Comments

  1. Owlglass says

    I go ahead. I noticed that both Rebecca Watson as well as PZ Myers have expressed “issues” with evolutionary Psychology. Even though I know practically nothing of the specifics of this discipline, I hold Steven Pinker in rather high regard, who seems to at least build on Evo Psycholical findings (maybe I’m wrong). When humanist discplines at least start working with natural science findings (such as Theory of Evolution), I consider this at least as step into the right direction. What’s your take on it?

  2. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    cm’s changeable moniker@627 on previous thread,

    The Economist misses, in my view, the probable cause of this epidemic of well-behaved youth: unlike their recent predecessors, the youth of today have largely escaped lead poisoning – thanks, of course, to government regulation, not the market forces which drove the pollution, from lead paint and above all, leaded fuel.

  3. Owlglass says

    edit: humanist humanities inclined, discplines within humanities or somewhat more aligned towards it, with the following caveat.

  4. =8)-DX says

    I’m near the start of the unmoderated thunderdome?! Oh well hi everyone, happy (commercialised and obnoxious) V-day and remember to “fuck first”, as Dan Savage advises.

  5. Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient says

    Apes have culture, too; and so do monkeys. Extrapolating from either makes no sense when their cultures can vary between and within species. And human cultures vary so widely that I find it impossible to believe that there is anything inherently ‘biological’ about most behaviour.

  6. Owlglass says

    commercialised yes, but if you can make someone else happy–do it (always). Some people apparently need an excuse and/or reminder, which is better than nothing.

  7. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Owlglass@2,

    That Pinker;
    a) Is a good writer, and has done serious work.
    b) Takes the Just-so stories of EP* far too seriously.
    c) Is prone to strawmanning his opponents: The Blank Slate was pretty much a prolonged exercise in strawmanning and false dichotomy, as the supposed “Standard Social Science Model”, that all is culture, is not “standard” at all; nor is it the only alternative to EP.

    * I use “EP” or Evolutionary Psychology (note upper case initial letters) to refer to the specific school of thought associated with Tooby, Cosmides, Buss, etc., whose premises are summarised here. These are highly controversial and in some cases demonstrably wrong: modern people do not have “stone-age minds”: we know that learning to read, for example, causes extensive cortical rewiring. Pinker is closely associated with EP. I use “evolutionary psychology” for any psychology that focuses on how mentality has evolved, which need not mean accepting EP’s premises. It’s interesting that even in linguistics, where Pinker originally acquired his nativist tendencies from Chomsky, the Pinker/EP view of cognition as largely innately determined, and primarily reliant on specialist modules (for various aspects of language, for detecting cheating, for selecting a mate, for tracking animals…) is increasingly challenged.

  8. Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient says

    Hubby and I are soppy. We rarely bother with doing anything special on the 14th of February. Because, as he said this evening, “Every day is Valentine’s for us!”

    ♥ ♥ ♥ =^_^= ♥ ♥ ♥

  9. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    It’s challenged, I should say, in large part because it’s become clear that neural plasticity is much greater than had been previously thought, on all timescales (that is, areas of the brain can switch function on timescales from seconds to decades), and the genome cannot possibly specify the network of neural connections in detail – many orders of magnitude more information would be needed than the genome can contain.

  10. Owlglass says

    @6, Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient
    It appears to me that any monocausal view (all nature, all nurture) seems outdated. Hardly anyone (probably) would maintain that view for long. There are some apparent reasons. If we wouldn’t die, we didn’t have rites around death. If corpses wouldn’t rot and their presence wouldn’t cause all sorts of health issues, there would be no reason for a lot of culture surrounding death. It is just one extra obvious example how biological circumstances have a profound impact on how culture turns out, even though it doesn’t directly inform what kind of rites people perform or how they get rid of dead bodies. There are many more that readily appear as strong factors, having two hands with a thumb. Having a mind that can seemingly leave our immediate reality and project itself into other people’s views, stories, fictional universes. Our senses, and how we rely on them and yes, how we propagate our genes, which is different for the sexes and at least in animal kingdom apparently leads to different behaviors. I find it difficult to believe it is without any effect on humans.

  11. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Tigger_the_Wing,

    I’m taking my wife out to our favourite restaurant (she does take me out, too, but Valentine’s is usually my treat at The Jewel in the Crown). Highly recommended if you’re ever in Aberdeen.

  12. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Owlglass@12,

    This is all completely beside the point, because EP and Pinker claim a great deal more than the blindingly obvious points you make (see my #9).

    how we propagate our genes, which is different for the sexes and at least in animal kingdom apparently leads to different behaviors. I find it difficult to believe it is without any effect on humans.

    Duh. Well of course it does. You won’t find many men breastfeeding, for example, or many women in doubt of whether a child is theirs (yes, I know this does happen). But again, EP’s claims are much more specific: that women and men have different “toolkits” of innate, modular, decision-making mechanisms, finely honed by adaptation, related to sex and reproduction, and (in practice) accessible through commonplace observations and stereotypes, and the survey responses of American undergraduates.

  13. Ichthyic says

    people criticizing EP should at least know something about cognitive psychology before they do so.

    none of you do, so shut the fuck up already.

    so tired of this.

  14. ChasCPeterson says

    the supposed “Standard Social Science Model”, that all is culture, is not “standard” at all;

    No?
    I find that assertion contrary to my experience. It’s most certainly the de facto standard belief of Pharyngula commenters, for example (lip-service aside).

    nor is it the only alternative to EP.

    Got a link to you third way?

    people criticizing EP should at least know something about cognitive psychology before they do so.

    and/or behavioral ecology.
    But whadaya gonna do?

  15. says

    It’s most certainly the de facto standard belief of Pharyngula commenters, for example (lip-service aside).

    Nope. The understanding that both experience and heredity are going to shape behavior is my “de facto standard belief”. I’m going to reject any thinking that we can explain behavior purely by biology; that is not the same as rejecting the contribution of biology.

  16. ChasCPeterson says

    A most sensible position, Prof. Myers.
    But a) I do not include you among the group of “Pharyngula commenters”.
    b) it’s difficult to tell the difference between a vague acknowledgement of “contributions of biology” and lip-service. Almost nobody will admit to being a blank-slater any more, yet de facto every single suggestion of a “biological contribution” to human behavior is attacked reflexively.

  17. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    people criticizing EP should at least know something about cognitive psychology before they do so.

    none of you do, so shut the fuck up already. – Ichthyic

    Well, I do have a first degree in developmental psychology and a doctorate in cognitive and computing sciences, so maybe you should shut the fuck up, Ichthyic.

  18. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Almost nobody will admit to being a blank-slater any more, yet de facto every single suggestion of a “biological contribution” to human behavior is attacked reflexively. – ChasCPeterson

    Typically ludicrous straw-man. Of course there is a “biological contribution” – “essential underpinning” would be better – to all human behaviour, because our very behavioural plasticity is obviously dependent on our biology. Would you care to restate your claim in a less ridiculous fashion?

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Almost nobody will admit to being a blank-slater any more, yet de facto every single suggestion of a “biological contribution” to human behavior is attacked reflexively.

    Until a genetic tie is confirmed, parsimony says culture, not biology, is responsible for the observation. That is the null hypothesis it appears everybody but you uses. Which is why you feel put upon.

  20. Owlglass says

    What are, then, the not obvious biological contributions? What is considered at the forefront where experts™ begin to seriously consider them, but are still divided?

  21. consciousness razor says

    A most sensible position, Prof. Myers.
    But a) I do not include you among the group of “Pharyngula commenters”.

    There are a lot of us. Who would you include? Presumably not yourself, but that doesn’t narrow it down much.

  22. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    What are, then, the not obvious biological contributions? What is considered at the forefront where experts™ begin to seriously consider them, but are still divided? – Owlglass

    Practically anything to do with sex differences, for a start. But as I noted above, you get similar disputes, almost as rancorous, about language. Chomsky shattered the extreme behaviourist position that there’s nothing special at all about language acquisition – it’s all just stimulus-response learning – back in the 1950s. For several decades, his fairly extreme innatism – claiming that language or more specifically grammar is a self-contained faculty placing strong universal constraints on language – held sway (and Pinker still holds it AFAIK), but as I say (I don’t have references to hand), has been under increasing challenge, as more of Chomsky’s “universals” have turned out not to be, and as it’s become clear that one of his main arguments – that language learning would be impossible without such strong constraints because the sample of language children are exposed to would be inadequate without them – has been undermined by studies showing how much time and effort actually goes into language pedagogy.

  23. teejaykay says

    Somebody resurrect Red Adair.

    I’ve been blowing a gasket all day long… or maybe ever since BBC News and every fucking news site I read has been constantly going with Valentine’s Day themes. Stores are full of Valentine’s Day junk, even my friends are flooding my email with soppy well-wishes and I daren’t even think of Facebook.

    I’ve always hated traditions like 14th Feb, but this one just takes the cake. I’m sick of hearing about it on the radio, and I’m sick of having to suddenly magic up some sort of special meal for the day ’cause it’s tradisssshuuuuun, foo! Fuck you, tradition!

    …I admit though, it’s mostly me angry at myself because I’ve been trying to figure out some sort of meal to make, but I really do hate St Val’s. Auuuughrhgh!

    …there, I’m done. Apologies. I’ll go fry baby chickens.

  24. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Referring back to the “we find an artifact and our guesses of what the society that made it thought of it are guesses,” discussion, I once wrote a short story about a future archaeologist who finds an iPod. And how said archaeologist perpetuates the belief common in the field at the time that it was a religious totem.

    (It got some lulz, and a person who actually studies anthropology and archaeology commenting that this is actually rather plausible)

  25. bradleybetts says

    @Icthyic

    people criticizing EP should at least know something about cognitive psychology before they do so.

    I am perfectly ready to accept the basic premise of Evolutionary Psychology, i.e. that the human brain evolved just like the rest of us and thus much of human thought processes and behaviour will have an evolutionary justification. However, you don’t need a degree of any sort to criticise the idea that because we used to live in hunter gatherer societies, men all embody the stereotypical idealised thought processes of the rough and tumble deer-assassins that our anscestors must have been, and womenz all have the kind of passive, risk-averse qualities that an MRAs idealised Stay-at-home-mum/cook/cleaner/housewife should display; which is the sort of lazy, applied EP which PZ always seems to be railing about.

  26. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    EP

    I have three serious issues with EP as it seems to be practiced by the majority (and yes, I realize that majority =/= all):
    1. EP seems, to me, to give insufficient weight/import to society. Given that humans are social animals, the influence of societal practice, technology. language, and (yes) religion is huge. It isn’t a nature/nurture debate as an either/or, but both/and. And, seriously, the ways that humans use society/tech to change/override our biology cannot be ignored. Look at, for example, birth control. Or plastic surgery. Also, a trait that would have been valuable and increased mating fitness (due to increased survival, attractiveness to others, etc) 5,000 or 10,000 could be undesirable today. And not just because of increased technology making (for example) the ability to stab things efficiently unnecessary. Shit, look at European standards of beauty since the Renaissance. They’ve done a 180.
    2. EP seems, frequently, to ignore or minimize the diversity in human practice, both over time, and across cultures. This seems to frequently devolve into “white North Americans/western Europeans in the modern day are typical, those people who do/did stuff differently are abnormal because of [reason].”
    3. EP seems, frequently, to ignore or minimize the degree to which something isn’t so much the product of evolution but the byproduct. [Trait X] increasing mating fitness, leading to it being increased in the population, may also increase the incidence of [Trait Y], which is encoded by a different gene but under the same promotor. Statements that “Humans evolved to do [x]” is simplistic.

  27. casus fortuitus says

    In a new constitutional outrage, a charity established by a member of the UK’s royal family lobbied to suppress information provided by our national health service about the (in)efficacy of homeopathy (link):

    Draft guidance for the website NHS Choices warning that there is no evidence that homeopathy works was suppressed by officials following lobbying by a charity set up by the Prince of Wales.

    Homeopathy, which involves the use of remedies so heavily diluted with water that they no longer contain any active substance, is “rubbish”, said chief medical officer Sally Davies in January to the House of Commons science and technology committee. She added that she was “perpetually surprised” that homeopathy was available in some places on the NHS.

    But the government’s NHS Choices website, which is intended to offer evidence-based information and advice to the public on treatments, does not reflect her view.

    Thanks again, constitutional monarchy.

  28. Matt Penfold says

    Do I get a prize for knowing the Royal was Chuck even before looking at the link ?

    I really hope Brenda outlives her son, because I really do not want Charlie-boy as the monarch.

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

    @33 Matt

    Hmm, if Bets outlives Chuck, there will be a great debate: does Kingship pass to Wills (direct line of eldest son), to Andrew (next son) or to Anne (next eldest sibling).

    Image that: Queen Anne and her now-aging toyboy-second husband. The prospect of the debate makes me chuckle.

  30. bradleybetts says

    @Matt Penfold

    Nope I’m afraid not; that this shameless peddling of Alt-med woo originates from Charles and his supporters would be obvious to anyone familiar with the Royals.

