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Feb 22 2013

[Thunderdome]

Pentagram_satan

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

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

711 comments

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  1. 501
    Nick Gotts

    consciousness razor,

    I think we’re both “conceding” the argument to one another.

    Sorry, but no; I haven’t shifted one iota, because I’ve had no need to. I’d be interested in what makes you think I have.

    I don’t think values are entirely independent of minds or cultural frameworks or assumptions. They are partly dependent; but you could say very much the same about what most people (probably not Plato!) would consider “objective” truth, like ones about whichever empirical phenomena we happen to think are interesting or useful.

    No. The earth really is roughly spherical and around 4.5 billion years old, human beings really are genealogically related to other organisms, smoking cigarettes really does increase your chances of getting cancer, bacteria really do acquire resistance to antibiotics when these are used widely enough, you really will plummet to the ground at increasing speed if you leap from a thirtieth-floor window without a parachute or similar. None of these things are in any way, to any extent whatsoever, dependent on minds or cultural frameworks. Not a bit. Not in the least. No.

    I think that kind of criticism is useful and needed in ethics as well as other fields, to weed out more of the garbage and make some progress, but simply characterizing the whole field as “subjective” undermines this and obscures the issue for no good reason.

    I have not done so. And as I have consistently said, I regard subjective/objective as a false dichotomy. It’s not that ethics is partly objective and partly subjective; it’s neither.

  2. 502
    Nick Gotts

    joey,

    But the notion of human value underlies this “capacity of empathy” of which you speak.

    As so often, you have things exactly backwards. We know that some non-human animals have empathy, because we see them exercise it. We know that they don’t have any “notion of (objective) canine (or whatever) value”, because such a notion requires a linguistic capacity they do not possess. It is empathy that underlies notions of value, not the other way round. Of course they value themselves and each other, but that is simply to say that they care about their own and each others’ welfare. Value is, necessarily, relational: agent A values object* O, meaning they try to preserve it from harm, probably like to be near it, etc. To say that object O “has value” independent of any agent (including itself) valuing it, is just drivel.

    * I use “object” for generality, because agents can value things other than other agents. Of course they value other agents differently from non-sentient objects, but that’s because other agents have interests and preferences.

  3. 503
    Nick Gotts

    [meta - to borrow from John Morales]

    I find it interesting, but intensely frustrating, that both mikmik and consciousness razor have told me they think I more or less agree with them over values, when it’s clear to me that I disagree with both of them quite fundamentally. But I’m being as clear as I can. I’d be interested if anyone else is having difficulty understanding what I’m saying, and if so, what I need to clarify.

  4. 504
    John Morales

    Nick,

    Value is, necessarily, relational

    Sums it up.

  5. 505
    ChasCPeterson

    Would people simply be drawn to anything with juvenile features (relatively large head, underdeveloped facial features…) even if from another species?

    yep. According to Konrad Lorenz, anyway.
    Ever seen SJ Gould’s lineup of Mickey Mouse over the years, depicting his steady juvenilization?
    this.

  6. 506
    John Morales

    Chas,

    As Mickey became increasingly well behaved over the years, his appearance became more youthful. Measurements of three stages in his development revealed a larger relative head size, larger eyes, and an enlarged cranium — all traits of juvenility.

    Looking at the illustration, the only one that seems true is the larger eyes.

    (Hmph)

  7. 507
    ChasCPeterson

    John: track down the original Gould article; there were data.
    wait a sec…
    ugh. well, here‘s a crappy pdf with a crappy scan (Fig. 2).

  8. 508
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Mickey

    Indeed, it seems his head has become larger (at least relative to ears and nose), eyes are bigger and features are rounder (he has even put on some baby fat). He is being modelled to a human baby shape it appears. (Mickey was “modified” to his more modern incarnation for “Fantasia”, so the upgrade goes back quite a way. Rather compare Steamboat Willie to Modern Mickey for a more clear comparison.)

    Pic: Baby Mickey

  9. 509
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    A question: Would cats do a “mickey-style” evolution – ie take on ever more juvenile features? Surely there is very strong evolutionary pressure to capture the hosts affections, both as kitten and adult, as a survival mechanism?

    I realise that there are some breeds that are developed in this way (eg: Munchkin kitten), but here the breeder is driving the process. (Or is it fair to simply regard selective breeding as just another form of evolution?)

  10. 510
    Nick Gotts

    theophontes,

    Domestication regularly produces neoteny (infantilization). Adult dogs have rounder heads, often more drooping ears and raised tails, and more trusting and submissive behaviour than adult wolves – all characteristics of juvenile wolves. The same changes occurred in the Siberian silver fox domestication experiment. It’s been suggested that humans are “auto-domesticated”.

  11. 511
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    Would people simply be drawn to anything with juvenile features (relatively large head, underdeveloped facial features…) even if from another species? It seems such a broad brush. Then again, we do readily anthropomorphise in such cases.

    It’s the broad brush. Not anthropomorphization, which would be a much more specific and complex process. Our facial recognition systems just are not picky — they are low level (doi 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328325a8e1) and invoked by very generic stimuli (10.1016/j.joep.2009.02.002, alternate PDF).

  12. 512
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Mickey Mouse’s ears are always presented as perpendicular to the axis between camera and subject, and therefore remain circular, no matter where he’s looking.

    (And TMBG did the opening and closing songs for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.)

    /trufax

  13. 513
    strange gods before me ॐ

  14. 514
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Huh. If I stare at those dots, I “see” a circle around them. Anybody else getting that?

  15. 515
  16. 516
    mikmik

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG) 5 March 2013 at 5:55 am (UTC -6)

    Re: My perception of agreement.

    I think we are altruistic because we have compassion.

    mikmik,
    You may have missed the last paragraph of my #442.

    Oh, yes I did!

    I won’t be continuing this argument with you any further, both because you are clearly determined to stick to your dogmatism, and because I prefer to keep my conversational interactions with anti-feminists (which I didn’t realize you were – thanks SGBM) to a minimum, except where necessary to combat that and kindred bigotries. So you can have the last word.

    I think I know why we disagree, in your mind. SGMB did not show that I was anti-femenist.
    But why bother with thinking once you’ve made up your mind.

  17. 517
    mikmik

    Author: SallyStrange
    Comment:
    Whoa, mikmik. Aren’t you a little alarmed at this abridgement of your FREEZE PEACH rights?

    Hey, I live in Canada. Everything freezes!
    Plus, I don’t bring frozen peaches over to the host of the soiree. They get to choose which peaches get served.

  18. 518
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    sgbm:
    I see the circle (bowling ball), but not sure if I see it in part due to you mentioning it.

  19. 519
    ChasCPeterson

    Huh. If I stare at those dots, I “see” a circle around them. Anybody else getting that?

    I “see” a Magen David.

  20. 520
    ifcunning

    SGBM, my impression is the dots are centred on a small disc slightly brighter than the background.

  21. 521
    John Morales

    I see the because sign.

  22. 522
    chigau (違う)

    It really creeps me out when people refer to themselves as their pet’s Mommy or Daddy.

  23. 523
    mythbri

    @chigau

    I agree. I’ve also heard the term “fur children”, which is also creepy.

    However, I don’t object to someone claiming to love their pet like a child, unless they go further and treat their pet like a child. It’s harmful to treat animals as human. I see it as naive and disrespectful.

    One can love their pets dearly and yet still treat them as they deserve – like animals instead of humans.

    I hope that everyone understands what I’m trying to say here.

  24. 524
    chigau (違う)

    mythbri
    I understand.
    Children grow up, get a job, leave home, etc.
    Pets stay.

  25. 525
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Honestly I don’t have a clue. Video games for cats: disrespectful?

    +++++
    Thanks, cm, Tony, Chas, and ifcunning. Just curious. I’m in the same boat of not knowing whether I saw it because of the paper I was just reading — “very generic stimuli”.

    And raspberries for John. ;)

  26. 526
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Same boat as Tony. More or less. Or something.

  27. 527
    chigau (違う)

    I don’t like boats.

  28. 528
    strange gods before me ॐ

    What about spaceboats?

  29. 529
    chigau (違う)

    Do spaceboats comewith/cause ‘sea’sickness?

  30. 530
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Nick Gotts

    Those sibfoxes are fascinating. Also, that one can focus on one traight, but another then spontaneously pops up. I presume the same would occure in “natural” evolution (as opposed to husbandry).

    @ SGBM

    Our facial recognition systems just are not picky

    You are referring to something quite different: pareidolia. Surely?

    I imagined I saw a heart. I presume our minds would try to construct a face for us by the addition of some face-shaped (circle, egg-shape, heart, etc) impression.

    @ John Morales

    For guilt-free mathematics, simply flip the equation round and go with the symbol

  31. 531
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Um, nope!

    How about spacesheep?

  32. 532
    John Morales

    theophontes, flipping it horizontally doesn’t change its shape, but flipping it vertically does.

  33. 533
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    ;)

    Yeah, like John is going to understand what that means. :p

    video games for cats.

    The linky is being forwarded to Spawnphontes, Weilder of Teh I-Pad. Ms Molly shall soon find herself the subject of an experiment.

  34. 534
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    You are referring to something quite different: pareidolia. Surely that cannot be all there is to it?

    I think it is basically the same thing, and that really is all there needs to be to it. I know you love complexity, but I don’t see a reason for more in this case.

    Do you think that Kamunyak is pantheramorphizing her oryxes? I think no, it’s simpler than that.

  35. 535
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    I meant the equation (the signage follows suite):

    John understood ∵ I explained

    *SHAZAM*

    I explained ∴ John understood.

    (I feel less guilty about the second one ;)

  36. 536
    mythbri

    @sgbm

    No, I don’t mean video games. I mean people insisting on putting their pets in clothing even when it’s not cold out, or the pet is not vulnerable to sunburn. Animals communicate a lot of information through body language, which is inhibited by excessive and unnecessary clothing. I mean people attempting to covert carnivorous pets to a vegetarian diet. I mean people who don’t learn to communicate with their animals, and don’t show their animals to communicate with them, because they think they can “make” animals act like humans by merely deciding they should.

