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Last word for now

I have communicated with Ken White at Popehat, who often secures pro bono assistance for bloggers threatened with defamation suits. He has committed to help me and to attempt to secure counsel for me.

Comments

  1. believerskeptic says

    Okay, I think I’m getting it.

    It doesn’t matter what positive contribution someone tried to make in the past.

    If they’re not Pure, we dump on them and excoriate them. Because, they’re, you know, not perfect like we are. Not Pure. Because god knows, none of us have ever made a mistake in our lives. We’re Pure, and purely orthodox in our thinking. Run afoul of our orthodoxy, and out you go.

    I’m really disillusioned. I thought you here at FTB really were the people wearing the white hats, and those pigs at the slymepit were the black hats. But you know, I’m beginning to consider the idea that maybe their allegations of demanded orthodoxy and groupthink on your part have some merit. Here I am, the bad guy, because of one terrible— terrible!— thing I said, in an attempt to point out the stupidity of one of your own enemies, and here all y’all are trying to pound your orthodoxy into me and make me submit. I have to admit that their narratives about what you do here at FTB are beginning to resonate ever so slightly.

    Anybody who tries to reach out to help and gets unfairly rebuked must be whining, rather than making a point that, god forbid, you might stop and consider. Because writing dissertations on “othering”— that’s how we reach the people. Not through creative activity, which might *actually* help the cause a little, but rather through endless streams of academic bullshit that nobody reads or takes seriously.

    I thought this thread was supposed to be about PZ Meyers and his impending legal troubles anyway. But rather than discuss that, it’s much more fun to dogpile someone new who said the wrong— the *wrong thing*, oh noooooooooooes, heavens to betsy, don’t you understand, he said something WRONG!

    RG

  2. sharkjack says

    @484 belierverskeptic.
    I’ve been more active on pharyngula over the past 3 days than at any other time in these past 2 years that I’ve been here. This thread is the first I see you in and while I missed the harmful meaning of your first problematic comment (Caine didn’t of course), it’s the rest of what you’ve been posting that’s really turned me off from listening to your song (which I’ve heard here described positively, how about that.) is the way you reacted to critisism. You acted like people got all upset with you when NOBODY was questioning your intent. Instead they were pointing to the splash damage that using terms like that does. Instead of looking back, realising that the comment was offensive and stepping away from it, you doubled down and made things worse. As has been said earlier, nobody here gets away scot free when they use offensive language like that. That is good, because it lets you learn about stuff you say you don’t even realise yourself. It also helps others (like me in this case) realise that stuff giving it greater educational value.

    The regulars weren’t all over because you made a mistake, they were all over you because you refused to correct yourself after making a mistake and threw a temper tantrum when you were called out on it. You insulted people here and acted like you are all that matters. You’re not and we don’t owe you anything. If you can’t handle that then yes, Pharyngula isn’t for you.

  3. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I thought this thread was supposed to be about PZ Meyers and his impending legal troubles anyway.

    What?! I could swear this thread was about believerskeptic and his grievances.

    (two (2) comments concerning your joke, before you started bemoaning your sad fate, two!)

  4. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    YOu know what really wins people over, believerskeptic? Bullshit lies, navel gazing, self-indulgent pouting and strawmen. Totally wins people over.

    Go away now.

  5. sqlrob says

    If they’re not Pure, we dump on them and excoriate them. Because, they’re, you know, not perfect like we are. Not Pure. Because god knows, none of us have ever made a mistake in our lives. We’re Pure, and purely orthodox in our thinking. Run afoul of our orthodoxy, and out you go.

    Jesus fucking christ. You were mildly criticized in two comments. The Horde isn’t the one with issues.

  6. rowanvt says

    Two comments of “don’t say stuff like that, it’s harmful” is not dogpiling. The dogpile did not come until you began digging a hole at warp speed.

    Because, they’re, you know, not perfect like we are.

    That is disingenous and you know it, as MANY people have said they’ve fucked up here. The difference is that *they* owned the mistake. “Oops” always comes off better than “Kiss my ass”, yaknow? Hell, the very first time I commented here I certainly got dogpiled on. It was a thread about abortion, and I relayed a story about a girl in my dorm whom I overheard complaining about missing a party because she had to get her third abortion. I mentioned that while I wouldn’t actually do it, a part of me wished I could make her carry the pregnancy to term.

    That attitude was wrong of me. I realise this now and in part thanks to everyone who told me how shitty that thinking was. I was offended/hurt but after a few comments attempting to defend myself, I went away and thought about it. I didn’t turn into a flaming shitweasel. And I’m still here, I’m still learning, and I still sometimes do things wrong. But I don’t pretend that people are out to get *me*. They are reacting to words.

  7. piegasm says

    Okay, I think I’m getting it.

    You know, usually when people say things like this, they follow it up with something that isn’t exactly the same as what they were saying before they thought they got it.

  8. MFHeadcase says

    Believeskeptic@ 502

    I thought this thread was supposed to be about PZ Meyers and his impending legal troubles anyway. But rather than discuss that, it’s much more fun to dogpile someone new who said the wrong— the *wrong thing*, oh noooooooooooes, heavens to betsy, don’t you understand, he said something WRONG!

    Listen up fucknugget. If you want to look at the person making this thread all about YOU look in a mirror.

    You were gently chided, twice, for making a sexist joke, before you went into full on “But I am an Ally! What about MY fee fees?” mode.

    Throughout this thread several others have been called out, including Marcus Ranum, for statements also considered problematic. I am not even counting the trolls, but actually allies only.

    Of people who may self label as “ally” you are the ONLY one to lose their shit after a mild, or even harsher call out.

    Because YOU are a special and unique snowflake, and **snif sniff** no one has commented on your you tube video.

    If you cannot take a minor hand slap for being slightly assholish without doubling down and making the thread all about your feelings… you fucking SUCK as an ally.

    In fact you are no ally at all, you are just some random shitweasel who thought he could get cookies for appearing to agree with the right thing.

  9. Jacob Schmidt says

    Kid gloves off.

    If they’re not Pure, we dump on them and excoriate them. Because, they’re, you know, not perfect like we are.

    Hey dumbass, nearly every person here has admitted to similar mistakes.

    Here I am, the bad guy, because of one terrible— terrible!— thing I said, in an attempt to point out the stupidity of one of your own enemies, and here all y’all are trying to pound your orthodoxy into me and make me submit.

    Is… is the world actually black and white to you? Do you really think that as long as you oppose something we dislike, we should like you automatically?

    I have to admit that their narratives about what you do here at FTB are beginning to resonate ever so slightly.

    Yeah, this is playing out in a predictable way. Seriously, count the comments about your joke before you flipped the fuck out. I believe the worst condemntion you recieved was “not funny.”

    Anybody who tries to reach out to help and gets unfairly rebuked must be whining, rather than making a point that, god forbid, you might stop and consider. Because writing dissertations on “othering”— that’s how we reach the people.

    Who the fuck talked about othering?

    Not through creative activity, which might *actually* help the cause a little, but rather through endless streams of academic bullshit that nobody reads or takes seriously.

    If you think about it for just a second, the good doctor is saying we don’t exist here.

    I thought this thread was supposed to be about PZ Meyers and his impending legal troubles anyway. But rather than discuss that, it’s much more fun to dogpile someone new who said the wrong— the *wrong thing*, oh noooooooooooes, heavens to betsy, don’t you understand, he said something WRONG!

    Ahahahahaha, oh god. You pour persecuted thing. We didn’t like what you said, two people said so, and your poor feelings are hurt.

    Hey, why don’t you take the “benign interpretation” of those two comments about your joke, and realize that there was no judgement about you in them?

  10. sharkjack says

    @believerskeptic:
    It has NOTHING to do with purity. I’ve said some pretty stupid thing here. In one of my greatest moments of fail ever I actually said a person of color had white privilege. That happened in an exploded thread kind of like this one. I got called out on it immediately by a bunch of regulars and guess what, I apologised for my (huge) mistake and people moved on immediately. If you agree that the ‘cop a feel’ comment was a mistake, then why did you have to double down on your intentions? Why when people clarified that it wasn’t about your intentions but about splash damage, did you ignore that and go on tangents about real names and achievements? Because you did something good that we would appreciate? That attitude of ‘my past contributions put me above critisism’ is exactly what isn’t tolerated here, wether you’re a regular, a newbie, a bigshot or even PZ himself. Everyone fucks up sometimes. Either deal with the critisism that follows in a constructive manner, or get out.

  11. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I am now convinced that believerskeptic was never here in good faith. There is no way in hell an actual human with the capacity to make a video could ever genuinely react like this to a simple “That’s insulting. Don’t say that”.

  12. Jacob Schmidt says

    Not through creative activity, which might *actually* help the cause a little, but rather through endless streams of academic bullshit that nobody reads or takes seriously.

    Oh, and note the artistic narcicism as well: “My work is just so damn important, but you plebians have no taste!”

  13. Jacob Schmidt says

    I am now convinced that believerskeptic was never here in good faith. There is no way in hell an actual human with the capacity to make a video could ever genuinely react like this to a simple “That’s insulting. Don’t say that”.

    Yeeaaahh, I started wondering about that around his 3rd reply.

  14. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    I think believerskeptic is a slymepit plant. The name, the “innocuous” joke that turned into a spectacular flameout and sudden “revelation” about “oh maybe the slymepit has a point about you lockstep feminist goons”. Seems too convenient.

    Eh. Maybe my conspiracy theory hackles are up more than usual.

  15. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    That is disingenous and you know it, as MANY people have said they’ve fucked up here. The difference is that *they* owned the mistake.

    True. This happened IN THIS VERY THREAD. But if BS can’t take even mild criticism without falling apart, I imagine telling the truth would be difficult for him, when it conflicts with his I’m the Center of the Universe narrative.

  16. nightshadequeen says

    I am now convinced that believerskeptic was never here in good faith. There is no way in hell an actual human with the capacity to make a video could ever genuinely react like this to a simple “That’s insulting. Don’t say that”.

    …not sure about that. IMO, zie appears to have difficulty seeing the world in non-black-or-white terms.

    [See similar tantrum thrown in a Greta Christina thread over LessWrong and Bayesian probability.]

    I’d rather not attribute to malice what could be attributed to…erm, not-malice.

    Still…o.O wow that was a spectacular meltdown.

  17. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @RahXephon

    Yeah, his little line about how “the Slymepit might have a point” added spectacularly to my suspicions too.

    But a thought occurrs to me… that being the case, whose is the video? They have apparently been promoting it, so this would be one hell of a long-con if it wasn’t theirs. And if it is theirs, then either we’re wrong about them being a slimey… or they’re doing a really fucking long con :-/

  18. Pteryxx says

    No, believerskeptic really did post their video with real name attribution (as far as I can tell anyway) and links to their podcast (which I didn’t investigate much because I don’t follow podcasts). Not everyone with a big ego belongs to the pit.

  19. rowanvt says

    I am terrible amused that the initials for believerskeptic’s name read out to BS. It seems rather… fitting.

  20. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Is it time to point out again that pit is just a stupid little group of haters, and raising them to the level of the Big Bad by attributing all malice or stupidity that appears on FTB to their members is giving them too much credit and is a bit naive?
    No? Oh well. Just my pet peeve.

  21. says

    @believerskeptic

    If they’re not Pure, we dump on them and excoriate them.

    No. We correct their mistakes and we expect them to handle such corrections like adults and not throw a fit about it.

    Because god knows, none of us have ever made a mistake in our lives

    We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all been corrected for those mistakes. What we haven’t all done is whine about it like you are doing now.

    Anybody who tries to reach out to help and gets unfairly rebuked must be whining, rather than making a point that, god forbid, you might stop and consider.

    What was that point again? Oh yes; you made a youtube video with your real name, therefore nobody is allowed to criticize you.

    Your point has been considered and rejected on account of its complete inanity.

    Seriously, dude. Shut up for two seconds. Take a breath and relax. You’re the person making this into a big stink, not us.

  22. Jacob Schmidt says

    Is it time to point out again that pit is just a stupid little group of haters, and raising them to the level of the Big Bad by attributing all malice or stupidity that appears on FTB to their members is giving them too much credit and is a bit naive?

    I think that’s fair.

  23. cubist says

    “one ill-chosen comment that actually has a benign interpretation when you stop and actually think about it is all it takes to mark one as unworthy around here.” at 484? Say hello to “several people said explicitly that they don’t doubt you didn’t mean any harm. That doesn’t stop it being harmful.” at 471, and “The problem wasn’t your intention, but that jokes about sexual assault, even if properly aimed and directed, are prone to cause unintentional splash damage.* You are not being classed as an enemy. You are being classed as a provisional ally with a problem.” at 479. I think you three might just have a lot to talk about.

  24. nightshadequeen says

    So… Feministe is still down.

    PING feministe.com (64.95.64.218) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from 64.95.64.218: icmp_req=1 ttl=50 time=71.0 ms
    64 bytes from 64.95.64.218: icmp_req=2 ttl=50 time=71.3 ms
    64 bytes from 64.95.64.218: icmp_req=3 ttl=50 time=85.3 ms
    64 bytes from 64.95.64.218: icmp_req=5 ttl=50 time=57.8 ms

    — feministe.com ping statistics —
    5 packets transmitted, 4 received, 20% packet loss, time 21260ms
    rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 57.882/71.412/85.374/9.728 ms

    Betting it’s just too much traffic.

    @nightshadequeen

    Ah, they have prior for this sort of behaviour then?

    Erm, just that one other thread I’ve seen. Two datapoints isn’t great for drawing conclusions, but…yeah…

  25. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    I don’t attribute “all malice or stupidity that appears on FTB” to them. I said why I specifically thought it could be related in that case.

  26. says

    Fuck. Talk about my wasting time, cos apparently he didn’t read a word of what I wrote. Well. Maybe someone else out there will read my responses to Rob and get something from ‘em.

    Honestly. “Purity”? “Orthodoxy”? (Ha! Srsly, where are the hurls of “Dogma!” “a Cult!” “Just like a Religion!” “FTB Bullies!”). Also, gotta love the attack on “academic” feminism couple with approbation of the ‘Pitters.

    And then there’s the sheer irony of this:

    Anybody who tries to reach out to help and gets unfairly rebuked must be whining, rather than making a point that, god forbid, you might stop and consider.

    [Hint: In case you’re reading this, Doctor Rob, people here were reaching out to help you and you have been unfairly rebuking them, rather than god forbid, stopping and considering, NOT the other way round.]

    [Matt Dillahunty]Yer done.[/Matt Dillahunty]

  27. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Pteryxx

    Thanks. His line about “Oooh, maybe the Slymepit has a point about you guys!” made me wonder.

    However, that forces us to the conclusion that this potential ally really is as childish as they appear to be. If anything, I think that’s the more depressing of the two.