    I like Charles, generally. He’s green. He wants to re-name an official Royal title from “Defender of the Faith” to “Defender of the Faiths” (I’d rather they just took that stupid one out altogether, but “Faiths” is better than “the Faith”). But his stupid support for alt-med just pisses me off.

  31. Matt Penfold says

    Hmm, if Bets outlives Chuck, there will be a great debate: does Kingship pass to Wills (direct line of eldest son), to Andrew (next son) or to Anne (next eldest sibling).

    Legally it would be Wills, his being second in line. His dad dropping dead would not change anything, other than to move everyone else up a place.

  32. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Legally it would be Wills, his being second in line. His dad dropping dead would not change anything, other than to move everyone else up a place.

    Trufax. And there is historical precedent for this. The first time it was “needed” was when Edward, Prince of Wales, died in 1376. At the time, he had a living son (Richard), and four living younger brothers. When the king died, Richard – though a minor – was proclaimed king. Granted, Richard II ended badly, but as far as I know, when his cousin (the son of one of Edward’s younger brothers) stole the throne and made himself Henry IV (and kicked off the Wars of the Roses, natch), Richard never being “properly” king and the throne should-have-gone to Edward’s next younger brother (who would not have been Henry IV’s brother, for the record: John of Gaunt was the third son) was not used as an argument.

    A couple centuries later, there was a mad scramble when Charlotte, Princess of Wales died. She was her father’s only child, and her various uncles (next in line after their father) were mostly unmarried and (legitimate-)childless. Cue what was referred to as the “dash to the altar.” When George IV died, he was duly succeeded by the next living brother, William IV (the brother in between George and William being (1) dead and (2) sans descendants). William IV himself died childless. The next brother, the Duke of Kent was dead – but before dying he’d married and fathered a child. Said child, of course, was Queen Victoria. Fun fact: Queen Victoria marked the end of the union of the thrones of the UK and Hanover – Hanover had a Salic law that prohibited women inheriting. So, Hanover went to the next brother. And until Victoria had her first child, he was the heir of the British throne.

    In summary, I know too much about British history.

    And the succession goes like this: Chuck. Wills. Harry. (Wills and Kate’s baby will come before Harry when it appears). Edward. Edward’s kids. Andrew. Andrew’s kids. Anne. Anne’s kids. Then Bets’ sister Margaret’s kids (Margaret being dead). Then Bets’ cousins on her father’s side. Et cetera.

  33. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    “Henry IV’s brother, for the record: John of Gaunt…” should read “Henry IV’s father, for the record: John of Gaunt…”

    John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was the third son of Edward III (younger brother of Edward Prince of Wales and Lionel Duke of Clarence, older brother of Edward Duke of York and Thomas Duke of Gloucester). He was the father of Henry IV as well as two other sons.

  34. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    And the succession goes like this: Chuck. Wills. Harry. (Wills and Kate’s baby will come before Harry when it appears). Edward. Edward’s kids. Andrew. Andrew’s kids. Anne. Anne’s kids. Then Bets’ sister Margaret’s kids (Margaret being dead). Then Bets’ cousins on her father’s side. Et cetera. – Esteleth

    No, Andrew is older than Edward, so comes before the latter. What I don’t know is whether the intended change in the law of succession, to give female royals equal rights with males, is going to be retrospective, rearranging all the existing places, or whether it will just be applied to children born after it becomes law. In the former case, Anne and her descendants would jump several places to come immediately after Harry.

    There’s at least two other grandparent-to-grandchild succession in British history: George II’s eldest son Frederick died before his father, who was succeeded by his grandson, George III; and Alexander III of Scotland was succeeded by his granddaughter Margaret in 1286.

  35. says

    Nick:

    The Economist misses, in my view, the probable cause of this epidemic of well-behaved youth: unlike their recent predecessors, the youth of today have largely escaped lead poisoning

    If this was an offshoot of my talking about Guyland, it’s not terribly relevant. It’s not that guys don’t know how to behave well outside of their homosocial circle. It’s deeper than that. It’s what would be called Laddism* in the UK.

    *In this specific sense.

  36. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine:

    Now I want your nym to read “Esteleth, just call me Walton Jr”

    :D

  37. says

    Nick Gotts

    Chomsky shattered the extreme behaviourist position that there’s nothing special at all about language acquisition – it’s all just stimulus-response learning – back in the 1950s. For several decades, his fairly extreme innatism – claiming that language or more specifically grammar is a self-contained faculty placing strong universal constraints on language – held sway (and Pinker still holds it AFAIK), but as I say (I don’t have references to hand), has been under increasing challenge, as more of Chomsky’s “universals” have turned out not to be, and as it’s become clear that one of his main arguments – that language learning would be impossible without such strong constraints because the sample of language children are exposed to would be inadequate without them – has been undermined by studies showing how much time and effort actually goes into language pedagogy.

    Well, during the recent lecture I took in sociolinguistics the prof mentioned several times talking about groundbreaking linguists of the last century “and then he got into trouble with Chomsky, like everybody else. It’s considered a rite of passing: you made it as a linguist when Chomsky notices you enough to be angry with you”.
    The search for language universals is considered kind of “the holy grail” in linguistics. And so far they weren’t very successful. The things that all known languages have in common are “prototypes” and “categories”. No universal grammar to be found, no universal word-formation processes, nor do all languages have verbs, nouns or even sentences…
    So, while a “language modul” seems to be pretty universal, said modul seems to be veeeery flexible.

  38. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Andrew is older than Edward, so comes before the latter.

    Really?

    *googles* Yes, you’re right. Whups.

    If the new succession law passes, but is not made retroactive (as Norway did), then the succession will stay as-is. If it is made retroactive (as, IIRC, the Netherlands did), then Anne will skip to immediately after Harry, bringing her kids with her.

    Now I want your nym to read “Esteleth, just call me Walton Jr”

    As if I could possibly compete with Walton. But, I shall consult with Walton, Esq. Maybe I can be Dr. Walton?

  39. carlie says

    You could remove it one more step and be Esteleth, John Boy. And then nobody except Americans over 30 would get it, and all the trolls would think you’re a guy.

  40. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    I have a mostly-silly question. In the woo-y department, can we compare Charles of Wales to Märtha of Norway? Because Märtha seems a bit enthusiastic too. Though her woo seems a bit more supernatural.

  41. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    And then nobody except Americans over 30 would get it, and all the trolls would think you’re a guy.

    Given that I am an American under 30, I don’t get it. :(

  42. carlie says

    And I hadn’t thought of it, but John-Boy’s mother was played by a woman named Michael. Oh, the gendermanity.

  43. says

    Carlie, I was thinking of Michael Learned when I was being accused of fooling a poor, innocent man into sexism by having a masculine nym, and he brought up that people named Michael were male.

  44. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    I immediately thought about Michael Learned too. I guess we do have a hivemind. :D

  45. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    I am safely returned from the university library, with Misogyny: A History by Holland and Feminism Is For Everybody by bell hooks safely tucked in my bag.

    :D

  46. says

    OT: In case anyone needs practice shooting fish in barrels, there’s an amusing wingnut commenter spewing wingnut science on my bobcat post at KCET. He doesn’t say so in that thread, but discussing it elsewhere he’s outed himself as a godbot. “Biblically we have dominion over all lesser creatures” etc. Noted for the potential amusement of the horde. #SquidSignal

  47. says

    Work? I don’t need to work. What I need to do, according to the Book of Amelia:

    Cuddle her in my left arm while petting her and she bruxes and boggles for me.

    Keep holding her while she takes a nap.

    Keep holding her while she chews on the drawstring of my tentacle hoodie.

    Hold her in my hand while she grooms her nails.

    Keep holding her in my hand while she grooms my nails.

    Back to cuddling, petting, bruxing and boggling.

    More napping.

    Hold her while she chews the hell out of the A button on my hoodie.

    Climbs into the right sleeve of my hoodie. Goes back to sleep.

    Okay, finally awake. I place her on my desk and she’s now happily stealing banana chips.

    Rats, bad for work productivity.

  48. Beatrice says

    Caine,

    Awwww. Your work productivity may be suffering, but you are drowning in cute.

  49. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine:

    Rats, bad for work productivity.

    Productivity is overrated.

    Beatrice:

    but you are drowning in cute.

    That’s what I was going to say. :D

  50. mythbri says

    I saw this via Stephanie Zvan:

    Daniel Fincke has written a Civility Pledge that he’s calling on people to sign.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2013/02/the-camels-with-hammers-civility-pledge/

    Particularly amusing is noelplum99’s appearance in the comments in which he basically laments the loss of gendered slurs from his “civil” vocabulary (not the most charitable reading of his comments, but I’ve had it up to way past here with his incessant whining).

    I think Stephanie Zvan has a good response:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/02/14/when-you-cant-walk-away/

    By the way, people were talking about the fetishization of civility in the comments of PZ’s post about meddling. I think this pledge would be an example of it.

  51. says

    Oh FFS. Daniel & Jim should get a room, far away from other people. Their debate over civility and the inclusion or exclusion of gendered slurs within that framework should last until the heat death of the universe.

  52. mythbri says

    @Caine

    I agree. Josh and I were both saying in PZ’s “meddling” thread that people who are civil do not get heard.

    When Fincke was still here at FTB and writing his series about civil argumentation, there were so many people that tried to point out to him that civility is stacked in favor of the privileged.

    I can see that he’s trying to make it more “fair” in his civility pledge, but I just don’t see that working in any practical way.

  53. cm's changeable moniker says

    KG, currently Nick Gotts:

    the probable cause of this epidemic of well-behaved youth: unlike their recent predecessors, the youth of today have largely escaped lead poisoning

    Yeah, I saw Kevin Drum flag that. I … just … have skepticism. It’s interesting and plausible, but it’s just that there are plenty of hypotheses which are plausible, obvious, and wrong. :-/

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

    A couple of things that jump out at me are that, first, there’s no downwards bump in the Flynn effect over the 20th century. If lead depressed IQ, how doesn’t it show up? Second, ADHD diagnoses don’t correlate well either; yes, the US had a rise in diagnoses after a lag, but the UK didn’t see the same rise until later, despite being quicker to ban TEL.

    Then, there’s the “lone scientist with a theory” (which, obviously is not accepted by The Establishment™) vibe to the whole thing, and I start to get a bit twitchy.

    Thankfully, since we can’t do the experiment, someone else will have to do it for us.

    Lead pollution in China.

    *ugh*

  54. cm's changeable moniker says

    Let the record state that my “thankfully” in #71 was supposed to have a heavy-sarcasm disclaimer.

  55. cm's changeable moniker says

    [random]

    Esteleth, if you wrote #37 from memory, I will take my “B” in O-level History and compost it as unworthy.

  56. says

    So Dan Fincke wants all his blog threads run as though they were cozy debate clubs; I was not impressed with his civility to Natalie Reed when she turned up to disabuse him of the notion that civility was a universal panacea in precisely the way others have pointed out. It not only stacks the odds towards the status quo, it also permits performances of faux civility which are not actually civil, and are thus ripe to be exploited by disingenuous commenters who prefer rules lawyering to honesty.

    Lastly, verbosity like Dan’s can be a barrier to civil discourse in itself: rhetorical masturbation without ever actually getting to the issue again is a supposedly civil tactic of debate that is often highly negative in practice, rather like the verbal equivalent in a spoken debate, the Gish gallop; to address the point requires far more energy and patience than is reasonable. And it doesn’t take much effort to find examples of people who like bullshitting at length in discussion threads for plausibly deniable reasons, just because they can and they know it succeeds in derailing and gumming up the works.

  57. Tigger_the_Wing opened the window, in flew Enza says

    Please excuse any typos or idiocy in the following. This bloody fever is making me slow, clumsy, and I’m not sure if I make sense to myself, let alone anyone else!

    Nick Gotts, I like your distinguishing ‘EP’ and ‘ep’. I do think that brain wiring (biology) influences behaviour and vice versa; but I have drawn a tentative conclusion that differences between individuals are far greater than can be accommodated in a general gender-based assessment and that culture, being as it is imposed from birth, makes it difficult-to-impossible to test which, if any, responses are purely biological let alone differ between genders/sexes intrinsically.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It always rains when we’re in Edinburgh, but if I ever escape from Australia, I will take up your suggestion! =^_^= It’ll be somewhere to shelter from the rain, if nothing else! Do they serve GF and vegetarian options?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Owlglass, see my above. I don’t believe in either ‘all nature’ or ‘all nurture’; I have five offspring (and five grandchildren). They were each born with their own (very different) personalities; all I could do was influence them in such a way as to encourage strengths and mitigate weaknesses. Different parenting styles may well have turned them into noticeably different adults. Along with their differences I have, of course, noticed similarities. But those similarities aren’t shared on gender lines. The two anxious, shy, nervous sons share none of those traits with their sister, for instance who is assertive, ambitious and often reckless (as are her sons!). I’ve also provided respite and emergency care for many other children and young people.

