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Nov 05 2013

Good luck, NSC

Nonstampcollector has made an update video to let us know what he’s been up to lately. Congratulations on the familial expansion!

He also talks a bit about his departure from FtB and the deranged haters out there. He references his final post, and links to a copy archived elsewhere. Don’t bother to go there — it’s hosted on one of the lunatic anti-FtB wacko’s sites. I’ve put a copy here below the fold.

I’m aware that many will want to gloat that in “leaving FTB”, I will have proven to all and sundry that all those rumors about FTB are true, and that I got the hell out of there because I couldn’t take the cult-like behaviour any more, and that I’d been wrong all along and the anti-FTBers had been right all along after all… etc. 

OK, let’s deal with this right away. And yes, I’m going to take my time and have some fun with this. As I sit here writing this post, the section you’re about to read gets bigger and bigger on every read-through — and I’m letting it. I think it’s a good way to wrap up my FTB experience. I held back on this since starting my blog, because I didn’t want my blog to be about my blog. And now I can finally use some of those screen-shots I took! 

Let me say, for the first and last time on this issue, that the only rabidly dogmatic crazies I ever came across upon setting up this blog at this particular site, were the anti-FTBers. 

I never had any problems whatsoever with any of the folks who blog here. Never. I was never pressured to toe any particular line, I was never encouraged to take a particular stance on any particular issue, I was never given cause to be concerned about being ‘reviewed’ or edited,…I was only ever invited to write anything I liked about anything I liked. Those were the terms given to me on the way in, and nothing ever, ever changed.

YouTube Comment 1: “Nope. Just look at Thunderf00t’s case, if you date say anything that pisses off Mr. Myers he either forces you to humiliate yourself and apologize or he bans you. Free thoughts blog my ass”

YouTube Comment 2:  “Oh, a “free from thought blog” convert. You should make a video on how that happened. Are you going to two the party line over there or get banned by the way?”

YouTube Comment 3: “I’m going to laugh my socks off when you get band from FFB for saying something out of line.” 

The ‘backlash’ that came at me after I accepted Kylie S’s invitation (on behalf of those at FTB who decide these things) to have a blog set up for me here began slowly, gradually rose over a few days, and then stayed at an unbelievable pitch for literally months. Suddenly I was being accused of every criticism that was being thrown at PZ Myers, Jennifer McCreight, Greta Christina, or even Rebecca Watson. (I’d heard of two of these people before joining, and had regularly read one of them; albeit not for a few years.) Suddenly, in the eyes of many, I had become a staunch, outspoken advocate NOT ONLY of man-hating radical militant feminism, but also of Atheism+, and I had people DEMANDING that I retract everything I’d ever said promoting both of those, taking me to task for the unforgivable crimes of the moderators at some Atheism+ forum, and composing long, strongly-worded messages detailing to me the philosophical and practical problems of Atheism+. 

All of this prompted me, after a few weeks, to find out what Atheism+ was. 

I read about it, said ‘meh’, and haven’t looked again. 

My impression of Atheism+ is that it was a simple idea, fairly well stated in its ‘manifesto’, on whoever’s blog it went up on, and then, obviously, pretty badly promoted, executed, and managed. It was obviously a flop from whatever angle you look at it, and if everybody had paid as much attention to it as I did, and have, instead of squealing about it for months and months and months and months, and months, it would have gone the way of the dodo.

YouTube comment: “Poor NSC. Now he is part of the drama. The atheism+ crowd has a new bait. The popular but somewhat naive NSC. He might have looked at the offer a bit more critically had it come from someone else. But he did not here. Its ok. He has not been making good videos anyway. Not much of a loss. But hosting the blog at a more neutral venue would have been a win-win.” 

I simply cannot overstate the BACKLASH that I received over Atheism+ during the several weeks before I took the time to find out what it was. Think about that for a second.

YouTube(?) comment: “NSC demonstrates the ability to research and delve into subjects in a methodical fashion… except when it comes to his greenhorn defense of A+ with admitted ignorance of many of the facts. Well its understandable that he wants to impress his new found friends. To bad he didn’t exercise the same diligence in research before he began spewing in public.” 

Then there were the countless messages and emails informing me of what the management structure of FTB was like, who was in charge, what happened on the backchannel, who pulled the strings, what bloggers were and weren’t allowed to do, the methods of surveillance used by FTB ‘leaders’ to monitor the online activity of the bloggers (on and off FTB)… these things just went ON and ON and ON.

YouTube comment 1: “I seriously doubt they would literally censor you. The problem is we’ll never know what you were discouraged from saying either because you’ve been assimilated through the back channel hive mind indoctrination system, or because you don’t want to risk your slot on FTB..”

YouTube comment 2: “FTB has a very high ban rate for any level of disagreement and is tied to Atheism+. It is also run by PZ Myers who rubs some people the wrong way, mainly because he does things like say anyone that disagrees with his particular brand of humanist outlook is an asshole. This and many others things has led it to be a fairly divisive issue. Personally I don’t like the way FTB operates or handles issues at all.”

Meanwhile, I was actually ON the backchannel, witnessing not only NONE of what was being described to me daily by hysterical know-it-alls in messages and comments, but witnessing instead the polar opposite. A very cordial, very democratic, at times very light-hearted discourse — so cordial and congenial, in fact, that I didn’t actually feel all that comfortable participating in it! I’ve always been a lone-wolf on this Atheism thing, and suddenly, confronted by a mutually-supportive ‘network’ of like-minded writers and thinkers, I slowly came to realize that I kind of preferred being on my own and I never really joined many of the conversations on the back-channel. Simply not my cup of tea, despite it being very positive, constructive, and friendly. All the while I’m being told repeatedly, from what felt like every angle, that I had been tricked into joining a cult that was going to attempt to control my thoughts, and abuse my popularity on Youtube to implement their feminism-based agenda. It was like I was living in two different worlds at once.

NSC YouTube comment: “Well why haven’t I ever had even the slightest inkling that they are there? I’m on the backchannel all the time,… listen to this video from 4:42. Seriously, is FTB the most incredible covert operation in the history of mankind or something? I’m in the think of what this guy thinks is a raging cult, and I have seen absolutely NONE of it. Not the slightest trace of what he’s making sound like North Korea. Apparantely regulating my behaviour even whilst off the site! I throw my hands up”

YouTube Comment Response: “So you defend Nazism in the atheist community? Piece of shit. Someone DMCA this fucker to closure, it’s about time the A+ Nazis got a test of their own blocking.” 

Some of these anti-FTBers make 911-Truthers look like Ph.D geniuses. Sorry, it’s just the fucking truth.

FreeThoughtBlogs, it turns out, means different things to different people. To me, it meant a site that hosted about 35 bloggers all writing independently on a range of topics based around a common thread of secularism. To its critics, it means PZ Myers and two or three others. They don’t like PZ Myers and those two or three others, and therefore FreeThoughtBlogs is entirely, irreconcilably, bad. I often asked my critics to name, without looking online, as many of the 35 bloggers at FTB that they could. Guess how that went among people who had characterized the entire site as “PZ”, or even better — and this happened ALL the time – as “Rebecca Watson”, who has never even blogged at FTB!!

An utter inability to look objectively at a situation and evaluate it based on what one actually observes through rudimentary investigation — from people who accuse FTB of “hive-mind”.

YouTube comment: “I won’t be the only subscriber he loses today. Perhaps you should pull your head out of your asshole and take a look around. Everyone is in arms over NSC’s idiotic choice. I blacklist everyone who supports the A+ crowd. It’s called having principles, I know that’s an alien concept to you.”

Another comment: “BTW, I was just over reading Non Stamp Collector’s YouTube channel comments. that poor sap doesn’t know what he’s getting into. Somebody should warn him to at least keep an eye on his wallet and get a list of things he’s not to mention on his blog from PeePee. I like his videos, but I won’t be reading his blog… same as Rad (who is better on video anyway).”

I asked my critics, a few times, how many of the bloggers at FTB were supportive of Atheism+. I’m still waiting for an answer to those sort of meaningful, practically valuable, thoughtful questions — the kind of questions that I oughtn’t to have had to ask — the kind of questions that might burst bubbles of irrational thinking.