    @Beatrice

    Normally I’d agree, that little line just looked too convenient to me. Clearly I’m being hyper-vigilant :)

    Hmm… wonder why that might be?

  28. R Johnston says

    @481:

    (BTW, there are exceptions to the rule that hearsay is inadmissible. Those exceptions are unlikely to matter, however, since I’m confident PZ won’t have any problems coming up with one or two witnesses who will testify about their personal experiences.)

    Apparent hearsay would be just fine in court for PZ because the testimony would be for proving that PZ had reason to believe the accusation against Shermer, not for the truth of the matter asserted. Anyone who was part of the behind-the-scenes grapevine could testify about how women have been warned about Shermer for years on end, regardless of personal experience, once there was testimony by PZ asserting that he knew about the behind-the-scenes networking for warning about conference predators.

  29. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @nightshadequeen

    I’m trying to establish whther this childish reaction to criticism is the norm; but one prior doesn’t really prove they’re “prone” to this, I suppose. Thanks for the info, anyway :)

  30. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Anyway, signing off (finally! It’s quarter to 9 here, and I’m still at work!) Night all!

  31. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    RahXephon, Thumper,

    Sorry. Yeah, this guy explicitly mentioned the pit, so this time the suspicion may not be baseless.

    A general explanation:
    I find it a bit annoying to see that, since slimepit became a thing, visiting assholes are often either assumed to be from the pit or told that they should go there. And it makes me go “why are we still even talking about those morons, let alone sending people there? I don’t want them to merge into one big slimy jerk”.
    So it could be that it was my knee that jerked this time :)

  32. MFHeadcase says

    “why are we still even talking about those morons, let alone sending people there? I don’t want them to merge into one big slimy jerk”.

    I dunno, it could be handy, as long as the merged critter can’t handle a keyboard.

  33. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    MFHeadcase,

    I’m now imagining some big, green, slimy… thing trying to hold a keyboard, only to absorb it into its sliminess.

  34. Acolyte of Sagan says

    (emphasis mine)

    442.
    Portia, in boots
    13 August 2013 at 11:41 am

    “Butthurt” is homophobic. I’d go with “whiney” “obnoxious” “entitled” “insufferable.”

    In all seriousness, I’ve learnt something today. I’ve often seen the word (though don’t recall ever using it) but have always associated it with the old phrase describing somebody sulking as having a ‘face like a slapped arse’.
    You live and learn.

  35. Sproings says

    If folks would like to read the Predator Theory post, I managed to do it by doing a google search of ‘predator theory’, then hitting the drop down menu on the Feministe link and going to the cached version, THEN hitting the link for the text only version. Anything else just got me the swirly loading circle and a 503 error.

  36. believerskeptic says

    First of all, I do want to apologize for the “cop” comment. I don’t mean this in a “sorry if you misunderstood me” sort of way, or in any other sort of Ron Lindsay sort of way. I really did intend it to be a way of pointing out how stupid the “A Feel” name was in the first place, but I didn’t consider how others would react to it.

    Some of you might continue to wear your cynic hats and dismiss what I’m about to say as further “whining”— and I can’t do anything about that. You’re going to react how you react and I can’t change that.

    Writing “Sick of Talking” was a real creative watershed for me. As I mentioned, I am an academic. And as an academic, we composers are often encouraged (the word, really, is forced) to write music that is more like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI_WpCihFZw

    Music that is, in and of itself, interesting, intellectually defensible, progressive in some ways, but music that frankly does not reach a lot of people.

    When I heard about what happened to Karen Stollznow, it all came back— why I got into music in the first place, many years ago. The idea that music could be a vehicle to communicate passions and protest injustice— that all came back. It’s been a lot of years, because, honestly, though it’s not impossible to write a string quartet as a form of social protest, it’s just, well, really very hard.

    So this tune really meant a lot to me— not because of what it was doing for me. Because I’m *tired* of what “music can do for me.” I’m tired of writing each piece considering “will this get me closer to tenure? To my next job? What will this do for *me*”? But instead, this song was a way to forget all that and think about someone else for a change. To think about Karen Stollznow and people like her who put up with all this crap. My writing partner has a teenage daughter, and I hardly had to twist his arm to write a tune on this theme.

    I did the best I could. I don’t have any illusions that one song can change the world, but I was really hoping to follow up and do a series of pieces on the subject of misogyny in the skeptic movement. My next plan was a docudrama that Ken and I would produce, narrate and score. We also have our own very modest podcast and of course this would be a topic of continued discussion. He’s a Christian liberal and I’m an atheist liberal. The format of our podcast is progressive politics from two vastly different points of view.

    But, you’ve convinced me that these efforts are completely a waste of time. Your yawning indifference to these kinds of efforts— compared to the overwhelming offended reaction to what I said— has convinced me— and I am not being the least bit facetious, hyperbolic or rhetorical in any way; I am being absolutely literal and factual— you have convinced me that these efforts are just simply a waste of time. If I can’t convince *you* to talk up a progressive tune on the subject of misogyny in the skeptic world, I can’t convince anyone.

    So, I’m going to go back to writing esoteric concert music for an academic audience, and that’s fine. For a brief amount of time, I had that starry-eyed, youthful, we-can-make-a-difference sort of feeling about music making again, and you’ve taken it away from me, but it’s probably for the best.

    I know my comment *annoyed* many of you, but your response to it really hurt me. Yes, I know the jaded among you won’t particularly care, and you’ll say that I should stop being “all about me,” but I’m only human. I’d like my efforts to be appreciated, even if they are essentially about focusing on others, like Karen Stollznow. I didn’t actually care about the indifference to the song until it occurred to me that, you know, I didn’t completely deserve the dogpiling you were giving me precisely *because* I had made the previous effort (of which you were obviously unaware).

    You have no idea how much work I was ready to produce— for free, on my own time and dime— to promote the cause of feminism in the skeptic movement. But if *this* is representative of the reaction I’m going to get— where I’m not going to be afforded the least benefit of doubt to any verbal transgression I unintentionally make— and where my efforts are going to be met either with complete indifference or ridicule— then forget it.

    But I promise you, FTB, I promise you as sure as you are reading this right now—

    —it’s your loss.

    Respondevous away as you inevitably will; I won’t be reading any more, nor replying.

  37. David Marjanović says

    *waves to Pteryxx* :-)

    What I think is really sad is that this more benign interpretation of my motive behind the comment I think was reasonably available, but instead, some of you just immediately leapt to a malevolent interpretation instead. Given a choice between a benign or malevolent interpretation of a comment, or someone’s motives behind the comment, and some of you— perhaps many of you— will immediately leap to the malevolent interpretation every time.

    Oh no. What we did was to point out the collateral damage of your joke.

    That damage is there, no matter how benign your intentions. Really. Seriously. It doesn’t go away.

    Even more documentation of official procedures that dismiss rape complaints automatically:

    *Picard & Riker double facepalm*

    If they’re not Pure, we dump on them and excoriate them. Because, they’re, you know, not perfect like we are. Not Pure. Because god knows, none of us have ever made a mistake in our lives. We’re Pure, and purely orthodox in our thinking. Run afoul of our orthodoxy, and out you go.

    You misunderstand. You have fallen among the scientists. We expect each other to make mistakes, even grave ones, and we expect each other to call each other out on them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The much-praised self-correcting nature of science, you know?

    What did you get your doctorate in, if I may ask?

  38. Anthony K says

    You have no idea how much work I was ready to produce— for free, on my own time and dime— to promote the cause of feminism in the skeptic movement. But if *this* is representative of the reaction I’m going to get— where I’m not going to be afforded the least benefit of doubt to any verbal transgression I unintentionally make— and where my efforts are going to be met either with complete indifference or ridicule— then forget it.

    Jesus Christ, what an asshole. If the only reason you do good things is for back pats, then you’re actually kind of a piece of shit, as person. Good fucking riddance, you stain.

    Anyway, now that we’re done with this fucking useless clod, here’s an example of how rape victims are treated by the cops: http://hamptonroads.com/2013/08/victims-ordeal-prompts-sex-assault-policy-shift-norfolk

    That’s the reality for citizens.

  39. Nick Gotts says

    Respondevous away as you inevitably will; I won’t be reading any more, nor replying. – believersceptic

    Saves me the trouble of bothering PZ about the irritating whine we’ve been getting on this thread for the last couple of hours.

  40. David Marjanović says

    I didn’t actually care about the indifference to the song until it occurred to me that, you know, I didn’t completely deserve the dogpiling you were giving me precisely *because* I had made the previous effort (of which you were obviously unaware).

    …You still misunderstand.

    When we comment on your joke, we don’t comment on you as a whole person, or on the totality of your work. We comment on that joke, because it’s context simply doesn’t change how much collateral damage it does.

    Please learn to distinguish ideas from people.

    But if *this* is representative of the reaction I’m going to get— where I’m not going to be afforded the least benefit of doubt to any verbal transgression I unintentionally make—

    Friends don’t let friends cause collateral damage.

  41. Rey Fox says

    where I’m not going to be afforded the least benefit of doubt to any verbal transgression I unintentionally make

    TWO COMMENTS. You got TWO COMMENTS about the cop remark.

    Look, I’m sorry that a lot of people, myself included, don’t click on every Youtube link they see in a blog. I’m sorry that folks like me don’t really care for super-topical musical parodies (I get plenty of well-written commentary on these subjects, I really have no need to have it sung at me). I’m sorry that you can put forth a lot of effort into a creative endeavor only to have it ignored. But for fuck’s sake, man, get some perspective. You know who else goes through the hardships you do? EVERY ARTIST WHO EVER LIVED.

  42. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    For a brief amount of time, I had that starry-eyed, youthful, we-can-make-a-difference sort of feeling about music making again, and you’ve taken it away from me, but it’s probably for the best.

    Oh my lands, Horde, we destroyed believerskeptic’s DREEEEEEEAAAAAMS!

    I didn’t actually care about the indifference to the song until it occurred to me that, you know, I didn’t completely deserve the dogpiling you were giving me precisely *because* I had made the previous effort (of which you were obviously unaware).

    And this is the entire problem with your attitude. You think that because you do good things, it means you should get away with bad things–that you shouldn’t even get the mildest rebuke (which is what you got here) because we somehow owe you gratitude. And if we don’t treat you with the proper gratitude and deference, you will cease doing good things, because the only reason to do good things is for attention and belly rubs.

    Go away, you immature, unethical, unmitigated ass. Go think about your life and your choices.

  43. says

    @believerskeptic

    I do want to apologize for the “cop” comment. I don’t mean this in a “sorry if you misunderstood me” sort of way, or in any other sort of Ron Lindsay sort of way. I really did intend it to be a way of pointing out how stupid the “A Feel” name was in the first place, but I didn’t consider how others would react to it.

    You should have left it at that. That’s a decent apology and people would probably have accepted that. I know I would. We all make mistakes and sometimes we don’t see it at first and people’s reactions seem unreasonable to us. We can be personally hurt and it takes a little time to see what their point really was.

    But then you go on as if you’re entitled to praise and publicity just because you wrote a song. Apparently the song meant a lot to you and that’s great; it this means you’re motivated to do good, then a pat on the back for you.
    However, there’s a lot going on and people don’t necessarily want to click when people they don’t know post a seemingly random link to youtube. I, for one, didn’t even register that you had posted it previously. Really. It simply didn’t pop beyond the level of conscious awareness.

    I didn’t completely deserve the dogpiling you were giving me precisely *because* I had made the previous effort (of which you were obviously unaware).

    First, you weren’t dogpiled. Second, you did deserve the response you got. Third, the response was to a specific comment; the rest of your efforts are really quite irrelevant.

    You have no idea how much work I was ready to produce— for free, on my own time and dime— to promote the cause of feminism in the skeptic movement. But if *this* is representative of the reaction I’m going to get— where I’m not going to be afforded the least benefit of doubt to any verbal transgression I unintentionally make— and where my efforts are going to be met either with complete indifference or ridicule— then forget it.

    And on that note, I’m still entertaining the notion that you could be a troll. It’s just too perfect.

    If you’re being genuine, then I strongly encourage you to take a break for a day or two and then come back and read this thread. Read what other people are actually writing. Don’t get caught up in your own emotional reactions; read and understand.
    There are actually quite a few of us who have been trying to help you understand where you went wrong and how to do better. We’re not crapping on you or being mean. We’re trying to explain. You’re just not listening.

    This doesn’t have to be the end of your involvement here, but if it is, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

  44. Menyambal --- writing as Lee Moe Joost says

    Add me to the list of people who’ve said something bad here, and been strongly corrected for it. The main corrector has my utmost admiration, by the way.

    ——

    Something I wrote for another thread, that closed before I could post:

    Dudebros, try looking at alcohol-rape like this:

    You are on a first dinner-date with a woman—getting acquainted. You order seafood, and she says that when she eats seafood, she passes out a while and wakes up just fine. She accidentally eats some of your crabcake, and she indeed passes out.

    What would you do? Sit and wait? Fondle her? Have sex with her unconscious body?

    What could you do to her that would/would not constitute skeeviness and/or rape? I want you to define a line between permissible sexual activity and rape—and remember that she agreed to dinner with you, you paid for the taxi, you might have got to sex, anyhow—whatever you think about it.

    Now, let’s slide the scale:

    How about if you’d slipped that crabcake onto her plate knowing she’d pass out?

    How if you put Roofies in her drink?

    Put extra alcohol in her drink?

    Put extra drinks in her glass?

    Pressed drinks upon her?

    Started drinking so she would?

    Took her to a place where drinks are served?

    Asked her out “for a drink”?

    At what point does it become rape/not rape for you? Where do you define rape?

    When does a date ending in sex become a set-up for rape, and why should we give a shit what you think?

    Legal definitions are often arbitrarily precise. For instance, legal drinking age is set at a person’s 21st birthday, in some states—it’s not right for everyone, but that’s the way it has to go, unless you want drinking tests like drivers tests. Crimes of theft change definition based on dollar values. Speeding tickets jump at certain miles per hour. There has to be an arbitrary line, sometimes.

    The point is, in the case of rape, the woman gets to define whether she was raped. Not you. It’s her body, she decides. It may seem arbitrary, but how else are we going to define rape?

    It is the woman’s call. If she feels she was raped, she was raped.

    Or at least it should be, just as it should be fore abortion. Woman’s body, woman’s decision. A person deciding on their own autonomy about themselves and their own body.

    If you say you didn’t rape her, you get to shut the hell up. If you say you had consensual sex, and she needs to prove otherwise to the police, you need to ask yourself exactly what she could use to prove that. What legal evidence is there to differ between drunken consensual sex and a half-drunken rape of a drunk woman—-your word that she said yes?

    We go with her word that it it was rape, and she gets time to think it over. If you want to keep her from deciding, you are a horrible person. If you think she can’t decide, or she can’t be trusted, just because she’s a woman, you are a horrible person..

