Ready to lose a few brain cells? You won’t need them, apparently


Michael Egnor, neurosurgeon, has made a bizarre post in which he reveals that he knows nothing about how the brains he cuts up work. Egnor claims that it is impossible for the brain to store memories. Yes, he knows that neural damage can cause loss of memory, that certain delicate areas of the brain, if harmed, can destroy the ability to make new memories, and he waves those awkward facts away to announce that there is simply no way memory or information of any kind can be stored in a meat-organ like a brain. He doesn’t say where memories are kept, then, nor does he account for any of the physiological correlates of memory, nor does he seem to give a damn about any of the neuroscience experiments that have teased apart the underlying molecular mechanism. By pure reason alone, if we can call his argument a product of reason at all, he deduces that the brain could not possibly have any way of storing memories.

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The inverted ethics of the internet

It seems to me that there is a significant difference between maintaining internet anonymity to prevent being harassed, vs. anonymity used to enable harassment. But this distinction is routinely ignored, especially by the harassers, who just lump violating either into the category of the most sacrilegious of all internet violations, the total desecration of the holiest principle of all communication, doxxing. I suspect the only reason that “doxxing” has been elevated to such a sacred level of knee-jerk abhorrence is not out of some virtuous desire to protect the innocent, but entirely to protect the guilty.

So we now have a situation where there is a hierarchy of crimes, with “revealing the identity of a troll” at the very top of the list, followed by “giving a damn about social justice” just below that, and somewhere near the bottom, “threatening to rape and murder a woman and her family”. It’s upside down. It needs a polarity reversal.

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No, rape is wrong even if there is a wizard with a nuke

Jamie Bernstein had to deal with a hypothetical, one that’s even better than the ticking time bomb scenario. This gentleman was wondering when it would be OK to rape someone, in response to this article on Skepchick, and he was straining hard to plop out a possible situation, and he came up with this one:

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