    Video games are just glorified cat toys. No issues there.

  37. 537
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    I think no, it’s simpler than that.

    Or more complex?
    .

    Actually, I do think I understand what you mean. I am just a little flummoxed.

  38. 538
    mythbri

    By “covert” I mean convert. And also, “don’t show their animals HOW to communicate”.

  39. 539
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Actually, I do think I understand what you mean. I am just a little flummoxed.

    If it’s any consolation, even the ability to recognize face-like images is massively complex. So all I’m saying is, this is that complex and no more.

    +++++
    Great titles in neuroscience: The Potato Chip Really Does Look Like Elvis!

  40. 540
    True Believer

    ATHEISTM IS FALSE!

  41. 541
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Reminder: my Youtube video de-embedder de-embeds videos from Youtube.

  42. 542
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Bwahahahaha!
    I was morbidly curious and listened to a portion of that silly video.
    The question that destroys atheism?-

    “If god doesn’t exist, who wrote the bible?”

    Gosh, I am stumped. I guess not believing in god is definitely false. Someone let the Creation Institute know.

  43. 543
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ True Believer

    Daan is dat you?

  44. 544
    strange gods before me ॐ

    that’s Jon Trollstein, morphing.

  45. 545
    vaiyt

    what is an atheistm?

  46. 546
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Trollstein is an atheist who likes to pretend to be a Christer and get a rise out of people.

  47. 547
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    sgbm:
    He is going to have to put in quite a bit more work if he is trying to get a rise out of people here. That was pathetic.

  48. 548
    Nick Gotts

    Children grow up, get a job, leave home, etc. Pets stay. – chigau

    Damn! I was wondering our dog still wasn’t contributing anything to the household budget.

  49. 549
    Nick Gotts

    SGMB did not show that I was anti-femenist. – mikmik

    True; you did. SGBM merely pointed me to the evidence.

  50. 550
    True Believer

    Funny, ain’t it?

  51. 551
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Tony

    The video posted to was by OGFurious aka Daan Leysen. His videos mock everything from creationists to PUA’s , MRA’s and the like. As much as he takes the piss, Poe’s Law applies. No matter how ridiculously one parodies them, there will always be those amongst the real thing that are worse, and might actually take him seriously.

  52. 552
    Nick Gotts

    Poor Michael Nugent is being subjected to a large-scale Slymepitter offensive, here and on related threads.

  53. 553
    Nick Gotts

    Funny, ain’t it? – True Believer

    No.

  54. 554
    ChasCPeterson

    Poor Michael Nugent is being subjected to a large-scale Slymepitter offensive, here and on related threads.

    yep. THe continuing skirmish has been alternately boring (Steersman, John Brown) and fascinating. It’s actually a reunion of sorts over there, with The Justicar, Welch, Hoggle, Tuvok, and other veterans making appearances. Maybe erv will chime in! And all because Nugent asked Vacula for a straight answer (still not forthcoming).

  55. 555
    opposablethumbs

    “If god doesn’t exist, who wrote the bible?”

    Seriously?!?! That’s what they got?
    .
    Oh my. Oh, that’s a good one. That anyone could seriously offer something that silly as a “gotcha” is truly, mind-bendingly pathetic.
    .
    Let me see now …. who usually writes things … in the real world? Could it be … what do they call those … oh yes, I remember. People.

  56. 556
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I only wish that this skirmish was taking place between Ted Nugent and Count Dracula.

    “Stranglehold!”
    “Bluh blah! I vant to suck your blood!”
    “Stranglehold, motherfucker!”
    & cetera.

  57. 557
    opposablethumbs

    The video posted to was by OGFurious aka Daan Leysen. His videos mock everything from creationists to PUA’s , MRA’s and the like.

    Phew!

    ::note to self – must urgently recalibrate sarcasm meter::

  58. 558
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    540

    True Believer

    Jebus but you’re boring as shit.

  59. 559
    vaiyt

    If a crocoduck wrote the Bible, then why are there still monkeys?

  60. 560
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    humm

  61. 561
    chigau (違う)

    spacesheep

    Are they anything like giant space goats?

  62. 562
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Chas

    continuing skirmish

    I enjoyed your comment. (Linky)

  63. 563
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Sure, why not?

    Space Goats Coast to Coast!

    +++++
    I guess I am pleased with Rand “stopped clock” Paul’s filibuster.

  64. 564
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I just knew a Spaaaaaace Ghost joke was coming…
    ****
    Theophontes:
    Thanks for that bit o’ info. Puts the previously unamusing video into an amusing light.
    ****
    Chas:
    Were many of the posters you mentioned regulars at FtB years ago? I seem to recall a few names here when I started back in ’10 (Steersman for instance) but not many.

  65. 565
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Chigau
    What about the giant space hamsters?

  66. 566
    chigau (違う)

    I ain’t afraid of no goats ghosts hamsters
    feh
    rum, anyone?

  67. 567
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Micheal Nugent’s latest Slymepit thread has taken a seriously surreal path. Did you know that the FtB stooge planted the photoshop of Ophelia Benson? Did you know that the slymies are the real feminists and David stand up to the radfem Goliath that is FtB? That the photoshop of Ophelia was planted to hurt an entirely different person?

    If I were already extremely disgusted by the lot of them, I could almost feel pity for them.

  68. 568
    rorschach

    If I were already extremely disgusted by the lot of them, I could almost feel pity for them.

    I’m really tempted to do a blog post about how we should really start to fucking ignore these putrid clowns and move on. But that would be self-defeating, wouldn’t it. So I won’t.

  69. 569
    rorschach

    Why isn’t this whole thing much easier? Just see who does the better job in promoting atheism and social justice. When was the last time a pitter wrote a widely read post on these? Got something done? Advanced the debate? Identified problems? Was in any way shape or form relevant to any atheist cause?

    That should be how we judge them. Let them have their own internet platform, why not, sleazy old white dudes, with Hale, Mayhew and bluharmony. Who gives a flying fuck?

  70. 570
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @514. strange gods before me ॐ

    Huh. If I stare at those dots, I “see” a circle around them. Anybody else getting that?

    Not me. I see a triangle -point facing down. Maybe Triangulum Australis* if I’m thinking imaginitively.

    * See : http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/tra-t.html for info & skychart.

  71. 571
    Lofty

    Sexual abuse in the Australian Defence Force doesn’t change, despite assurances to the government..
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-07/army-officer-says-adf-fails-abuse-victims/4558834
    There is a veeeery long way to go yet.

  72. 572
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Janine, rorschach:
    I am quite curious to know what the output of the Pitters and related associates is-if one were to ignore any of their antiFtB or antiSkepchick material. I have seen some of them mention that other threads at the Pit discuss matters unrelated to FtB, but to what degree? Those obsessed with Ophelia or Stephanie–what *else* do they do? Sara Mayhew, Wooly Bumblebee, Justin Vacula, Reap Paden, and the rest…despite what rockstars they are, surely they have other (substantial?) activities that occupy them…? Right?

  73. 573
    ChasCPeterson

    Were many of the posters you mentioned regulars at FtB years ago?

    No, with the single exception of windy (who’s still on the Molly list btw, but from pre-FtB), they were all active beginning with erv’s urpit threads.

  74. 574
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The Postal Service Auditions

    Hey. I was amused.

  75. 575
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Just remember, when the Slymies are whining that they are the real feminist; that they are standing up to the bullying radfems of FtB. Just remember the reading of one of the most prominent Slymies of of the lot, Renee Hendricks.

    Take a look at her reading list.

    And try to remember that they are the “feminists”.

    And that they are being defamed.

  76. 576
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Identified problems?

    rorshach:

    The SP brigade is very good at identifying problems. They identified Rebecca Watson and Stephanie Zvan as a problem. They identified PZed and Ophelia Benson as a problem. They identified Skepchick as a problem. They identified FtB as a problem. See? Very good at identifying problems.

  77. 577
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    That not anyone is paying any fucking attention to what I am saying.

    But I do have a suggestion.

    Stop trying to argue with Pitchguest, Steersman and the rest of those Gish Galloping assclams.

    The members of the pit are going on about how it is a feminist spot.

    What to do?

    Ignore that bullshit.

    Target in on Renee Hendricks, WoollyBumblebee, Justin Vacula and others who are part of groups like AVfM.

    Ignore the rest, it is just flack.

  78. 578
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Can I just say that today, I was delighted to discover that Cambridge University has a Godwin Laboratory.

    Too bad it’s just some paleoclimate outfit. ;-)

    Oh, and this guy says “peace, Google car”, but would be better off looking where he’s going. (Pan right.)

    Why, yes, I have had too much time on my hands today …

  79. 579
  80. 580
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Janine

    [linky to Renee Hendricks]

    Of herself:

    Renee is pro-choice, an egalitarian, pro-gun, and a Libertarian. This makes her a bit of an enigma and posts on this blog may reflect these ideologies. [emphasis mine]

    Well that bolded bit is all we need to know.

    But just to expand anyway:

    egalitarian

    What we get from Slymepitters is a type of egalitarianism which they like to call “equity feminism”. Theirs looks something like this:

    e·gal·i·tar·i·an /iˌgaləˈte(ə)rēən/ Adjective
    .
    Of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve have equal rights and opportunities.

    Sadly, for them, their off-key definition is undermined by reality. For example from this mornings BBC: Graduate pay gap – women paid thousands less than men

  81. 581
    chigau (違う)

    horde
    link is to an old Sinfest

  82. 582
    chigau (違う)

    and another
    http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2441

    (no point, I just think it’s cute)

  83. 583
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau

    horde

    I think we are on the wrong side of the planet. (If we make a lot of noise could we qualify as a micro-horde?)