What I’m saying here, is that my involvement at FTB highlighted something that I had simply not anticipated after four active years in internet atheism. That is, an enormously disappointing irrationality, paranoia, and lack of critical thinking within our ranks. The atheist community, for want of a better term, around Youtube, it turns out, is populated by some seriously irrational unthinking people. One would expect that to be present in any group of people, fair enough. But the EXTENT to which it came at me was eye-opening and very disturbing. I can only hope that something happens to change that.

An enormous number of ‘skeptical’ and ‘rational’ people showed that they were willing to swallow whatever line they were fed without evaluating it or investigating it at all. A rumor spreads about the FTB backchannel, and that becomes unquestionable truth. An “enemy” is named, and a witch-hunt begins. PZ Myers got cooties — and suddenly so did EVERYONE within a few clicks of him. “Eeewwwwww!!!! You’ve got cootieeeeeeeees!!!!”

YouTube comment: “Unsubscribed. Sorry man. That’s a deal breaker.”

NSC’s response: “I fully understand. I can no longer watch NSC’s videos because of what PZ Myers said about Rebecca Watson. [slow clap]“

YouTube comment: “You’re blind to the stakes. They will trample us if no one opposes them, you craven. I can unsubscribe from anyone I want, but if I had power to ban or censor them I wouldn’t. I would rally others to rebuke them voluntarily as should be done for all psychopaths like A+. They are nazis, they are bigots, and nothing I said was wrong. You’re just a craven little pussy who doesn’t like mean-sounding words being brought to bear against evil. Sit on that fence pole, coward, but the rest of us won’t”

Friends, how sad to say it, but irrationality, dogmatism, and uncritical thinking needs to be dealt with in the online skeptical rational community. There’s way too much of that shit going around.

Disagree with whomever you like, but do it for good reason. Speak out against ideas you disagree with, but do it with reference to actual checkable facts — and cite your sources.

And as simple as it seems: Don’t read people whom you don’t want to read. Nobody would ever have heard of Rebecca Watson if her critics hadn’t LOST THEIR SHIT, and gone and made websites, Twitter accounts, Youtube channels, and blogs in honor of demonizing her! Same goes for this otherwise tiny, insignificant proposal called Atheism+. Some ban-happy forum moderators banned you and a million of your friends? Well — there’s a forum that isn’t going to survive, so shut the fuck up about it and go and have a cup of tea! Be an adult — stand your ground and keep your integrity. Don’t start a fucking website bitching about how harshly you were treated by some faceless ban-happy dickhead on some forum!

And for heaven’s sake — if you don’t like PZ Myers, don’t read him either! Been banned by him? Well whoopdy-friggin-doo! You didn’t like what he had to say anyway, obviously! But don’t then assume, and spread the irrational idea, that 34 others publishing independently on the same website are going to think exactly like him! And don’t say that “FreeThought” is a misnomer and that hive-mind is rampant throughout the site if you haven’t even read more than two or three of the fucking bloggers writing there, and instead just take everyone else’s word for it! Fuck! THINK!

Ahhhh. That felt good.

I will say this in closing: my first ever input into the atheism feminism fracas:

I have never had much of an interest in feminism despite my undergraduate degree in English and Cultural Studies, but as a 21st century somewhat enlightened guy with a mother, a sister, and a wife, (and 50% odds on having a daughter before too long!) I’m all for gender equality, inclusiveness, women’s safety, and equal opportunity, and that’s that. How such issues ever became the point of division amongst atheists is not only confusing, but troubling, and I have no qualms in saying that both sides of the cat-fight ought to have conducted themselves better at every turn. It should never have escalated to the shit-storm it became. That’s why I stayed out of it. It has been undignified and embarrassing from the start, and I wish those taking an active position on it would do a better job of it. Many of them are embarrassing themselves and the rest of us. I hope both sides can see that it’s not only the “other” side who is at fault, and I hope that it gets well and truly sorted out very soon. I advocate a loud and vocal third side — the “Guys, knock this shit off. We’ve got bigger fish to fry” side. I repeat, this issue is an embarrassment to our movement, and the fault is not solely on either side.

UPDATE: I’ve had a bit of a response from this passage above, that I’d like to address. I can see what critics are saying here, so allow me to elaborate and clarify.

What I’m talking about here, as far as fault not only being on one side, has mainly to do with diplomacy and effective communication. Even when one is firmly on the right side of an issue, such as when defending gender equality, fairness, safety and inclusiveness, failing to effectively communicate what you’ve got to say, and instead pissing people off, blocking them, banning them, insulting them, and prolonging the enmity is really destructive to your cause. How did those ideals come to be so controversial? I don’t know why that side of this argument has been so difficult to sell. It ought to have been a no-brainer, and the fracas ought to have been over pretty much immediately after it began. How the side championing those principles came to be so virulently hated is really cause for a collective “WTF?!”. It could have, and should have, been argued a lot better. Atheism and secularism ought not be embarrassed by having this as an “issue” hanging over our heads.

If you can’t sell water to a man walking out of a desert, and can’t sell pretty basic ubiquitous 21st-century ideals to do with gender equality to a crowd that prides itself on being progressive and enlightened, then your approach and methodology is all wrong. Whatever that wrong is- that’s what I’m critical of on the pro-equality (and dare I say) feminist side of the fight. It’s not their stance or their case, it’s simply to do with the presentation of the argument, or counter-argument or whatever it was.

Be the side that can act diplomatically. Take the high road and sell your approach as the more attractive and sensible one, if that’s what you actually think it is. Appeal to the nobler ideals of the ‘enemy’, rather than kicking the shit out of them the first chance you get. It ought to have been done better, and I think it definitely could have been. I think something really must have been fucked up for this issue to fester for so long. It should have been put away quickly, so lots of people somewhere were obviously screwing things up.

And disagree with me too, that’s fine, and it’s simply not my argument and I’m getting the fuck out of here anyway! I never ever would have paid it any attention if it weren’t for the fact that I was constantly being tarred with being on a radical fringe of one side of an argument that i would never have voluntarily entered. I’m saying my final, parting 2c worth and walking away. If you think that indeed all the blame lies on only one side of this, then OK, have fun with that, see you later sometime on youtube or something, whatever, it’s really not my issue. And be pissed at me for leaving it like that too if you want. No correspondence will be entered into, because it’s essentially not my issue and never was. I got dragged into it and embarrassed by it like a lot of people. I may have come out and said things earlier if I didn’t think that doing so would simply tar me even further by aligning me with certain people who were simply not doing a very good job of confronting the issue cool-headedly, diplomatically, or effectively- no matter whether they were on the right side of it.

So: all I’m saying: separate to the anti-FTB insanity, the feminism thing wasn’t handled particularly effectively by those with a more defensible stance. I hope it fixes itself up nicely very soon and that we can all forget it ever happened. That won’t happen until things calm down, idiotic minorities are healthily ignored, and broader points of agreement are recognised.

Anyway, that’s my rant, and a hell of a farewell, I think! And I’m probably not going to hang around to defend any of it or respond to much response.

Thanks to my overlords here, ie Rebecca Watson and Josef Stalin, for making my time at FTB pleasant and telling me what to think, always.

And to everyone else, don’t think that you’ve seen the last of me. I’ll still be checking my Youtube inbox and popping up here and there. Life outside of NonStamping is getting a lot more engaging, and those five or six half-baked scripts that are in my “Works In Progress” folder are going to have to sit there fomenting for just a while longer.

This post, and this NSC blog itself, will self-destruct in a few days or weeks or something.

112 comments

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  1. 1
    Rey Fox

    he either forces you to humiliate yourself and apologize

    Speaks volumes about their mentality.

  2. 2
    captainahags

    While I like NSC’s videos, and thought a lot of his posts were good, I think this one leaned a bit too much toward “fair and balanced,” and maybe verged on tone trolling. The people screaming gendered slurs and nastiness at every turn and JAQing off and generally being enormous assholes are fundamentally different from the people who occasionally want to prevent the first group from doing their thing in the second group’s space. You may have a right to free speech, but that does not mean you can come into my living room and start reciting your manifesto.