    Although, on balance, I have noticed that girls share more traits with one another than they do with their brothers, I suspect from observation that those are probably, if not entirely, culturally-influenced choices. Certainly none of my children exhibited any preference for so-called ‘gender-appropriate’ play until they had been at school for a while and came into contact with wider society and its expectations.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ChasCPeterson, just because many commenters disagree with the conclusions of EP doesn’t mean that we reject all biological explanations for all behaviour. Just those that are nonsense! One doesn’t have to be an expert in a field (or related field) to recognise when assertions contradict reality.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Or, what bradleybetts and Esteleth said! =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    casus fortuitus, bloody Prince Charles! Grrrrr…

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    teejaykay, I’ve had three Valentine’s Day gifts from hubby in the almost 34 years I’ve known him. Two red roses, one white. One red rose was a fake one he picked up as a joke from the supermarket checkout; the other was for our watering can. The white one was a ceiling rose to replace our broken bedroom light fitting. Yesterday, he came home, slept through the news, went shopping (by himself; I’m sick) and ate a takeaway when he got home (I ate while he was out). We don’t ‘do’ Valentine’s. =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Caine, brigade de garces (love the ‘nym! =^_^= ) Amelia is quite right! You are her slave, transport, food provider and comfort, and don’t you think you can forget it!

    I still remember the displays of “I didn’t see that! Lalalala…” in the arrivals halls of Heathrow and Gatwick airports whenever I had a rat poke its head out of my suit jacket pocket. Of course, I only ever took one with me when I was picking up a customer who wouldn’t mind.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Xanthë, chronic tuck, love your ‘nym too! =^_^=

    Before there was lead in petrol, most children’s toys, cots, beds and furnishings contained lead (white lead paint) or were entirely lead (lead soldiers, anybody?).

    Until it was banned in paint and petrol, it was everywhere.

    Also, there have been great changes to the law and culture over the last century, decriminalising some behaviour, and criminalising, or at least heavily frowning upon, other behaviour. There have been changes in the approach to non-neurotypical people too, accepting that there are brain-wiring differences instead of labelling young people ‘naughty’.

    I think that there are too many confounding factors to be sure that lead is the culprit.

  58. morgan says

    I read Dan Fincke’s civility manifesto yesterday. I plodded through it, determined to get to the end. I resolved not to comment on it because there are many talented and willing writers who wield words much better than I can. But then I thought, no, I’ll burble a bit. I feel that one of the big problems with civility is that too much of it is simply boring. Overdone civility does not lend itself to interesting writing. These are gross oversimplifications, but just my 2 cents.

  59. Tigger_the_Wing opened the window, in flew Enza says

    Oops! Should have been a break after my comment to Xanthë and before the comments about lead. I do think that the lack of lead poisoning is an interesting idea, but we may have to wait several generations for it to disappear, because: does it remain in the body for life? Can it be passed from mother to fœtus?

  60. says

    Tigger:

    We don’t ‘do’ Valentine’s.

    Neither do we. We’ve happily not done the Valentine’s Day biz for over 34 years. I’m generally unaware of it until I start reading people grousing about it. Who needs manufactured holidays? If you are with someone[s], and everyone in the relationship doesn’t feel loved and appreciated without the hokum chucked up in favour of a fake holiday, you’re doing it wrong.

  61. throwaway, Preferred singular pronouns: they, them, their, it says

    I second morgan, I couldn’t get through the first few sections of his thesauruspledge. Not because I don’t understand, but why fucking bother? It’s just his long-winded way of saying “Girls, don’t call men misogynists/sexists.” Look at all the support he’s getting from the usual rabble…

  62. cm's changeable moniker says

    If this was an offshoot of my talking about Guyland, it’s not terribly relevant.

    Well, it was about my talking about your talking about Guyland. So let me make it about my talking about Guyland.

    It’s not that guys don’t know how to behave well outside of their homosocial circle. It’s deeper than that. It’s what would be called Laddism* in the UK.

    *In this specific sense.

    I’ll expand specific sense.

    laddism
    laddˈism noun
    1. An attitude displayed by certain young men which celebrates drunkenness, aggressive behaviour, devotion to sport and sexism
    2. A culture of laddishness

    Kimmel:

    Both Britain and Australia have begun to examine “Laddism” — the anomic, free-floating, unattached and often boorish behavior of young males. “Lads” are guys with British accents — consuming the same media, engaging in the same sorts of behaviors, and lubricating their activities with the same alcohol.

    Except that the social science research (as opposed to narrative sociology) says that [what he’s insinuating, but not saying] is false.

    [Aside: What the fuck is a “British” accent? Brummie? Geordie? Mancunian? Brixtonian? Romfordian?!]

    Kimmel is making shit up without any attempt to verify it. (As previously noted.) Why?

  63. Forelle says

    Esteleth #37

    William IV himself died childless

    Not exactly. He died without legitimate issue, but he had at least ten children with the actress Dorothea Jordan. Their eldest commited suicide probably in part out of frustration that he couldn’t inherit the throne.

    I think that the current British PM is a descendant of that relationship.

    For several decades, his fairly extreme innatism . . . has been under increasing challenge

    If anybody can throw me a link where to start, I’ll be grateful. Yes, I can (and will) go to Wikipedia tomorrow morning, but I trust you people much more.

    cm, if you are around, your links on the previous thread to that Glyndebourne version of Così made me very happy. Thanks.

  64. says

    Tigger_the_Wing, I gathered something like that must have happened.

    Caine, thanks for wavy tentacles! The day won’t be for another twelve months minimum, but fortunately the dysphoria isn’t horrible all the time, only intermittently so.

    morgan, throwaway, I have similar misgivings to yours, but to me they are minor objections to the excessive attention being conceded to civility as a goal over other, more basic virtues.

  65. Forelle says

    Despina? Do you mean this particular singer, Ainhoa Garmendia? The role itself? The character as a peddler of woo, I don’t think?

    Soave sia il vento is so soothing and I needed that yesterday. The trio is so moving and dignified, and this is a beautiful version (though the baritone slows down his phrase, as befits his condition).

  66. The Mellow Monkey says

    Tigger:

    We don’t ‘do’ Valentine’s.

    Our first year together, I went on a picnic with my partner a week after Valentine’s Day and we drank Italian soda and tossed stale bread at ducks. That and me asking him to be my dead Christian martyr this morning are as close as I’ve ever gotten to doing anything for the day.

    I always remember the date because this is the anniversary of my dad’s funeral, but otherwise all it really means to me is that chocolate is going to be half off tomorrow.

  67. cm's changeable moniker says

    The character as a peddler of woo, I don’t think?

    I do think. It’s funny that she used (about-to-be-debunked-by-Lavoisier) junk science. It seems probable that Mozart’s audience got it.

    Soave is, as they say, something else.

  68. Have a Balloon says

    casus fortuitous

    Homeopathy threads in the Guardian are great fun! Most commenters agree it’s snake oil and smack down heavily on the few people who come along claiming that it works, and whining that it’s not fair to do randomised control trials because it’s biased towards ‘allopathy’ and look this Nobel prize winner wrote a paper that proves it’s true and…

    I look forward to an entertaining read. I’m quite taken aback that the charity in question was able to influence the NHS guidelines in the way that it did. I actually used to be apathetic about alternative medicine, until I read the What’s the Harm? website at which point I became strongly opposed. It also smacks of privilege for a royal to be supporting it, because Charles is the kind of person who is never going to be without high-quality medical care, so homeopathy can be a sort of hobby, but it’s unlikely that he’ll come to harm from it.

    Then again…Steve Jobs…

  69. says

    broboxley #94
    The short answer is that ‘Pikey’ is an ethnic slur aimed at traveling people, while ‘laddism’ is descriptive of a particular set of behaviors currently in vogue among young men.

  70. says

    Dalillama:

    while ‘laddism’ is descriptive of a particular set of behaviors currently in vogue among young men.

    Yes, what’s called the ‘guy’ stage here in the States. Speaking of, I’m heading out to read Guyland some more and possibly try to sleep. I have so much to do and this day has been full of fuzzy obstacles. Not that I don’t love my little obstacles, I do. :D

  71. Have a Balloon says

    Also – I was reading the news about One Billion Rising, and looking at all the pictures, and thinking how great it was.

    …the comments were filled with men complaining about misandry and how it was unfair to only focus on violence against girls and women and claiming that this was creating unnecessary divisions and thanks for calling us all rapists…

    Sometimes I wish everywhere was like here.

  72. says

    Esteleth:

    I am safely returned from the university library, with Misogyny: A Historyby Holland and Feminism Is For Everybody by bell hooks safely tucked in my bag.

    Awesome sauce. I look forward to your thoughts on Misogyny. Feminism Is For Everybody just went on my reading list. Thank you.

  73. cm's changeable moniker says

    broboxley:

    what is the difference between lads as described and pikeys? curious

    “lads” and “pikeys” describe different things in different parts of the country. And have changed their meanings over time.

    So the differences are different, I guess?

  74. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    cm:

    Esteleth, if you wrote #37 from memory, I will take my “B” in O-level History and compost it as unworthy.

    What you’re going for is “lonely kids on the autistic spectrum do things like memorize the British royal family for as long as there has been a British royal family, and the English one before that as far back as there was a thing called “England.”

    *shrug*

    Forelle:

    Not exactly. He died without legitimate issue, but he had at least ten children with the actress Dorothea Jordan. Their eldest commited suicide probably in part out of frustration that he couldn’t inherit the throne.

    I think that the current British PM is a descendant of that relationship.

    Indeed. I’m pretty sure all of George III’s children to live to adulthood had at least one illegitimate child, except for one or two. And given that George had 14 legitimate children, saying that “one or two” didn’t do something is a marked minority.

    Unrelated: I once read a joint biography of George III’s daughters. The author recounted a conversation with some publishing person in which she explained her interest in writing this book:
    [Publisher]: The daughters of George III? How many were they?
    [Author]: Five.
    [Publisher]: Who did they marry?
    [Author]: No one in particular.
    [Publisher]: Hm. So, who was their brother?
    [Author]: George IV. And William IV. And Victoria’s father. And six others.
    [Publisher]: Fourteen children? How many wives did George III have?!
    [Author]: Just the one.
    [Publisher]:?!

    I think Queen Charlotte is, if not the most prolific, one of the most prolific British royal women.

  75. skepticallydenpa says

    @ 63 mythbri:

    I saw this via Stephanie Zvan:

    Daniel Fincke has written a Civility Pledge that he’s calling on people to sign.

    I saw this last night. Fuck. That. Noise.

    He views punching up as hypocritical? In drafting a “civility” pledge, where marginalized people tend to get the short end of the stick, he sought out help… from another white male.

    If you plan to make a change which you have been told could further marginalize people you want to help, you might want to include them in the conversation.

    I am privileged in almost every way, (I’m not wealthy, but I’ve rarely struggled with money;) and I have a long history of letting my privilege show. But, fuck! If marginalized people are yelling at you, that seems like a great time to shut up and listen.

  76. says

    Have A Balloon:

    …the comments were filled with men complaining about misandry and how it was unfair to only focus on violence against girls and women and claiming that this was creating unnecessary divisions and thanks for calling us all rapists…

    An all too common refrain, I’m afraid. One of the things pointed out in Guyland is that more and more guys (and men) feel seriously put upon by women and others (primarily women though) to be veddy veddy PC and feel emasculated over their loss of privilege. Their sense of entitlement is large and they are angry because they feel as though others are responsible for them not having what’s owed to them; their birthright. Of course, it’s more complex than I’ve paraphrased here, but it’s part and parcel of the anti-feminist backlash, which is being picked up by increasing numbers of young men.

    I was very dismayed by the amount of young men who listen to Limbaugh*, ffs. Why do they listen? Because it’s not “PC”. Because they think it’s a masculine refuge, where someone says all the things they are thinking, about the bitches, the sluts, the hos.

    *Along with other shock jocks.

  77. broboxley OT says

    Dalillama and cm, thank you
    Caine, have a potential 6 month gig in fargo ND, do you know anything about housing availability in that neck of the woods? Is it far enough from the oil patch to be reasonable?

  78. says

    Broboxley:

    Caine, have a potential 6 month gig in fargo ND, do you know anything about housing availability in that neck of the woods? Is it far enough from the oil patch to be reasonable?

    Geez, I don’t know. If you see Jadehawk around, holler at her, she’s in Fargo. I’m about 5 hours away. If I remember right, she got her apartment for a reasonable rent. I don’t think it would be overrun with oil workers, too far.

  79. cm's changeable moniker says

    The short answer is that ‘Pikey’ is an ethnic slur aimed at traveling people

    *cocks head sideways and squints a bit*

    It’s a little broader than than; it’s (here in SE UK) used more generally about … well … people who just don’t belong here. You know, yes, they might be Romani. Or people who define themselves by beating the shit out of each other.

    while ‘laddism’ is descriptive of a particular set of behaviors currently in vogue among young men.

    Except that this set of behaviours is increasingly not in vogue amongst young men.

    The fin-de-siècle narrative is strong around here.

