice, for some reason the first person plural seemed appropriate. The stricture isn’t personal: it’s not just that I, Jim is being rejected, it’s that anyone sorted into that category is treated likewise. Also like Whitman, I am vast, I contain multitudes. Seriously. We have conferences. Trade shows.

  153. John Morales says

    ॐ, interesting link on allyhood, but I think it excludes conditional or episodic or functional allies.

  154. strange gods before me ॐ says

    frankensteinmonster,

    Nice “echo chamber” bullshit you’ve got there. Even while members of the Central Committee of Commenters on Pharyngula are arguing angrily amongst each other, yet not declaring each other to be outgroup members.

    It cannot be possible that people argue about about substantive issues for good reasons, can it?

  155. John Morales says

    Anne, good exposition, but you seem to conflate insults with epithets:

    But if we don’t have good insults to hurl against the crappy and reality-denying tendencies of the worldviews we oppose, well, that feels like a real loss, especially since many of us consider do ridicule and insults in general to be sometimes-useful (and often-satisfying) elements of our rhetorical toolkit.

    (My rhetorical armamentarium is not limited to its lexicon)

  156. strange gods before me ॐ says

    ॐ, interesting link on allyhood, but I think it excludes conditional or episodic or functional allies.

    It might. Meh. Fix it in your head while you read it, if you like.

    What makes me kick like a donkey is when someone tells me “I’m your ally!” like they get to impose that upon me as a reason I should treat them a particular way because of it.

    People with privilege should try to act like allies to relatively less privileged people on issues where they agree. Because it’s the right thing to do. They should not expect to be given cookies for it. I notice the people I consider allies because I see them acting in a particular way.

  157. Owlglass says

    @John
    You may find “the language of swearing” by one Steven Pinker quite interesting, as he explains why people insult each other using abusive language (it’s on YouTube). Surprisingly, they do this to incite a negative emotional reaction in the victim. Who knew! That’s why certain words are used that are associated with something that triggers a particular reaction, for example disgust. Now, the people here try to sort out whether an emotional reaction might be either of the wrong kind, or too strong. Or whatever. I find the idea to tone down insults rather funny. And normally do not use such insults anyway. Hence, why not leave insults away. Or use Shakespearean insults or something, there are apparently generators available. Anyway, sarcasm on the other hand, doesn’t work like the aforementioned insults.

  158. frankensteinmonster says

    Nice “echo chamber” bullshit you’ve got there.

    .
    This straw man is on your own making. I did not say anything about an ‘echo chamber’. I wrote just about attracting bullies like you. It does not mean everyone is attacked, just the ones picked by bullies.

  159. bad Jim says

    At my age it’s kind of funny to have people saying “you’re not my friend if I don’t agree you’re my friend”. It didn’t make any sense when I was a kid, and it hasn’t made more sense since.

    Asshole, you can’t stop me from being on your side.

  160. strange gods before me ॐ says

    frankensteinmonster is still upset that he couldn’t get away with using mental health slurs.

    I did not say anything about an ‘echo chamber’.

    Oh, so you meant an ‘authoritarian cesspool’ with lots of disagreement. Okay.

    I wrote just about attracting bullies like you.

    Do tell, frankensteinmonster, who am I bullying? And please quote the quotes that constitute said bullying.

  161. Beatrice says

    bad Jim,

    Forcing your friendship on people who don’t want it must make for really satisfying relationships in your life.

  162. John Morales says

    Owlglass:

    You may find “the language of swearing” by one Steven Pinker quite interesting, as he explains why people insult each other using abusive language (it’s on YouTube).

    By now, I seriously doubt your adumbration of what Pinker might have actually claimed. I suppose I could take a look, if you can point me to a transcript.

    Surprisingly, they do this to incite a negative emotional reaction in the victim. Who knew!

    You really are an absolutist thinker, aren’t ya? :)

    (You rule out that perhaps a factor in their doing it (for example) is to appease their sense of inferiority or to reinforce their social status before an audience?)

    That’s why certain words are used that are associated with something that triggers a particular reaction, for example disgust.

    It’s one reason, yes.

    Now, the people here try to sort out whether an emotional reaction might be either of the wrong kind, or too strong. Or whatever.

    Perhaps you should stop ascribing intent to me.

    I find the idea to tone down insults rather funny. And normally do not use such insults anyway. Hence, why not leave insults away. Or use Shakespearean insults or something, there are apparently generators available.

    Why not? Because not everyone thinks like you do.

    Anyway, sarcasm on the other hand, doesn’t work like the aforementioned insults.

    Yet a sarcastic insult is, well, an insult.

  163. John Morales says

    At my age it’s kind of funny to have people saying “you’re not my friend if I don’t agree you’re my friend”. It didn’t make any sense when I was a kid, and it hasn’t made more sense since.

    At your age, you still don’t get that friendship* (unlike enmity) is a mutual relationship?

    (Geez, my social IQ might be low, but it ain’t that low!)

    * Allyhood doesn’t entail friendship, BTW.

  164. bad Jim says

    Beatrice, I’m a Democrat. The first vote I cast was for George McGovern. “Which side are you on?” is a union song, not a seduction. Stop being a jerk.

  165. frankensteinmonster says

    Oh, so you meant an ‘authoritarian cesspool’ with lots of disagreement. Okay.

    .
    The “subtle” difference between “being vulnerable to slowly turning into an authoritarian cesspool” and “being an actual authoritarian cesspool” apparently escapes you. No I don’t think that pharyngula is an authoritarian cesspool yet. But given free reign, people like you would turn it into one.
    .

    frankensteinmonster is still upset that he couldn’t get away with using mental health slurs.

    .
    Excellent that you brought it up here in the thunderdome where no one can complain we are being off topic. So let’s continue here.
    .
    Does it count as a slur if you really believe that someone’s absurdly immoral acts are in fact result of an actual mental disorder ? For example, if I call Dennis Markuze “deranged”, it is an “mental health slur” or just a sad fact ? I think the later is the case. And also I think that people like misogynistic women, self-hating gays, antisemitic jews, and similar, suffer from something similar to the Stockholm syndrome, and have thus an actual mental disorder.

  166. Beatrice says

    bad Jim,
    I have no idea what the last comment is about, but I notice you have nothing to say about evangelical Christians proclaiming themselves gay allies.

  167. strange gods before me ॐ says

    At my age it’s kind of funny to have people saying “you’re not my friend if I don’t agree you’re my friend”. It didn’t make any sense when I was a kid, and it hasn’t made more sense since.

    Wow, that’s really creepy. Putting aside the fact that friends and allies are different things (I consider some people I personally hate to be my allies, and some of my friends are not allies), let’s see if you understand sets.

    A(J) will be the people Jim considers his allies. A(S) will be the people strange gods considers his allies.

    If S is in A(J) then S probably can’t do anything about that (short of revealing lots of S’s unvarnished opinions). Jim can say “strange gods is my ally” and probably be duly ignored.

    If J is not in A(S) then J probably can’t do anything about that either (short of, as I already said, acting like an ally and indicating that you’re someone I’d want as an ally). It remains the case that I can say “Jim is not my ally” and this is a true statement, since the only person capable of putting J in A(S) is me.

    If S is in A(J) and J is in A(S), then we could both say “we are allies” and there would be no disagreement about it. But as long as that intersection isn’t happening, “we” are not allies.

    +++++
    Yes, the implication is that you were not the friend of some of the people you called friends. You could decide that they were your friends (and I won’t get into whether that is sensible, I’ll just grant it), but if they did not decide that you were their friends, then they were correct when they said “you’re not my friend if I don’t agree you’re my friend”.

    I find it … odd that you don’t understand this. Didn’t it ever happen to you the other way around? Wasn’t there ever anyone who tried to attach themself to you and be your friend who you didn’t want as a friend?

    +++++

    Asshole, you can’t stop me from being on your side.

    I can’t stop you from trying.

    I can evaluate the truth value of your claims, and decide whether you are in fact on my side. Evidently you are not, so I have determined you are not my ally.

  168. bad Jim says

    And I will stop being a jerk. Lunch tomorrow with a lively, lovely, lovable friend undergoing chemotherapy.

    Yes, I’m better than you. Yes, you’re better than me. Love you, leave you.

  169. strange gods before me ॐ says

    No I don’t think that pharyngula is an authoritarian cesspool yet. But given free reign, people like you would turn it into one.

    The only argument you’ve given yet to support that claim is that I’m bullying someone here, but in turn you have not supported the claim that I’m bullying someone.

    So, support your claim. Do tell, frankensteinmonster, who am I bullying? And please quote the quotes that constitute said bullying.

    Does it count as a slur if you really believe that someone’s absurdly immoral acts are in fact result of an actual mental disorder ?

    If you are wrong, then yes, it’s clearly a slur, regardless of what you sincerely believe.

    And also I think that people like misogynistic women, self-hating gays, antisemitic jews, and similar, suffer from something similar to the Stockholm syndrome, and have thus an actual mental disorder.

    http://scholar.google.com/

    Go make your fucking case. I’m not going to indulge your crankish fantasies of competency in a field you haven’t studied.

  170. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Well, I’ve got other shit to do. Have fun with the crank trolls, everyone.

  171. says

    John,

    Anne, good exposition, but you seem to conflate insults with epithets: …

    A fair point, but I’d be interested to hear you elaborate a little bit more on its importance. (This is not a sidewise way of challenging its importance, mind you, I really do just want to hear your thoughts.)

    (Also, I guess I lied about that being a hit-n-run comment, which I should’ve realized even as I was so describing it — what’s the point of saying stuff if you don’t stick around to engage with the responses?)

    ———

    sgbm, I like your definition of ally-hood as being determined by the perceptions of each person, but I do want to propose a slight modification, based on the way that (I think) I tend to see people using the term.

    Specifically, I think it is possible for J to be an ally of S without S being an ally of J in the sense that it could happen that J believes (in, for the sake of argument, a reasonably fact-based way) that S will perform for J what J considers to be the duties of an ally, while S simultaneously believes (also in a reasonably fact-based way) that J will not perform for S what S considers to be the duties of an ally.

    This isn’t necessarily a stable situation, because S might kind of feel like ze’s getting screwed here, but on the other hand, S might consider hir duty to the class of people who includes J (and/or humanity at large) to be more important than the fact that J hirself is kind of a jerk. I’ve certainly seen this kind of thing going on in the wild, e.g. atheists acting as “allies” to fundamentalists in terms of those fundamentalists’ status as humans in need of free speech protection, even though they know that the fundamentalists are unlikely to reciprocate by defending the atheists’ own human rights in return.

    But maybe this is just a verbose reiteration of John’s point about conditional/episodic/functional allies?

  172. says

    Argh, just realized I flipped variable names in one part of that comment without finishing the job, which makes what I said horribly confusing. Fixed below:

    Specifically, I think it is possible for S to be an ally of J without J being an ally of S in the sense that it could happen that J believes (in, for the sake of argument, a reasonably fact-based way) that S will perform for J what J considers to be the duties of an ally, while S simultaneously believes (also in a reasonably fact-based way) that J will not perform for S what S considers to be the duties of an ally.

  173. John Morales says

    Anne,

    A fair point, but I’d be interested to hear you elaborate a little bit more on its importance.

    Sure.

    I consider an insult to be an expressed sentiment or characterisation either intended to be or perceived to be insulting, and thus not limited to the use of specific terminology; accordingly, eliminating such terminology won’t disallow insults.

    PS I’m about to retire for the night, so it will be some hours before I return.

  174. frankensteinmonster says

    If you are wrong, then yes, it’s clearly a slur, regardless of what you sincerely believe.

    .
    No, this is actually not how it works. If you have some reason to think and say, that for example someone is psychotic, or a crank, and it turns out, that he is not, then what you said is merely incorrect, not a slur.
    Only when you know, or don’t care that he is not, and using the words just to insult the person, then, and only then it is a slur.
    .

    The only argument you’ve given yet to support that claim is that I’m bullying someone here, but in turn you have not supported the claim that I’m bullying someone.

    .
    Well, let’s look at the evidence. For example right here are you persistently twisting my words to create straw men ( #208 and repeated #215 ) , insulting me by frivolously,without a shred of evidence, declaring me incompetent and calling me names like :
    .

    I’m not going to indulge your crankish fantasies of competency in a field you haven’t studied.

    .
    I suppose, that this is evidence enough that you are one of the resident bullies.

  175. annejones says

    Guys, way to ignore the arguments that refute you and engage in an abiogenesis-protocell of the gaps argument from ignorance.

    There is zero evidence that abiogenesis is even possible so you are engaging in an abiogenesis/evolution of the gaps argument filling in the gaps of zero evidence with the assertion that natural chemical processes could yield rna/dna and an unevidenced protocell. The vid is a fraud as I pointed out it absurdly claims “the prebiotic contained hundreds of types of nucleotides not just RNA and DNA” showing the guy knows nothing about the subject and by using this vid, neither do you. There are not hundreds of different types of nucleotides nor any evidence there were any in the prebiotic environment. By definition there are only nucleotides of RNA and DNA consisting of the five nucleotides (U, C, G, T, A) which are defined as nucleotides because they are the bases of RNA and DNA. Get it?

