Happy Darwin Day! »« Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Self-portrait

They do like to meddle, don’t they?

Some people are very, very upset at my commenting policy. I’ll address a few of their protests.

NoelPlum99 has written a complaint of negligible consistency. He claims that there are no dissenters on this blog because I have “banned them all!” He claims to have evidence, or an argument, or something, and here it is (he’s quoting me, by the way):

But let me say a little more here, because there is so much more that could be said:

Why aren’t 50% of my commenters creationists, just like the American population?

Or how about, why aren’t ANY of your regular dissenters creationists on the anti-creationism blogs you make? When I regularly made anti-creationism videos I had regular creationist commentors. I welcomed their involvement, it made the comments a discussion rather than an endless list of self-affirmatory chirping.

Why aren’t 90% of them Christians?

Why aren’t ANY of them Christians?

Why aren’t a third of them Republicans?

What aren’t ANY of them Republicans?

This is a little game called “let’s ignore reality.” How about looking at that last thread where I discussed the comedy stylings of NoelPlum99? It’s currently up around 1200 comments. Are we to assume that that is 1200 comments from people cheering me on fulsomely? Or is it just possible that maybe, instead, people are disagreeing with my position? Go ahead, look. I can pretty much guarantee that any thread here with more than a few dozen comments is fueled by lots of angry contentiousness. No dissenters? Blatant nonsense.

Now look at that list. This is a liberal, atheist blog, so most of the commenters here are self-selected; that’s why they’re here, and that’s why this group is enriched for a particular population…not because I banned every outsider, a ludicrous proposition. NoelPlum99 claims that they’re not here because I’ve banned them all; is he really trying to imply I’ve got some kind of blanket ban on people who go to church on Sunday and who voted for Romney? How did I accomplish that?

But here’s the kicker: NoelPlum99’s first comment on Pharyngula led to people calling him mean names.

Perhaps you should have a look at what I think was about the first exchange I had on Pharyngula:

Here is the blog entry. The relevant posts are from my first comment at #355 through to the #390’s.

I have to ask: who was the party addressing arguments here and who were the parties simply slinging as much shit as didn’t run through their crooked fingers?

Holy fuck. A youtuber is complaining that there’s too much shit-flinging in a comment thread. I think we’re done here.


The second example of a meddling desire to control commenting here comes in a video from C0nc0rdance. It’s somewhat interesting that these disagreements come from known youtube personalities who really want blogs to be just like the youtube free-for-all, apparently. It’s also really amusing that they always complain about how rude and mean and nasty Pharyngula commenters are…while completely blind to the rudeness and meanness and nastiness in their own channel. Look at the comments on C0nc0rdance’s video, for example, to see a lot of shit being slung my way (but that’s OK! As long as it is an approved target, C0nc0rdance won’t object. It’s only bad if his side gets criticized).

But what I find most appalling in C0nc0rdance’s video is the blatant quote-mining and distortion. For example, he claims that I assume that “anyone coming to Pharyngula with a dissenting opinion is looking for a fight” and that all of my critics are like angry drunks.

That is a lie. An outright quote-mine and complete misrepresentation of what I said. What I did do was make an analogy to my role as being something like a bouncer at a bar, whose job it is to throw out the abusive troublemakers. That is rather different from claiming that everyone with a dissenting opinion is an abusive troublemaker. But that distinction does not matter to C0nc0rdance, I guess.

Then he goes through a list and tries to argue that I have unfairly banned people. Most ironically, this is a list he gets from my Dungeon page; one of the things I do here is keep a list of every single person who gets banned here, always with a short snarky comment and often a link to the offending post. It’s called transparency, C0nc0rdance; ever heard of it? It makes it easy to see what sorts of things get you banned, in addition to my commenting rules, you can see actual, empirical data on what kinds of things get you axed from the site. It turns out that being a Republican or being a Christian (other than the godbotting kind who does nothing but flood the comments with Bible quotes) aren’t represented there.

But of course, what it also means is that anyone can come along and see that one short comment and link and claim that so-and-so didn’t deserve to be banned! Look how unjust Myers is!

His case study is Michael Hawkins, a skeptic. C0nc0rdance is aghast; he notes that:

In two years, PZ went from praising Michael Hawkins for his courage in standing up to homeopathy…to banning him permanently for “being a douchecanoe”

Yes. Two years. Almost from the beginning of his interactions here, Hawkins was a carping jerk, yet somehow he managed to continue dissenting here regularly for all of those years before he finally convinced me he was too stupid and oblivious to allow him to continue. This is of course an excellent example of my notorious hair-trigger banning of all disagreement.

Not shown, though, are his whining emails to me. Yes, I praised his work fighting a quack in Maine; why wouldn’t I? What you don’t see is that after I put four posts on my blog on the Maloney issue, Hawkins would write to me complaining that I wasn’t doing enough, that I must not like him, that I was allowing my personal distaste for the guy interfere with the importance of his cause (there was no personal distaste until he started demanding my attention!) And from that point on, he came onto Pharyngula with a chip on his shoulder and was persistently obnoxious.

For example, here is Hawkins’ very first comment (aside from some test comments) on Pharyngula after I made the move to Freethoughtblogs.

I hate to feed the troll (PZ), but the fact is Watson and (more so) those who spread her video and story are the ones who made this all a big deal. Anyone who says otherwise is either a moron or liar. Take your pick.

By the way, you don’t get to damn Christians for projecting, PZ, when you did the exact same thing in this very post when you went out of your way to use “shrill”.

That was in September 2011. He wasn’t banned until four months later, after he’d piled up an impressive record of belligerance and antagonism. And note the source of his ire: that Rebecca Watson had said, “Guys, don’t do that” in a youtube video. You want to really piss off the regulars here? Take that attitude. It’s one of the most annoying things anyone can say here, and yet, notice, it didn’t get him banned.

He became notorious here as a tone troll: the substance of a complaint didn’t matter, what was horrible was being so irritating as to make a complaint in the first place (we note the irony that he was actually hoist by that petard eventually). He had a reputation as someone who demanded irrelevancies, like the time he told me to go “craft a few hundred words” and publish them in my local paper, rather than writing blog entries (there’s a theme here, too, of people ordering me to run my blog or my life in the particular way they prefer).

The final straw was his privileged, oblivious pomposity. Hawkins, the fellow who got terribly irate that a driving range made him buy their golf balls, then waxed indignant that poor people might use food stamps to buy lobster in Maine. It was classic privileged meddling. Subsidize my golfing hobby, but no, no, no, don’t let those poor people enjoy a good meal!

At that point he was toast. Again, it’s not that he disagreed with me — there are plenty of people bickering on that thread, and some making the same claim that these youtubers do, that I’ve violated FREE SPEECH by kicking him out — but because a persistently sanctimonious asshole wore out his welcome at last.

And that’s C0nc0rdance’s Big Lie: that I don’t tolerate any disagreement, that I’m quick to pull the trigger, that no dissenters can get a word in edgewise here. If you actually look at the record honestly, you cannot come to that conclusion…but it’s now the party line for people like NoelPlum99 (168 dissenting comments here) and C0nc0rdance (12 dissenting comments).

C0nc0rdance closes with the horrifying statistic that there are 105 entries in the dungeon file. Oh, no! A big number! Let’s terrify the children with it!

Perspective: that’s the number of permanently (there were a few others who were released) banned individuals accumulated over ten years of blogging. I get between 15,000 and 20,000 comments per month, and have banned less than one person per month.

You want to argue that my commenting policy is just too brutal? The facts say you’re wrong.

If you want to argue that my commenters are a ferocious bunch who don’t treat people with different views kindly, that’s a fair cop. Shall I start banning the regulars? Because it seems to me that these critics are hypocrites arguing out of both sides of their mouth, that it’s horrible that I block and ban trolls, but if they get to define who gets banned, well then, that’s OK!

Comments

  1. logicpriest says

    But it’s only freeze peach if I say it!!!!

    Or something. I don’t comment that often, but I read damn near all of them – some of the regulars and the fights that ensue are as entertaining as you, PZ :D

    Especially the fights.

  2. says

    I don’t agree (entirely) with you about guns. But what I don’t do is keep hammering on that issue as if I expect that the mere fact that I disagree with you ought to somehow sway you. On that particular topic, we’ve both heard the arguments aired thoroughly and it would be an attempt to engage in an attritional war of ideas – i.e.: to bore you into agreeing with me – which wouldn’t work anyway. I recognized the diahhrea-like tones of the attritionist debating strategy pretty early on in plum’s tenure and I’m surprised he lasted so long. That a boring prat continues to complain after getting banhammered should come as no surprise to anyone, after all, that’s what boring prats do best. That it’s all about them is no surprise, either, since everything is – or would be – in the paradise of the self-important.

  3. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s simply stunning that Youtubers complain about the commentariat/commenting policies anywhere. Youtube comments are a sewer.

  4. crayzz says

    In the comments of Noel’s first video, Concordance was asking for people to PM him with details of being banned for reasons other than trolling. I wonder how many people he got?

  5. logicpriest says

    Interestingly contrasted to the complaints about your autocratic iron fisted rule, this is the very first place on the entire internet I felt comfortable commenting, even if only under a pseudonym. Other than Facebook.

    And I ended up here because of that event they all like to claim as the apocalypse of deep rifts. Someone criticized your evil take of it, I actually read your posts and traced all the way back to the beginning and found I liked reading this blog.

  6. says

    Do I understand correctly, then, that they wish the commenting here be more like on Youtube? Is that really what they want? They wouldn’t get as much attention, that way!

  7. says

    Hey, I’ve learned from those comments that you have apparently become a woman. Are you now illegally gay-married?
    It also should be noted that Concordance did some drive-by commenting on the other thread. He never came back, though, and I really was polite.
    Seems like he wasn’t that interested in “open exchange of ideas”, more in “me lecturing all of you”

  8. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    I disagree with PZ Myers. I don’t think he should have bothered responding at all. I don’t know how that would be better, but I’m thinking it.

    Now, when can I expect my banning?

  9. says

    A lot of youtubers with a bunch of comments on their videos don’t screen their comments. They don’t really have to because they drop off the front page within hours. It is a matter of point of view why they don’t understand, that on blogs the comment discussions can be as important as the post. Although we agree on 90 percent of things like religion, I am a bit disappointed in Concordance on this one.

    I first commented here during the Thunderf00t debacle. I disagreed with the approach for dealing with the problem. My opinion was unpopular, and I got dog-piled. Even though PZ was embarrassed by Thunder’s behavior after recommending him to blog here, he didn’t ban me for an unpopular opinion On the contrary, he asked people to put the flamethrowers away. And too. PZ agreed to do this talk with Concordance being outnumbered by youtubers. He also sat down with Concordance and spoke civilly with him in a panel discussion despite the knowledge that he had made a video disagreeing with him.

    Yet the accusation still stands that people are banned simply for disagreeing.

    It continues to dismay me the amount of damage this has caused to people who are articulate and intelligent. I decided that I had posted without understanding the comment culture of bare knuckled argumentation. It isn’t my style, and if it isn’t Concordance’s he obviously has other forums to discuss his views.

    But I gotta say the youtube comments on his video are pummeling PZ, so maybe it is his style. I am disappointed in his opinion on this. Acrimony among friends continues to make the Magic Sandwich Show awkward for Aron, who has tried to stay out of it for being caught in the middle.

  10. says

    What a bunch of clueless gits. It’s your blog so your rules, it’s not like you can ban them from the Internet. The self important little twerps want everyone to listen to them. If people won’t listen to them then their freedom of speech is being violated, what total rot.

  11. says

    Concordance was asking for people to PM him with details of being banned for reasons other than trolling.

    He must understand the principle of confirmation bias, right?

    Every single person on my banned list would claim that they were unrightfully blocked, that their cause was just, that their every word was warranted. Some of them are so certain that they are in the right that they keep crawling back under pseudonyms to repeat themselves some more.

    I can’t ban Thomathy because actually we do agree. I was just so appalled at the outright lies from Concordance — a fellow I thought better of — that I couldn’t resist, when I probably should have. Both of them made genuinely stupid arguments.

  12. says

    @4 I am annoyed that Concordance asked people to email him about why they were banned. What exactly is he going to expect them to say? Did he give PZ a chance to answer their allegations before judging and making this video? Seems more like gathering evidence to support a fore-drawn conclusion. Should have been more objective.

  13. says

    Also, Concordance’s case study, the one where he thought he could make a solid argument that my punitive banning policies were shutting out valuable commenters, was Michael Hawkins. Anyone who remembers his tenure here will recall his snide sexism and classism, and in particular, his supercilious attitude that gave him the right to infuriate everyone. He was not a good faith commenter who was here to make a reasonable argument; I think he was a fellow with a deep grudge against me, who felt I hadn’t done enough to promote his specific cause, and who came in with a resentful and contrarian intent to stir the shit.

    He was trolling.

  14. crayzz says

    He must understand the principle of confirmation bias, right?

    Usually. I think this particular case might be another matter.

    I find it funny that they have to ask people to bring them evidence for their own claims. I find it funnier that there’s a convenient list of everyone banned already all set up for them, and they still can’t be bothered.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I find it amusing those who carp the most about you banning people are the most obnoxious posters on the planet when they did post here. If they would only lose the attitude that they are the greatest intellects ever, and show common humility and actually acknowledge they can be wrong, they might not piss off the horde so much, and they might actually get listened to.

    But that also requires that they listen to us. *snicker*

    It is also funny how their “self-evident” arguments so often lack third party evidence…

  16. Jim Phynn says

    Two of the things some people don’t quite get about free speech are:

    1. Just because you have the right to say it, that does not obligate me to listen, and
    2. (Very closely related to point 1) when you exercise your free speech rights by continually demonstrating your own cluelessness, you can expect to be ignored, if not silenced.

    The trolls who pop by here would be well-served to remember this. They come here because they want to draw attention to themselves. That doesn’t afford them any special place here.

  17. Mattir says

    Why, oh why, won’t these people go their own way already? This insistence that they have to be allowed to say what they want, wherever they want, is just bizarre.

    Shoo.

  18. broboxley OT says

    Well PZ I disagree with many here about guns, so when it gets too shrill I just take a break from reading/commenting. I have noticed over the years that you mostly give a pointed, final warning to desist or be banned. It’s your blog, you were clear about your actions and I am real sure that the folks in the dungeon ignored that warning and continued on. Many places use moderation to censor posts, that doesn’t happen here, I don’t think some of these complainers get how absolutely refreshing that is.

  19. embertine says

    Uurrggh, THAT Michael Hawkins? Blech. I needed to scrub myself all over with Lysol after reading some of his comments, his air of smug yuppie self-importance was so strong. Like noelplum, he was on transmit, not receive. You can’t get through to someone who only wants to revel in the sound of their own voice.

  20. hjhornbeck says

    For some reason, this comes to mind: the only moral abortion commenting policy is my own abortion commenting policy. Everyone else’s rules and regulations are horrible things to be opposed, yet their own are the ideal model for free thinkers everywhere, and must be followed if open discourse is to be permitted?

  21. Louis says

    PZ, it’s so simple. To these people they’re right to say anything they like, anywhere they like* automatically negates anyone else’s right to say anything in contradiction or criticism anywhere.**

    The Self Appointed Grand Poobahs of Freeze Peach are in fact complaining about your (and our and anyone’s) equal entitlement to Freeze Peach. They can’t grasp the fact that because one area of the internet is denied to them by virtue of their shitty behaviour (as defined by that area’s managers), all other areas are not. If their behaviour in one bar gets them removed from that bar, then that’s it. They are not forever prohibited from drinking anywhere else. It has no further effect on them.

    They’re like the bar bore who thinks that you are obligated to listen to them. You’re just not. You can get up and walk away. It doesn’t stop them talking to anyone else.

    This is one reason I’ve never grasped the “ZOMG Pharyngula is the new Uncommon Descent because PZ bans people and UD had bans and stuff” horseshit. No one is being silenced. I never posted at UD but I managed to take the piss/occasionally criticise them. What’s stopping anyone? All the whinging is entitlement pure and simple. They think they have a right to your (our/anyone’s) time and attention. They don’t, just like I (or you/anyone) don’t. If I don’t want to read the words of PZ Myers there is, in the upper right corner of my screen, a red box with a white cross in it. I never have to read them again.

    As for banning dissent? What dissent? Creationists pop by here, haven’t they occupied Sb Pharyngula because there are fewer regular commenters there to destroy them? The threads here inflate precisely BECAUSE of dissent. The annoying part is that much, although not all, of the dissent is stupid. We all remember dealing with creationists I’m sure. As a proportion how many of them were worth engaging with? How many were simple copy/paste merchants using AiG as a resource? Or bible verse spammers? How many flamed out telling their interlocutors they couldn’t love their partners or they were going to hell or similar? How many engaged in fallacies and horseshit? Holy suffering fuck, the Index to Creationist Claims was written precisely because creationists were so damned predictably repetitive. There’s resources (frequently linked here) all over the web that do the same for anti-feminism etc etc etc. Creationists are just an example.

    Not all dissent has a high signal to noise ratio. Any weeding of the high noise “dissenters” (because at that point, let’s be blunt it’s not dissent it’s petulance) helps the overall signal to noise ratio (hopefully). It’s pretty simple tending to the garden by cutting out the really annoying weeds.

    Hell, we have Lee Coye in the other commenting thread wanking on, no sign of a ban or a warning there yet (AFAIK). There’s StevoR who has annoyed the bulk of the commentariat with his racist pronouncements, he’s still there. One of the blog’s most valuable commenters, Walton, started out as an irritatingly sanctimonious libertarian and has gradually changed his mind when exposed to evidence and arguments. I was vastly more sexist than I am now prior to exposure to the earlier iterations of the arguments that exploded post a certain video from a certain lady. The examples go on and on and on.

    Is Pharyngula in my esteemed opinion The Perfect Commenting Environment? No. But what is? I think there’s a little too much focus on certain things and not others, but guess what, it’s not my place to dictate the ebb and flow of commenting here. It evolves and I either enjoy it (which I largely do) or I ignore it (which I occasionally do). It’s just not that important. For example, I have enjoyed in the past at other places the facility to post images easily as part of forum comments. Now that might annoy the shit out of someone else, and that’s fine. If I wanted to make a really serious argument about something, as I might in a science journal, I’d need images, even a good reference management programme to make it a time-efficient prospect. So? Does that mean the Pharyngula comment environment is flawed beyond reason? No, it means it serves a slightly different purpose than one that would suit that goal better.

    Take, again, the other thread about commenting, currently at ~1200 comments. That’s a thread with a high bar for honest, serious participation. Read all those comments, digest all those arguments, contribute meaningfully. It’s time consuming. It’s not elitist or negatively exclusionary to point out that there is a bare minimum of work to do to make a useful contribution to the arguments in that thread. It’s why I haven’t done it. I can make silly jokes and take the piss out of obvious stupidity, but without much more work than I have the time to put it, I can’t make a big contribution. “Thank fuck for that!” I hear you cry! ;-)

    I guess I don’t wake up every morning and believe that not only does the world need to hear every drop of wisdom that drops forth from my lips, but that any restriction on espousing that wisdom in PRIVATELY OWNED spaces is a meaningful restriction on my freedoms. After all, if I wanted my own megaphone to disseminate my genius I could create my own blog. It’s not that difficult.

    Louis

    *Which I support. Up to the point that the PRIVATE (note: not governmental or public) owner of that space deems them destructively disruptive.

    **Which I think it’s relatively obvious I totally disagree with.

  22. says

    Maybe it would help if you aren’t outnumbered and don’t go into unfriendly youtube territory alone I gotta say youtube atheism had already been wracked with drama before you stepped foot in there.

  23. Louis says

    Oh and incidentally, I could get myself banned here in a few minutes, and I largely agree with PZ on many things, by no means all. It’s not hard to go to any forum and get oneself banned. Just troll it as far as the patience of the moderators will allow. Eventually you’ll get banned if your patience out lasts theirs. It’s not a difficult achievement.

    Louis

  24. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Lilandra, I don’t see any point in worrying about “going in to Youtube.” With some exceptions the atheist contingent there is a shitty, self-absorbed culture full of people who think their ability to blab in front of a camera gives them some sort of status.

  25. says

    PZ is in no way obligated to do it again, especially given it didn’t seem to help close the gap of understanding much. It would be so awkward for Aron to help, and I haven’t spoke to him about it. And too the situation hasn’t shown any sign of being amenable to reason. I don’t mean to hopelessly wring my hands about it. But it is galling.

