Peterson IS Freud

PZ has another post up on the failures of Jordan Peterson. It points out the irony of skeptics embracing Peterson when Peterson himself does skepticism so damn badly. As a major exemplar, PZ calls out Peterson’s embrace of Freudianism. Among other observations, he expresses surprise that Peterson, a psychologist, would embrace Freud long after he’s been discredited. Others in the comments provide other observations on just how rare it is to teach much Freud in university psychology programs.

I don’t doubt the truth of those observations, but Freud is nonetheless highly relevant today, and his relevance to today very likely explains exactly why Peterson embraces the man’s ideas.

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Rewatching To Catch A Predator: Rape Culture Makes Accurate Predictions

One of the less appreciated aspects of rape culture is how rapists are demonized, literally portrayed as animals, violently and obviously deranged, or otherwise clearly outside the human norm.

Part of this is addressed through push back against the “stranger in the bushes” myth. But even where we have been successful in raising awareness that

  1. a large amount of rape is perpetrated against children or vulnerable adults who know and are being supervised by their rapists and
  2. another large chunk of rape is perpetrated against people who first accept a date with someone who eventually rapes them

there is still a lingering myth that these rapists are somehow disguised demons, but demonic nonetheless. There is massive resistance to the idea that there’s a continuum of violation, instead insisting that, for instance, when Rebecca Watson asked repeatedly during a conference – even during her plenary address – not to be propositioned as she wasn’t at the conference for sex, someone ignoring that “no” and propositioning her anyway is completely and utterly different from someone who ignores a “no” to sex.

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TESS Has Reached Orbit

TESS, NASA’s new space telescope for detecting planetary transit events was successfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket today, with the first stage successfully landing on its recovery barge for re-use.

Everyone familiar with FtB should also be familiar with Kepler, both the rabble-rousing white dude and the chrome-hot, super-cool, USD $700 million, solar powered camera. Kepler was initially expected to generate data for no more than 3.5 years, though it has exceeded that by a wide margin despite failures to its gyroscopic stability controls that were originally thought mandatory to complete the mission. It is true, however, that the mission’s data collection is much slower now.

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The Purpose of the Universe

Let’s get one thing straight right now: The purpose of the universe cannot be to supply a place for human beings.

If your church wants to claim that there are intelligent, civilized, religious (and ensouled!) space aliens out there every 8-10 planets or so, the purpose of the universe being to house ensouled religious beings is still pretty stupid. Remember that the background energy of each unit of space is non-zero. The universe is positively awash in energy.

We might consider an intergalactic cubic meter to contain a small amount of energy compared to our energy-dense planets and sun, but the sheer number of cubic meters of intergalactic space is impossible for a human to truly comprehend. We can look at a large number written in exponential notation and declare it larger or smaller than some other large number. We can plug the number into this calculation or that, but there’s no way for a human being to comprehend the number itself.

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Accuse Everybody

Content note: brutally racist and anti-semitic language

In a recent Pharyngula thread, it was suggested by billyjoe that, “We can’t go about accusing people,” so long as some people accused incur disproportionate or otherwise unjust consequences.

On that thread, I made it clear that it is not the accusation that is the problem.

Paxoll then chimed in to support this statement, simultaneously saying that others can’t know whether or not an accusation is true and that billyjoe was only speaking of false accusations (despite being unable to tell them apart … and despite billyjoe doing nothing to mention truth or falsity as  important in deciding whether or not we actually can go about accusing people).

Although I replied to Paxoll in that thread, I thought the concept might need its own post here even before I finished up my comments and opened up RawStory to find this headline:

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Might I Remind You of a Couple Things?

In light of the attacks on Syria, I thought it might be good to remind the community of a couple things.

The first is one you’re less likely to remember, though it is important: Two years ago, during the campaign, Trump was asked by Mika Brzezinski on the MSNBC show Morning Joe about the source of his foreign policy advice, given that there were so many difficult issues active in 2016.

He replied:

I listen to myself and speaking with myself, number one, because I have very good brain and have said a lot of things, so I would listen to myself. … My primary consultant is Myself.”

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I Come To Praise Wonkette, Not That Other Thing

Okay, I found Wonkette years and years ago, and liked it then. One only has so much time in the day, of course, and ultimately when law school got busy I kept my connections with FtB (where I’d established actual friendships with other commenters), but stopped regularly reading a number of sites, including Wonkette.

But in the last 6 months I’ve had more time again for trolling the internet for distractions, entertainment, and information (there has to be some information to allow my brain to justify my procrastination). Wonkette has more and more consistently been a go-to read in my downtime. On Wednesday, I came across a couple of quotes that almost perfectly encapsulate why, so I thought I’d share. Except now I can only remember one. So you just get that one until my memory returns and I can ETA this bad post all to hell-and-gone.

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My Optimal Test Taking Approach

All this talk about Murray and IQ has reminded me of a great time I had one day in fourth grade taking a standardized test. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are institutional uses to which those test scores are put. I think there are good critiques we could make about the uses of those scores, but the critiques are already out there in the field where people actually study this stuff. If policy makers haven’t yet listened to those critiques to come up with better policies that does suck, but we have to take responsibility for our actions in the world we live in now, not the world we might like to occupy.

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Somehow, I think this republican and Malcom might agree on some things

So over at The New Civil Rights Movement, queer writer David Badash comments on goat fucking, child molester Erick Erickson‘s new story. Apparently, a member of the House of Reps went off on Trump and the position in which he has placed congressional republicans. I wouldn’t ever recommend giving the goat fucker any clicks, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun quoting from Badash’s coverage:

If we’re going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker,

And that’s just the rep getting going.

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Anybody Want A Kidney Stone?

The last couple weeks have been difficult, not least because I passed a kidney stone (I have history with the buggers, and I could feel the pop and pressure release) over a week ago. That one took 2 days to pass. But then my kidney kept on being very, very sore (though mostly not quite as sore as before passing the stone). When the pain crept up to the excruciating level, I ended up in the ER. The doctor was not sympathetic, and appeared to doubt what I was saying about my kidney pain. I was worried that there might be bruising or some other lingering damage. Painful infection (these can actually be life-threatening) is also a possible complication, though as my temp hadn’t spiked, I was pretty certain it wasn’t that.

For weird reasons, I was at a hospital about 50 km away from home. It was a smaller hospital, and the CT machine there doesn’t operate overnight. So I had to wait for morning, in raucous pain the whole time, in a chair in the lobby. (Beds were apparently only available for priority patients.) The CT team had a couple patients higher in priority than me for first pics, but they got to me around 9am. Low! And Behold! The pics showed numerous stones in my kidneys. Most weren’t placed low enough to block fluid flow and create the painful pressure famously associated with them. One, however, was located low enough to cause pain, but not all the way down near the exit yet. Imagine my surprise! It was “large-ish” in the words of the physician, who suddenly became much more solicitous than my overnight doctor. I received good care from that moment on.

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