  80. cm's changeable moniker says

    What you’re going for is “lonely kids on the autistic spectrum do things like memorize the British royal family for as long as there has been a British royal family, and the English one before that as far back as there was a thing called “England.”

    *shrug*

    Noooo!

    I was impressed!

    And embarrassed not to know so much, given I have findable ancestors that go all the way back to the Norman invasion.

  81. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    *snort* My ancestors are mentioned in the Domesday Book.

    And another passel of ancestors had way back when an odd set of arms: a thistle, crowned. Bend sinister. St Andrew’s Cross.

    Of course, why someone would use arms that scream SCOTTISH ROYAL BASTARD without actually being arms that “properly” so indicate is lost to history.

    Also: Æthelstan. Edmund I. Eadred. Eadwig. Edgar. Edward the Martyr. Æthelred the Unready. Sweyn Forkbeard. Edmund Ironside. Cnut. Harold Harefoot. Harthacnut. Edward the Confessor. Harold Godwinson. William the Conquerer. William II. Henry I. Matilda vs. Stephen. Henry II. Richard I. John. Henry III. Edward I. Edward II. Edward III. Richard II. The Wars of the Roses: Henry IV. Henry V. Henry VI. Edward IV. Edward V. Richard III. End of War. Henry VII. Henry VIII. Edward VI. (Jane). Mary I. Elizabeth I. Union of England and Scotland. James VI and I. Charles I. Cromwell. Charles II. James VII and II. William III and Mary II. United Kingdom. Anne. George I. George II. George III. George IV. William IV. Victoria. Edward VII. George V. Edward VIII. George VI. Elizabeth II.

    Anything else?

  82. cm's changeable moniker says

    (Which won’t make sense unless I admit that I got As in everything else, except Geography. What’s with that?)

    I am so shutting down this computer …

  83. Have a Balloon says

    Caine

    Yes, it’s really depressing how much more frequent that kind of comment is becoming. It’s like all the privileged groups are feeling left out and want some oppression of their own. So Christians claim to be persecuted, and homophobes invent words like ‘heterophobia’, and white people talk about reverse racism, and men’s rights is apparently now a thing. And it’s horrible.

    As an aside, I wanted to say how awesome all your book references are. It’s really interesting to hear what’s in the books that you’re reading and useful to know what evidence there is out there.

  84. cm's changeable moniker says

    My ancestors are mentioned in the Domesday Book

    Heh. I grew up right on the edge of suburbia. If you drove out the front of house, you could be in the city in 15 minutes. If you walked out the back door, you could be at a farm that was listed in the Domesday book in … 2 minutes? (If it had been raining, slightly more: clay soil gets sticky.)

    I could see history from the kitchen window. ;-)

  85. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Have a Balloon, I’m currently reading Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search For Identity. It is quite interesting! It is a thousand-page doorstop, and I’m not far in, but this resonated:

    Often, however, someone has an inherent or acquired trait that is foreign to his or her parents and must therefore acquire identity from a peer group. This is a horizontal identity. Such horizontal identities may reflect recessive genes, random mutations, prenatal influences, or values and preferences that a child does nto share with his progenitors. Being gay is a horizontal identity; most gay kids are born to straight parents, and while their sexuality is not determined by their peers, they learn gay identity by observing and participating in a subculture outside the family. Physical disability tends to be horizontal, as does genius. Psychopathy, too, is often horizontal; most criminals are not raised by mobsters and must invent their own treachery. So are conditions such as autism and intellectual disability. A child conceived in rape is born into emotional challenges that his own mother cannot know, even though they spring from her trauma.

    later

    Many parents experience their child’s horizontal identity as an affront. A child’s marked difference from the rest of the family demands knowledge, competence, and actions that a typical mother and father are unqualified to supply, at least initially. The child is expressly different from most of his peers as well, and therefore broadly less understood or accepted…Whereas families tend to reinforce vertical identities from earliest childhoods, many will oppose horizontal ones. Vertical identities are usually respected as identities, horizontal ones are often treated as flaws.

    The author’s thesis, basically, is that these different types of horizontal identities are very common in how they interact with a person’s place in their family, and are frequently characterized by a fundamental inability of parent and child to comprehend each other.

  86. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    it’s (here in SE UK) used more generally about … well … people who just don’t belong here. You know, yes, they might be Romani. Or people who define themselves by beating the shit out of each other.

    Uhhh, CM’s, that doc you linked to is about Travellers. They aren’t Romani, but they are a distinct ethnic group that continues to be chat on by the rest of britain and there is a hell of a lot more to their culture than just “beating the shit out of each other.”

  87. says

    Have A Balloon:

    As an aside, I wanted to say how awesome all your book references are. It’s really interesting to hear what’s in the books that you’re reading and useful to know what evidence there is out there.

    Thank you. I don’t think we have a good framework for effecting social change unless we spend at least some time spent learning. Next up after Assholes: A Theory is Feminism Is For Everyone (thanks to Esteleth). After those is a fun read, Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, set in Chromatacia and society is ruled by a Colortocracy. :D

  88. cm's changeable moniker says

    @dysomniak, I know. Read it again.

    people who just don’t belong here. You know, yes, they might be Romani. Or people who

    I was being quite deliberate in my (written) xenophobia.

  89. says

    Esteleth:

    Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search For Identity.

    I’ve added that to my book list. Going by the bits you quoted, I’m pretty much all horizontal identities.

  90. mildlymagnificent says

    verbosity like Dan’s can be a barrier to civil discourse in itself: rhetorical masturbation without ever actually getting to the issue again is a supposedly civil tactic of debate that is often highly negative in practice

    Anyone who’s ever worked as a union official of any stripe knows this one. The articulate, grammatical, impeccably legal recitations of this, that and the other thing as a nifty dance routine avoiding the core issue that the organisation, manager, supervisor, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all have clearly violated a central condition of employment of the union member/s in question …… is generally resolved with something very like “Up yours!” Followed promptly by a walkout and or a picket line.

    They call it negotiation. I call it ducking and weaving. You really can’t get anywhere with these people.

  91. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Caine, Far From the Tree also spends a bit on how people united by one horizontal identity get angry when the horizontalness of another identity (and how they are thus similar) is pointed out to them. The author does not dwell on this (yet, maybe he does later), but he more or less describes the Oppression Olympics. And the “but my issues are valid and real, not like them!” thing.

    FWIW, while he acknowledges other horizontal identities, the book is an examination of the larger scheme through a detailed analysis of ten horizontal identities: Deafness, dwarfism, Down Syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, disability, child prodigies, children born of rape, criminals, and transgenderism.

  92. says

    Thanks to a mention in Guyland, I came across this excerpt from Men on Rape by Tim Beneke. Here’s a bit:

    These themes are illustrated in an interview I conducted with a 23 year old man who grew up in Pittsburgh and works as a file clerk in the financial district of San Francisco. Here’s what he said:

    “Where I work it’s probably no different from any other major city in the U.S. The women dress up in high heels, and they wear a lot of makeup, and they just look really hot and really sexy, and how can somebody who has a healthy sex drive not feel lust for them when you see them? I feel lust for them, but I don’t think I could find it in me to overpower someone and rape them. But I definitely get the feeling that I’d like to rape a girl. I don’t know if the actual act of rape would be satisfying, but the feeling is satisfying.

    “These women look so good, and they kiss ass of the men in the three piece suits who are big in the corporation, and most of them relate to me like ‘Who are you? Who are you to even look at?’ They’re snobby and they condescend to me, and I resent it. It would take me a lot longer to get to first base than it would somebody with a three-piece suit who had money. And to me a lot of the men they go out with are superficial assholes who have no real feelings or substance, and are just trying to get ahead and make a lot of money. Another thing that makes me resent these women is thinking, ‘How could she want to hand out with somebody like that? What does that make her?’

    “I’m a file clerk, which makes me feel like a nebbish, a nerd, like I’m not making it. I’m a failure. But I don’t really believe I’m a failure because I know it’s just a phase, and I’m just doing it for the money, just to make it through this phase. I catch myself feeling like a failure, but I realize that’s ridiculous.”

    What exactly do you go through when you see these sexy, unavailable women?

    “Let’s say I see a woman and she looks really pretty and really clean and sexy, and she’s giving off very feminine, sexy vibes. I think, ‘Wow, I would love to make love to her,’ but I know she’s not really interested. It’s a tease. A lot of times a woman knows that she’s looking really good and she’ll use that and flaunt it, and it makes me feel like she’s laughing at me and I feel degraded.

    “I also feel dehumanized, because when I’m being teased I just turn off, I cease to be human. Because if I go with my human emotions I’m going to want to put my arms around her and kiss her, and to do that would be unacceptable. I don’t like the feeling that I’m supposed to stand there and take it, and not be able to hug her or kiss her; so I just turn off my emotions. It’s a feeling of humiliation, because the woman has forced me to turn off my feelings and react in a way that I really don’t want to.

    “If I were actually desperate enough to rape somebody, it would be from wanting the person, but it would be a very spiteful thing, just being able to say, ‘I have power over you and I can do anything I want with you,’ because really I feel that they have power over me just by their presence. Just the fact that they can come up to me and just melt me and make me feel like a dummy makes me want revenge. They have power over me so I want power over them….

    “Society says that you have to have a lot of sex with a lot of different women to be a real man. Well, what happens if you don’t? They what are you? Are you half a man? Are you still a boy? It’s ridiculous. You see a whiskey ad with a guy and two women on his arm. The implication is that real men don’t have any trouble getting women.”

    How does it make you feel toward women to see all these sexy women in media and advertising using their looks to try to get you to buy something?

    “It makes me hate them. As a man you’re taught that men are more powerful than women, and that men always have the upper hand, and that it’s a man’s society; but then you see all these women and it makes you think ‘Jesus Christ, if we have all the power how come all the beautiful women are telling us what to buy?’ And to be honest, it just makes me hate beautiful women because they’re using their power over me. I realize they’re being used themselves, and they’re doing it for money. In Playboy you see all these beautiful women who look so sexy and they’ll be giving you all these looks like they want to have sex so bad; but then in reality you know that except for a few nymphomaniacs, they’re doing it for the money; so I hate them for being used and for using their bodies in that way.

    “In this society, if you ever sit down and realize how manipulated you really are it makes you pissed off– it makes you want to take control. And you’ve been manipulated by women, and they’re a very easy target because they’re out walking along the streets, so you can just grab one and say, ‘Listen, you’re going to do what I want you to do,’ and it’s an act of revenge against the way you’ve been manipulated.

    “I know a girl who was walking down the street by her house, when this guy jumped her and beat her up and raped her, and she was black and blue and had to go to the hospital. That’s beyond me. I can’t understand how somebody could do that. If I were going to rape a girl, I wouldn’t hurt her. I might restrain her, but I wouldn’t hurt her….

    “The whole dating game between men and women also makes me feel degraded. I hate being put in the position of having to initiate a relationship. I’ve been taught that if you’re not aggressive with a woman, then you’ve blown it. She’s not going to jump on you, so you’ve got to jump on her. I’ve heard all kinds of stories where the woman says, ‘No! No! No!’ and they end up making great love. I get confused as hell if a woman pushes me a away. Does it mean she’s trying to be a nice girl and wants to put up a good appearance, or does it mean she doesn’t want anything to do with you? You don’t know. Probably a lot of men think that women don’t feel like real women unless a man tries to force himself on her, unless she brings out the ‘real man,’ so to speak, and probably too much of it goes on. It goes on in my head that you’re complimenting a woman by actually staring at her or by trying to get into her pants. Lately, I’m realizing that when I stare at women lustfully, they often feel more threatened than flattered.”

  93. says

    Esteleth:

    FWIW, while he acknowledges other horizontal identities, the book is an examination of the larger scheme through a detailed analysis of ten horizontal identities: Deafness, dwarfism, Down Syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, disability, child prodigies, children born of rape, criminals, and transgenderism.

    Thank you. Sounds like fascinating reading.

  94. Tigger_the_Wing opened the window, in flew Enza says

    The Mellow Monkey, I’m so sorry about your father. For the last couple of years we’ve had an additional reason not to celebrate too; it’s the anniversary of the death of my husband’s beloved father. I feel particularly bad for my mother-in-law. It’s tough to lose a loved one after sixty years with them. It’s tough to be single on Valentine’s. For it also to be the anniversary of the former must be particularly hard.

    Esteleth, I’m loving all the history!

    cm, Yep, Kimmel is using colon research.

    ‘Pikey’ definitely referred to travelling families (mostly Roman Catholic Irish, rather than Romany, who were called ‘Gyppo’) at least up until the end of the nineties (another SE England-ite here, born in Lambeth and raised in Kent); perhaps it is now also used as a slur-by-association, the way that the ‘c’ word is used in the SE? I left England in 2000 and have only been back briefly since, and not at all for the last eight years. But its origins are definitely racist.

    I agree that the current crop of teens-to-mid-twenties young men are a vast improvement on previous iterations. Those who act badly are notable because they are now in the minority and their behaviour is no longer acceptable even to their peers. Around here young people tend to hang out in mixed groups. The young men have friends of all genders and orientations and don’t think anything of it. They truly are equal*.