    As for the argument that a woman might have sex, then change her mind and call it rape … well, DON’T HAVE SEX WITH HER!!!! Jesus Christ, you guys act like any chance at all you have to have any kind of sex at all, with anybody at all, is your right, your privilege and your penis taking control. If you think she might be that kind of person, run away. Just like if you think she might have an STD, you run away. Take precautions, make choices, take some time to get acquainted. You don’t have to have sex, do you? Especially with complete strangers that you don’t trust.

    You say that women should know to not start drinking (and then you complain like hell when someone says to not start drinking with one particular guy). Well, all men should know not to have sex with people who might accuse them of rape.

    Let me phrase this as advice: DON’T FUCK PEOPLE YOU DON”T KNOW!

    Don’t fuck anybody, really. Try having consensual, loving sex, with someone you trust, then if she says that she wants you to go at her like a steam train, fuck away.

    Don’t assume that every woman wants to be fucked, needs to be fucked, or that you have the right to fuck her, whether she says she wants it or not.

    Ewww.

    The skeevy assumptions and sense of superiority that the menz are bringing to this discussion are skin-crawlingly weird to me, and I am a man who has had sex on short acquaintance a time or two. The inseparable connection between sex and alcohol is bizarre—if you have to get her drunk to have sex with you, she doesn’t really like you. If you have to get drunk to have sex with her, maybe you shouldn’t have sex. Sober up and talk with her. Or go elsewhere.

    Dudes, you need to stop and think about your attitudes toward sex and toward women. You need to do some thinking really hard about women’s points of view. Really think about it. Read, and think some more.

    Just because you and a lot of the guys that you know all act a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the only way, the manly way. And if you change your ways, toward something more agreeable to women’s ways, you might do better with women.

    And if the first and only thought in your head right then was “gay” or “friend zone”, you really need to do some serious thinking.

  45. truebutnotuseful says

    And suddenly the stench of self-aggrandizement slowly began to dissipate…

  46. pHred says

    Alright, random lurker again …
    This is getting ridiculous. The most reasonable explanation for someone reacting like this and continuing to react like this is that they wanted to be offended for some reason. I really hope he sticks his flounce this time.

    sheesh 2 now = dogpile

    fee fees > *annoyed*

    Pretty much any time you are involved in social justice issues for the accolades you can acquire, you are pretty much guaranteed to be doing it wrong. Hummm … the same thing can be said for music really.

  47. says

    Maureen Brian

    So! Scooterskute with a single sentence (305) proves beyond reasonable doubt that he is a misogynist, a patronising little git and not very bright.

    That’s his credibility shot then. Take him away, please.

    That one’s credibility was shot over in the grenade thread. Not at all surprised to see scooter turn up here too, though.

    I had a remark for believerskeptic, but I’ll wait and see if he sticks the flounce first.

  48. Pteryxx says

    believerskeptic, I’m the one that called out the video itself, so it’s my job to step up here. I back everything you’ve said about how important this piece was to you and what an epiphany it was to reach so far out of your comfort zone. I hope that as a professional you can get past thinking your artistic effort has to be lauded by others in order to have real meaning to you. And I for one would be interested to hear a protest song in the form of a traditional composition.

    *shrug* And I concur that you’ve been acting like an ass during this whole conversation; but that’s not irredeemable either. Apologizing for your hurtful comment was a good first step. Good luck going on with some distance on it.

    —-

    and everybody else, this is my personal take and not meant to slam anyone else for their responses.

  49. Pteryxx says

    In other tangents…

    re Predator Theory, the Feministe post best summarizes several research articles and the need for bystander education, but the actual Predator Theory article by David Lisak is linked from Feministe and other sites. Usually it’s a PDF but this one appears to be a doc file:

    http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/240951/original/

    —-

    General question that came to mind from Greta C’s latest post (previously an article in Free Inquiry magazine). There’s Free Inquiry, by Council for Secular Humanism which is part of CFI, and there’s Skeptical Inquirer, by CSI (formerly CSICOP) which is also part of CFI. Are those basically THE print magazines of skeptical or freethought or atheist community, or are there others under different organizations?

    Print magazines often are headquartered in New York, since that’s basically the hub of the dead-tree publishing industry, as I understand it. Print magazine audiences also tend to skew richer, whiter, and maler than the audiences of internet media.

  50. b. - Order of Lagomorpha says

    Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado

    Ooooo, so now we come to the real issue. You’re mad that we didn’t immediately run over to your video and praise you for it.

    WOW.

    Just sit with that hubris for a second.

    Well, obviously! Everything else being discussed is just background noise to the Doc’s epic effort. Pssht! We should’ve showered him with cookies! Ticker tape! Pats on the back! But did we? No! We continued to focus our attentions on a) the matters at hand and b) pointing out that Doc was behaving like a whiny, whinging, petulant asshat (I think I got most of them in there). Shame! Shame, I say! I mean, c’mon now–what’s the most important thing here? The safety of PZ, Jane Doe and a whole lot of potential victims who may not become victims now or the Doc’s enormous ego? (/sarcasm)

    For Doc: “ally” or “allies” does not translate to, “displays of unalloyed joy at every golden word or note that may fall from your fingers or your mouth.” Old Irish proverb: “Not everyone who smiles at you is your friend. Not everyone who corrects you is your enemy.”

  51. sharkjack says

    @believerskeptic
    You realise you posted that link in a 150+comment thread where people were coming in and being stupid all over again like in the grenade thread. People have done really exhausting work rebuking all the comments there and here and some random link about a random guy with a song isn’t going to immediately register in that context.

    If you wanted to promote your song here, the lounge would have been a great place for it. You could’ve intoduced yourself there, what you did and were planning to go on doing from there and people would’ve probably been pretty supportive.

    A lot of the people here are very busy (I’m not and have actually seen your video and commented on it (resisting the urge to first too I should get a cookie for that) and you can’t just expect people to make time to watch videos linked by people without any real description of the content in a thread like this.

    People noticed your ‘cop a feel’ comment because that’s what they’re attuned to. We point out each others mistakes here, that’s what sharpens our minds makes us avoid splash damage. We’re not demonising you for making a mistake.

    If you acknowledge where you’re wrong, listening to the actual points made this time and reintroduced yourself in the lounge, you might just get a warmer welcome. Or maybe not, the regulars don’t owe you anything and you’ve lashed out pretty badly. If you really care about doing good though that should be okay because you’re doing it for the cause and not for the recognition right?

  52. Pteryxx says

    To commit a crime you have to be able to know it’s a crime when you commit it.

    False. Not only trivially false, but criminal negligence also exists.

    —-

    (TW for lack of consent in the next part)

    A crime can’t be a crime because of a decision after the fact plain and simple.

    False and misleading, because “decision after the fact” is BS. A rape happens because one person made a decision to inflict sex upon someone who did not or was unable to consent to whatever it was they did. It’s rape even when the victim NEVER realizes what was done to them.

  53. Nick Gotts says

    To commit a crime you have to be able to know it’s a crime when you commit it. – spackalick

    No: you have to be able to know it might be a crime. Which, if the person you’re thinking of having sex with is drunk, and you didn’t agree you’d have drunken sex beforehand, it might. If in doubt, don’t. What’s so fucking difficult about that, except for those who want to get as close to the line as they can without risking jail time?

  54. says

    Eh, you do the right thing because it’s right, and you do creative things because you’re creative; you don’t do them to have everybody fawn over you, that’s just a bonus. In fact, if you do something creative, you can expect people to criticise it, that’s part of the education of every artist. And even if you get universally panned at one venue, there’s another venue in another street, another town, another forum on the interwebs where they might love your creation. If you feel it, you do it, and fuck everyone who disagrees with you. Creating a piece, and then stopping believing in whatever it’s about when it’s criticised, what artist does that, for pity’s sake? The strength of BS’s belief is hardly burning strong here.

  55. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Oh Dog, please don’t make this another “how much alcohol before it’s rape” discussion. Thank you.

    To commit a crime you have to be able to know it’s a crime when you commit it.

    Um… no.

    A crime can’t be a crime because of a decision after the fact plain and simple.

    Yeah, yeah, rape accusations are so much funny and easy peasy to report and get followed up that women just love to throw them around after a night of unimpressive sex. Give me a break.

  56. Nick Gotts says

    As Pteryxx says, there’s also criminal negligence, so my:

    No: you have to be able to know it might be a crime.

    is wrong. If you should have known it might be a crime, then you can commit the particular crime at issue: rape. Don’t. Make damn sure you don’t. Make damn sure you don’t get anywhere near doing so.

  57. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    563
    spacklick

    To commit a crime you have to be able to know it’s a crime when you commit it.

    Ignorance of the law is not a defense against the law.

    A crime can’t be a crime because of a decision after the fact plain and simple.

    The point was a victim realizing they were victimized after the crime, i.e. was drunk/passed out etc. Still a crime either way. And really, claiming rapists are ignorant about consent and laws? Pfffft. Go read the links which specifically address this with “they understand no, they just don’t like the answer” and such. The “regretting sex the next morning so claimed rape” is a fucking myth that’s been debunked so. many. fucking. times. Go read the other fucking thread.

  58. MFHeadcase says

    Right, for the what iffer’s looking for a fine or fuxxy line where it is either consensual sex or rape.

    Sex between 2 or more people providing sober and enthusisatic consent: Not rape.

    ANY other situation, where the consent is less than enthusiastic, when it appears to be influenced by drugs or alcohol, ranges from problematic to flat out rape.

    There may (MAY) be ethically fuzzy areas, all parties being equally impaired for instance. But rapists have been know to manipulate these fuzzy areas, do you really want to play in the same zones?

    Sober and enthusiastic consent, or keep it zipped up, small price to pay to avoid problems.

  59. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #571 Caine, Fleur du mal

    On the road here – am I alone in getting a “banned setec” vibe from ‘spackalick’?

    I’m certainly getting a vibe. There’s no blockquotes, but then again they at least attempted to put an effective TW up. I don’t know, they’re all running together for me. Just wave after wave of trolls, whether they are new recruits or zombiefied. Either way, my Troll radar is broken. I don’t know how anyone keeps ‘em straight anymore.

  60. Pteryxx says

    IIRC spacklick has commented before under that nym, several times. (and IIRC, been only moderately jerky so far.)

    Seconded that we REALLY do not need another ‘can we blame the victim YET’ discussion. Did the alcohol cause a magickal rape field to materialize and suck the other person in? No? Then a decision was made and it wasn’t the victim’s. FFS.

  61. Nick Gotts says

    Good night all. Caine@571, I didn’t really see enough of setec to judge, but I’ll draw it to PZ’s attention – I’ve already had to send him a Mabus alert.

  62. Menyambal --- writing as Lee Moe Joost says

    Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado:

    You think that because you do good things, it means you should get away with bad things–that you shouldn’t even get the mildest rebuke (which is what you got here) because we somehow owe you gratitude.

    Cyrano, that was great! I’d like to see it said to Michael Shermer and his supporters.

    I went over and looked at the part of the thread that offered the video. I remember blipping right past it, because I don’t blindly follow video links, and it didn’t even say what it was. The second offer was, as I recalled, only a bit more, and it sounded like a lame idea, and I didn’t care to take time way from reading and writing..

    So I went and watched the video, just to be sure I wasn’t missing out on a treasure, and to be fair and whatever else I wasn’t being. I closed out after a line that was offensive. It said, “Just because she gets your penis hard” or something like quite like that. She isn’t responsible or at fault, and she isn’t to blame for your bodily reactions. Don’t think that or say that.

    “A Feel” may not be the best moniker, but calling it stupid wasn’t needed.

    —–

    David M! Good to read your writing again.

    (BTW, another person who has corrected me.)

    —-

    spackalick:

    To commit a crime you have to be able to know it’s a crime when you commit it. A crime can’t be a crime because of a decision after the fact plain and simple.

    As has been said, there’s criminal negligence. Or, what may not be a legal statement, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

    There’s that idea if the perp doesn’t think it’s a crime, it doesn’t seem to matter to you. I think smoking dope is a sacrament with Bob Marley—am I okay to light one in your town? If a dude thinks women deserve to be raped, it it a crime to rape? If he thinks getting her drunk isn’t a crime, is it still?

    It’s up to the woman to decide—the victim has the word. Or should.

    Also, in the bit I quoted, you switch POVs between sentences. A man can do something criminal, not knowing, yes. He can’t decide afterward that it was or wasn’t a crime, but the victim—in your second sentence—can decide to press charges or not.

    The act was a crime at the time, and doesn’t become so just by the victims decision. You’ve constructed an Schroedinger’s crime there, by the way. But yes, you are entirely right, in a way: A crime can’t be a crime because of a decision after the fact, plain and simple. (I added a comma, BTW.)

    Say, haven’t you ever been conned or tricked, and not figured it out ’til later? Was it not a crime until you decided it was?

  63. ChasCPeterson says

    In an attempt to cut off a derail:

    “Butthurt” is homophobic.

    Thank you for confirming my suspicion.

    I always thought “butthurt” was about getting spanked.

    We’ve had this discussion before. It’s incorrect to make the blunt statement that it “is homophobic,” because a lot of people read it and use it and always haved in the ‘spanked’ sense. However, others testify to interpreting it as a reference to anal sex/rape instead, no matter the intent, and worse, evidence was presented to show that many people not only interpret it that way but also use it intentionally in the perjorative homophobic sense.
    So once you know that, you have to decide whether your intention is pure and obvious enough to risk misinterpretation. Best to drop it altogether.

  64. says

    There may (MAY) be ethically fuzzy areas, all parties being equally impaired for instance. But rapists have been know to manipulate these fuzzy areas, do you really want to play in the same zones?

    QFT

  65. ChasCPeterson says

    As for Dr. Gross, I must admit that I didn’t care for his joke, his pop tune, or his musique concrète very much, and I’m afraid I didn’t like him much either. JAIN.
    Sorry, Dr. Gross.

  66. says

    It all boils down to whether one considers absence of dissent to be consent, or absence of consent to be dissent.

  67. Pteryxx says

    Leaford just nailed it on the Painfully thread.

    link to comment

    For all those arguing any variation of is drunk sex rape, I think it might help respond to them by stepping back from the ways to define sexual consent and just look at the concept of legal consent itself, regardless of context. Because it’s the same across the board. Legal consent requires that the party have the required sound mind and judgment to give consent. A person who is not of sound mind and judgment due to intoxication, mental illness, incapacitation, or being under the legal age of consent is not capable of giving consent and any consent the give is invalid, and fruits of that are also invalid and illegal.

    Extensive discussion follows. That’s just the intro.

  68. Jacob Schmidt says

    I always thought “butthurt” was about getting spanked.

    No, it’s an anal sex joke. It’s also often used in reference to rape (see also: “fuck up the ass”).

    But I promise you, FTB, I promise you as sure as you are reading this right now—

    —it’s your loss.