  26. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I guess I’m just not expecting anything else from the YT atheist contingent. They’re a bunch of self-important, overly entitled shit heads.

  27. Muz says

    Based on my, admittedly limited, impressions I’d say Concordance actually thinks he’s going to prove these banned people are of worth because he can converse with them in a way that makes their contribution of worth. It’s not purely about showing PZ to be a liar or hypocrite or whatever.
    This isn’t necessarily a good thing btw.
    I say this because of that beatific ministering tone he still possesses (which may well be really insulting to him now, I dunno). In comments and that trolling discussion you can see it. He seemed only one degree away from saying suffering the slings and arrows is worth is for that one lost soul you can “save”.
    A noble enough intention I suppose. Hey, I like the guy generally. But, as we’ve established, these guys have something of a problem in explaining why everyone else has to do things the way they say.

  28. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Lilandra, I no longer think any of this is about understanding. These folks don’t want to understand, they want to hate. When it’s pointed out to them that their opponents are not actually doing the things they accuse them of, the haters ignore that or flat out lie.

    I don’t have friendships in that circle that I want to maintain, so it’s easy for me to dismiss them, I know. But sooner or later I’d think one would have to come to the conclusion that a whole bunch of folks one thought were part of an awesome community are, in fact, assholes.

  29. says

    While I agree with you Concordance did come off a bit privileged in this especially trying to tell PZ how to run his blog, not every single youtube atheist is like that. At least not all the time. I don’t know how Aron would feel about helping anymore than we already have privately. He may be of the opinion that it won’t help and feed the attention vampires more.

  30. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m not asking you or Aron to do anything, Lilandra. It’s not my party. But if it were, I don’t think I’d even be interested in what the YT crowd thinks.

  31. andyo says

    Another reason for why there aren’t as many so-called dissenters is that actually this blog provides more freedom for commenters to tell, politely or impolitely, the idiots to go fuck off. Most other blogs will ban someone who “insults” but if you say any kind of nonsense politely, you get away with it.

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I guess I’m just not expecting anything else from the YT atheist contingent. They’re a bunch of self-important, overly entitled shit heads.

    I think Josh, OSG, hit the nail on the head. They expect people want to hear what they have to say, and presume everybody wants to hear them, and they should have a forum anywhere they want. When the horde disses them for being obnoxious and not listening, and PZ banhammers them for being arrogant and not listening, they don’t know what to do. After all, there are people who don’t want to listen to them. They just can’t accept that basic fact.

  33. carlie says

    Don’t downvoted youtube comments basically disappear? These youtube = free speech fanatics have been asked about that several times, and yet I haven’t seen a single one address that particular issue. Here all the comments stay put right where they landed, all out in the open.

  34. carlie says

    After all, there are people who don’t want to listen to them. They just can’t accept that basic fact.

    I wish that could be stamped above all of their videos in blinking neon lights.

  35. b. says

    I find it amusing in a incredulous/puke-inducing-sort-of-way that the YouTubers, that bastion of “freeze peach!!11!”, take great glee in voting dissenting comments down and/or flagging them to get them removed from a website they don’t own and then get bent out of shape when someone tries to keep their private property tidy.

    For a group loudly proclaiming, in essence, “You’re not the boss of me!”, they certainly enjoy trying to be the boss of everyone else. Not to mention attempting to force everyone else to provide them with a pulpit. You wanna preach hate/sexism/racism/whateverism, Cupcake? You pay the bills and you can say what you want. You don’t have the right to do it in someone else’s living room.

    The rules here are pretty simple. To me, a mostly lurker, they translate as: don’t be a jerk, don’t be boring, be prepared to defend your arguments with facts or become chum. They are neither hard to comprehend or to abide by. Unless, I guess, you feel your rights to be a jerk, be boring or to be unprepared trump everyone else’s rights. Hmmm….

  36. says

    Is Pharyngula in my esteemed opinion The Perfect Commenting Environment? No.

    That does it. BANNED.

    I don’t think that’s ever been a concern. I take a more pragmatic view: I’ve got something that works, that promotes an active commenting environment, and has been successful — and if I tried to change anything, would cause a huge amount of disruption and would chase away far more commenters than it would attract.

    Also, just opening the door wide for assholes — the goatse formula — isn’t going to attract commenters I want to hear from.

  37. says

    In the case of the people PZ banhammers, they wear it like a badge of honor. It is mere vanity and attention whoring. Frankly some of them are doing it for subs. Channels that focus on drama exclusively, the person has nothing substantive to say to otherwise get subs.

  38. Spiral1123 says

    Here is my perspective of the commenters here.

    Either it seems that these threads are so inundated with trolls that when, once in a while, a fair minded commenter comes along and asks an innocent question they immediately get pounced on and attacked viciously because the comment was viewed through troll coloured glasses. Unfortunately this can act as a self fulfilling prophecy if the commenter is caught unaware and goes on the defensive.

    Or maybe many of the regulars here are just itching for a fight and don’t really give a crap about the actual motivation of the commenter?

  39. carlie says

    NOOOOOoooOOOOOOOoooOOOOOO… *grabs Louis’ ankles while he’s being dragged out*

    Mercy, kind sir! Please, for the sake of all that is squidly, grant the poor sad wretch a bit o’mercy from your high, powerful, benevolent position! You are so strong, and, well, just so super.

  40. says

    @Spiral:

    The hair-trigger you describe doesn’t generally happen unless a) the new fair-minded commenter comes in with the same exact question that’s been answered a thousand times (yes, transitional forms exist) or b) they say something that’s particularly vile.

  41. Matt Penfold says

    Either it seems that these threads are so inundated with trolls that when, once in a while, a fair minded commenter comes along and asks an innocent question they immediately get pounced on and attacked viciously because the comment was viewed through troll coloured glasses. Unfortunately this can act as a self fulfilling prophecy if the commenter is caught unaware and goes on the defensive.

    At lot of the time those “innocent” questions are anything but. Often the question being asked as been dealt with time and time again (like why “cunt” is a sexist term) and it is unlikely they are being asked in good faith.

  42. barfy says

    I make careful note of those people that PZ has banned, and I feel that every one of them is reasonable.
    I am a clear dissenter on many topics and have felt free to criticize at all times.
    I DO think that PZ and the minions love to label, and therefore smear people with inappropriate appellations – and in so doing exercise a great shitheap of privilege. A term that they confidently bandy about like they know what it means. They do not.
    Sorry, fuckwits like Caine and PZ, I’m talking to you – and, in so doing, exercising an inappropriate term of privilege like “fuckwit.” The difference is that I know that I’m doing it.

    Fuck you you fucking fuckers…and watch, I won’t get banned. Excoriated, name-called, labeled, criticized…but not banned.
    That is the strength of Pharyngula.

  43. says

    It’s not about “youtube atheists”
    There are “youtube atheists” here and I enjoy their blogs a lot.
    It’s about people who think they shit rainbows and never need to listen to anybody. That’s exactly what youtube comments are about: Say something, leave. Hell, even Twitter is better

  44. shawn says

    @ Sprial #42

    Hey, if something says something kinda ignorant about race and someone tells them to fuck off because it is racist and then they “go on the defensive” and say some downright undisputable racist shit then I’m sorry but I have no pity. They may feel attacked but if their defense is to become a racist shitbag then fuck ‘em. This might not be the most diplomatic approach but it’s an honest one.

  45. w00dview says

    If these boring narcissistic dolts want to see dissent in action drop into any Thunderdome thread where the regulars will often have pretty intense disagreements, in fact they can be far more vicious to each other than to some random schmoe. Hell the fact that Thunderdome, a unmoderated comment thread exists at all is proof that PZ is not some tyrant with a trigger happy banhammer looming over our heads. Seriously these free speech types are some of the whiniest idiots I have come across on the net. The fact that they throw a huge tantrum when nobody bows down before their obvious truths underscores the massive sense of entitlement emanating from these fools.

    Oh and completely agree with Josh about the Youtube atheist scene. Smug blowhards giving themselves pats on the back because they figured out Noah’s Ark is nonsense. Well fucking done you. What about the fact that misogynistic attitudes are maintained by religion and does a lot of harm? Nah, feminazis be crazy, amirite? Youtube comment sections are also far more of an echo chamber than here with dissenting opinions downvoted or flagged as spam so they can fuck right off that high horse. Hypocritical arsehats.

  46. Spiral1123 says

    Matt,

    Right, that’s kinda my point… i assume that is what is to be expected. Though some here seem to take particular joy in it.

    Katherine, how is a first time visitor supposed to know this question was already answered thousands of times before. Is there a policy that a question needs to be researched first before posting it?

  47. Anthony K says

    Either it seems that these threads are so inundated with trolls that when, once in a while, a fair minded commenter comes along and asks an innocent question they immediately get pounced on and attacked viciously because the comment was viewed through troll coloured glasses.

    This does happen on occasion.

    But it’s certainly not the case with NoelPlum99, who was permitted to drone on here ad nauseum before being banned.

  48. says

    @Spiral:

    Not an official policy, but it tends to be a good idea in the long run anyway. I wouldn’t want to come into a couple hundred post long thread not having researched the question I’m about to try to use to trump my foes with.

    Also half the time, said question has been asked in the same thread. If you’re too busy to read up a few hundred posts to see if someone asked your question (heck… just CTRL+F it) then you deserve the ire of the commentariat.

  49. yubal says

    “Wise people think about phenomena and remain silent
    Smart people talk about facts
    and stupid people talk about other people.”

    ( i can’t remember where that quote came from)

  50. Spiral1123 says

    Shawn,

    I did claim it an innocent question… like “I’m note sure I see why you think xyz, can you explain?”
    Where xyz is not inherently racist/sexist etc…

  51. says

    Also, just opening the door wide for assholes — the goatse formula — isn’t going to attract commenters I want to hear from.

    (looks at his smoked salmon on a bagel sandwich)
    Uh. uh. um…

  52. Matt Penfold says

    Katherine, how is a first time visitor supposed to know this question was already answered thousands of times before. Is there a policy that a question needs to be researched first before posting it?

    They could try reading the blog maybe ?

    Were you being serious asking that, or taking the piss ?

  53. Anthony K says

    Though some here seem to take particular joy in it.

    Not my fault so many parents are shitty and it’s therefore up to me to inform someone’s precious little baby that they’re an absolute moron, and in a just world they’d be stewing in the food vats.

    Katherine, how is a first time visitor supposed to know this question was already answered thousands of times before.

    How is anyone supposed to know why, if we came from monkeys, there are still monkeys around?

  54. glodson says

    If you want to argue that my commenters are a ferocious bunch who don’t treat people with different views kindly, that’s a fair cop.

    Maybe I’m still too green, or just weird(strong possibility), but I am not seeing that. I see people who blindly assert stupidity with no real evidence getting torn to shreds. And even that it takes some time. I find people who present an opposing view with some decent evidence to be treated respectfully. By that, I mean they are argued with in a good faith manner, sometimes with snark and swearing. But that’s like the sweetener on the dessert.

    God, I am just weird.

  55. Anthony K says

    I did claim it an innocent question… like “I’m note sure I see why you think xyz, can you explain?”
    Where xyz is not inherently racist/sexist etc…

    Now this…does this happen? Often enough to be worth addressing?

  56. says

    a fair minded commenter comes along and asks an innocent question they immediately get pounced on and attacked viciously

    Yes, that happens all the time. I’ve even made comments asking people to back off and give someone a chance to breathe — and we also have a ‘three strikes’ rule that unfortunately a lot of people ignore.

    It doesn’t get the “fair minded commenter” banned, though, unless their reaction is to immediately start spewing profanities and turn into an inarguable troll. I would admit that some people are turned into trolls by their unpleasant experience…but that doesn’t change the fact that they are, in fact, trolling from that point on.

  57. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I did claim it an innocent question… like “I’m note sure I see why you think xyz, can you explain?”
    Where xyz is not inherently racist/sexist etc…

    You ran into the problem if you had bothered to read the thread, your question was answered about three time already. Which is why people took you to task for not doing your homework. If the question has already been answered multiple times, why isn’t your asking it considered bad form on your part?

    And the MRA contingent do tag-team threads asking the same questions over and over, including yours.

  58. jackiepaper says

    So odd. To my mind this sort of harping and complaining about another person’s blog rules is like people raving that it is unfair that they are not welcomed in my home. No one is entitled to my friendship, my time or my space. If you put out butts on the furniture, kick the dog and use racists slurs in your speech, do not complain when you are not invited back. (Or complain, but not to me and don’t lie to the people who you do complain to.) I have standards in my home. Others do not get to insist I change them. The same goes for your blog.

    PZ, this is one of the few places online or irl where I feel comfortable. I’ve learned so much here and count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to become less of an asshole. When I think back a couple years, I do not like who I was. I feel sorry for that person. She was trying, but soooo confused. I still slip up, but I try not to make it a habit. Everyone is a work in progress. Failures at being decent are understandable. We all have work to do. That does not mean we all get to do it in other people’s spaces.

    So, if you are reading this and you just don’t get why you aren’t allowed to comment anymore; try to remember that you don’t get to put your muddy boots on other people’s furniture, even if you think their couch looks great with mud on it or you always invite people in your house to do whatever they like. This isn’t your house. It isn’t your couch. You have not been made homeless by being uninvited here. There are plenty of spaces for you to put your feet up.

  59. Matt Penfold says

    Some of these “innocent questions” are like someone walking into a cinema half-way through a film and demanding someone in the audience take the time to explain what has happened so far. Their request may be politely put, but at its core it is just plain rude.

  60. says

    how is a first time visitor supposed to know this question was already answered thousands of times before. Is there a policy that a question needs to be researched first before posting it?

    They can’t. I make allowances.

    But you know one of the common responses when someone barges in and makes a groaner of a redundant comment is to tell them to read the answer upthread, or to give them a link to the Pharyngula wiki, which is also on the sidebar.

    Most common reaction? “I don’t have time to read that” followed by repetition, repetition, repetition of the same damned dumb point that has already been answered multiple times. I’ve never seen one of these trolls say, “Oh, OK, I see where that has already been discussed…but I have this other related point that wasn’t talked about.” Nope. They’ve got one seed planted in their head, and they’re here to by god make sure we hear it again.

    Notorious example: the Thunderf00t nonsense. We got so many people here regurgitating Thunderf00t’s talking points without ever bothering to read anything anyone else said. It didn’t matter that he had misrepresented everything, they had the holy word of the prophet that must be dictated yet again at us.

  61. glodson says

    I did claim it an innocent question… like “I’m note sure I see why you think xyz, can you explain?”
    Where xyz is not inherently racist/sexist etc…

    In the comments for the posting “I am asked a question about commenting,” this very example happened concerning the use of the word “dick” as an insult. The question was answered, directly and in good faith. The answers were ignored by the poster. It grew increasing apparent the commenter wasn’t acting in good faith.

    That’s the problem. We don’t have a good way to tell if a question is being asked in an honest desire to learn, or if the question asked is an example of JAQ. Further, it is incumbent upon people new to this to do some independent research. Many of the questions that get negative responses are questions that have been answered frequently and thoroughly, and worse the person often asking the questions seems to follow the same script written by the others who came before.

  62. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    A reminder—I did not characterize all Youtube atheists as awful so it’s not necessary to tell me they’re not all bad. I know that. I am, however, disenchanted with a great number of them and there does seem to be a brand of assholery that is typical of Youtube video bloggers.

  63. Louis says

    Oh no! Banned AGAIN!

    For fuck’s sake. This fascist, communist den of Faminazis and Cocktraitors is Teh EVIL. What about my peaches? They are now warm and fuzzy, not frozen. Won’t anyone think of my peaches?

    Louis

  64. Matt Penfold says

    And another “trick” of those asking “innocent” questions is to claim to be misunderstood. Like that idiot we had in the Thunderdome who claimed to be “diametrically opposed” to PZ’s political position, and then took exception when it was pointed out he was labeling himself racist, sexist, homophobic and in opposition to attempts to improve social justice.

    Now I still think he probably is all those things, given what he went onto say (basically he’s OK, so he does not give a fuck) but he said what he said. It is not our fault he is a lousy writer unable to say what he means. And that often goes for a number of those jumped on. They could not be bothered to write clearly.

  65. says

    Classic Plum, can’t let a subject drop, no matter how many times he’s answered.

    spiral:

    how is a first time visitor supposed to know this question was already answered thousands of times before. Is there a policy that a question needs to be researched first before posting it?

    You could stop acting like this was your very first time at Pharyngula, it wasn’t. If you can’t be bothered to read, as you stated, and want to be “spoon fed”, you shouldn’t expect people to drop everything they are doing to fulfill your wishes. People here are expected to to do their own work. When you can’t be bothered to even pay attention to what a thread is about by reading the current posts, don’t be surprised when you don’t get a good reception by playing the “hey, lookit me, lookit me, pay attention to meeeee!” card.

  66. ragarth says

    @PZ Myers

    On the topic of your commenting policy, I’ve avoided engaging people in discussion at the slymepit (or even going there–my understanding is that the kinds of statements I’ll find there will make my inner arguer scream for the chance to say a few words) because you’ve made comments in the past about your banlist being taken from their commenters. I value my right to comment here on Pharyngula more than my right to comment there, ergo my avoidance at trying to change a few minds.

    If I do go there and try to argue for equality, would I lose my posting rights here on pharyngula?

  67. Louis says

    Ragarth,

    If I do go there and try to argue for equality, would I lose my posting rights here on pharyngula?

    I can’t speak for PZ obviously, but for my money I would be betting very heavily against it. If PZ did ban you for simply posting there to argue for equality, I’d imagine a few people here would be very pissed off. Me amongst them.

    Louis

  68. says

    PZ:

    “I don’t have time to read that” followed by repetition, repetition, repetition of the same damned dumb point that has already been answered multiple times.

    And that is *exactly* what spiral/thisislame did – stated repeatedly and baldy that they did not want someone telling them to read a book or a thread, no, they were too lazy, spoon feed me. Stupid dipstick, and now they are whining about it in this thread.

  69. mnb0 says

    Well, I don’t like your commenting policy too much either. Nor do I think the discussions very interesting in general. So what? Who cares? Why would you care? Why complain? Internet is big enough.
    This blog is your party. If I don’t enjoy myself I go to another one. Simple.
    But generally I do like reading your articles, so I generally restrict myself to that.
    NoelPlum is a whiner. I cannot help wondering if your blog is a fetish for him.

  70. Spiral11235 says

    Hmmm, I’m going to reply to these backwards…

    Matt, I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. Though it really doesn’t matter since I was asking in the most general sense.

    Nerd of Redhead, I was more concerned with the immediate assumption I was just trying to set up some sort of sexist argument. I had posters essentially writing my arguemts for me and then answering them in the same post. I mostly ignored those.

    PZ, thank you for responding so reasonably. The way you hear others on the interwebs talk about it here I would expect you to be the worst of the bunch.

  71. says

    The real trolls on this blog are the no-lifers that spend their day clicking the refresh button waiting for new comments/posts to try and prove their intellectual superiority bu finding the minutest inconsistency with an argument and pouncing on that like irreverent little kiddies.

    My guess is that PS wouldn’t be wasting so many posts/words to try and prove his point if he wasn’t losing so much readership because of the fuckbrained assholes that he is proud to call his horde and because of the fuckbrained asshole that PZ himself is.

    PZ is trying to get his message across to the masses and he can’t change the world from within his echo chamber. He needs outsiders to preach to and they have left him in droves.

    The major reason that readership has declined is because that PZ forgets that their are internationals here that live in societies that are not so poisoned with privilege and inequality as is the US of retarded A. We understand that RKW’s feeling of entrapment in that elevator are symptoms of her upbringing in the US and not of the reality which is civilized society. If the US is not civilized to the point where an elevator is a safe place to be, let that not reflect badly on the rest of us. Thank you.

  72. Louis says

    PZ, #40,

    Of course it’s not a concern. Not for you, not for me. Is it a concern for people clamouring to heap opprobrium on you? Of course it is! It’s yet another rod that they can beat you with. It’s a crap rod, it’s an irrelevant rod, but since when has that mattered to the frothing anti-feminist loons and their freeze-peach incoherent chums?

    Louis

  73. says

    Glodson:

    In the comments for the posting “I am asked a question about commenting,” this very example happened concerning the use of the word “dick” as an insult. The question was answered, directly and in good faith. The answers were ignored by the poster. It grew increasing apparent the commenter wasn’t acting in good faith.

