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Oct 13 2013

Who the hell is @Becky_Garrison?

And how can a journalist have so little regard for the truth? Stephanie Zvan documents her bizarre behavior — apparently she was deeply offended by the fact that someone briefly put her on the block_bot a few months ago, and now she’s fully bought into this myth that FreethoughtBlogs is out to get her by sending our shadowy agents at the block_bot and Atheism+ to harass her.

I have no idea who she is, nor do I care.

But I did learn something from her ill-founded accusations and weird evasions, I think.

There are people who get really, really upset if you don’t pay attention to them — it’s an ego thing. I heard secondhand, for instance, that Thunderf00t had triumphantly announced that he was teaching me a lesson by blocking me on twitter — to which I could only say, “WTF?” I have no problem at all with people blocking me, or not reading my blog, or deleting my comments elsewhere. I have no sense of entitlement that says anyone is required to pay any attention to me. Go ahead!

So the block_bot is of zero concern to me. I could be put on it, and I’d shrug my shoulders and bravely soldier on. I don’t use it, so I’m doubly unconcerned. Atheism+ has some good goals, I think it’s great that they’re promoting their cause, but if I were banned there (and I could be, someday — I’ve been criticized by people on Atheism+ before), I would be unperturbed, and I’d still think what they were trying to do is good.

I’ve said all that before. It’s not what I learned from Becky Garrison’s disconnected discomfiture. I got some insight into a tactic being used.

These Ego Warriors are desperately trying to connect the dots. They don’t like being on the block_bot, and they have this vague unease about not fitting in with the community on Atheism+ — so they must be the same thing! Throw them into the pot!

And then FreethoughtBlogs…it has a loud voice, it has members who share some common ideals with Atheism+ — never mind that no one on FtB has anything to do with the block_bot, and I don’t know that any of us even use it, and none of us seem to be particularly active on the Atheism+ forums, even if Greta and Jen were instrumental in inspiring a greater focus on social justice — toss them in the pot, too! Anyone who is ever critical of the Big Names in Atheism must be in cahoots to destroy the godless community (Love It Unquestioningly or Leave It could be the Ego Warriors motto), so, in true conspiracy theorist fashion, they must all be working together, and someone must be pulling the puppet strings.

Here’s what they see as a win:win situation, though. Either we’ll all unreservedly announce that yes, We Are All One, We Are The Freethought Borg, your suspicions are all confirmed, or we’ll start throwing people under the bus. We’ll disown Atheism+ or the block_bot, and thereby use our loud voice to put down those terrible individuals who crush their ego by not listening to them.

Listen, Becky Garrison and all the other clowns who throw around the term “FtBullies”, and wrap your biased little brains around this: I do neither. I am not going to fit into the twisted dichotomy that you so deeply desire.

I support Atheism+, the block_bot, American Atheists, American Humanists, the IHEU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, CFI, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the National Center for Science Education. That does not mean I own or control any of those groups. They do not even ask me for advice, I do not have any official input into their operations, and sometimes, even often, they may disagree with me, and I may criticize them. And when I do criticize them, it’s because I generally support them, and have opinions (which they rarely share) about how they can better do their job.

FreethoughtBlogs is not controlled in any way by any of those organizations, or the Democrats, or the Republicans, or the Libertarians, or the UUs, or the Mormon Church. We are a completely independent entity, containing a diverse group of writers who don’t even completely agree with each other, although we do tend to skew our selection for membership in the direction of supporting progressive values. We are not the propaganda arm of any organization, we eke out a small amount of money to keep ourselves going with ads (and soon we’ll be offering a subscription service), and are beholden to no one, which means we are free to disagree with just about everyone. Also, need I mention, I do not run FtB, and the other bloggers here can disagree with me on just about anything. And we like it that way.

So please, stop trying to fit a complex set of diverse voices into your pathetic, simplistic narrative. And if you find something we say bruises your fragile ego, just stop reading us. We won’t mind. Actually, we’d prefer it if you freaking narcissists would take a hike and leave us alone.

141 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    And you know what? I also like and respect Richard Dawkins. It doesn’t mean we don’t disagree on some things.

  2. 2
    David Marjanović

    I heard secondhand, for instance, that Thunderf00t had triumphantly announced that he was teaching me a lesson by blocking me on twitter —

    What.

    LOL!

    That’s more pathetic than when J*hn Kw*k threatened you were going to lose several Facebook friends!

    or the Mormon Church.

    You have to admit, though, that that would be an awesome conspiracy theory.

  3. 3
    proudfootz

    If only bullies would leave people alone!

  4. 4
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Ooh, I hope they have me on block_bot. That way they don’t have to see my non-existent tweets. That will teach me.

  5. 5
    chigau (違う)

    pots and busses and Borg, oh my.

  6. 6
    furcifer

    I don’t understand why people who think the BlockBot is dumb (like myself) would care if they were blocked by it. I’m fine with it if I am. I know myself. I know I support social justice. I don’t need a bot and whoever runs it to approve me to their personal standards.

  7. 7
    brundlefly

    “You’re censoring me by deciding not to listen to me!” – block_bot critics

  8. 8
    johnradke

    blah blah blah blah and soon we’ll be offering a subscription service

    Yay!

  9. 9
    M31

    “FreethoughtBlogs is not controlled in any way by any of those organizations, or the Democrats, or the Republicans, or the Libertarians, or the UUs, or the Mormon Church.”