    The only reason they are nucleotides is because in order to be a nucleotide, it must be a base of RNA and DNA meaning there are no other types of nucleotides! There are no other nucleotides! So the vid makes an incredibly sophmoric, basic blunder. There was not hundreds of types in the prebiotic environment, there wasnt any, there is zero evidence of this. And nucleotides are defined as nucleotides by being the bases of RNA and DNA. Sutherland, Powner and Gerland’s experiment is the most current research which started with artificial, unnatural ingredients, purified cyanoacetylene which is unknown in nature and right handed ribose isomers to intelligently design the experiment to avoid the chirality problem, artificially intervened at numerous crucial steps to purify results, remove lethal byproducts and add phosphate buffers, acknowledged as a ‘synthetic sequence’ by Szostak and critiqued by Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at NYU, Robert Shapiro and acknowledged by Powner, that there has been little advancements in the study of the origin and development of the genome since the inception of molecular biology 50 years ago and so all of the abiogenesis researched is critiqued by Benner et al :

    “…Of course, much remains to be done. We must now try to determine how the various starting materials could have accumulated in a relatively pure and concentrated form in local environments on early Earth. Furthermore, although Powner and colleagues’ synthetic sequence yields the pyrimidine ribonucleotides, it cannot explain how purine ribonucleotides (which incorporate guanine and adenine) might have formed.”

    http://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/szostakweb/publications/Szostak_pdfs/Szostak_2009_Nature.pdf

    When commenting on this research last May, Robert Shapiro, professor emeritus of chemistry at New York University, stated, “”the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and uracil were readily available on the early earth is not supported by existing knowledge of the basic chemistry of these substances”, “The chances that blind, undirected, inanimate chemistry would go out of its way in multiple steps and use of reagents in just the right sequence to form RNA is highly unlikely.”
    The research, said Shapiro, “definitely does not meet my criteria for a
    plausible pathway to the RNA world” because one of the “assumed starting materials is quickly destroyed by other chemicals and its appearance in pure form on the early earth ‘could be considered a fantasy.’”33
    Commenting for Nature, Shapiro further argued, “The flaw is in the
    logic—that this experimental control by researchers in a modern laboratory could have been available on the early Earth.”

    33. Wade, Nicholas, “Chemist Shows How RNA Can Be the Starting Point for Life,” New
    York Times (May 14, 2009).
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/science/14rna.html?pagewanted=2

    IUBMB Life. 2009 Feb;61(2):99-111.
    Origin and evolution of the genetic code: the universal enigma.
    Koonin EV, Novozhilov AS.
    Source
    National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

    “In our opinion, despite extensive and, in many cases, elaborate attempts to model code optimization, ingenious theorizing along the lines of the coevolution theory, and considerable experimentation, very little definitive progress has been made.

    Summarizing the state of the art in the study of the code evolution, we cannot escape considerable skepticism. It seems that the two-pronged fundamental question: “why is the genetic code the way it is and how did it come to be?,” that was asked over 50 years ago, at the dawn of molecular biology, might remain pertinent even in another 50 years. Our consolation is that we cannot think of a more fundamental problem in biology.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19117371

    Which led to statements like this summating the issue by researchers in PubMed:

    “The grandest of these models assumes that ribonucleic acid (RNA) arose prebiotically, together with components for compartments that held it and a primitive metabolism that nourished it. Unfortunately, it has been challenging to identify possible prebiotic chemistry that might have created RNA. Organic molecules, given energy, have a well-known propensity to form multiple products, sometimes referred to collectively as “tar” or “tholin.” These mixtures appear to be unsuited to support Darwinian processes, and certainly have never been observed to spontaneously yield a homochiral genetic polymer. To date, proposed solutions to this challenge either involve too much direct human intervention to satisfy many in the community, or generate molecules that are unreactive “dead ends” under standard conditions of temperature and pressure.”

    Benner SA, Kim HJ, Kim MJ, Ricardo A. Planetary organic chemistry and origins of biomolecules. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Jul;2(7):a003467. Epub 2010 May 26.

    Next you conceded there is no evidence of fatty acids, and no evidence of simpler protocells, yet the vid says this otherwise that the prebiotic environment contained many fatty acids and it is known the first life was simpler. Saying it just makes sense these existed is begging the question and circular reasoning, you dont get to assert that without evidence.

    I will grant you that the vid could be saying only one type of nucleotide (either RNA or DNA) is all that is needed to polymerize and not one nucleotide,however, polymerization is also unproven, it’s one of the assumptions and regarded as a problem.

  176. annejones says

    For you guys, a little more on this. Powner acknowledging the intelligent human intervention in their study and Lacanzo stating the bridges between rna world and pre-rna world are ‘unknown’ and merely ‘surmised':

    From Powner et al article:

    “We then took a crude sample of 11 that had just been prepared from cyanamide 8 and glycolaldehyde 10 in the presence of phosphate, and added glyceraldehyde 9 to it.”

    “To prevent the rise in pH during the reaction, inorganic phosphate was added as a buffer…Using phosphate as a dual-function pH and chemical buffer in this way, the arabinose anhydronucleoside 13 could be produced in extremely high yield from 12. Our finding that the reaction of the amino-oxazoline 12 with
    cyanoacetylene 7 could be controlled, by the pH and chemical buffering action of phosphate,”

    “It is apparent that although 1 would be one of the major products, these coproducts might interfere with any subsequent incorporation of 1 into RNA. Accordingly, we sought a means of selectively destroying these co-products.”

    http://nodens.ceab.csic.es/people/afernandez/files/lifeorigin/RNA-synthesis.pdf

    “Antonio Lazcano, a National Autonomous University of Mexico biologist and expert in early Earth chemistry who was not involved in the study, called the work a synthetic biology breakthrough, but repeated Ghadiri’s caveat that chemical bridges between the pre-RNA and RNA worlds are “completely unknown and can only be surmised.”

    According to University of Manchester organic chemist John Sutherland, who co-authored the Nature study showing how RNA’s ingredients could have formed, the new research is less important in providing primordial insight than in furthering the eventual creation of life in a laboratory.”

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/06/tpna/

  177. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no direct evidence for your imaginary creator Anne Jones. Your delusional thinking is amusing. You don’t know how to do science, which is you starting with the null hypothesis there is no deity. And you can’t ever get to the point where the deity is necessary, as science has it all explained. Gaps in scientdific knowledge is where science is looking. Nothing to hide your imaginary deity in. Only delusional presuppositional fools like you do that. All you can do is provide imagufactured “evidence” and tortured presuppositional mental wanking that is meaningless. No presupposition your imaginary deity exists, no deity is required ever. You lose.

    You want to win, show us the equivalent of the eternally burning bush. Direct and conclusive evidence. Not imaginary gaps in the knowledge of science, which is incomplete.

  178. says

    John,

    I consider an insult to be an expressed sentiment or characterisation either intended to be or perceived to be insulting, and thus not limited to the use of specific terminology; accordingly, eliminating such terminology won’t disallow insults.

    Oh, well, in that case, I should mention that I didn’t really specifically intend to make this about specific “taboo” words, although perhaps I inadvertently suggested as much. I think it’s certainly possible to do splash damage in a way that no lexical censorship would ever catch. The relevant distinction, IMO, is between insulting/offending/criticizing only the people one wants to insult/offend/criticize, and only for the exact things one wants to insult/offend/criticize them for, vs. doing collateral damage to other people/ideas one does not wish to target. So, yeah.

    (I thought maybe you were instead making a point related to the other definition of epithet as more of a neutral descriptor, i.e. that certain potentially problematic utterances do have plenty of not-specifically-insulting-to-anyone-in-particular descriptive applications that might be confusing the issue here. So I dunno if that’s a thing or not, but it might be worth exploring.)

  179. says

    And nucleotides are defined as nucleotides by being the bases of RNA and DNA.

    I have not followed the discussion, so I may be missing something here, but nucleotides are NOT defined as ‘the bases of RNA and DNA’. Nucleotides are biomolecules composed of a nitrogenous base (which include the primary purine and pyrimidine bases found in RNA and DNA), a 5-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose) and one or more phosphate groups. Stop pulling stuff out of your ass.

    Now, evidence for the existence of god, please.

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

    @frankensteinmonster

    No, this is actually not how it works. If you have some reason to think and say, that for example someone is psychotic, or a crank, and it turns out, that he is not, then what you said is merely incorrect, not a slur.
    Only when you know, or don’t care that he is not, and using the words just to insult the person, then, and only then it is a slur.

    No. “A crank” isn’t an ablist slur as far as I can tell, as it’s not a term like “crazy” or “demented”. The point is the specific terms, not whether or not you’re correct. The persons responsible for the mass shootings in schools lately have been called crazy, psychotic, demented, mad, not right in the head, insane. Most of those words are also applicable to anyone suffering from a form of mental illness, such as myself. By describing a murderer of children as mentally ill, you are in effect saying that mentally ill people are capable of, even likely to commit such atrocities.
    If you’d have to be crazy to do that, then crazy people are more likely to do that.

    I suffer from mental illness. Does this mean I’m like all the people you’d like to continue calling crazy?
    “I didn’t mean it like that” doesn’t cut the mustard either. It’s the same for gendered slurs, racial slurs, LBGT slurs and any other words that punch down the axis of oppression.
    Substitution is a good exercise – would you substitute in “That person must have been a fag to do that.” or “a cunt” or “a nigger”? Regardless of how socially acceptible the usage of “crazy” has become, it’s still the same form of othering.

    Try “utterly disgusting excuse for a human being”. It fits the bill in most cases, and stops you from just shoving the person into that “other group” category with all of the otherwise perfectly decent human beings who happen to suffer from mental illness. Like me.

  181. says

    As far as I can see, Annejones’ argument amounts to: you sciencey people don’t know everything yet, so you’re just ‘surmizing’ an ‘asuming’ that step X, Y, Z took place, therefore GOD.

    Yeah, real convincing stuff…

  182. says

    Feminism is called feminism because what is discounted gender-wise is the feminine; the soft, the gentle, the nurturing, the colorful, the collective, the sacrificing. One of the issues with feminism as it’s grown up has been is embrace of the hard, the strong, the competitive, the neutral, the individual, and the self-nurturing at the expense of those other things, instead of in addition to those things.

    Feminism operates at two levels; at one of them it’s about increasing individual choices, allowing women in particular but men as well to express who they are as individuals before who they are as gendered beings. On the second level it’s about elevating qualities and characteristics that are discounted and underpaid, making our being a collective species that takes care of each other as important as our being an individualized species that seeks unique self-expression.

    So far there isn’t a widespread men’s movement embracing the feminine virtues; the most vocal men’s movement is doubling down on masculine virtues while blaming all of the negative consequences of them on feminists….

    *

    At this juncture, we could also point out that in Chinese philosophy this balance is dealt with overtly in the concept of Yin & Yang. The female and masculine aspects of the individual should endlessly be brought into balance to achieve harmony. To the extent that even Mao Zhedong (a poster-child for misogyny … perhaps more accurately, for misanthropy) declared: “Women hold up half the sky.”

    I know that you mean well, but please stop linking qualities, virtues, essences, and so on to sex and gender. That is a (varying) cutural practice, and part of feminism is subverting it. Feminism isn’t about elevating the feminine virtues or valuing the “female essence” as equal and complementary. It’s about understanding that there’s no such thing as “the feminine” or “the masculine” – as a feminine or masculine quality, virtue, or essence. These are ingrained sexist ideas that can be hard to shake, but shaken they must be.

  183. says

    Seems that annejones thinks “science” refers to the facts discovered by the process of science, and thus is trying to refute “science” by attacking the current understanding of these facts, as well as by attacking the fact that that understanding is, as every scientist writing a grant application joyfully proclaims, still very far from complete.

    What she doesn’t seem to understand is that the very strength of the scientific process is that it is forthrightly and proudly incomplete — we are always testing our ideas against ever-harder anvils, so that we can reject the flawed ones and adopt newer and better ones. So we don’t know everything about abiogenesis yet? So what? The way we’re gonna figure out the things we don’t know yet is still by applying the scientific process, not by swallowing Bronze Age scribblings with less factual merit than Harry Potter novels hook, line, and sinker. You want us to believe in your deity? Fine, throw away your Bible, go into your lab, and find the ineffable ol’ bastard, and then well talk. But until you do come up with some evidence, please keep your creepy, low-rent Torah fanfic to yourself.

    Oh, and don’t expect me to waste my life arguing with you, either, aj. This really is a hit-n-run, for the benefit of the audience alone. You’re so thoroughly disconnected from reality, you’ve got nothing to teach me, and right now I’m just fresh out of time for lengthy engagement with your sort of nonsense. Laterz.

  184. says

    Feminism isn’t about elevating the feminine virtues or valuing the “female essence” as equal and complementary. It’s about understanding that there’s no such thing as “the feminine” or “the masculine” – as a feminine or masculine quality, virtue, or essence.