    The person going by ‘spiral1123′ is the same person who was going by ‘thisislame’ and was JAQing off about cunt and dick in the “I am asked a question about commenting” thread. It was repeatedly requested in Thunderdome that they change their ableist nym, and they did so.

  74. Matt Penfold says

    If the US is not civilized to the point where an elevator is a safe place to be, let that not reflect badly on the rest of us.

    The elevator in question was in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is not in the US.

    See, Spiral, this is the kind of idiot we have to put up with. Is there any reason why he should be treated with respect ?

  75. says

    paulpaulus:

    The major reason that readership has declined is because that PZ forgets that their are internationals here that live in societies that are not so poisoned with privilege and inequality as is the US of retarded A.

    Idiots are so easy. I don’t suppose it entered that little brain of yours that much of the commentariat is not USian, did it?

  76. Spiral11235 says

    Caine, that same damn dumb point was never truly answered (though let’s not get into it again since my main question was answered in a very satisfactory way). And,, yes, I wanted to engage in a dialogue with the notorious horde and not go read a book. I really truly thought those here would be glad to help someone possibly change their mind on something. Excuse my n00bishness here or are only veterans allowed?

  77. logicpriest says

    @75 paul

    You base your readership decline on what evidence? Alexa doesn’t seem to separate the sub sites out, but I don’t see a decline.

  78. ragarth says

    @71 Louis

    I suspect as much as well, but as I said, I value pharyngula more than I value that place and so I would rather not take the chance.

  79. ChasCPeterson says

    My hypothesis about You-Tubists is that they represent the first generation of people that can easily fulfill the basically narcissistic dream of Being On TV. Now some of them are starting to realize that just because you’re On doesn’t mean anybody else gives a shit. They can’t stream their stream-of-semiconsciosness “content” into my living room if I don’t click on ‘em. This must rankle such deserving and incipient Genius TV Stars.

  80. glodson says

    @ Caine,

    I found that out about 5 minutes after I posted my response. I had to go back and read the rest of Thunderdome first.

    I kind of like that I didn’t know that. It illustrates my point beautifully. Here’s someone asking questions, and this is the same person who asked such questions, got patience responses at first, but kept up with the same nonsense.

  81. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Damn! I just cannot argue against the reasoned lecturing of paulpaulus.

    Dammit Louis, why the fuck are you so American!

  82. Matt Penfold says

    Excuse my n00bishness here or are only veterans allowed?

    It is not your being new. It is your thinking that your being new entitles you to demand others spend their time explaining everything to you. Did it not occur to you to lurk for a bit, learning ?

    And sorry, but sometimes if you want to understand something you do need to go an read a book. An Internet forum is no substitute for reading books, and sometimes to take part in a conversation you need to have a certain level of knowledge. It seems you do not want to bother gaining that knowledge other than by demanding others spoon-feed you. It makes you come across as arrogant.

  83. glodson says

    And,, yes, I wanted to engage in a dialogue with the notorious horde and not go read a book. I really truly thought those here would be glad to help someone possibly change their mind on something. Excuse my n00bishness here or are only veterans allowed?

    Reading a book is a fantastic manner of going about this. Your mind shouldn’t be changed based off a handful of responses. It should be changed by the evidence provided, be it here in a link or a book suggestion.

    I didn’t change my mind on the existence of god or Christianity because of blog post or responses. I changed it by means of reading the posts, reading a few books, looking at my own point of view and trying to see if I could reasonably counter the points I had seen. I couldn’t, which required abandoning my old ideas.

    If you want to have a reasonable dialogue, that’s great. But some of the burden is on you to provide that piece. It might mean you aren’t ready. It might mean you need to lurk more and read more.

  84. Spiral11235 says

    Anthony, not sure why you want me to respond to said post. Don’t really give a shit about what they said.

  85. Spiral11235 says

    Glodson,

    My mind was actually changed, in a sense, due to a very reasoned response that made much sense to me. I was already on the borderline and needed a nudge in the ‘right’ direction. That’s what I came looking for and that is what I eventually found.

  86. ChasCPeterson says

    NoelPlum is a whiner. I cannot help wondering if your blog is a fetish for him.

    oh, he be hogglin’ all right.

  87. Spiral11235 says

    Matt,

    I can understand that. I would like to say in my defense that I was trying to inject a little humor in asking to be spoonfed; though I understand that is sometimes difficult to get across in text.

  88. says

    “Don’t downvoted youtube comments basically disappear? These youtube = free speech fanatics have been asked about that several times, and yet I haven’t seen a single one address that particular issue. Here all the comments stay put right where they landed, all out in the open.”

    The video owner can use the settings to disable comment voting, or Xe can disable the feature that downvoted comments disappear. I think many users are not aware these features exist, or at least don’t bother using them. Although I often encounter Youtube comments I wish I hadn’t seen, I’m of a mixed mind concerning the possibility to decide what others get to see by accumulating downvotes. It feels like appropriate hygiene to remove the ugliest racism and trolling, or mindless copypasting godbotting. But again, feeling isn’t exactly the best metric to use in information accessibility or visibility.

  89. Anthony K says

    Anthony, not sure why you want me to respond to said post.

    Are you kidding?

    If you bring the suggestion that we should be dealing with commenters in a different manner than the way in which we are, you should be prepared to demonstrate.

    If you don’t give a shit, then fuck off.

  90. says

    … and in a just world they’d be stewing in the food vats.

    Dammit, man. I find that kind of suggestion shockingly irresponsible.

    (/Have you not heard of prion diseases?)

  91. glodson says

    If you were at the point, then you should have already done the require research on your own. This blog isn’t a 101 level blog. I’m new here too, as a commenter. My questions were answered before I had chances to ask them. I know this because I read.

    Like pointed out earlier in this thread, you were answered. Directly and rather politely, given the local standards. You were addressed, and you failed to pay attention. That’s on you. If you are looking to change your mind, that’s great. But asking questions and defending your privilege once it has been pointed out to you is no way to go about it.

  92. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    understand that RKW’s feeling of entrapment in that elevator are symptoms of her upbringing in the US and not of the reality which is civilized society. If the US is not civilized to the point where an elevator is a safe place to be, let that not reflect badly on the rest of us.

    Translation: I’m blinded by my privilege. Therefore, you’re all savaages.

  93. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    The major reason that readership has declined is because that PZ forgets that their are internationals here that live in societies that are not so poisoned with privilege and inequality as is the US of retarded A.

    Yes, because nothing says “I’m not privileged” better than immediately using ableist language.

  94. saukko says

    I have been on youtube since 2007 and it is ironic that after all that FTB/Atheism+ bashing there, it is they who seem to be incapable of leaving this matter. There are amazing videos there ripping religious arguments to pieces with detailed analysis. But today those are all but vanished.
    The reason why I originally came to youtube, is no longer there. FTB and others do much better job.

  95. says

    @Matt Penfold:

    The elevator in question was in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is not in the US.

    Well that was my point exactly. She brought her fears of the US over to the EU where elevators are not rape traps. If she was really smart, which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    I elaborated this in my closing arguments but you have proved the first part of my argument that you are an irreverent kiddy.

  96. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    If you were at the point, then you should have already done the require research on your own. This blog isn’t a 101 level blog. I’m new here too, as a commenter. My questions were answered before I had chances to ask them. I know this because I read.

    Bingo. I sat back and read for months before I wandered into traffic here. Otherwise, how would I know how fast to go and where the potholes are?

  97. Spiral11235 says

    Anthony, I never suggested you do anything different here. I just made an observation.
    Though, come to think of it, I did demonstrate something different… I ignored it.

  98. Anthony K says

    She brought her fears of the US over to the EU where elevators are not rape traps. If she was really smart, which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    Yes, Ireland, that well-known bastion of public safety and women’s rights.

  99. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    There are no rapists in Europe? Shit, I’m going to pack my bags right now…

  100. says

    She brought her fears of the US over to the EU where elevators are not rape traps. If she was really smart, which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    Good to know that there are no rapists in the EU, or at least that rapists tend to avoid the lifts.

    It’s too bad the union is infested with idiots, instead.

  101. Anthony K says

    Though, come to think of it, I did demonstrate something different… I ignored it.

    Nope. Ignoring the trolls is neither effective, nor is it different.

    Ignoring things that should not be ignored is why many societies are still so fucking religious, for one example.

  102. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Paulpaulus, the only people who argue that Rebecca Watson was complaining about a “rape trap” are those who criticize her for saying Guys, don’t do that..

    You have earned your pit points. You can now turn them in for cries about your bravery for facing off against the Stalinist-feminazis of Pharyngula.

    Why are these people so deathly dull?

  103. Anthony K says

    Why are these people so deathly dull?

    Right, but when I mention the food vats it’s all prions this and Stalin that.

  104. Matt Penfold says

    Well that was my point exactly. She brought her fears of the US over to the EU where elevators are not rape traps. If she was really smart, which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    Yeah, because rape never happens in Europe. RW of course lived in London for sometime, so I think your opinion she has no knowledge of the Europe is simply not true. You will need to explain why you ignored her experience of living in Europe.

    Also, I think you are just plain lying. I don’t think you did know that the events to which your referred occurred in Ireland. Your claim that was your point is not supported by what you actually wrote, and if you did not write what you mean to write you would have admitted as much in your reply to me.

    However, given you clearly not an honest person, nor it would seem a very intelligent one, I suggest you go away.

  105. says

    Good to know that there are no rapists in the EU, or at least that rapists tend to avoid the lifts.

    Yeah, PZ, I live in a country where people actually say “good morning” to others that get onto their elevators. Strange, but true.

    But I’m glad to learn from you that we’re all idiots for doing that.

  106. notsont says

    @paulpaulus, dunno why I’m bothering to answer, as I think your just a troll, but rape is actually more prevalent in Europe than it is in the us, although this does vary greatly by country. While most occur outside of elevators I’m fairly certain more than 0 have either started in or have taken place in an elevator.

    Whatever RW felt in the elevator is irrelevant to the discussion, all she said was “guys, don’t do that” in a very polite tone I might add. The response to the video she made more than adequately proved her point beyond any reasonable doubt.

  107. says

    Oh, now NoelPlum99 is nagging me on twitter. He’s only talking about “regular” dissenters. Right.

    What constitutes a “regular”? Was NoelPlum99 a “regular”? Is there some magic number of comments they have to make before I get to count them? I think now he’s trying to hedge everything with some subjective qualifier.

    But I do have “regular” dissenters. They tend to hang out at the slymepit and on Twitter. They also tend to be obsessive, petty loons. Should I allow them to continue their hate campaign here? Why?

  108. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and it not a fear of rape that led RW to say “Guys, don’t do that”. It was being propositioned for sex in a lift at 4am. My understanding is that she was not afraid, just pissed off with a arsehole who did not know how to behave like a decent person.

    So Paulus, can you explain your dishonesty ?

  109. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Yeah, PZ, I live in a country where people actually say “good morning” to others that get onto their elevators.

    And what does that have to do with the price of oil?

  110. says

    Spiral @42:

    In my experience, those “innocent” questions are asked midthread by a the alleged non-troll after the question has been asked and answered, debated some more, then flogged like a dead horse indicating that 1) they can’t be bothered to read the thread and are therefore uninterested in learning the answer or 2) they read the thread and are incapable of learning the answer to their questions.

    There is a very persistent tendency of reactionary assholes to continue to make you argue long settled issues so the argument can never advance. I see no reason to continue to explain basics to people who refuse learn the basics but feel they should still participate in the debate.

  111. says

    UnknownEric:

    Bingo. I sat back and read for months before I wandered into traffic here.

    I lurked for two years before speaking up. I was terrified of being eaten alive for being stupid. Heh.

  112. blitzgal says

    paulpaulus is really trying to argue that rape isn’t a problem across the world, in every single country on the planet? Seriously?

  113. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    If she was really smart, which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    Translation: I don’t watch or read the news. And I definitely don’t listen to the women who live here. Nope! bitches be crazy and lie a lot.

  114. says

    I get it. Paulpaulus has never been raped and doesn’t know anyone who has publicly admitted to being raped. Therefore, the only thing that ever happens on elevators is that people say “Hello.”

    You know, in the US as well, I am sure the overwhelming majority of elevator rides are perfectly pleasant and ordinary. It’s just that the consequences of one that goes wrong are so devastating.

    Also, Rebecca Watson never complained that she thought she was going to be raped. She was dismayed at the disrespect and the fact that the guy inviting her to his room had apparently not heard a single word she said. I presume that never happens in the EU either?

  115. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Reap Paden should be able to post his videos here with impunity.

    And by having girlwriteswhat and wooly bumblebee as regulars, Pharyngula could become part of the AVfM family.

    Wins all around.

  116. Dhorvath, OM says

    I live in a country where people actually say “good morning” to others that get onto their elevators.

    Which is almost exactly the same as asking someone to spend intimate time with one in a private space.

  117. Anthony K says

    Yeah, PZ, I live in a country where people actually say “good morning” to others that get onto their elevators.

    All the time, or is there some sort of context? I mean, if you run around saying “good morning” at inappropriate times, say at 6 PM, then you are fucking idiots.

    Strange, but true.

  118. Don Quijote says

    Just breaking silence to let Paulpaulus know that one of my sisters was sexually assulted in an elevator inside an internationally famous five star hotel just south of Covent Garden in London. As Paulpaulus will know, this hotel is in the Uof retardedK.

  119. Anthony K says

    Therefore, the only thing that ever happens on elevators is that people say “Hello.”

    No.

    He said they say “Good morning”. That’s not the same thing.

  120. Matt Penfold says

    Just breaking silence to let Paulpaulus know that one of my sisters was sexually assulted in an elevator inside an internationally famous five star hotel just south of Covent Garden in London. As Paulpaulus will know, this hotel is in the Uof retardedK.

    Wait, that cannot be right. Either you or Paulus must be lying! Hmmm, wonder which one of you it is.

  121. Anthony K says

    Well, paulpaulus?

    Is it true that the Irish say “Good morning” to all who enter their elevators at any time, or is there some context involved?

  122. Matt Penfold says

    I must be do something wrong. I live in the UK, and for a long time have decided I will not get into a lift that has a sole women as an occupant in order I do not cause her discomfort.

    It would seem I have been wasting my time.

  123. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    It is good to know that Ireland is so past the Troubles that all is now sweetness and light.

  124. says

    Holy crap! We’ve found a “regular”! Paulpaulus has been posting here since December 2011. Here’s his first post.

    this reminds me of rebecca watson… just because she has learned her feeble fears of rape from the above american statistics doesn’t mean men in ireland need to mind their p’s and q’s in an elevator on her behalf.
    ireland is one of the countries where women are LEAST likely to be raped and if she was as smart as PZ would have us think she was then she would have acted differently.

    Sound familiar? Would you believe that every single comment he has made here is about Rebecca Watson or rape?

    I said something about “obsessive, petty loons”. That qualifies.

  125. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Matt Penfold, that is because you have been secretly American all of your life.

  126. says

    Spiral/thisislame: I was annoyed for the following reasons (other than the analysis about the disingenuousness of your question, which you have ignored): you came in with a highly inflamatory, off-topic question, you ignored and then whined about orienting yourself to the topic and discussion, you were flippant, sarcastic and insulting from your first comment, you refused to respond to the repeated explanation and answers for your question and you characterized those answers (when you finally deigned to acknowledge an answer) as too “snooty” to be effective at convincing you.

    I actually infrequently start out pissed off, but you were behaving in the same way any number of trolls have done. If you act like a troll, and persist in doing so, you will be treatred like a troll.

  127. moarscienceplz says

    PZ is trying to get his message across to the masses and he can’t change the world from within his echo chamber. He needs outsiders to preach to and they have left him in droves.

    Man, that is SOOOO TRUE!!!111!!!!
    So many have left in droves that I can’t find a good one to save my life. The only droves left around here have rusted panels and patches of fur missing.

  128. says

    I mean, if you run around saying “good morning” at inappropriate times, say at 6 PM, then you are fucking idiots…

    In fairness, I do this on occasion. Various causes. Fatigue. Absent-mindedness. Severe confusion over daylight savings changes. Rehearsing lines for a play in which the line is, in fact, ‘Good morning!’.

    Still. Guys. Don’t do that.

  129. says

    Also, I think you are just plain lying.

    helllllooooooooooooooo Mat…., are you simply a fucking idiot?

    I think my argument was well framed with the juxtaposition of the US and civilized society. I’ve re-read it and it is clear from my original statement that I could not have been comparing US elevators with US elevators but was rather comparing EU elevators with US elevators.

    Or are you just so fucking stupid?

    But this is the whole point of the exercise here. I am a liar and i should just go away, according to you. A baseless and untrue accusation followed by a command I should just obey because you are horde and I am not… and this is the precise reason that the horde is fucking PZ’s readership… along with the fact that he’s doing a great job of fucking it for himself.

    Once again, PZ wouldn’t be spending so much time/words on this subject if it hasn’t been losing him readership since elevatorgate.

    And he proves again how he is losing it in his reply to me #106 by implying that the EU is one big ‘ol rape-fest…

  130. Matt Penfold says

    Matt Penfold, that is because you have been secretly American all of your life.

    You take back that vile slur!

  131. notsont says

    I know he did not say it in this thread but I can’t help but point out that Ireland is one of the places where women are least likely to REPORT being raped not least likely to be raped, there actually is a difference.

  132. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Women in Ireland are so safe and secure that it is impossible for one to die of a pregnancy gone wrong. They also do not get treated as slave labor. The is because women are so respected in Ireland. How civilized.

  133. glodson says

    I think my argument was well framed with the juxtaposition of the US and civilized society. I’ve re-read it and it is clear from my original statement that I could not have been comparing US elevators with US elevators but was rather comparing EU elevators with US elevators.

    Fuck. I now owe an obnoxious fuckwit of an anti-choice idiot an apology. I told him that his stupid post would be the dumbest thing I would read all day. This turns out to be wrong in light of this.

  134. Anthony K says

    by implying that the EU is one big ‘ol rape-fest

    And this is the quality of the argument you get when you don’t ban fuckers.

  135. says

    Once again, PZ wouldn’t be spending so much time/words on this subject if it hasn’t been losing him readership since elevatorgate.

    Logic. What the hell is it?

    And he proves again how he is losing it in his reply to me #106 by implying that the EU is one big ‘ol rape-fest…

    Literacy. It’s more than just sounding out the words.

  136. broboxley OT says

    Where xyz is not inherently racist/sexist etc…

    there is the problem. There are people who post here like that and have no clue. Even regular posters do it. Extreme examples like paulpaulus do it. After one eedjit made what he thought were eminently sensible I repeated the comments to my wife.
    “Let me guess” she said, “that is a white person saying that”
    yes
    “fucking buncha racists, why do you read bother reading that crap.”

    So dont always assume that xyz is not inherently racist

  137. says

    I said something about “obsessive, petty loons”. That qualifies.

    says the moron frantically trying to dig up dirt in the past which only goes a way to show Mat “fuckbrained asshole” Penfold that his accusations make him the irreverent little kiddy I was talking about.

    Fuck you Mat.

  138. says

    @paupaulus:

    Y’know… I’m actually glad that PZ’s readership may be dropping.

    I don’t want to hang around with the kinds of people who get all whiny about posts about social justice and fairness for everyone. If those are the kinds of people we’re losing, good riddance.

  139. Matt Penfold says

    helllllooooooooooooooo Mat…., are you simply a fucking idiot?

    No. Any other simple questions you need help with ?

    I think my argument was well framed with the juxtaposition of the US and civilized society. I’ve re-read it and it is clear from my original statement that I could not have been comparing US elevators with US elevators but was rather comparing EU elevators with US elevators.

    You might well think that, but given we have established you are dishonest, along with being a poor writer, your opinion is not worth much. I am at a loss to understand why you would think it would be.

    Or are you just so fucking stupid?

    Ah, you did have another simple question you needed help with. Would it surprise you to learn that again the answer is no ? Really, you will need to better if you cannot work that out without asking.

    But this is the whole point of the exercise here. I am a liar and i should just go away, according to you. A baseless and untrue accusation followed by a command I should just obey because you are horde and I am not… and this is the precise reason that the horde is fucking PZ’s readership… along with the fact that he’s doing a great job of fucking it for himself.

    But you did lie. The evidence shows you did, since you claimed RW claimed her fear was being raped when in fact that was not her fear. I cannot therefore accept your claims that calling you a liar is baseless and untrue and cannot understand why would claim not to have lied when the evidence you did has been presented to you.