    I have seen no evidence of roving gangs of homogenous youth causing trouble, although I do know of one or two trouble makers. The diversity training and implementation of – not ‘quotas’ exactly – ummm, colour- and gender-blind hiring practices in schools and elsewhere seems to have improved the outlook of our younger citizens. Increasingly, the old macho attitudes are looking anachronistic and the old blokes who behave in the old ways are finding themselves looked down on, rather than up to, by the young blokes.

    No wonder they are squealing.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    *An example: a few weeks ago both Number 4 Son and one of his female friends were admiring a young red-headed server at a tea-shop. I teased them both about it. Recently, son’s friend plucked up the courage to ask her out and she said “Yes.” Son is pleased for his friend. Of course, being straight, he’d like a girlfriend too. Lots of his friends are female, some are straight and he’s had a few dates but nothing lasting more than a few months yet. However, unlike their older siblings, he and his twin have no desire or ambition to ‘settle down’ for a long time yet and it seems that most of his peers are the same. They seem in no hurry to rush into anything so perhaps the wider culture is changing. It seems that they want to enjoy their youth unencumbered. Good for them, is what I say!

  95. Tigger_the_Wing opened the window, in flew Enza says

    Ugh, Caine, that’s horrible.

    What kind of upbringing did he have that put those thoughts in his head? A patriarchal one, I’d warrant.

    It’s exactly the kind of thoughts I’d expect to be going on in the heads of people brought up during the last century, not this one.

  96. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Jesus Fucking Christ Caine @121

    I can safely say I’ve never had any thought even close to resembling that shit, and it’s so fucking foreign to me it amazes me (but unfortunately does not shock me) people are out there with those thoughts, let alone being happy to discuss them. If i had thoughts like that my level of shame would be so fucking high I’d never want to let them be known let alone be so nonchalant about discussing them.

    I sometimes wonder if my upbringing via a single very fucking liberal mother has something to do with that considering how often it is evident there are a whole bunch of assholes out there with thoughts in this spectrum.

    fuck

    humans, how do they work

  97. says

    CM
    It’s a little broader than than; it’s (here in SE UK) used more generally about … well … people who just don’t belong here. You know, yes, they might be Romani. Or people who define themselves by beating the shit out of each other.
    I was going to say pretty much what Tigger the Wing said on this one; just because the term has now been expanded to mean ‘people who act like the negative stereotypes of traveling people, regardless of ethnicity’ doesn’t make it any less an ethnic slur. (Although there always has been s certain amount of taht expanded meaning; pikey has been used to describe tramps, tinkers, pedlars, and carnies as well, once again regardless of ethnicity. The etymology is basically ‘road people.’ Pikey is from the same root as turnpike.
    Except that this set of behaviours is increasingly not in vogue amongst young men.
    That’s as may be. I was going with the definition of laddism provided earlier in the thread which appeared to indicate that it was widespread, I have no idea how prevalent it is or isn’t in reality.

    Caine #121
    Damn. There’s a whole mess of toxic BS in there.

  98. says

    Tigger:

    I agree that the current crop of teens-to-mid-twenties young men are a vast improvement on previous iterations. Those who act badly are notable because they are now in the minority and their behaviour is no longer acceptable even to their peers. Around here young people tend to hang out in mixed groups. The young men have friends of all genders and orientations and don’t think anything of it. They truly are equal*.

    I have seen no evidence of roving gangs of homogenous youth causing trouble, although I do know of one or two trouble makers. The diversity training and implementation of – not ‘quotas’ exactly – ummm, colour- and gender-blind hiring practices in schools and elsewhere seems to have improved the outlook of our younger citizens. Increasingly, the old macho attitudes are looking anachronistic and the old blokes who behave in the old ways are finding themselves looked down on, rather than up to, by the young blokes.

    All of which demonstrates a complete lack of understanding as to what Guyland is about. It’s not about “bad behaviour”. It’s not about criminal behaviour. It’s not about whether or not they accept same sex marriage or say that yeah, girls are people. It is about young men attempting to delay the move into ‘manhood’ and how their ideas of masculinity are still highly toxic, which keeps sexism and misogyny square and center. The same goes for racism and homophobia. While *you* may not see such attitudes or hear about them, they are there. They are all around you. Such attitudes and feelings are shared with *other guys*.

  99. says

    I’m getting pretty damn tired of such research being dumped on because some people prefer to be a fuckwitted ignoramus who can’t be arsed to learn a single thing and are content to be a part of the problem. This painting of young men in rainbows and unicorn farts is striking me as deliberate shoving of heads into the sand while happily ignoring a very real problem.

    I’m also not impressed by people who can’t manage to read a book, but style themselves experts on X.

  100. says

    Rev. BDC:

    Jesus Fucking Christ Caine @121

    I can safely say I’ve never had any thought even close to resembling that shit, and it’s so fucking foreign to me it amazes me (but unfortunately does not shock me) people are out there with those thoughts, let alone being happy to discuss them. If i had thoughts like that my level of shame would be so fucking high I’d never want to let them be known let alone be so nonchalant about discussing them.

    That was from the ’80s, too. This type of thinking is becoming more common, part of the antifeminist backlash. Unfortunately, the notion of having girls hanging off you is still very much considered to be part of becoming a man, and young men are getting pretty damn resentful over being “PC whipped” and not being allowed to take what they want. There’s also the problem of how they are judged by other guys if they don’t manage to get laid on a regular basis. If they don’t, they feel like a failure.

  101. cm's changeable moniker says

    I’m getting pretty damn tired of such research being dumped on because some people prefer to be a fuckwitted ignoramus who can’t be arsed to learn a single thing and are content to be a part of the problem. This painting of young men in rainbows and unicorn farts is striking me as deliberate shoving of heads into the sand while happily ignoring a very real problem.

    Hmm. That’s aimed at me? I’ll shell out for the book, I guess (unless someone wants to send it to me) but, as intimated before, if Kimmel is just making shit up, I hope I’ll be allowed to say so, right?

    In return, this is a must-read:

    http://www.stephaniecoontz.com/books/thewayweneverwere/

  102. cm's changeable moniker says

    (And I have read about 100 pages of Guyland. It’s just not compelling.)

  103. says

    Good morning

    Caine #121
    That’s that’s horrible and disgusting.
    This sense of entitlement, I don’t get it. That’s probably because I’m a woman and society never raised me thinking that I was entitled to a nice guy in a three piece suit with money. So, attrative women are a tease and they apparently do it just because of him. And being denied to force his will onto another human being is denying him his humanity. WTF? Somebody’s parents failed at teaching him that the world isn’t about him.
    But yeah, in the recent German sexism debate, a hellotof guys linked to an article written by a right wing neofascist, but she was a woman and therefore her opinion tops that of 100.000 women who say something different, whose main argument was “if you don’t want men to grab your tits or stare at them or constantly comment on them you just have to button up your blouse”. And yes, they thought that a legitimate argument.

    Tigger
    While it is true that children are noticably different from early on I find it difficult to pin this down to one thing or another. Not only do siblings start out with different genes, they also start out with a different environment. Hell, even their intrauterine environment is different, we know that women’s bodies and their hormone levels change with every subsequent pregnancy.
    And the families they’re born into are never the same. We might think it because it’s still our family, but the family the second child is born into is very different to the one the first child is born into. Parents already have a whole child experience on them and react differently and there’s always somebody else around as well.
    That doesn’t mean there isn’t a “genetic character” as well, I would be hestitant to make a definit claim about any single or specific trait.

  104. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    Giliell, I know; even the twins are very, very different. Unlike their older pair of brothers, they’ve never been even mistaken for twins! Some children are born jumpy, and have to be carefully handled and gently encouraged to feel safe. Others are born reckless and feel safe in the most dangerous situations and have to be carefully reined in. I’ve had both extremes and stages in between. It really is impossible to state with any certainty that a particular trait in a particular person is a biological product, and as they get older the plasticity in their brain means it doesn’t get any easier.

    I’ve also known people who changed into completely different people after a brain injury.

    Applying ‘it’s because of biology’ to a whole chunk of humanity is ridiculous.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Caine, I’m sorry. I’m just very lucky, living in the most liberal city in a liberal country where such attitudes are dying out with the older generation (I admit Adelaide was far, far worse). I may also be very lucky in that all the young people with whom I come into regular contact are genuinely nice people. What got my goat was Kimmel referring not to some young men but to the whole group. It’s as if he had gone back in time.

    Even working in male-dominated environments for most of my life I have noticed an improvement in the attitudes and (apparent, going by their behaviour) thinking of young men. In the seventies misogyny such as that displayed in the quote you gave was ‘normal’ (or, at least, publicly acceptable in a ‘boys will be boys” kind of way) and men who disagreed with those attitudes wouldn’t dare voice their disagreement. In the eighties such people were becoming slightly defensive because the voices against those attitudes were starting to make themselves heard. In the nineties, men were starting to feel ashamed of other men expressing such attitudes; by the noughties, it was already apparent that they were held by a dwindling minority.

    I’m not saying the ‘guys/lads’ don’t exist, just that they are, at least around here, a tiny percentage of the whole and their behaviour and attitudes are despised by the rest of their age group.

    I’m really sorry if your experience is that there is a backlash. Just because I haven’t seen it here doesn’t mean I think it doesn’t exist, along with the equivalent conservative and fundamentalist backlashes which are also notable by their almost total absence here. I apologise for neglecting the wider picture.

    I still think it is unfair to tar an entire generation with the brush of ‘laddishness’ when most are perfectly decent young men and are just as horrified at ‘laddish’ behaviour as any other decent person would be. Calling it a ‘culture’ rather than a ‘sub-culture’ does seem to unfairly target everyone in the age group as if ‘lads’ or ‘guys’ are the norm and the decent young men are rare exceptions. It’s the other way round.

    I’m not going to be one of those old ladies who glares at young people and mutters rude things about them as I shove past them. In fact, I would trust a stranger under 25 to a degree I wouldn’t trust someone of my own age group because the latter were brought up with toxic masculinity as the norm. I know horrible people exist in any age group. I’ve even waded into a group of about thirty young people, with my wheelchair, to break up a potential fight when a bully was picking on another young man at the bus station. When I made it quite clear that I wasn’t going to merely watch or walk (roll) by and would call the police if the aggressor didn’t back down, the crowd dispersed. I probably wouldn’t have done any such thing in the USA.

    Let’s put the blame where it lies, in the hands of the actually criminally-minded. As long as people keep complaining about ‘youth’ as if they are a monolith, those young people will feel alienated. It isn’t fair. Most, if not quite all, young men raised by feminist parents will have feminist views. They are on our side, and are our best defense against the rare misogynists in their midst because, as you say, they are the ones to whom the misogynists will reveal their hand first; and are therefore in the best position to tell them exactly why misogyny is unacceptable.

    I think that there is a real problem with some young men, just as there has always been a real problem with some young men. Old men have, allegedly, been writing about it for millennia. But there is a difference between pointing out a problem and scaremongering, just as there is a difference between pointing out scaremongering and ignoring a problem.

  105. says

    @ chigau

    I’ll be back.

    I’m back!

    Went to the History Museum in Kowloon today. They have an amazing display of historical artifacts on exhibition, covering many centuries of early Mesopotamian culture. (Linky for the historically minded.)

  106. casus fortuitus says

    Have a Balloon

    It’s got to the stage where I dread reading any article about feminism or women’s rights in the Guardian. My already frail faith in the general goodness of humanity can barely stand the strain any more.

    General enquiry about Thunderdome etiquette

    I know there’s no such thing as OT or derailing in Thunderdome, but is it OK to be posting these semi-random links to articles that I’m finding interesting?

  107. says

    @ casus fortuitus

    Knock yourself out!


    [“matriarchy” wrt artifacts]

    A little mental experiment: The vogons wipe out the human race. Centuries later alien archaeologists return to earth and start digging about in what we have left behind. What examples of artifacts would they find that would confirm to them that we were (ours is the age they are examining in this exercise) essentially a patriarchal society?

    (Note, it is kinda cheating to suggest they just pick up a book(or newspaper, dvd or the like), then decypher the language to simply read the discussion/explication of this phenomenon. Suggest something a little less obvious. Pickaxe and shovel stuff … and the like.)

  108. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    So much of that would depend on their own biases, theophontes, and an understanding of context.

    Let’s say they find a copy of Playboy. They cannot read it, but they can look at the pictures. Devoid of cultural context, “these people were matriarchal and worshipped the female form” and “these people were patriarchal and held that women exist to be on display for men’s enjoyment” are both plausible conclusions.

  109. says

    @ Esteleth

    Devoid of cultural context … [opposing] plausible conclusions.

    We come across more than enough people denying the patriarchal nature of our own society in our own time. One reason is that they are willfully refusing to accept it, they refuse to make those conexxions. Is there not some way we can highlight the patriarchy through reference to our artifacts, rather than purely as a narrative or as an ideological account? This may be of use in arguing our case more forcefully.

    (I do not ignore that we can measure such things as income disparities or conduct experiments such as blind auditions. Indeed these are good and convincing parts of our argument. For the purpose of this experiment we leave these aside for now.)