    I don’t know a lot about feminism in theory or practice, but I always find it interesting to discuss this with people in Asia, especially women. Try explaining to for example a Thai woman(even my SO, who runs a company with 1000 employees, who is 40 with no children, never married and can safely be considered a “progressive” in most areas) that there is not some sort of female “essence”. It just doesn’t compute. And this is not just a consequence of an upbringing sheltered from feminist ideas. It seems to me that concepts like feminine and masculine, and their power and penetration, rely on the cultural context to a large degree.

    Back to sipping Cosmo.

  185. says

    deoridhe, I didn’t see your comments until SC quoted them, but now that I’ve seen them I’ve gotta chime in and agree with her. Your equation of femininity with “the soft, the gentle, the nurturing, the colorful, the collective, the sacrificing” made my skin crawl.

    Do I have to turn in one of the branches of my second X chromosome in order to be permitted to unapologetically express my tendencies toward “the hard, the strong, the competitive, the neutral, the individual, and the self-nurturing at the expense of those other things”? Or can I just be a human being who has a personality, without being required to classify that personality in terms of whether it affirms or denies the chromosomal and developmental endowments that were apportioned to me by nature’s lottery?

    Gender essentialism sucks, even when it’s promoted in the name of empowerment.

  186. Nightjar says

    Bah.

    there are only nucleotides of RNA and DNA

    There are nucleotides of LNA and TNA.

    It’s probably not completely correct to say that about PNA and GNA because they don’t have a sugar backbone, but they are analogues.

    U, C, G, T, A

    Also I, Ψ, X, D, Q, Yt and more.

  187. Amphiox says

    Anne Jones, you continue to miss the point. All your arguments against abiogenesis based on likelihood and logic are irrelevant, because they all also apply equally to God. If abiogenesis is too comples to occur spontaneously then God is even moreso. If it can be allowed that God is eternal and needs no cause or explanation, then neither does abiogenesis.

    Even if there were ZERO evidence for abiogenesis (which is false – at bare minimum we have evidence that the precursors to abiogenesis actually exist, and we have evidence that all life processes are chemical reactions), since there is also zero evidence for the existence of God, parsimony states that abiogenesis must be preferred over God until more evidence is available because it is the simpler explanation.

    The dilemma can only be decided in God’s favor by POSITIVE evidence that God exists, not by any amount of negative evidence about how hard it might be for abiogenesis to occur.

    If you do not have such positive evidence, then you have nothing.

  188. says

    @ SC

    I know that you mean well, but please stop linking qualities, virtues, essences, and so on to sex and gender.

    I do not. I deal with this shit every day of my life. It is a major issue for a large part of the humanity and worthy of inclusion in such a debate.

    (I trust I am not being ambiguous.)

  189. throwaway says

    Serious question: Why is it that presuppositionalists, like yourself, so desperately need the approbation of science?

    This is just a guess on my part but it seems as if the exercise is meant, not to prove a point, but to introduce doubt into the framework of beliefs. Here Anne is operating under the presumption that if even “our own” scientists don’t know everything then “our beliefs” are somehow incomplete and lacking. Because scientists are our prophets or something.

  190. vaiyt says

    I hate gender essentialism. It’s the worst kind of feel-good babble, because it’s false AND harmful.

  191. says

    @ throwaway

    In short: “Science is just another religion.” ?

    Might annejones be trying to channel the story of Elijah and the False Prophets? Pity then that science works and YHWH fails…

    (Here is an experiment you can try at home annejones: Go the science route and use the internet to respond, or do the consequent thing and pray your response. Which do you honestly think is going to work?

  192. Nightjar says

    parsimony states that abiogenesis must be preferred over God until more evidence is available because it is the simpler explanation.

    I mentioned parsimony to annejones earlier, but of course she ignored it. Focusing on minor details and getting them wrong while missing the main point is what creationists do best.

  193. says

    Calling someone or thing insane is not a slur on people with mental problems. It’s derived from their conditions. I suffer from severe depression.(Half of my life, so far) And I once voluntarily checked in to a mental institution. Said institution dealt with all manner of psych-problems. And yes, we we’re all “crazy” at different levels, but none of us was so crazy as to think that calling deranged Republican policy “crazy” was offensive to us. We knew we were crazy. Those that didn’t were in the secure ward.

  194. strange gods before me ॐ says

    frankensteinmonster,

    If you have some reason to think and say, that for example someone is psychotic, or a crank, and it turns out, that he is not, then what you said is merely incorrect, not a slur.

    (Crank is not a slur in the sense we’re talking about here. It’s an insult, but not a mental health insult. It is effectively another way of talking about the Dunning–Kruger effect, a cognitive bias, and cognitive biases are a feature of healthy minds.)

    Here I should bring to the forefront a distinction I’ve made before. It’s a slur if you’re trying to explain bad behavior by reaching for insufficiently evidenced mental health symptoms. So a person might ask whether Salvador Dalí was psychotic, while praising his work. There’s no jump from bad to psychotic, so this is not a mental health insult. NB: this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not objectionable. But it’s not the kind of problem I’m talking about here.

    By claiming that a woman writing Arizona’s HB 206 must therefore be mentally ill, you are observing a bad behavior and leaping to an unevidenced conclusion about her mental health. This particular conclusion indicates something about your biases (as any other unevidenced conclusion would, though some unevidenced conclusions are not bigoted). And your statement, unchallenged, would spread to other people the meme that bad behavior is more strongly correlated with mental illness than it actually is (since you’re making a false positive). Your statement therefore contributes to further oppression on grounds of mental health.

    Caine gave you a well-studied, well-evidenced alternative explanation. But you did not try, evidently did not even consider accounting for the observed bad behavior by this other explanation. You stuck with your original unevidenced choice, like a crank. This indicates significant bigotry on your part.

    Well, let’s look at the evidence. For example right here are you persistently twisting my words to create straw men ( #208 and repeated #215 ) ,

    Oh, so misunderstanding constitutes bullying now? No. You’re overreaching.

    Your scenario in 202 does not indicate what time it is in the scenario. There is a plausible reading by which you’re saying Pharyngula has already turned into an authoritarian cesspool, and it happened slowly. And I did not persistently twist your words; I read them, responded as seemed appropriate, and then when you objected to any particular reading, I did not insist upon it further. First in 212 you said I was wrong to read you saying it’s an echo chamber. Okay, so I didn’t contest that. Then in 220 you made clear that what time you think it is in your original scenario. Okay, so I didn’t contest that either. When given your clarifications, I have not mischaracterized anything that you clarified. This can hardly be called persistently twisting your words, unless you’ll use that phrase to refer to something I did unintentionally. But it was unintentional, and so whatever else you want to call it, it’s clearly not bullying.

    insulting me by frivolously,without a shred of evidence, declaring me incompetent and calling me names like :

    I’m not going to indulge your crankish fantasies of competency in a field you haven’t studied.

    Good heavens. You are evidently incompetent in talking about mental health. If you weren’t, you would have demonstrated otherwise by now. I showed you where Google Scholar is; still you have not presented any evidence at all to support your claims, and you can’t, because the evidence doesn’t exist. And you have ignored well-studied alternative explanations that do account for the observed behavior. That’s crankery. It’s not bullying to point out that you’re wrong and absurdly, tragically overconfident in your misunderstanding of the relevant science. Or if it is, then we’re bullying annejones right now.

    And let’s not forget that your first comment in this thread was to insult a lot of commenters here. It’s not bullying to meet insult with insult.

  195. nightshadequeen says

    bad Jim

    I don’t like you. I do not consider you to be an ally of mine.

    The stricture isn’t personal: it’s not just that I, Jim is being rejected, it’s that anyone sorted into that category is treated likewise. Also like Whitman, I am vast, I contain multitudes. Seriously. We have conferences. Trade shows.

    And that goes for everyone who’s “like you”.

    Creeper.

  196. says

    What? Now there are only 5 nucleobases possible, defined by their inclusion in DNA/RNA?

    That’s just bizarre. It’s weird to see a tiny amount of knowledge (she knows vaguely what a nucleotide is) used to justify outrageous ignorance.

  197. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Calling someone or thing insane is not a slur on people with mental problems.

    It frequently is — when it’s used as an insult or to explain bad behavior with insufficiently evidenced mental health symptoms.

    It’s derived from their conditions.

    Except when it’s not, like when it’s used to explain bad behavior with insufficiently evidenced mental health symptoms. For comparison: I am in fact a faggot, but it’s a slur for you to call me that unless I’m totally okay with it (I’m not) and you’re not using it as an insult.

    none of us was so crazy as to think that calling deranged Republican policy “crazy” was offensive to us.

    Like here. You’re using crazy as a slur against me right now.

    You’re not offended by the term. That’s okay, you don’t have to be offended by it. Calling people crazy, when they’re just being bad, nevertheless hurts people and contributes to further stigmatization of mental health.

    Another gay man here last month called me a nancy to show how unoffended he is by homophobic slurs. Wonderful for him, bad for me. It’s not okay to treat other people like that.

  198. says

    Strange gods that rudely came before me, instead of letting us all climax together, yeah I know. If some idiot called me crazy to my face because he knew I suffered from depression, I’d get angry and offended. Because that shit is deliberate and personal. But I don’t get upset when I hear crazy in a different context. Because it’s too broad a word.

  199. strange gods before me ॐ says

    This would be a good time to point out that while the “I’m crazy, therefore I get to call anybody crazy whenever I want to” argument is always flawed, it’s exceptionally offensive coming from people with unipolar depression. Depression is not what the average person means by “crazy”. It’s popularly construed as feeling very bad. Depressed people can be stigmatized, for being “weak” and shit like that. But schizophrenia, psychotic episodes, manic episodes, (not an exhasutive list), these are the kinds of things that are primarily stigmatized as madness. Depression just ain’t it. Depression is horrible, as I can personally attest, and I’m not saying anything about a quantitative difference in suffering. There is just a qualitative difference among the stigmatizations of various mental health issues, they aren’t all thought of craziness, and people who haven’t experienced those stigmatized as madness shouldn’t even presume to try making that flawed “I’m allowed to” argument.

  200. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Anne: Congratulations on your performance of the Gish Gallop*. Your form is superb. You must be frustrated to be doing it so well and failing so completely. The difficulty you are facing is entirely due to our format. This is not a public debate in the sense that the audience is allowed unlimited participation. What’s more, your opponents have unlimited time to investigate and refute what you’ve spattered on the porcelain. And then again, many commenters here are wearily familiar with this tactic and just aren’t engaging you in the way that this tactic requires to be effective.
     

    I personally find your “contribution” to this thread tedious, but I’m not in charge here, and this shit is only lightly moderated. So I guess, gallop on if you still need to, but you are unlikely to score points here, and you could save yourself and others some consternation by finding other things to do with your time today.
     
    *I’m sure most readers know what this is, but for the uninitiated, the Gish Gallop is a debating technique attributed to creationist Duane Gish. Given that structured debates have time limits, Gish would spend his time peppering his opponent with sciencey sounding batshittery, in the hopes that 1) the opposing rhetorician would actually attempt to deal with each batshit point individually, and thus never have an opportunity to advance hir own argument, and/or 2) the opposing rhetorician would admit to having never actually heard of any of these batshit-imbued “facts” and would therefore seem completely ignorant to an audience. It is a way to essentially play for a stalemate, which is really as good as creationism can do since it is so baldly and hilariously wrong.

  201. strange gods before me ॐ says

    But I don’t get upset when I hear crazy in a different context. Because it’s too broad a word.

    Again, this isn’t just about being upset or not. While “it hurts me” is certainly a valid objection, it isn’t necessarily, as it isn’t the only valid objection. I’ve explained for the umpteenth time why it is a problem to reach for insufficiently evidenced mental health symptoms as an explanation of bad behavior that can be explained other ways.

    It’s okay that you don’t get upset. No one said you have to.

  202. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Oops, typo. Should be:

    While “it hurts me” is certainly a valid objection, it isn’t necessary

  203. strange gods before me ॐ says

    parsimony

    Fuck! There’s that word I was looking for weeks ago. It starts with a P, not a C.

  204. says

    “This would be a good time to point out that while the “I’m crazy, therefore I get to call anybody crazy whenever I want to” argument is always flawed, it’s exceptionally offensive coming from people with unipolar depression. Depression is not what the average person means by “crazy”. It’s popularly construed as feeling very bad. Depressed people can be stigmatized, for being “weak” and shit like that. But schizophrenia, psychotic episodes, manic episodes, (not an exhasutive list), these are the kinds of things that are primarily stigmatized as madness. Depression just ain’t it. Depression is horrible, as I can personally attest, and I’m not saying anything about a quantitative difference in suffering. There is just a qualitative difference among the stigmatizations of various mental health issues, they aren’t all thought of craziness, and people who haven’t experienced those stigmatized as madness shouldn’t even presume to try making that flawed “I’m allowed to” argument.”