    So it’s true! You are controlled by the Trilateral Commission. I knew it.

  10. 10
    hyperdeath

    Garrison is clearly a member of the “barking orders” school of rhetoric. I think her endless commands to “stop” are meant to be persuasive.

  11. 11
    brianfields

    For someone who says “I have no idea who she is, nor do I care.“, you spend quite a bit of time explaining why you do care.

    So please, stop trying to fit a complex set of diverse voices into your pathetic, simplistic narrative. And if you find something we say bruises your fragile ego, just stop reading us. We won’t mind. Actually, we’d prefer it if you freaking narcissists would take a hike and leave us alone.

    Sounds like a lot of caring.

  12. 12
    Tamar Fleishman

    It would seem that YOU could stand to do a little research. I’ve worked with Becky Garrison on several projects. She’s an Ivy League educated theologian, world traveler, writer. You’re trying to come off “too cool for school,” but actually, you seem rather weird and pathetic. Preferring people not read you? Effective.

  13. 13
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    brianfields

    Do you have a point to make, or are you just a wandering pedant?

  14. 14
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Preferring people not read you? Effective.

    Unfortunately, not on you and your buddy in the comment above.

  15. 15
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Tamar Fleishman

    She’s an Ivy League educated theologian

    Ah, she bullshits professionally! Thanks; that makes all the difference.

  16. 16
    Inaji

    Brianfields and Tamar Fleishman:

    Perhaps if Ms. Garrison is ever so awesome, she’ll stop complaining, tossing accusations about, and oh, I don’t know, do a bit of research? Not that much to ask, you know, that people have the facts before they complain.

    It’s not about being “too cool for school”, it’s being tired, very tired, of the same old shit being parroted over and over. It shouldn’t be admirable for someone to parrot the same old shit without taking a very short amount of time out to figure out what’s what and who’s who.

    I don’t even tweet, and I get tired of these people I’ve never heard who won’t shut up about the great conspiracy theories involving FTB, A+, twitter and who knows what the fuck else.

  17. 17
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    What is funny is that the main person who first set up the block_bot and maintains it, ool0n, is banned from this blog.

    But, hey, we all know that everyone who is involved with FtB, A+ and the block_bot are in lockstep. Or something like that. (Hell, that is the main point of all of Becky Garrison’s tweet in that storify account. And of the ‘pitter who were at the end of the account.)

  18. 18
    brianfields

    Daz @13

    I thought I was very clear about my point. Spending an entire blog post on someone that you simultaneously claim to not care about is disingenuous at best. Perhaps I should be more heavy handed and direct in my comments to make it easier for people to understand.

  19. 19
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Why bullshit for free when you can get suckers to pay you for it?

  20. 20
    brianfields

    Caine @16: Is this blog post not exactly the same thing you claim to not like? Why is it OK for PZ to spend gobs of time perpetuating this stuff and not OK for Becky to be upset about someone messing with her reputation.

    This whole argument is absurd on it’s face. Moving on to more important things in my life.

  21. 21
    Rey Fox

    She’s an Ivy League educated theologian

    Hee hee.

  22. 22
    shockna

    I thought I was very clear about my point. Spending an entire blog post on someone that you simultaneously claim to not care about is disingenuous at best.

    Good thing, then, that only a few lines focused on Becky Garrison. The majority of it was aimed toward the dozens of others who do exactly the same thing. A group, not an individual.

    For someone obviously attempting to sound smart, your reading comprehension is certainly lacking.

  23. 23
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    brianfields

    Y’see, I, unlike you, noticed that the first quote you, erm, quoted, was directed at a single person: Becky Garrison, but that the quote you claim shows a large amount of care for what Ms garrison says is, in fact, addressing a group of people.

    Pedantry: you’re doing it wrong.

  24. 24
    brianpansky

    you spend quite a bit of time explaining why you do care.

    it wasn’t “care”

    it was “care who she is”

    which was a response to her thinking ftb was out to get HER.

    the rest of the article is after the fact.

  25. 25
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    At a quick look, Becky Garrison’s writings in Washington Post are pro-trans* and gay rights, for points to her for that.

  26. 26
    Emptyell

    Nice try. You may think you can hide those myriad puppet strings (not to mention all those stealthy tentacles). But we can see right through your obfuscation with our pinhole glasses. And, properly configured, the tin hats block all those thought control waves that you transmit through the SmartMeters.

  27. 27
    brianpansky

    in other words, brianfields, can translate the “i don’t know who you are, nor do i care” part into something like:

    “no, we are not out to get you. it’s weird that you think we are”.

    you are interpreting it wrong.

  28. 28
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    She’s an Ivy League educated theologian, world traveler, writer.

    Yes, and Ben Carson is a wonderful surgeon. But he’s still full of shit on social matters.

  29. 29
    sqlrob

    nd not OK for Becky to be upset about someone messing with her reputation.

    The only person messing with Becky’s reputation is Becky. Go read that storify posted by Stephanie.

  30. 30
    Natasha

    She’s an Ivy League educated theologian

    Ah then she’s a useless waste of protoplasm, all the more reason to ignore her.

    Brainfields, for something so absurd you seem to be doing quite a bit of obsessing over it yourself

    I do use the Block_bot because I don’t need my timeline cluttered up with hateful idiots.