  110. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Theophontes, given the number of people who respond to “Vote to Acquit In All Rape Trials” and “Women Are To Blame When They Are Battered” with “yeah, sounds about right,” I’m unsure what could be used as incontrovertible proof of misogyny, sexism, and patriarchy.

    And I say that as someone who once found a blogpost arguing that infibulation is not proof of sexist hatred of female sexuality.

  111. broboxley OT says

    All you newcomers, my folks were being listed in the book of fines and later the domesday book. Apparently liking other peoples cattle makes you recordable

  112. says

    @ Esteleth

    No, I don’t think we have a hope in such cases. But often ideology is given form, intentionally or unintentionally. Underlying ideologies find their expressions in the artifacts that a society produces.

    Anthropomorphism has been a common frame of thought in architecture and town planning for example: Di Giorgio or Ledoux (almost NSFW)

    Something along those lines.

  113. bradleybetts says

    @Tigger-the-Wing #137

    Even working in male-dominated environments for most of my life I have noticed an improvement in the attitudes and (apparent, going by their behaviour) thinking of young men. In the seventies misogyny such as that displayed in the quote you gave was ‘normal’ (or, at least, publicly acceptable in a ‘boys will be boys” kind of way) and men who disagreed with those attitudes wouldn’t dare voice their disagreement. In the eighties such people were becoming slightly defensive because the voices against those attitudes were starting to make themselves heard. In the nineties, men were starting to feel ashamed of other men expressing such attitudes; by the noughties, it was already apparent that they were held by a dwindling minority.

    I’m not saying the ‘guys/lads’ don’t exist, just that they are, at least around here, a tiny percentage of the whole and their behaviour and attitudes are despised by the rest of their age group.

    ^ This. I was raised in a similar environment here in the UK. It’s a large part of why I am so abysmally ignorant of rape culture and the inherent misogyny of Western Society; I genuinely didn’t think these attitudes existed outside of a few backwards individuals that all other men were ashamed to be associated with. Reading the comment threads on this blog has rather shattered that comfortable world view.

  114. bradleybetts says

    Re. my above; by way of further explanation I should add I was born in 1990. I have never known a time when sentiments like those shown in Caine’s comment ‘ #121 were commonly expressed. Thankfully.

  115. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Giliell:

    “if you don’t want men to grab your tits or stare at them or constantly comment on them you just have to button up your blouse”

    This makes me want to scream. It’s just another version of “a virtuous women is seldom accosted” or “if you keep your arms at your side, you won’t be groped”. It also completely ignores the legions of women who are assaulted who are not wearing revealing clothing.

  116. Dhorvath, OM says

    Well, I would argue at least that the sentiments expressed in 121 aren’t expressed in the same voice or manner among that person’s peer group. That they are shared wholly or in part is beyond doubt for me, I encounter some facet of that shit regularly among the men who I encounter through work. To see it all summed up so explicitly in one person’s words is unusual, not because I think he is alone in thinking that, but because there is seldom a context where someone will do so at around me. It’s not as if people open up like that to me while working and given the reception that I give when some of the shit spills out of their brains I don’t really think hanging out later on to get the full scoop is likely.

  117. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    cm’s changeable moniker@71

    there’s no downwards bump in the Flynn effect over the 20th century. If lead depressed IQ, how doesn’t it show up?

    Actually, there is, although it’s not clear the timing is exactly right.

    Second, ADHD diagnoses don’t correlate well either; yes, the US had a rise in diagnoses after a lag, but the UK didn’t see the same rise until later, despite being quicker to ban TEL.

    I’m not quite clear what you;re saying here, but ADHD is a relatively new diagnosis, and such are often unstable – IOW, I suspect changes in diagnostic practice over time could swamp real changes.

    Then, there’s the “lone scientist with a theory” (which, obviously is not accepted by The Establishment™) vibe to the whole thing

    Read the article I linked to more carefully. There are at least 4 references to papers by groups other than Nevin’s, and two of those deal with ADHD.

  118. carlie says

    “if you don’t want men to grab your tits or stare at them or constantly comment on them you just have to button up your blouse”

    And if she buttons up the blouse, they’re still visible.

    Hm, have to get a larger blouse.

    Nope, they still show, poking out like that.

    Hm. Bigger rounder cut and larger size?

    Not quite.

    Little bigger, little more round, maybe some extra folds so that any bumps appear to be the fabric instead of breasts, maybe another layer of fabric on top just to be sure… ah, there you go.

  119. Owlglass says

    146, theophontes (坏蛋)
    No, I don’t think we have a hope in such cases. But often ideology is given form, intentionally or unintentionally. Underlying ideologies find their expressions in the artifacts that a society produces.

    This is true, however you can’t push it too far before you enter “search her body for the devils mark, it must be there” or “thoughtcrime” territory, whichever metaphor you prefer. In fact, the way language and thinking works (I’m looking at System 1 and System 2 of Kahnemann) it rather suggests that people employ a lot of learned shortcuts they not only not question, but also never really thought about in an affirmative sense. They may have picked up that a word, whatever it is, seen first hand how it somehow has a magical effect on another person forcing them to feel something negative and then they use it themselves. Once you learn another language, it becomes even more apparent, the insulting words have no effect on you even if you can picture quite well what they are supposed to mean. You haven’t experienced them in action, have not seen how people are hurt or how their mimics derail and so their whole magical power is not working.

    At one time, for example, the word “victim” became an insult in my native language among puberty kids. We can see what’s wrong with it, but I am pretty sure that those who used it frequently didn’t have the faintest idea of what they were saying. It originally probably expressed social strength, beating of chests, dismiss another person as inferior in the food chain. The core idea can be seen in many ways (including laughing at or dismissing other commenters), and at this point I am not convinced that one signfier is somehow better or worse than another.

    I am not claiming that it makes certain expressions or artifacts okay in any shape or form. But the assessment is somewhat different in that not every person who is using them actually approves of a particular ideology or view.

  120. cm's changeable moniker says

    KG, thanks.

    Read the article I linked to more carefully

    I should actually have done that, but I went with my recollection of what I’d read last month, and I also misremembered the ADHD studies, thought they were temporal correlation, and that’s why my statement didn’t make sense. Doh. :-(

  121. Lofty says

    Caine:

    I have yet another wireless unit that is dying on me. *sigh*

    Home network wireless or phone network wireless?
    My USB phone thingy stopped working last week, I eventually extracted the SIM card and found the chip had come unglued and had slipped out. A drop of super glue and it’s back on line. Technology stops working for all the usual dumb reasons.

  122. says

    Lofty:

    Home network wireless or phone network wireless?

    Verizon Jetpack MiFi thingy. You would not believe how many of the damn things I’ve gone through. This is an old whine, not new. Now the current one is going and it’s not even 6 months old. (Turns itself off, won’t charge, now it will charge, now it won’t, yada, yada, yada.) Also, lately, simply connecting the normal way isn’t enough, I have to connect through the Verizon admin page too. It’s on surge protectors, all that crap, stays in the same place all the time, etc. I just can’t keep them alive for love or money.

    Took over 5 hours this morning before I could get it to accept a charge and power up.

  123. cm's changeable moniker says

    Fun fact unearthed today: the definitive 90s “lad’s mag”, Loaded, has suffered a massive collapse in circulation, and is now outsold by Golf World, Real Homes, and Country Walking.

  124. rowanvt says

    New chewtoy over at Crommunist. He’s a hoot he is.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2013/02/15/new-required-reading-confessions-of-a-former-misogynist/#comment-134204

    My favorite quote from him, in the comment section in response to why he’s turning the conversation from this recovering-misogynist to racism:

    Well, why not? Forget about women – the main point of his article is that he was unhappy and depressed and for a long time he blamed a bunch of other people that weren’t him.

  125. Lofty says

    Caine, I dug up a couple of reviews etc just because I’m bored…One:

    Pros: Fast ,fast for your savings.
    Cons: Fast to make yo broke.
    Summary: This device is fast, fast to empty your savings in the bank, it’s A trap or maybe a scam, an example of American greed against the honest and hardworking consumers. Not a very recommended devise. 0 out of 5. Do not buy this devise Jetpack, or you regret , sorry and broke.

    Sounds like another great idea ruined by bad marketing and design.

  126. cm's changeable moniker says

    OMG! Turns out someone whose wedding I was at did a TED Talk.

    *headsplode*

    *plots route to TED talk of complete inanity*

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Slymies congratulated him for his performance in that thread.

    Not his perfomance, his longevity. His performance was a typical MRA fuckwit. All opinion, noise, and blather, with not one iota of real evidence. The equivalent of throwing, but not landing, a punch at Ali in his prime, before the inevitable…

  128. cm's changeable moniker says

    And for what it’s worth, yes I do know the person whose wedding I attended.

    Gah, you people are so picky. ;P

  129. says

    Lofty:

    Caine, I dug up a couple of reviews etc just because I’m bored

    Thanks. Can’t say I’m surprised. As bad as they are (or more accurately, as fragile), they are pretty much the only game for us. Cable doesn’t come to where we are, going through Dir*cTV is a joke (5 MB per month cap, and no, that’s not a typo), so it’s either Verizon wireless or dial-up and we did dial-up for years. Only made the move to wireless after Jadehawk came to stay with us. We do get the stupid things replaced at no cost, but it’s still one hell of pain in the ass.

  130. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Edward Gemmer can have that effect on a person.

    Try reading the link I provided for more frustrations.

  131. rowanvt says

    O_< Drive up the wall is correct. I want to start chewing on my keyboard out of frustration.

  132. says

    Rowanvt:

    I want to start chewing on my keyboard out of frustration.

    I empathize. Deeply. After the assclam was banned here, he showed up on my blog, where he had this to say about Adam Lee’s petition regarding sexism and misogyny in the atheistskeptisphere:

    I can’t sign that. The issue is that atheists are rude and disrespectful to each other on the internet. Atheists on Pharyngula are just as guilty as anyone else, which you allude to. The petition is just another excuse for one group to see their actions as fine and demonizing the same actions of people with whom they disagree. It is amazing the amount of hostility that has erupted between groups that for the most part agree on all the basic issues. I imagine this is why Protestants and Catholics battled for so long. Sigh…

    Willfully ignorant sexist douchecake doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Oh, and in the Piero Corsi thread, he did a mix of misogyny and racism which was driving a whole lot of us up a wall.

  133. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    It was that same mix of misogyny and racism that did him in at the neither bullied nor cajoled thread.

  134. rowanvt says

    Is it sad that he’s less frustrating now that I *know* he’s a dishonest ass instead of me thinking he was a well-intentioned but entirely missing the mark ass?

  135. rowanvt says

    Well, instead of chewing on him (or my keyboard) I am going to snuggle my favorite snake, have some hot chocolate, and read a new book. My evening will be much better spent.

  136. John Morales says

    So, I’ve just won my first game of Civ5 at ‘Prince’ level. Yay?

    (The secret was to realise all improvements cost gold, regardless of whether they’re worked by the cities — sounds so simple, no?)

  137. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    And what kind of victory? Scientific? Diplomatic? Conquered the world? Cultural?

  138. John Morales says

    Janine, Civ5 (quite different to Civ4) and a scientific victory.

    Now, on to the next level of difficulty!

  139. John Morales says

    Hekuni Cat, it was a gift from a friend on my 50th, but too buggy to play at the time.

    Enjoying it now, but.

    (Also, fuck Steam; its one saving grace is that it updates automagically, but it’s annoying one must be connected to the Net to play at all)

  140. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    There is now a Civ 5 Gold but no discount for people who have the original and Gods And Kings.

  141. John Morales says

    Janine, I’m almost considering lashing out for G&K.

    (But I hate Steam with a passion — I get a boxed game, I expect to be able to play it out of the box)

  142. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Get used to it, cm’s changeable moniker. Many is the time that I pull up a song I first listened to twenty, thirty years ago, read the first ten comments (I know, never read YT comments) and some kid is talking about how some recent TV show or movie sent them there.

  143. Dhorvath, OM says

    I don’t think I have played a game out of the box in over a decade, everything streets buggy and needs patches.

  144. athyco says

    rowanvt:

    Is it sad that he’s less frustrating now that I *know* he’s a dishonest ass instead of me thinking he was a well-intentioned but entirely missing the mark ass?

    Not sad at all. I feel better for you feeling less frustrated.

    But fuck am I frustrated and sad at the same time. I spent time quoting a fellow’s exact words to him only to have him point at a stupid fucking phrase in the next sentence that he said negated the one I just quoted. By the end of it, he’s telling me that he wrote it that way on purpose so that he’d get someone off his back–that she’d think he’d agreed to something while he went right on doing what he had before. He was pleased to call it a slippery slope since his definition of the disputed behavior was at the bottom of it; it didn’t matter than anyone else’s definition would have stopped much higher. That would be their required stopping point.