    Not that it will be answered, but my question to NSC would be: How much vitriol/conspiracy theory nonsense/etc. was directed at you by A+ proponents, and do you think that the relative proportions of said vitriol and stupidity might indicate who is more to blame for the whole debacle?

  3. 3
    Al Dente

    When diplomatic attempts were made to communicate with the anti-FTB/anti-Atheism+/anti-feminist crowd, as when Michael Nugent sponsored a dialog, the attempts went nowhere. It’s hard to have a civil conversation with people whose attitude is “we hate you and everything you stand for, here’s an obscene caricature we made of you just to show you how much we hate you.” It takes two sides to have a discussion but it only takes one side to have a rant.

  4. 4
    LeftSidePositive

    I’m sorry, I oughtn’t let this compel me to comment…but does/did NSC really think that all these people screaming rape and death threats only did so because they were approached in the wrong way? Firstly, I don’t know a more diplomatic way of saying any of this other than “guys, don’t do that.” Did NSC simply not notice the people who were politely asking to please be recognized and please not be harassed or groped for, like, YEARS? Why does he think they got so damn vocal?!?!?

    And another thing…I’ve never understood the defense that it’s justifiable to hurl epithets, slurs, and abuse at people when they wrongly call you out for something. I mean, I’m a well-off white woman with a metric fuckton of educational and professional privilege. If someone tells me that something I said was clueless or hurtful, my first response would be to say “oh, sorry” rather than raining down racist or classist slurs, and as what? Retribution or something? I don’t even get it. Even when I have a genuine philosophical disagreement with someone–e.g., I disagree that disability is *entirely* socially constructed (very significantly, yes, just not entirely) and I disagree that preventing disability is eliminationist (employing dangerous quack “cures” on those who already exist and are disabled, though, definitely eliminationist). Even in some pretty heated arguments, I try to do this weird thing where I focus on the content of the discussion. Thinking back to arguments I’ve had with those who advocate an extreme social constructionist view, I can’t imagine shouting “cripple!” or “tard!” or anything like that…I just flat out don’t get where that impulse comes from, and yet the misogyny brigade seems to think it is inevitable that they respond as such when challenged by someone advocating feminism. I mean, if NSC is right and feminism is such a natural non-issue, why is that impulse to hurl gendered abuse so strong and widespread?

    Okay, sorry, confused sputtering over. I really just don’t get that, though.

  5. 5
    michaelhacker

    As an avid watcher of YouTube videos… it’s depressing how many Tf00t drones exist there. YouTube atheism these days is largely comprised of your typical TheAmazingAtheist-esque MRAs. And the people that actually do call Tf00t or TAA out on their bullshit get their videos downvoted into oblivion or flagged. Hell, NSC is STILL catching flak over this!

    Anyone know of any good YouTubers to subscribe to for a dose of sanity? I could use a couple of those. AronRa doesn’t make videos nearly often enough!

  6. 6
    John Morales

    I respect and salute NSC, who has a corpus of top-tier-videos.

    (As for those about whom he speaks… I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who sniggers at their hopeful conceit that their pretense of being on it is but for the yuks may be even slightly credible to anyone with half-a-clue)

  7. 7
    Pierce R. Butler

    … my overlords here, ie Rebecca Watson and Josef Stalin…

    How odd: he writes that as if they were two different people.

  8. 8
    jodyp

    A lot of what he says is on the money, but he loses me when he gets to his point about feminism.

    “Guys, don’t do that” could have been argued better? Really?

  9. 9
    karmacat

    He doesn’t give any specific examples of what the feminist advocate side did wrong. I am not sure what to make NSC’s attitude about the “two sides.” Sigh. A lot of people just aren’t good at constructive criticism. If you see a problem, then give specific examples of problematic comments and what comments would be more effective. In any case, I wish NSC the best and will just ignore his comments about the “feminist thing.” His comments about it are just not useful

  10. 10
    John-Henry Beck

    I got the impression that NSC didn’t actually have examples of what might have been argued or advocated badly. Rather, it seems to be his opinion that it *must* have been sold badly to have gotten such a negative reaction to positions he thinks are pretty rational and obvious.
    So, basically, I think he’s just still giving way too much credit to the anti- crowd, assuming they got off on the tangent because they were mistreated or something.

  11. 11
    spacejunkie

    Try Sepiasiren. Always good for a bit of mellow vocied sanity.

  12. 12
    PZ Myers

    Did you know the word “sniggers” sends comments to the spam trap? You can guess why.

  13. 13
    ludicrous

    OK ladies, you haven’t converted the misogyists quickly when you have the advantage of the better argument so you must be doing it wrong”.

    How NSC arrived there is puzzling. But his solution is the sorriest, “not my issue” Would be nice if those ‘doing it wrong’ could walk away that easily.

  14. 14
    Hank_Says

    I remember almost facepalming when I read the “both sides” bit at the original posting at NSC’s blog – not least because, up to that point, I was nodding in agreement.

    With regard to the years of bloodshot-eyed hatred and abuse and stalking and twitter-snark and pseudoscience and passive aggressive commentary and obscene photoshops and laughable caricatures and endless Steersplaining and Guestpitching indulged in, enabled and encouraged by the MRA/Pitiful, there is nothing remotely similar in quality, quantity or duration coming from the social justice/FtB/Skepchick side of the Rift.

    Many have asked (including me in a thread or two) for evidence that the social justice side has been remotely as deliberately offensive and hateful and intentionally personal as the bro-magnons; all they can come up with is the odd isolated example of someone (almost always a commenter, not a blogger or “public face”) overstepping a line. They remind me of the fundies with their false equivalencies (two cokes!™), their persecution fantasies (freeze peach!) and their propensity to just swallow what some MRA preacher tells them is the Truth (“but Chunderbunny done prove it – with science!”).

  15. 15
    Alverant

    It’s slightly off topic but someone in the YouTube comments brought up Matt Dillahunty. I don’t know who he is so I made some big assumptions based off the context. So I either guessed right or I made a big fucking mistake that I have to own up for. So can someone here tell me about him and his role in A+, please?

  16. 16
    taiki

    I think the tone argument is shitty, and NSC is giving credence to a meme that should die.

    However, NSC said the one thing that really, I wish Amazing Atheist and thunderf00t said.

    “This is not my issue.”

    While I think it’s fair to criticize his use of false equivalency and the tone argument, ultimately he never jumped into this debate. He was dragged kicking and screaming.

    He was forced to flounce. He threw up his hands and said, “I don’t know” and walked away.

    Why can’t more people learn this?

  17. 17
    iknklast

    The argument about “both sides” comes down to the idea that “there are always two sides to every question”. Not a true statement.

    And I find the you’re just not diplomatic enough argument matches nicely with those who say that our billboards only get defaced or inflame people because their confrontational. No, it’s the mere existence of atheists. Several incidents have demonstrated that nicely.

    Well, feminists also inflame people by merely existing. Because we are not acting the way they believe we should. Throughout the feminist movement, there have been diplomatic spokes persons and less diplomatic spokes persons. I see no evidence that suggests diplomatic worked any better. It just allows people to ignore how nasty they’re being because no one will stand up and say it.

    Me? I tend towards diplomatic when I’m talking to people, because I hate confrontation. This mostly leaves me frustrated because nothing changes. I’m starting to try blunt. Is it working better? Haven’t done it long enough yet, nor consistently enough, to tell. But I’m sick of people saying “be diplomatic” when many people have been nothing but diplomatic and end up with nothing to show for it.

  18. 18
    Inaji

    All the best to NSC and his family. That said, I’m shaking my head over the “oh, hey, you must not have communicated well” business. We have communicated clearly, concisely, and well. We’ve repeated that communication for years now, and the idiocy continues.