  31. 31
    brianpansky

    (you know, for someone who picks over bad communication, i sure do mess up at it a lot. hope no on minds i just re write that last one)

    @11
    brianfields

    the “i don’t know who you are, nor do i care” part can be translated into something like:

    “no, we are not out to get you. it’s weird that you think we are”.

    the interpretation you are using seems incorrect.

  32. 32
    PZ Myers

    Brian Fields: if you read more carefully, you’d recognize that what I’m railing against is a common disorder: that there are a number of wackos out there who have been promoting this flaky conspiracy theory, and that Becky Garrison, someone I know next to nothing about, is unquestioningly parroting common, and trivially false accusations. And when confronted with requests that she back up her claims that there is some bizarre collusion between Atheism+, FtB, and this block_bot, she falls back on waving her hands in the direction of twitter and claiming the evidence is all there. I’m not sure whether she’s incompetent or dishonest. But she sure is doing her best to propagate a set of lies.

    #12, Tamar Fleishman: Oh, she’s an Ivy League educated theologian? Is that supposed to impress me? You should know that those credentials kind of have a negative effect. It tells me she’s an ignoramus with a fancy certificate hanging on her wall.

  33. 33
    Al Dente

    Who is messing with Ms. Garrison’s reputation? I’ve never heard of her and by tomorrow I will have forgotten about her. The only thing I got from reading Stephanie Zvan’s storify was that Garrison is upset because several months ago she was blocked for several days by the blockbot , a piece of software that FtB has nothing to do with. So for me she has the reputation of being a whiner.

    She’s an Ivy League educated theologian, world traveler, writer.

    Ah, I see now. She’s an educated, well travelled whiner.

  34. 34
    sqlrob

    I’m not sure whether she’s incompetent or dishonest.

    or?

  35. 35
    PZ Myers

    #33, Al Dente:

    Garrison is upset because several months ago she was blocked for several days by the blockbot , a piece of software that FtB has nothing to do with.

    Exactly. So she’s whining about #FtBullies.

    Next thing you know, she’ll be invading Iraq.

  36. 36
    Tamar Fleishman

    Ok, got it. Nobody here’s impressed by someone with graduate degrees from Yale and Columbia. Must be nice to be so jaded. Like I said, too cool for school. Jealousy’s a bitchy mistress and the inability to admit when one is wrong is petty. Ciao. Have fun with the navel gazing. . . I guess that’s some USEFUL protoplasm! LOL

  37. 37
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Freethought Blogs is not controlled by the Unitarians? But ‘herding cats’ and FtB (well, the comment threads of Pharyngula, anyway) are damn near synonymous.

  38. 38
    oolon

    What is funny is that the main person who first set up the block_bot and maintains it, ool0n, is banned from this blog.

    Nope just perpetually in moderation… In fact tempted to post more just to annoy PZ by making him read all my comments and manually approve them… Hi PZ :-P

    Hmm must point that out more as if everyone that disagrees with me is added to the bot then why the hell isn’t PZ in there? Also all those other naughty Pharyngulites who didn’t appreciate me more on this blog >:-(

  39. 39
    rumleech

    All this talk of Block Bots and Ego Warriors make it all sound like a ’80s/’90s Saturday morning cartoon. Are the action figures collectable?

  40. 40
    oolon

    So the block_bot is of zero concern to me.

    As PZ is wont to say, Bwhahahaha! You just wait til we crush your ego by putting you on #level1 with all the ebil abusers, you’ll be suing til the cows come home… /sarcasm (I’ve got three posts on my blog about libel threats I’ve got from ppl added to the bot, all atheists)

    On a more serious note, having read the post now, ppl should check out my mentions, @ool0n, and @the_block_bot, if they want to see just how testerical tiny minded atheist dudebros act when blocked on Twitter. I’ve been told with no hint of humour that the block bot is the worst thing an atheist has done since Stalin. It is definitely a plot to destroy the online Twitter atheist community … All this is from atheists – the MRAs, white supremacists, Anon lulztrolls, TERfs and assorted groups of EDL etc assholes have come NO WHERE NEAR close to the whine from atheists and skeptics. *Definitely* a problem with our community as ignoring them and the implied criticism of being ignore-worthy is far more insulting to them than any other. They have spent so long putting down the “theist/anti-vax/homeopath” bad guys that they believe themselves above reproach.

    But by far the worst is the hideous misogyny they employ, while simultaneously asserting A+ is not needed as atheists are not bigots. I rile them up as creator of the bot however I get nothing like this -> TW: https://twitter.com/VitaBrevi/status/388355946956607488. One small sample of what you get while being a woman and someone that adds to the block bot. None of his friends called that out and none of the other great “#LGBT” and “#Humanist” Tweeps say a word about any abuse. Personally I just get called a pussy, a cunt (a lot), a mangina, white knight, a little bitch, suggested I am a “t****y” chaser because trans* ppl use the bot or I am just after sex with the women that are using the bot etc etc … *facepalm* …. Basically still all bigoted attacks against women and not so much me.

    So yeah, the atheist-skeptic community has a bigotry problem… If you didn’t know that already!

  41. 41
    Al Dente

    rumleech @37

    I want a Brave Hero action figure.

  42. 42
    zenlike

    Goodbye Enemy Janine @17

    What is funny is that the main person who first set up the block_bot and maintains it, ool0n, is banned from this blog.