  84. 584
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    2 could be a micro-horde but I’m going to bed :(
    [the Aussies must be awake, one of them might prove useful]

  85. 585
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    {theophontes looks despondently at the prospect of being a nano-horde.}

  86. 586
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Equity feminism is the feminism you have when you don’t have any feminism; bonsai feminism might be just as good a term for it.

    Gee, is it quiet around here, or what?

  87. 587
    Lofty

    Gee, is it quiet around here, or what?

    BOOO!
    (toddles off to bed)

  88. 588
    mikmik

    It was quiet. Too quiet.

  89. 589
  90. 590
    chigau (違う)

    Fuck Daylight Saving Time!!!‽!!!

  91. 591
    John Morales

    chigau, practicality and efficiency aren’t your cuppa?

  92. 592
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales
    There is nothing practical or efficient about Daylight Saving Time.

  93. 593
    Lofty

    I loooove daylight saving. Never been a morning person myself. Going out after dinner is better in daylight.

  94. 594
    pakicetus

    How can you love daylight saving time. It’s really one time, but on the clock it’s one hour before.

  95. 595
    rorschach

    Wow, 5 comments in 24 hours. It IS quiet here! As to DST, I particularly like the saving daylight part.

  96. 596
    chigau (違う)

    DST is all about the cows.

  97. 597
    pakicetus

    DST is about the uneducated, ignorant, savage.

  98. 598
    Lofty

    DST is about the uneducated, ignorant, savage.

    Yup those uneducated ignorant savages have real trouble working out they’re hungry without a clock.

  99. 599
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Too quiet. I googled “DST”.

    DST Global Solutions is a leading provider of investment management and business process management software solutions …

    [DST's p]urpose is to help with productions, to provide workshops in all aspects of theatre and stage, and to liaise with the University Arts Council.

    [DST c]oordinates, supports, and oversees scientific activities and research in [India]

    DST provides sophisticated information processing, computer software services and business solutions to the financial services, communications, …

    (and my favourite, the incredibly cryptic)

    DST
    dst-global.com/
    DST.

    *tiptoes away from Google*

  100. 600
    carlie

    cm, what do the squiggly lines on the pavement mean?

    I love daylight savings time. I don’t like standard time. If we just called DST standard time and never changed, I’d be happy.

  101. 601
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I love daylight savings time. I don’t like standard time. If we just called DST standard time and never changed, I’d be happy.

    When I lived in Dah Yoopee, we were 1.75 hours behind “solar time” in the summer. We had to wait to almost 11:00 pm for the July 4 fireworks. The idea can be taken too far.

  102. 602
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    what do the squiggly lines on the pavement mean?

    I’m sorry to report that I don’t know.

    I think the closest I’ve come to knowing what squiggly lines mean was one time at a nightclub, where people had fluorescent moustaches, and their heads formed boomboxes as they walked past.

    I suspect this wasn’t the answer you were looking for. ;-)

  103. 603
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I hate daylight savings time because I’m one of those silly people who like to try to pick up distant AM radio signals after dark, and DST makes the dark come later (which means accidentally picking up hockey and baseball games becomes much more difficult).

  104. 604
    vaiyt

    There’s no DST where I live. Neener neener.

  105. 605
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Can I ask just one thing here & that is that people don’t read something into my comments that isn’t actually there?

    Also y’know be really nice if people didn’t pile on when a few commenters get mistaken ideas based on misreadings or bad faith outright lies about me.

    I’m not what I’ve been wrongly accused of being.

    And if you’re going to say otherwise then, okay, *evidence* is required – not false impressions, not cherry picked and irrelevant crap from years ago but actual evidence.

    Is that really, *really* too much to ask here?

    Can people please rethink and reconsider opinions based on what I actually say not what a few commenters have misread & misinterpreted?

    I’m no strawmonster – and if you actually knew me or anything much about me then you’d know that too.

  106. 606
    Lofty

    (Cute baby bunny video, snigger)
    StevoR, your incessant whining about being hard done by is tedious. How about you stick to posting intelligent comments? Then the Horde may possibly reconsider their opinion of you. Maybe.

  107. 607
    chigau (違う)

    StevoR
    go away

  108. 608
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ ^ Chigau : I’ve done nothing wrong here, its not your blog and thus not up to you and also you are very wrong about me and if you claim otherwise then citation badly needed.

    So no.

  109. 609
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ other thread’s #34. Rev. BigDumbChimp :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/06/bora-1-climate-denialist-kooks-0/comment-page-1/#comment-574649

    Please give me a fair chance. I’m not the villain I’ve been painted as by some here I think.
    Jesus Stevor, yes you are. Even when you think you aren’t you are. It’s pitiful.

    Do you know me?

    NO you don’t.

    Does it occur to you that I might not be the strawmonster caricature that you and a few others who are mistaken or outright lying have painting me as here?

    I know who I am, what I think and how I act. I’m the primary source on me. So maybe you could therefore perhaps listen to what I say rather than relying on mistaken impressions and misreadings? Rely on evidence not the internet equivalent of political attack ads ? Is that so hard to do?

    @ other thread #34. thumper1990

    @SteveoR
    Yeah, I got that #28 was a joke, but the only way I can see it making sense is if you intended to take the mickey out of PZ’s comment policy about racial/abelist/misogynistic/ageist slurs or the general argument against them; that they are innappropriate because they are aimed at a group rather than an individual and thus have a splashback effect on all members of that group rather than just insulting the person you intended to. If I’ve got that wrong then my apologies, but I can’t see any other way that comment would make sense and, if I’m right, then fuck you.

    Thankyou for your apology there because you do indeed have that wrong. I was elaborating on the splashback effect and NOT denying it. I guess I should’ve predicted that my sense of humour there would be misinterpreted negatively and so, okay, I won’t make any more such affectionate teasing style jokes. And no, it wasn’t passive aggressive, just an elaboration.

  110. 610
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I don’t get it, StevoR. What’s the appeal of being here when you are so often met with disdain and rejection? Why put up with what you feel is unjust abuse?

    Yeah, never mind, I also want you to go away.

  111. 611
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @74. Chris Clarke :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/06/bora-1-climate-denialist-kooks-0/comment-page-1/#comment-575057

    I sent you that one , just *one* polite email a day or two ago asking reasonably what you think I’ve supposedly done wrong.

    I don’t think you’ve given me a fair go at all as I guess is predictable.

    I am not and don’t want to be your enemy. So, okay, I won’t email you ever again.

    But can you at least let me defend myself for a few comments politely and reasonably and please reconsider? Is that really too much to ask?

    I am breaking no rules here, I think, and trying to make positive contributions.

  112. 612
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @609. Portia, Feminist Snarker Extraordinaire :

    I don’t get it, StevoR. What’s the appeal of being here when you are so often met with disdain and rejection? Why put up with what you feel is unjust abuse?

    Because I actually generally like this blog and find it interesting and agree with much of what some of teh commenters here say.

    Yeah, never mind, I also want you to go away.

    WHY?

    What have I ever said or done against you?

    I’m asking for one more chance – that’s all.

    I am NOT what people here have accused me of being and, if you allow me to do, so I intend to prove that to you.

  113. 613
    Chris Clarke

    Don’t worry, StevoR. You’re far too unimportant to be an enemy. You’re merely an annoyance.

    At any rate, when a blogger tells you you’re far too high-maintenance a commenter to be bothered with, the best recourse is generally not to ask to hash things out again in great detail. I haven’t hit the ban button. Count your blessings and let it go, Or else.

  114. 614
    omnicrom

    StevoR we have not needed to read anything into your posts. Your racism leaped quite clearly into the forefront, it wasn’t hidden at all.

  115. 615
    Lofty

    StevoR, your whining about being hard done by is tedious. When you can manage some reasoned, intelligent comments that are free of racist overtones, then maybe the Horde will reconsider their opinion of you. Accent on maybe. The only things that people here have to judge you on is your comments. And quite frequently, they suck.

  116. 616
    vaiyt

    StevoR, your posts speak to me by themselves. I don’t need you to tell me what to think of your paranoid racist dribble.

  117. 617
    Amphiox

    StevoR, you have still learned nothing, I see. Still refusing to accept any personal responsibility for the content of your own comments. Still blaming others for “misunderstanding” you.

    You are pathetic.

    Until you show at least a glimmer of the possibility for the potential for self-awareness you are not worth engaging.

    Goodbye.

  118. 618
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Janine @575:
    Headdesk times 3!

    Renee reads A Voice for Men??!!

    Reap-cannot write coherent paragraphs and has an obsession with PZ-Paden is one of her reads??!!

    And seriously, what can one enjoy reading about when it comes to Noel-lets make it all about me-Plum?

    And she really claims to be a feminist??

  119. 619
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    StevoR:
    You lost any benefit of the doubt in my book once I read several of your comments (yes, in full context).

    You have said racist things (your Western values, your Islamophobia, your “melanin enhanced”, your denial of race, your elimination of the struggles of people affected by race…these things mark your racism. I do not give two shits if you agree or not. Clearly you don’t. Thats because you not only fail to grok racism, your privileged, arrogant ass doesn’t even care to try).

    You have been an advocate of murdering people (yes, those terrorists in the Middle East who pose no threat to you are people and so are the innocent civilians that would die in your proposed Daisy Cutter bombardments).

    I dislike you so much that I skip any links you post.
    I despise much of what you have written in the past.
    I would shed no tear if you were banned.

  120. 620
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    To add one more thing you racist fucker,

    YOU HAVE SAID RACIST SHIT WITHIN THE LAST FEW MONTHS.

    And

    THE PROOF OF YOUR ASSHATTERY HAS BEEN PROVIDED OVER AND OVER!

    God, stop being such a pathetic wretch and go somewhere else.

    (All: Sorry for the shouting. I am sick of this ROCKSTAR denying his racism and his ‘please be nice to me ‘ whinefests.)

  121. 621
    Lofty

    Must go look at some more enlightened StevoR posts cute baby bunny videos. Then its my bedtime.

  122. 622
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Well, there was nothing racist in the comment that launched the conversation today.