    I think NSC didn’t venture into this very far, as it’s quite clear he did not wish to do so. It’s a little difficult to find yourself in a position where you have to keep going back to square one, and explain every little fucking thing all the way back up to square 100, and keep doing that over and over and over, only to have people keep screaming “hive mind! nasty femininazis! manginas! you should be raped, and would be if you weren’t so ugly!, acid in the face!” and all the rest.

  19. 19
    notsont

    Your average person, at least ones I am familiar with, is indoctrinated into this mindset that if two groups are fighting they were both responsible. From the lowest grades of school we are taught that there are “always two sides”. It is very hard to break away from it. I find myself doing it with my children when they fight, it is very hard not to but sometimes one side really is totally at fault.

  20. 20
    Inaji

    Alverant:

    It’s slightly off topic but someone in the YouTube comments brought up Matt Dillahunty. I don’t know who he is so I made some big assumptions based off the context. So I either guessed right or I made a big fucking mistake that I have to own up for. So can someone here tell me about him and his role in A+, please?

    Here’s something you can watch:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/02/matt-dillahunty-being-all-reasonable-and-stuff/comment-page-1/#comments

  21. 21
    mary2

    Good piece by NSC. I thought he made some good points about the need to maintain good communication if you want to get your message across. I don’t think he was suggesting that the 2 sides were equivalent in nastiness, just that sometimes the good guys can use a sledge-hammer to crack a walnut. Makes me wish I’d read any of his blogs while he was writing here.

  22. 22
    chigau (違う)

    I wish all the best to NSC and family.

    (Hi John Morales!)

  23. 23
    saysomething

    On just the feminism, two sides thing: I can’t help, when reading what he wrote, to think of Patrick Stewart taking about the abuse his mom suffered at the hands of his father when he was a child. When the police would show up after a bad beating, they would sympathize, but they would tell her that there must have been something she had done to provoke him. Otherwise, why would he beat her so badly? But the police weren’t there. They had no evidence of what she ‘must’ have done to ‘deserve that.’

    So I guess right there is where I have a problem. He says it it’s his issue, he’s just not that interested. But then he basically says, with no evidence, that our message Must have been poorly broadcast to be treated to such a hostile response.

    Bullshit.

  24. 24
    ibyea

    I don’t understand how we can be very polite if they are shouting at our faces, foam frothing in their mouth with the first mention of feminism. When their concept of feminism is feminism=evil.

  25. 25
    vaiyt

    I advocate a loud and vocal third side — the “Guys, knock this shit off. We’ve got bigger fish to fry” side.

    Half of our population being treated like shit whenever they speak up in the movement is not a big enough fish. You heard it, ladies.

  26. 26
    triamacleod

    Wait. So he couldn’t effectively communicate that FtB wasn’t actually the Borg or femi-nazi central because of the blind ignorance and/or hatred of the commentors. But somehow, because feminism is such a rational, decent, no-brainer of a position for any human to take, we should be able to traipse through the bile, viciousness, threats, lies et al and…….what? Sprinkle them with the magical pixie dust of rational thought? Mangina mana?

    The basic gist of all the hatred is that MRAs (and their bros) get angry when their privilege is challenged by anyone for any reason. The basis of that anger may be fear, it may be uncertainty, but the result seems to be blinding rage. How is anyone supposed to get passed that and argue rationally? How do you effectively communicate with someone who will not listen? Who will not even allow you to open your mouth to speak?

  27. 27
    scimaths

    NSC

    I have never had much of an interest in feminism

    Of course you haven’t. You’re alright jack.

    but as a 21st century somewhat enlightened guy with a mother, a sister, and a wife, (and 50% odds on having a daughter before too long!) I’m all for gender equality, inclusiveness, women’s safety, and equal opportunity, and that’s that.

    As long as your chattel and livestock are fed, watered and in general good working order … who cares about those other hysterics with their mean tone of voice and all ?

    “meh”

    Quite

  28. 28
    hamsterWare

    Strikes me as a bit of fundamental attribution error – they won’t listen to my reasonable arguments, so they are “rabidly dogmatic crazies”; they won’t listen to your reasonable arguments, so you must be communicating your arguments poorly. Not that he’s wrong about them. Still, the hypocrisy of this general line of thought (and NSC is hardly the only one who’s been guilty of it) is always disappointing.

  29. 29
    skeptifem

    “I’ve never been that interested in feminism, but here is my opinion on how feminists are doing it wrong”

    spoken like a dude without a clue!

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-finally-put-in-charge-of-struggling-feminist-m,2338/

    After decades spent battling gender discrimination and inequality in the workplace, the feminist movement underwent a high-level shake-up last month, when 53-year-old management consultant Peter “Buck” McGowan took over as new chief of the worldwide initiative for women’s rights.

    McGowan, who now oversees the group’s day-to-day operations, said he “couldn’t be happier” to bring his ambition, experience, and no-nonsense attitude to his new role as the nation’s top feminist.

    “All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business,” said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by “making a few calls to the big boys upstairs.” “In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it’s all about who you know.”

  30. 30
    rorschach

    Frankly, I have been more than a bit surprised in the past 2 years by Steve’s recurrent apparent naivete and displayed fence-sitting when it came to the anti-FtB/A- crowd. I don’t buy this “I had never thought about it, or heard about it before, so after a few weeks of abuse I decided to look it up” crap.

  31. 31
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I enjoyed many of NSC’S videos, and this post too–up until he talked about feminism and “both sides”. His earlier comments indicated surprise that so many atheists were illogical and irrational. Does he think their irrationality ends with FtB, Skepchik, and A+? His shock that the Deep Rifts are not over shows that he is ignorant of how horrible the people on Team Misogyny are.
    Sorry NSC, that irrationality is laced with toxic masculinity and sexism. Reason was tried. It failed. Hence the rifts.
    I hope one day you will realize the importance of feminism.

    (Any objections to me taking the ‘Both Sides’ meme out back and burying it?)

  32. 32
    Jadehawk

    well, congrats on the procreation. As for the “advice” to feminists…

    If you can’t sell water to a man walking out of a desert, and can’t sell pretty basic ubiquitous 21st-century ideals to do with gender equality to a crowd that prides itself on being progressive and enlightened

    This right there is where the problem lies. That entire statement is false. The atheist movement isn’t very progressive (it’s full of libertarians); it prides itself on being enlightened only in the sense of priding itself for being smarter than those “deluded” theists; gender equality is not an ubiquitous ideal; and the means of achieving said gender equality are actively opposed by those who stand to lose their male privilege as a result, which makes most of the atheist movement to date.
    IOW, selling feminism to the atheist movement as it currently exists is not like selling water in to someone in the desert; it’s like selling bitter medicine that will help not the person having to eat it, but someone they don’t even particularly like.

    So: all I’m saying: separate to the anti-FTB insanity, the feminism thing wasn’t handled particularly effectively by those with a more defensible stance.

    those are inseparable.

  33. 33
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    @Caine, Fleur du mal #20:

    Here’s something you can watch:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/02/matt-dillahunty-being-all-reasonable-and-stuff/

    That video has been made private, and is no longer playable.

    Skimming Matt Dillihunty’s channel, I don’t see a reupload.

    I thought there used to be some other videos about thunderf00t, but I didn’t recognize them in the list today.

  34. 34
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    As much as I like the equality and feminism angles, I think some of the commenters here are being a little bit rabid against NSC’s position.

    It’s not his interest. He’s not a social justice warrior. He fights against religious irrationality.

    This whole “you’re with us or against us” kind of statement I’m seeing is a bit worrisome.

  35. 35
    Leo Buzalsky

    It looks like many commenters here share similar thoughts as I on NSC. I really had to facepalm over that update where he suggested the issue was not communicating effectively. Right. So, the fact that many people still believe in creationism must also be due to poor communication, correct? Which leads me to where he says, “I don’t know why that side of this argument has been so difficult to sell. It ought to have been a no-brainer…”
    When I had read that originally, my thought was, “Really, NSC? You haven’t figured out yet that humans aren’t rational beings?!”
    Actually, I think hamsterWare @28 sums it up more nicely than I’m doing here.