    Not any more I thought… (but indeed, oolon is just a commenter at FTB, and has no other links here).

  43. 43
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I want a Brave Hero action figure.

    Pull the string and it screams the c word.

  44. 44
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Zenlike, I have seen ool0n comment on other FtBs but I have yet to see him comment here since PZ brought down the banhammer.

    As for the ban being rescinded, I have no idea. And no one seems to be overly concerned.

    I brought it up because it shows how silly this slymie meme is, that the three loosely organized group are one and the same and is a monolithic and fascistic structure.

  45. 45
    David Marjanović

    the three loosely organized group are one

    Well, under Christian logic… :-)

  46. 46
    Lofty

    Expect the person named above to fly into an incandescent, incoherent rage for being laffed at. In public. By FTB bulleys.
    What was her name again? I’ve forgotten already.

  47. 47
    Tamar Fleishman

    I asked Becky if she paid attention to this thread, but she’s busy working on assignments, making money. Try it sometime yourself! LOL. Also, if you do celebrate a holiday — word root: Holy Day — might I suggest a dictionary to you from whatever loved ones you can scrounge up? Cheers.

  48. 48
    Lofty

    Tamar Fleishman

    making money.

    Let Us All Prey To The Great God Dollar Bill. For He Trumps All Other Concerns.

    holiday — word root: Holy Day

    I can enjoy a public day off work without bothering to find out which religious idiot started it.

  49. 49
    Anri

    Tamar Fleishman @ 36:

    Ok, got it. Nobody here’s impressed by someone with graduate degrees from Yale and Columbia. Must be nice to be so jaded. Like I said, too cool for school. Jealousy’s a bitchy mistress and the inability to admit when one is wrong is petty. Ciao. Have fun with the navel gazing. . . I guess that’s some USEFUL protoplasm! LOL

    Sorry ’bout this, but we’re more impressed with what one does with the recognition they got from being able to pass college (which, for the record I was not – so take from that what you will). If you accomplish something good, and then go on to do stupid things, the good things you did first do not make the stupid things unstupid. And they don’t allow you to complain about having your stupid things called stupid.

    Just so you know, I’m envious – not jealous – of those with college degrees, and am perfectly willing to admit when I’m wrong, as several posters here can attest to.
    But please feel free to attribute non-existent actions to petty motivations… it helps demonstrate the exact level of deep and sincere attention your ideas so richly deserve.

  50. 50
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Have been reading the Storify – wow, what a dishonest creep. She’s like a creationist trying to talk smack about evolution and getting her ass handed to her by scientists asking for evidence of her claims.

    Oh, and Tamar Fleishman? Fuck off. You stink of slyme.

  51. 51
    Brony

    We see the mental gymnastics of bruised tribalistic egos on full display.

    No matter how much education anyone has they do tend to fall back on really tired black and white patterns when caught in dishonesty. Simple minded individuals (simple minded and education do come together on occasion) become very dependent on objects instead of processes. If the reporter Becky Garrison chose to use her investigation and verification skills when dealing with groups that she was annoyed with she would find that she would not fall into this sort of trap of dishonesty and ego. Instead of checking herself when creating mental objects like “Freethought Blogs” and “BlockBot” and making reality claims about them, she fell right into black and white tribalistic thinking and started internet drama worthy of junior high school.

    If she truly cares about her mind she will stop engaging in flaw building exercises.

    @ Tamar Fleishman 36

    Ok, got it. Nobody here’s impressed by someone with graduate degrees from Yale and Columbia.

    This is getting to be as dishonest as Becky Garrison’s antics. Tamar, please show me where someone had a problem with “degrees from Yale and Columbia”.

    You can’t of course because you left out the “theology” from the “theology degree” everyone was commenting on. But please keep it up because clearly Ms. Garrison has some quality thinkers running primate troop tactics on her behalf.

  52. 52
    Anri

    brianfields @ 11:

    For someone who says “I have no idea who she is, nor do I care.“, you spend quite a bit of time explaining why you do care.

    (emphasis added)

    Really?
    Quite a bit of time?

    Read everything PZ has posted about Becky Garrison. Seriously, read it, aloud, to yourself, and time it.

    …that’s your idea of ‘quite a bit of time’?
    Wow, you’re really gonna find adult life frustrating, whenever you actually get around to experiencing it.

    I suspect you’re also going to be stunned – just stunned, really knocked over – once you discover the actual impact and importance of a single blog post, generally speaking. Protip: it may be somewhat less than you think.
    Once again, experiencing adult life will likely clue you in on this fact.

  53. 53
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Tamar Fleishman
    Please remember to stick to the topic of the OP: Which is neither Ms Garrison’s income nor definitions of the word “holiday” If you wish t discuss these subjects, please do so on the Thunderdome thread.

    Stay on topic, unless it's an obvious "fun" thread. If you have something off topic that you must share, the Thunderdome thread is always appropriate.

    The Rules

  54. 54
    Tamar Fleishman

    Such a class act. Such a deep thinker, so erudite! So inspirational, Wowbagger, Designated Snarker. Can I be you when I grow up? After all, you do remind me so charmingly of the nose-pickers in grade school.

    Also, I didn’t realize I needed to list Becky’s CV here — I figured we all have Google skills. MDiv from Yale is what she’s earned. Deal with it. Or not.

  55. 55
    chigau (違う)

    One more to add to the mounting evidence that people who end their comments with “cheers” are all flaming douches.