    That wasn’t what I was doing. I think you’re too fast on the trigger.
    My point is that the words “crazy” or “insane”, are a world away from the n-word. They’re not specific.
    Do you get offended when you hear someone say “…but that’s crazy!”.

  205. strange gods before me ॐ says

    That wasn’t what I was doing. I think you’re too fast on the trigger.

    I didn’t actually say that’s what you were doing, although I did think it was implied. But okay, take it as a tangent rather than a direct response. It’s something that has bothered me at other times, and I thought I had a segue for mentioning it.

    My point is that the words “crazy” or “insane”, are a world away from the n-word. They’re not specific.

    Equivalent to your argument: “that’s gay” as a non-specific way of saying “that’s bad” ought to be acceptable. But it is not acceptable; it still, in practice, contributes to homophobia.

    Do you get offended when you hear someone say “…but that’s crazy!”.

    Often, yes. It depends on exactly what’s being said, but often.

  206. says

    Strange gods, may I ask why? And may I more importantly ask why you think I’d be okay with using “gay”? (Sorry for the rhyme). Gay and the n-word ARE specific, which was my point. Crazy ain’t.

  207. consciousness razor says

    annejones:

    I’d still like to hear your explanation of what kind of magic it was that made “sin” cause entropy to start increasing, and how things lived for some length of time (or, well… any physical system) without it. You know: how it works and stuff. But honestly, I was surprised you decided to bite the bullet on that, but you still haven’t delivered your results. There are so much more interesting ways of losing an argument as a creationist. I recommend you try to remember why you made such an asinine claim in the first place, then find some way to change the subject again. But keep it real sciencey too. That’ll be fun.

  208. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Strange gods, may I ask why?

    For one reason, because it contributes to society’s general overestimation of correlation between bad behavior and madness, and thus further stigmatizes madness.

    And may I more importantly ask why you think I’d be okay with using “gay”?

    I don’t think you would. I meant that your argument would also support using “gay” in that way.

    Gay and the n-word ARE specific, which was my point. Crazy ain’t.

    Crazy is as specific to mental health as the generic “that’s gay” is specific to gay people. Have you talked to young people who say “that’s gay” and asked them if they mean it as an insult against gay people? Lots of them will tell you they don’t; and I assure you many of them are not consciously lying about this.

  209. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @266

    what kind of magic it was that made “sin” cause entropy to start increasing

    I think it has something to do with increasing the number of available positions.

  210. consciousness razor says

    Strange gods, may I ask why? And may I more importantly ask why you think I’d be okay with using “gay”? (Sorry for the rhyme). Gay and the n-word ARE specific, which was my point. Crazy ain’t.

    So it’s not harmful … because it’s too vague? There are too many potential targets for it to have … potential targets?

  211. consciousness razor says

    I think it has something to do with increasing the number of available positions.

    I assume you mean sex positions. I’m quite certain missionary couldn’t have been the original, seeing as there was no one else to convert.

  212. says

    strange gods, “Crazy is as specific to mental health as the generic “that’s gay” is specific to gay people”.

    Uh. No. If you’re gay you’re gay. And while I assume there’s different flavours, it doesn’t really compare to the wide panoply of insane crazy that is the world of mental problems.
    And do you really lecture people. In real life? I mean, I can picture it:

    “Hey, should we get another slice?”

    “No, that would be crazy, baby!”

    “Don’t use the word crazy, it contributes to society’s general overestimation of correlation between bad behavior and madness, and thus further stigmatizes madness.”

  213. says

    “So it’s not harmful … because it’s too vague? There are too many potential targets for it to have … potential targets?”
    In other words, all words that can have targets, no matter how vague, should not be used. Are you a mime?

  214. consciousness razor says

    And do you really lecture people. In real life? I mean, I can picture it:

    While your imagination is conjuring strawmen (since no one claimed context doesn’t affect interpretation) and expressing nothing other than incredulity at them, maybe you could step back and think for a second about how far you really want to go with this.

  215. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Uh. No. If you’re gay you’re gay. And while I assume there’s different flavours, it doesn’t really compare to the wide panoply of insane crazy that is the world of mental problems.

    Okay. What I thought you were saying is that “that’s crazy” is non-specific because it gets used to refer to things like Republicans (objectionable) or Euler’s equation (an example of a usage I don’t object to).

    So your point is that using crazy as an insult hurts a wide variety of people. I would agree.

    And do you really lecture people. In real life?

    Yes.

    Here, I have a guide for doing so. It helps get through to people.

    I mean, I can picture it:

    I know, right? Yet I still get invited to parties. My outspokenness is already factored into my friends’ expectations.

  216. consciousness razor says

    In other words, all words that can have targets, no matter how vague, should not be used.

    Those are other words, but they don’t correspond to the words I used.

    Anyway, I questioned your reasoning, and that’s not an answer.

    Are you a mime?

    I’m a musician. The opposite of a mime, in a sense.

  217. says

    consciousness razor, yeah true. But it’s no less a strawman than SGB hoisted on me. I think it’s because all of this is web-based. And hair-trigger. Sometimes I long for actual video-conferences.

  218. strange gods before me ॐ says

    But it’s no less a strawman than SGB hoisted on me.

    Hm? What strawman. I certainly didn’t mean to.

  219. says

    “I didn’t actually say that’s what you were doing, although I did think it was implied”.
    Okay. so it was only half a strawman. And the point of it I actually agree with.

  220. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I see no lecture. I tend to think of lectures as one sided.

    Well, yeah. By that measure, I don’t lecture offline either. I converse.

    +++++
    michael,

    Okay. so it was only half a strawman. And the point of it I actually agree with.

    Right, well, it was a misunderstanding. I mean if you’re going to deliberately make strawmen, that’s not justified by pointing to something I didn’t do deliberately.

  221. says

    SGBM, okay. I still don’t get how you work it into conversation, this strange task you have set for yourself. In fact, my straw-person was meant to indicate incredulity, not antagonism.

  222. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    michaelolsen:

    One question: WHY would a lesser “specificity” make “crazy” more acceptable as an insult than “gay”?

  223. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Everybody expresses stereotyped-as-feminine traits like gentleness too, from time to time, and yet it is not okay to insult people for these expressions by identifying them as feminine.

    Anyway, I do not agree that everybody is crazy, but if I were to grant this for the sake of argument, some people are still stigmatized for being “too-crazy”, and these people are disproportionately harmed by the insults.

  224. says

    I do not. I deal with this shit every day of my life. It is a major issue for a large part of the humanity and worthy of inclusion in such a debate.

    (I trust I am not being ambiguous.)

    You’re being extremely ambiguous! I have no idea what you’re saying. You do not mean well? You do not perpetuate these ideas in your post? You don’t perpetuate them outside your post? Judging from your “It is a major issue” sentence, I’m thinking you’re reading me as saying that gender essentialism shouldn’t be mentioned. I’m not. I’m saying it should be challenged and subverted rather than perpetuated. That goes for any and all of its cultural forms – religious and nonreligious.

  225. says

    “Anyway, I do not agree that everybody is crazy, but if I were to grant this for the sake of argument, some people are still stigmatized for being “too-crazy”, and these people are disproportionately harmed by the insults.”
    I agree that there is a HUGE stigma regarding mental health problems. I’ve encountered it myself. I remember some guy telling me, after I had told him I suffered from depression, to just “get over it and cheer the fuck up”. Which is like telling someone with a broken leg to just walk it off.

    I just don’t get how trying to make “crazy” into the equivalent of the n-word is gonna help.

  226. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I just don’t get how trying to make “crazy” into the equivalent of the n-word is gonna help.

    I’m not trying to make it the equivalent. Someone says wow Euler’s equation is crazy, I do not object. If, bizarrely, someone said Euler’s equation is nwordish, that would be objectionable. I’m not even sure what it would mean, but it would be way fucking objectionable.

    I am pointing out how using “crazy” as an insult is a bad thing. Because it shouldn’t be an insult!

    I am pointing out how explaining bad behavior by reaching for insufficiently evidenced mental health symptoms is a bad thing. Because people should not overestimate the correlation between bad behavior and madness.

    Don’t ignore the substance of what I’m saying. I’m being specific and I’m explaining why.

    If people overestimate the correlation between bad behavior and madness, then it is those people who are considered “the craziest” who will be the most harmed. The stigmatization doesn’t fall on everyone equally. It matters when people are disproportionately harmed.

  227. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    michaelolsen #285:

    Um, no. Not everybody is crazy.

    I assume that by “everybody is crazy”, you mean “everybody makes decisions and/or has perceptions that are incorrect from time to time”, which has nothing to do with being crazy. Someone who is “crazy” is inherently unable to avoid such incorrect decisions and perceptions. Not because they’ve been conditioned to do so, like the Republicans have, but because they have an actual medical disorder which makes it IMPOSSIBLE for them to avoid these things.

    If “does crazy-seeming things sometimes” = crazy, as you seem to be saying, then everybody would be gay. I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced a little bit of attraction for someone who doesn’t fit their orientation at some point in their lives. That doesn’t mean they actually want to have sex with that person. Similarly, being out of touch with reality occasionally yet able to overcome that prejudice does not equal having a mental disability. You are doing everyone a disservice and making things much harder for mentally disabled people by assuming that it does.

  228. says

    I don’t know a lot about feminism in theory or practice, but I always find it interesting to discuss this with people in Asia, especially women. Try explaining to for example a Thai woman(even my SO, who runs a company with 1000 employees, who is 40 with no children, never married and can safely be considered a “progressive” in most areas) that there is not some sort of female “essence”. It just doesn’t compute. And this is not just a consequence of an upbringing sheltered from feminist ideas. It seems to me that concepts like feminine and masculine, and their power and penetration, rely on the cultural context to a large degree.

    I’m not sure what your point is, either. There’s no standard “Thai woman.” It’s true that gender essentialist ideas in various forms have a strong hold on the vast majority of the world’s population – and it’s not like I or any other feminist have somehow risen entirely above our cultures. The idea of a “female essence” isn’t exclusive to Asian cultures by any means. It “doesn’t compute” to most of us when we first hear challenges to these notions. But women and men in Thailand, Germany, Australia, Eritrea, and El Salvador can understand arguments and use their reason in critically examining them. It’s like any struggle against systems of domination and their ideologies – a tough climb that requires cultural and political-institutional challenges.

    When you’ve been raised to think in these terms, it’s easy to see elevating the “feminine virtues and qualities” or arguing for the equality (or superiority) of “the feminine” as empowering and subverting these ideas as dangerous. And it might be true in a temporary, surface sense. But ultimately it’s disempowering, system-serving, and of course based on false ideas.

  229. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    To clarify: I meant everybody would be defined as gay by your reasoning, not that everybody would actually become gay because everyone was crazy.

    And we’re not making “crazy” into the equivalent of the n word. If you had said the n word, we wouldn’t be attempting to reason with you, we’d be calling you a racist asshole and leaving it at that.

  230. says

    strange gods before me, I get it, I do.
    And I mostly agree. But what are you gonna do when they come for you? (When they replace crazy with strange, and you come out of the rain?).
    Ahem…Sorry.
    Yeah, I know. Taken as an aggregate, I think diagnosed sufferers of mental illness commit LESS crimes.

  231. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    I think bobicus genuinely doesn’t understand how much we despise xir.

  232. says

    To be clear: I’m not saying anything specifically about any of the qualities or virtues culturally classified as “masculine” or “feminine,” “male” or “female.” What I’m saying is

    a) If it’s a virtue or positive quality, it’s a virtue or positive quality in anyone.

    b) There is no mystical essence of any sort that connects various qualities or virtues.

  233. strange gods before me ॐ says

    And I mostly agree. But what are you gonna do when they come for you? (When they replace crazy with strange, and you come out of the rain?).

    :) I will use my prodigious powers of polemic, and persuade them otherwise.

  234. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Comrade(*snicker*)bob –> hushfile, to join the self-deluded Islamophobic bigot S***OR, for similar reasons.

  235. says

    “And we’re not making “crazy” into the equivalent of the n word. If you had said the n word, we wouldn’t be attempting to reason with you, we’d be calling you a racist asshole and leaving it at that.”

    So would I!
    But then again I AM crazy. Now, where is my mouth, I have to yell, no SCREAM about something…

  236. Owlmirror says

    Well, annejones gets maybe a sixteenth of a point for actually citing peer-reviewed scientific literature — but minus ten billion for faffing it up in a typically stupid and dishonest creationist manner.

    Sutherland, Powner and Gerland’s experiment is the most current research which started with artificial, unnatural ingredients, purified cyanoacetylene which is unknown in nature

    Silly creobot.

    From the abstract: “The starting materials for the synthesis–cyanamide, cyanoacetylene, glycolaldehyde, glyceraldehyde and inorganic phosphate–are plausible prebiotic feedstock molecules [12]-[15]”

    What are references [12]-[15]?