    If this is representative of your behaviour when receiving the mildest of criticism, it really isn’t.

    Now, can you please tell me what was so horrible with those two comments you got about your joke?

  69. pHred says

    RE 571 @ Caine

    I agree with the vibe though I am having a hard time keeping track of all of them. I thought that all “grey zone” arguments were already designated as garbage per the grenade thread. I tried finding the comment from PZ but couldn’t take the yuck in the thread for a second time (searching for Myers is an ugly roadtrip there.)

    Ha – found this though

    1474
    PZ Myers

    9 August 2013 at 9:15 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Shut the fuck up, setec. You’re done here — I think that’s about enough effort trying to find grey areas to justify screwing up a person’s life. Do not post in this thread again.

    specifically in reference to setec, so if the vibe isn’t on, xe has a twin.

  70. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #575 Pteryxx

    IIRC spacklick has commented before under that nym, several times. (and IIRC, been only moderately jerky so far.)

    Ah, I just remember someone wondering about their nym.

  71. Menyambal --- writing as Lee Moe Joost says

    SQB says, “It all boils down to whether one considers absence of dissent to be consent, or absence of consent to be dissent.” And I agree, but only for purposes of discussion, not in a legal sense.

    It does help clarify some differences between sides, here. Some menz think that every woman has consented, by being born, and unless they can frame a dissent that will stop a drunk and horny idiot, they haven’t really dissented.

    The difference reminds me of the national park where I used to take water samples. We operated with the attitude that if a spring ever were safe to drink from, we’d put up a sign saying it could be drunk from(it never happened, and not just because of potential liability). Many of the tourists assumed that if a spring were NOT safe to drink from, we’d put up a sign forbidding it, and went to chugging the water. (They seemed to get out of the park before getting sick, sat least.)

    Don’t make assumptions, dudez, and don’t take chances.

  72. Jacob Schmidt says

    To take an extreme example, if a rapist said “I was so drunk I didn’t know what I was doing, I’d never have raped her sober” would that make him any less responsible for his decision and actions?

    No.

    In order for anything to be illegal or even under most systems immoral it must be possible for the person commiting the act in question to be able to know the act is illegal at the time of (and slightly before) the act itself.

    Also no (this falls under “ignorance of the law”).

  73. says

    There is constant talk on here about the Slymepit so I googled and went to see. So far, some hate and preening but some good stuff too. No opinion yet. Takes a long long time to look around.

  74. Jacob Schmidt says

    I know people who’ve been victims of that personally and it does happen and it does destroy lives.

    Considering that you’re here, right now, claiming that rape while drunk isn’t really rape, I’ve no doubt you believe this is true.

  75. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #587 spacklick

    Would love a link to that. I know people who’ve been victims of that personally and it does happen and it does destroy lives. So go on, prove to me that what i’ve seen tear people apart doesn’t happen.

    There you go. Start with comment #1 and start reading. You’ve got 9 pages and numerous links to catch up on.

    At the very least, it should teach you how to blockquote.

  76. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Since apparently the butthurt discussion is never going to end (and I mean that in a cosmic sense, not just in terms of derailing this thread), my opinion on it as an actual gay man is that I don’t think it’s homophobic. It could be used in a homophobic way, but so can lots of things. I’m sure there are gay people who disagree with me and think it’s inherently homophobic. That’s fine. If they want then I won’t say it to or around them, but I would do that out of respect for them and not because I agree with their reasoning.

  77. says

    Elizabeth Hamilton: feel free to make up your own mind, but please don’t report back here about it. We’ve been the target of their hatred for a couple of years, and I simply will not tolerate it.

    Hey, sockpuppets out there: give it a break. As soon as I detect you, I’ll delete everything you posted.

  78. says

    @believerskeptic: I can’t remember when/where I first read these ideas, but let me lay them out: but if you’re an ally because you think you’re going to get kudos from marginalized groups, then you’re an ally for the wrong reasons. If you’re an ally because you think you’ve totally purged yourself of the bigotries that you’ve absorbed from living in the bubble of privilege, then you’re both mistaken and an ally for the wrong reasons. If you’re an ally only until someone in a marginalized group upsets or insults you, and then you take your ball and go home, then you were an ally for the wrong reasons, and never much of one to begin with.

    The goal of being an ally is to help, to listen, to follow, in service of the greater cause of social justice and equality. If that’s your goal, then you’re not going to give up just because someone said something mean, just because you made a mistake, whatever. If your goal is social justice, then you’re being an ally because it’s the right thing to do, whether or not you get any recognition for it. Recognition isn’t the point; equality is.

    If your response to mild criticism is to say “well, fuck justice, I’m joining up with the oppressors,” then you’re not an ally, certainly not the kind of fairweather ally anyone wants or needs to have.

    @Pteryxx #559:

    General question that came to mind from Greta C’s latest post (previously an article in Free Inquiry magazine). There’s Free Inquiry, by Council for Secular Humanism which is part of CFI, and there’s Skeptical Inquirer, by CSI (formerly CSICOP) which is also part of CFI. Are those basically THE print magazines of skeptical or freethought or atheist community, or are there others under different organizations?

    There’s Skeptic Magazine, which is done by the Skeptic Society, headed by…Michael Shermer. There’s also The Skeptic from Australia and the Freethinker, out of the UK.

  79. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    On the off-chance that “believerskeptic” isn’t a slymepit agitator, I have some advice for him which I put in Thunderdome, before relurking until the next crisis. Keep up the good work, everybody.

  80. says

    Cerberus @483:
    I have been waiting since last week for an answer to that question. For all that we have battled sexist assclams, Shermer Defenders, and members of the Kult of Freeze Peach, none have answered.
    The closest was MIKE, who came in to the grenade thread at the end, and relayed his story of being falsely accused of rape. In his hometown, his reputation was destroyed. He said stigma followed him everywhere.
    While I believe him, one case does not speak for all those other false rape cases-of which there are not many. Moreover, his life was not destroyed as many Apologists for Shermer keep asserting will happen to Shermer.
    DOGBERRY, one of those selfsame defenders has appeared over at LOUSY CANUCK and I have posed that to him-again-and as yet have received no answer.

  81. sqlrob says

    For instance, legal drinking age is set at a person’s 21st birthday, in some states—it’s not right for everyone, but that’s the way it has to go, unless you want drinking tests like drivers tests.

    You know, that’s actually a good idea. One simple place to address the myths about alcohol, including some of consent discussion going around here.

  82. says

    Back home now, and I see Doc Gross went full court whiny doucheweasel. Such a shame, however, from what he wrote, I don’t want to be any part of the hatrack he hangs his hat on.

  83. Bilb Ono says

    I’m a long-time lurker, and I don’t mean to derail or anything… but “butthurt” is homophobic? I’m gay myself, and while the word doesn’t particularly bother me the notion that some people think it has anything specific to do with homosexuals is itself a bit off-putting to me.

  84. says

    A drinking test? I could imagine that. A class or handbook covering issues like:

    *consent and sexuality
    *driving while impaired
    *alcohol and domestic violence
    *recreational activities while impaired (e.g. drowning accidents caused by drinking & boating)
    *alcohol poisoning and how to respond if you find someone passed out from alcohol
    *how to recognise if you have an alcohol addiction and what to do about it

    People who are convicted of crimes or are guilty of offences committed while intoxicated could have their drinking licences pulled. People would have to show their drinking licences to buy alcohol. It might actually do a lot of good and prevent a lot of damage. (Once marijuana has been legalised, it could be expanded to cover both.)

  85. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but “butthurt” is homophobic?

    Usually. I had a MRA troll use that to describe me recently, after I tore apart his argument and it left in shreds for the Pullet Patrol to ignore as spurned garbage. I’m sure he wasn’t using the term in any other meaning.

  86. A. Noyd says

    Beatrice (#536)

    I find it a bit annoying to see that, since slimepit became a thing, visiting assholes are often either assumed to be from the pit or told that they should go there. And it makes me go “why are we still even talking about those morons, let alone sending people there? I don’t want them to merge into one big slimy jerk”.

    Well said. We don’t need to lend the pitstains more relevance than they can muster on their own.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    believerskeptic (#541)

    But I promise you, FTB, I promise you as sure as you are reading this right now—

    —it’s your loss.

    Compare this to the usual reaction from regulars when they get praised for their contributions, which is surprise and self-effacement.

  87. says

    SallyStrange:

    I had believerskeptic pegged for an asshole early on. Go me!

    Yes, you did. Now you won’t have to adjust your Bayesian priors as to that whole ‘skeptic’ in the nym business. :D Have a plate of cookies for the early call.

  88. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Wasn’t it Sagan who said we’re all made of starfarts?

  89. Ingdigo Jump says

    To commit a crime you have to be able to know it’s a crime when you commit it. – spackalick

    “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”

    If it was I would have never gotten a single fucking traffic ticket+

    On the off-chance that “believerskeptic” isn’t a slymepit agitator,

    My instincts on bullshiters is usually decent and my call is that no he is not. He’s throwing a tantrum, it’s a genuine tantrum.

  90. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had believerskeptic pegged for an asshole early on. Go me!

    I also had BS pegged for an asshole early on. But today, I had to catch up at work, as I took yesterday off at the Redhead’s request (after forty-years, it was a polite order).

  91. says

    Bilb Ono:
    I am in pretty much the same boat as you. I do not quite get why it is homophobic, but since others do not share my experiences, I accept that it is an insult to some people and simply do not use the term. That I do not ‘get it’ really is not the point, IMO.

    ***

    After reading #541, I am reminded of that article at Slate (?) or Jezebel (?) about being men being allies to feminists. I cant find the article at the moment, but I do recall one of the points being:

    -being an ally means fighting for womens equality without expecting anything in return. If you expect a pat on the head, a “good job”, or a delicious just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie, it makes your motivation look suspect. Are you doing this to genuinely help the cause of equality, or so you can get recognition for your good deeds?

    Fight for equality because it is the right thing to do, not because you hope people will be nice to you. Also, when you support feminism, and you do not receive accolades, remember:

    It. Is. Not. About. You.
    —-

    Despite not finding the article I was looking for (why do I imagine someone who comments here regularly has a link…?), I did find another article Intent is not Magic;Impact is Reality:

    [Excerpt]

    From Paula Deen to Alec Baldwin to your annoying, bigoted uncle or friend, we hear it over and over again: “I never meant any harm…” “It was never my intent…” “I am not a racist…” “I am not a homophobe…” “I’m not a sexist…”

    I cannot tell you how often I’ve seen people attempt to deflect criticism about their oppressive language or actions by making the conversation about their intent.

    At what point does the “intent” conversation stop mattering so that we can step back and look at impact?

    After all, in the end, what does the intent of our action really matter if our actions have the impact of furthering the marginalization or oppression of those around us?

    In some ways, this is a simple lesson of relationships.

    If I say something that hurts my partner, it doesn’t much matter whether I intended the statement to mean something else – because my partner is hurting.

    I need to listen to how my language hurt my partner. I need to apologize.

    And then I need to reflect and empathize to the best of my ability so I don’t do it again.

    But when we’re dealing with the ways in which our identities intersect with those around us – and, in turn, the ways our privileges and our experiences of marginalization and oppression intersect – this lesson becomes something much larger and more profound.

    For people of identity privilege, this is where listening becomes vitally important, for our privilege can often shield us from understanding the impact of our actions.

    After all, as a person of privilege, I can never fully understand the ways in which oppressive acts or language impact those around me. What I surely can do is listen with every intent to understand, and I can work to change my behavior.

    Because what we need to understand is that making the conversation about intent is inherently a privileged action.

    The reason?

    It ensures that you and your identity (and intent) stay at the center of any conversation and action while the impact of your action or words on those around you is marginalized.

    So if someone ever tells you to “check your privilege,” what they may very well mean is: “Stop centering your experience and identity in the conversation by making this about the intent of your actions instead of their impact.”

    That is: Not everything is about you.
    </blockquote

  92. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Huh, I was going to post a gently criticism of believerskeptic’s piece, but seeing #541 I can’t imagine that would have gone well. Which is a fucking shame. We need more artists on board, rape culture is too pervasive a problem to ignore any means of combating it. And as a former musician of a very poor sort I’ve been unable to produce even what BS did. It all comes out as too fucking didactic to be good music.

  93. says

    Indigo Jump:
    I agree.
    I do not think the good Dr oozes slyme, but he has some misconceptions about what it means to be an ally.

    Not the usual place for this, but here is a Tony Tale:

    For those that do not know, I am a bartender/bar manager at a restaurant in Florida. On at least a weekly basis, I have the opportunity to chat with other employees about all manner of topics. Today, when I got off work @430, I sat with three young women pishing silverware while waiting for guests to come eat. As I sat I noted they were commenting on something in the news. I inquired if they heard the story of the teen in GA denied a life saving heart transplant bc bad grades and history of noncompliance. Ibam still quite surprised that thi young man is being denied a transolant. So were the M, S, and St (the three women). Then I mentioned he was black, which did not elicit much surprise on their part. They were still shocked that bad grades and noncompliance were factors in determining worthinesd for heart transplants. I took this as the time to mention that race is quite likely a factor (I did not assert it definitely, just as a strong possibility). I mentioned one would need to look at other heart transplant cases and see if the same criteria was checked for. This was met with acknowledgement that racism is still a big problem in this country.

    From there, I also brought in the notion of intersectionality and privilege, which they did not appear to know about. I talked about how being a white, heterosexual, able bodied man affords one tremendous privilege. When I talked about how sexism, racism and homophobia intersect, M brought up her enjoyment of Psych 101 and how she learned that we all carry sexist biases within us. I expounded on that by discussing the culture we live in and how it is massively difficult to break out of that mindset.

    I am already out as a gay man and no one has displayed any problem with that.
    At this point in the chat, I revealed my nonbelief.
    I told them that for me, rejecting any god belief meant reassessing any other beliefs built upon thst nonsense, such as sexism, racism and yes, even a smattering of homophobia. They looked surprised at the last bit. Thats where intersectionality came into play.

    I told them how, in years past, I would make statements about wanting a masculine guy, not a nellie, effeminate one and often heard other gay men make similar comments. It was not until I began examining my biases that I realized that my “taste” in men was preficated on some secist views. If I sought men that “acted like men”, avoiding “feminine” men, that directly implies that something about femininity, or being a woman is a bad thing.

    They all had a look of surprise. I paused before continuing; adding that slurs such as “nellie”, “gay”, & “retard” only work if there is something wrong with being a woman, being gay, or having mental disabilities. Since nothing is wrong with any of those, they are not insults (again, this is my perspective).

    All of that is a long winded way of saying that our skeptic friend above had the perfect time to analyze his biases to engage in self awareness and grow, but he chose not to.

    I refuse to do the same.

    (Apologies for any typos. Preview is acting up on my phone.)