  140. Matt Penfold says

    I note that Paulus cannot even spell my name correctly. Mind you, it is not as though it is in front of him or anything.

  141. Susan says

    Someone mentioned checking Alexa for web statistics. Where are these people getting their “evidence” that readership at Pharyngula has gone down? And if it has, where are these people going … to Reap Paden? To Thunderfoot?

    If so, I’m with Katherine Lorraine. Good riddance. (long time lurker, new commenter.)

  142. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Damn, Matt. Ppus really does not like you. If only you were civilized and not retarded like a true citizen of the EU.

    (I am using the ablist slur in order to mock our most civilized of trolls.)

  143. Matt Penfold says

    Matt, don’t blame me. I am just using paulpaulus’ impeccable logic.

    Be careful, you don’t want to get that “logic” stuck in your brain for good!

  144. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I really truly thought those here would be glad to help someone possibly change their mind on something.

    First, show you are listening. I still question that. Otherwise, if you were listening, you would be apologizing for your arrogance in not reading where people referred you to, and expecting to be spoon fed like an egotist. Yes, we deal with those too, as PZ pointed out in the OP.

  145. notsont says

    I been reading Pharyngula for at least 7 years, I have not noticed any drop in the amount of comments. I suppose readership might be down, but I doubt it. I think Paulpaul is probably overestimating the importance of the few dozen people who share his distasteful views about women.

  146. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Susan, I hope you know that we regulars are required to dogpile on you. I hope you are ready.

  147. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    shorter paulpaulus: butbutbut bitches lie! stop correcting MY obvious lies!

  148. Spiral11235 says

    mouthyb, are you just upset that your rhetoric couldn’t convince me? or that maybe I didn’t read all of your responses? I apologize if I hurt your feelings.

  149. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Susan – Well, see, they need to believe all theistically-like, that PZ’s losing readers because that means they’re right! Bitches *aren’t* shit! But, just like everything else, they don’t allow little things like “evidence” or “reality” to get in their way. Nah – it’s true because they NEED it to be true.

  150. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Every time paulpaulus mentions the EU, all I can think about is the band that did “Da Butt”.

    Which is fitting, since that’s where he’s pulling his argument from.

  151. blitzgal says

    says the moron frantically trying to dig up dirt in the past which only goes a way to show Mat “fuckbrained asshole” Penfold that his accusations make him the irreverent little kiddy I was talking about.

    Generally a lurker, but this prompted me to respond. Remember in the other thread where all the trolls were claiming that they are so kind when they come here and that the regulars “dogpile” them for absolutely no reason whatsoever? I give you Exhibit A on how that’s a bunch of bullshit. You started this thread out with “retard” and just gone downhill from there. Also, your obsession with Rebecca Watson is seriously creepy.

  152. says

    Given the amount of people who de-lurk any given month, I’m not too worried about the readership here. It reads as pretty damn healthy. The less time we have to waste on people like Paulpaulus the better.

  153. says

    But you did lie.

    Matttttttttttt claims in post #111 that

    Also, I think you are just plain lying. I don’t think you did know that the events to which your referred occurred in Ireland.

    then PZ digs out a past quote of mine in #113 that proves that I did know the events happened in ireland.

    doesn’t mean men in ireland need to mind their p’s and q’s in an elevator on her behalf.

    But I’m still lying but now lying about something else?

    Quality of horde is pretty fucking pathetic.

    Hope PZ takes note… I shan’t bother you fuckheads any further.

  154. carlie says

    I notice that Paulpaulus has been vehemently ignoring Don Quijote’s comment at 126. I wonder why?

  155. broboxley OT says

    paulpaulus last time I checked Bosnia was in europe, Seems that europe goes in for industrial grade rape on a regular basis. You want to bet that Jimmy Saville didnt pull his shit in an elevator? If you are so rape free there why do you need http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/

  156. blitzgal says

    Damn, an other lurker, blitzgal, I must dogpile on. This does get tiring.

    :) I generally lurk because I’m not so great on the science side of things but I do enjoy PZ’s forays into social justice/feminism, and y’all amuse me so much when you gut the idiots who wander in here. You do it with such flair.

  157. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Why should PZ take notice? That you have a typical pitter take on what happened with Rebecca Watson. And you claim that Ireland is a perfectly safe plave for women. Well, except for that dying of septicaemia and being used as slave labor by Catholic charities.

    Bye-bye fuckface.

  158. Mattir - now will you PLEASE go your own way already? says

    When I first started commenting here, I thought the Horde was way too hard on people who were Just Asking Questions and were thus Driving Away Allies. Then I started paying attention. In some very weird way, the piling on generally happened to people who turned out to espouse the most absurdly unfounded sexist and racist nonsense, who NEVER provided citations or changed their mind or responded to actual arguments and citations. After a while, I started trusting that the group dynamic in the comment threads here really does do a pretty good job of sussing out which commenters are disingenuous JAQing off types and which are well-meaning n00bs who can be encouraged into greater and more intelligent participation. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty remarkable.

  159. says

    Regarding Paulus’s comment on Watson’s supposed lack of European elevator smarts…

    I hereby propose a new law similar to Godwin’s Law, about the likelihood of an internet discussion revolving around Nazi analogies increasing over time.

    I propose Watson’s Law or Lilandra’s Law if she doesn’t want to own it. It goes like this…
    The longer an internet conversation goes on about sexism, harassment , feminism, or atheist infighting the probability that some erstwhile poster will try to prove everyone wrong with some version sometimes completely invented about Elevatorgate increases proving to everyone who deeply misunderstood the incident is. Then everyone will get to painstakingly relive it again detail by obnoxious detail.

  160. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Quality of [MRA fuckwits like Paulpaulus] horde is pretty fucking pathetic.

    Fixed that for you. Typical MRA. Loud, opinionated, obnoxious, arrogant, ignorant, and a deliberate liar incapable of producing evidence. *Yawn*

  161. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Blitzgal, I do not let my lack of a scientific background stand in my way. Just a working knowledge of being able to back up your words is enough. And it is not that far from the the dependance on primary sources in history.

  162. nohellbelowus says

    Regardless of whether he should have been banhammered or not, Michael Hawkins sounded like a dweeby, moralizing piece of shit, and I agree 100% with PZ’s written characterizations of him.

  163. Denverly says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that a couple of people in the last couple of days have been commenting in order to get banned so they can run back to youtube to complain about being banned. This presents an interesting problem. Does PZ ban them and give them what they deserve, or ban them and give them what they want?

    The suspense is terrible. I hope it’ll last.

  164. glodson says

    It is amazing to see new commenters emerge from the lurking shadows. I think there’s even more of us in those shadows than some would believe. Hell, I know I’ve lurked threads but wanted to post. Why didn’t I? Because I really didn’t see the need once the moron was already torn to shreds.

    So hello new people. And it is good to see one new commenter that seems to be a fan of Persona 4. That’s cool.

    Hell, I know it is the social justice issues that keep me coming around. I enjoy the science, but the biology here is sometimes out of my league. That keeps me coming to, but I speak out more on the social justice side.

  165. glodson says

    @ Katherine Lorraine, 183

    I can answer that, being a nerd. That is Chie Satonaka, from the game Persona 4, which was also adapted into an anime.

  166. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Okay, so we’ve established that there are ‘pitters and Youtubers out there who wear their Pharyngula bans as a badge. To get banned from Pharyngula requires one to be a clueless jerk who makes the same arguments repetitively. So when it comes down to it, they’re taking pride in being really unintelligent and obsessive.

    That just boggles my fuckin’ mind, man…

  167. says

    Paulpaulus
    So, according to you, there are an awful lot of lyin’ bitchez in Europe. An awful lot of them. Or, alternately, you’re a lying, privileged douchebag who hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about. Hmmm…which of these is more likely? That all of those victims are evil liars, or that paulpaulus has no fucking clue what he’s talking about? I dunno, I just can’t decide.

  168. says

    Hi, Spiral:

    Or maybe many of the regulars here are just itching for a fight and don’t really give a crap about the actual motivation of the commenter?

    In my (limited) experience, this isn’t usually true. I’ve come in asking questions on several occasions. One time or two I got some snarky responses, but every time, in addition to that, I got answers to my questions. Sometimes the answer is, “Go read something.” I’m not opposed to doing my own research, so this really isn’t a problem. If you actually care about the answers to the questions you ask, why would it be a problem?

    Here’s a question: Why does it always go back to Rebecca Watson with some of these people?

  169. carlie says

    After a while, I started trusting that the group dynamic in the comment threads here really does do a pretty good job of sussing out which commenters are disingenuous JAQing off types and which are well-meaning n00bs who can be encouraged into greater and more intelligent participation. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty remarkable.

    It seems to often work as the good cop/bad cop routine. Some people go quickly to the “how dare you waste our time without doing your homework” level, and usually one or two people go to “here’s a nice way to tell you a short summary and also what to go look up”. The disingenuous types latch on to the former statements and start digging themselves a hole, and the earnest types notice the nicer comments and respond in kind.

  170. blitzgal says

    So hello new people. And it is good to see one new commenter that seems to be a fan of Persona 4. That’s cool.

    I love the entire Persona series (I play the video games), but Chie touches my heart in a way that I can’t fully describe. She is strong and rough in a world that prizes femininity, and feels like an outsider because of it. Okay, we all feel like outsiders sometimes. But I really love her.

  171. logicpriest says

    Did it really get bacck to RW? I need a filter that replaces all instances of blaming RW for anything into kitten pictures. I was gone like 20 minutes!

  172. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Here’s what I don’t get (I’m interested in hearing what others think about it). When someone shows up and falsely claims that Watson characterized the elevator as a rape trap, they are quickly corrected. People point out actual, uncontroversial, provable-as-the-sun-shines facts. They show that Rebecca said only, “guys don’t do that.” They show that the terrible thing the poster claims to be offended by did not actually happen.

    Why is this not a good thing for the commenter? Why don’t they say, “Oh. . . she didn’t actually say that. Wow, great. I was super mad but now I know I don’t have to be mad because I was mislead and Rebecca never said any of that.” Why?

    If you claim to be really upset by Thing A, then you’re quickly shown that Thing A isn’t real and so you don’t have to waste your energy on it, what turn of mind is going on that compels you to deny it and work very, very hard to make it be true? Why aren’t you happy that Bad Thing A didn’t really happen?

    I get that people have egos and identities wrapped up in defending their positions. But this behavior is just pathological. I honestly don’t understand it.

    Also curious—are they aware that everyone can see them doing this? Are they aware that everyone in the room knows that they have been corrected and we can see them ignoring that? Doesn’t that bother them?

    Please help me grok this shit.

  173. bradleybetts says

    @Paulpaulus #100

    Going back-a-ways I know, but:

    Well that was my point exactly. She brought her fears of the US over to the EU where elevators are not rape traps. If she was really smart, which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU.

    She never claimed elevators in the US were rape traps. She said that when men aproach a woman they should consider the location they do it in because cornering them in a lift or otherwise secluded place is almost certainly going to make them feel threatened. That was literally it.

    And what kind of ignorant bollocks are you talking? You think the EU is rape-free somehow? According to Civitas England and Wales are right behind the US in cases of rape per 100,000 (see other link). 30 seconds of Googling found that. To claim the EU is relatively rape-free is self evidently bullshit. I’m a resident of the EU, specifically the SE of England, and I know at least 3 people who have been raped. So stop talking shite.

    http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/crime_stats_oecdjan2012.pdf

  174. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Is it true that the Irish say “Good morning” to all who enter their elevators at any time, or is there some context involved?

    No. It’s a filthy lie. The Irish say “Top o’ the morning to ya!” which is followed by the non-rapeyist céilí you ever saw. Then they invite you back to their rooms for some non-rapey conversation over coffee.

  175. glodson says

    @192

    This has been my take. I am rather sure it isn’t original. These people throwing out Rebecca Watson left and right don’t care about what happened. They don’t care that they are wrong. The whole thing she kicked off, in their heads, is causing real problems for “the movement” because it is dusting off issues they want to ignore.

    It doesn’t matter what really happened to them. It is just a scapegoat so they don’t have to examine the sexism and sexual harassment many have to face. It doesn’t matter that they bought into the lie because even though it didn’t happen like that, “it could have and the whole thing just sounds right.”

    I’ve noticed that if I reset my thinking, and look at them like I would a Christian apologist, I see how they are getting to where they are going. They are trying to rationalize a worldview in which sexism isn’t really a problem, and when their evidence is shown to be false, they rationalize that away too.

    And they seem to show the same lack of self-awareness many theists show.

  176. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It is utterly baffling. Does anyone here know of any behavior or psychological studies they can point me to that might shed light on this?

  177. says

    blitzgal

    … and y’all amuse me so much when you gut the idiots who wander in here. You do it with such flair.

    These are BOOT CUT, not flairs, dammit!

  178. athyco says

    Spiral11235 @159:

    mouthyb, are you just upset that your rhetoric couldn’t convince me? or that maybe I didn’t read all of your responses? I apologize if I hurt your feelings.

    You like spoonfeeding? Here’s a bit: “just upset.” Unless you’re earning Randi’s million for mind reading that little phrase means fuck all about mouthyb but “manipulative” about you. You’ve not sheepishly admitted to not reading everything, you’ve mentioned it enough to flag it as a badge for you. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges. And you apologize IF you hurt feelings? You didn’t, but please, spend all your time apologizing for all the hypotheticals in the world–it’ll be a good use of your time. It’ll also get you all the attention you could ask for, wanding around saying things like “I’m sorry if I blocked the sunlight. I’m sorry if I wore an unattractive color. I’m sorry if I drank the Pacific Ocean.”

    Katherine Lorraine @160:

    Gasp a new commenter! Quick, we must yell nasty words at her! *gives hugs and chocolates and directions to the Lounge for fun conversation*

    Welcome, Susan and blitzgal. I didn’t announce my stepping over from lurker because I don’t like confetti in my hair. Lurking did let me know where the hugs and chocolate and grog were to be had, though. :)

  179. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Glodson-you’re right, of course. It’s just that I can’t intuit not caring about such a basic level of truth and falsity. I could not live with myself if I pulled stunts like that. Of course I may well have at some point but if it were pointed out to me I’d be deeply embarrassed. But I would not deny it!

    It’s so irksome that it’s so easy for the haters to do this without the type of consequences that would compel them to stop. The normal (albeit imperfect) social conventions that get people disinvited from parties if they lie, or that taint their reputation for being liars who shouldn’t be hired for a job opening, don’t work the same way on the Internet. I’m not sure just what consequences would work, but it makes me furious that it’s so easy to lie so horribly and so comfortable for the liar.

  180. stevem says

    re:

    Okay, so we’ve established that there are ‘pitters and Youtubers out there who wear their Pharyngula bans as a badge. [...]

    Reminds of the day {IDK, say, millenia ago} when publishers would loudly (proudly) advertise “Banned in Boston!”. usually “racier” [nudge, nudge, wink, wink] subject books. I know there were people who “collect” books that were “banned in Boston”.

    So, the point is, it doesn’t surprise me at all, that there are those who are quite proud of getting banned from here. To them it’s just a badge of honor. Like telling a kid it’s bad to say “@#$”, they’ll just go and say it to prove it and therefore show their “courage”.

    neverending battle, what goes around, comes around, so on and so on…

  181. rowanvt says

    @paulpaulus #100-

    I went to Ireland for a school trip when I was 15. One of the nights we were staying in a small inn, we had 6 drunk men climbing up the balconies asking to be let into our rooms to show us some fun. …. But being concerned for our safety as young women was totally the inappropriate response, right? After all, when the owner of the inn came out and yelled at them to go away, they went. No one was raped so our concerns at that time were completely silly.

  182. says

    @Josh Perhaps EG has taken on a life of its own like a juggernaut. It is difficult to stop misinformation once it reaches a certain size. Sort of like the amount of people willing to believe that Hitler was an atheist.

  183. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Like telling a kid it’s bad to say “@#$”

    Of course it’s bad to say “@#S”… because it’s impossible to pronounce!

    In all seriousness, you’re right, but it still causes me to shake my head in a vaguely disapproving manner.

  184. Denverly says

    @ Josh, OSG

    As a long time lurker, I will read a comment by a regular sometimes and my initial response is “that’s just bullshit”. Then the learned logic process kicks in where I have to say to myself, “Hold on, I have read that person’s comments many times, and I actually agree with them most of the time, let me take a second look at that and see if I’m trying to defend something I shouldn’t be.” Pharyngula taught me to do this, because that’s how I have seen more than a few regular commenters here behave.
    —-
    In the same tone, when we have leaders of the community like Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer make a stupid comment, then double down and dig in the trenches, they lead by example. If someone like Dawkins can rally the Dear Muslima troops, do you really think that a Pharyngula regular can disabuse them from their position?
    —-
    I’m also fairly certain that I read something about this sort of ignoring evidence in Denying History by Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman. The irony is not lost on me there. They went into the aspects of holocaust denial, things like publicly stating an opinion makes one so many times more likely to ignore contradictory evidence, et cetera. Please don’t take that I equate holocaust denial with what these people are doing, that was just the context of the study, but I’d have to look at the references in the book to see what they were citing. It’s been more than a few years since I read it, so someone please correct me if I am completely off base, but I’ll check the book when I get home.

  185. doubtthat says

    @112 Guy saying stupid shit about the “elevator thing”:

    It amazes me that this discussion continues, by why the fuck to you think rape is the only relevant outcome? Would not Rebecca Watson be justified in saying, “guys don’t do that,” because she feared lesser levels of sexual assault, like groping, something that happens on a daily basis on subways and buses all over the world?

    Alone and vulnerable on the elevator with someone she barely knew, there are a range of outcomes that this dumbass forced her to consider. The fact that this idiot dude didn’t consider any of that is a problem. Given that nothing horrible happened, he was acting out of nervous, drunk ignorance, which is why Rebecca’s subsequent educational youtube video was a useful thing.

  186. says

    Josh, it’s not that they don’t know it was “guys, don’t do that.” They do. However, that doesn’t allow them to howl in outrage over the reality of rape culture, it doesn’t allow them to howl in outrage over Schrodinger’s rapist, it doesn’t allow them to ignore the realities of sexism and their mantra that if women would just chill, all would be well.

    It’s interesting, in reading Guyland, men flat out stated they don’t have a problem with girls, but they have all kinds of problems with women.

  187. carlie says

    And again, what she was saying not to do was to not proposition her when she’s clearly not interested. Even if he only wanted coffee (which, come on, really?), it was entirely dismissive of her desires to ask her when he had just witnessed her say she was exhausted and going to be, after watching her discuss things in a bar for several hours including how she doesn’t like to get hit on at conferences, after watching her give a public lecture that included the information that she didn’t like to get hit on at conferences. Besides the fact that a person who will ignore your repeatedly stated wishes and ask the opposite of that anyway clearly has boundary and autonomy issues, it’s just plain rude. She was giving the protip that it’s not nice to be rude. How was that such a call to arms??????

  188. Susan says

    Thanks for welcomes. I have been lurking here forever and it’s my favorite check-several-times-a-day blog. I nearly always agree with most people, though, so it’s hard to think of new/original things to say that will really add to the conversation. I’m glad to hear that Brownian isn’t gone and that several other commentors I so enjoyed my have just changed their handles.

    What this whole misogyny thing has done is shocked me into awareness that the Atheist community is not immune to horrible sexism and racism and other isms. I naively thought we were “above” that even when I belonged to my local group (now defunct due to infighting) and men did most/all of the talking and ignored most of the women. It was a huge disappointment to find out that the same problems afflict “us” as the religious.

    Now that I know, it’s simple. There are authoritarian types in all groups,. It doesn’t matter what they believe or don’t believe. There will always been that 27-32%. They will probably always exist. Minds have been changed because of this blog. Even if it’s only 1-2 a month, it gives me hope. And as others have so eloquently said, it’s no loss if those who are part of that vocal, authoritarian minority leave this community, which–though I have never been sexually assaulted or raped. or suffered in ways that many of you have–is such a safe space for anyone but the assholes. I know my bipolar disorder will not be mocked and that others will understand that I am “different.” That means so much. And I have learned so much about the trans (right word?) community and about all kinds of things I never thought about. My mind has been expanded, though I (like most of us) still have a way to go and I know I will never shed my internalized racism and other prejudices completely.

    Now, dogpile if you dare!

    Sue

  189. glodson says

    Josh, it helps that my deconversion is relatively recent. Hell, I came out, to myself at least, as an atheist around the time the whole elevator thing blew up.