    Kevin @34. It’s fine that social justice issues are not NSC’s interest. But then NSC has the nerve to tell us who are interested in that sort of thing that we’re doing it wrong. It’s irritating. If it’s not your interest, then say your piece about the people who have been harassing you and then STOP! Don’t go on saying any more about the topic that is not your interest. After all, to quote NSC, he said, “my first ever input into the atheism feminism fracas:” On your final post??? No, not the place for it. And the other problem was the condescending approach he took to this topic that is “not his interest.”

  36. 36
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Leo Buzalsky:

    I didn’t hear him say that part of it.

  37. 37
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    NSC makes a good argument – We cannot all be all things to all people – badly¹.

    This is a gigantic project we are working on together. Some of our skills will simply not be suited to some of the tasks. Then we must find other ways to contribute. NSC makes clear where he thinks his role lies. Not in feminism, we gather. Fair enough.

    .

    ¹ Though not nearly as badly as scimath has suggested.

  38. 38
    Jackie

    I wonder if MSC thinks that people of color could sway racists if they’d better communicate why they deserve equality. I wonder if he’d tell them to pipe down for the sake of the movement. I hope not. It’s appalling that he feels fine saying the same to women. Bigger fish to fry, huh? Really? I nearly have no fucks left to give about organised atheism anymore because of that attitude. Apparently my place in that community is under the bus.

  39. 39
    skeptifem

    It’s not his interest. He’s not a social justice warrior. He fights against religious irrationality.

    then why is he sharing his opinion? I thought a big part of being skeptical was shutting up when you didn’t know your shit.

    Plus he is essentially telling people who are oppressed by these wankers to win them over. These people are abusive and hateful. That isn’t going to work on them, and he is kind of being an asshole by implying that these things were never tried beforehand. It got to this point because even a polite ‘guys don’t do that’ causes death and rape threats.

    This whole “you’re with us or against us” kind of statement I’m seeing is a bit worrisome.

    It isn’t if you give a shit about rights for women. There isn’t room for fence sitting on an issue such as rape apologism and hatred of women. As I noted before, there are death and rape threats from the other side. How can someone fence sit about that? Because the side being threatened isn’t polite enough for his liking? Its bullshit.

  40. 40
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @skeptifem:

    The response I’m seeing is troubling cause it reads like either he blogs and vlogs about social justice issues or he’s as bad as the misogynist MRAs.

    It’s not his interest, he’d prefer to not discuss it at all. Is that a big problem?

  41. 41
    Alverant

    Caine, Fleur du mal
    Thanks but I couldn’t watch the video and the first 500 comments were cut off leaving me without a clue for the context. I just need a sentence or two about it if it’s not any trouble. Thank you.

  42. 42
    gussnarp

    Some YouTube commenter:

    The problem is we’ll never know what you were discouraged from saying either because you’ve been assimilated through the back channel hive mind indoctrination system,

    “Back channel hive mind indoctrination system”? And these people claim to be skeptics and rational thinkers? That pretty much says all you need to know about the quality of thought of the anti-FtB crowd.

    And yes, he’s promoting false balance. I think he’s also off when he suggests that it should be like “selling ice to Eskimos”. Doesn’t the comment above make it quite clear that there’s an audience that Dan Draper couldn’t sell feminism to on his best day? And does that cultural reference even make sense through its deep irony?

  43. 43
    rorschach

    @39,

    It isn’t if you give a shit about rights for women. There isn’t room for fence sitting on an issue such as rape apologism and hatred of women. As I noted before, there are death and rape threats from the other side. How can someone fence sit about that?

    Exactly. That’s what bothers me about the guy.

  44. 44
    chigau (違う)

    Alverant
    Below the last comment is a link
    « Previous 1 2
    clicking the 1 or the Previous gets you to the first 500 comments

  45. 45
    Jadehawk

    @Leo Buzalsky:

    I didn’t hear him say that part of it.

    ??

    it’s right there, in the bit PZ quoted. So is the other stuff people are responding to.

  46. 46
    Jadehawk

    The response I’m seeing is troubling cause it reads like either he blogs and vlogs about social justice issues or he’s as bad as the misogynist MRAs.

    that makes absolutely no sense in the context of him writing about SJ issues. Right there, in the quoted part of the OP. Handing out advice about how people should do social justice stuff, even though he admits to not know anything about it nor care about it much.

    If he doesn’t want to talk or think about it, that’s fine. But then he shouldn’t try to give people advice on how to do it.

  47. 47
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    I apparently tripped the filter…

  48. 48
    gussnarp

    @Jadehawk #46: Yeah, and it seems like he’s written an awful lot of words there about something he’d rather not talk about.

  49. 49
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Which’ll actually prove my point when the post finally does pop up.

  50. 50
    Jessie

    Be the side that can act diplomatically. Take the high road and sell your approach as the more attractive and sensible one, if that’s what you actually think it is. Appeal to the nobler ideals of the ‘enemy’, rather than kicking the shit out of them the first chance you get. It ought to have been done better, and I think it definitely could have been.

    Here are examples of what he means, from Twitter:

    @greydmiyu I'm so sorry if 'snark' from a person you've called stupid, dishonest, and irrational is upsetting. Fuck you.— NonStampCollector (@nonstampNSC) October 3, 2013

    @greydmiyu Yeah, that's what I'm doing. I'm a total fucking idiot. You got me. If I were u I'd fuck right off from following me immediately.— NonStampCollector (@nonstampNSC) October 2, 2013

  51. 51
    Nick Gotts

    What I’m talking about here, as far as fault not only being on one side, has mainly to do with diplomacy and effective communication. Even when one is firmly on the right side of an issue, such as when defending gender equality, fairness, safety and inclusiveness, failing to effectively communicate what you’ve got to say, and instead pissing people off, blocking them, banning them, insulting them, and prolonging the enmity is really destructive to your cause. How did those ideals come to be so controversial? I don’t know why that side of this argument has been so difficult to sell. It ought to have been a no-brainer, and the fracas ought to have been over pretty much immediately after it began. How the side championing those principles came to be so virulently hated is really cause for a collective “WTF?!”. It could have, and should have, been argued a lot better. Atheism and secularism ought not be embarrassed by having this as an “issue” hanging over our heads. – NSC

    What a breathtaking piece of privileged stupidity. What a gormless, blubber-brained numpty this man must be. I can only express my profound relief that he didn’t stick around on FTB. Those “ideas” (“gender equality, fairness, safety and inclusiveness”) came to be “so controversial”, and “the side championing those principles came to be so virulently hated” because a lot of atheists are irrational misogynist shitbags. It’s that simple, NSC. It really is. If you can’t see it, try removing your head from your fundament.

  52. 52
    lynxreign

    To me the absurd part of his post is how he spends the first part detailing how he’s been attacked despite having done nothing to deserve it, then spends the last part insisting that feminists must not have presented their argument properly to get such a reaction. Does he not read his own writing? His inability to draw parallels makes me wonder about the quality of his work.

    The abuse he got must have been because he didn’t present his side effectively. Of course that’s absurd, but his double standard here doesn’t speak well of him.

  53. 53
    Alteredstory

    Some of this reminds me of the conservatives who are starting to come around on climate change, while saying that their long-time denial of it is the fault of environmentalists not doing a good enough job convincing them.

  54. 54
    Inaji

    Alteredstory:

    Some of this reminds me of the conservatives who are starting to come around on climate change, while saying that their long-time denial of it is the fault of environmentalists not doing a good enough job convincing them.

    No one likes to admit they’ve been thoroughly thick-headed, and NSC makes it rather clear he’s not going to admit being blinkered on the subject of feminism and sexism. It’s much easier to point a finger and say “hey, you were not clear the 1,863,345th time you explained things. Not my fault.”

  55. 55
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    Sigh. He talks about having a wife, sister, mother, and (50%) daughter. And then he specifically removes himself from promoting their full equality in society. (It’s just not my thing, man.) What blindness! I am sure that if his wife involved herself in the debate and began receiving death threats and obscene drawings and photoshops of rape and violence, his attitude might change.

    But then it might not. He seems to be quite stupid that way.