    [12] Thaddeus, P. The prebiotic molecules observed in the interstellar gas. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 361, 1681-1687 (2006).
    [13] Sanchez, R. A., Ferris, J. P. & Orgel, L. E. Cyanoacetylene in prebiotic synthesis. Science 154, 784-785 (1966).
    [14] Pasek, M. A. & Lauretta, D. S. Aqueous corrosion of phosphide minerals from iron meteorites: a highly reactive source of prebiotic phosphorus on the surface of the early Earth. Astrobiology 5, 515-535 (2005).
    [15] Bryant, D. E. & Kee, T. P. Direct evidence for the availability of reactive, water soluble phosphorus on the early Earth. H-phosphinic acid from the Nantan meteorite. Chem. Commun. 2344-2346 (2006).

    I see that the first one is even online with free access:

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/361/1474/1681.full

    Look at Figure 1.

    The reason that the cyanoacetylene is purified is not because it is that way in nature, but to confirm that the chemical reaction is indeed the one taking place with those specific chemicals, and not with anything else. If it weren’t “purified”, you would no doubt be complaining that it was contaminated!

    Arrogant, dishonest, mendacious, false-witness-bearing creationists.

  237. r3a50n says

    What’s with all the troll-feeding? Why is anyone seriously engaging with ltlftc? MRA is inherently misogynistic. Water is wet. Who care if some nut case troll demands proof of the wetness of water that they will inevitably refuse to accept? The facts are still on your side.

    Life’s too short to waste time on such a pointless pursuit. Ignore the trolls; don’t feed them the attention they crave.

  238. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Life’s too short to waste time on such a pointless pursuit. Ignore the trolls; don’t feed them the attention they crave.

    We address the trolls for two reasons. 1) we feed them until they explode/shut the fuck up/get banhammered. 2) Their idiocy is refuted for the lurkers. Considering maybe a hundred people post a day, and several tens of thousands blog readers appear, doing so sends a strong message about rationality, evidence, and skeptical thinking.

  239. Beatrice says

    Life’s too short to waste time on such a pointless pursuit.

    Life is too short to waste your time telling others how they are wasting their time.

  240. Owlmirror says

    Life’s too short to waste time on such a pointless pursuit.

    This! Is! THUNDERDOME!

    There’s a baby photoshopped to look like an orc at the top of the thread.

    Your argument is invalid.

    QED

  241. chigau (違う) says

    Owlmirror
    Do you have any evidence of photoshopping of the top photo?
    Or is that just an opinion?

  242. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Given the bullshit you have already dumped in this blog, that is hardly friendly.

    Also, shitbag, one really does not go around, asking strangers if they will start a family.

    Now very kindly crawl out the window.

  243. UnknownEric says

    Now very kindly crawl out the window.

    Use your arms and your legs, it won’t ruin you.

  244. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Racistandsexistbob is the Pepe Le Pew of trolls.

    I do not know you and from what you feel fit to reveal of yourself, I do not want to have anything to do with you. If I knew what you looked like and saw you from a distance, I would cross the street away from you so that I would not have to deal with you.

  245. UnknownEric says

    I should have known that UnknownEric would catch that.

    No Dylan reference shalt pass me by.

    Well, unless it’s from his mid-80s work. That was pretty terrible.

  246. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    Hurry up and post somewhere other than the Thunderdome, bobicus. I’m sick of seeing your face around here, and so is everyone else.

  247. comradebob says

    Men can change Janine. Often, people who assume that they have nothing in common do. And with an open mind, misunderstandings can be dispelled, and everybody gets along better. Theoretically, the world can be as one. It takes work though.

  248. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    He’s right, Janine. You do have one thing in common: you both read this blog.

  249. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    That was snark, but somehow my snark tags were eaten by Pharyngula.

  250. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    You love to bullshit, racistandsexistbob.

    But you are oh, so, dull. Your Verbal IQ is very fucking low.

  251. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Shitbag, are are in no fucking position to tell anybody to get lost.

    You are truly a rotten specimen of humanity.

  252. nightshadequeen says

    why does comradebob remind me so much of a Nice Guy (TM)?

    (derail: T-mobile sucks. End derail)

  253. nightshadequeen says

    That was snark, but somehow my snark tags were eaten by Pharyngula.

    &lt;snark&gt;&lt;/snark&gt; will produce what you desire.

  254. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Nightshadequeen, this is Thunderdome. There is no such thing as a derail.

    Besides, I would love if if this thing with racistandsexistbob came to an end.

  255. la tricoteuse says

    UnknownEric:

    Well, unless it’s from his mid-80s work. That was pretty terrible.</blockquote.

    I think most people who were around before the 80s took a bit of a dive in the mid-80s. Bowie certainly did. So actually what I mean is "I can think of another example!" Hooray for exaggeration.

  256. comradebob says

    I enjoy Nature, keep myself fit, am a voracious reader, and an excellent cook. This month I will have done well in excess of 1000 push-ups and 50 kilometers of rowing. Once, I saw a puppy being savaged by a pack of wild dogs, charged down a hill in my underwear to save it, and even paid the vet bill. This puppy is now healthy, happy, and a full-grown dog.

  257. chigau (違う) says

    comradebob
    fuck off
    and don’t tell Aido Hwedo what to do
    and learn to properly spell Japanese words

  258. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Richard Thompson. The quality of his work never had a dive. By the mid eighties, he was just revving up.

  259. UnknownEric says

    I think most people who were around before the 80s took a bit of a dive in the mid-80s. Bowie certainly did.

    Absolutely. So did Neil Young.

  260. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    It would be so fucking easy to Godwin the shitbag’s statement at #335.

  261. UnknownEric says

    Richard Thompson. The quality of his work never had a dive. By the mid eighties, he was just revving up.

    Very true. But he’s one of the few. Then again, he’s always been an anomaly (in a good way, obviously).

  262. UnknownEric says

    So was the weed bad in the 80s?

    Everyone had switched to cocaine. There was practically residue in the grooves of the LPs.

  263. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    @ Janine #331:

    Sorry, I just wanted to be absolutely sure. Given how often trolls come in and say things like that without sarcasm, I wasn’t certain that everybody would catch that I was being sarcastic.

    @ comradeblob #326:

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying. If you’re assuming my nym is Japanese, you’re wrong. It’s Fon.

  264. UnknownEric says

    Thinking about it for a few minutes, the only band from before the 80s that I would argue actually got better in that decade is Rush. Yeah, I know, I know, they’re a bunch of progrock Randian wankers, but their music was much more listenable the more synthy and poppy they got. From about Signals through Roll the Bones, I actually enjoyed a decent proportion of their music.

  265. says

    In 1979 or so I got a job in another state. I knew a guy who lived in the area and he let me sleep on his sofa until I found my own place.

    I worked the night shift, he worked the day shift. I’d get in at 7:30 and go to sleep,, he’d go to work and come back at noon for lunch.

    And put on 2112.
    At top volume on his very large stereo.
    With the speakers that pointed right at the sofa.

    Every weekday from the day I moved in to the day I moved out.

    He really, really loved that album.

    Geddy Lee’s voice can still give me chills, and not in the good way.

  266. Amphiox says

    Ignore the trolls; don’t feed them the attention they crave.

    This is Thunderdome, where trolls are quarantined for study.

    Here we feed them until they explode, and then examine the entrails.

    The curtains are specially fortified against troll glorp.

  267. Infophile says

    Okay, I have an announcement to make. Parallel universes exist. At least, one does.

    How do I know? Well, I was reading the comments to this post: Shut up and Listen. When I came to comment 12, out of curiosity I followed a link (ALTERNATE UNIVERSE PORTAL WARNING) here. Linked from that post is an entire alternate universe, where Freethought Blogs is run by “Paul Myers” and “Becky Twatson,” and the concept of sarcasm is nonexistent. I’m still trying to track down the point at which this universe diverged from our own, but so far I’ve figured out that the point of divergence was in an elevator somewhere.

    Earth-2 is out there. We can’t ignore it forever.

  268. la tricoteuse says

    Everyone had switched to cocaine. There was practically residue in the grooves of the LPs.

    Yeah but Bowie was burying his face in coke well before the 80s, and he made some of his best music when he was a skeleton covered in skin subsisting on a diet of charlie, milk, and green peppers.

    He just…misfired a few times in the 80s.

  269. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    The Thunderdome has certainly quieted down now. I wonder where the trolls went?

    Come on, trolls!

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

    Well, bob’s been confined here technically, but it’d be nice to have a troll that wasn’t just weird barely coherent word salad with bigot vinaigrette.

  271. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    @349 Would you consider “Let’s Dance” to be pre-slump as well? I imagine most people would, and that only leaves two more studio albums in the 80s, both of which I would describing as mediocre at worst.

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The curtains are specially fortified against troll glorp.

    We also have a special Pullet Patrol™ squad trained in biohazard removal techniques. With our new toxic waste system, one *FLOOSH* and both the threads and the exterior environment are protected from almost everything.

  273. deoridhe says

    SC: Feminism isn’t about elevating the feminine virtues or valuing the “female essence” as equal and complementary. It’s about understanding that there’s no such thing as “the feminine” or “the masculine” – as a feminine or masculine quality, virtue, or essence. These are ingrained sexist ideas that can be hard to shake, but shaken they must be.

    I both agree and disagree with you.

    Yes, what we attribute to “feminine” and “masculine” are false constructs which don’t adhere to reality. Women can be competative and men can be nurturing. However, in the current cultural context, it is meaningful (imo) to point out that things traditionally associated with “feminine” (however constructed the association) are both discounted and maligned, and used to discount and malign people based both on their behavior and on their gender identification or refusal to comply with a gender identification.

    Ultimately, the goal would be to have all people expected to balance being competative and nurturing, being colorful and nuetral, being collective and individual, being sacrificing and self-nurturing, and as it stands all people currently have to balance those differences along with hundreds more. However I believe that in the short term the emphasis should be on valuing the things we have devalued, like being a collective people who take care of each other, and being sensitive to each other’s feelings, and nurturing each other, all of which can be gathered under an inaccurate title “feminine” that the majority of people will understand immediately.

    It is unmistakably true, based on evidence, that how we view things changes based on he gender of people doing it. Secretarial work was the next step to the big leagues until women began to do it, and then it became a dead end. Programming was easy, basic skills anyone could do until men began to do it and it became high paid and important. We have implicit assumptions on how people are based on their percieved gender which have significant effects in the world without us ever having to be conscious of it. Because of this, I think bringing value to things associated with “feminine” is a needed step for acknowledging that men and women are equal.

    I’m cool with us agreeing to disagree on this, though. I have a bit of an odd perspective, so I expect other feminists won’t always agree with me.

  274. deoridhe says

    Urg, no, I don’t mean gender essentialism at all. “Feminine” and “Masculine” are terms used as weapons against all people in an attempt to make us conform to stereotypes of what males and females “should” be like, and as such are oppressive, but they also describe clusters of behaviors and characteristics which are treated very differently – “masculine” usually valued while “feminine” usually is not – so they’re also a useful shorthand. I am so, so, so very sorry I gave the impression of this being about gender essentialism; clearly my wording needs work.

  275. deoridhe says

    Using “males” and “females” as a shorthand for “boys/teens/men” and “girls/teens/women” not in a “I will clinically study you like BUGS! BUGS! I SAY!” too. Just to clarify!

  276. John Morales says

    deoridhe, your wording needs work, alright!

    It’s not about gender essentialism, it’s about a description of clusters of behaviors and characteristics associated with stereotypes of what males and females “should” be like?

    <snicker>

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

    deoridhe – I don’t think you’ll find a large contingent of disagreement from anyone here except on the point of labels. Elevating things traditionally seen as feminine is a definite goal of feminism and so it should be – however a concurrent and arguable more important goal is dismantling those traditional gender roles and exposing them for the limiting and damaging boxes that they are.

    In other words, in order to bring equality to the things traditionally seen as feminine, we need to get rid of the feminine/masculine concepts altogether. Having two boxes in which we throw mostly arbitrary traits, vocations and abilities is an inherently divisive (hah!) and oppressive concept when one of those boxes has been labelled “factory seconds”. There isn’t really any way to make “feminine” things attractive to “masculine” males and vice versa without discarding those labels. Once you do, you’re simply saying that “people like things” and that’s… well. How it should be, really.

  278. la tricoteuse says

    dysomniak @ 342.

    I’d describe Let’s Dance as Slump-Cusp (Though I love it), and the next five albums (Tonight, Never Let Me Down, the two Tin Machines, and Black Tie White Noise, two of which were early 90s rather than 80s, but whatever) as Slumptime. Sure, they were mediocre, at worst, for anyone else, but they were worse than mediocre for Bowie. There were some good (even great) songs in there, of course, but by and large nothing LIKE as consistent or as good as his 70s work. He got interesting again in the 90s. Then kapow, lollipop in the eye and a heart thing, and he disappeared.

    Buuuut he’s back! Which is super exciting. And I really like the new song, which is a relief.

  279. Owlmirror says

    Do you have any evidence of photoshopping of the top photo?

    *gasp!*

    There’s a baby photoshopped to look like an orc at the top of the thread.

  280. deoridhe says

    Elevating things traditionally seen as feminine is a definite goal of feminism and so it should be – however a concurrent and arguable more important goal is dismantling those traditional gender roles and exposing them for the limiting and damaging boxes that they are.