    This seems to be a core idea for some. This push-back must mean we are brushing up something almost primal. What else could compel people to spend so much time lashing out over this? It is insane, again, like we see with some of the theists.

    They get exposed as being wrong, but this isn’t a case where we make a simple mistake. Or so it seems. If I post a comment on biology, odds are that I might get something wrong. My knowledge of the science comes from my own readings, and I know this is a weakness. Being aware of this, I can take a correction quite easily. I know a lot more about physics. If I make an error there, my ego will get in the way. But I am aware that I do make mistakes, so I can get past that.

    However, when I was a theist, there had to be a god and I had to have a logical reason for this. I had to fight people who said otherwise and I had to contort my thinking for this to be true. In the end, I would have to fall back on “this just sounds right,” and it would take many variants.

    So when we brush up on privileges that some take as rights, they lash out. Some are distressingly intelligent, and some are usually rational. Which is problematic as they construct their own lies to defend a worldview, which they repeat. We can see the lies clearly, they can’t.

    And that’s me assuming that they are, in their own heads, trying to argue with good faith but failing. Some are just straight up lying in an effort to keep their old boys club.

    This is why I like this blog. There are consequences for lying. If I got caught saying something wrong, that would suck. And people would likely forget rather quickly if I was merely mistaken. However, if I actively attempted to deceive and was caught, I imagine whatever reputation I managed to get thus far would take a rather quick nose-dive. This loss of reputation, at least on the internet, can be a compelling reason to not lie. I also guess those of us here often don’t want to lie anyways… but that’s probably a different issue. Maybe not.

    Yes, some of the idiots take their poor reputations here as a badge of honor. But also, I think there’s something else there. I imagine a few are also hurt by it. They want us to see merit where this is no merit because they want us to agree. Part of coming here for a fight is confirmation bias, they want to see how wrong we ware. But I imagine in the back of their ego they feel they might win one of us over.

    Much like Christian apologists.

  190. notsont says

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy. That link is pretty interesting, Although I can’t find the US on the first page according to that site you are about 125% more likely to be raped in the UK than in the US 200% more likely to be assaulted. I’m very surprised many of the main Euro countries are really high up on the list.

  191. viggen111 says

    If you want to argue that my commenters are a ferocious bunch who don’t treat people with different views kindly, that’s a fair cop.

    Getting feedback only from regular commenters probably skews your understanding of what people who frequent this blog think by a little bit. By the sheer number of viewings, all you can really know is that what you’ve said is provocative in some fashion. Feeling compelled not only to comment, but to hold a germane discussion in the comments is going to select for a particular personality type in addition to sociopolitical bent. For one thing, I think many commenters will likely have extremes of opinion: people who are outraged by what you’ve said or feel strongly about protecting your points are more likely to say something. Then there are the people who feel that they are joining a community in the comments, which will mean implicitly “like attracts like.” Fifteen thousand comments with respect to multiple million viewing per month is a tiny fraction. Hard to know what qualities of the average regular commenter are representative of the general audience and where the two classes differ.

    I personally have been following your postings on this thread because I think that comment threads are kind of bound to be unfavorable to generalized dissent when the population of readers has become as large as yours has. I regard myself as a strong dissenter from certain of your pet opinions and I think it important that I register my opinion that I don’t feel you suppress dissent unreasonably. Just so long as you don’t feel artificially elevated by the inevitable sycophants that will tend to congregate in the comments: these people are a close relative of the trolls which is kind of bound to self-select and self-reinforce. These people form the “bitch brigade” in cults… they are self-selected “yes” people who get something emotionally out of attaching to someone they respect and adding “muscle” to that person’s opinion. These people will be innately unfavorable to dissent and are likely to be regulars. Do they have their own opinions, or have they adopted yours? Hard to say given how plastic people can be. This is the unfortunate downside of “movements” with a few strong personalities at the forefront. One way or another, the New Atheist movement is about belief and there are always going to be people in the audience who are blind believers. To those people, it is just another religion and you are the bishop. And the point of every religion is that the followers think it’s not just another religion. Jesus could not have been Jesus without John and Paul telling newcomers who Jesus is. This can be a problem if the person at the top comes to think of these followers as representative. Some time ago I wasted time watching what happened in the Pharyngula comments, and I think such people are here too. I just hope you haven’t taken them to be the average. At what point does agreement become zeal and a spokesman become a messiah? It isn’t always rational.

    So long as it truly is herding cats and not every opinion is echoed back to you by a million voices telling you that it’s the best idea they have ever heard. Registering my dissent is a part of what makes this website not the figurehead of another cult, that I’m not just another chiming voice that says “You go PZ! I’m so affected by you!”

  192. Richard Smith says

    @glodson (#197):

    These people throwing out Rebecca Watson left and right don’t care about what happened. They don’t care that they are wrong. The whole thing she kicked off, in their heads, is causing real problems for “the movement” because it is dusting off issues they want to ignore.

    Off on a different tangent: Clearly, this is evidence supporting the veracity of all the Biblical stories of Jesus! I mean, hardly two years later and all the facts are still clear and concise, with no radical groups making wild stories with exaggerations or complete fabrications. Clearly, this shows that, over thirty, fifty, or however many years of almost entirely oral transmission, there would be little chance for Jesus’s stories to go seriously off-message.

  193. glodson says

    @ 214

    Does this help?

    I imagine this is based on reported crimes. So I cannot tell if it is that women are more likely to be attacked in the UK, or if it is just that women are more likely to report the attack in the UK, or even if it is more likely the police will take the report seriously(which is a problem here in the states at times.).

  194. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Glodson—yeah, I bet it is analogous to the gut reaction one has when religion is called into question.

    By the way, I find your candor about your own experience impressive and I’m awfully glad you tell that story.

  195. screechymonkey says

    One of the many ironies is that people who were just appalled by “guys, don’t do that” (“YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR ALL WOMEN! YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!!! I’LL PROPOSITION ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYPLACE I WANT!”) are so eager to tell PZ how to run his own blog.

  196. says

    The normal (albeit imperfect) social conventions that get people disinvited from parties if they lie, or that taint their reputation for being liars who shouldn’t be hired for a job opening, don’t work the same way on the Internet. I’m not sure just what consequences would work, but it makes me furious that it’s so easy to lie so horribly and so comfortable for the liar.

    I think this phenomenon is based in part on the notion that the internet isn’t “real.” If we treat it as real, we’re reasonably likely to face trolls who whine about the fact that we take their internet speech seriously like we’d take face-to-face speech, phone speech, radio speech, television speech, and so forth seriously. They chide us to lighten up, as if the internet is just some MMORPG with no real world consequences.

    And even if it were a game, they’d take offense to the notion that we should do something to discourage griefing, since dealing with people filling your carefully crafted wooden mansion with hacked lava for gits and shiggles is part of the game experience.

  197. glodson says

    @ Josh

    Thanks!

    I thought you people where supposed to tear us new ones apart. Not getting that at all. ;)

    My own story is… well, it is odder than you might think. Hell, I have to blame my need for social justice on my three year old daughter. I cannot say that I would see past my own privileges if not for her. Or even be an atheist now if it wasn’t for her and Ancient Aliens getting this whole thing started. Yea…

    @ Richard Smith

    If only Jesus had the internets and Twitter. “Getting Crucified noa, brb lol #fFuckJudas #bloodsofthelambz”

  198. Galactic Fork says

    RE:paulpaulus comment on the readership dropping. I’ve noticed this kind of tactic often on this board. Either claiming that people are jumping ship because of umm stuff, or they will say something like “I have long agreed with you on your view of social justice and the smell of freshly ironed pants” and then go on to disagree with stuff and point out they will no longer be reading. It’s not enough that they disagree, they must show that your being wrong has consequences. I wonder if there’s a name for that.

  199. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I wonder if there’s a name for that.

    I Am Important! Pay Attention To Me!

  200. mythbri says

    There is something about the nature of Pharyngula comment threads that I’d like to point out, that I don’t think was mentioned in this thread or the 1200 + “I am asked a question about commenting” thread.

    Pharyngula is a rude blog. It hasn’t magically become so – my understanding is that Pharyngula has been this way since PZ started writing it, before it was moved to FTB.

    I lurked for a long time before daring to comment. I was definitely taken aback by the way that commenters relentlessly pressed for coherent arguments and citations. I would say that reading long comment thread conversations at least gave me a feel for how conversation is generally conducted here, and at most helped me learn how to make my own arguments be taken more seriously. I especially enjoyed the arguments that were had with creationists or even the “You poor deluded atheists, surely my benevolent posting on behalf of Jesus will mend your ways” type of religious commenters. It made the discussions I have with my own family (all of whom are still religious) more effective and satisfying to me.

    More than that, I was shocked (shocked in a non-ironic sense) to see arguments that supported racism, sexism, homophobia or other irrational prejudices be absolutely ripped to shreds, with no pussy-footing around “respect for others’ opinions” shit. Some opinions deserve no respect. If I hold an opinion that is racist in nature, it doesn’t make it less racist just because I’m the one holding it.

    Now to get to the part that I actually meant to start with: Pharyngula is a rude blog. And for all of the critics who complain about the rudeness, I’ve noticed one thing that they never seem to mention:

    Dissenters don’t respond to the comments (yes, there are some) that are NOT rude.

    They claim that they do, and make a big point of saying, “I’ll respond to YOU because you weren’t rude/uncouth/savage/(condescending descriptor) to me.” But eventually and without fail, they will engage the arguments in spite of “tone” – though they tend to complain about it the whole time.

    So while some commenters here don’t go immediately from zero to “fuckwit” for dissenting opinions, they don’t always get their arguments heard and responded to.

  201. Denverly says

    These people form the “bitch brigade” in cults… they are self-selected “yes” people who get something emotionally out of attaching to someone they respect and adding “muscle” to that person’s opinion.

    Someone hasn’t been paying attention.

    *facepalm

  202. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Glodson—one thing I’ve learned over the past five or six years hanging out around these parts is that human beings can believe all sorts of ridiculous shit even when they’re intelligent and kind and awesome in every way. That is, not a one of us is exempt; it’s part of how the human mind works. Accepting these limitations and that they’re universal is necessary for any progress to happen. I mean, look at how much disbelief and denial is happening when we point out that the DemiGods of Skepticism, Inc. are human too?

  203. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Pharyngula is a rude blog. It hasn’t magically become so – my understanding is that Pharyngula has been this way since PZ started writing it, before it was moved to FTB.

    It was the main reason why the bulk of Pharyngula was moved to FtB. The rudeness did not fit under the guidelines of NatGeo, the new owners of Seed Media. No fuss about censorship, (slymepit) just a solution to a possible problem.

  204. logicpriest says

    @Josh

    If you have JSTOR or similar access, or even just google scholar, look up the keywords “sefl affirmation” and of course “defensive bias” and you will get loads of good to decent articles on the why.

    I always thought of such biases as connected to how much of your identity lies in authority. That is why people with authoritarian beliefs like faith and “why I am better than x class of people” have so many problems adjusting.

    I also saw somewhere a study claiming that those with “conservative” or status quo supporting views tend to only get more defensive when presented with counter arguments and evidence, but I wasn`t as sure of the methodology… another one of those university surveys I think.

    http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/11/4/119.short for a particular explanation of it, sort of.

  205. rowanvt says

    These people form the “bitch brigade” in cults… they are self-selected “yes” people who get something emotionally out of attaching to someone they respect and adding “muscle” to that person’s opinion. These people will be innately unfavorable to dissent and are likely to be regulars. Do they have their own opinions, or have they adopted yours?

    So the bitch brigade, because they’re weak and need someone ‘strong’ to protect and lead them, just like wimminz do.

    As one of these ‘wimminz’, yes I have my own opinions. In my opinion, spouting sexist bullshit like this gem here is a good reason to call you out on having spouted sexist bullshit. I love this blog because it is ready and willing to do something about things like sexism which is not something I see in meatspace.

    Why should we give sexists, racists, ableists, etc any pass? Why should we be okay with those attitudes and NOT tear them apart?

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I wonder if there’s a name for that.

    Yes, Slymepit/MRA script # X

  207. glodson says

    @ Josh.

    Oh yes. It is easy for anyone to fall into that trap. Something I’ve noticed is that it can be easy to take the tools of logic and critical thinking and apply them to others. It is much harder to do it to your own thoughts.

    And then some use those to try and defend an enshrined belief.

    We all fuck up. Fucking up is part of life. Even responding poorly to fucking up is part of life. I can deal with all that. But it does get troubling when someone who has fucked up, then fucked up again by responding poorly grabs the shovel and tries to make to the core of the Earth.

    Then, maybe there’s hope. Maybe as people dig these holes from themselves, others will see the mess and rethink ideas they took as given. Or maybe I’m just stupidly optimistic.

  208. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    These people form the “bitch brigade” in cults… they are self-selected “yes” people who get something emotionally out of attaching to someone they respect and adding “muscle” to that person’s opinion.

    Why couldn’t I have joined a bitch brigade thirty years when I first became an atheist so that I could validate my beliefs?

  209. says

    The way I see it is this:

    It isn’t enough for those bigoted idiots to demand removal of feminism from the larger skeptical/atheist movement. No! That doesn’t go far enough! They also demand that you make room for ANTI-FEMINISM on your blog. WTF?!?!

    Or, to look at it another way, they hate any effort to make the larger community more welcoming for women, non-whites, and non-straight cis people… and they’re desperate to force smaller communities that ARE inclusive to put forth an effort to make straight white men feel more “comfortable” (meaning “dominant”). What a bunch of evil, bigoted, hypocritical, dull people.

  210. w00dview says

    More than that, I was shocked (shocked in a non-ironic sense) to see arguments that supported racism, sexism, homophobia or other irrational prejudices be absolutely ripped to shreds, with no pussy-footing around “respect for others’ opinions” shit. Some opinions deserve no respect.

    Exactly. I adore the vicious nature of the comments here. If we did not fetishise civility to the ridiculous extent that we do in modern discourse, assholes like the Catholic Church, NRA or the Republican Party would be irrelevant due to their ideas given the proper shredding they deserve. But no, we must treat them as equivalent to decent human beings and respect their point of view. And the world is a shittier place for it.

    Paulpaulus, are you seriously arguing that the EU is a rape free utopia? The mental gymnastics slymers do to justify their mindless hatred is really something to behold.

  211. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Dissenters don’t respond to the comments (yes, there are some) that are NOT rude.

    This. A thousand times. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Most people (speaking broadly) seem be civility fetishists. They claim to care about manners and diplomacy, but what they actually care about is policing the boundaries of acceptable language. Not for intent, but for whether the actual words are on an agreed upon list of Good, Civil Terms or Bad, Rude Words. It doesn’t matter at all what the actual combination of letters might be. What matters is whether you are conforming to arbitrarily chosen combinations.

    I got this at work the other day. In a group email I chimed in to clarify some serious misunderstandings on a public policy issue. By the time I got there the misinformed contingent had already been corrected and they were brazenly ignoring that and continuing to put forth suggestions that made no sense and would not be legally enforceable.

    I was characteristically direct, but I couched my corrections in language like, “I understand you each favor different approaches, but I think it’s important that we all agree on basic facts first. Then we can figure out if we really disagree. I see some plain wrong facts here so let me try to clear the air.”

    So, I was somewhat diplomatic but I didn’t suck up to everyone or tell them their opinions were very truly important. I didn’t insult anyone, but I said, “That’s not correct, see citation A. You need to tell us if you accept this fact before we can go further in this conversation.”

    I gave a numbered list of three direct, specific questions. There was no way they could be misinterpreted, and they were as reasonable as you could ask for. Rather like, “1. Does everyone here understand and accept that state law allows for right turns on red?” That wasn’t the topic, but that’s the sort of basic question I asked.

    At the end, I noted that we needed to get organized because it would look to our opponents that “we can’t get our shit together.”

    The misinformed contingent ignored all my questions. One person wrote, “I strongly disagree! And let’s stay civil, please!”

    That’s it. The very presence of a four-letter anglo-saxon word was enough for her to ignore the actual content and mark me as “uncivil.” Even though “shit” wasn’t directed at anyone, but at US. And you know what? Not a goddamned other person in the email chain made the slightest move to compel her to answer the questions. The actual legal topic we were trying to formulate a proposal on was utterly unimportant, apparently.

    Sadly, I find this shit typical. In business, nonprofits, civic groups.

  212. glodson says

    Or, to look at it another way, they hate any effort to make the larger community more welcoming for women, non-whites, and non-straight cis people… and they’re desperate to force smaller communities that ARE inclusive to put forth an effort to make straight white men feel more “comfortable” (meaning “dominant”). What a bunch of evil, bigoted, hypocritical, dull people.

    And I’ve seen this behavior as a gamer as well. Fortunately, the demographics are changing, so there’s actually money involved in making the community more inclusive.

    That doesn’t change the fact that there’s still the same loud-mouthed asshole saying the things only an asshole would say. And then this asshole often has people on his side…

    It has to be the same phenomenon. (Maybe some of the same exact assholes as well.)

  213. thetalkingstove says

    Another disconnect in the anti-FTB complaints is that FTB is apparently ruining and destroying the skeptic-atheist movement, but on the other hand is also hated, shunned and laughed at by the rest of the skeptic-atheist movement.

    Such power, while being shunned, is impressive!

  214. says

    About the traffic: sorry, delusions of the imminent demise are not going to be satisfied.

    I took a small hit (about 15%) in making the move to FtB — new site, the google-fu takes a while to gear up — and then it was essentially flat for the next year. There was a slow steady drop last semester, when I was buried in work and not updating as often, and I just looked now, and see that there’s a slow steady rise currently, as I’m better able to more regularly write stuff.

    Isn’t it strange how on the one hand, we’re told we’re all inventing this drama to drive traffic to the site, and on the other, we’re told how we’re all fading away because of all the drama? I wish they’d make up their mind.

    I’ve been at this for ten years, and I can tell you that the flash-in-the-pan drama and links from reddit and whatever don’t make a lasting difference at all. What makes a blog prosper is consistency of the voice and reliable new content, as well as sometimes saying interesting stuff.

  215. says

    Shit, I had no idea there were bitch brigades, instead of just the isolation that comes from being deviant with respect to gender, society and religion.

    Well Hallej-fucking-lullah to being part of a community.

  216. flex says

    Josh,

    Not that I can provide any references to support my belief, but I think there are several factors which create an inability for someone to immediately calm down and realize they have a distorted version of reality.

    First, someone with a certain opinion of what happened, who also feels strongly enough about that opinion to express it in a public forum, has invested a certain amount of identity in that opinion. It may not be much, but we do know that when part of a person’s identity felt to be under attack, that portion of a person’s identity becomes much more important to them.

    Second, the version they accepted must have either come from their own reasoning, or from a trusted source. It is very difficult for people to immediately accept that either their reasoning was wrong, or their trusted source was wrong. Strangely enough, in my experience, having the trusted source be wrong seems harder to accept than their own reasoning. I suspect we are all authoritarians at some level.

    Third, I suspect we have a special case with the RW incident. It has been mythologized to the point where a bald re-statement of the facts does not have the emotional impact that the mythologized version does. It is harder for people to believe prosaic truths than a romantic narrative which dove-tails nicely with their worldview. I certain we can find other examples; it strikes me that the very romantic and poetic, Shakespearean, version of Richard III, which is at variance with an objective analysis of his reign, still has adherents who are willing to argue indefinitely that Richard III was the most monstrous monarch in English history. It seems to be a matter of pride to them. Similarly it seems to be a matter of pride to deny that RW was simply saying something obvious to most of us. To twist her commonplace utterance into a romantic denunciation of the entire atheist movement appears to be their goal, notwithstanding the facts. There is a certain amount of poisoning the well going on.

    Finally, making an admission of being wrong is very difficult for people. I know I have a difficult time doing it, and I’ve been guilty of doubling-down on idiotic issues more than once myself. It is much worse when you say something stupid and then are dog-piled by everyone in the room. The initial reaction from many, including myself, is defensive. I have rarely admitted to changing my mind about something during a debate. Even when I have recognized that I was incorrect. This is, I suspect, a face-saving maneuver. Honestly, it probably makes little difference among the horde. For all the complaints I see about banning commentors, I’ve also seen a lots of people given multiple chances to go away and return with a changed mind. And plenty of people have done so.

    With all of the above occurring, I don’t find it surprising that a new commentor jumps in with an opinion from a trusted source, gets slammed by an alternate rendition of reality, denies it, and gets further jumped on. Some of those people start to doubt their trusted source, others get confirmation of their opinion of the Pharyngula horde.