    He is the epitome of the “white moderates” which MLK described as the real problem, the ones who advocates that the oppressed continue to accept economic inequality and legal discrimination, up to and including bodily violence and murder, so as to remain polite and non-confrontational.

    I think he is as bad or worse than the MRAs — at least you know what side they are on.

  56. 56
    CJO

    Having expended so much energy to establish the premise, “irrationality, dogmatism, and uncritical thinking needs to be dealt with in the online skeptical rational community” he’s curiously unwilling to put it to use.

  57. 57
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Okay, well my post is still being held so I’ll try a repost:

    The general tone of the video suggests he’d rather just not discuss social justice. He said “if A+ is such an issue then let it die.” That’s the extent to which he mentioned social justice in the video.

    I don’t care about the last post. It was his last post. It was in the past. It’s the same thing as the anti-FTBers calling PZ a misogynist cause he copied an XKCD comic that said “it works, b*****s” back in 2006 or so. Dredging up past statements he may no longer agree with (he made no reference to whether he stands by what he said in the video) seems slymey to me.

  58. 58
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @my 57:

    *he made no reference to whether he stands by what he wrote in his final blog post in the video.*

  59. 59
    Jackie

    Kevin,
    In no way has anyone suggested that NSC is comparable to MRA fuckwits. He’s not remotely like them. He’s just another guy saying that we should be nicer and quieter about the misogyny in this community. He just another guy who is saying that we’re taking the focus away from the things he thinks are far more important that sexism, harassment, threats, cover ups, assaults and even rape within this community. That stuff just is not as worthy of his time as his stick figures that mock Christianity are. He’s got important work to do and he can’t be bothered with whether or not 50% of the population is safe or welcome under the tent he finds comfy. Yeah Kevin, that’s a shitty attitude and I can think he’s a clever guy and enjoy his comedy and still criticize his shitty attitude. He’s so above all this nonsense guys! What’s our problem? Why are we distracting atheists with our problems, problems guys like NSC can just opt to not care about? He’s not going to help us, but we really need to get our shit together.

    No, he does not get a cookie for saying, “Fiddle-dee-dee” and walking away.

  60. 60
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Jackie:

    Uhh…

    Hairhead @55: I think he is as bad or worse than the MRAs — at least you know what side they are on.

  61. 61
    Jackie

    Kevin,
    Somehow I missed that. Sorry. I’ll blame that oversight on being transfixed by the Tom Hiddleson interview I was listening to while I was reading. Thanks for pointing it out.
    I agree with hairhead up to a point. Then, I have to disagree.

  62. 62
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @my 60:

    And the blockquotes weren’t there – to be clear – Hairhead said that NSC is as bad or worse than MRAs.

  63. 63
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Jackie:

    It’s that kind of response I see as troublesome. He’s just not interested in social justice issues, it’s not what he’s good at.

    Why is it bad that someone doesn’t want to discuss social justice issues? Why is the response similar to “you’re with us or you’re against us”?

  64. 64
    Inaji

    Kevin, what I think a lot of people are trying to articulate is that what NSC said and did is not only very bad, it’s highly damaging. By attempting to tell people on the right side of this mess they’re just doing it wrong, then throwing up his hands and walking away, he’s firmly in the court of the enablers, those who become aware of the massive problem in the room, but shrug and turn their back. Those folks make up the majority, and while they are not remotely as bad as dedicated MRAs, they most certainly aren’t helping, eh?

  65. 65
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    kevin:

    The response I’m seeing is troubling cause it reads like either he blogs and vlogs about social justice issues or he’s as bad as the misogynist MRAs.

    i’m not sure how you are reached that conclusion.
    NSC has been criticized for
    - playing the “both sides card” (btw Kevin, I am listing the following for the benefit of any lurkers. I know you know all this.). As mentioned already the tactics of the FtB/Skepchik/A+ crowd have not included rape and death threats, doxxing, or a multi-year campaign of harassment, cyberstalking, and bullying.
    Yes, some individuals have made some comments that were over the top and even out of line. AFAIK, those people either apologized or are no longer associated with this side of the Rift.

    -NSC’s tut tutting over our “side’s” inability to resolve this situation shows how little he knows about the issues here. I do not know how he read up on A+, but is unaware of the origins and depth of the Rifts. Heck, A+ itself is a direct result of the Great Rifts.
    (Atheism plus social justice*. We want it. They don’t)

    It is fine for him to have his own interests, but if you are going to tut tut, know what you are talking about. He has pieces, yes. Until he groks that a small but vocal minority of atheists oppose greater diversity in the movement and do not want to explore the implications of ditching theism, it might be best for him to avoid the subject (I do hope he one day comes to understand the extent of the problem).

    *or being willing to examine your beliefs after shedding the god delusion or having empathy in a world without gods

    I wish him well

  66. 66
    hyoid

    I think NSC was late to the game, is leaving early, and simply wanted to leave some “new Fatherly Advice” as he went out the door. His recommendations seem sound to the mind of a New Lieutenant, fresh out of Boot Camp, experiencing unfamiliar, enemy tactics for a few months; then being sent back to the rear in order to finish out his tour of duty. Meanwhile, those he left in the trenches and the field; battle-hardened and scarred; focused by years of constant, enemy engagement on the front lines of conflict; The Captains, the First Sergeants, the Corporals, the Specialists, the Privates and even some stalwart Camp-Followers remain at the front, receiving full; the brunt of blows and loss, cuts and costs, stress and pain, and all that hones a crusty sailor’s edge. He leaves unheeding how his lofty, well intended phrases failed to curb the venom spewed, unturned, despite delivery, directly given; right from the horse’s mouth.

  67. 67
    Inaji

    Kevin:

    Why is it bad that someone doesn’t want to discuss social justice issues?

    It isn’t bad. If all NSC said was “this [SJ] isn’t my forte” and left it there, no one would have a problem. He didn’t leave it there, though, did he? You are focusing on that one bit to the exclusion of everything that came after it. Just because this is NSC doesn’t make the “Oh, hey, it’s the fault of both sides” argument magically valid. It’s an invalid, poor, unthought out position. It’s vapid, and it has the effect of supporting the screaming mob, whether NSC intended that or not.

    You’ve been around long enough to have seen and taken part in one discussion of these issues after another, and you’re okay in agreeing that yes, we’re equally at fault for not communicating well?

    Why is the response similar to “you’re with us or you’re against us”?

    See the above, and try reading people’s responses again. I don’t think it helps to go over the top with rhetoric here, however, NSC is the one who chose to make being wishy washy a formal stance on the topic. He’s responsible for owning his choices. If he truly felt he had no dog in this fight, so to speak, there was no need to go on about it at length, let alone chastise those of us who have been working actively to make things better, then slam the door closed, hanging a sign which says “no more talk allowed.”

    At this point, I think it’s fair to ask you just why you’re so defensive that you’re ignoring three quarters of what NSC wrote.

  68. 68
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I missed Hairhead’s comment as well. I don’t agree with NSC being as bad as or worse than MRAs. However, not only is he unaware of extent of the divide or the reasons for it, his inaction supports the status quo.

  69. 69
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Caine:

    Do you know if he still stands by his blog post he made in April? People are criticizing NSC for something he wrote 7 months ago. His comments on A+ and social justice on the YouTube video are to call it something he’s not interested in and that the haters should just ignore A+ (he called it a “Fart in the wind” organization.)

    He doesn’t do social justice. It’s not his interest and it’s not his strong suit. He’s been massively busy with a new baby and with working on a New Testament Scholarship video.

    @Tony:

    Vaiyt’s #25, Scimaths’ #27, Skeptifem’s #29 and Rorschach’s #30 all read like NSC’s a horrible person because he doesn’t have an opinion and isn’t interested in social justice issues.

  70. 70
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    hyoid @66:
    I rather liked that.

  71. 71
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Caine:

    I’m ignoring what he wrote because he said it back in fucking April.

    It’s Slymey to drag out something that someone has said in the past and attach it to their current opinion and position on something without clarity as to whether they still agree with that original statement. If their current words contradict the past, then isn’t it better to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’ve learned from their mistakes? Why do we get so up in arms when some Anti-FTBer uses PZ’s “it works b*****s” as an example of PZ’s hypocrisy?