    I see a few ways of doing that, but imo it requires a lot of different perspectives form a lot of different directions, including people choosing to embrace traditionally feminine things regardless of gender, people fighting to include non-binary gender identities, people talking about how traditionally feminine things are of value, people pointing out problems with traditionally masculine ideals, people pointing out that people can (and do) embody opposite values quite handily, etc… and some of that includes saying things like “feminine things are good”.

    I see the terminology as important, personally, but I like semantics. The concepts are the terrain, the words are the map, but we tend to struggle to verbalize the terrain to those without experience in it, so the map is useful to transfer information and thus more accurate words means better communication about the concepts.

  281. John Morales says

    deoridhe:

    I see the terminology as important, personally, but I like semantics. The concepts are the terrain, the words are the map, but we tend to struggle to verbalize the terrain to those without experience in it, so the map is useful to transfer information and thus more accurate words means better communication about the concepts.

    So you claim.

    Can you elucidate the difference between gender essentialism and clusters of behaviors and characteristics associated with stereotypes of what males and females “should” be like?

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

    The terminology is the root of the problem. Sure, you can say “feminine things are good”. That sill leaves you with the issue that “masculine” things exist in opposition to “feminine” things. The point is the terms create a divine where there shouldn’t be one in the first place.

    Cleaning house is “feminine”. Mountain climbing is “masculine”. Taking care of kids is “feminine”. Being in the military is “masculine”. Why? Sure, they’re things traditionally associated with males and females respectively, called masculine and feminine, but no part of any of those activities in and of themselves is objectively linked to gender concepts. The links we have created are arbitrary and detrimental.
    Discard the labels. They are damaging simply because they exist.

    Completely ignoring the issue of intersexed and genderqueer folks here too. Where do they fit in with “masculine and feminine?”

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

    *divide. heh! Divine divide, if you like. Same concept of pretending something is there when it has no objective basis in reality ;)

  284. John Morales says

    Languages with grammatical gender are particularly pernicious; for example, in Spanish, a fork is masculine and a spoon is feminine.

    (Also, the sky is masculine but clouds are feminine, but the sea is both)

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

    John – in cooking classes we had male and female spoons. The female one had holes in.

  286. la tricoteuse says

    In Italian the sea is masculine, but water is feminine. The sky and clouds are the same as in Spanish, and I suspect quite a lot else is the same as well, though I’ve never studied Spanish.

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

    It’s an interesting little conundrum. How linked are traditionally gendered activities and words that also have gender in LOTE? The concepts seem separate to me, as an English speaker (I speak French, but not particularly well), but it’d be nice to look into the history of the language to find out where the whole “gender in language” concept came from. Is that kind of gender concept in language harmful, and if so, what could we possibly do about it?

  288. la tricoteuse says

    I teach English as a foreign language, and I constantly have to explain non-gendered job titles and things to students. (Not least because our course material is often a bit dated) I have to say things like “No…we don’t say air hostess anymore. We say flight attendant. Yes, for both. No, a female doctor is a doctor, not a doctoress.” The last school I worked at had a sort of magazine thing they put out for students to read, and the editor was a lady from, I think, Belgium, and apparently the school director told her to list her position on the title page as “editrix.” And there was much facepalming from me. Bloody editrix. Really?

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

    Very interesting! It’s not an area I’d really thought of before, despite my interest in language.
    Why am I not surprised?

  290. John Morales says

    la tricoteuse,

    Bloody editrix. Really?

    Doesn’t one need a leather bustier, high heels and a whip for that? :)

  291. la tricoteuse says

    John Morales:

    Doesn’t one need a leather bustier, high heels and a whip for that? :)

    Perhaps a bottle in which to collect blood from the flayings in lieu of red ink.

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

    Owlmirror – that is an AWESOME infographic :)

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

    funnybot just got the boot. Lee Coye still seems to be battling whiffs of nothing like the trooper he apparently is, though.

  294. comradebob says

    It is very unfortunate that I have been banished to the Thunderdome as there are many unique insights that I would be able to offer for the benefit of the general readership on moonshine. Sigh. Anyway, alcohol was a key evolution bottleneck for the future European population. It allowed them to maintain carbohydrate sustenance through the cruel winters (beer; genetic ability to metabolize alcohol; aldehyde dehydrogenase). In a similar manner, northern European sausage is less spicy than Italian sausage as northern European sausage (protein; harvested swine; the bratwurst) was preserved simply by keeping it outside in the cold.

    Death for those without the aldehyde dehydrogenase mutation was slow, cold, and cruel.

  295. comradebob says

    Alcohol was a carbohydrate. Beer is pretty much mostly sustaining carbohydrates, with some alcohol for preservation. Smart men have noted that the pleasant sensations implanted by alcohol upon our brains are proof that God is present, and wants us to be happy.

  296. r3a50n says

    @308:

    Heh. So you engage the trolls as if their arguments have merit but you tell someone that’s on your side of the argument to “fuck off.” Talk about a circular firing squad…

    I know it’s the Thunderdome but that doesn’t mean that you are required to be an asshole.

    To everyone else that took offense at my post that implied that you should be above trollery, you win. I take back that implication. A wise man once said “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” If you want to engage pigs on their level, that’s certainly your prerogative.

    As to this:

    Their idiocy is refuted for the lurkers. Considering maybe a hundred people post a day, and several tens of thousands blog readers appear, doing so sends a strong message about rationality, evidence, and skeptical thinking.

    Speaking as someone that does a lot of lurking here and on plenty of other blogs, the message that you’re sending by seriously engaging trolls, thus lending their arguments credibility they do not deserve (and then telling those who point that out to “fuck off”), does not send the message that you think it does.

  297. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    Teh bob is back, verbal IQ and all!

    I like how it says “alcohol was a carbohydrate” in the past tense, as though it is possible for a single substance to be a carbohydrate at some points in history but not others.

  298. la tricoteuse says

    Arguing against a stupid argument does not, in fact, lend that stupid argument credibility. That is, in fact, a stupid fucking argument. Ignoring it would just make a lurker think that our failure to respond meant you had a point.

  299. John Morales says

    r3a50n:

    Speaking as someone that does a lot of lurking here and on plenty of other blogs, the message that you’re sending by seriously engaging trolls, thus lending their arguments credibility they do not deserve (and then telling those who point that out to “fuck off”), does not send the message that you think it does.

    The perpetual refrain of the would-be troll is banal.

  300. comradebob says

    Yeast eats carbohydrates and defecates alcohol and carbon dioxide. Pharyngula is a very good website in a large part due to its leadership which opens our minds to free thought. In many ways PZ is a gift to us regarding tolerance and political analysis, kind of like our very own white Juan Williams. Therefore I am grateful for my continued privilege of being able to contribute within the Thunderdome. By the way, where is chigau?

  301. John Morales says

    comradebob:

    Therefore I am grateful for my continued privilege of being able to contribute within the Thunderdome.

    Your kowtowing is cute, troll.

    By the way, where is chigau?

    Wherever she wishes to be, of course.

    (Simple question, simpler answer)

  302. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    Okay, after Morales’ post I think I understand that bobicus was trying to say that “alcohol can be derived from carbohydrates”.

    @r3a50n #383:

    “To everyone else that took offense at my post that implied that you should be above trollery, you win. I take back that implication. A wise man once said “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” If you want to engage pigs on their level, that’s certainly your prerogative.”

    You are pretty clearly not taking back that implication, given the passive-aggressive remark that follows your “apology”. That doesn’t really matter, though.

    You know what else doesn’t matter? Vague, philosophical “moral victories”. When you say “don’t engage the trolls on their level”, you certainly get to feel very good about yourself and your refusal to acknowledge their arguments, but you don’t actually help anyone. What the trolls see is someone who doesn’t really care if they (the trolls) continue being racists, misogynists, homophobes, etc. You have to speak up against these people, because if you don’t, they’ll keep on doing what they’re doing forever.

    My experience in lurking has been very different from yours. I have learned as much from these comment threads as I have from the blog posts.

    If all reasonable people talked only to reasonable people, then you know what would change about society? Nothing.

  303. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Alcohol was a carbohydrate

    Nope. Only drinking alcohol. Industrial alcohol is made from ethylene. So quit lying and bullshitting to yourself, then you can quit lying and bullshitting to us. Stop trolling, it just makes you sound unintelligent….

  304. says

    Love that infographic.

    ***

    The concepts are the terrain, the words are the map, but we tend to struggle to verbalize the terrain to those without experience in it, so the map is useful to transfer information and thus more accurate words means better communication about the concepts.

    I can’t make heads or tails of this sentence. The terrain you’re talking about is imaginary.

    I’ll try something:

    Antiracism is called antiracism because what is discounted race-wise is the African; the earthy, the athletic, the tribal, the instinctive, the rhythmic, the spiritual, the transitory. One of the issues with antiracism as it’s grown up has been is embrace of the intellectual, the logical, the competitive, the civilized, the inventive, and the permanent at the expense of those other things, instead of in addition to those things.

    Antiracism operates at two levels; at one of them it’s about increasing individual choices, allowing black people in particular but whites as well to express who they are as individuals before who they are as racial beings. On the second level it’s about elevating qualities and characteristics that are discounted and underpaid, making our being a collective species that listens to its instincts as important as our being an intellectual species that follows its reason.

    So far there isn’t a widespread white movement embracing the African virtues; the most vocal white movement is doubling down on European virtues while blaming all of the negative consequences of them on black people….

  305. comradebob says

    Ethylene does not contain Oxygen and had nothing to do with humans using fermented wheat to survive European winters. Damn you’re dumb.

  306. crayzz says

    …thus lending their arguments credibility they do not deserve…

    How the fuck does that even work?

  307. John Morales says

    I see comradebob knows about as much about feedstock as about history and evolution.

    <snicker>

  308. John Morales says

    Actually, knows about as much about those as about brewing.

    (Wheat, barley — much of a muchness)

  309. crayzz says

    Ethylene does not contain Oxygen and had nothing to do with humans using fermented wheat to survive European winters.

    C2H4 + H2O → CH3CH2OH

  310. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Yes, because only the Europeans fermented alcohol. Never mind the Middle East. Which developed most of the vegetables and domesticated livestock that the Europeans adopted.

    Yeah, you are the most friendly and cuddly of shitbags.

  311. comradebob says

    Ethylene is a hydrocarbon the power of which Men were not able to harness until the 19th century. The idea of Hansel setting up a reactor is probably giving him too much credit. Yeast-based alcohol production was initially set up in North Africa thousands of years ago. They just kind of sucked at it and it tasted yucky. A photograph of beer, one quality purveyor of which became founded in the 14th century:

    http://mi.worldclassbeer.com/wp-content/beer_spy/images/prodimages/Spaten/lSpatenLogo.jpg

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

    So, do you live in the 14th century, or do you just not actually have a point?

    If you hadn’t noticed, we can do these things now, and do, and it doesn’t make ethylene-based alcohol any less alcohol than fermented plants.

  313. John Morales says

    Bah. Everyone knows real Europeans* quaff mead!

    * Who are not African-evolved, in bobby’s world.

  314. nightshadequeen says

    Yeast eats carbohydrates and defecates alcohol and carbon dioxide.

    …you’re only barely in the same planet as reality.

  315. comradebob says

    In my opinion, all humans began their evolutionary journey in sub-Saharan Africa.

    30,000 years or so ago.

  316. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    But John, only those who ended up in Europe learned how to deal with seasons. Those who stayed in Africa were to stupid to notice that. Or flood seasons. Or anything else.

    So, shitbag, were the Egyptians those who came back from Europe?

  317. John Morales says

    comradebob, whence your earlier reference elsewhere to an “Asia-evolved female”?

    (You met a non-human at the car-rental place?)

  318. comradebob says

    It’s Janine!

    Actually northeast Asians and Jews have higher IQs than whites, which results in their higher group monetary compensations. Although whites have a certain creativity not found in others, in some peoples’ opinions.

  319. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    The way he says “some peoples'”, he almost makes it seem as though he’s not just talking about him.

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

    Ah… argumentum ad rectum, I see.

    Very amusing.

  321. John Morales says

    So, bob. We know Asian-evolved females (are they human, or not?) are known to display all kinds of micro-aggressions, bordering on micro-assaults, in your opinion.

    (What flaws do these pesky Jews (where did they evolve?) have?)

  322. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    And some people’s opinion come directly from their asses. Or reality shows.

  323. comradebob says

    Aido Hwedo accepts the high Asian IQ, high Asian compensation part. But refutes the creativity part. This defies Logic. I am left scratching my head.

  324. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    You know very well that I didn’t accept anything you said, bobicus. I just can’t be bothered to launch into a detailed argument over everything you say, especially when I know that others will take up the slack wherever I fail to do so and vice versa.

  325. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The shitbag is showing off his low verbal IQ again. Aido Hwedo did not say that.

  326. crayzz says

    “Aido Hwedo accepts the high Asian IQ, high Asian compensation part.”

    That’s not what Aido said.