    I find it most useful to ignore StevoR when he doesn’t say objectionable things, in threads unrelated to racism, since I don’t see much use in turning every conversation into one about him. Of course, if Chris doesn’t want StevoR to comment in his threads at all and warns StevoR about it, that’s another thing and I can’t say I mind. I’ve been in favor of a ban for a while anyway.

    Since we’re here now, I have to note that StevoR does lie when he writes that racist statements by him are being dragged only from years old comments and/or out of context.

  123. 623
    vaiyt

    Well, Beatrice, it was StevoR who decided to bring his past reputation up.

  124. 624
    Nick Gotts

    They say Australia now produces some of the world’s finest quality whines.

  125. 625
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Nick:
    You have me in stitches! Hahahaha!
    ****
    Beatrice:
    I think you have the right approach. Ignoring him in other threads is pretty much what I do. For a while I was not going to respond to anything he wrote-even here-but not calling out the racist crap he spews allows it to persist unchallenged.

  126. 626
    Nick Gotts

    Tony! The Queer Shoop,
    Thanks! I now usually ignore StevoR unless he’s actually spewing racist crap, but he’s a puzzle. Doesn’t he realize that the whining just makes him even more disliked? Is he actually getting a kick out of it?

  127. 627
    ChasCPeterson

    Tony, it’s never gone unchallenged. When you show up hours later merely to ‘me too’ it’s just dogpiling. It gives me the impression that you’re signalling the local ingroup more than talking directly to Stevo.

  128. 628
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Is he actually getting a kick out of it?

    This is exactly what I can’t figure out. He says he likes the content of the blog. Fine. Read it, and shut the fuck up. If we’re all so unfair and misguided and oppressive to him, why keep trying to hang out with us by insisting on commenting until you are literally prevented from doing so? I don’t geddit.

  129. 629
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Chas:
    I agree with some of what you say.

    I should not have implied that his crap goes unchallenged. It completely does get challenged. Frequently. By multiple commenters. That came out completely wrong. I apologize.

    I should have said “I cannot sit by and not call him out about it.”.
    Also, there are times when I cannot immediately respond to comments because I am working. I do not feel there should be a statute of limitations with regard to when I respond to someone. If I cannot do so for 12 hours, so be it.
    I do agree about the dogpiling.
    But I do not care about that either. This isn’t a frivilous issue here. I believe I have said a bit more than “me too”. Your implication that I come in, jump on the bandwagon and dogpile StevoR, doing nothing more than agreeing with everyone else is mildly insulting.

  130. 630
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Also, when commenting on open threads, I often respond to comments as I read them, rather than waiting until I get to the end of the thread.
    And hell, whats the problem with dogpiling someone who says racist crap anyway?

  131. 631
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Do you know me?

    NO you don’t.

    Does it occur to you that I might not be the strawmonster caricature that you and a few others who are mistaken or outright lying have painting me as here?

    I was going to just ignore you from now on since frankly I don’t make it to Pharyngula as much as I used to and there are so many other things to read / care about / comment on here, but since you’re responding directly to me

    I’ve read your comments. I’ve read your directly racist comments and the ones where you are saying things in what you consider jest but they belie something real about you and follow the pattern that everyone here has pointed out to you multiple times. You may think you aren’t saying offensive racist things, but you are. And your continued denial in the face of them just makes it worse and more annoying. So when you say things like in the thread you linked above you may think it’s some witticism about splash damage, but it betrays things many of us have seen and pointed out that fit the pattern.

    Instead of you reassessing the things you’ve said you double down and deny, obfuscate or ignore.

    Any I’ve never outright lied about anything concerning you.

    No I do not know you personally, I can only go by the things you say and have said here.

    So once again and then I’ll go back to StevoR lurking, if you do not want to be called a racist, stop saying racist things. If you do not want to be called a bad person, stop giving people reasons to to call you that.

  132. 632
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    any = and

  133. 633
    Ing

    What have I ever said or done against you?

    I’m asking for one more chance – that’s all.

    Was that specifically targeted to one person or can anyone answer?

    Follow up question: do I even need to answer?

  134. 634
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    SteveOR, you want another chance?

    Fine.

    Earn it.

    Earn it by admitting that when you called for everyone in Gaza to be killed, this was racist.

    Earn it by admitting that when you called Western society superior, this was racist.

    Earn it by admitting that when you called Muslims degenerate, this was racist.

    Earn it. Demonstrate that you have learned.

    And then, stop saying racist shit.

  135. 635
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    New chewtoys to the StevoRdome, Stat!

  136. 636
    Brony

    I have a proposal with respect to online harassment. I want to meet, and maybe train Rhetorical Assassins and organize ethical counter strikes in online forums where speech is being suppressed.

    Now that I just dropped a bunch of very loaded words let me define them and my intentions for you.

    Harassment
    What I defined here,
    http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/#comment-196218
    …when arguing with the Projectionists from the Pit. Why harasser instead of harass? Because the target is more important, we already know the behavior.
    Individuals who have the effect of de facto emotionally draining the people they disagree with instead of exchanging ideas, and/or de facto replace communication with suppression of the message. This is a matter of basic human psychology and I will back this up with citations if you wish. When a person has to spend too much time dealing with:

    *bullshit about appearance, sexuality, parentage, or any other insulting language instead of their message. This includes visual attacks like photoshoped images and disturbing visual spam
    *misrepresentations, distortions, and outright deception concerning their position or person. This includes fake accounts pretending to be the person, and I will toss in hacked accounts because I can see that happening someday
    *repetition of the above to a level that the victim can not keep up with and distracts from their message

    It tires them out. Its human behavior designed to make the person give up and go away and “Win” instead of trying to be find out what the world is really like. I loathe it like nothing else.

    Ethical Counterstrikes
    I would define this as specifically responding to instances of harassment as fast as we can. Once there the object is not abuse, but will be perceived as an attack because of unavoidable human nature. Like it or not criticism is felt as abuse to a bully. I work in a middle school in a southern state and I see it every day. A harasser hates their behavior pointed out like nothing else so I assert that the perception of criticism be is a fact of reality in a combat situation, which is what the harasser is transforming place of communication into, a combat zone.

    So I propose that volunteer squads of individuals with excellent critical and logical skills be organized into teams. The object of these teams is moral support, and rescue of the victims message. We do this with hyper-criticism shaped to direct the harassers comments back to the topic. Relentlessly, neutrally, and specifically. No insult is to be used that is not based on a real observation of behavior that is related to the suppression of the victims message.

    Reality is to be respected, used, and deception is to be shunned as we do not mix ourselves with what they are.

    Our target should be precisely defined, and our aims no less precise. Are you trying to hurt people, don’t do this. Are you trying to provide moral support, consider doing this. Are you trying to support someone having a right to have their ideas seriously considered in a general sense? Consider doing this. How would I define the most acceptable deliberate harm? You want to create a catharsis in your target.

    How seriously should you take this? Consider that I try to have a neurobiologically consistent view of all human behavior. Discussion, argument, harassment, WHARRGARBLE. These are functions with structures and histories, and utterly relevant life histories, even in assholes. It’s not for fun.

  137. 637
    John Morales

    Brony posses of rhetorical assassins are sure to be intimidating.

    It’s not for fun.

    But it could be, right?

  138. 638
    Brony

    @John Morales

    How you feel about what you do is unimportant as long as you have ethics about it. It’s like martial arts in my mind. As long as you take as much care as you can to be effective and minimize harm, and be willing to apologize when making a mistake, you can have as much fun as you can stand.

  139. 639
    mikmik

    I have a proposal with respect to online harassment. I want to meet, and maybe train Rhetorical Assassins and organize ethical counter strikes in online forums where speech is being suppressed.

    Let’s gang up!

    A harasser hates their behavior pointed out like nothing else so I assert that the perception of criticism be is a fact of reality in a combat situation, which is what the harasser is transforming place of communication into, a combat zone.

    Anyway, this place is crawling with rhetorical assassins, rhetorical ninjas, rectoral bombardiers, bullock matadore, and hot sauciness that will put your eye out at 50 comments.

    Unless you call it a posse. But no tattoos, not unless they are cool ones.

  140. 640
    Brony

    @ mikmik
    Well the training would be a group thing. I’m not going to pretend that I’m the only one that can be hyper analytical and reduce an idiot to gibbering mush that no one respects. What I claim to bring to things is a unique perspective and ability. I know my own inner impulses to the point that I can understand a lot more of what most people do, and I can translate that into test better than most because of the circumstances of my person and life experience.

    I first mentioned the issue here,
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/03/06/not-about-the-words/#comment-211297

    And with all honesty it has to do with controversial issues. Essentially I have a particular advantage because of my life experience and nature. I have a hard time hearing Bullshit and I’m better than most at following a textual evidence trail for maximum advantage. Sort of a “Evolutionary Psychology in a legitimate form”.

    Arguments are of course welcome. How could it be any other way?

  141. 641
    Brony

    “test” in “…translate that into test…” should actually be text. I’m afraid that I have an attached ADHD issue and am not the best self editor on occasion.

  142. 642
    Brony

    Text! Stupid pattern sensitivity…

  143. 643
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Three days ago, it was warm and there were frogs, un-hibernating and heading for the ponds.

    Now there is snow and ice.

    WTF, weather?

  144. 644
    Lofty

    WTF, weather?

    Today’s forecast top temperature for sunny Adelaide is 39C, tomorrow 25C.
    It’s the job of chaotic systems to be chaotic. Perfectly predictable weather would be evidence for a meddling deity or something.

  145. 645
    chigau (違う)

    brony #636
    No.

  146. 646
    vaiyt

    Just recently, a pious, racist, homophobic scumbag got elected as the president of my congressional human rights commission.

    Joy.

  147. 647
    vaiyt

    Well, these are the same people that voted a criminal to direct the ethics commission, but even I thought that deciding a guy who calls black people “the cursed sons of Cain” is the right person to review human rights legislation was too much.

  148. 648
    richardh

    what do the squiggly lines on the pavement mean?