    This isn’t limited to blogs either. I’ve had more than one conversation where a person has insisted on a point of view which isn’t supported by evidence and is easily refuted, but even when the evidence is presented denies it. A conversation here at work yesterday is a case in point. One co-worker thought it was funny that a nature program said that whales descended from animals which once walked on land. I told him the program was correct and there was plenty of evidence to show this. His response was, “Did you do the work to gather the evidence? Were you there?” and proceed to get belligerent when I pointed out the fossil record and genetic data. I asked him if he was certain that his father was his biological parent.

    I don’t think that rudeness or politeness make much of a difference. Being polite to a commentor with a distorted view only prevents them from playing the, ‘you are all rude meanies’ card, but there are so many cards which can be played that removing that option probably isn’t worth the brevity saved.

    The best advice, which I suspect that most readers of this blog follow, is to lurk awhile. Many of the most common debates are played out on these pages with monotonousness regularity. By lurking a reader can usually see all sides of an argument because there is invariably some idiot, probably well-meaning but ignorant, who will ask the same questions they would.

    I don’t know if any of this helps. When I read a series of increasingly belligerent arguments on these threads I often want to just tell the person who has backed themselves into a illogical corner, and is claiming that they were dog-piled and this is an echo-chamber, to step away from the computer for a few days, take a walk, think it over, and then come back refreshed and with new arguments or questions. And if someone points to something which is relevant, like a previous thread where all this was hashed out already, go read it.

  217. says

    notsont

    I’m very surprised many of the main Euro countries are really high up on the list.

    Keep in mind that the figures are for reported rapes. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if many European nations had higher rates of reporting than the U.S.
    Viggen111

    To those people, it is just another religion and you are the bishop.

    Citation needed.

  218. flex says

    Huh. My bad for not refreshing when spending an hour writing the above. Work keeps interrupting, even when I tell them I’m doing something unimportant.

    I better go read those links given in response to Josh’s question. I’ll shut up now for awhile. ;)

  219. mythbri says

    I’d like to note that as a consequence of reading Pharyngula regularly, it has enhanced my previous distaste for “philosophical” debate about particular issues. Invariably when it comes to philosophy, or philosophy-centered blogs and comments at least, one can say any manner of offensive things in polite and academic language and believe that they’re being perfectly civil. This usually pops up here in discussions about abortion rights (I’m not trying to derail the thread, but merely providing an example), where some commenters simply cannot grasp why speaking in philosophical hypotheticals can be so enraging to people who are directly affected by the legislation based on such hypotheticals. (“Why are you so upset? All I’m saying is that you don’t deserve the right to make decisions about your own body.”)

    In short, you can be rude as fuck without using “rude language”. Blogs with comment policies about tone tend to let these commenters slide right under the radar. I’ll take honest and rude discourse over polite dehumanization any day.

  220. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Mythbri, some of the rudest comments I have read have been by christians who did not swear.

  221. glodson says

    In short, you can be rude as fuck without using “rude language”. Blogs with comment policies about tone tend to let these commenters slide right under the radar. I’ll take honest and rude discourse over polite dehumanization any day.

    Exactly. People can say all sorts of evil things without appearing to be “impolite.” They hide behind civility in order to say truly horrible things. If we stripped the language away, for example, from a group like Westboro, we would have the same message that many Christians have. We could hide the nastiness with some polite language, but it wouldn’t change the fact the the problem is the message itself.

  222. jackiepaper says

    #216
    We are entitled to our own opinions, not our own facts. Those things you so regularly see us agreeing upon? Yeah, those are facts.

    Yes, racial discrimination still exists. No, women are not lying by the thousands about rape and domestic abuse. No, people who do and think horrible things are not all mentally ill (nor is the reverse true.). No, Noah did not build a giant boat. There is a difference between gender and sex. No, climate change is not a conspiracy. No, gay marriage will not destroy straight marriages. Yes, there are transitional fossils. No, atheists are not incapable of love and morality.

    That isn’t group think. That is recognition of reality.

  223. mandrellian says

    Wow. Now Concordance is at it, too.

    What in the everliving fuck is up with these entitled, pompous, crusading “drama seeking missile” youtubers?

  224. says

    Mythbri:

    Invariably when it comes to philosophy, or philosophy-centered blogs and comments at least, one can say any manner of offensive things in polite and academic language and believe that they’re being perfectly civil.

    Like our recent dose of philosophical rape apologetics. Yeah, that made it better. :eyeroll:

  225. broboxley OT says

    thats a whole pile o heartless

    a. A military unit consisting of a variable number of combat battalions or regiments.
    b. A U.S. Army administrative and tactical unit composed of a headquarters unit, at least one unit of infantry or armor or both, and designated support units. A brigade can be commanded by a brigadier general or by a colonel.

  226. says

    Most people (speaking broadly) seem be civility fetishists. They claim to care about manners and diplomacy, but what they actually care about is policing the boundaries of acceptable language.

    Definitely agree on the fetishization of politeness. The way I like to put it is that I see civility and politeness as very different things.

    Civility has the goal of making the conversation go somewhere: A civil commentator will focus primarily on the core arguments and respond to those arguments. You can still have a civil argument even while taking jabs at each other. A few jabs are expected in any argument. It’s how you handle being jabbed that shows character, and that’s where politeness fails. A civil person can take a few blows while remaining focused on the real issues. A tone troll is a “polite” person who fixates on the existence of jabs, berates the speaker for falling short of Vulcan stoicism, and wants other people to fixate on that offensive imperfection at the exclusion of the core issue. Distraction is the purpose of politeness, which is why politeness is so often the ally of the status quo.

    In some ways, I also see it kind of like secular morality versus religious taboo. Secular morality is concerned with how we coexist and avoid stepping on each other’s toes, and it acknowledges that the best course of action can vary with circumstances. Morality and civility have purpose and rationales. Religious taboo and politeness, however, are inherently arbitrary.

    “There’s no reason why “shit” is taboo. It just is, and how dare you roll your eyes and try to move the conversation on like nothing happened! I demand that the political/social/economic/philosophical/scientific talk grind to a halt so I can rant about my essentially random obsession with this particular sequence of four letters because unlike all that stuff, this is important!

  227. =8)-DX says

    If I have one useful thing to add to the conversation, it’s this:

    Moderated blog trolling:
    I really understand your point. You are saying that in certain circumstances, a woman may become pregnant after rape. And yes, a number of rape allegations are forceful. But surely we are legislating for the norm, the majority. And a the lives of millions of children are at stake here.

    YouTube trolling:
    You r so wrong for killing millions of babies you murderer, ABORTION IS SIN, ABORTION IS MURDER, STOP THE MURDER!!!11!.

  228. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    SallyStrange, if I have not ended using the word bitch in my moniker, I would be using Bitch Brigadier General right now.

  229. Richard Smith says

    252.
    @Janine: Hallucinating Liar (#252):

    some of the rudest comments I have read have been by christians who did not swear.

    My father was a minister in the United Church of Canada. I always found it funny when someone would feel sorry for me because they figured it must be so strict at home that I couldn’t swear or anything. This was not usually expressed by anyone who’d ever been in the car with my father in bad traffic…

  230. Caveat Imperator says

    I agree with everyone here who believes you can be rude without using “uncivil” language. In some ways, I miss the days when we got creationist trolls instead of MRA trolls, even though I never posted then. The creationists and godbotters were, for the most part, weapons-grade stupid. It was often easy to dismiss them. If their writing was poor, it was easy to believe their ideas were poor as well.
     
    The MRA trolls, on the other hand, usually have better diction and grammar, though exceptions are common. They parrot ideas from each other, but they don’t copy and paste from AIG. They understand the words they are typing quite well, even though they are tremendously ignorant of the issue in general. It actually makes them more frustrating to argue against, even though their ideas are usually stated more clearly.

  231. Tethys-chosen vessel of Lolth says

    Another heartless bitch, reporting for the brigade!

    The insults get their attention.

    QFT. I am amazed and disgusted that they can ignore pages of comments that do not confirm their bias, tromp all over people while dropping their turds of wisdom, but the thing that gets their attention is a stupid Bon Chi Chi reference or being called Cupcake.

  232. Pteryxx says

    The “bitch brigade” comment’s pretty funny considering that one of the serious, for-real arguments made against including women has been that they’ll spoil important and necessary guy-space. (I expected some of that from the military sexists, but orchestras??)

  233. says

    Paulpaulus

    The major reason that readership has declined [1] is because that PZ forgets that their are internationals here[2] that live in societies that are not so poisoned with privilege and inequality as is the US of retarded A.[3] We [4]understand that RKW’s feeling of entrapment in that elevator are symptoms of her upbringing in the US[5] and not of the reality which is civilized society.[6] If the US is not civilized to the point where an elevator is a safe place to be[7], let that not reflect badly on the rest of us[8]. Thank you.

    [1] Citation fucking needed
    [2] What’s an “international”? Do you mean “non USAsian”?
    [3] You’re talking about Gilligan’s Island, right? Why do they tolerate ableism there?
    [4] That is you and the drawer full of socks, right?
    [5]Yep, elevators are totally safe for women elsewhere
    [6] Gilligan’s Island again, right?
    [7] And nobody ever taught college girls rape prevention in Ireland.
    [8]You, and the Professor, and Mary Anne…

    If she was really smart[1], which she isn’t, she would have realised that her rational fears are irrational in the vaaaaaaaast majority of the EU[2][3]

    [1] Because you’re so much smarter, right?
    [2] Which is totally proven by the non-existence of the German page “Alltagssexismus.de”
    [3] How come you know that Elevator guy wasn’t one of those USAmerican barbarians, too?

    Yeah, PZ, I live in a country where people actually say “good morning” to others that get onto their elevators. Strange, but true.

    Yeah, because I was never threatened in an elevator for asking sbdy to put out their cigarette. IIRC he kindly offered me to do so in my face.
    See, all polite people!

    I think my argument was well framed with the juxtaposition of the US and civilized society.

    You’Re still talking about Gilligan’s Island. Didn’t even know they were a member of the EU…

    Anthony K.

    Yes, Ireland, that well-known bastion of public safety and women’s rights.

    Sure, they have refuges for mistreated women called “Magdalene Laundaries” and a special healthcare for pregnant women. Just ask Savita Halapavanar

  234. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    We all fuck up. Fucking up is part of life

    THANK YOU. If you fuck up, you apologize (sincerely) and move the fuck on. These assberets cannot.

    This is the heart of what Josh was talking about, imo. The root of the problem is arrogance – they can’t possibly be wrong! Therefore your silly “facts” and “evidence” can be ignored. They cannot be wrong!

    They are our fundamentalist theists – nothing can persuade them that they aren’t perfect 100% of the time.

    And, to state what absolutely no one will find surprsing – i fucking LOVE Pharyngula’s no-holds-bullshit attitude. Ever notice how blogs that demand “civility” tend to be the most mind-numbingly, tediously boring blogs ever? I dont mean the “no personal attacks” verison of ‘civility’ – I mean the way Josh’s example upthread used it – as a way to bypass communication all together. I can think of at least one former FTB blog that fits that example. And – surprise, surprise – it’s the most tediously pompous and boring blog ever. Well, this side of Loftus talking to himself, anyway.

  235. shala says

    I find it hard to believe anyone would complain about being “too hard” on new commenters. Like, lurk the fuck more? I don’t think there’s any forum or blog on the planet that appreciates someone coming in with the same question that’s been answered hundreds of times.

    I mean it’s not even particularly difficult to make initial posts here without sounding like an asshat. Read some of the posts and a few comments on the front page and you’ll be fine. In the worst case scenario, if you say something stupid, just…genuinely apologize? Most regulars here are fine with honest mistakes, and that’s a hell of a lot more lenient than a lot of other forums.

    To make this even better, I used to be a catholic conservative and was at least a deist conservative for some time after beginning posting here in 2009 (my entire loss of faith came later that year), and yet while I said stupid shit I never received a warning from PZ since I never tried to act like a dishonest weasel. What an echo chamber.

  236. mandrellian says

    Just slightly O/T: for anyone who’d like to remove most youtube comments from their field of vision there’s a Mozilla plugin called Comment Snob which can be set to hide comments with any combination of the following: all caps, no caps, number of spelling errors, excessive punctuation and a few other criteria. Considering the most offensive and stupid youtube comments are usually the most poorly written, you’ll find your blood pressure backing off in no time. This little gadget revolutionised my tubing experience :D

    Now, if someone could write a gadget that could scan blog comments for MRA jargon & dog-whistles and re-format them as Comic Sans with rainbow text …

  237. shala says

    Oh, and that’s considering we even have a recommended 3-post rule before jumping on stupid shit. If you can’t figure out why what you’re posting is bullshit within 3 posts, well…

  238. thetalkingstove says

    Seeing the word ‘bitch’ a few times made me think about its usage.

    If a woman is a bitch, she’s strident, outspoken, aggressive.
    If a man is a bitch, he’s weak, lower status, taken advantage of.

    So essentially the word is used to tell both genders ‘hey! don’t switch your assigned gender role!’

    Apologies if this is mind-numbingly obvious to most…

  239. kevinkirkpatrick says

    I made it 3 minutes into C0nc0rdance’s video. I had to stop because of comprehension issues: I reached a threshold whereby I couldn’t take any more of C0nc0rdance’s abysmal failures of comprehension.

    This was first evident when C0nc0rdance replayed a lengthy excerpt of PZ explaining that he (PZ) bans people whose contributions are utterly lacking in cogency, intelligence, humor, and any entertainment value. Immediately C0nc0rdance expresses amazement at this – claims to be flabbergasted (his word) – at how that quote completely contradicts PZ’s comment policy. Which he then quotes: “Posting here is a privilege granted by me, and not a right. Posting privileges can be rescinded at my whim.” C0nc0rdance leaves his point at that, as if he just scored 10 GOTCHA internet points. WTH? Basic comprehension. “If I find your contributions to be of zero value, I will rescind your privilege to plaster them on my blog.” <- that sentiment is compatible with PZs posted comment policies; the level of fail in asserting otherwise is staggering.

    And then, there's the "angry drunk" line. [Aside: Right after the 500-character-comment-limit, this is my biggest pet-peeve w/ commenting on youtube comments. In order to criticize content, I can't copy/paste the content, I need to transcribe it, which is incredibly tedious and error-prone] After defining trolls as people whose contributions are of zero value, PZ elucidate via analogy. He claimed to be acting like a bouncer (blog moderator) who has to throw out angry drunks (trolls) who were ruining the bar atmosphere (comment section) by spewing massive amounts of contentless drivel (contentless drivel). And C0nc0rdance's reception of the analogy? He claims that PZ "Characterizes people who advance unpopular arguments" as "angry drunks". No. Either this is a pure fail of comprehension, or an outright lie. Out of good faith, I assume the former, and thus reached my limit.

  240. =8)-DX says

    Most people (speaking broadly) seem be civility fetishists. They claim to care about manners and diplomacy, but what they actually care about is policing the boundaries of acceptable language.

    You do realise that many people (the UK “cunt-offensiveness-deniers” for one), have that same gripe about rejecting gendered (or other offensive) slurs?

    You can’t say you’re not policing the boundaries of acceptable language, while rejecting gendered slurs, mysoginistic language, racist language, etc. If “cunt”, “nigger” and “tranny” are harmful, offensive and wrong and should be removed from the language, criticised at every turn, you can’t reject out-of-hand any other person’s attempt to police language you use, which is offensive to them.

    Policing the bounds of language is important. Language is important. Tone trolls don’t move the conversation on, but I think much of the “gripe” people have had over the pharyngula/YouTube comments difference is that it is people with influence, audience and respect who get to set the rules, create certain spaces. There are no universally accepted rules for what is acceptable in all spaces and so people are frustrated when trying to communicate on certain topics. You either go with one crowd or the other.

  241. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Tethys-chosen vessel of Lolth @ 268 – don’t forget the best part of that – they’re being insulted by women. THAT’s what upsets them so much.

    If this were meatspace, they could use all the dudely intimidation/silencing tactics they learned in Patriarchy Pre-School for shutting women up. The towering over you thing, the dogpile thing, the ridicule thing, the pretending to be hurt so she feels bad for you thing, etc etc.

    But here, none of that shit works. They can’t shut the women up. No matter what they say, they’re refuted – BY CHICKS! Chicks who INSULT them! Chicks who don’t know their place! Chicks that aren’t afraid of them!

    And – the very worst thing of all – the other men here put hos before bigoted bros! And the blog owner – a man!! – doesn’t chastise his unruly females!

    It must be deeply traumatizing to cluelessly privileged boys, evidenced by the videos and podcasts they do to rail against the Women Who Weren’t Afraid. Pig-fucking bigot Paden, anyone? Justibigot? You get my drift.

  242. mandrellian says

    kevinkirkpatrick @279:

    It appears that, not every time but frequently, once a youtuber of the piece-to-camera sort reaches a certain mass of subscribers, their dedication to accurately and honestly representing certain of their opponents – or their arguments – decreases to around the same level as your average shock jock. Conc, NoelPlum and especially Thunderzeroes are all, it appears, guilty of this.

    But it’s highly selective: during Thunder’s feud with VenomFangX, for instance, VFX wasn’t misrepresented at all and was easily crushed. I suspect that’s because it’s easier to just splice in your enemy’s self-taken footage and more or less hoist him by his own petard than to savage him rhetorically. And, in hindsight, VFX was fruit that hung particularly low. How you approach your best opponents says more about you than how you crush your weakest enemy and, in his crusade against PZ Myers, TF failed dismally at not only comprehending PZ’s words but even representing them accurately.

    It’s sad that Concordance has apparently decided to go down the drive-time shock-jock route and rewrite his opponent’s words too. Not that I’ve watched any of these webcam-ranters for a while anyway, but I expected better from Concordance.

  243. coffeehound says

    I note that Paulus cannot even spell my name correctly. Mind you, it is not as though it is in front of him or anything.

    Well yeah, but you gotta admit four letters is a lot to remember between the time it takes to read and type.

  244. Caveat Imperator says

    @Caine,
    Oh no, I am perfectly familiar with Reap “I have been banned here 16 times and counting” Paden. Considering how bad his writing is, he probably drags down the average all by himself. You’d think he’d at least figure out what a paragraph is by now…

  245. billingtondev says

    Jumping in without reading the whole thread (yet)…so this may have already been said…

    I don’t post much at all but I read regularly and a lot, BECAUSE of the dissenters. That is, dissent between both regular commentators and between regulars and others.

    Its the dicussion that arises out of that dissent that I appreciate the most. Otherwise I think I would find it boring.

    And not just for the fact of discussion – but for the quality of it. The discussions may not always be “polite”, but they are always always always thought provoking, challenging, informative, and with a variety of different ‘takes’ on any given subject. They are also sometimes wickedly and cleverly funny. Whats not to like?

    ‘Enter At Own Risk’ is how I read it. Don’t expect dumbing-down, namby pamb, fake politeness or even a whole lot of patience. But if you’re secure enough to deal with a rough and tumble, no holds barred, passionate, loud, challenging, intelligent bunch of diverse people – then do drop in. The learning is gold.
    Just read the commenting policy first so you know the standard of behaviour expected.

    PZ – if you EVER do a 180degree turn and start wholesale blocking of all dissenters – I will be SO pissed at you. I’d probably write you a complaint letter.

  246. fastlane says

    mythbri@224:

    Pharyngula is a rude blog. It hasn’t magically become so – my understanding is that Pharyngula has been this way since PZ started writing it, before it was moved to FTB.

    As one of the few around here who may know PZed (not biblicially, ya know…just online) from the dawn of time BP (Before Pharyngula), that hasn’t changed. I wish I could go back to the old IIDB behind the scenes boards (I was a mod, almost an admin there waaaaay back when) when PZ kept arguing for looser moderating and editing standards. Fun times.

    I keep waiting for the ‘can we call a truce’ dumbass to show back up, or at the very least, have the good grace to pop up on those utube channels now and again with his message. Comparing the responces he got here at FtBorg, to what I’m sure would be much more erudite and eloquent replies he would get if he posted the same BS, on say, thunderchud’s channel.

    Or, to look at it another way, they hate any effort to make the larger community more welcoming for women, non-whites, and non-straight cis people… and they’re desperate to force smaller communities that ARE inclusive to put forth an effort to make straight white men feel more “comfortable” (meaning “dominant”). What a bunch of evil, bigoted, hypocritical, dull people.