    “It tasted yucky? According to whom?”

    The beer wasn’t made by white people; obviously it tasted bad. /snark

  327. John Morales says

    I think bob still imagines Aido is Asian based on the nym.

    (The Fon reference was apparently too obscure)

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

    So all personality traits are derived purely, somehow, from where people evolved (and of course, all races are islands with no cross-pollination or cultural drift) and culture and upbringing have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Right.

    I’d love to see bob’s opinion on Islamic science and art in the age when Medieval “Europeans” were experiencing the so-called dark ages. Or, even more hilariously, the entire multi-thousand-year-spanning Egyptian empire, with all the science, architecture, art, literature and amazing craftsmanship produced there. Also, the south American empires. Have you seen some of the amazing things they produced? You’ve got to be kidding with the “creativity” lark.

  329. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    BTW, to avoid confusion, I should probably point out at this point that I’m a boring, privileged white person. I don’t actually speak Fon. I just like mythology, and Aido Hwedo (the rainbow serpent of West African folklore) is one of my favorite characters.

  330. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Sophia, not just the South and Mezo Americans. The Mississippians also built very impressive structures.

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

    I’m not familiar with them, I shall peek! Yay for more awesome cultural things to google :D

  332. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ethylene does not contain Oxygen and had nothing to do with humans using fermented wheat to survive European winters. Damn you’re dumb.

    Hydration of ethylene in the gaseous state. Makes industrial alcohol that sells for $0.77/kg. The distillers made sure that they couldn’t sell it for drinking, even if it is purer (no fermentation conengers). You are dumb, dumber, dumbest, and never, ever, argue science with a real scientist. You just come up looking like the fool you are. And you know that….

  333. comradebob says

    I was about to apologize for my ignorance Aido, given your command of the English language and my knowledge of probability. As one day you may have been my leader should my previous understanding have proven to be True. Now I have a better understanding and I have some authentic African soap to sell you. It cleans real good and is organic. Thanks;

    Nerd of Redhead; you are really dumb. This is not a hateful or bullying statement, simply a matter of fact. Hansel could not have been expected to create reactors in the Middle Ages. This does not mean that I do not like you as I am here to help. And please be civil.

  334. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    I have no fucking idea what you’re saying, bobicus, and I don’t generally make transactions over the comment sections of atheist blogs with people I strongly dislike.

  335. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The shitbag’s greatest talent; being a condescending assclam even when he is being show what a low verbal IQ fool he is.

  336. John Morales says

    Aido, you never saw danielhaven, did ya? :)

    Never mind, the Bad Translator to the rescue:

    #426: “I have my ignorance about the likelihood of the Arabic, was commander of the English language and apologized for the way I know how. Because it was that a leader needs to understand, it turned out to be true. I now have a better understanding of and degree of authentic African soaps. He clean up really good and organic. Thank you;

    Redhead nerd; It is foolish. It’s not hatred or harassment claim is simple fact. Can’t wait to get in the middle ages the reactor. This does not mean that I am not, I will show here. AND”

  337. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    you are really dumb.

    Considering you half as smart as I am at best, you are really a dumbshit. Show us your credentials to talk about anything. I have some degrees. Maybe if you mature, we will let you join in the conversation.

  338. Cyranothe2nd says

    So you engage the trolls as if their arguments have merit but you tell someone that’s on your side of the argument to “fuck off.” Talk about a circular firing squad…

    Hmmmm, what’s more rude? Coming into a thread and telling people what they should be doing with their time, while using disproved injunctions like “don’t feed the trolls” and completely ignoring the decorum of the place you’re visiting? Or telling such a person to fuck off?

  339. bluentx says

    On Bowie and Let’s Dance:
    And don’t forget Stevie Ray Vaughn* is on a few of those tracks including the title one.

    *Yeah, I know some people think he’s overrated but–tough! I saw him live twice before he became famous (outside Austin) and I’m hanging onto the memories–so there! : )

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

    haha! DH666 was a real gem. Word salad of the highest quality. It’s always amusing to read comments from people who look like they learned english from reading online message boards inhabited entirely by spam generator bots.

  341. oldmrbear says

    Never read a Thunderdome thread before. Wish I could reclaim those precious minutes. Oh well, I’ll try a little self-deception and call it a difficult education. Even so I’m strangely drawn to add to the insa…(ooops almost slipped there), inanity. Hence, my anecdote.

    I shall never forget an incident that occurred back many decades ago when I was in elementary school (WA, USA). My desk mate let it be known that she was mad (frustrated and angry). Unfortunately the teacher over heard the comment, and boy was she ma.. er, angry. And thus began an interminable lecture, that seemed to last for hours and days. According to the teacher the word “mad” had but one definition and was a pejorative referring to an extreme mental illness. Of course, us kids had never heard that definition before (protected, privileged little buggers, eh?) I was just beginning to appreciate words with multiple definitions, connotations, denotations etc. We had never used the word in that way, didn’t even know it was possible. But we learned quickly, and added it to our lexicon to use whenever we wanted to disrupt a boring class discussion (along with those other really cool “adult” words). Actually the new definition only took a few moments, most of the time was spent informing us of our evil animal nature, and how we were destined to burn in hell for all eternity. Another difficult education.

    We thought the teacher was a particularly nasty piece of work, kinda like the misanthrope quoted earlier in the tread who hates “vagina gremlins” (aka human beings).

  342. comradebob says

    I am not from Zimbabwe, however we can all celebrate the success of Zimbabwe following the dispossession of its farmers. Hunger rocks and race is a social construct.

    I am very happy that the Nerd of Redhead has paid for college.

  343. Cyranothe2nd says

    @ 438

    Maybe we should let marginalized people decide when a word’s definition has changed to the extend that using it is not longer hurtful to them, okay? Until then, using slurs like “gay” or “crazy” to mean “bad” are still hurtful to some real people in real life.

    It costs you so very little not to hurt other people’s feelings. Why do you insist on your right to be an asshole?

  344. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am very happy that the Nerd of Redhead has paid for college.

    Gee, what is your credentials to speak? None from what you present with your posts. Word salad, garbage grade.

  345. says

    In addition to their effect in terms of perpetuating sexism, the notions that we should equally value “feminine” qualities or balance these with “masculine” qualities are unacceptable in terms of morality and basic humanism.

    The grounds on which we should value, promote, and cultivate certain qualities should be derived from our understanding of (human and nonhuman) needs and well-being.* Basing this evaluation on some goal of equality or balance between qualities that happen in some culture(s) at present to be characterized as “masculine” or “feminine” is basing it on nothing reasonable or evidence-based. Moreover, in practical terms, “masculine” qualities will be valued by default, and “feminine” qualities will be valued – always less highly – simply for their association, or for “balance.” This content-independent method isn’t a reasonable approach to evaluating qualities and virtues. It’s quite silly, in fact.

    *You DO NOT want to get me started on Erich Fromm (who was, unfortunately, an absurdly essentialist thinker, influenced as he was by essentialist currents from Orthodox Judaism to Freud to 1950s US humanism – read more than you ever wanted to know about this at my blog in the coming months :)).

  346. comradebob says

    Golly gee, Nerd of Redhead, did they give you a piece of paper to frame? Our sponsor appreciates the excellent health insurance.

  347. Owlglass says

    @366 John, #language
    Some languages have separate genus and sexus, like many germanic languages. The male genus originally indicates a set with one member (e.g. singular) without any sexus, whereas a set with many members (e.g. plurals) receive the feminine from. For example in German “a teacher” looks as if a guy is meant, but actually doesn’t give away anything about the person but their profession. And “the teachers” are female, but there it becomes clear that the set of members can be of any kind (as long as they qualify as “teacher”). This rule was misunderstood, and reinforced the stereotype that many respected jobs (like teacher, doctor, professor etc.) are typically guys. For example “I go see a doctor” would for most people create the image of a male doctor by default.
    |
    Feminists fixed this, by strictly using sexus suffixes that already existed in some words, like you see in english too with words like Baron and Baronesse. They did some good things too, but that was a mistake, as now it basically killed the “without sexus” form. If you don’t know anything about the doctor, you have to resort to awkward forms like doctor/doctoresse, of course nobody uses outside of formal texts and speeches (where you always something similirar to “dear ladies and gentlemen” i.e. “dear doctoresses and doctors”). That backfired now that people even more assume a sexus where only genus was meant.
    |
    In older times they fixed this by using the neutral form, so that children are “it” in German, too. But since this became fashionable for things, it feels odd these days. Another odd thing are often reversed sexuses, compared to the other indo-european traditiona (where the feminine is typically the passive/cold/receiving, and male is the active/hot/making). Our sun is female, the moon is male. The spoon is male, the fork is female. The sky is male, but the clouds female, but that is according to the rule above (one cloud is rare, so the feminine form comes via the plural). Lesson learned: there is sexism in language, but not always in a way how people think it is.

  348. chigau (違う) says

    FYI
    There were 16 iterations of TZT before PZ “killed” it.
    This is Thunderdome 16.
    *ominous organ music*

  349. Aido Hwedo, the Rainbow Serpent says

    @John Morales #433:

    Nope, never saw xir. According to the Dungeon, xe is a “babbling creationist”.

  350. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Danielhaven was a chore to read. And not just because his english was bad. Hell, it made the bad ideas easier to take.

  351. comradebob says

    Do not fear chigau. The cultural revolution was horrible and along with the various Dynasties suppressed the creativity and resiliency of the Chinese people, literally changing their DNA. America has yet to have an assault on its creativity. And, despite Diane Feinstein’s paranoid and greedy ambitions, I hereby predict that Americans will retain the ability to be creative for generations to come. We are most robust, most resilient.

    Never hesitate to follow Truth.

  352. chigau (違う) says

    I liked danielhaven.
    He was an important part of the Genesis of TZT.
    (I’m not sorry he’s gone.)

  353. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    There is something suspicious. To change the political conflict is only the old dns and creative flexibility. The United States opposed the revolution are not creative services. This desire, a solid agreement in the United States worried thinking the BATTERY.

    This is the main problem.

    So much better after Bad Translator.

  354. comradebob says

    There are times when it all seems so futile. Go in peace chigau, I only wish that you could ease your heart.

  355. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Why do I think that the shitbag has no idea how DNA works?

    (Not that I have that good of a grasp. But it is not as misguided as the shitbag.)

  356. Owlmirror says

    Since this is Thunderdome, I will take a moment to say something very much out of character:

    JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE!!!…!!

    (Will tovarischyob change his nym to “John Barleycorn”, and claim harrasment, death threats, and assault with a deadly folksong? Who can say?)

  357. Cyranothe2nd says

    Did I miss something? Unless I am mistaking him for someone else, CB used to make amusing and sometimes-insightful comments. Now he appears to have completely off the rails. What happened???

  358. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    You are mistaken. The shit first plopped in a couple of days ago. He announced his racism from the very beginning. As of yet, he has said nothing of worth. All any of us is doing down is playing with him.

    I am hoping that he finds the pit.

  359. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I asked that the first day that the shitbag appeared, hillel. He declined to answer. Instead, he asked us to watch a reality show about a pawn shop.

  360. comradebob says

    I am not a racist, having a black friend (I really do, two of them). Janine, what are your thoughts on family?

  361. Cyranothe2nd says

    @ Janine–Hmmm, I must be confusing him with someone else, as I could swear he’d been around for months. But I am total shit with names, so I often confuse people (its pretty embarrassing when I’ve been teaching the same group of students all quarter and still can’t get their names right!)

  362. hillel says

    I find myself unable to accept that the average intelligence of every racial group is exactly equal. Tell me why I’m wrong.

    Sorry Janine, I should have come right out with it before you said something civil to me. :)

  363. comradebob says

    The human racial dynamic is something to BEHOLD. Male-Female. Black-White. Mezito. A white male person Bitching about politics on the State Dole. I think it has more to do with our politics than anyone wants to admit to. In any case, I am willing to trade photographs with Janine.

  364. Lofty says

    hillel @469:
    Of course not, while nutrition, sanitation and education are unequally available to all people then some groups average intelligence will suffer from their lack. Fix those problems and you will find equal average intelligence pretty much everywhere. They are ALL Homo Sapiens.

  365. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Shitbag improved:

    This is what everyone wanted fighting women, black and white, you’ll see that Mezit of public policy, he said, there is no online. I know that all of our employees. Sure, this is a warning.

  366. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Hillel, this might be the last civil thing that I will say to you; do not post on any of the other threads. You will not last long and will be restricted to this thread.

  367. hillel says

    Lofty:

    It seems quite clear to me that Asians have a higher average IQ than whites, and you could probably argue that the average white person has better nutrition and sanitation than the average Asian. What would you say to that?

  368. John Morales says

    hillel, your opinions are irrelevant and you see the world through racist eyes.