  94. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Slightly OT but related to FossilFishy’s comment:
    In my limited experience the most heart wrenching and powerful song I have ever heard about rape culture is Tori Amos’s Precious Things. I am in no way a victim but I get choked up and teary listening to it. Seek it out but please be warned it could be trigger material .

  95. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Actually ‘Precious Things’ really needs a trigger warning.
    Sorry for being wishy washy about that. Just re-listened to it.
    Apologies.

  96. Amphigorey says

    “Precious Things” is powerful, but the one that really needs a trigger warning is “Me and a Gun.” That song is harrowing.

  97. Funny Diva says

    CaitieCat @476

    Thank you for that pointer! How did I miss that?! BAD DIVA!

    *toots CaitieCat’s horn* TOOT TOOT TOOT

    FOFISSAMO! I _love_ it.

    Full disclosure: I’m the sort of person who puts their foot (or their hot-headedness) in it and thus needs to un-dig fairly regularly. *solidarity*

  98. Suido says

    Best of luck, PZ. Should a legal fund be set up for any blogger involved in this, count me in for a donation.

    Now that the important part is out of the way…

    That was an entertaining read. The Great and Glorious Doctor Magnifico himself, Robert Gross, did indeed honour us with his presence.

    I believe I’ve captured the essence of his sermon here:

    1. Loook at meeeeee.
    2. No, guys, listen, hey everyone, I made a song. A SONG.
    3. Eh, they must be too busy appreciating and sharing my song to reply, I’ll try my hand at some witty banter. I know, a pun, one of those things that derives humour from having two meanings, because I’m clever.
    4. What? People found one of those two meanings offensive? They were supposed to be concentrating on the other meaning. They must be too stupid to have understood, and are deserving of my wrath.
    5. Wrath didn’t work, that made them more mad. Quick, cite all the good awesome things I’ve done, because that is obviously pertinent as to whether or not my joke was offensive.
    6. Self indulgent almost-apology.
    7. Tanty and flounce.

    I thought he was going to save himself at 6, but he teetered when he should have tottered. I think questioning his affiliations is a bit rough, given the song and how proud of it he is. So I probably shouldn’t say that the song was grating and I couldn’t keep listening past a minute. I hope he’s still lurking and can get over himself.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You can only hope Popehat feels dickheads are worthy of pro bono assistance.

    Oh, you need assistance?

  100. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thank your for Precious Things gobi. I cried and I’m *not* a rape survivor either.

    And now I sit here, crying, fucking cursing my lack of skill. I’ve always shrugged off my lack of musical ability, dismissed it as unimportant. I gave it my best shot and I failed, no big deal, no lose to anyone other than myself. But hearing Tori do it right. Fuck, I regret that I can’t do similar, can’t make that effort to reach people in a way that might reach past their learned rationalisations and hit them in the emotions.

    Anyway, fuck it. This isn’t about me, shouldn’t be about me. But I will beg you creative people, please, if you can, use that creativity in the service of making the world a better place.

  101. anteprepro says

    You can only hope Popehat feels dickheads are worthy of pro bono assistance.

    I think you meant “boner” not “bono”. Also, I believe that has less to do with the head than with the shaft.

    Thank you for your belated submission to the Gavel Porn discussion nonetheless.

  102. says

    Me? I’m hoping the Streisand effect will kick in at any moment. I want to see Dr. Stollznow’s Sci-Am article, Carrie Poppy’s post and PZ’s grenade post on behalf of Jane Doe plastered all over the Internets.

  103. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    @FossilFishy
    I can’t drop an emotional bomb like Precious Things and not feel bad if it has upset you.
    I won’t OT here but please pop over to the Lounge.

  104. anteprepro says

    Me? I’m hoping the Streisand effect will kick in at any moment.

    I’m hoping that as well, but I also realize that if Sherman were actually as logical, reasonable, rational, etc. as he pretends to be, the Streisand Effect would be one of the major deterrents for him even considering a lawsuit about this. That’s the surest way to guarantee that he won’t be able to somehow find a way to sweep things back under the rug and avoid getting mainstream media attention on this. If he sues to shut people up, it will backfire and he, as a professional super-skeptic, should know that. And part of me wishes he will do it anyway, the backfire occurs, PZ wins the lawsuit with minimal stress, and Sherman’s career goes down in well-deserved fucking flames due to one final act of complete stupidity. One can dream.

  105. mikeyb says

    Shermer is a sexual bully who is shocked that anyone would dare call him out on his behavior, when he’s been doing it nonstop for years.

  106. anteprepro says

    How ironical to misrefer to “Sherman” here on Meyers’ blog.

    What, his name isn’t Sherman? I checked by e-mail with Dr. Hawkins himself to make sure before I posted. It’s a perfectly cromulent spelling, I’m sure.

    You must think there is something wrong with dicks.

    I assure you there is nothing wrong with them.

    Oh, there is something wrong with them. They have such an unoriginal shape. Just look at the vast number of things considered “phallic”! It that is right, then I don’t want to live in this world anymore!

  107. says

    scooter is an idiot more often than not these days, but I think he had a point when he said that PZ may be in trouble if these women are not prepared to come out of anonymity.

    Should that situation arise, I will contribute to his legal costs. I can imagine that this whole thing is causing quite some anxiety for PZ and family, so hang in there man, don’t let it stress you out too much. People have your back.

  108. mikeyb says

    One of the positive things that would come out of this potentially dragged out mess, no matter how long it takes, is how many people really are behind PZ on this one.

  109. says

    One of the positive things that would come out of this potentially dragged out mess, no matter how long it takes, is how many people really are behind PZ on this one.

    But that’s not even important, is it? I mean, I raise my non-existent hat to PZ, but he’s the messenger here.

  110. chrisho-stuart says

    I just want to say: until now “popehat” was mostly off my radar. I’ve been having a look. Ken White is all kinds of awesome and a blast to read. I saw also the article found by eigenperson, and linked a bit back, in which Ken is somewhat critical of PZ.

    Gotta confess; so am I. But this comment isn’t about that.

    I also read a lot of other stuff there; what fun! Ken White was, I see, involved in the fun and games with Marc Stephens and the Burzynski clinic. Reading Ken’s blog posts on that little affair warms the heart. (See: Tell Me About The Rabbit, Marc Stephens.)

    Really good to hear PZ is getting hold of good legal advice. I gather it won’t be Ken himself, but he’s helping you find someone. Great! If it comes to it I’ll also be a small contributor to any legal fund; hopefully it won’t be needed but I’m on board if it is.

    I note Ken’s conclusion to the post found by eigenperson includes:

    Let me add that I enjoy much of what PZ Myers writes, read him frequently, and often agree with him about the excesses of religious extremists and the distorting impact that theocratic thinking has on science and government. I can learn from him without agreeing completely with him. …

    Quoting the bit that I’m signing up for as well. Best wishes PZ and also to your family who may be impacted by this!

  111. Rob says

    Ugggh. Why do I have to share a name fragment with believerskeptic? For the sake of my poor fragile ego please don’t refer to him as ‘Rob’. /patheticwhinyness

  112. cubist says

    sez ifcunning: “You can only hope Popehat feels dickheads are worthy of pro bono assistance.”
    Given the content of the post to which you’re replying, it is manifestly obvious that either (a) Popehat does indeed feel that ‘dickheads’ can be ‘worthy’ of pro bono assistance, or (b) Popehat does not regard PZ as a ‘dickhead’. I hope your evident difficulties with reading comprehension do not handicap you too badly in your daily life.

  113. says

    @believerskeptic said

    I didn’t actually care about the indifference to the song until it occurred to me that, you know, I didn’t completely deserve the dogpiling you were giving me precisely *because* I had made the previous effort (of which you were obviously unaware).

    Sorry friend, you are the most recent victim of FTB groupthink.

  114. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    Arpit Chauhan, victim of FTB groupthink?

    (Are you likewise the most recent victim of anti-FTB groupthink?)

  115. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Huh, I’m almost exactly with the Greens socially and almost exactly with Labour economically. That means next election when I finally have my citizenship, barring any radical policy changes, I vote Green.

  116. piegasm says

    Sorry friend, you are the most recent victim of FTB groupthink.

    Well, aren’t you clever*?

    *for values of ‘clever’ equal to ‘repetitive’ and/or ‘trite.’

  117. says

    @John Morales

    Go through all the 636 comments before mine, and you’ll see that besides two [one a re-post of a lawyer’s comment elsewhere and other one about interpreting evidence according to Bayesian priors], most comments are written with the purpose of slinging mud at anyone who happens to put forth an assertion others don’t agree with. I’m not saying that false assertions shouldn’t be refuted, but to my lowly intellect, name-calling doesn’t seem to be the best way to do that.

    This is a trend I’ve seen in comments on FTB posts from 3-4 days. I acknowledge that there are really good posts by skeptics like Richard Carrier. But, as they say about YouTube, don’t read the comments lest you want to facepalm.

  118. says

    I think what Arpit is trying to say is that he can’t mount any arguments that haven’t already been thoroughly demolished, so he’s going to sling groundless accusations, to the effect that the people he disagrees with can’t think for themselves.

  119. Nick Gotts says

    my lowly intellect – Arpit Chauhan

    Just thought I’d do you the favour of singling out the most insightful part of your comments so far.

  120. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Arpit, ah, you’re critical of others’ criticism because you imagine that refutations are best done without derision.

    (My lowly intellect notes a refutation is a refutation, whether best or otherwise)

    Look: it’s obvious you’ve come here to criticise this place.

    (Pointless, of course)

  121. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    At least Arpit Chauhan can blockquote. That’s an improvement…

  122. says

    Arpit
    You may have noticed repeated references in this thread to a previous thread, now locked. There is a great deal of overlap in the subject matter of these threads, and people who come into this one spouting crap that was refuted dozens of times in that one, those doing the refuting tend to become a tad bit irate. This shows in their responses, especially since there is a high probability that new interlocutors are not only not acting in good faith, they are in fact morphs of individuals whose behaviour had already gotten them banned. Whether or not you are one of these individuals, you use a number of memes strongly associated with their style of trolling, and thus you are unlikely to receive any responses not including derision. This should be patently obvious to even the dullest of individuals, and reasonably well programmed chatbots. I don’t know why you don’t seem to grasp it.

  123. Maureen Brian says

    And now Aprit Chauhan, who claims to be a feminist, is complaining about us on Twitter.

    I think we should have free pacifiers – or dummies as we call them in the UK – to hand out to people who trip over their egos as they arrive and then think they can make a stellar contribution to a conversation without reading the previous 4 or 5 thousand comments.

  124. Louis says

    I MADE A SONG!!!! WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME????*

    Louis

    P.S. Hmmm I smell failed rock musician syndrome. SOMEONE wants to be idolised.

    * This makes me better than you because you’re just internet scum. You’ve never made a song. And your mums all smell of poo. So there.

  125. sonderval says

    I do not like thee, Dr. Gross,
    You put yourself upon that gross.
    To have you flouncing is no loss,
    I do not like thee, Dr. Gross.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    And to all the horde and especially to Caine: Admiration for your tenacity and for fighting off all the nonsense again and again.

    Lurking mode on again…

  126. Louis says

    Maureen,

    A lot of dummies are being spat out and teddies chucked from prams. The temptation to mock is overwhelming.

    Louis

  127. piegasm says

    written with the purpose of slinging mud at anyone who happens to put forth an completely unevidenced and thoroughly refuted assertion others don’t agree with.

    Fixed that for you, Arpit. (bolded parts are my additions, obvs)

  128. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    I’m still slogging my way through the other thread, but I wanted to show my support to PZ, both Janes Doe, and all the regulars who’ve been cleaning house in the usual, brilliant fashion.

    Especially Caine, who has gone above and beyond. I love this community for its uncompromising principles, and its needed now more than ever. It’s made me a better person, and Caine (among so many others) have directly contributed to that, one keystroke at a time.

    Thank you.

    Also, regarding these fucking hyperskeptics, how they get out of bed in a morning without independantly verifying that the fucking floor is still there is beyond me.

  129. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @suido

    I hope he’s still lurking and can get over himself.

    He’s now appeared on the thread about Atheists being happy.

    I too hope he calms down a bit. I haven’t listened to the song and frankly can’t be bothered to, but if he went to all the effort of making it (and he does deserve kudos for the effort, but it doesn’t give him a pass for offending other commenters) then I think it’s safe to assume he’s on the same page ideologically. If he can learn to take a bit of criticism and rid himself of this weird idea that good deeds mean he gets no criticism for bad ones, then maybe he could be valuable round here. I’d rather have a new ally than have him flounce, but he needs to change his attitude a bit if that’s going to happen.

  130. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Loud #655

    Also, regarding these fucking hyperskeptics, how they get out of bed in a morning without independantly verifying that the fucking floor is still there is beyond me.

    Fantastic :) I’m laughing hysterically in meatspace.

  131. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @believerskeptic

    First of all, I do want to apologize for the “cop” comment. I don’t mean this in a “sorry if you misunderstood me” sort of way, or in any other sort of Ron Lindsay sort of way. I really did intend it to be a way of pointing out how stupid the “A Feel” name was in the first place, but I didn’t consider how others would react to it.

    The rest of the post was tl;dr, but this is the important bit.

    On the off chance you are still lurking; this is all it took. This is all anyone on the thread wanted, and if you’d done this in the first place the whole thing would have been forgotten about. So why on Earth didn’t you? I genuinely am curious as to why this wasn’t the very first thing you wrote in response.

  132. CaitieCat says

    @615 Funny Diva: Thank you very much. :)

    @Doc Gross’ video: I don’t click on videos in contentious threads, because jackasses like to come along and put up triggering and awful things in videos linked in such threads, and the thread itself is bad enough, without someone rickrolling me with a porn video or fuck knows what. Also, I have one of the world’s worst data plans, and given there’s no way of knowing before clicking whether or not we’re talking about a 20-second or a 10-minute Youtube link, I’m disinclined to waste my all-too-scarce bandwidth on unknown (and possibly triggering/awful) undescribed video links: when I hit my limit, the charges are something like $2/Gb, and I’m not kidding about wishing I could have a consumption competition with the church mice and not lose.

    I’m a grandmother, of four grand kids (of my three somewhat less-grand kids – I’m joking, they’re good kids), and the one thing I tell any of that brood about mistakes is this:

    Making mistakes will happen. We make up gods at least in part because of the impossibility and inadvisability of believing that people are perfect. What makes a difference is what you do next.

    Do you apologize, make amends as possible, try not to do it again? Perfect. All one can ask for.

    Do you bluster, insist it wasn’t a mistake, defend it, and refuse to apologize? All too human, but wanting quite a bit before “acceptable” is reached, let alone perfect.

    This applies to me, as it does to anyone. No one here’s going to let you get away with a splash-damage comment, but they are willing to hear an apology and a little bit showing you know where you went wrong. If instead you warm up the backhoe, well, don’t be surprised if you find yourself with a lapful of rotten fruit and veg.