  56. 56
    PatrickG

    Tamar Fleishman, @ 36

    Ok, got it. Nobody here’s impressed by someone with graduate degrees from Yale and Columbia. Must be nice to be so jaded. Like I said, too cool for school. Jealousy’s a bitchy mistress and the inability to admit when one is wrong is petty. Ciao. Have fun with the navel gazing. . . I guess that’s some USEFUL protoplasm! LOL

    Credentialism:

    Credentialism is the over-emphasis on credentials when hiring staff or assigning social status

    Or alternately, we have here a form of the Argument from Authority:

    Fallacious examples of using the appeal include:

    cases where the authority is not a subject-matter expert.[1]
    any appeal to authority used in the context of deductive reasoning.[2]

    [1] Degrees conferred in theology have no prima facie bearing on the argument centered around Twitter-based communication, particularly surrounding a piece of software used to moderate electronic communication. Of what relevance is a degree from Yale to whether or not the Block-Bot is a blight on atheism? No, seriously, I’d love to know. :)
    [2] Hi, this would be you, claiming that we must take a person’s opinion as fact simply because she has DEGREEZE.

    Please do note also that many, many people on this blog have advanced degrees (including the blog author!). No, we’re not impressed — as a default setting — because someone has a degree from Yale or Columbia. Think about this; it’s not complicated.

    Thanks for playing this game of Spot the Logical Fallacy! I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to deduce what logical fallacies are employed in statements like “jealousy’s a bitchy mistress”.

  57. 57
    Tamar Fleishman

    @Chigau ROFL! 6 bullets short of a fully loaded pistol.

  58. 58
    Rey Fox

    Also, if you do celebrate a holiday — word root: Holy Day

    Do you recognize any of the days of the week named for all those non-Christian gods?

  59. 59
    PatrickG

    Well, last comment got stuck in moderation for links to basic logical fallacies, I guess.

    Tamar, use those Google skills to look up “credentialism” and “argument from authority”. A lot of people here have advanced degrees, in a variety of subjects. We’re not going to de facto genuflect to the fact that someone has a degree from Yale.

    If you choose to base yourself before the almighty Degree, that’s your prerogative. I’d prefer to actually look at the subject matter under debate, to wit: the twitter conversation and allegations made by your Degreed Hero.

    … after refresh, I’ll leave it there as a Monitor has requested that this be moved to the ThunderDome.

  60. 60
    Rey Fox

    MDiv from Yale is what she’s earned. Deal with it.

    Your job is to explain to us why we should be impressed by that.

  61. 61
    chigau (違う)

    Tamar Fleishman
    Keep it up.
    You are well on your way to getting your Banned at Pharyngula Badge.

  62. 62
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Dear internet,
    I wish to complain about the quality of trolls you are sending of late…

  63. 63
    Inaji

    Tamar:

    Ok, got it. Nobody here’s impressed by someone with graduate degrees from Yale and Columbia.

    Why should anyone be impressed? Plenty of people here hold degrees, same goes for a lot of people who don’t hang here. Degrees don’t speak to a person’s ability, or ethics, or much of anything outside of what particularly interested them. What a person does with said degrees, that’s a different matter.

    Pardon my saying, but it’s a sign of a mind with a bent toward authoritarianism who automatically holds up degrees as worthy in regard to a type of worship – “be thou impressed!” Someone who has spent more time learning how to think critically is more likely to contribute to society overall, and in a constructive way. You don’t need degrees for that, just a willingness to learn and to think. Of course, learning to think critically also requires you turn that critical eye upon yourself, and you need to learn that yes, you’ll fuck up, so apologize for mistakes, learn, and move on.

    I’m afraid Ms. Garrison is markedly lacking in the above.

  64. 64
    zenlike

    Goodbye Enemy Janine @44:

    Zenlike, I have seen ool0n comment on other FtBs but I have yet to see him comment here since PZ brought down the banhammer.

    Funnily enough, oolon posted just before me in this very thread, but at the time the comment was not visible (probably caught in a filter due to links).

    oolon @40

    (I’ve got three posts on my blog about libel threats I’ve got from ppl added to the bot, all atheists)

    I think it’s time for legislation to be pushed making a course on what ‘libel’ is mandatory before anyone should have access to the internets. This to protect mine and everyone else’s sanity.

    @Tamar Fleishman

    Congratulations, you have proved how brave you are posting the most idiotic content with your real name and Facebook account attached for the whole world to see.

    By the way, nobody gives a shit here in degrees in studying fantasy.

  65. 65
    Inaji

    Rey:

    Do you recognize any of the days of the week named for all those non-Christian gods?

    We could chat about the planets and their moons, and who they are named after.

    Sorry, Daz! I’ll shut up now.

  66. 66
    Al Dente

    MDiv from Yale

    A graduate degree in figments of the imagination studies. How impressive!

  67. 67
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Caine

    Sorry, Daz! I’ll shut up now.

    Ah, I didn’t use me monitor hat anyway. Chew toys should be nudged, not driven away unmauled.

    Re: MDiv:

    What colour’s the teapot? What shape is its spout?
    I declare it’s a Wedgwood. I’ll admit not a doubt!
    Do dragons fear rain, lest their flames should go out?
    Are the emperor’s shirt-tails tucked in, or left out?