    I have not seen anything to suggest he agrees with that post. His video references the final post, but it seems more of a “this is why I left” kind of deal rather than “here’s what I stand by.” His current feelings on the matter seem to be indifference and disinterest.

  72. 72
    Inaji

    Kevin:

    His comments on A+ and social justice on the YouTube video are to call it something he’s not interested in and that the haters should just ignore A+ (he called it a “Fart in the wind” organization.)

    You keep insisting that NSC doesn’t do social justice. However, in the above, he’s addressing it. How do you think the flaming doucheweasel contingent reads “A+ is a fart in the wind”? Do you suppose they read that as not only supportive, but as confirmation of the nonsense they believe and propagate at every chance? If NSC doesn’t do social justice, perhaps he should shut the fuck up about it.

    because he doesn’t have an opinion

    Godsfuckingdamnit, Kevin, would you wake the fuck up? What is wrong with you? Read NSC’s post again – he had all manner of opinions, which you are refusing to address, because the post wasn’t written yesterday. That does not mean what he wrote didn’t and doesn’t have an impact, on both sides, FFS.

  73. 73
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Tony:

    And here’s the problem. You state, correctly, that his indifference reinforces the status quo. Yes, of course it does.

    Do you want him to become a social justice warrior and break down the status quo even if it’s something he’s totally not interested in doing?

    What’s so bad about someone answering “it’s not my thing” to social justice that gets people up in arms and call him “worse than MRAs”?

  74. 74
    jodyp

    I don’t expect everyone to want to participate in every battle. I just find his reasoning for not doing so to be awful and misinformed.

    His take on the whole struggle helps perpetuate it and he’s not interested in learning more about it.

    I don’t know what we can do about that kind of mentality, other than to leave it alone.

  75. 75
    Inaji

    Kevin:

    His video references the final post, but it seems more of a “this is why I left” kind of deal rather than “here’s what I stand by.”

    If he’s still referencing it, then it’s obvious he thinks people should read it. If he didn’t want it to stand as his opinion and feelings on the matter, he shouldn’t bring it up. You are being irrational about this.

  76. 76
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @JodyP:

    I completely agree.

    Just, fucking drop it. Not everyone is going to want to participate in the social justice issues. Not everyone is going to want to give a response to it. It doesn’t make them worse than MRAs to not have an opinion on the matter.

    We should just write off people like NSC. He’s not actively against us, but he’s not for us either. So what? We’re never going to convince him to be a social justice warrior for A+ or FTB or anything like that, but he’s not sitting there spouting hatred and invective at women like some other people.

    He is not the MRA. He is not FTB. He’s just a dude. I know tons of dudes. Almost everyone I work with is a dude. They just don’t care. They’re not hateful or misogynist. They’re not social justice warriors fighting for tomorrow. They just sit around in their little self-contained boxes ignorant to the world. Some can be turned. Some will just shrug and say “not my thing.”

  77. 77
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Kevin, I think you are reading too much into those comments.

    However, I am not at all fond of the supporters of social justice being characterized as if they were as bad as the Pitters.

    I am really failing to see your point and I do not think I am communicating in a way that persuades you that I am right, so I think it is time to bow out.

  78. 78
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Caine:

    And what is the long term here?

    Okay fine, NSC said some harsh stuff and he’s probably not going to be our ally in this fight. So what now? Do we just sit here and harp about how terrible he was? Do we hold his feet to the flame for something he said months ago? Do we force him to retract or apologize or fly the flag of feminism?

    Or do we just wish him a happy life with his new baby and let him live his ignorant little dude life?

  79. 79
    Inaji

    Jesus Christ, Kevin. We’re as bad as slymers, but you don’t want anyone saying something you don’t like about NSC. Fuck it, I’m not interested in anything you have to say on this anymore.

  80. 80
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    40 posts telling NSC that he was an asshole or unhelpful or criticizing his less than stellar response to anti-FTBers.

    7 posts congratulating him on a baby.

    Where the fuck are our priorities?

  81. 81
    Jackie

    Kevin,
    You’ve gone overboard here with a quickness.

  82. 82
    CJO

    Where the fuck are our priorities?

    Who the fuck is “we”? Your lone priority seems to be tone-trolling. NSC’s comments on an issue of the gravest concern to many here are deeply problematic. This is generally recognized as a space where we engage with such problems, often at the expense of insipid pleasantries toward anonymous YouTube personalities, whatever astounding feats of procreation they have achieved. You want simpering vacuity, go elsewhere. It’s widely available.

  83. 83
    Jackie

    Kevin,
    Clearly you priority is to rant at us and compare us to people who do some loathsome shit for not being nice enough to NSC. You concern is noted.

  84. 84
    Jackie

    Let me guess Kevin, if we aren’t nicer we wont have any allies at all?’ We should be appreciative that he was only as entitled, caviler, wrong and insulting as he was? If we can’t say something nice we shouldn’t say anything at all?

    Just answer this, please: Do you agree with him? Do you agree that the rabid attacks and threats should have been answered with simpering smiles and endless patience and since that isn’t what happened, it is our fault the misogynists were not swayed? Do you agree that we should just ignore the problem so that NSC can fry his “bigger fish”?

    If not, WTF is wrong with us pointing out how wrong that is and how privileged his flounce was?

  85. 85
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Jackie:

    My priority is to continue to see this place as somewhere that we engage social justice issues while retaining some modicum of civility. When this place starts chasing away regulars who are worried this place is becoming a cesspool, then there’s some problems here. I’ve been on this site for years and it’s opened up a lot for me, I’m not a closeted genderfluid bisexual Christian conservative asshole anymore because of this place.

    There’s a difference between acerbity and rancor, and I’ve been seeing this place start swimming in assholery over the recent few months.

    CJO’s post above yours demonstrates the problem with the commentary around here.

  86. 86
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Jackie:

    Like I said in my last post, there’s a difference between being sharp and being an asshole. We’re trending more towards the latter.The guy’s wife just had a baby and the majority of the posts in this thread are about how bad his final post months ago was. Do we really care that much about it?

    And no of course I don’t agree with him. I like the sharp tone this place has. We’re not a nice friendly soft place, and we need that. PZ’s not the Friendly Atheist, and that’s fine. We sometimes need the teddy bear, and sometimes the grizzly.

    But we’re showing a sharp increase in the “asshole” spectrum as of late. We chased Chris Clarke out of here, people like CJO are willing to chase regulars out of here for suggesting maybe we should have different priorities, and we snap and snipe at people without paying attention to the three post rule.

  87. 87
    Jackie

    I see nothing wrong with CJO’s comment. Nor would I compare this blog to a cesspool or the slimepit, as you have done. I think it is you who are being incredibly rude.
    Could you specifically address what exactly you have taken issue with, since rather than answer my question, you skipped to a broader subject of civility on Pharyngula? You keep dodging what’s actually being said. I don’t find that civil.

  88. 88
    Jackie

    We cross posted. Reading you answer now.

  89. 89
    CJO

    CJO’s post above yours demonstrates the problem with the commentary around here.

    Bullshit. We don’t spend our time fawning over people who have managed to father children (outside the Lounge –you know there’s a dedicated space for meaningless noises of that sort here, right?) and we don’t apologize for the fact, and that’s a “problem with the commentary around here”? Tone trolls get called on their wankery, and that’s a “problem with the commentary around here”? Get bent.

  90. 90
    Jackie

    Do we really care that much about it?

    Yes. I adopted three kids this summer and guess what? I didn’t get to take a break from misogyny because the patriarchy doesn’t take vacations.

    We chased Chris Clarke out of here.

    I disagree. He left. He was not chased.

    What about the minorities who stay the hell away from this entire movement because it is so rife with bigots? Are we so scared of losing a couple of white guys that we expect everyone else to sit down, shut up or get out?