    Pedestrian crossing no-parking zone: You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines.
    HTH.

  149. 649
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Brony: Have you logged on before as Lt. Aldo Raine. Cuz this seems familiar.

  150. 650
    Brony

    So that’s two interested here, a couple expressed interest at Almost Diamonds. One against here.

    I have had experience making this defensive hyper-criticism work. I’m a moderator of a discussion imageboard that spawned off of 4chan. It was a place where people got harassed for their opinions all the time. I started relentlessly focusing hyper-criticism on anyone displaying the following attributes:
    *They avoid answering your questions, no matter how many of theirs you answer
    *They take more complicated issues and run off on incorrect tangents and pretend it is your subject to confuse readers
    *They load their paragraphs with assertions offered as fact and resist all attempts to link them to reality
    *When they do give you a link to reality it is usually more opinion! No actual primary sources!
    *When they describe the content of the position of another you discover that what is represented as paraphrase is dishonest hyperbole at best. You are made into an exaggeration.
    *They engage in projection over and over and over. What they do, they attempt to place on you while they obfuscate.
    *They strike the abused victim stand themselves and try to scream louder than the real victim while offering no evidence that they have been victimized

    A year later I was asked to be a moderator and about a year after that the community is a place where lots of people feel that they can actually have a decent conversation.

    There is a form to it and it has wonderful effectiveness in groups. The key is to not be abusive and let the legitimate criticism do it’s work. I break it down like this.

    One short paragraph, one short take-down after another, for each dishonest, illogical, incorrect, or abusive comment.
    1. Identify their main subject in their words. This is the part that is an assertion all by itself. Common subjects:
    * Your position “restated” (any change in your wording must be defended)
    * An objective piece of reality (blog post, video, content of any kind, an event)
    * A “summary” of what some other group is like, or what they do
    2. Identify the supporting information statement and it’s nature. If it is absent, point out that this is an assertion and can be rejected without evidence. This is essentially the “why” statement that logically connects their
    3. After identifying the “why” statement identify the primary source for the point that comes from the connection between 1 and 2 and see if the source supports what they say. If there is no source than this is an asserted argument, but can still be rejected without evidence.

    Finally if you get an argument and a source you can do what we should get to do this entire time. Assess a proper argument to see if it holds up. If I get the chance I try to point out why one should choose to avoid their tactics, and I point out the deception to the audience and make it crystal clear why no one should be interested in what they say.

    I would love to find better alternatives, but how else do we make it useless for anyone to engage in online harassment? I think a concerted effort to take away their effectiveness is a good idea.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about a format for this? Should I start a forum? A blog? An imageboard even? I’m still planning and trying to find out just how many people I might get involved in an initial experimental run.

    @ chigau 645
    No.

    No not interested? No it’s a bad idea?

  151. 651
    Brony

    @Antiochus Epiphanes 649
    Brony: Have you logged on before as Lt. Aldo Raine. Cuz this seems familiar.
    No I have not. But this seems like something that someone else could have proposed at some point.

  152. 652
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I can’t remember exactly what Lt. Aldo Rain had suggested, but I think the following captures the gist:

    My name is Lt. Aldo Raine and I’m putting together a special team, and I need me eight soldiers. Eight Jewish-American soldiers. Now, y’all might’ve heard rumors about the armada happening soon. Well, we’ll be leaving a little earlier. We’re gonna be dropped into France, dressed as civilians. And once we’re in enemy territory, as a bushwhackin’ guerrilla army, we’re gonna be doin’ one thing and one thing only… killin’ Nazis. Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I sure as hell didn’t come down from the goddamn Smoky Mountains, cross five thousand miles of water, fight my way through half of Sicily and jump out of a fuckin’ air-o-plane to teach the Nazis lessons in humanity. Nazi ain’t got no humanity. They’re the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin’, mass murderin’ maniac and they need to be dee-stroyed. That’s why any and every every son of a bitch we find wearin’ a Nazi uniform, they’re gonna die. Now, I’m the direct descendant of the mountain man Jim Bridger. That means I got a little Injun in me. And our battle plan will be that of an Apache resistance. We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are. And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the German won’t not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives. And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they’re tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with. Sound good?

    Now I appreciate your offer of training, and it is an offer that I gladly accept. However, you should know something of my credentials. From my biosketch:

    The reason for Hugo Stiglitz’s celebrity among German soldiers is simple. As a German enlisted man, he killed thirteen Gestapo officers. Instead of putting him up against a wall, the High Command decided to send him back to Berlin, to be made an example of. Needless to say, once the Basterds heard of him, he never got there.

    I’m ready to go pro. Count me in.

  153. 653
    Brony

    @ Antiochus Epiphanes 652

    Now I get your meaning, and I heartily approve.

    I can’t claim to be a pro and I would submit that Rhetorical Assassination is a new enough thing that all involved would be teaching each other, and me. Pro is something yet to be defined. What I can lay claim to is a unique skill set and life experience.

    I approach this in such a precise way because I have learned that I get to choose my OCD’s to an extent. I’m one of those rare things that creationists like to ignore, a mutant that gets benefits in a particular niche. The fact that I love to read neurobiology literature is just a nice addition.

    “Children With Tourette’s Quicker At Certain Mental Grammar Skills”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070713131417.htm

    “Speeded processing of grammar and tool knowledge in Tourette’s syndrome”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955429/

    While the details are still being ironed out, I would say that I have an advantage when it comes to rule and procedure based language. In addition the literature also says that I have problems with non-literal language and as everyone here knows, deception and subterfuge is FULL if non-literal language. So I essentially have a mutant superpower that lets me ignore their bullshit and focus on the logic of how they are arguing so I can get to their real meaning. But these things are always better with other people involved.

  154. 654
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    carlie:

    what do the squiggly lines on the pavement mean?

    richardh:

    Pedestrian crossing no-parking zone

    *lightbulb*

    Butbutbut … that’s not pavement! That’s the road!! Over here, “pavement” is the bit you walk on … ;-)

    (I can be dense sometimes.)

  155. 655
    John Morales

    Brony:

    While the details are still being ironed out, I would say that I have an advantage when it comes to rule and procedure based language.

    So, before and after the ironing out of details you wouldn’t say that.

    In addition the literature also says that I have problems with non-literal language and as everyone here knows, deception and subterfuge is FULL if non-literal language.

    So is rhetoric.

    In addition the literature also says that I have problems with non-literal language and as everyone here knows, deception and subterfuge is FULL if non-literal language.

    If it’s full, then there’s no room for more, and since there’s no room for more it must be entirely non-literal; therefore any contention where any amount of literalness occurs cannot be deception or subterfuge.

    So I essentially have a mutant superpower that lets me ignore their bullshit and focus on the logic of how they are arguing so I can get to their real meaning.

    I can see that making a virtue out of necessity helps you cope with your affliction, but I put it to you that someone who has no such problem grasping metaphor, allusion or insinuation is in a better position than you when it comes to rhetorical deconstruction.

  156. 656
    Brony

    I guess while I figure out the proper format I will expand on my intentions.

    The issue here is behavior, not people. The list of behaviors that I made above is my target. I like to assassinate rhetoric and since we are primates with expanded symbology skills, there are pattens to rhetoric (and I’m sure in time we will have quite a list). These patterns have counter patterns. Every logical fallacy has a goal and that ultimate goal is to avoid and suppress the object of another person. These objects are usually arguments and opinions from our perspective.

    So I don’t see my target as another person. I see my target as a pattern of behavior and that is what I prepare to counter. If the person drops the pattern of behavior I flip a mental switch and go from argument to discussion. I WANT them to join the ranks of civilized people who got used to bad behavior from the early days of the internet. If they disagree with me I’m fine with that and am prepared to let society go where it will with my voice as one among many. But society evolves and if we are to change communal behavior we need to show them why we have standards of behavior.

    There are always bigger fish in the sea. Do you want humanity to advance?

  157. 657
    Brony

    @ John Morales 655

    So, before and after the ironing out of details you wouldn’t say that.

    Except that my life experience counts. I get to say how I believe my condition is expressed. You are free to disagree.

    So is rhetoric.

    But there is an important difference in my case. I have an absolute dedication to reality and making my behavior and beliefs consistent with reality. That gives me a trail to follow.

    If it’s full, then there’s no room for more, and since there’s no room for more it must be entirely non-literal; therefore any contention where any amount of literalness occurs cannot be deception or subterfuge.

    I was being a bit exaggerated myself, thank you for keeping me honest. TS makes it a bit too easy to showboat.

    If something is trying to lead away from reality it must provide a convincing approximation. As an example I offer something I call “Paraphrasing while Present”. When someone paraphrases while present they offer a “OMG WHARRGARLE BLABLABLA!!!” version of a persons position or argument. Is that paraphrase accurate? The person offering the “paraphrase” who is honest makes sure that their summary is accurate.

    But again and again I see dishonest people fill those quotes with dishonesty, and flatly refuse to quote a person’s real words. Their actual meaning is to move the audience away from a persons actual position relative to an object.

    I can see that making a virtue out of necessity helps you cope with your affliction, but I put it to you that someone who has no such problem grasping metaphor, allusion or insinuation is in a better position than you when it comes to rhetorical deconstruction.

    Prove it. I’m not here to challenge you on anything so I would be interested in your choice of target. I can grasp metaphor, but the issue to me is reality so the faster we get away from allusions, hyperbole, and everything else the better. I use them for education all the time. “Problems with non-literal language” does not equal inability

  158. 658
    John Morales

    Brony:

    there are pattens to rhetoric (and I’m sure in time we will have quite a list)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Rhetorical_techniques

  159. 659
    John Morales

    Brony:

    You are free to disagree.

    I always was, but there was no disagreement there, only snark. :)

    You ever coded?

    while (condition) {statements;}

  160. 660
    Brony

    John Morales 658

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Rhetorical_techniques

    I completely agree that this is important. But we are dealing with a rather specific group of people. We will want our own list of techniques that are used by them.