    He wrote 10x more than usual because he had an audience on his side, shrugged off double standards, handwaved my points as though he hadn’t been keeping them secret, put words in my mouth. All that is frustration. The unutterably sad is that another person may get the fallout because I didn’t realize how brazenly he’d lie and how I am only a little baitfish he may dangle for the catch he wants.

    Fuck, fuck, fuck, I wish I hadn’t stupidly thought I could be the catch. :“(

  145. vaiyt says

    I have Civ5, haven’t played much because I don’t give much attention to fullscreen games these days. I also miss how sprawling my civilizations could be back in Civ2. In Civ5 you can only have one fraction of the cities before you fill the map or your empire becomes too bloated ):

  146. triamacleod says

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/15/1187328/-Summit-Invitation?showAll=yes#

    Yes, the NAP has used Daily KOS to invite all freethinkers to join a discussion to heal the rift. Also, it has a poll as to if you feel a rational discussion is possible. Personally I’m doubtful, but then I usually just lurk as I tend to throw my hands in the air and walk away rather than bang my head against a wall when I know people aren’t listening. I truly hope Chris or PZ does a post on this as I am extremely interested to see what the rest of you think.

  147. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    Heal the rift?! NOOOOOOooooooooo………

    *Make it deeper! Fill it with… sharks with laserscrocodilians… hippopotamus/es/i.* =^_^=

    I don’t want the bigots anywhere near me, thanks.

  148. Have a Balloon says

    Am I the only one who thinks Torchwood whenever people talk about the rifts?

    Seal the rift! So that nothing can get through from the other side!

    ….yes? no? maybe?

  149. triamacleod says

    Well, at least I’ll have happy thoughts of Captain Jack as I turn off the laptop. And will associate Torchwood with the deep rift. Which will probably make it more amusing as I don’t see it going away, ever. I’d have to agree with Tiggers take on the matter.

  150. Have a Balloon says

    triamacleod

    Perhaps I’m being unfair, but this:

    Lee Moore posted it on one of the A+ Facebook pages

    is the point at which I would have decided it wasn’t worth participating.

    (criticising him, not you)

  151. says

    Caine:

    There is soooooo much to digest in your excerpt @122, but I just cannot get past “If I was going to rape a girl, I wouldn’t hurt her.”
    Near fatal :headdesk: on my part.
    Dude, you think the act of forcing yourself on a *woman* (I note he is a file clerk looking at women, but refers to these objects of his lustful rape fantasies as ‘girls’) is painless? FFS!

  152. Jerk Off says

    DanialManOfReasonMyAss:

    Yes, you want the pleasure of social approval and that is your primary motive. Ultimately, an atheist only does what causes most pleasure for him. And if by some chance an atheist begins to feel intense, murderous tendencies he will go with it. Why? Because he knows full well that majority opinion means nothing, it’s just opinion, so he won’t deny himself anything he feels compelled to do. God is the only way to justify belief in morality, no atheist can disprove this truth. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMQONjvsMVI
    Look at this fucking idiot.

  153. says

    @ Owlglass

    I was more refering to real objects rather than the influence on language. The question is whether the patriarchy can be shown to influence our material world, be it in the form of the built environment, through art… or some such artifacts.

    An example for comparison: The “Apartheid city”, was very much an expression of the underlying Apartheid ideology. By driving through the city one could (and still can!) read the underlying ideology. There is nothing vague about it.

    On a more down-to-earth individual level, we can look at the artifacts produced by a person as a reflection of their personality and their guiding ideology. To show that an individual like Le Corbusier ( the architect) was a misogynist arsehole, is relatively easy, by simply refering to the artifacts (in this case photography, artworks and architecture) that he produced.

    (I trust the quesion is not to abstruse for what is essentially a scientific blog.)

  154. Dhorvath, OM says

    Tony, I don’t think you should know how that particular line of reasoning progresses, your furniture may not survive.

  155. says

    Am I the only one who thinks Torchwood whenever people talk about the rifts?

    That would explain all the weasels that show up around here.

  156. cm's changeable moniker says

    So kid #1, watching Ice Age 4 notices that Sid the Sloth is Lurhmann’s Tybalt, and on checking I find out he’s Donny Blanco too, which makes me watch Carlito and now I have Ceasefire – Trickshot in my head.

    (Kid #1 would love it, BTW. The other day I posted “Let There Be Flutes” and while listening to it, he said “what is that?”. I instinctively apologised but he said “no, that’s epic“. Chips of the old block, etc.)

  157. cm's changeable moniker says

    Amazon’s cloud player thingy is very smart. I just pointed it at a directory of .ogg files that I’d ripped off CDs, and it matched them up to their (Amazon’s) versions, permissioned me up for the (256kb/s mp3) tracks, and now the Kindle’s downloading them so they’re available locally.

    Seriously, this is very valuable service they’re giving away for free. I’m impressed.

  158. cm's changeable moniker says

    See this “a”? If you want #209 to make more sense, please insert it between “this” and “is” in the last line.

  159. Have a Balloon says

    Chris Clarke

    That would explain all the weasels that show up around here.

    Er… :)

    Although ‘weasels’ is also an accurate description.

  160. cm's changeable moniker says

    Torchwoood.

    I have looked out of the highest windows of Torchwood Tower; the very ones through which the Doctor and Rose sucked the Cybermen and Daleks into the Void.

    The view is incredible. Seeing planes landing at City Airport from above … whoa.

    But what’s most incredible is that they’ve fixed it up so well, you’d never know the whole Cyberman/Dalek thing had happened …

  161. cm's changeable moniker says

    Torchwoood? Torchwoooooooooooooood!

    Does it matter how many o’s are in it?

  162. carlie says

    Fucking Torchwood. When it was good, it was incredible. When it was bad, it was awful. AND THEY TOOK MY IANTO.

  163. cm's changeable moniker says

    I’ve watched one episode of Torchwood. It wasn’t particularly interesting.

    My main point is what I said at #215. ;-)

  164. says

    All done with Guyland.* It’s really nice that reading it helped MM & I to clarify our feelings about One Billion Rising and that it helped me to relate to someone much better than I would have been able to (prior to reading) in the “you don’t get to be over rape” thread.
     
    *Which did end on an optimistic note.

  165. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Caine–yeah, that book is great.

    Have you seen ‘Tough Guise’ by Jonathan Katz? Its a movies (90s, I think) about how boys define masculinity and how it forces them to adopt a “tough guize.” I used a clip from it for my class recently, but the entire movie is great.

  166. John Morales says

    Call for prayers as church deals with abuse inquiry

    The Catholic Church has written a letter to its parishioners urging them to redouble their prayers as it deals with the royal commission into child sex abuse.

    […]

    The letter calls on the church’s faithful to join in special days of penance in the wake of the abuse crisis and urges them to say extra prayers.

    Mr Sullivan says the letter is about starting the process of atonement.

    Grr.

  167. consciousness razor says

    Mr Sullivan says the letter is about starting the process of atonement.

    And as we all know, the best way to start would be mumbling to an invisible asshole in the sky.

  168. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    Oh, how I hope that the ex-pope gets arrested…

    Let’s see how the direct line to god works then! =^_^=

  169. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ old thunderdome’s # 608. Caine, brigade de garces 13th of February 2013 at 12:08 pm :

    “.. a handful of comments” -StevoR
    A handful of comments? Please, you never shut up.

    Meh, another total and demonstrable factual inaccuracy there.

    I comment here far less than most regulars including you do. I sleep, I work, I walk my dog. I wa sat a book launch earlier.

    I’m actually pretty quiet relatively. I post maybe four days out of five (or less) for an hour or three here.

    PS. Oh and also you got my username really very badly wrong as well as the wrong idea of me generally. Can I ask you kindly to y’know, please NOT do that?

    Use cut’n’paste if you can’t type – its what I do. (Among many other things – that do NOT include abusing random strangers with falsehoods on the net when I’ve misunderstood what they have to say.)

  170. Beatrice says

    StevoR,

    Could you at least choose one excuse and run with it?
    First it was that you sometimes post when drunk and tired, and genocidal tendencies for some strange reason show up in those times.
    Then it was that you never ever never posted anything racist.
    When confronted with citations, you said that it happened ages ago, and your opinions supposedly changed. Completely.
    When confronted with newer citations, you now claim that you are just misunderstood.

    *sigh*

  171. strange gods before me ॐ says

    StevoR,

    The left wing, liberals, […] kid themselves that […] “hyphenated Americans”* are good things, they kid themselves too on crime and immigration […]
    * Such as celebrating and getting Obama into power effecctively through the ultimate in “affirmative action.” […] isn’t anyone in the USA bothered by the fact that you have a half- & hyphenated-American in office as President rather than an all-American individual? (My issue her isn’t with Obama’s skin colour but his cultiral and personal identity & loyalty / patriotism / understanding of America.)

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

  172. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ old thunderdome’s #594. Tony the Queer Shoop (now with 30% more melanin) on the 13th of February 2013 at 9:43 am :

    I sit here scratching my head, completely puzzled as to why SteveoR appears so desperate to gain the approval of people who clearly do not like him.

    Well, that would be more evidence that you just don’t understand me I guess. Hell, you can’t even seem to spell my username right so how much else about me can you possibly grasp?

    Despite his protestations to the contrary, he continues saying racist shit, whether it is “melanin enriched” or talking about those high falutin’ “Western values”.

    What about either of those lines has anything at all to do with “race” a notion I consider fallacious and stupid anyhow?

    Melanin enriched is a biological description of those whose skin has more not less of that substance.

    Western values applies to anyone who holds those admittedly somewhat vague set of basic concepts synonymous with the Free World. Democracy, secular government & society, pro-science, nothing to do with “race” at all.

    His lack of self awareness is staggering and his desperation to endear himself to the commentariat is pathetic.

    If I was that desperate why am I arguing logically and calmly against some of your scared cows here? Why am I on the opposite side of a few issues on the consensus here whilst still mostly agreeing with y’all on most other things?
    Does it really take that much thought to realise that you’ve mischaracterised me here?

    @ old td’s # 590. casus fortuitus on the 13th of February 2013 at 8:35 am :

    (That’s in addition to being a racist douche, of course.)

    What have I ever said here that’s racist in your view?

    How many times have I pointed out that I don’t even think there’s any such thing as “race” to begin with?

    You are dog-piling on here based on what exactly?

    @ old td’s # 583. Rev. BigDumbChimp :

    f you don’t want to be called a racist, stop giving everyone reasons.

    Reasons like for example .. ?

    And just maybe reassess the things you are saying both intentionally and casually, it’s giving everyone these reasons I mentioned.

    Actually you *didn’t* mention any reasons or any specific examples of what you think I said which you apparently find objectionable.

    So these would be what ..??

  173. strange gods before me ॐ says

    StevoR,

    Are you denying that […] “affirmative action” is discrimination based on race – one that elevates African-Americans at the expense of other ethnic groups?

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

  174. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @230. strange gods before me ॐ :

    Once again, you’ve had my answers to that already here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/15/thunderdome-12/comment-page-1/#comment-516692

    & here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/26/thunderdome-16/comment-page-2/#comment-548691

    & I’ve also stated here what my actual current views are, as opposed to the strawperson caricature that some who hate me have misrepresented them as being here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/20/thunderdome-15/comment-page-1/#comment-543071

    So SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements made many years ago on another blog when I was a different person and which I have long since dis-owned and rejected as opposed to the many more numerous and recent statements contradicting them as noted with, for example, the last link.

    I’m pretty sure you would have said things in the past that, in hindsight and after reflection, you now wish you hadn’t said. It would therefore be wrong to hold those past statements against you because you’ve rejected those statements and grown and learnt. Same applies here to me.

    SGBM you have also admitted here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/26/thunderdome-16/comment-page-2/#comment-548853

    (comment #771. 29th January 2013 at 8:20 am) that you are asking those questions mainly for the purpose of seeking ammunition to use in some future argument you’ve already devised against me and are thus not sincerely seeking answers but are rather arguing in bad faith.

    So, strange gods before me ॐ, what you are doing here is misrepresenting me and my views, bad faith arguing, spamming and cyber-bullying and you are being unfair, intellectually dishonest and factually wrong. Please stop it.

    PS. No, I am not being bullied off this blog by a few fellow commenters who happen to dislike or and disagree with me. I’ve made that quite clear.

    Those who hate me here have equally made their feelings towards me known. If they wish to ignore me in the future that’s their choice, if I wish to ignore them that’s mine.

    If they keep making things nasty (&/or boring) for other readers here, well that’s their choice too. I suggest they let PZ and Chris Clarke run this blog as they choose just as PZ and Chris Clarke (& I) would happily let them run their blogs as they choose.

  175. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @232. strange gods before me ॐ :

    You’ve had my answers to that already here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/15/thunderdome-12/comment-page-1/#comment-516692

    & here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/26/thunderdome-16/comment-page-2/#comment-548691

    & I’ve also stated here what my actual current views are, as opposed to the strawperson caricature that some who hate me have misrepresented them as being here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/20/thunderdome-15/comment-page-1/#comment-543071

    Thus SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements made many years ago on another blog when I was a different person and which I have long since dis-owned and rejected as opposed to the many more numerous and recent statements contradicting them as noted with, for example, the last link.
    I’m pretty sure you would have said things in the past that, in hindsight and after reflection, you now wish you hadn’t said. It would therefore be wrong to hold those past statements against you because you’ve rejected those statements and grown and learnt. Same applies here to me.