    These learned discussions are not mere conjecture.
    (FSM’s meatballs are spicy, I betcha.)
    (Does unicorn shit land solid, or splatter?)
    Stop takin’ the piss! These are serious matters!

  68. 68
    screechymonkey

    Al Dente:

    A graduate degree in figments of the imagination studies. How impressive!

    Well, who better to pontificate about imaginary conspiracies? Atheism+, FtB, and the block_bot are like the Holy Trinity — separate and yet the same, all at the same time! Don’t ask for any evidence, it’s a Divine Mystery!

  69. 69
    Inaji

    Daz:

    What colour’s the teapot? What shape is its spout?
    I declare it’s a Wedgwood. I’ll admit not a doubt!

    Oh no it’s not! It’s LeCreuset, flame red! Oh, the cosmic rifts!

  70. 70
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Pah! It’s Delft.

  71. 71
    chigau (違う)

    It is an old, beat up, straight-on-the-fire tea billy.
    also used for soup

  72. 72
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Tamar, you don’t sound remotely clever.

    You’re also not following the rules and have been warned.

    Maybe you like coming off as a clueless, irritated douchebag. For all I know that’s exactly what you were going for.

    If not, you might want to give it a rest.

  73. 73
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    How is it that atheists like Fleishman* who must have seen the fallacy of argument from authority used against religion are unable to grasp that it works against anybody trying the same tactic? Newsflash, dumbasses: fallacies are still fallacies even when they don’t involve gods.

    *That’s presuming Fleishman is an atheist. Xe has demonstrated a distinct lack of capacity for critical thought, so I wouldn’t consider it a given.

  74. 74
    Tamar Fleishman

    It never occurred to anyone that plenty of atheists get MDiv’s? They use their studies to be able to really argue their points.

  75. 75
    PatrickG

    They use their studies to be able to really argue their points.

    The Book of BlockBot and the Letters to FTBullies were apparently required reading?

  76. 76
    Tamar Fleishman

    I’m not an atheist, not that it matters for the purposes of the thread.

  77. 77
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I didn’t realize I needed to list Becky’s CV here

    No. We take your word for it that she’s earned a degree in Why Fiction Is Really Really Real [yFIRRR].

    MDiv from Yale is what she’s earned.

    Um, yeah. I think we didn’t really care whether it was master’s or doctorate. That wasn’t really what was setting off local argument-from-(irrelevant-)authority detectors.

    Deal with it. Or not.

    And exactly how does one “deal with” that? Should I cry myself to sleep tonight that someone has a degree that they paid a lot of money for despite the yFIRRR subject matter? Should I sit down and read every single book assigned in every single class at the Yale divinity school? Or should I read her writings and assume that what she has said is what she intended to say, and critique her writings on that basis…which is exactly what I’d do if she didn’t have a yFIRRR degree?

  78. 78
    Inaji

    Wowbagger:

    Xe has demonstrated a distinct lack of capacity for critical thought, so I wouldn’t consider it a given.

    Considering the amount of atheists who couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag, I don’t consider it a given at all, no matter who might be doing the talking.

  79. 79
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Tamar

    One does not need to be able to discuss the cut of the Emperor’s jacket to note that the jacket does not exist. And, frankly, anyone who thinks they need to get such a qualification in order to do so is a twit.

    Now, would you like to discuss Ms Garrison’s unfounded accusations against the FTB network, or would you like to piss off? Your choice.

  80. 80
    chigau (違う)

    Is YaleMDiv acquainted with harvardmba?

  81. 81
    Inaji

    Tamar, I seriously hope you aren’t a student, because if you think Ms. Garrison is able to argue well, let alone present a valid argument, because degrees, hoo boy…

  82. 82
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Al Dente, 64:

    A graduate degree in figments of the imagination studies.

    You’re missing the point. It’s a graduate degree in why you can’t prove that figments of the imagination are **only** figments of the imagination, or as I said, a yFIRRR degree, as in:

    Person with $200k in student debt: I just got my MDiv from Yale!

    Someone else: yFIRRR????

  83. 83
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    Is YaleMDiv acquainted with harvardmba?

    :snorts cosmic tea:

    Ouch!

  84. 84
    Tamar Fleishman

    I’m sure you can figure out how to Google my background as well.

  85. 85
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Yes, we could. But who the hell cares about your background?

  86. 86
    Brony

    And notice how Tamar pulls the exact same tactic as Ms. Garrison. She refuses to address her mistake about characterization of the words of others and sinks in deeper by changing the subject when confronted.

    Primate chess.

  87. 87
    DrVanNostrand

    @82
    I generally don’t waste time googling tedious trolls that are incapable of saying anything intelligent or relevant in the Pharyngula comments section. Thanks for letting me know I have the option, though.

  88. 88
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    “Holy gosh and golly, a random twit on the internet! I must know more about her background!”- said no one ever.

  89. 89
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Rey Fox, who spoke to Tamar in #56:

    Do you recognize any of the days of the week named for all those non-Christian gods?

    Brave Hero Tamar doesn’t use a calendar!

  90. 90
    Tamar Fleishman

    LOL. I was ABOUT to say that the above commenter reminded me of the Brony convention, where I saw such people on the street in my city. I won’t characterize what I thought. Draw your own conclusions.

  91. 91
    Brony

    Another subject change. They will even perform for you.

    This also includes some clumsy attempts to poison the reader against a commenter with information independent of the subject in question. Tribalism in action.