    Not to mention that language is always evolving. There will be new ways to refuse to deal with a person’s position. Logic and reason, whatever they are, did not develop as a means to determine reality. They developed as a means to win.

  161. 661
    Brony

    @ John Morales 659

    I always was, but there was no disagreement there, only snark. :)

    Fair enough. I don’t consider what I have a disability so snark away. I need the practice. XD

    You ever coded?

    No. I’m a huge biology nerd and I feel that learning html at least would benefit me immensely but I have not had the opportunity to take such a thing seriously.

  162. 662
    John Morales

    Brony:

    But we are dealing with a rather specific group of people. We will want our own list of techniques that are used by them.

    Really. Can you offer me but one novel technique?

    Logic and reason, whatever they are, did not develop as a means to determine reality. They developed as a means to win.

    Logic is rigorous formal reasoning, reasoning is conscious examination of ideas, and reason is the faculty that allows reasoning. They were developed to understand things.

  163. 663
    ChasCPeterson

    again and again I see dishonest people fill those quotes with dishonesty, and flatly refuse to quote a person’s real words. Their actual meaning is to move the audience away from a persons actual position relative to an object.

    Yep. Or they do quote the words but then offer a twisted ‘translation’. There are some excellent examples of this going on over at Michael Nugent’s. It’s really tiresome.

  164. 664
    John Morales

    Brony:

    While the details are still being ironed out, I would say that I have an advantage when it comes to rule and procedure based language.

    So, before and after the ironing out of details you wouldn’t say that.

    I can be even more clear: you meant to express that the details are still being ironed out and also that you would say that you have an advantage when it comes to rule and procedure based language (and by “would” you meant “do”), but what you did write was a conditional claim itself in the subjunctive mood.

  165. 665
    Brony

    Really. Can you offer me but one novel technique?

    Mostly I take the best techniques and make them into effective routines. But the deafness to dishonest non-literal language does let me recognize a few new things (which are not new but rather underutilized until now). The “Paraphrasing while Present” is an example of defining such a “new thing” with alliteration to make it more memorable (thanks ChasCPeterson). I consider a person on the internet present. There is no need to paraphrase them when you have access to their real words. Why would someone paraphrase them?

    They want to misrepresent them.

    If I think I find something new I will be sure to run it by you. ;)

    Logic is rigorous formal reasoning, reasoning is conscious examination of ideas, and reason is the faculty that allows reasoning. They were developed to understand things.

    Why did they want to understand things? To overcome something. None of this appeared from nowhere. We tend to be content with what we have and understand (as a group) unless we have something to overcome. Evolution is about challenge and logic/reason is likely a byproduct of symbolic thought.

    ETOH level is rising. I may take a break until tomorrow.

  166. 666
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    [I've never coded but] I feel that learning html at least would benefit me immensely

    <snicker/> (stealing JM’s meme!)

    If I could learn those base pair thingies, it would really help me be a biologist.

  167. 667
    Brony

    @ John Morales 664

    I can be even more clear: you meant to express that the details are still being ironed out and also that you would say that you have an advantage when it comes to rule and procedure based language (and by “would” you meant “do”), but what you did write was a conditional claim itself in the subjunctive mood.

    True enough. The science is incomplete but it exists. I can have an advantage in certain social contexts and I am arguing that text based internet communication is one of them. I try to be as ethical as I can about using this research, but I will not pretend that it does not exist. I can be convinced to use it differently however…

    My background is real. I can point you to my Masters thesis and facebook page if you want. After touching base with the other mods (it’s only fair) I can point you to the discussion forum that I moderate. I appreciate that you are willing to point out where I am not quite representing myself the way I intend.

  168. 668
    John Morales

    Brony:

    I consider a person on the internet present. There is no need to paraphrase them when you have access to their real words. Why would someone paraphrase them?

    They want to misrepresent them.

    So, you claim that needless paraphrasing entails a desire to misrepresent, and further that any paraphrasing of a present interlocutor is needless.

    (How unimaginative!)

  169. 669
    John Morales

    Brony:

    My background is real. I can point you to my Masters thesis and facebook page if you want.

    I think maintaining pseudonymity would not be a bad thing for you, nor should you imagine I disbelieve you. So no, I don’t want.

    PS Welcome to Thunderdome!

  170. 670
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Sorry, should put a smiley. Here. :-)

    Honestly, though, markup language is not programming. Sequence-iteration-choice: HTML does not have it.

  171. 671
    consciousness razor
    Logic and reason, whatever they are, did not develop as a means to determine reality. They developed as a means to win.

    Logic is rigorous formal reasoning, reasoning is conscious examination of ideas, and reason is the faculty that allows reasoning. They were developed to understand things.

    I have to side with John, here. Logic was developed, in the ancient world, for doing metaphysics. The point isn’t to “win” a “debate,” but to know what the world is and act upon that knowledge. Sophists, who were out to win no matter what the truth was (or even rejected certain concepts of “truth”), generally had a rather unsavory reputation, at least in circles where anyone used “logic” in the Platonist and Aristotelian traditions, which is not to say many of the latter didn’t make such mistakes anyway. Yes, you could say they were trying to “win” against various obstacles present in their lives (rather than against adversaries in a debate), but that does not imply it isn’t “a means to determine reality.” It certainly is. That’s what they used it for and what we still use it for.

    Of course, logic alone doesn’t suffice for that either, as some thought, because for one thing, logic doesn’t need to rely on evidence. There’s no need to do logic with the assumption that the nature of things can change or that some things are probably true because of this or that experience. You can just grind out syllogisms endlessly, without respect to any of that. This was a problem for them not because they thought it was how they could “win” something when in fact they lost, because that wasn’t the point (and “logic” didn’t lose in the big scheme of things anyway). It was a problem because they thought that’s how the truth in some cosmic sense had to be determined, when in fact that isn’t an effective way of arriving at something like the truth in many cases. They may not have agreed that their views were problematic (because there’s no need to be an empiricist), but that’s presumably what they would’ve thought the disagreement is about: how to determine reality.

  172. 672
    Brony

    @ John Morales 668

    So, you claim that needless paraphrasing entails a desire to misrepresent, and further that any paraphrasing of a present interlocutor is needless.

    (How unimaginative!)

    No. Only that paraphrasing is an easy avenue to misrepresent. If I were dictator for a day I would ban paraphrasing and demand that everyone use a person’s real words. I consider paraphrasing somewhat dehumanizing.

    PS Welcome to Thunderdome!

    Thank you. I have been a bit paranoid for what I hope are obvious reasons, but than again maybe not.

  173. 673
    John Morales

    Brony,

    Only that paraphrasing is an easy avenue to misrepresent.

    Did I misrepresent what you wrote when I paraphrased you above?

    I consider paraphrasing somewhat dehumanizing.

    Are you sure you know what the word means? :)

    (A paraphrase is only a rephrasing of the original claim; the meaning is maintained)

  174. 674
    Brony

    @ John Morales 673
    Did I misrepresent what you wrote when I paraphrased you above?
    Not that I can tell. You only mistook my meaning, The people I primarily oppose deliberately (or maybe not to be disturbing with respect to human nature) misrepresent others.

    I’m pretty sure that I know what the word means. I have to investigate each individual example of a person who “Paraphrases while Present” so I don’t tend to make assumptions.

  175. 675
    John Morales

    Brony,

    You only mistook my meaning

    What makes you imagine that? ;)

    Point is, like most people you are very imprecise when expressing your ideas.

    Ain’t much good telling me of your procedural linguistic advantage when what you write is not what you mean; you want to be a rhetorical warrior, then don’t let others do unto you as you would do unto them.

  176. 676
    John Morales

    Brony,

    I’m pretty sure that I know what the word means. I have to investigate each individual example of a person who “Paraphrases while Present” so I don’t tend to make assumptions.

    I also think you should make explicit the distinction between actual paraphrase and purported (but not actual) paraphrase, since I infer that it’s the latter to which you mean to refer.

    Obviously, calling out the latter is the obvious thing to do when it occurs.

  177. 677
    erikthebassist

    Not sure if this is super bad form or not, but I recently started blogging again, and I don’t see anyone else talking about SNL’s Romantic Comedy skit from this most recent episide. I was pretty shocked by it and it’s relevant to a lot of the issues we discuss here, so I ranted about it. You should be able to click my nym to get to it.

    I just didn’t want to past a wall of text here. If it’s bad form feel free to let PZ know so he can replace it with fuzzy bunnies if he wants. =)

  178. 678
    Brony

    @john Morales 675

    /blockquote>What makes you imagine that? ;)

    Point is, like most people you are very imprecise when expressing your ideas.
    Perhaps it is not due to intent, but to training? I am doing what I can and I can only hope that if there is an objective reality that it will eventually be enough.

    Ain’t much good telling me of your procedural linguistic advantage when what you write is not what you mean; you want to be a rhetorical warrior, then don’t let others do unto you as you would do unto them.

    Agreed. I must streamline my ways. My heritage is fighting me Or maybe the alcohol. I abstain for the night. *bows*

  179. 679
    John Morales

    erikthebassist,

    Not sure if this is super bad form or not

    Not.

    PS Bunnies are Clarke’s thing, not PZ’s.

  180. 680
    mikmik

    So I don’t see my target as another person. I see my target as a pattern of behavior and that is what I prepare to counter.

    I see my target as misinformation. I don’t see anyone as a target, or am trying not to. Misstatements are the issue.

    If the person drops the pattern of behavior I flip a mental switch and go from argument to discussion.

    What is the difference? I take it you don’t mean debate when you say argument, you mean some kind of battle of attrition, no? That’s manipulation, and manipulation is dishonest.

    I WANT them to join the ranks of civilized people who got used to bad behavior from the early days of the internet. If they disagree with me I’m fine with that and am prepared to let society go where it will with my voice as one among many. But society evolves and if we are to change communal behavior we need to show them why we have standards of behavior.