  133. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Elizabeth Hamilton #659

    I think using the term “to flounce” is homophobic. Think about it.

    Are you sure?

    flounce
    /flouns/

    Verb
    1.Go or move in an exaggeratedly impatient or angry manner: “he stood up in a fury and flounced out”.
    2.Trimmed with a flounce or flounces.

    Noun
    1.An exaggerated action, typically intended to express one’s annoyance or impatience.
    2.A wide ornamental strip of material gathered and sewn to a piece of fabric; a frill.

    Synonyms
    frill – furbelow – ruffle

  134. says

    A “flounce” is a strip of cloth, gathered at one or both ends and usually attached to petticoats and that sort of thing. To accuse someone of flouncing is basically to accuse them of acting like a woman.

    So, to accuse a man of flouncing is like calling him a “fairy”.

    If you google images “flounce” you get Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O’Hara.

  135. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Elizabeth Hamilton #662

    A “flounce” is a strip of cloth, gathered at one or both ends and usually attached to petticoats and that sort of thing. To accuse someone of flouncing is basically to accuse them of acting like a woman.

    You’re using the word flounce as a noun; you may have a point if someone is calling someone ‘a flounce’.

    It’s used on Pharyngula as a verb, i.e. an annoyed, exaggerated departure.

    Case closed.

  136. says

    And on the photo of Leigh as quintessential belle, is written “As God is my witness, I will never come to this forum again!”

    So, I guess the term is used a lot on the internet. People “flounce” in and out. It’s like the “school m’arm” trope but with frills: sanctimony and indignation in feminine form.

    Gendered insults aren’t allowed here? Then “flounce” shouldn’t be either.

  137. piegasm says

    @662

    If anything your argument is homophobic since it assumes being gay has something to do with acting like a woman. It seems to me that, if the word is problematic at all, it’s sexist since it seems to derive from the idea that such behavior is a woman thing.

  138. Lofty says

    Elizabeth Hamilton
    Flounce
    flounce1 verb (flounced, flouncing) intrans to move in a way expressive of impatience or indignation. noun a flouncing movement.
    ETYMOLOGY: 16c: possibly related to Norse flunsa to hurry.
    .
    Don’t try too hard to make it more sexist than it is.

  139. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Elizabeth Hamilton

    You’re conflating homosexuality with effeminate-ness (?). So if anything your argument is more insulting than the word itself.

    That said, I can see a potential problem with it from a gendered-insult point of view; but I will wait to see if any women are offended by it before I stop saying it.

  140. Suido says

    @Elizabeth Hamilton:
    #659

    I think using the term “to flounce” is homophobic. Think about it.

    #662

    To accuse someone of flouncing is basically to accuse them of acting like a woman.

    Consistency. Think about it.

    I think the verb is gender neutral and simply means leaving in a huff, possibly slamming the door and more indicative of maturity than gender. I’m interested in seeing evidence that it is homophobic or sexist.

  141. chigau (残念ですね) says

    John Morales is correct.
    This flounce discussion would be better in the Thunderdome.

  142. says

    I am not trolling. I am not offended by the use of “flounce” either, or not very much so in any case. Someone suggested this should go to Thunderdome. I’ve never been there and don’t want to go. So, I just won’t comment on it again.

  143. Nick Gotts says

    Since I strongly suspect “Jennifer McCarthy” is a sockpuppet (as well as a lying bag of shit, obviously), I’ve alerted PZ.

  144. Louis says

    I thought that was almost funny. As an attempt at satire, I’ll give it a 3/10, but it didn’t really hold together well enough. Good use of PZ’s words, nice try at comparing incomparable situations, otherwise, a bit sophomoric. Not a passing mark but definitely a first try worthy of a “ha” then a “sigh”.

    Keep trying!

    Louis

  145. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Jennifer McCarthy

    I was reading Pharyngula and on his blog, PZ Myers coerced his readers into a position where they were led to believe that Michael Shermer is a sexual predator…

    I don’t think you understand what “coerced” means.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Since I strongly suspect “Jennifer McCarthy” is a sockpuppet (as well as a lying bag of shit, obviously), I’ve alerted PZ.

    Yeah, that was my first thought. Sounded like a ‘pitter style of fuckwittery.

  147. says

    My irony meter is giving a funny signal wrt @675, one that I haven’t heard before. It’s irony all right, but it’s all wrong. Like, fucked up all screwed kind of irony. Anonymous, of course. And then there’s that:

    I was reading Pharyngula and on his blog, PZ Myers coerced his readers into a position where they were led to believe that Michael Shermer is a sexual predator

    See, this is funny. The way I read it, multiple women have come out independently to suggest that drinking alcohol with Michael Shermer at conferences might not be entirely safe. And PZ relayed that information. I don’t recall being coerced.

    But as we have learned in the last few days, the conspiracy against Shermer is vast, and spans years if not decades, with PZ Myers as the mastermind. It was all planned and set up before the moon landing. Well, what they claim was the moon landing. You know what I mean.

  148. nightshadequeen says

    Shorter Jennifer McCarthy:

    Being accused of rape is somehow similar to being raped

    Getting drunk* and “accidentally” producing long screeds on teh interwebz is somehow similar to being plied with alcohol

    Accusing a drunk person who has “accidentally” produced long screeds on the internet vaguely supporting the Slymers is similar to raping a person too drunk to consent.

    * No, I don’t get the whole thing about a coffeeshop, either.

  149. Nick Gotts says

    I don’t think you [“Jennifer McCarthy”] understand what “coerced” means. – Thumper

    Just like your average sexual predator!

  150. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Elizabeth Hamilton

    I’ve never been there and don’t want to go.

    Why on Earth not?

  151. sonderval says

    @Elizabeth Hamilton
    My apologies, if you or others were offended by the term “flounce” – I learned it here on pharyngula and (as a non-native speaker) did not realise it might have unwelcome connotations to someone. If it has, I’ll try to forget the word ASAP.

  152. carlie says

    At most, flounce would be sexist, since it generally refers to the action of swishing one’s ruffles in a huff while exiting. I think it’s a stretch to say it’s homophobic, though – if we used prance or mince those probably would be, but I don’t think flounce as a term is generally associated with gay slurs?

  153. Maureen Brian says

    sonderval,

    It doesn’t really have homophobic connotations. If you look at the first of the links which John Morales gives @ 665 you’ll see that there were two separate words, two different etymologies, which somehow ended up at “now” spelled the same way.

    No wonder they are sometimes confused but the principal meaning of the verb and the principal meaning of the noun are very different.

    So, no worries, eh?

  154. mildlymagnificent says

    As for flounce?

    We’ll have to get a new vocabulary for describing flamenco costumes if “flounce” is out of general use.

  155. nightshadequeen says

    We’ll have to get a new vocabulary for describing flamenco costumes if “flounce” is out of general use.

    To be fair, it’s completely plausible for one definition of a word to be Not Okay, and another to be Okay.

    [ ex: bitch as a reference to a female dog ]

  156. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Only as long as you’ve been working on being a sanctimonious feminazi.

    Lol… The trolls are barely passing the Turing Test at the moment.

  157. John Morales says

    [meta]

    “Audrey Phlepburn”:

    Perhaps if you are getting too emotional you should take a moment and step away from the computer before engaging again. Try to stay rational, and remember, have fun!

    Troll-spoor.

  158. chigau (残念ですね) says

    Wasn’t meant to be funny, it was meant to teach you a lesson and correct your belief that skeptics should only be skeptics unless someone who is part of your troupe makes unfounded claims involving feminism.

    That was incoherent.

  159. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    I have to say, as a heterosexual white male, I am honoured to be called a feminazi.

  160. nightshadequeen says

    [ meta: I’m ignoring Audrey Phlepburn because zie is almost certainly a sockpuppet, although as Jennifer McCarthy‘s post is now gone, I can’t check the gravatar image url myself]

    The anti-feminist comments on that that Friendly Atheist article….are just as victim-blamey and horrible as trolls here.

    Also: well said, Jen McCreight:

    Look at what happened to Rebecca Watson when she simply said “guys, don’t do that” about an anonymous conference attendee. Imagine the shitstorm if there were public accusations of sexual misconduct of some very famous speakers. I’m not ready for the flood of rape and death threats. I’m not ready to be blacklisted and have my atheist “career” ruined by people more powerful and influential than me. I’m not ready to be sued for libel or slander. I’m not ready for the SSA or other organizations I’m affiliated with to also be harmed by association.

  161. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Phlep:

    Perhaps you should think of taking a Turing Test yourself!

    If one could think such, the test would be otiose.

    :)

    Your doltish smile becomes you.

    Cheers! :)

    You got nothing better to do, do ya?

  162. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    There goes the comment numbering again…
    Btw: I have already passed my Turing Test.

  163. John Morales says

    Phlep:

    This kind of thing reminds me a bit of an accusation that happened on this blog a few days ago. Ring a bell?

    What do you imagine this very post is about?

  164. nightshadequeen says

    Oh wow this new troll is like the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.

  165. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Perhaps she shouldn’t have made baseless accusations with little to no evidence, then talked in great detail about said accusations, thereby publicizing her ordeal in a fashion that defeats the purpose of keeping it quiet.

    This is seriously what the Whiny Ass Misogynists have been reduced too? “Guys, don’t do that” is now a “baseless accusations” couple with the tediously and constantly repeated “women aren’t people/always lie therefore their first hand experiences aren’t evidence”.

    It’s almost as if they have only three brain cells, and two of them are already dead.

  166. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This was meant to show you that your methods of thinking are incorrect and need to be corrected.

    No, you are the one with fucked up thinking. That’s why you sound like a demented frothing fool. No cogency, just “how do you like it”, which isn’t an argument. Its a unintelligent rant.

  167. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Phlep:

    If I’m just a dumb troll who is stupid for wasting my time then you must be exponentially dumb for taking the time to argue with a troll.

    You imagine I’m arguing with you?

  168. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    @Audrey Phlepburn #712

    …lynch mob justice…

    LOL. Wow you’re dumb.

  169. Louis says

    Audrey Phelpburn,

    Wasn’t meant to be funny, it was meant to teach you a lesson and correct your belief that skeptics should only be skeptics unless someone who is part of your troupe makes unfounded claims involving feminism.

    So the only way one could find the testimony of this woman, or whatever “unfounded claims involving feminism” means, which has come to light via this blog, is because of troupe/tribal (i.e. in group) allegiance?

    No chance of, for example, independently arriving at that conclusion {cough…null hypothesis…cough}? No chance of, for example, you being wrong about a few things?

    Interesting sceptical approach there! What other “lessons” do you have to teach me? I ask because your attempt at a first lesson was laughably bad. I already know I can be wrong, I already only hold opinions (for example regarding this) provisionally in the absence of further corroboration. I’m also well aware of the stats surrounding the issue of rape, false allegations and such like. The reason I hold the provisional opinion that the testimony of Jane Doe is accurate is independent of the proxy by which it has reached me, or any of the other lovely folk around here, it is because I actually know something about the general subject. Given even fairly simple Bayesian priors, the most parsimonious explanation is Jane Doe’s testimony is true.

    Of course, if instead one is a sexist, misogynist, paranoid conspiracy theorist hell bent on maintaining a status quo that demonstrably disadvantages women in more situations and to a greater extent than men, for no other reason than the genitals they possess, then of course it’s easier for one to believe that PZ made the whole thing up. Guess what, I’ll be overjoyed if he did, for two reasons: 1) one less blog to read, 2) this particular woman didn’t get raped. Win win. Never thought of that did you?

    Do you have a history of finding inappropriate things funny?

    Yes. I’ve never claimed to be either nice or perfect. I find the flailing of you and your rather infantile and pathetic ideological stablemates endlessly amusing. But then I’m cruel like that.

    Toodles!

    Louis

  170. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Strangely I have no pity whatsoever for the odious little man who made his name by flinging feces at people.

    I like this part the best out of this hilariously desperate PROTECT THE MISOGYNISTS (AND RAPISTS) AT ALL COST post from “Audrey”.

    “Audrey” is straight up saying that if “she’s” decided someone isn’t guilty of something, they magically aren’t and anyone who doesn’t trust “her” magic powers of deciding what’s true without even the slightest hint of evidence (what?!?! Am I actually saying that “audrey” is a lying hypocrite, why, yes I am!), they should lose their jobs, their livelihoods, their money, etc. Because its totally rational to destroy someone’s life because you really, really want to believe your personal heroes aren’t guilty of something.

    I haven’t seen such a sad and pathetic display of desperate fanboi idol worship and religiousity from the pitshitters in a looooooong time.

    Hilarious, “Audrey”. Thank you!

    :)

    Cheers!  :)

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those who repeatedly invoke the Dunning-Kruger effect often suffer from it themselves.

    No, they are telling you what you suffer from. What an unintelligent performance to show your fuckwitted thinking, but you demonstrate to evidence to show you are right. Just your word. Which for some reason, like frothing at the mouth irrationality, I dismiss.

  172. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    People lie, no matter their gender. Your jumbled feminazi mental gymnastics have blinded you to this, and allows you take personal offense to the idea that people, not just women, lie.

    Can someone translate this from Limbaugh Bigotese? Oh wait – I get it. It says “Audrey’s” a bigot troll who’s got nothing left but hilariously ineffective insults” he learned from Rush Limbaugh”.

    ; )

    Cheers : )

  173. Pteryxx says

    What’s really ironic about Jen’s statement back then is that basically everything she predicted, short of legal threats actually materializing instead of just being implied, happened anyway. Just as a result of saying in completely general terms that a problem exists and we’ll solve it proactively by instituting harassment policies.

    Y’know, rape apologists’ network, trying to silence your victims only works if staying silent has some sort of benefit over speaking up.

  174. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Audrey Phlepburn #720

    Not as dumb as you. :)

    Tell me, which has netted you more attention from girls; your Final Fantasy avatar or your rampant white-knighting? I assume the latter.

    Brilliant tu quoque there. Also, nice assumption that I’m male, and a straight one at that. Your biases are showing.

    Finally, when you’re not confusing blog commentary with extrajudicial execution, do you have a point?

    Cheers :)

    :)

  175. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Your jumbled feminazi mental gymnastics have blinded you to this, and allows you take personal offense to the idea that people, not just women, lie.

    MRA tell. There are no feminazis,. They only exist in the diseased minds of sexist pigs.

  176. says

    If PZ were guilty of “lynch mob justice,” then Shermer wouldn’t be able to sue.

    Because he’d be dead.

    From hanging.

    Because that’s what “lynch mob justice” is.

    You dolt.

  177. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Phlep:

    Well you’re certainly not agreeing with me! Responding would be a better word.

    Blatant trolls such as you have a limited lifespan.

  178. Nick Gotts says

    I’ve no doubt the latest lying sockpuppet troll will be removed as soon as PZ checks in again, since “Audrey Phlepburn” is clearly the same person as “Jennifer McCarthy” – the hyperactive fuckwittery is characteristic.