  92. 92
    chigau (違う)

    Tamar Fleishman #88

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Already have…
    bless your heart

  93. 93
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Draw your own conclusions.

    I have. You are a pretentious irrelevant twit without anything cogent and on topic to say, but love to hear the sound of your own voice pontificating inanely. You can show me wrong by heading for the thunderdome.

  94. 94
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Caine wrote:

    Considering the amount of atheists who couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag, I don’t consider it a given at all, no matter who might be doing the talking.

    Indeed. There was a time not that long ago where my default assumption about atheists was that they were, on average, far more likely to possess critical thinking skills than theists – but reality, particularly in the last two years, has provided me with far too much data to undermine the validity of that particular hypothesis.

    This, of course, has no bearing on the fact that our new friend Tamar is a shallow-thinking pissant.

  95. 95
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Monitor note:

    Tamar Fleishman

    Please address the topic of the OP. If you wish to discuss off-topic matters, please use the Thunderdome thread.

    Stay on topic, unless it's an obvious "fun" thread. If you have something off topic that you must share, the Thunderdome thread is always appropriate.

    The Rules

  96. 96
    Inaji

    Can we get back to fighting over what brand/type the Cosmic Teapot is, ’cause that was way more fun.

    Also, about the planets and their moons. Am I the only one pissy about them being named after the Roman version of the Greek gods/titans/assorted?

  97. 97
    Inaji

    Brony:

    Tribalism in action.

    Brony, would you mind lightening up on the tribalism whistle? As a member of a tribe, I find the constant current use irritating and incorrect.

  98. 98
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to use Nyms and/or comment numbers:

    If you are replying to a specific comment, use the comment number and poster’s name.

    The Rules

  99. 99
    Brony

    You don’t think rhetorical dissection of comments is fun? Your loss ;)

  100. 100
    Brony

    @Caine, Fleur du mal 95
    I would be happy to consider an alternate that gets across my intentions to indicate that they are engaging in toxic levels of group-think, in the minimum of words.

  101. 101
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Brony, who are you speaking to?

  102. 102
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Hum. Would “cult-like” and “cultist” be okay?

  103. 103
    Inaji

    NightShadeQueen:

    Would “cult-like” and “cultist” be okay?

    Works for me. Gang / gang members would also work, given that covers the mentality being described very well.

  104. 104
    zenlike

    Tamar Fleishman,

    This might surprise you, but not everything is about you.

    Also, as a good brave supporter of Becky Garrison, I think you are doing her a disservice of trying to defend her, because you only show how idiotic her fans are.

  105. 105
    Brony

    @ Daz 99
    Which comment?

    @ NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase 100
    Only if a significant chunk of my audience is not religious (I always try to consider the audience, I don’t always succeed…)

  106. 106
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Brony. My bad. I meant #97.

  107. 107
    Inaji

    Brony:

    @ Daz 99
    Which comment?

    The one you did not address – 97.

    I always try to consider the audience

    Then consider Indians, especially when one bothers to point out the offensive use of a word you’re overly fond of, okay? If necessary, use more words.

  108. 108
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Chigau:

    Is YaleMDiv acquainted with harvardmba?

    You has just won one internetz.

    Caine:

    Can we get back to fighting over what brand/type the Cosmic Teapot is, ’cause that was way more fun.

    It is a Calphalon anodized aluminiuniunium teapot.

  109. 109
    Brony

    @ Daz 104

    No problem. I should indicate posts even when I think the context is obvious anyway. #97 was joking towards Caine, Fleur du mal 94

  110. 110
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    I’m still not 100% convinced it’s not a coffee percolator. I mean, we’re just taking Russell’s word for it, right?

  111. 111
    Inaji

    Brony:

    #97 was joking towards Caine, Fleur du mal 94

    Oh fuck, I’m sorry! Yeah, my humour tank isn’t topped up today. Imma bit stressed out, prolly shouldn’t be online today.

    Daz:

    I’m still not 100% convinced it’s not a coffee percolator. I mean, we’re just taking Russell’s word for it, right?

    Heresy! You’ll burn, man. Wait, are we talking French Press here?

  112. 112
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Caine

    Wait, are we talking French Press here?

    Well, natch. And my Master of Teaology degree says I’m right.

  113. 113
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    * Master of Teaology (which, obviously, covers associated beverages. He said, hoping no one noticed the gaffe.)

  114. 114
    chigau (違う)

    Fine, then.
    I think we are derailed.
    (given the OP subject, not a surprise)

    Is Tamar Fleishman returning or have we gone too silly?

    The teapot is a brownbetty and the tea is Red Rose.

  115. 115
    Inaji

    Daz:

    And my Master of Teaology degree says I’m right.

    Ha! I have a 1906 edition of The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, so there.

  116. 116
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Curses, foiled by an old book!

    Akshully, I’ve decided I like the look of the Brown Betty.

  117. 117
    Al Dente

    chigau @112

    While he would probably accept the brownbetty, I doubt Bertrand Russell would accept Red Rose as tea.

  118. 118
    chigau (違う)

    Caine

    Ha! I have a 1906 edition of The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, so there.

    ooooh
    I know some teensy Japanese ladies who would kill for that.

  119. 119
    Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam

    Brony @ 98

    I would be happy to consider an alternate [to "tribalism"] that gets across my intentions to indicate that they are engaging in toxic levels of group-think, in the minimum of words.