    Treat them civilized. Preconceptions of battle sounds to me like a personal vendetta or agenda. Granted, it is possible to sway some through shaming them, or nailing their ass to the floor so that they can only get up if they admit to a few facts.
    I have no idea what works best, but while (agreement<1){
    if(
    giving someone the benefit of the doubt, or at least sticking to their statements as the point of your rebuttals, is probably the best approach. As I mentioned, though, I haven’t seen any research on this. This also takes discipline, which is just a theory in my case, LMAO!);
    else(
    They may also have grave emotional difficulties seared into their neurophysiological make-up, and I think this is golden territory for the creatively subtle smackdown + worse);
    document.write('reply');
    };

    – - – -
    I just think that trying to get someone to behave a certain way through manipulation or force(through numbers) is destined to fail, although I disagree with it not being fun.

    Also, I’d like to say welcome, Brony. :)

  181. 681
    Aratina Cage

    So, I was doing a little check in at Michael Nugent’s place to see if anyone else had responded to the slimepitters, and I run into this:

    Chas: Well, I have no love for Aratina Cage (it’s mutual)

    Well it wasn’t mutual and I have no idea what made you think it was, but thanks for letting me know.

  182. 682
    erikthebassist

    Chas is at best a fence rider, but at times has admitted to siding with the pit. He does a good job of avoiding the ban hammer here but don’t think for a second he’s not a pitter at heart.

  183. 683
    John Morales

    erikthebassist:

    He does a good job of avoiding the ban hammer here but don’t think for a second he’s not a pitter at heart.

    Your ignorance is showing.

  184. 684
    erikthebassist

    How so JM?

  185. 685
    John Morales

    erikthebassist, Chas speaks for himself, much as I do.

    (Pitters are wannabe Pharynguloids, Chas repudiated his OM)

  186. 686
    erikthebassist

    I don’t mean that rhetorically John, I’m happy to be enlightened, but I have seen him literally side with the pitters, at least once. From memory the quote was something along the lines of ‘forced to choose the laser of two evils, I Choose the pit’. Don’t ask for a link because I don’t have the energy to go digging for it now, but it was recent, I think on nugent’s blog.

  187. 687
    athyco

    I’d say you got that backwards, Erik. (ChasCPeterson #195 on “Examples of ‘nasty pushback’ against some atheists/feminists on the internet”)

    By and large, when pharyngulistas (and the FtB bloggers) get nasty, they are being reactive to specific statements. It’s reactive, and it’s fundamentally about ideas. (Don’t bother citing anecdotes to the contrary, I’m talking gestalt.) The worst of the pit is deliberately cruel to individual people. It’s proactive and it’s about individuals, and it’s relentless. I read Pharyngula comments and roll my eyes pretty often; I also selectively employ a killfile. I read the Slymepit (well, more the erv threads before the y, but also a couple of recent looks) and I feel repulsed by all the assholes. It’s a very different gestalt; I really think the two sites are populated by different classes of narcissistic blowhards. When I compare the hypothetical prospect of having a drink with the worst pharyngulistas as opposed to a random selection from the pit, I will go with the worst of Pharyngula every time. They just come off as better human beings in general.

  188. 688
    dontpanic

    Took a peek at Nugent’s reflections thread; probably shouldn’t have. For instance, I guess I’m confused by the, ah, “logic” of

    [Rebecca Watson] slandered Coffee Loving Skeptic by saying he called her a cunt twice, which he never did.

    . I thought ‘pitters thought calling someone a “cunt” was NoBigDeal™, a term of endearment even. So how is RW accusing someone of doing so “slander”? Not impressed by Peter Ferguson….

  189. 689
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Chas is at best a fence rider, but at times has admitted to siding with the pit. He does a good job of avoiding the ban hammer here but don’t think for a second he’s not a pitter at heart.

    You are mistaken. Chas may be a lot of things but he is not a Slymie. If you read the pit infested threads at Micheal Nugent’s blog, you will see that he was trying to set the record straight. Not that it meant shit. The Slymies have a narrative and facts did not stand to the repeated charges that FtB engages in censorship and the memory. And that the pit is the true home of true feminist.

    Never mind the stench of A Voice For Men.

    If you do not like Chas, erikthebassist, that is fine. We are not required to like everyone who are regulars. But, please, refrain from spreading bullshit like this. Chas deserves better. As do all of us.

  190. 690
    consciousness razor

    Chas doesn’t have much sympathy for the pitters. (Or any? I guess I mean that it’s something close to the appropriate amount.)

    The closest I’ve seen him come to that is being a little cranky when people won’t get off his lawn while talking about evo-psych and such, but that’s a dispute about the methodology and whether the critics really know what they’re talking about. Even if he’s got it all wrong in that department, it’s pretty obvious that he’s not doing it because he wants to sneak in sexist or racist bullshit, but because he wants to keep people honest. At least, that’s how I’ve interpreted it, based on what I’ve seen here over the years. (Don’t follow Nugent’s blog, so who knows what I’m missing there.)

  191. 691
    erikthebassist

    Ahh athyco dug out the the specific quote I was thinking of and I stand corrected, Ty, I read that in some other context and it got twisted around in my head.

    My apologies chas, I retract fully what I so cavalierly accused you of.

    Mea culpa

  192. 692
    erikthebassist

    See, that’s what happens when you spend too much time reading the pit threads, their incessant lies start to mingle with reality, and it becomes easier to mistake one for the other. Again, I apologize Chas.

  193. 693
    erikthebassist

    682 was a trigger finger post. I said “at times” when what I was thinking was “that one time that I vaguely remember” and said “at best” when what I was really thinking was, well nothing really. That was just bullshit, I’m sorry.

  194. 694
    Aratina Cage

    I never did think Chas was in any way supportive of the slimepit as a place and did not mean to imply that. Sorry if my comment misled you, Erik. (Word is that you’ve engaged the ‘pit. Good luck!) It just startled me and hurt a little more than I expected to see Chas write that about me (and to get my feelings in the matter wrong, grumpy as I may be about some of the things said at different times), especially since it comes on the heels of them attacking me as they have been doing at Nugent’s (which is mostly my fault anyway since I know they behave that way and yet I antagonize them on Twitter).

    I went back and read a little further after the hurt had diminished and saw that Chas says this, next:

    However, I feel that I have to point out that neither of them in fact called you a racist.

    True. Felix only said it was “a doozy”, and I tagged the tweet with the keyword “racism” because it is an issue of racism. Also, they have the whole timeline backwards. Felix is the one who notified me of “burning crosses” being put forth as something that could be OK to joke about. It was after that–after being alerted about it and after I went back to Nugent’s and read the comment on that topic–that I made the stupid tweet about it that riled the pitters up.

  195. 695
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales
    When you have some time, could you explain to me (using short sentences) what brony wants?

  196. 696
    Lofty

    I stumbled on this interesting article on trying to find suitable pictures to illustrate a story about encouraging women to become mechanics:
    http://jalopnik.com/5907784/the-seven-kinds-of-female-mechanics-according-to-stock-photos
    And the article that the search was for:
    http://jalopnik.com/5907622/ten-ways-to-inspire-women-gearheads?tag=Answers-Of-The-Day

  197. 697
    ChasCPeterson

    Aratina Cage: I’m sorry I said that. I didn’t have to, and I wish I hadn’t.
    *
    erikthebasist: [edited to remove caustic replies to earlier comments]
    Thanks for the apology. All good now.
    *
    Thanks John, athyco, Janine (!), and cr.
    *
    (As Coyne likes to say whenever he posts yet another self-portrait, please excuse the solipsism: not only have I successfully avoided the banhammer here, but teh ECO has said pretty explicitly that he doesn’t mind having me around.)

  198. 698
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    The closest I’ve seen him come to that is being a little cranky when people won’t get off his lawn while talking about evo-psych and such, but that’s a dispute about the methodology and whether the critics really know what they’re talking about. Even if he’s got it all wrong in that department, it’s pretty obvious that he’s not doing it because he wants to sneak in sexist or racist bullshit, but because he wants to keep people honest. At least, that’s how I’ve interpreted it, based on what I’ve seen here over the years.

    I can’t agree with this. The third possibility, which I think is the reality, is that he’s semi-consciously promoting sexist and racist bullshit. His statements for the past few years about that absurd vervet study – defending it as anything other than ludicrous and asserting that those pointing out its fatal stupidity are ideologically driven and don’t know how to read a scientific study – can only be explained by a determination at some level to defend sexist bullshit. At some point, you have to conclude that the reason a person can’t recognize problems that obvious for that long is that they can’t get past their sexism. I have no doubt, judging from Chas’s demonstrated analytical skills, that if that were a study about another topic he would have no difficulty appreciating its absurdity. My experience has been that he falls down analytically, and in a smug manner that’s totally disrespectful and thoughtless towards those who disagree with him, only when it comes to discussions of research about sex and race.

    I wish more people would call him out on this. I’m not bothering with him personally on this subject any longer, but it’s not OK for a community of skeptics to let this continue. That study is ridiculous, it and its defense are harmful, and apologies for it shouldn’t be tolerated.

  199. 699
    consciousness razor

    SC:

    I think you’re right about most or all of that, but it doesn’t imply he’s a “pitter at heart” or that he’s got some slimey agenda to destroy feminism.* I think he’s biased and more than a little sexist in certain ways, so in some sense it does come close, which is why it came to mind and why I thought it fair to mention in the first place. But I don’t think there’s any comparison with the kind of shit the slimewads do.

    *Or skepticism or humanism or whatever those fuckers are supposed to be against. It’s definitely not just one thing, but it’s hard for me to tell.

  200. 700
    erikthebassist

    I did engage them aratinacage, and I found out quickly what a waste of time that was. I won’t be going back.

  201. 701
    consciousness razor

    My experience has been that he falls down analytically, and in a smug manner that’s totally disrespectful and thoughtless towards those who disagree with him, only when it comes to discussions of research about sex and race.