    I missed this the first time through (fast moving thread). I just want to add that this white, straight cis male feels quite a bit more comfortable in the more inclusive communities.

  247. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    [PSA]
    To all the delurked newbies, a free swill (looking suspiciously like a hurricane for mardi gras) available at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking parlor, Patricia, Princess of Pullets, proprietor. Grog, swill (many flavors), popcornz, & bacon sammiches available. A 10 e-ducat credit for your first post.
    [/PSA]

  248. says

    Caveat Imperator:

    Reap “I have been banned here 16 times and counting” Paden.

    It’s 19 now. I think. Dude just cannot stay away. Same with Noel “Jim” Plum – he got himself banned, has no one to blame for that except himself, and is still trying to find ways to pontificate here. These guys seem to be utterly convinced that if they just repeat themselves long enough, we’ll all go, “D’oh, yeah, you’re right!” The concept of them being wrong isn’t even a blip in a far away universe, let alone the reality they inhabit.

    As for “Concordance”, he showed up in the previous thread, briefly to lecture, then fled, apparently to the comfort of distorting everything on video. I don’t understand why they feel this incessant need to lecture PZ and the commentariat on just how great this place *could* be, if only we did this and that and the other. It’s a big ol’ internet. If you want to build a ‘net utopia out there somewhere, have at it.

  249. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I thought that the slymepit was founded in order to be the antidote to the iron fisted and jack booted dictates of Chairman Myers. Why do they feel the need to make Pharyngula into their mirror site?

  250. says

    Caine

    As for “Concordance”, he showed up in the previous thread, briefly to lecture, then fled, apparently to the comfort of distorting everything on video. I don’t understand why they feel this incessant need to lecture PZ and the commentariat on just how great this place *could* be, if only we did this and that and the other. It’s a big ol’ internet. If you want to build a ‘net utopia out there somewhere, have at it.

    But remember what would make this such a great place. If only you rape victims would vanish and go to your own white-listed forums so the rape-apologists cannot hurt you.
    Wouldn’t that be great?

  251. dexitroboper says

    I’m going to disagree, now. I think PZ doesn’t ban often enough. As I learned on usenet, killfile early, killfile often. It doesn’t actually take too long to spot the disingenuous and dishonest commenters, and they really add nothing to the blog so their removal early will not cause any problems (cf slimepit).

  252. logicpriest says

    @dexitroboper

    Killfiles take all the fun out of crushing dissent!

    @nerd I am a pseudo lurker, can I get some bacon grog too?

  253. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Logicpriest, you will have to battle the Pullet Patrol™ for the dregs of the bacon grog.

    Warning, they fight dirty.

  254. Denverly says

    For some reason Nerd of Redhead just reminded me of the bartender at the Winking Skeever in Solitude. Those who play Skyrim will understand. Grog, indeed.

  255. says

    Giliell:

    But remember what would make this such a great place. If only you rape victims would vanish and go to your own white-listed forums so the rape-apologists cannot hurt you.
    Wouldn’t that be great?

    Yeah, just dandy. He’s damn lucky he got out of here intact with that shit, it was shades of ‘jacksul’ all over again, “oh, you can’t talk about your rape, you might hurt your feelings!” Like we don’t have a difficult enough time as Invisible Pixels in the first place.

  256. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    nerd I am a pseudo lurker, can I get some bacon grog too?

    Sure, just as long as you don’t pay your tab in pseudo e-ducats.

  257. postman says

    @ dexitroboper: I agree with you that if I was in PZ’s place I would ban people far more often. But this is his blog, so his rules.

  258. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Jerry Coyne maintains a healthy relationship with some of the worst of the slymies. And heavily moderates the blog.

  259. logicpriest says

    Damn, you’re on to me!

    I’ve been printing pseudo e-ducats for years. They all say “gul” dukat.

  260. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The Pullet Patrol™ will be out for blood. And they tend to be very rough to begin with.

  261. leftwingfox says

    How you approach your best opponents says more about you than how you crush your weakest enemy

    Damn…You’re right. I’ve seen this all over the place.When it comes from someone I’ve otherwise read and respected, it really makes me reconsider whether they were as shoddy about misrepresenting others when I did agree with them. I rarely catch any such howlers though. It never occurred to me that this might be a self-image defence mechanism.

  262. Spiral11235 says

    athyco,

    Hmmm, i thought said apology came across as sarcastic. Though my apologies for it not ;)

  263. says

    spiral:

    Hmmm, i thought said apology came across as sarcastic. Though my apologies for it not ;)

    We already know you’re an assclam in smegmarmalade sauce, you don’t need to keep proving it.

  264. DLC says

    What do you mean, I have to *gasp* Follow Rules ?
    Rules are for Sissies! I doan need no steenkin rules!
    The rest of you, however, need to strictly adhere to my policy of never saying anything insulting or contradictory, or blargle FreezePeach gibberish !
    Sorry. I just got back from the eye doctor and I’m seeing things a bit TOO clearly.

  265. says

    Mouthyb:

    Here is someone who appears to have no idea what meaningful communication looks like, let alone how to engage in it.

    Eh, call my cynical. Before the nym change, ‘thisislame’* had been here often enough, even if most comments were stupid drive-by types. It’s not like they don’t know the atmosphere here, I think they are just having fun playing the noob card. I suppose we’ll see, but it’s not looking too good.

    *Like that’s a completely unnoticeable nym around here. Uh huh.

  266. DLC says

    ( N.B:) If you don’t like my use of “Sissies” in the above (311) post, I used it as part of my sarcasm, as part of my portrayal of the usual Freeze Peach goon behavior.

  267. athyco says

    Caine:

    We already know you’re an assclam in smegmarmalade sauce, you don’t need to keep proving it.

    Hey! That was going to be my chewtoy after mouthyb. *pout*

    No real loss, though. Spiral’s sarcasm is very weak smegmarmalade sauce. And he didn’t even have enough oomph to tie in “mind-reading.” “Stinkin’ badges” would have been more difficult, granted. But not even to try? Hardly enough there to merit a dogpile.

  268. Owlglass says

    I think people are overly concerned with the opposition to come across as not caring about them, which is okay though. Since the dawn of time people pretent to be nonchalant as if they don’t care, because it looks “cool” on the internet. This can only be topped by being amused when facing opposition, the pinnacle of being “cool” on the internet. I don’t care about your obsession with slyme pit and the YouTube enemy brigades—it’s rather amusing.

  269. Bernard Bumner says

    As for “Concordance”, he showed up in the previous thread, briefly to lecture, then fled, apparently to the comfort of distorting everything on video. I don’t understand why they feel this incessant need to lecture PZ and the commentariat on just how great this place *could* be, if only we did this and that and the other.

    That might explain his sympathetic take on Michael Hawkins (a man who certainly excelled in the field of offering unsolicited advice on how to run the world in order to better please Michael Hawkins).

    I’d forgotten about the golf. What a terrible, terrible human being.

  270. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I don’t care about your obsession with slyme pit and the YouTube enemy brigades—it’s rather amusing.

    Yet again Owlglass show that Owlgrass has no idea what is going on. Do not let your ignorance about a subject stop you from giving an opinion on the subject.

  271. blitzgal says

    For some reason Nerd of Redhead just reminded me of the bartender at the Winking Skeever in Solitude. Those who play Skyrim will understand. Grog, indeed.

    I had a pet skeever when I was a boy and he used to wink. They were smaller back then.

  272. unclefrogy says

    sorry if this is a repeat but spiral at 159 how can you complain that you ask question innocently and then go on to say you do not read all the responses?
    Are you just speaking rhetorically about asking questions or are those just statements thinly veiled as questions.
    In which case you sound rather arrogant which does not seem to be a very popular attitude here.

    I wonder just where paulpaul lives that is the great bastion of civilization that we here must be so uncivilized by comparison
    makes him sound like such a smug conceited baseturd

    (now I will go catch up on the rest of the thread)
    uncle frogy

  273. slowdjinn says

    Since the dawn of time people pretent to be nonchalant as if they don’t care, because it looks “cool” on the internet.

    You heard it here first folks!…Time began with the advent of the internet

  274. says

    Glassowl:

    I don’t care about your obsession with slyme pit and the YouTube enemy brigades—it’s rather amusing.

    Ah. We don’t care about your stupid fuckwittery. Unfortunately, you aren’t amusing, just boring and fuckwitted.

  275. says

    Also, just opening the door wide for assholes — the goatse formula — isn’t going to attract commenters I want to hear from.

    -PZ, are you trying to get yourself quotemined by someone wishing to paint a picture of a Tyrant PZ who bans all commentators he does not want to hear from?

  276. says

    slowdjinn:

    Time began with the advent of the internet

    Well, you see, in the past, people had this sense of something great and awesome…they had this vibe of the internet future, so they acted all nonchalant in order to be cool because, um, future magick. Yep.

  277. says

    “Since the dawn of time people pretent to be nonchalant as if they don’t care, because it looks “cool” on the internet.”
    Yeah, the internet is eternal and has always been here… (huh?)and it gave afterbirth to you. The lil’ idjit who couldn’t.

  278. slowdjinn says

    Caine:

    Well, you see, in the past, people had this sense of something great and awesome…they had this vibe of the internet future, so they acted all nonchalant in order to be cool because, um, future magick. Yep.

    Or Quantum…my money’s on Quantum.

  279. says

    Enopoletus Harding:

    -PZ, are you trying to get yourself quotemined by someone wishing to paint a picture of a Tyrant PZ who bans all commentators he does not want to hear from?

    If there’s one thing to learn, it’s that it doesn’t matter what PZ says or doesn’t say, people will find a way to grouse about it, distort it and/or quotemine it.

  280. freemage says

    Once again, PZ wouldn’t be spending so much time/words on this subject if it hasn’t been losing him readership since elevatorgate.

    Paulpaulus: Do you even realize that this makes no sense, even in an alternate reality where the underlying assumptions are true? If PZ were losing readership over this, and knew that, and found it to be cause for concern, he would be more likely to either retract his position, or to just quietly let it die. Instead, he continues to post about it, and other related topics, if anything with increasing confidence and erudition, meaning either:

    A: He isn’t losing significant amounts of readership;
    B: He doesn’t miss a bunch of misogynistic fuckwits;
    C: All of the above.

    (Hint: It’s C.)

  281. qwerty says

    It always amazes me that people cry “free speech” when they want to rant incoherently and incessantly on someones blog but are banned or have their comments removed.

    They seem to miss the idea that a blog is similar to a published newspaper or magazine and the blogger is both the publisher and editor who can choose what should appear as content.

    I read some of the comments at youtube. Most were pathetic.

  282. glodson says

    The Sweeper taught me the right way one time: let the broom do the work, small piles otherwise I sweep up the dirt twice, and the small brush for corners.

    I don’t get that wrong anymore.

  283. slowdjinn says

    Caine:

    Quantumn Tomatoes

    Since I didn’t get the reference, I decided to Do My Homework (TM) and look it up…leading me to the Stuart Wilde gibberish, which has sprained my brain.

    That’ll learn me.

  284. John Morales says

    PZ @241,

    What makes a blog prosper is consistency of the voice and reliable new content, as well as sometimes saying interesting stuff.

    I believe that your comment management policy is not insignificant, either, in regard to Pharyngula. :)

  285. Owlglass says

    @Janine. What I wrote was self-defeating already. Everyone tries to go “one meta extra” to go “above” the other side in any given internet conflict, and yet it is impossible to address this as this goes “one meta extra” itself. It is self-defeating, and I’m merely lampshading it. PZ Myers is right of course, but he can’t escape this dynamic, as nobody can.

    @Caine, didn’t you have this script to make users invisible you don’t like. Go ahead. :)

  286. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Slowdjinn, if you want that to look really snazzy, do this.

    Do My Homework & trade ;

    Take away the spaces and you get

    Do My Homework™

    That’ll learn you.

  287. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Fuck it Owlglass, get fucking meta all you want. It goes on because of them.

  288. Caveat Imperator says

    One can only imagine what solid PZ did in a past life to be blessed with such incompetent adversaries.

    Maybe he was Voltaire in a past life and God decided to honor his past prayer a second time :P

  289. Ichthyic says

    Most other blogs will ban someone who “insults” but if you say any kind of nonsense politely, you get away with it.

    35:andyo

    12 February 2013 at 10:00 am (UTC -6)

    Case in point: WEIT.

    heh, first blog I ever got banned from, and it was because I challenged Jerry on his irrational attacks on zoos as being totally useless in research (by posting links to dozens of studies that have been successfully done in zoos), and the final straw? I called someone trolling one of his threads a jerk… yes, you heard me, a jerk.

    horrors.

    have you heard me whining about getting banned from Coyne’s blog? no, you haven’t. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MATTER.

    hells, it really is the case that these whingers like concordance are just trying to make everything about them.

  290. athyco says

    This can only be topped by being amused when facing opposition, the pinnacle of being “cool” on the internet. I don’t care about your obsession with slyme pit and the YouTube enemy brigades—it’s rather amusing.

    Wait…from all your responses to this, I am out of step. You mean that Owlglass was serious? C’mon, surely he couldn’t have used “dawn of time” and “internet” together obliviously! Look at the last two sentences–he puts amused in italics as being the pinnacle and then he says I don’t care and it’s rather amusing at the end.

    Owlglass, please. Come back and tell me that you were making fun of yourself for being overly concerned about those here who argue with you. It will be so very very sad otherwise.

  291. says

    Athyco:

    and then he says I don’t care and it’s rather amusing at the end.

    Ah, there’s the rub, though. For all that the Glassowls and Concordances and Plums and ‘Pits, they all make the claim they don’t care. They don’t care so much that they cannot keep from commenting here. They don’t care so much they obsess on every move PZ makes. They don’t care so much they have built up forums and networks to obsessively track everything on FTB.

    Yes, it’s true. They don’t care at all. Trufax.

  292. Pteryxx says

    Well, if they weren’t causing pain and annoyance to bro-acceptable targets, they’d have no trophies to ostentatiously brag not care about.

  293. glodson says

    I think I got it.

    You see, if they don’t come here to comment and show us how little they care, their lack of caring and their caring would be in a state of superposition. This means to break this state, they need us to observe them, thus collapsing the probability and putting them into a state of not caring. This is the Copenhagen Interpretation of giving a shit on the internet.

    It makes prefect sense!

  294. says

    I can attest, on the basis of personal experience, that P.Z. Myers doesn’t ban people just for disagreeing with him. Moralistic blather about the “undeserving” poor–that’s another matter.

  295. ChasCPeterson says

    heh, first blog I ever got banned from

    Coyne’s banned me twice under different nyms, once for my tone in pointing out a number of egregious errors in a post about coelacanths (and I admit my tone was pretty obnoxious), and the other time (I think) for calling local favorite Ben G*ren ‘narcissistic’ for his stupid little sig. I’m actually happier for it; that place gets my goat sometimes.

  296. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Totally with you on Ben G*ren. Overall Coyne is remarkably ill-tempered at being corrected on anything.

  297. Ichthyic says

    yeah, no skin off my nose either. I think Jerry is about to hit emeritus status. his writings over the last year or so have that edge to them.

    I still check there from time to time to see if any interesting paper links get posted, but haven’t seen any in months now that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

    I don’t take this stuff personally; as has been said, blogs are personal space; there is no right to complain if the host decides to boot your ass from his house.

    besides, it’s a big neighborhood.

  298. says

    Chas:

    and the other time (I think) for calling local favorite Ben G*ren ‘narcissistic’ for his stupid little sig.

    He’s still doing that? Gad, that sig was annoying – more than half a thread was eaten up here over that stupid thing.

  299. Ichthyic says

    Overall Coyne is remarkably ill-tempered at being corrected on anything.

    this is true.

    it’s also true that while being ill-tempered about it, he just as often will indeed make the corrections public.

    …so long as it isn’t a correction about cat behavior, zoos, or research on any other large charismatic mammals he has emotional attachments to.

  300. says

    Owlglass

    12 February 2013 at 6:11 pm (UTC -6)

    @Janine. What I wrote was self-defeating already. Everyone tries to go “one meta extra” to go “above” the other side in any given internet conflict, and yet it is impossible to address this as this goes “one meta extra” itself. It is self-defeating, and I’m merely lampshading it. PZ Myers is right of course, but he can’t escape this dynamic, as nobody can.

    Yes. you do need theraphy. From a frontier psychiatrist. Or at least Freddy Pharkas.

  301. simulateddave says

    AJ Milne

    … and in a just world they’d be stewing in the food vats.

    Dammit, man. I find that kind of suggestion shockingly irresponsible.

    (/Have you not heard of prion diseases?)

    I wiki’d them to refresh my memory and wish I hadn’t. It linked to Fatal Familial Insomnia: as vicious a trap for hypochondriacs as can be imagined.

    And just so I’m not completely off-topic: I don’t see how PZ is oligated to provide anyone a forum; it’s as straightforward as that. You don’t need an invitation to participate (which is awesome), but the host reserves the right to throw you out. More than fair.

  302. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Owlglass,

    I think people are overly concerned with the opposition to come across as not caring about them, which is okay though. Since the dawn of time people pretent to be nonchalant as if they don’t care, because it looks “cool” on the internet. This can only be topped by being amused when facing opposition, the pinnacle of being “cool” on the internet.

    Compared with:

    I don’t care about your obsession with slyme pit and the YouTube enemy brigades—it’s rather amusing.

    Tell me again how much you don’t care about the stuff you read and comment on, Cool Kid.

  303. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    You see, if they don’t come here to comment and show us how little they care, their lack of caring and their caring would be in a state of superposition. This means to break this state, they need us to observe them, thus collapsing the probability and putting them into a state of not caring. This is the Copenhagen Interpretation of giving a shit on the internet.

    Unified Troll Theory

  304. says

    Whenever I read this, my brain turns it into “Pamplemousse,” and I think of hamsters because my mother had a pet hamster named Pamplemousee, which is French for grapefruit.

    Twenty years ago today, Weird Ed mourned his juiced hamster.

    (Look Caine, no hands!)

  305. says

    eh, sorry, SallyStrange. I was giving Caine props for reminding me yet again on how to block-quote. The rest is the horror of maniacs in some kind of mansion.

  306. Stacy says

    OT @Josh

    Totally with you on Ben G*ren.

    Ha. Speaking of how cruel Pharyngulite commenters supposedly are, Ben was the first and only person here who was ever truly what I’d call “mean” to me. Last time I scanned WEIT (I don’t go there often, despite the catlove,) I saw him in the comments, criticizing Pharyngula because ya’ll are so rude.

    True story.

  307. Stacy says

    I thought that the slymepit was founded in order to be the antidote to the iron fisted and jack booted dictates of Chairman Myers. Why do they feel the need to make Pharyngula into their mirror site?

    Pharyngula and a few other sites (B&W, Almost Diamonds, Lousy Canuck, Skepchick) = their raison d’etre. Catch one of them in an uncharacteristic moment of self-awareness and they’ll even admit it.

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/184259_570773586267035_1688027699_n.jpg

  308. says

    Stacy:

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotossnc6/184259_570773586267035_1688027699_n.jpg

    Interesting. I find the “ftb needs to get back to skeptic atheism” more interesting, because we all know we’re their raisin date and all. This whole notion that ftb doesn’t do skeptic atheism is an admission that they adhere to the idea that the list of things skepticism and atheism can address is a very short and narrow one. Definitely none of that icky feminism, no sir.

  309. says

    The major reason that readership has declined is because that PZ forgets that their are internationals here that live in societies that are not so poisoned with privilege and inequality as is the US of retarded A. We understand that RKW’s feeling of entrapment in that elevator are symptoms of her upbringing in the US and not of the reality which is civilized society.

    The likes of you don’t speak for the “international” atheists.

    She brought her fears of the US over to the EU where elevators are not rape traps. .

    ignorant dipshit. here’s a sample of some of “the rest of us”:
    Neuhausen – Frau im Aufzug zum Büro vergewaltigt (woman raped in elevator – Germany)
    Solothurn: Sexattacke im Aufzug(sexual assault in elevator – Switzerland)
    Haan: 41-jährige Frau wurde im Aufzug mit Elektroschocker angegriffen(woman attacked with taser – Germany)

    Yeah, PZ, I live in a country where people actually say “good morning” to others that get onto their elevators. Strange, but true.

    who knew that saying “good morning” is a rapist-repellent?