    Do words like “sectarianism” and “factionalism” do the job for you? If not, how about short phrases like “party loyalty,” “in-group mentality” or even, as you said yourself, “toxic levels of group-think”?

  120. 120
    chigau (違う)

    Al Dente #115
    If Berty drank tea in Canada, he’d have Red Rose.
    And Like It.

  121. 121
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    I know some teensy Japanese ladies who would kill for that.

    Hee. It’s an interesting book. It’s available online, the wiki has links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Tea

  122. 122
    Inaji

    By the way, The Book of Tea is still in print, it’s never been out of print, and it’s even available as an e-book.

  123. 123
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I have a copy of an edition from 2004.

  124. 124
    vaiyt

    Also, about the planets and their moons. Am I the only one pissy about them being named after the Roman version of the Greek gods/titans/assorted?

    With the exception of Uranus.

  125. 125
    Anri

    Tamar Fleishman @ 53:

    Such a class act. Such a deep thinker, so erudite! So inspirational, Wowbagger, Designated Snarker. Can I be you when I grow up? After all, you do remind me so charmingly of the nose-pickers in grade school.

    AHA!
    You fell into our clever trap! By writing about Wowbagger on Teh Interwebtubes, you have proved you care!
    Do you hear?
    You proved you care!

    This is a terrible, terrible thing, because of mumble.
    Yes! We can now declare VICTORY and not post again!

  126. 126
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I’m pleased to hear that, since I have a masters, I can never be questioned ever again in my life. Why did nobody tell me about this?!?

  127. 127
    ekwhite

    Tamar Fleishman @82:

    Yes, we do know how to use Google. Consider me not impressed. Some of the people you are trying to use your argument from authority on are well educated, highly accomplished professionals (I am not one of them). Why should a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Astrophysics, or Philosophy be particularly impressed with Becky Garrison’s credentials? Why is her degree even relevant to her argument on Twitter?

  128. 128
    Ichthyic

    Why should a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Astrophysics, or Philosophy be particularly impressed with Becky Garrison’s credentials? Why is her degree even relevant to her argument on Twitter?

    a tiny list of people with impressive degrees that are complete demented fuckwits, that even Tamar Fleishman should have heard of:

    Jonathan Wells
    William Dembski
    Michael Behe
    Michael Egnor

    There are people who say really REALLY stupid shit that have advanced degrees from major universities.

    if you swallow what they are selling, simply because they have a degree, you’re not much of a skeptic.

    wouldn’t ask you to believe this even, regardless of the fact that I too have a fancy degree from a major academic institution.

  129. 129
    LykeX

    Degrees can be used as a proxy for ability, but only as a heuristic. When you have the actual performance of a person on display, then obviously that’s a more reliable indicator of their ability.

    What’s being criticized here is not Becky Garrison’s credentials, but her actual words. As such, her education is irrelevant. In fact, it’s almost a strike against her. If she was capable of getting a masters degree, then surely she should be able to do better than this.

  130. 130
    Ichthyic

    Why did nobody tell me about this?!?

    The memos go out every month. check with your local chapter to make sure they have your correct address.

  131. 131
    Ichthyic

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to use Nyms and/or comment numbers:

    you know, we lived with that for YEARS.

    all of a sudden, it’s now a problem.

    hmm.

  132. 132
    Jim Newman

    As an independent philosopher without degree who makes nothing at blogging I want to thank FtB (and Skepchick, and Marcotte, and, oh hell you all know who you are) bloggers et al for fighting the BS and keeping it real. I care because I have to care. If conspiracy means activist, like mindedness then I guess I am part of it–but who’s the leader, where’s the rules? It must be one of those decentralized, viral, mimetic things. Or justice.

  133. 133
    chigau (違う)

    Ichthyic #129
    It’s always been a problem.
    Now we’re trying fix it.

  134. 134
    gussnarp

    It just reads like so much Glenn Beck style conspiracy. “Oh no, they’re not admins, but they play with those guys…” Wait, is it Glenn Beck or the play ground? “I saw you playing with little Timmy, you can’t play with me anymore.”

    What every happened to Occam’s Razor? Are these folks also self-proclaimed skeptics who would happily explain to you why JFK and the Twin Towers aren’t conspiracies (and they’d be right, of course), but seem to think that the slightest possible association or pleasant words passing between two atheists makes them part of some malicious cabal?

  135. 135
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Also, what exactly do these dictionary atheists want?

    Them: “Go away, Social Justice Atheists, leave us alone!”
    Us: “Okay.”
    Them: “YOU’RE DIVIDING THE MOVEMENT! BLEEEEEARRRRGH!”

  136. 136
    vaiyt

    It’s not unity they want, it’s silence.

  137. 137
    Inaji

    Vaiyt:

    With the exception of Uranus.

    True. It’s spelled incorrectly though, should be Ouranus.

  138. 138
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Nobody here’s impressed by someone with graduate degrees from Yale and Columbia.

    I’m sorry, on this blog we measure pretend-authority in radians.

  139. 139
    carlie

    Know who else graduated from Yale? George “heckuva job” Bush.

  140. 140
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    Daz at 110

    I’m still not 100% convinced it’s not a coffee percolator.

    If teapots had eyebrows, I would raise one.

  141. 141
    carlie

    Teapot! *waves happily and enthusiastically*

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