    (Also, there is no such thing as an average X person; people are individuals)

  369. Cyranothe2nd says

    Hillel,

    I’m not sure if this is just mental masturbation to you or if you’re serious (racist, either way) but:

    1. IQ isn’t a good judge of intelligence.
    2. You cannot separate social conditions from biological ones and pretend that things like intelligence are biological, instead of having to do with social conditions, unless you can control for social conditions.
    3. There are no good studies that show that racial groups have different average intelligences, anyway
    4. BECAUSE, there is also no good proof that “race” as a biological construct even exists and plenty that proves it is a social construct.

    You are completely full of shit.

  370. Lofty says

    hillel, I would say that without data supporting your assertion you are probably talking out of your ass. Any group subsisting on white bread, processed meat, booze and creationism is highly likely to rate less intelligent on average than a well educated sensibly fed population. Race is totally irrelevant.

  371. strange gods before me ॐ says

    We thought the teacher was a particularly nasty piece of work, kinda like the misanthrope quoted earlier in the thread who hates “vagina gremlins” (aka human beings).

    And who is oldmrbear referring to?

    I went to an all-female highschool. Of my group of 6 friends, only 2 of us even considered having children. The rest were, and still are, adamant that they never want kids. My own sister-in-law despises “vagina gremlins” and can’t stand to be around children. Same for my best friend.

    So a woman who doesn’t enjoy the company of children, and has a funny name for them, is a misanthrope? No.

    Kids grow out of being kids. As long as a person is not unkind to them, it is okay to not like them. And disliking kids is a great reason for not having kids.

    Please don’t make any more sexist comments like that, oldmrbear.

  372. hillel says

    Cyranothe2nd:

    1. IQ isn’t a good judge of intelligence.

    Agreed. What shall we use then. Nobel prizes? Scientific and technological advances? Living conditions, health outcomes? Name one.

    2. You cannot separate social conditions from biological ones and pretend that things like intelligence are biological, instead of having to do with social conditions, unless you can control for social conditions.

    Social conditions aren’t magical. They don’t just fall out of the sky as a matter of pure chance. The fact that social conditions of each racial group are as predictable as the sunrise says something, doesn’t it? And it’s not like the fruits of western civilization aren’t available to every nation. If Europeans can build a civilization in a dry, arid, infertile land like Australia, why can’t Africans nations do the same? Of course there are predictable exceptions, like South Africa, which has a high population of Europeans.

    3. There are no good studies that show that racial groups have different average intelligences, anyway
    4. BECAUSE, there is also no good proof that “race” as a biological construct even exists and plenty that proves it is a social construct.

    Firstly, no true Scotsman, etc. Secondly, I find this argument unconvincing. Our society is utterly intolerant of the idea that not all of God’s creatures were created equal. A “good” scientific institution would be utterly mad to publish research that concluded anything other than the lie we all tell ourselves regarding race. To do otherwise would be to guarantee a loss of funding. Science isn’t perfect, unfortunately.

    Let’s see how deeply the madness runs. Who would deny that people of recent African ancestry have advantages when it comes to speed and stamina. Who could possibly deny it? If you don’t deny it, why must you deny that differences also exist in intelligence?

  373. Cyranothe2nd says

    If Europeans can build a civilization in a dry, arid, infertile land like Australia, why can’t Africans nations do the same?

    You don’t know a whole lot about Australia, do you?

    The fact that social conditions of each racial group are as predictable as the sunrise says something, doesn’t it?

    I am not even sure what this could possibly mean.

    Who would deny that people of recent African ancestry have advantages when it comes to speed and stamina. Who could possibly deny it?

    Uh, people that aren’t racists?

    But please tell me more about the “fruits of Western civilization.” Do you mean mass slavery? Stark capitalism? Indemnified sexism? Rape culture? Mass poverty? The ability to create machines of war? Please, do tell me all about how Western culture is so much better than that of the Mali, or the Aborigines or the Arawaks or the Iroquois. I’m sure you’re totally familiar with these cultures and will in now way generalize them all as “primitive.”

  374. mandrellian says

    I’m probably tripping, but Bad Jim (105 and onward) reminded me so much of noelplum99 it was spooky. I suspect the name (plum’s real name is Jim) and general level of irritation he provided was probably coincidence.

  375. hillel says

    Cyranothe2nd:

    You don’t know a whole lot about Australia, do you?

    Elaborate.

    But please tell me more about the “fruits of Western civilization.” Do you mean mass slavery? Stark capitalism? Indemnified sexism? Rape culture? Mass poverty? The ability to create machines of war? Please, do tell me all about how Western culture is so much better than that of the Mali, or the Aborigines or the Arawaks or the Iroquois. I’m sure you’re totally familiar with these cultures and will in now way generalize them all as “primitive.”

    Well, this is all wildly off course. I don’t consider these civilizations inferior, and there is much to dislike about western culture. We are talking about “intelligence”. The thing that allows practical advancements in the areas of health and nutrition, the absolute basics of living. It seems to me that every culture values these things, but there are wildly different levels of achievement in improving them.

    Lofty:

    That is interesting. However as I agreed above, IQ is a poor measure of intelligence, and I don’t put much stock in it. I’ve always preferred the ‘pudding’ approach. I consider intelligence to be the ability to discover the underlying laws of nature, and exploit them in such a way as to improve the lives of human beings. Every single scientific and technological advancement I can think of is the result of a single racial group, with rare exception. How the fuck am I supposed to integrate that with the idea that all groups have exactly equal intelligence? It seems like madness to me, and I haven’t heard anything that’s given me pause.

    Jafafa Hots:

    Ok ok, not all of Australia is infertile, but neither is all of Africa.

    As for the charge of “racist”. The definition of “racist” is one who believes that one race is superior to another. I do not believe Europeans are superior to Africans, nor Asians superior to Europeans. I am talking about one attribute among many; intelligence. I do not hate people of other races. I do not want people of other races to get out of my country. I want them to have all the rights that I do. I absolutely love seeing African people do well in the areas of science and mathematics (and many do). My favorite physicist is an African American. I find it so bizarre that one simple suggestion, that the average intelligence of different races is not the same, attracts such a toxic level of hatred, in a way that suggestions of disparate height, speed and stamina simply don’t. It’s woefully irrational.

  376. strange gods before me ॐ says

    hillel not worthy of the name,

    You’re obviously a racist hobbyist. How is it you have not read Guns, Germs and Steel?

  377. mildlymagnificent says

    If Europeans can build a civilization in a dry, arid, infertile land like Australia, why can’t Africans nations do the same? Of course there are predictable exceptions, like South Africa, which has a high population of Europeans.

    For pity’s sake – look at a map. See that green area around most of the edge of Australia? That’s where most, the vast bulk, of the indigenous population lived before the Brits arrived – and they’re the people that died in droves from contact with smallpox, measles and the rest. If you look at the unspoiled landscape (you have to use your imagination for a lot of this) say around the Hawkesbury or Sydney Harbour or around the Coorong and the lower reaches of the Murray you’ll find the place teeming with all kinds of easily obtained game and fish as well as nutritious vegetables and fruits. Much of Australia’s coastal regions were an abundant paradise for indigenous peoples.

    Those who wanted to stay in place, in cooler areas like Victoria, rather than move to different areas for winter and summer were perfectly capable of devising permanent housing and fish farms and the like on the rivers. And plenty of them did. And the others who lived in the desert? They had to move around a fair bit. Why? Because they maintained all the springs and soaks – so it wasn’t quite such a forbidding waterless expanse as it’s now become since “modern” civilisation moved in and “improved” the agricultural productivity of some of these lands. By digging wells which ran dry because of over-extraction.

  378. hillel says

    You’re obviously a racist hobbyist.

    You’re wrong.

    How is it you have not read Guns, Germs and Steel?

    Because I hadn’t heard of it. I will read it though, thanks for the suggestion.

  379. oldmrbear says

    Cyrano @ 441, did you actually read my little posting? If so, perhaps you could humor me a bit. I am utterly fascinated by the way people create associations, connections and generally get from point A to point B in their creative thinking. How do you go from a trite little story where my teacher inadvertently teaches us yet another way of insulting people to labeling me a bold type face asshole? Of course, I may well be an asshole. I’m a little concerned though, do you really think I’ve earned the bold type? My old room mate was rather fond of the saying “there are more horses asses than there are horses.” Lard knows I have a disproportionate claim on the excess.

    For the most part I think that our language is so widely used and evolving so rapidly that it is beyond the control of even the most marginalized amongst us. Seriously though, I think intent is everything. Some people disagree with me on this and that’s cool. I’m writing only for myself. In most cases intent can be discerned. Naturally there are gray areas where we must exercise caution. My little friend had absolutely no intent to insult or injure anyone when she declared herself mad. She didn’t know it was even possible. So I cut her some slack. I wish the story ended there, but both she and I later used “mad”, “crazy” and “nuts” in our conversations to elicit emotional responses. And the intent was obvious. A few years back a couple of my buddies started calling each other “niggers”. I was very uncomfortable with it. We had a long discussion about it and in the end it was decided that this old white boy was an honorary nigger (under very stringent and controlled contexts). After our discussions we understood each others intentions – to laugh in the face of pain.

    To sum up, it costs me absolutely nothing to be considerate of other people. Since my adolescence, it has been been my goal to be considerate and not to insult or injure other people. In my many years of working with the mentally ill and challenged people I would never even consider using words like mad, crazy, nuts or others to insult or injure. In certain stringently controlled contexts, we just my call each other absolutely nuts. Can you guess what our intent might be?

    On the other hand, I am an asshole. So tonight as this old reprobate from the beat generation, slowly rocks himself to sleep, listening to golden oldies on my ipod, listen real carefully and you just might here me mutter – “crazy man, crazy”

    Oh and Cyrano, my right to be and asshole? It’s unalienable.

  380. mandrellian says

    hilell 481:

    The fact that social conditions of each racial group are as predictable as the sunrise says something, doesn’t it? And it’s not like the fruits of western civilization aren’t available to every nation. If Europeans can build a civilization in a dry, arid, infertile land like Australia, why can’t Africans nations do the same?

    The “social conditions of each racial group are as predictable as sunrise”? I’d love to hear precisely what you mean by that.

    The Europeans managed to build their version of civilisation in arid Australia by kicking the Aboriginals off of the few green bits we have and shooting at any that resisted, all the while bringing boatload after boatload of “criminals” to build the place. Is it somehow the Aboriginals’ fault that there aren’t any indigenous plants suitable for agriculture down here (the development of agriculture being a key factor in moving beyond neolithic nomadism and onto technological and cultural advances like finance, transoceanic travel and firearms) – if there were, would it be their fault that they did really very well without agriculture? Is it the Aboriginals’ fault that trading goods and ideas with neighbouring peoples like the Maoris and New Guineans was unfeasible due to distance? Is it the Aboriginals’ fault that they’re still marginalised and ignored here in Australia – even by the government that purportedly looks out for the welfare of all Australians?

    Similar story with Africa – it’s a continent of great natural wealth, which has been systematically plundered by your glorious Europeans, all too often at the point of a sword or barrel of a gun (was it some failing of the African peoples that they didn’t think to refine metal and invent firearms?). Need anyone mention the four centuries of plundering the very Africans themselves, to be used as free labour in building the USA and enriching white capitalists across Europe through their toil in colonies, mines and farms across the world? This exploitation of Africa didn’t end with the abolition of slavery, either – developed (read: richer and better-armed) nations have been and still are sending corporate and political representatives to Africa to exploit its mineral and other wealth with very little thought toward investing anything in the local communities that should be benefiting most. The shockwaves from slavery and the early “investment” by European companies and the current, continuing exploitation of Africa by both multinationals and governments alike should be among the things you consider when you contemplate why many African nations are chaotic and dangerous basket cases. It’s no wonder so many of these nations can’t afford to feed themselves or repair/build infrastructure or create jobs or have effective governments when all the profits from the wealth that’s literally right under their peoples’ feet are sent offshore to people who are already wealthy to the point of obscenity.

    I find it telling how your examples of some kind of racial inferiority are really examples of one culture blessed with very good timing – luckily finding new areas to exploit via exploration just as their technology enabled them to do so with comparitive ease and then doing so without cessation. The plunderers are still plundering; the difference is that the tie and the briefcase have replaced the whip and the musket.

    Perhaps if your mighty Europeans, who had several centuries’ (if not millennia) technological and scientific head start by the time they encountered Africans and Australian Aborigines (to name just two ethnicities they did their best to subjugate/eradicate in the name of Empire/profit (they were more or less successful in eradicating the Aborigines from Tasmania)), were more willing to share the local wealth, respect the primacy of the first occupiers and also share their own cultural advantages instead of simply pillaging the land and treating its inhabitants like troublesome vermin or pack animals, I daresay this conversation would be different.

    TL;DR: frankly, your assertion that “the fruits of Western civilisation are available to everyone” is rank bullshit. They’re simply not and the reasons for that are legion.

    You appear to be ignorant of simple history – never mind sociology, anthropology or cultural development. So ignorant, in fact, that if you were in any of my classes you and your attendant failing grade would have been laughed out of them.

  381. Cyranothe2nd says

    Wow, the racist cupcake is actually accusing the commenters here of “toxic level[s] of hatred.” O_O

    G’nite folks.