  91. 91
    Jackie

    So Kevin, you disagree with him and you know this isn’t a place to come and drink tea with our pinkies up and politely stay on topics of our health and the weather, but this was written in April and his wife just gave birth to a baby so we should shut up because we’re chasing (Really what a word to use. Who hounded Chris down and ran him out on a rail? You said “we”. I don’t recall being there for that.) people away and becoming a cesspool.

    Is that your position?

  92. 92
    CJO

    people like CJO are willing to chase regulars out of here for suggesting maybe we should have different priorities

    Yeah, I think it’s fucking stupid to say that Pharyngula commenters should in general have as one of their priorities congratulating people they don’t know for having babies in lieu of taking them to task for their fucked-up attitudes about social justice issues. The rest of your drivel is just more tone-trolling, and draping yourself in the bloody shirt of Chris Clarke for martyr points is really fucking low.

  93. 93
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Jackie:

    This “entire movement” is not Pharyngula.

    And I never said that at all, and I don’t know where in fuck’s name you got that from.

    @CJO:

    No, the problem with the commentary around here is you engaged me as if I were a stranger to the blog. I’ve been here since 2009. The problem with the commentary around here is that it’s acceptable to be nasty to people (not sharp, not harsh, but mean.) The problem with the commentary around here is that we’d rather coddle the people who act like rabid wolverines than those who respond more politely.

    You call the Lounge “meaningless noise” as if it’s a bad thing. You’d rather spend the time being bitter and hateful at someone who said something seven months ago than to wish him happiness.

    And fuck you very much.

    @anyone who’ll reply:

    I have to go home now. I’m going to spend some time with Girlfriend. I’m going to play games. I’m not coming back to this post cause seriously, fuck it I’m done. I’ve said my piece.

  94. 94
    Nick Gotts

    I’m ignoring what he wrote because he said it back in fucking April… I have not seen anything to suggest he agrees with that post. His video references the final post, but it seems more of a “this is why I left” kind of deal rather than “here’s what I stand by.” – Kevin@71

    Kevin, he invites/advises people three times in the video to read that post. If he didn’t stand by it, he’d say so.

  95. 95
    chigau (違う)

    Jackie and CJO
    Bless your hearts.

  96. 96
    Jackie

    This “entire movement” is not Pharyngula.

    And I never said that at all, and I don’t know where in fuck’s name you got that from.

    I never said it was. 0.o I think you missed my point.

    And fuck you very much.

    And a hearty fuck you very much too. *curtsies civilly*

    fuck it I’m done.

    Thank Glob for small favors.

  97. 97
    Jackie

    chigau,
    Was that a condescending head pat?

  98. 98
    CJO

    You’d rather spend the time being bitter and hateful at someone who said something seven months ago

    My only comment related specifically to the quoted post by NSC rather than to Kevin’s tone trolling:

    #56
    Having expended so much energy to establish the premise, “irrationality, dogmatism, and uncritical thinking needs to be dealt with in the online skeptical rational community” he’s curiously unwilling to put it to use.

    So I can totally see what you mean; the bitterness just oozes out of that one, doesn’t it?

    you engaged me as if I were a stranger to the blog

    No, I engaged you as if you were being an ass. I don’t care if you got a “First!” post deleted off of PZ’s first-ever listserv entry on fucking ARPAnet or some shit, you were being an ass.

  99. 99
    Jackie

    Critisism =/=bitterness or hate. When ever it was written, it is still his position until he says otherwise, which he won’t as he’s declared this his final word on the subject.

    He’s not going to help bell the cat, but he has no problem telling those who are what an awful job they are doing and that the cat problem isn’t such a big deal anyway.

  100. 100
    miller

    My own initial reaction when NSC said his piece about feminism was, “Well, he’s obviously not familiar with the dispute, so his opinion has little merit.” But I didn’t think it was appropriate to shame him for saying what he did. I don’t want to discourage bystanders from dipping in their toes, because a) it’s good to know what bystanders think, b) we were all bystanders at one time, and c) it comes off as shaming the very existence of bystanders.

    You’re all entitled to your own reactions though.

  101. 101
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    miller:
    which part is inappropriate to shame him for?

    His “both sides” BS which insultingly paints the pro diversity crowd as being anything similar to the anti-harassment policy, pro bullying squad?
    No, that deserves shaming.

    Perhaps you are referring to shaming him for tut tutting us when he has not made an effort to see that diplomacy has been tried, but rejected. After all, being a united front is of utmost importance. Nevermind that they have bullied, doxxed and harrassed many people. Never mind the rape threats they threw out. The problem was a communications issue on both sides.
    Sorry, but his ignorance lead him to criticise this side. As much shit as Ophelia, Greta, Jen, Stephanie and PZ have dealt with, NSC could have simply asked one of them to fill him in. Or read any number of posts.
    He should be ashamed.

    I like his videos.
    I am happy he is going to be a father.

    But a bystander armed with inadequate knowledge of a situation is not in the best position to tell us how it should be done…

    NSC has a few things to be ashamed of.

  102. 102
    jodyp

    I respect that it isn’t his fight, and that he doesn’t want to get involved. But come on, getting slymed and then concluding that the feminists were also at fault? Really?

    He says it could have been argued better. Well, you can’t convince someone of something they are bound and determined not to get, as he himself demonstrates.

    I get that this was his way of bowing out. And that’s fine. Best of luck to him. I just hope he doesn’t see fit to open his mouth about the subject again, at least until he opens his eyes to it a little.

  103. 103
    miller

    @Tony 101,
    Yeah, his criticism is born from ignorance, I agree with that. However, my own reaction is measured according to the function of my reaction, rather than according to how wrong NSC is. I wish to encourage bystanders to speak up even if they are wrong, because that’s how we learn.

    There is, of course, a balance to be struck, because even bystanders can do harm by what they say. One possible way to strike this balance is for us all to react according to our own diverse standards. Or maybe that doesn’t work, I don’t know.

  104. 104
    SallyStrange

    Lately I’ve been erring on the side of “take no prisoners, be uncharitable.”

    It saves time.

  105. 105
    Rey Fox

    But come on, getting slymed and then concluding that the feminists were also at fault?

    I know. It’s that damn fallacy of the golden mean again.

  106. 106
    rorschach

    Lately I’ve been erring on the side of “take no prisoners, be uncharitable.”

    Lately since circa June 2011, you mean. Rarely proven wrong too.

  107. 107
    Chris Clarke
    We chased Chris Clarke out of here.

    I disagree. He left. He was not chased.

    I am not taking a position on what Kevin is mainly saying here, because I am not familiar with NSC’s writing.

    And it feels somewhat awkward to come back to this on a day when the Horde has worked together to make my life significantly easier for the short term, and I’m more grateful for that than I can express.

    But this is rewriting history. The comment tenor here made me so uncomfortable to the point that I had to walk away from a paid gig. No, no one told me to leave. Most people asked me to stay, including the one person whose opinion mattered most. And a vanishingly small percentage of the people who contributed to what was a hostile workplace environment are actually bad people.

    But you’re really arguing that because I quit instead of getting fired, my workplace can’t have been toxic? I would not have left if I could have stayed. This argument is just absolutely infuriating.

    What about the minorities who stay the hell away from this entire movement because it is so rife with bigots? Are we so scared of losing a couple of white guys that we expect everyone else to sit down, shut up or get out?

    I don’t even know what to say to this. I didn’t leave because people were challenging my white guy privilege. And I don’t believe my departure made this place safer for non-white non-guys. (Privilege blinds, to be sure, so I may be wrong about that last.)

  108. 108
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    What happened in June 2011?

  109. 109
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Tony,
    I think that was around the time Rebecca cursed all male humans with boils and plague and never having sex again.

  110. 110
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Beatrice:
    Oh, wow.

    Did not know that happened.
    I thought she just gave some helpful advice :)

  111. 111
    Jackie

    I didn’t leave because people were challenging my white guy privilege.

    I didn’t say that was the case either.

    My point was something else entirely.

    That you misconstrued it so much leaves me gobsmacked.

    I’m finished here. I wish you well, Chris.

  112. 112
    SallyStrange

    Yeah, I’m not sure what happened in June 2011 either. I’m flattered by Rorschach’s noticing, and his positive opinion though.

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