  310. ajb47 says

    Josh WAAAAaaaayyyy back @192:

    For a couple of books about why people double down:

    Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson
    Being Wrong, Adventures in the Margin of Error, by Kathryn Shulz

    Noting several studies and stories that represent what happens when people are wrong.

  311. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    That is an old joke, michaelolsen. We had a troll use raisin dates for raison d’être.

    Seeing that his grammar and spelling was already terrible, there was no reason to think he did that on purpose.

  312. ajb47 says

    PZ @374:

    I’m feeling the pressure to compete now. I feel like such a wimp.

    I was going to comment early on after your post that you were slacking off. I mean, 105 in 10 years? You have lies to live up to now. No one will take you seriously with such a low ban count.

  313. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Stacy @378, <snicker>

    Nice screencap.

    (‘Tis true: I admit my knowledge of the bizarro eternal thread is limited to second-hand accounts since well before “the monument” collapsed into rubble)

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… raisins!

  314. Have a Balloon says

    EVERYBODY! I FIGURED IT OUT.

    You see, in Europe, ‘cunt’ isn’t a gendered slur, so it’s not sexist. That means that nobody in Europe uses the word ‘cunt’ in a sexist way.

    But it has been well-established in slymepit circles that, according to FTB, anybody who says ‘cunt’ is A RAPIST because saying ‘cunt’ is sexist.

    But if, as in Europe, saying ‘cunt’ is never sexist, then NOBODY in Europe is a rapist! Therefore there are no rapes in Europe.

    QED.

  315. Caveat Imperator says

    @Have A Balloon,
    I can play too!
    P1. Women often lie about rape.
    P2. I require an unreasonable standard of evidence.
    C1. Therefore, without the overwhelming evidence that almost nobody can provide, all claims of rape are assumed to be lies.
    C2. There are no rapes, and thus no rapists.

  316. says

    I suspect that the reason that overprivileged prats have such issues with the fact that free speech doesn’t mean freedom from dissent or unlimited guaranteed space of anyone else’s space for their private use is that they have little to no experience with being denied.

    Not just legitimately denied free speech options, equal treatment, or even human regard like many minorities can report, but just denial in general. The more privileged one is, the easier it is for one to stumble through life and through other people without having to think about them or how you’re monopolizing their time and energy. And the less often people feel safe or confident about interrupting you or correcting you.

    Basically, at a certain level of privilege, the world basically resembles a giant sea of service people here to assure you that “the customer is always right” and “why don’t you make yourself at home”, so actually encountering people who don’t put up with that shit, who push back, and have no qualms about ditching a douchebag if he’s trying to monopolize and derail a conversation causes them to flip the fuck out.

    Mix that together with a toxic masculinity culture where admitting one is wrong is seen like admitting you gut panda bears with your bare hands and another toxic masculinity culture where one’s entire self-esteem is wrapped up in being smarter than others, especially those lowly female creatures and anyone stupid enough to consider them equal and capable human beings and you’re basically asking for a thin-skinned troll quickly devolving into arguing in bad faith and complaining about why he was banned.

    Overall, though, I don’t see how they don’t get how sad they are. I mean, they’re really obsessed about being denied a single space in a vast internet, which is part of a vast world, to smear with their shit. This single denial runs a significant part of their lives and tears them apart inside, but not enough to refrain from arguing in bad faith to begin with.

    It’s like pinning a giant flag to oneself stating one to be completely free of any real problems, but also free of any positive reasons to live one’s life. It’s an admission of an empty life where one could do everything but chooses nothing but whining about the one space they personally fucked themselves out of.

  317. says

    And seriously I don’t get why anyone would give a fuck about being banned from a place they claim to hate.

    I mean if most of the people at a site piss you off, the author is an idiot, and the subject matters discussed are just frustrating or soul crushing to behold for you, why the fuck would you want to stick around? And if you do want to stick around because making these people upset or angry makes you happy or entertained then well, you’re a troll, and the owner of the blog probably should ban you.

    I imagine I would get banned rather quickly at Stormfront or some site like that. Fuck, I probably have been banned from a couple of right-wing blogs for the few times I couldn’t resist commenting to the tigers in the comment threads. But I don’t know if that’s true. Because I don’t care. Because I have a life outside of worrying if people I hate are willing to tolerate my company.

    And these people clearly don’t.

  318. mandrellian says

    Cerberus @ 405:

    Overall, though, I don’t see how they don’t get how sad they are. I mean, they’re really obsessed about being denied a single space in a vast internet, which is part of a vast world, to smear with their shit. This single denial runs a significant part of their lives and tears them apart inside, but not enough to refrain from arguing in bad faith to begin with.

    I suspect that being denied an audience, however hostile, is particularly galling to these types. They’re like the Blues Brothers playing behind chicken wire, protected from the metaphorical bottles thrown by the crowd by the anonymity and/or lack of social consequence inherent in internet exchanges. Because of this they can stand there do their best to be as pompous/obnoxious/offensive/trollish as they can with virtually no consequence. If they do happen to suffer the only meaningful consequence possible on a blog and get perma-moderated or banned outright, they’re instantly denied your attention-seeking avenue and of course the screeching begins. Of course they won’t admit they were just trolling for attention (often gauging their “success” by the amount and intensity of the negative reactions they receive) and are now upset that that avenue is closed; so they play the various censorship/free speech/fear of dissent cards. Of course, these don’t apply because it’s not dawned on any of these lackwits yet that a person’s website is private property and they can allow or deny access to whoever they like on whatever arbitrary criteria they choose. It’s also petulant whining in most cases as PZ gives people plenty of leeway before banning them.

    I see quite a lot of the sexist trolls here like spoiled, entitled pre-adolescents who are suddenly encountering an adult who won’t pander to their acting-out.

  319. athyco says

    Cerberus @406:

    And seriously I don’t get why anyone would give a fuck about being banned from a place they claim to hate.

    Well, NoelJim and C0nc0rdance now believe they have PZ claiming that there is no “reasonable dissenter,” which they, 2-3 in the 105-strong dungeon, and who knows how many slymepitters would be.

    They understand AronRa’s saying that no one can argue for creationism honestly and accurately–skepticism is required. Social justice issues, however, do not have a place in the skepticism tent. According to them (eh…I don’t really believe it), they’d fiercely fight the old guard who don’t believe atheism has a place in that tent, but social justice? With extra chunks of feminism!? No way.

    So for PZ to say there’s no reasonable anti-feminism stance and no reasonable denial that society is deeply patriarchial and sexist leads to chaos. Something like “Cats living and together dogs”–pure D chaos.

  320. Owlglass says

    @350, athyco wrote: “Owlglass, please. Come back and tell me that you were making fun of yourself for being overly concerned about those here who argue with you. It will be so very very sad otherwise.”

    Thanks, I thought this to be apparent. I mean… I even explained it shortly afterwards (in 343).

    351, Caine, brigade de garce lied: Athyco: and then he says I don’t care and it’s rather amusing at the end. Ah, there’s the rub, though. For all that the Glassowls and Concordances and Plums and ‘Pits, they all make the claim they don’t care. They don’t care so much that they cannot keep from commenting here. They don’t care so much they obsess on every move PZ makes. They don’t care so much they have built up forums and networks to obsessively track everything on FTB.

    Without any exaggeration, there is practically nothing correct in this paragraph. Not even the “he” can slip through, we’ve never established that and never will. My nickname is wrong, too. And whom do you want to deceive with your “guilty by association” trick? I actually don’t even follow those “talking into the camera” vbloggers on YouTube, I prefer the animated ones (like NonStampCollector, CoolHardLogic or QualiaSoup). Am also no member of “enemy forums”. I believe I’m clocking in the stunning third comment, out of 400+. And for the record, when people claim they “don’t care” they might not, but most of the time they probably do and rather want to express something else. So you are concerned about 9…17…23 commenters elsewhere? This is your big issue?…

    363, michaelolsen
    Yes. you do need theraphy. From a frontier psychiatrist. Or at least Freddy Pharkas. [...] They’re like the most whiny teens ever. Which is sayin’ shit when they got boredom like 4chan to compete with.

    Theraphy? [sic] Whiny teens? Boredom? Reminds of me of something.

  321. athyco says

    And for the record, when people claim they “don’t care” they might not, but most of the time they probably do and rather want to express something else. So you are concerned about 9…17…23 commenters elsewhere? This is your big issue?…

    Owlglass, you like QualiaSoup and haven’t watched TheraminTrees TA videos to keep you from asking the condescending parent question “This is your big issue?”

    I recommend them to you. (Have fun with the four-sides model on that one.)

  322. Have a Balloon says

    Giliell

    See, now, I deliberately didn’t respond to michaelolsen in case somebody went there…

    (thank you for the balloons michaelolsen!)

  323. says

    [ot]
    Have a Ballon
    Hey, I grew up with that. That’s the sound of my childhood.
    I would also recommend that everbody watches that video now and then comes back to report the differences in clothing and hairstyle between Nena and her band. I would never have thought I’d say that, but damn, I miss the 80’s
    [/ot]

  324. Ichthyic says

    I suspect that being denied an audience, however hostile, is particularly galling to these types. They’re like the Blues Brothers playing behind chicken wire, protected from the metaphorical bottles thrown by the crowd by the anonymity and/or lack of social consequence inherent in internet exchanges. Because of this they can stand there do their best to be as pompous/obnoxious/offensive/trollish as they can with virtually no consequence.

    but, as you recall, even the Blues Bros changed their tune based on the audience reactions.

    these clowns? not so much.

  325. says

    I think the biggest issue, Owlglass, is that so far you have just tried to astound us with the fact that the internet exists. A shock we could barely take. And now you’re plugging fuckin’ you-tube channels? The sewer is backing up.

  326. says

    @ Giliell

    Obligatory music video

    How come this sounds so much better in German than in English?

    (Personal, perhaps because, in my head and for no particular reason, I somehow link this back to Berlin?)

  327. Owlglass says

    416, athyco wrote Owlglass, you like QualiaSoup and haven’t watched TheraminTrees TA videos to keep you from asking the condescending parent question “This is your big issue?”. I recommend them to you. (Have fun with the four-sides model on that one.)

    I’m aghast about myself. I withdraw my rhetorical question, so that Caine no longer needs to answer it :) I offer to sign up to the sites and befriend myself with the people she recommends in order to synchronize with her views again (alas, this should have occurred to me earlier. How was I to think to get away with a Caine-independent reality?). Btw, the model you mentioned there looks very Freudian (can’t watch right now). That Library of Lies claims it has a background in psychotherapy. Now, the general four-sided model suggests perhaps an appeal? Psychotherapy for whom? Me? And it’s not against some ableist-something-social-warrior rule? I’m amazed. A new realm of insults just opens up again. Speaking of which…

    420, michaelolsen wailed I think the biggest issue, Owlglass, is that so far you have just tried to astound us with the fact that the internet exists. A shock we could barely take. And now you’re plugging fuckin’ you-tube channels? The sewer is backing up.

    Lost my courage already. Could it be that you are the fifth member of the Olsen Gang?

  328. says

    Theophontes

    How come this sounds so much better in German than in English?

    It’s original in German.
    I find that often translations of songs are just slightly off the music. Nine-ty nine red ball-oons has six syllables, Neun-und-neun-zig Luft-ball-ons has seven. No way to match it to the music the way Nena did.

  329. ines says

    We understand that RKW’s feeling of entrapment in that elevator are symptoms of her upbringing in the US and not of the reality which is civilized society. If the US is not civilized to the point where an elevator is a safe place to be, let that not reflect badly on the rest of us. Thank you.

    I’m German. When I was 10 months old, my father (a German) was riding up an (German) elevator, with me in a stroller, and a twelve years old (German) girl. Paulpaulus, do you want to venture any guess who out of the three of us got any problems in that elevator?
    The only good thing about that terrible day was that the girl’s grandmother not only believed her granddaughter, but she also dared to confront my father, who happened to be a Stasi officer. And the most depressing thing, my grandmother (my father’s mother), who was visiting us that day, answered the grandmother of the molested girl with a profound: “Boys are that way.”
    But who knows. She’s not USAmerican, so maybe that girl was a-ok to ride elevators with strange males in the years after that. After all, wich non-USAmerican woman is concerned about rape or violence? Oh, I actually know the answer because out of all the women I talked about rape to, there was one woman who hadn’t been raped. Yet.

  330. bradleybetts says

    @Janine: Hallucinating Liar #344

    Slowdjinn, if you want that to look really snazzy, do this.

    Do My Homework & trade ;

    Take away the spaces and you get

    Do My Homework™

    That’ll learn you.

    I know it wasn’t directed at me, but thanks for that! :) I’ve been wondering how to do that for a while.

  331. says

    @Ichthyic in #419:

    but, as you recall, even the Blues Bros changed their tune based on the audience reactions.

    these clowns? not so much.

    Probably because we’re not their intended audience – that would be their friends back home, who they can impress by getting banned here. Although, I suppose, in that analogy that would make us the musical instruments that they’re trying to play… *shrugs*

  332. says

    Oh, man. I looked at the comments on C0nc0rdance’s video. Do these guys ever pay any attention to the crap building up under them, even when they’re complaining about my commenters?

    This one is pretty representative.

    mikesomething
    hes a cunt, ignore him
    hes a fat, wrong, cunt

    I was really impressed with this exchange.

    EarlFaulk
    I have even less respect for PZ now then before and believe me it wasn’t much after he banned Dillahunty for asking questions as to why someone else was banned under a different handle.

    I banned Matt? What?

    SDTK
    Wasn’t Dillahunty only banned from the A+ forums not PZ’s blog?

    Duracellman
    That’s my understanding of the situation, but the distinction between those two sites is the domain name and little else.

    I repeat: I did not create Atheism+. I had nothing to do with setting up the forum. I have nothing to do with policy or maintenance of the forum. I don’t have any position with the group running it.

    I know, facts don’t matter to C0nc0rdance’s people. Or to NoelPlum99.

    NoelPlum99
    The funny thing is, a lot of people who get banned from Pharyngula are NOT on the list.
    Myers assertion that it amounts to ‘one a month’ would be true if it were not false (is that the law of non-contradiction in sarcastic form?) – I think the slymepit alone has over 500 members, all of whom are banned simply for being members of that forum. I also know of a couple of people who have pm’ed me of their ban since my own: their names are not on that list.
    He is full of shit here, pure and simple.

    Everyone who is directly banned is on that list. Sorry, but it’s the truth: when I go into the control panel to add a url or email address to the filter, the next thing I do is go to the Dungeon page and add an entry. Every time. I have a blanket ban on the slymepit url, and if I catch a known slymepitter posting here I ban them, too…but that’s it. And that block slymepit ban IS stated on the dungeon page.

    As for people who find themselves mysteriously banned here, there are a couple of explanations.

    They’re really stupid. They don’t know how to register (registration is required to post here), or they attempted to post a comment containing racist or sexist slurs. The other phenomenon I get is that about once a week I’ll get a ranty email from someone who is upset that I DELETED THEIR PRECIOUS COMMENT, after which I’ll discover that they posted the comment to FtB and are looking on Sb, or vice versa.

    The other thing that happens is that Akismet is doing it. We use the Akismet spam filter tool, and it sometimes has a hair trigger — periodically it decides that I am a spammer, and blocks my comments from appearing on other FtB blogs. I joke that it’s because they hate me, but it’s just a spurious error by the software. Usually what happens next is that I find the comment in the spam trap, I approve it, and then Akismet clears up the problem for a little while.

    Unfortunately, too often what I find when I go to the spam trap is a collection of screaming idiots raging about “niggers” and “cunts”, and no, I don’t approve those, and Akismet never gets the message that they aren’t legit commenters, so they languish in Akismet limbo until they try to post something reasonable.

    Which almost never happens with those people. Weird, huh?

  333. ChasCPeterson says

    in that analogy that would make us the musical instruments that they’re trying to play

    dibs on being Mr. Fabulous’s trumpet.

  334. w00dview says

    Pharyngula and a few other sites (B&W, Almost Diamonds, Lousy Canuck, Skepchick) = their raison d’etre. Catch one of them in an uncharacteristic moment of self-awareness and they’ll even admit it.

    So does that mean FTB is Batman and the slymepit is the Joker?

  335. rejiquar says

    @ Josh, OFS, 192

    If you claim to be really upset by Thing A, then you’re quickly shown that Thing A isn’t real and so you don’t have to waste your energy on it, what turn of mind is going on that compels you to deny it and work very, very hard to make it be true? Why aren’t you happy that Bad Thing A didn’t really happen?

    I really, really *really* need to get started on my taxes, but I didn’t see any refs in this thread to slacktivist, kitten-burning coalition or fred clark so I’ll take a stab at your question, because he’s discussed this a *lot* on his blog, slactivist. In fact, Pharyngula and Slacktivist are my morning cuppa-tea reads;)

    The short answer is that if one’s tribal identity is valued enough, and important enough to one’s community (say, evangelical in a small town where *everybody* is in the church) then these sorts of seemingly ridiculous `beliefs’ are the gatekeeper/admission fee/tax, the costs of which become good money you throw after bad, so to speak. Euurgh, my metaphors are running away from me.

    But anyway. Despite it being his speculations—he’s a newspaper editor, not a researcher—I think he makes very reasonable arguments for his position. And I know I’ve read *somewhere* —and I can’t remember the name of the study, the authors, or even necessarily the discipline, so no cite, sorry—that communities adopt these sorts of identifiers as a way of policing for parasites (because people need some sort of system once you get past the 200 or so people the average person can recognize by sight/memory.)

    /relurk

  336. UnknownEric is just a spudboy, looking for a quantum tomato. says

    So does that mean FTB is Batman and the slymepit is the Joker?

    Oooooh, can I be Red Robin?

  337. bradleybetts says

    @PZ #430

    From your quote of NoelPlum

    Myers assertion that it amounts to ‘one a month’ would be true if it were not false

    What? So upon being presented with two mutually exclusive categories NoelPlum has the intellectual tenacity to relise that, since a thing does not fit into one, it must therefore fit into the other? Glossing over the fact he’s got it barse ackwards and assigned it to the wrong category, this guy is clearly a fucking genius. How dare you not let him post here.

  338. bradleybetts says

    @rejiqar

    Oh, I think I know the theory you’re talking about, but I can’t remember who wrote it either. Damn. It was originally applied to religion as a way of in-group/out-group recognition; i.e. if someone is willing to publicly announce their belief in something as silly as a man walking on water then you know they’re firmly committed to your group and are therefore trustworthy. You’re suggesting a similar phenomenom may be in operation over at the slymepit? You may have a point…

  339. rejiquar says

    I think it applies to any group, frankly. People generally are more willing to hand out more resources—time, expertise, money, etc—to people they know and trust, and tribal associations are a handy heuristic. So I think it’s natural that some sort of barrier to entry usually emerges, so parasites don’t swoop in & back out again, draining the group’s resources.

    Barriers need not be a bad thing—lurking long enough to learn a blog’s norms is generally considered decent etiquette, for example—but the temptation to double down, rather than admit a mistake, is very strong. I still have troubles with it, even though learning I could admit that was one of the most liberating experiences I had as a young adult.

    Back to work, now:)

  340. says

    The other thing that happens is that Akismet is doing it. We use the Akismet spam filter tool, and it sometimes has a hair trigger — periodically it decides that I am a spammer, and blocks my comments from appearing on other FtB blogs.

    Duh, I often access FtB from the college network and the changing IPs means that I often land myself in moderation even on blogs where I’m a regular and hopefully respected commenter.

  341. thepint says

    I simply don’t get any of the whining about the comment policy or the commenting culture here. PZ’s house, his rules. I don’t comment much anymore because I simply don’t have the time, much as I’d like to – has nothing to do with not liking how the place is run or the material PZ covers, both of which I’m pretty darned happy with, FTR. I lurked for months before jumping into the shark tank because doing one’s research and getting acquainted with the place seemed the logical thing to do in order to minimize the risk of getting torn to pieces once I dove in, and besides, it’s not that hard to pick up on how things work around here if you put in a minimum amount of effort into reading the threads and paying attention to how…. oh, wait.

  342. thepint says

    *waves vigorously at the Horde*

    Hi, Janine!!! The job is unfortunately keeping me in a tight strangle hold and I’m stupidly busy, but I do try to keep an eye on things. Can’t let the fangs get too dull, you know. :)

  343. jeffret says

    Giliell @418

    I would also recommend that everbody watches that video now and then comes back to report the differences in clothing and hairstyle between Nena and her band.

    What were we supposed to notice? I’m pretty clueless about clothing and hairstyles so I’m sure the point sailed right on past me.