  179. says

    Listen, Audrey, as long as you’re dancing for our amusement – would you please try to say something that isn’t a tired, worn-out cliché?

  180. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Can I keep one of them pleeeese! It followed me home and I will feed it and look after it and clean it’s cage – promise!

  181. Lofty says

    PZ you’ll have to borrow Caine’s “berry” coloured gumboots for stomping on idjits in the trollberry patch.

  182. says

    PZ:

    It’s weird how many of these socks use yahoo accounts. Is yahoo the new popular source of disposable identities?

    Does Hotmail even exist anymore?

    Although if they don’t know about Google, that would help explain why they’re so misinformed.

  183. Louis says

    Awww has the troll gone? I was having fun with the snark. No fair.

    {Sulks}

    Louis (Not actually sulking. Making a feeble joke)

  184. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Yay, new chew toy!

    @Audrey Phlepburn

    I don’t think you understand that language is fluid and word use is determined by the users.

    Were that the case then language would be useless.

    Which is why it’s so hilarious for people here to get butthurt about the word butthurt[1], or even flounce. There does[2] exist human beings outside of your comfortable bubble, Pharyngulans, and they don’t always use word the same way they do[3]. It would be asinine and presumptuous to believe that just because a word is offensive to you that it is offensive to others[4], and even more asinine and presumptuous to demand they change their behavior because something offends your sensitive sensibilities[5].

    [1] Your homophobia is noted. You don’t even have the excuse of ignorance, since you have clearly read the conversation.
    [2] “Does”? “There does exist”? Clearly your ignorance regarding the English language extends beyond mere word definitions.
    [3] “…they don’t always use word the same way they do”? This doesn’t even make sense. What do you mean?
    [4] Actually, that’s a perfectly logical assumption. It would be illogical to assume all others were insulted by it.
    [5] Why? Society and culture demand certain behaviours or the curtailment of certain behaviours all the time. Why is it presumptuous (yet alone asinine) to request that yet another behaviour be added to the list?

  185. piegasm says

    Why is it presumptuous (yet alone asinine) to request that yet another behaviour be added to the list?

    Because then people like dear Audrey would have to give a shit about people who aren’t them. Obviously.

  186. says

    Flounce again.

    Since two other people have brought it up again, one last word on the subject:

    I checked the OED (Oxford Dictionary of the English Language), considered to be the authority on questions of etymology. (People not interested in etymology or semantics should skip this.) The first attested usage is 16th century, a verb, meaning “to jerk”, a very fast movement. The modern meanings, both noun and verb, are the result of shifts in meaning plus attested conflations and possible conflations with words from other languages. In any case “to flounce” is not directly derived from “a flounce”, though they are connected both historically and in people’s minds. So I wasn’t wrong and wasn’t right, but I did jump the gun.

    @Sonderval
    No offense taken and everybody else seems to think the usage is inoffensive.

    @Suido @Thumper
    You’re right that if the term had the connotation “acting like a woman” (and that’s not clear) then it wouldn’t be homophobic it would be sexist.

  187. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Elizabeth Hamilton #729 (not sure why I’m using numbers as the banhammer is going to feature heavily in this thread)

    Flounce again.

    I will say that it’s great you’re giving this so much thought to avoid offence to a marginalised group, so kudos.

  188. says

    Some of the trolls are also using hotmail accounts.

    At least they seem to have outgrown compuserve and aol, for the most part.

  189. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Don’t worry, Thumper, you didn’t miss much. Someone stumbled in and was sick on the carpet, that’s all.

  190. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Elizabeth Hamilton

    That’s the connotation it would have for me, were it etymologically connected to a part of a woman’s dress. *shrug*

    Leading on from what Loud said, you’re definitely coming from the right place and your argument isn’t totally without merit. But I’m wary of throwing words out because they could theoretically cause offence. I’ll wait until a woman or a gay person tells me it’s offensive before I stop using it. It’s nothing personal, and not even really a comment on your argument :)

  191. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Loud

    Having flicked through a few of their posts, it seems it’s the same person as Jenny McCarthy, and that they seem to think a smiley constitutes a paragraph break.

    Vomit indeed.

  192. says

    Elizabeth, you are derailing the thread. If you want to have a mass discussion about ‘flounce’, take it to Thunderdome.

    Sonderval, that verse was fab and thanks!

    Loud, much thanks.

  193. carlie says

    I will second what Loud said – I’d rather have several discussions about a word that turns out to not be a big deal than to sweep under the rug one that actually is.

  194. says

    You have no idea how much work I was ready to produce— for free, on my own time and dime— to promote the cause of feminism in the skeptic movement.

    Right…he was ALL READY to get off his ass and devote his entire life to the cause — but then some people disagreed with something he said, and suddenly all his pretty dreams are torn and we’ve all blown our big chance to benefit from the (unspecified) work he was just about to promise to do.

    Funniest. Flounce. EVER.

  195. Louis says

    Raging Bee,

    I had the cures for cancer* and AIDS worked out in my lab but I didn’t get an Outstanding on my quarterly job review so I flushed the samples and burned the lab notes. Take THAT world.

    Louis

    * I know. I’m being silly. No. Really. I know it’s hard to tell with people like BelieverSkeptic around. Seriously, I’m being inaccurate AND hyperbolic. I’m not even working on any cancer or even AIDS any more. Hahahaha. It is to laugh etc,

  196. says

    Carlie:

    I will second what Loud said – I’d rather have several discussions about a word that turns out to not be a big deal than to sweep under the rug one that actually is.

    Sure, just not in this thread, where it’s a derail. As it seems to be ongoing, however, and Elizabeth is very new here, I’ll add that ‘flounce’ is generally allied to ‘sticking’, (as in ‘stick the flounce’), which always leaves it as a twist on a gymnastics term in my head.*

    *I was on the gymnastic team in HS, so that’s where it defaults in my head, ‘stick the flounce’ = ‘stick the landing’.

    /derail

  197. David Marjanović says

    For the benefit of “Jenny McCarthy” and other budding writers [sockpuppets], please note that PZ was not the first to publicly name this particular man’s predatory behaviour.

    That happened over a year ago – admittedly in comments – but it was a post about naming names of badly behaved speakers as skeptic conferences. Guess which name came up? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/23/its-almost-time-to-start-naming-names/

    You have to click on “load more comments” several times till Ctrl+F even finds it. But it’s there.

    What’s really ironic about Jen’s statement back then is that basically everything she predicted, short of legal threats actually materializing instead of just being implied, happened anyway. Just as a result of saying in completely general terms that a problem exists and we’ll solve it proactively by instituting harassment policies.

    Y’know, rape apologists’ network, trying to silence your victims only works if staying silent has some sort of benefit over speaking up.

    Can’t be said often enough.

    I don’t think you understand that language is fluid and word use is determined by the users.

    Were that the case then language would be useless.

    Depends on the degree to which it’s true.

    Language is fluid, and word use is determined by usage (not so much by conscious decisions the users make); it just doesn’t change quickly enough to be useless.

  198. says

    For the people who know laws:

    Assuming Shermer is serious about bringing suit, can he take a shot at doing so in more plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions (e.g. the UK)?

    Based on some of the analyses upthread it seems he would have a very hard time winning if he goes forward with a lawsuit in the US.

    Is there a standard process in tort law for determining in what jurisdiction a plaintiff can operate in? I’m assuming it’s not arbitrary – that is, Shermer can’t just bring suit in the UK because he wants to, he has to come up with some good reason for it or it would be dismissed.

    (I vaguely recall discussions along a similar vein about Andrew Wakefield bringing suit against Brian Deer in the Texas court system, but I don’t know if the circumstances are similar enough to go digging around in those threads.)

  199. says

    Coming into this late, but…

    ARPIT @641:
    so your contribution here is to complain about name calling? Seriously? You pop in here with little to no history with PHARYNGULA–which, btw is not representative of FtB–which is a rough snd tumble blog, look at an incredibly small crosssection of comments and determine that somehow it is groupthink?
    Goddamn, I am over you people who cannot think for yourselves.
    A group of people cannot happen to share similar ethics and arrive at similar conclusions. Nope it is always”Groupthink”.

    So when a group of likeminded Democrats sits around discussing politics, it is groupthink.

    When a group of gay rights activists sits around discussing Russias anti-gay legislation, it is groupthink.

    When a group of ex-Mormons discusses the harm done by Mormon teaching it is groupthink.

    Nope. Sorry. Incorrect.
    People who share similar beliefs or ethics do not automatically suffer from some Groupthink, Borglike virus, that robs them of their individuality. The implication is that if a bunch of us did not agree with each other, we would disagree with one another…then what? Agree with the dissenting commenters here?
    Wouldn’t that also be Groupthink?

    The fact that you are new likely means you have not seen many of the commenters contend with the same “arguments” for years.
    When antifeminists spout the same crap year after year…
    When rape apologists sing the same shitty note decade after decade…
    When homophobic, racist, or ableist bigots rattle off the same hateful diatribe…

    …many people are sick of it. Harsh language often ensues. Amid the harsh language can often be found arguments against those vile positions. That some people choose to engage the arguments does not mean they are not tired of dealing with them. The commenters who do so quite often are just as tired of dealing with that crap as those that jump straight to bad words.

    What you are whining about is not Groupthink. You clearly have no concept what the word means. Its likely wherever you hang out, you have learned to stop thinking for yourself, and let others dictate your thoughts for you.

    How ironic.
    You shartface.

  200. Louis says

    I’ve speculated about the UK thing, being UKian and all, but IANAL (nor do I play someone who plays one on television, radio, stage, or even at parties). So Lawyerly Explanation would be welcome.

    After all, the British Chiropractic Association did harass the shit out of Simon Singh for a while. Whether or not recent reforms make that still possible, I don’t really know. Some kind person explained it to me the other day somewhere, but to be honest, since then I’ve gone out and got horrendously drunk and the information slipped out of my pretty little head.

    Louis

  201. says

    composer99:

    For the people who know laws:

    People who know laws and practice law have spoken up repeatedly in this thread, which is currently on the *second* page. I suggest this with kindness, not nastiness: Please, Read The Bloody Thread.

  202. Louis says

    Caine,

    I suggest this with kindness, not nastiness: Please, Read The Bloody Thread.

    Oh bollocks! I’m going to have to tone down the weekend boozing. {Mumble grumble moan complain rhubarb waffle etc}

    Louis

  203. says

    Caine:

    I did read the thread. Don’t recall seeing anything that answered my question already, which is why I asked.

    However, there is always the possibility that I missed something. So I’ve gone back and done a few ctrl-F searches on the two pages (*).

    A search for ‘UK’ turned up 7 matches on pg 1 and 15 matches on this page. Out of these matches only two were relevant: a comment by NelC @100 in which NelC was asking more or less the same thing I was.

    A search for ‘NelC’, in the event someone replied addressing him without using the term UK, only came up with was his original inquiry – no one replied using his name.

    Similar searches for ‘British’, ‘England’, and ‘jurisdiction’ and for some of the people I know are practicing lawyers (John Pieret and Portia, in boots) have proven equally fruitless. Such technical discussion as I have read mostly focuses on how PZ might defend against a suit or on what basis Shermer might expect to win or lose, on the assumption it is launched in the US.

    There remains a possibility that I’ve still missed an answer, or that it is on another thread. But at this point I’m reasonably confident that the former, at least, is not the case.

    —–
    (*) All references to numbers of matches or to other ctrl-F searches do not include any comments following Louis’ comment #750.

  204. A. Noyd says

    I’m sure the trolls avoid using Gmail for their sockpuppetry for the same reason that I avoid it when I want to stick with a psueudonym. My real name is already linked to a Gmail account and it’s easier to juggle identities when they’re on seperate email services. If you’re trying to keep your identities separate (at least, within a casual community; hackers are another matter), logging in and out of one service is annoying and easily bungled.

    Not to mention, both Ymail and Hotmail are waaaay more self-contained. Your Google ID follows you around the internet like a deranged puppy.

  205. R Johnston says

    @746, 748:

    Even if Shermer could sue elsewhere, he wouldn’t be able to collect. PZ and his assets are in the U.S., and defamation awards from countries that serve as venue shops offering easy defamation awards don’t get enforced here.

  206. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    [OT]

    Your Google ID follows you around the internet like a deranged puppy.

    So true.

    Sorry. I just want to mention this made me laugh.

  207. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Thank you, Jane Doe, for speaking out. You have my support and admiration.

    Thank you, PZ. You also have my support and admiration. If a legal fund is established, I will be happy to contribute to it.

    Caine, Pteryxx, Tony, and the rest of the Horde who have been fighting this battle for the past few days, thank you, thank you. I love you all.

    I’m sorry this support is late in coming, but the comments were over 2,000 when I became aware of the original thread, which then closed, and I’ve only just caught up.

  208. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    composer99 –
    You’re right, no one had addressed before why Shermer would not shop his libel case to the UK. Yes, this is a real thing, commonly known as “libel tourism” and does not require the plaintiff nor the publisher be located in the UK, only that the publication did appear in the UK (eg that a blog-page was served up to a reader in the UK) and that the plaintiff enjoys a reputation there (which could be defamed). So, yeah, it could happen if Shermer is sufficiently vicious and willing to spend the money upfront to initiate a case when he knows he won’t be able to collect even if he wins. Who knows, maybe Shermer thinks it would be worth it, just to “clear his name”. But, probably not .. that would be quite stupid. And if he is a rapist, that doesn’t mean he’s stupid.

    The US government passed a law in 2010 which forbids US courts from enforcing foreign courts’ libel judgments against US residents if they were imposed in any country with less protection for defendants than under American law. The state of California (Shermer’s legal residence) in 2009 passed a law which provides even more free-speech and freedom-of-press protection regarding judgments from libel-tourism nations.

  209. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Pteryxx

    What’s really ironic about Jen’s statement back then is that basically everything she predicted, short of legal threats actually materializing instead of just being implied, happened anyway. Just as a result of saying in completely general terms that a problem exists and we’ll solve it proactively by instituting harassment policies.

    Y’know, rape apologists’ network, trying to silence your victims only works if staying silent has some sort of benefit over speaking up.

    One of the things I immediately noticed on that Friendly Atheist thread was that people were like ‘DOO EET, NAME the NAMES! Don’t be a scaredy cat! And if you don’t want to, it means that you don’t HAVE names you lying liar and/or are a coward who doesn’t care that other women may be unsafe.’

    Since we all know how that went, I’ll just leave that there for posterity. That cartoon really IS spot on.

  210. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Damn, why is “judgment” spelled so goddamn contrarily to any sensible rules and concepts of pronunciation?

    Why doesn’t it just follow the basic rule for adding a suffix, not dropping the final letter of the root word unless absolutely necessary? And especially why drop the “e” which the “g” absolutely needs for it to be pronounceable?