    I want to mention that I wasn’t aware of any discussions about race (and evo-psych?) where Chas has acted like that. I can’t be sure that I’d have the same perspective on it (if he said similar things), but I’m just not sure what that’s about.

    That aside, my impression has been that he’s generally smug and disrespectful, like a lot of academics can be when their discipline (or something close to it) is criticized from the outside. I mean, I expect people to stop thinking clearly when they get defensive, but it’s not always clear what they’re defensive about or why.

  202. 702
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I think you’re right about most or all of that, but it doesn’t imply he’s a “pitter at heart” or that he’s got some slimey agenda to destroy feminism.* I think he’s biased and more than a little sexist in certain ways, so in some sense it does come close, which is why it came to mind and why I thought it fair to mention in the first place. But I don’t think there’s any comparison with the kind of shit the slimewads do.

    Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that at all, and probably should have made that clear. It was the part about trying to keep people honest vs. promoting sexism that I was disagreeing with.

    That study makes me very angry. I’m angry that it was done (why didn’t colleagues or approval boards point out how silly it was?), I’m angry that it was published, I’m angry that it’s been cited 138 times (to be sure, some portion of those are pointing out the stupidity, but the majority of the citations seem to be favorable), I’m angry that one of the authors proudly features a picture from it on her web site, I’m angry that people on the internet bring it up as evidence of innate sex differences, I’m angry that even the critics pointing out the ludicrousness have largely been excessivley polite and not insistent enough about demanding that the authors and promoters publicly defend it, I’m angry that otherwise intelligent people can’t immediately or quickly recognize how absurd it is, and I’m angry that the people who (embarrassingly) can’t do this actually say that those pointing out the obvious are scientifically-ignorant ideologues. We’re living in this sexist bizarro world, and I’m angry that these people don’t bother to investigate how they’re just the latest in a long line of people defending the worst pseudoscience because it supports their attitudes.

    I wish just one of the people who’s cited or defended it would come forward and say, “Holy shit! I get it now. I failed as a skeptic on that one. I’m embarrased, I apologize, and I’ll try to be more skeptical about research that supports the status quo in the future.” I keep hoping this is going to happen, but it doesn’t.

  203. 703
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I want to mention that I wasn’t aware of any discussions about race (and evo-psych?) where Chas has acted like that. I can’t be sure that I’d have the same perspective on it (if he said similar things), but I’m just not sure what that’s about.

    There have been several about race, but the ones I have in mind were at Sb and I don’t have the time or inclination to go searching for the threads.

    That aside, my impression has been that he’s generally smug and disrespectful, like a lot of academics can be when their discipline (or something close to it) is criticized from the outside. I mean, I expect people to stop thinking clearly when they get defensive, but it’s not always clear what they’re defensive about or why.

    Both Alexander and Hines, the authors of the vervet study, are in psychology departments (Alexander is a psychologist and Hines is a neuroscientist), and the study is seeking to address a question in human psychology. I’m a sociologist, and Chas is a biologist; I have more knowledge than Chas does about the history and sociology of science, particularly related to these questions, as do others like Nick Gotts who similarly tried to get him to understand. Who’s the outsider here? To the best of my knowledge, moreover, Chas hasn’t read (or at least hasn’t engaged with) the multiple reading suggestions on these topics that I and others have given him over the past several years, and has more than once dismissed critics as employing rhetoric rather than science. It required a lot of patience for me to deal with him for so long, because his arrogance and ignorance about these issues has been callous and hurtful.

  204. 704
    ChasCPeterson

    SC:

    The third possibility, which I think is the reality, is that he’s semi-consciously promoting sexist and racist bullshit.

    Fuck. You.
    Sincerely.

    His statements for the past few years about that absurd vervet study

    aaaaaand here we go yet again.
    You’re obsessive about this, you know that?

    defending it as anything other than ludicrous

    I would bet money that, without going back to reread ancient comments, you would be unable to accurately summarize anything I’ve ever said about that paper.
    All of which, btw, I stand by.
    Not the ‘translations’ and spinny paraphrases you always seem to be responding to, but the actual words I chose to type and post.

    and asserting that those pointing out its fatal stupidity are ideologically driven

    um, they are. All of them I’ve seen, anyway, you and C.F. Fine included. Why the fuck else would you be interested in a study of monkey behavior? Why the fuck else would you concentrate almost entirely on rhetoric and almost entirely ignore the data?

    and don’t know how to read a scientific study

    I’ve never said that about anybody but you, SC, and it’s demonstrably true.
    Scientific papers are conventionally, consciously, and rigorously constructed. When you deconstruct them, mixing statements and phrases from the Abstract, Intro, Results, and Discussion sections willy-nilly for rhetorical effect, as you did throughout your blogpost on the vervet study, you are IN POINT OF FACT doing it Wrong.

    can only be explained by a determination at some level to defend sexist bullshit.

    Nope. There are other possible explanations; for example, the real one.

    he falls down analytically…only when it comes to discussions of research about sex and race.

    You mean “only when he disagrees with Meee”. *shrug*
    Those happen to be the two subjects about which you North-campus people are most often full of shit, that’s all. I(it should go without abbreviating)MO.

    (For example, I deny having ever said anything that could be fairly characterized as ‘racist’. Never even once asserted or even implied any sort of superiority or inferiority of any human population. I have said, in the interest of scientific accuracy, that the venerated received wisdom of Lewontin (1972) is far from the last word on the genetic structure of human populations, which actually show considerable geographically correlated heterogeneity. That’s it. I’ll stand by that, too.)

    In short: fuck you.

  205. 705
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I’ll ignore the rest of Chas’s post (at this point, I’m almost fine with you continuing to make an ass of yourself, even if I am concerned that you’re now doing it under your real name), and just respond to this:

    You’re obsessive about this, you know that?

    I might quibble with the word “obsessive,” but I’ll cop to that. Nothing illustrates the continuing power of sexism in our culture and specifically in the atheist/skeptical/freethought community better than the publication and reception of that absurdity and the smug response to the people attempting to get others to acknowledge the stupidity. I’m not going to let it drop, whether others are bringing it up or not, and not I’m going to gently mock it. I’m going to call for either its retraction or it’s large-scale scientific condemnation, and for those who’ve cited it as anything other than pseudoscience to acknowledge their error and promise to do better in the future. I’m going to continue to point out that anyone defending it as science or evidence of anything other than the researchers’ profound failings is either a fool or an ideologue. I hope others will join me, but if they don’t, so be it. It’s important.

  206. 706
    myeck waters

    *WHEW!*
     
    For a few days there I thought the ‘dome was broken.

  207. 707
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ myeck waters

    *WHEW!*

    For a few days there I thought the ‘dome was broken.

    Nothing quite so bad. It’s just that the Thunderbar got flooded: Linky.

  208. 708
    SallyStrange
    The third possibility, which I think is the reality, is that he’s semi-consciously promoting sexist and racist bullshit.

    Fuck. You.
    Sincerely.

    Get over it, Chas. It happens to everyone. The smart ones deal with it, the stupid ones remain in denial.

  209. 709
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    So, short story:

    There is a man at my workplace, the head of the Telesales Department, who is a fervent believer and is in fact studying to join the ministry. All well and good, except another man I know who works in telesales, name of David, has recently become interested in religion for reasons unbeknownst to me, and was briefly persuaded by his manager’s statements regarding the lack of “links”, i.e. transitional fossils, as evidence for the evolution of man. Me and David had a chat about this in the smoking area during which I promised to send him a few links providing evidence for Human evolution. This I duly did; a wikipedia page listing every hominid fossil discovered, plus links to talkorigins.org, the Smithsonian Insititute’s Human Origins project, and a Britannica Online page regarding human evolution. David was pretty well persuaded by this and showed his boss the evidence, and I have just seen David again in the smoking area where he informed me that his boss said I need to check out creationism.org for information about why what I sent David was wrong.

    It’s like he assumes I haven’t heard all their bullshit arguments before. I’m going to read creationism.org and suddenly renounce evolution? One page compared to my 4 (and thats not even all I could have sent, I didn’t want to overwhelm David with a load of overly technical information)? What the fuck?

  210. 710
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Here’s one example of what I think is treading too lightly. (The relevant text is at this link:

    Grossi, G., & Fine, C. (2012). The role of fetal testosterone in the development of “the essential difference” between the sexes: Some essential issues. In R. Bluhm, A. Jacobson, and H. Maibom (Eds.), Neurofeminism: Issues at the Intersection of Feminist Theory and Cognitive Science.

    The whole thing’s worth a read.)

    There are two important points to be made about these findings (see Fine 2010a and for a further critique of the earlier study, see also Jordan-Young 2010). First, there are issues regarding the choice of ‘feminine’ toys. Although in human culture cooking utensils are associated with females due to their role in domestic caretaking, it is entirely unclear why a female predisposition toward a toy pan should be anticipated in monkey populations, which do not enjoy the art of heated cuisine. The pan was, however, the most popular toy for female vervets, and Alexander and Hines (2002) suggested that this may have been due to the appeal of its red color. This raises the possibility that other sex differences in toy preferences may have been due to confounding factors. It is also worth noting that a stuffed animal (a dog) was used as a ‘neutral’ stimulus by Alexander and Hines (and was in fact the most popular toy with male vervets), yet stuffed animals were used as ‘feminine’ stimuli by Hassett et al. even though, as Hines and Alexander (2008) point out, boys and girls like stuffed animals equally.

    That is, indeed, entirely unclear.* Fine’s been at the forefront of challenging some of this dreck, but I think the fact that she’s extremely collegial generally and possibly also freinds with Hines has led her to be overly gentle. Given that the article has been cited 138 times and continues to have a great deal of traction in popular culture and expecially amongst advocates of sexist EP, critics need to be more blunt and insistent. Defenses of this pseudoscience are epistemically unethical and harmful (to human beings and to science), and need to be called out at every opportunity.

    *There are of course many more problems, as I’ve discussed, but this is by far the biggest.

  211. 711
    PZ Myers

    NEW THREAD.

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