    English language. I hate you sometimes.

  211. says

    Who knows, maybe Shermer thinks it would be worth it, just to “clear his name”.

    Well, he might do it to get revenge on PZ or to try to force the identity of his victim(s) out in the open–all the better to intimidate them.

    OT
    @hotshoe You can always pretend you’re Canadian or British so you can spell “judgement” in a more rational manner.

  212. says

    hotshoe:

    Damn, why is “judgment” spelled so goddamn contrarily to any sensible rules and concepts of pronunciation?

    As a former proofreader, long ago in a distant galaxy…*ahem*, anyway, both judgment and judgement are acceptable.

  213. Portia, in boots says

    Is that what the Judge offers after the Gavel Bang, Judge Mints?

    Damnit, you beat me to the pun! (BS, take note. This is a pun without splash damage).

    Caine:
    I always know that judgement is technically correct, but it still makes me cringe whenever I see it on something. It’s so uncommon as to make me think it’s a mistake when it appears…

  214. davehooke says

    Action for defamation against a person not domiciled in the UK or a Member State is only allowed if the court is convinced that England and Wales is clearly the most appropriate place for the action.

    Libel law is still not perfect in the UK but the campaign for reform, which was triggered by the Simon Singh case, led to the Defamation Act 2013.

  215. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @David Marjanovic

    Sorry, missed that.

    It’s determined by useage (as you said) not by individual users (as Phlegmburn said). Meaning changes over time, yes, but you don’t get to redefine words on the spur of the moment or use them in a way which does not conform with the currently accepted useage. That was my point; though perhaps I didn’t say it explicitly enough.

  216. Jessica Lundbom says

    Should Shermer try to pull libel tourism*, I think a good first stop could possibly be legal blogger Jack of Kent, who probably knows where to turn and where to start. He provided some very good insights on the BCA fiasco and likely knows where the Good Representation At. I for one would happily chip in to a UK legal fund as well.

    I seem to recall there was also a libel reform group formed as a result of that case and they might also be inclined to help in some way. The spuriousness of UK libel laws are still high in the public consciousness after the Chiros got their asses handed to them. Any such case would not play well opinion-wise for Shermer.

    Invoking UK libel is more or less admitting you did something shitty and now you are trying to bully your way out of it. If you are trying to damage control a reputation, it might be the stupidest move available.

    * If he did, he would prove beyond reasonable doubt that A: he’s definitely a bully and B: not a very smart one. The only reason it’s called The Streisand Effect and not the British Chiropractors Effect is because Streisand happened first.

  217. Ullrich Fischer says

    Where can we find Karen Stoltznow’s SciAm article on this issue? I also can’t find Shermer’s Lawyers’ cease and desist letter anymore. Both should be available online so that the full benefit of the Streisand effect can befall the CFI and others trying to use the legal system to redact part of this ongoing debate.

  218. loren says

    PZ,

    In a discussion on another forum, there’s been some debate as to what was done to validate or factcheck the initial accuser’s account before publishing it. You said you had “no personal, direct evidence that the event occurred as described.”

    Did she identify to you where and when the conference was? Did you confirm through other sources that both she and Shermer were there? Did she tell you what organization she tried to report the rape to? Did you check with them? Did she provide you with names or contact info for the other women she claimed were victimized, and were you able to confirm any details with any of them?

    Also, you said she was known to you. How well did you know this woman before she emailed you? Had you personally interacted or corresponded with her before, or did you know her by reputation, or something else? And did you have an email back-and-forth with her before publishing her story, or did you just get the one email from her before sharing it with us?

    Thanks for any clarification.

  219. Pteryxx says

    Did she identify to you where and when the conference was? Did you confirm through other sources that both she and Shermer were there? Did she tell you what organization she tried to report the rape to? Did you check with them? Did she provide you with names or contact info for the other women she claimed were victimized, and were you able to confirm any details with any of them?

    Also, you said she was known to you. How well did you know this woman before she emailed you? Had you personally interacted or corresponded with her before, or did you know her by reputation, or something else? And did you have an email back-and-forth with her before publishing her story, or did you just get the one email from her before sharing it with us?

    You obviously think that TAM should consider what you did as a “report of harassment” but you don’t actually say what you did, exactly who intervened, whether you asked for help, who you talked to (either to ask for help or otherwise), and there are a lot of other missing, important details.

    Another thing you said is that you were ultimately impressed with and proud of TAM’s staff for so quickly intervening. If they intervened so quickly, how could the guy have harassed you from room to room for so long?

    You also make it sound as though “DJ” must have known about the alleged situation at the time but you don’t actually know that he did because you didn’t actually talk to him about it at the time, did you?

    Exactly how would it make TAM “look bad” if you had gone “into explicit detail of exactly how gross the guy had been to” you? Who exactly would you have gone into explicit detail to about how gross the guy was to you that would have made TAM look bad? If you had gone into explicit detail with TAM’s staff, how would that make TAM look bad? If you didn’t go into explicit detail with someone on TAM’s staff at the time, then why did they intervene and kick the guy out? How would they know for sure what they were intervening with?

    And another question: Do you expect the TAM staff or “DJ” to be psychic and to know what’s happening to you and/or other people at the conferences at all times, and to know what has allegedly happened to you or other people even though you and/or those other people don’t properly report it to the people in charge?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/ashleymiller/2012/06/06/arent-you-making-it-up-why-women-dont-report-harassment/

  220. says

    @loren
    I’m not sure what answering this would accomplish. It’s hardly going to convince anyone who is mistrustful of PZ. PZ has received information to his personal satisfaction; either you accept that or you don’t.

    Furthermore, we’ve already had people trying to get information about the accuser in order to harass her. This could easily be interpreted as another such attempt. I’m not making assumptions about you, I’m just saying that it could easily look that way.

  221. loren says

    @LykeX

    I’m not asking PZ to *share* any information that could be used to identify or harass her. I’m just asking what he *did* to verify any details of her story (or the stories of the other five women mentioned) before publishing it, and if his efforts resulted in her story checking out.

    For instance, were he to say “She forwarded me the email exchange she had with the conference organization where she told them about her rape”, he still doesn’t have to *publish* that email exchange, or share any sensitive contents.

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thanks for any clarification.

    There doesn’t need to be any clarification. All those inane question are those he has already asked himself, and you don’t need that information, since the woman in question desires to remain anonymous to avoid retribution.

    @LykeX

    I’m not asking PZ to *share* any information that could be used to identify or harass her.

    You are getting there. You don’t need that information, as it doesn’t mean anything. People who believe PZ is honest will take his word for it. Those who don’t take PZ as anything other than a feminazi supporter will disbelieve what he has to say. So it is a useless endeavor.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And Loren, note the corroborating testimony in the OP. Evidently you haven’t read it.

  224. Bernard Bumner says

    In other words, you refuse to take PZ’s word unless he Pinky Swears.

    Unless he produces the exact formulation you demand, vague and pointless though it is, you will continue to cynically question the same reassure simply because it is differently phrased?

  225. says

    For instance, were he to say “She forwarded me the email exchange she had with the conference organization where she told them about her rape”, he still doesn’t have to *publish* that email exchange, or share any sensitive contents.

    But anyone who’s willing to believe that will already believe what he’s said so far, so what difference does it make? I’m a bit unclear on who would not believe him now, but would believe him after giving the answers you indicate.

  226. loren says

    @Bernard Bumner:

    “In other words, you refuse to take PZ’s word unless he Pinky Swears.”

    It’s not *his* word I’m concerned about. He published her story. He’s subsequently updated the story to include the stories of other people, on the grounds that their stories back up the first story. Obviously he did that because he cares about providing third-party support for her allegations, so did he do anything else to validate her story?

    “Unless he produces the exact formulation you demand”

    But I’m not asking for any particular formulation. The questions I listed were intended as examples of where *I* would start in factchecking a story, and where I assume PZ would too. (I mean, if the allegation is that an event took place at a particular convention, wouldn’t the first thing to confirm be that both parties were actually there?)

    If he pursued a different line of investigation, that’s fine, but then what *did* he ask and what did he learn? There are obviously emails he got AFTER he published her story, but what did he do BEFORE he published it? Or has he factchecked any details since it went up?

  227. loren says

    @LykeX

    “I’m a bit unclear on who would not believe him now, but would believe him after giving the answers you indicate.”

    Like I said above, it’s not a matter of believing PZ. He got an email. He believes the woman who sent the email. Neither of those things are in dispute.

    What is *does* accomplish is settling the aforementioned dispute from the other forum over factchecking. I read PZ’s post to suggest that he didn’t investigate the details of her story before publishing it (“I have no personal, direct evidence that the event occurred as described”); other posters insist that PZ surely *did* factcheck her story, even if he didn’t say so. So rather than continue arguing over interpretations, I figured I’d go straight to the source for an answer.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Obviously he did that because he cares about providing third-party support for her allegations, so did he do anything else to validate her story?

    What have you done to validate your fuckwitted stupidity? It is self-evident.

    What is *does* accomplish is settling the aforementioned dispute from the other forum over factchecking.

    Gee, an irrelevant forum who can’t be bothered to read and understand the OP of the grenade thread, and why no further information will likely be forthcoming. Those who believe PZ tells the truth, he needs not explain further. Only those who feel PZ has an agenda against a person, and just trying to prevent women from being unnecessarily raped by a known predator, have questions. If you fail to understand that, you fail to grasp the problem.

  229. John Morales says

    loren, your question is an irrelevance.

    Like I said above, it’s not a matter of believing PZ. […]
    What is *does* accomplish is settling the aforementioned dispute from the other forum over factchecking.

    That is an accomplishment, how?

    So rather than continue arguing over interpretations, I figured I’d go straight to the source for an answer.

    So that people have even more basis upon which to argue about the merits of PZ’s critical quotient of trust to rationality?

    (But they’re doing that already!)

  230. carlie says

    Either you think he’s trustworthy enough that he verified the story well, or you don’t think he’s trustworthy. And if you don’t think he’s trustworthy, I don’t know why you wouldn’t just assume he was lying if he did say he did all of those things.

  231. loren says

    @carlie:

    “Either you think he’s trustworthy enough that he verified the story well, or you don’t think he’s trustworthy.”

    How did this become about PZ being trustworthy? I *do* trust what he’s had to say, and I haven’t suggested that he’s lied about a single thing.

    The problem is that, as I interpret what he had to say in the OP (i.e., “I have no personal, direct evidence that the event occurred as described”), trusting him means that he *didn’t* independently verify the story. And nowhere in the OP or in subsequent posts or comments has he mentioned conducting any factchecking (and I searched through all 4000 comments to the OP for PZ’s statements). So if he did check out any aspects of her story, he’s never mentioned it. He can be perfectly sincere in believing and sharing the story, but that doesn’t have any bearing on what he did or didn’t do to verify the story before publishing it.

  232. says

    Loren! Please, stop re-hashing everything. Every single thing you have brought up and will bring up has been dealt with, to the nth degree. If you are honestly seeking answers, they have already been provided. All you have to do is read.

    All 9 pages of the initial post and thread are available to you: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

    There is also this thread: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/15/this-is-not-an-update/comment-page-1/

  233. says

    Loren:
    Why do you feel like PZ should be factchecking at all? He said he knows and trusts Jane Doe.
    What, do you not have any friends who have built up enough trust with you that you believe them when they make claims?
    More to the point, Jane Doe’s story has been verified by someone who does not really like PZ.

    I suspect the biggest problem for you pseudoskeptics is that you do not like and/or trust and/or respect PZ.

    Either you believe the claim by Jane Doe or dont.
    PZ gains nothing by making this up.

  234. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How did this become about PZ being trustworthy?

    That is the essence of your questions. End of story. If you aren’t smart enough to see that, you shouldn’t be posting.

    trusting him means that he *didn’t* independently verify the story.

    Fuckwit, read the revised OP. There are two pieces or corroborating evidence. Plus there are a few more in the thread, including the “back channel” reputation. So, what is your problem? Evidently, if names are named, it isn’t proper testimony. Never mind this isn’t and never will be a court of law…

  235. says

    Loren:

    So if he did check out any aspects of her story, he’s never mentioned it. He can be perfectly sincere in believing and sharing the story, but that doesn’t have any bearing on what he did or didn’t do to verify the story before publishing it.

    If you bothered reading PZ’s post, as you claim you did, you would have noted that a witness came forward to verify the account. Another person came forward to verify Shermer’s history in regard to women and alcohol. There were a number of confirmations in the comments. There were also several links to confirmations on other fora. “Searching” comments is not the same as reading them all.

    I see no reason you are persisting in this. I’ll be happy to send an alert to PZ about your insistence on re-hashing old ground, if you feel you require personal attention.

  236. Pteryxx says

    *shrug* if they can’t do a hostile interrogation of the woman, they’ll do a hostile interrogation of the woman’s advocate. Because that’s clearly more important than, say, the safety of the con-going public, general support for rape survivors, or holding organizations accountable for using their harassment policies as nothing more than false advertising and legal fig leaves.

  237. says

    Don’t worry, PZ! Lawyers’ letters are often not worth the paper they’re printed on. For $25, a cheap lawyer will solemnly tell people that they have to do something that has no basis in law. Thumb your nose at it.

    Thanks for speaking out on this!

  238. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Don’t worry, PZ! Lawyers’ letters are often not worth the paper they’re printed on. For $25, a cheap lawyer will solemnly tell people that they have to do something that has no basis in law. Thumb your nose at it.

    Thanks for speaking out on this!

    And for 10 times that, a not-cheap lawyer will file whatever suit his client asks him to, and Shermer could easily think it’s a bargain at the price. Even if he knows PZ is in the right (if his lawyer tells him) that he won’t win, that any lawyer defending PZ would win a libel case if it went to court) Shermer may see lawyering up is the necessary ritual to make his supporters think he’s outraged about the “false accusations”.

    A lot of folks have said Shermer would be an idiot to raise a fuss.

    Maybe this is one step smarter. Throw away a chunk of money on an expensive lawyer (which Shermer can easily afford, after all), act convincingly like you’re outraged, file suit to make it appear that you’re defending your innocence against libel, and then when most people’s attention has drifted elselwhere, quietly drop the suit.

    Problem solved. Status quo ante, except one or two slightly enriched lawyers.

  239. Portia, Slayer of Nefarious Untruths Regarding Heretofore Unvindicated Claims of Pictionary Victory says

    And for 1000 times that, a not-cheap lawyer

    FTFY. Markita Lynda is correct in my estimation. Though that letter was pretty involved, it doesn’t mean that lawyer has a retainer on account that’s big enough to actually move forward. It’s impossible to tell.

    Lawyers can’t just file whatever they want. If they do, it’s usually not the expensive ones that do it.

    By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:

    If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be held jointly responsible for a violation committed by its partner, associate, or employee.

    Link.