    SGBM you have also admitted here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/26/thunderdome-16/comment-page-2/#comment-548853

    (comment #771. 29th January 2013 at 8:20 am) that you are asking those questions mainly for the purpose of seeking ammunition to use in some future argument you’ve already devised against me and are thus not sincerely seeking answers but are rather arguing in bad faith.

    Therefore strange gods before me ॐ, what you are doing here is misrepresenting me and my views, bad faith arguing, spamming and cyber-bullying and you are being unfair, intellectually dishonest and factually wrong. Please stop it.

    Also you do realise you;re going to keep getting this same answer to your same spammed question right?

  176. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @229. Beatrice : Y’know sometimes the answer really is – all of the above.

    Sometimes there are multiple correct answers depending on the circumstances.

    This could be one of those times.

    Shall we move on and put this all behind us now?

    Please?

  177. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see the paranoid Islamophobic bigot is still throwing his fuckwitted lies at the blog. Why it won’t move on is beyond the ken of intelligent people, and shows StevoR is an arrogant asshole who will impose himself where he shouldn’t be. A real party-crasher. Killfile turned back on. There is nothing but idiocy.

  178. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I have already addressed several of your false claims. You have in fact not answered my questions.

    From http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/30/thunderdome-17/comment-page-1/#comment-549954

    I’m asking for a reset here. Please.

    Fuck no. You’re still being a douche right now, with your racist shit like calling Japanese people honorary Westerners.

    About your constantly repeated cherry-picked

    They’re not cherry-picked. If they were, then you would be able to point out comments by yourself from the same time which somehow contradicted them.

    ancient comments of mine from many years ago and another blog; are you seriously expecting me to answer an equivalent of “Have you stopped beating your partner yet?”

    They’re not the equivalent. The problem with answering “no” to “have you stopped beating your partner yet” is that it suggests you are still beating your partner.
    What is the equivalent problem with answering “no” to “Do you acknowledge that you were a racist when you said that?” and “Do you acknowledge that it was a racist comment?”

    But I will rephrase my questions, since you’re complaining about them.

    I’ve stated that those are NO LONGER my views and pointed out what I got wrong there.

    That’s nice. It does not answer my current questions.
    +++++
    You have not dealt with the particular questions I am asking now. I am asking them for a reason. For each quote in this list, I am asking two questions: 1) were you a racist when you said it, and 2) was it a racist comment?

    +++++
    From http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/04/thunderdome-18/comment-page-1/#comment-554512

    @103. strange gods before me ॐ : You’ve had my answers to that already here :

    Nope. I checked your links again just to make sure. They address different questions than the ones I’m asking now. They do not contain any answers to the questions 1) were you a racist when you said it, and 2) was it a racist comment?

    SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements

    Nope; that’s not what cherry-picking means. If I was cherry-picking, then you would be able to point out comments by yourself from the same time which somehow contradicted them.

    I’m pretty sure you would have said things in the past that, in hindsight and after reflection, you now wish you hadn’t said. It would therefore be wrong to hold those past statements against you because you’ve rejcted those statements and grown and learnt.

    Nope, not necessarily. For instance, although my commitment to antiracism is apparent, it would never be wrong to ask me questions about the past like 1) were you a racist when you said it, and 2) was it a racist comment?
    Let’s see if you can answer the questions about one quote at a time.

    The left wing, liberals, […] kid themselves that […] “hyphenated Americans”* are good things, they kid themselves too on crime and immigration […]
    * Such as celebrating and getting Obama into power effecctively through the ultimate in “affirmative action.” […] isn’t anyone in the USA bothered by the fact that you have a half- & hyphenated-American in office as President rather than an all-American individual? (My issue her isn’t with Obama’s skin colour but his cultiral and personal identity & loyalty / patriotism / understanding of America.)

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

    +++++
    See also John Morales from http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/04/thunderdome-18/comment-page-1/#comment-554429

    No, I am not being bullied off this blog by a few fellow commenters who happen to dislike or and disagree with me. I’ve made that quite clear.

    Duh. Obviously you’re not being bullied off this blog! ;)
    But they don’t “happen to dislike or and disagree with [you]“, they actually have reasons they have articulated at length.
    As to what you have made quite clear, I think it’s that you are merely being recalcitrant about acknowledging your (supposedly past) racism.

    SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements made many years ago on another blog which I have long since dis-owned and rejected as opposed to the many more numerous and recent statements contradicting them is noted with,for example the last link.

    One can’t pick cherries that aren’t there.

    What you are doing against me here, strange gods before me ॐ, is unfair and wrong. Please stop it.

    Care to elucidate what you imagine is wrong with him quoting you and enquiring “Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?”

    Meh, I’m stubborn and I like it so I’m gonna continue with it.

    So being stubborn and liking something is a valid reason to continue to do something, in your opinion.
    (Does that only apply to you, or can other people justify themselves thus?)

  179. strange gods before me ॐ says

    StevoR,

    If they keep making things nasty (&/or boring) for other readers here, well that’s their choice too. I suggest they let PZ and Chris Clarke run this blog as they choose just as PZ and Chris Clarke (& I) would happily let them run their blogs as they choose.

    Chris has already told you to stop invoking him like this:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/04/thunderdome-18/comment-page-1/#comment-554418

    I suggest they let PZ and Chris Clarke run this blog as they choose just as PZ and Chris Clarke (& I) would happily let them run their blogs as they choose.

    I am getting really fucking tired of you using me as cover for your obnoxious idiocy, StevoR.

    You should apologize to him and stop doing it. And then you should leave.

  180. Beatrice says

    I’m impressed how “In only post racist shit when drunk” and “I never ever posted racist shit” and “I may have posted racist shit some loooon time ago” can all simultaneously be true. Truly impressive.

  181. strange gods before me ॐ says

    StevoR,

    SGBM you have also admitted here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/26/thunderdome-16/comment-page-2/#comment-548853

    (comment #771. 29th January 2013 at 8:20 am) that you are asking those questions mainly for the purpose of seeking ammunition to use in some future argument you’ve already devised against me and are thus not sincerely seeking answers but are rather arguing in bad faith.

    Ah, no. That’s a false dichotomy. It is both.

    I am sincerely seeking answers because I am dissecting your mind, and I want to know whether my hypotheses are correct.

    I am also asking because I have prepared a new argument depending upon your answers. Rhetorically, it is really of no concern to me whether or not you answer. If you neglect to answer, I repeat the question and thereby remind everyone what a terrible person you are. Win-win.

    But simply as a matter of curiosity, I do sincerely look forward to learning the answer. If you would cooperate with my dissection of you, I might learn how to prevent others from ending up like you. It is a small possibility, but nonzero.

    So I ask you,

    [In response to the question, And what the hell is an “all-American individual” anyway?]
    An American individual – United States thereof – who is born and raised in the USA, […] doesn’t have divided loyalties or define herself / himself as some qualified, hyphenated part-American identity eg. African-American, Arab-American, heck even Irish American but is instead purely un-hyphenated-ly American.

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

  182. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    “Race” is pseudo-biology; a nonsense idea misidentifying humanity as divided into variant sub-species. Wrong. We are all humans and the differences between us matter not at all.

    Values & cultures (eg. Western / Islamic / Communist) are something very different about how people think.

    The former (“race”) is supposedly innate and unchangeable derived by birth & DNA and not a matter of personal choice, the latter (culture /religion/ideology) is very much a matter of choice and intellectual capacity to imagine, understand and shift from one way of thinking and viewing the world around one into another potentially much better one.

    Really, for all the bright people on this blog, what is quite so hard to comprehend about this key distinction?

    Why do so many of you seemingly think that a way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon is equally valid as a way of thinking that says its okay to chuck acid in women’s faces, mutilate their genitals and silence them thuggishly, stop them even flippin’ driving or travelling outside unaccompanied plus much more and impose all the cruelties and brutalities of shariah law on everyone else on the planet in theory if not practice?

    I really, really do NOT understand this or why so many on the progressive, atheist, secular Left fail to comprehend this and are so sympathetic towards Islam and Muslims generally.

    Do y’all hate your culture that’s given you the lives and benefits y’all (mostly yeah?) have *that* much? Why?!?

    On which note, I’m taking my dog for a walk and hitting the sack. Catch y’all later in a day or so. Over and out.

  183. says

    @ cm’s

    [video]

    :DDD {haz happy}

    I liked that bit at about 0:46 to 0:47 most of all.

    @ StevoR
    When are you going to get over yourself and thank SGMB for all the hard work he has put into helping you? Then go do the exercises he has set in order for you to understand and come to grips with your (not his!) problem.

  184. ChasCPeterson says

    your scared cows

    Meme!!
    (I’ll also note that Stevo wrote the only sentence I’ve ever seen to employ both ‘whilst’ and ‘y’all’.)

    “Race” is pseudo-biology; a nonsense idea misidentifying humanity as divided into variant sub-species.

    Arguable from a biological/genetic standpoint, but (fortunately) also irrelevant. Whatever the biological basis of racial concepts they do exist empirically as socially-constructed categories that have very real consequences. My point: you do not have to buy into the traditional anthropological-typological concept of Race to be a racist, nor to make racist statements. Can you grok that, Stevo?

  185. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    *snort* My ancestors are mentioned in the Domesday Book. – Esteleth

    Given the habits of medieval aristocrats, so are mine, almost certainly – I just don’t know which ones!

  186. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    you do not have to buy into the traditional anthropological-typological concept of Race to be a racist, nor to make racist statements. ChasCPeterson

    QFT. Racism preceded the invention of the 19th century biological concept of race; the justifications for it then were religious andor openly commercial; then they became pseudoscientific; increasingly, as with StevoR, they are pseudo-secularist and pseudo-feminist, pretending not to consider race at all while still functioning as a justification for denigrating large numbers of mostly dark-skinned people simply for where and to whom they were born: “Muslims generally”.

  187. anteprepro says

    Why do so many of you seemingly think that a way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon is equally valid as a way of thinking that says its okay to chuck acid in women’s faces, mutilate their genitals and silence them thuggishly, stop them even flippin’ driving or travelling outside unaccompanied plus much more and impose all the cruelties and brutalities of shariah law on everyone else on the planet in theory if not practice?

    StevOR’s talking points and myopia haven’t budged an inch. He is just as intent on focusing exclusively on the good in non-Muslims, just as intent on focusing on the bad in Muslims, just as reliant on the same emotional, visceral cases and buzz words. StevOR has defended by himself by claiming he was drunk. By saying that he has disowned his previous statements. By saying he said them Oh So Long Ago. And yet here is, plopping down gobs of the same obviously prejudiced bullshit. Here is displaying exactly how he confirmation biased his way into the Islamophobia he claims was just a figment of our imaginations. Sorry, StevOR. Your attempt to fit yourself down the memory hole hasn’t worked, apparently.

  188. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Posted here instead of the sign-on thread.

    Would you give Islam some special sort of immunity to that general principle or something? Do you want to make an exception for Islam there, Nerd of Redhead?

    Funny how paranoid bigots can’t understand the difference between being realisticly indifferent versus hating.

    Intelligent people will make their own decision to leave Islam, and do, just as many Xians are making the decision for themselves at the moment. I’m all for them leaving on their own. But, there is a huge difference between leaving on their own, or being told to leave a religion or you home becomes a target for any type of bomb up to a thermonuclear device. The latter is utterly hateful, bigoted, and demented. I will have no part of such hatred.

  189. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Ian Cromwell agrees with the quote:

    The fact that race is socially constructed does not mean it is not real. It means that it is not reducible to biological traits. Race is a very real idea and has real, tangible implications on peoples’ lives.

    Ian Cromwell says himself:

    that is NOT AT ALL the same thing as saying “race doesn’t exist” or “race isn’t real”. It’s REAL, it’s just not biological.

    DMHCO at Stormfront says:

    To be a racist, one has to hate another person only because of their race (or their race has to be a big contributing factor in their hate).

    If “race is just a social construct”, “there is no such thing as race”, “race is only skin color”, and/or “there is only one race, the human race” there cannot be racism as race doesn’t exist.

    So which is it?
    Either race exists and we’re “racists” or race doesn’t exist and we’re not “racists”.

    Who do you agree with, StevoR?

  190. says

    Tigger_the_Wing @ 125

    What kind of upbringing did he have that put those thoughts in his head?

    It’s only a guess, but I’d say an entirely normal one. While these thoughts are disturbing, I don’t think they’re unusual, except perhaps in degree. They’re entirely in line with our cultural norms, which of course is part of the problem. E.g.

    Society says that you have to have a lot of sex with a lot of different women to be a real man. Well, what happens if you don’t? They what are you?

    This is entirely true. The cultural image is that as a young man, you’re supposed to switch between two modes; single and getting laid often with random women you never meet again or in a relationship. The only alternative to that model is “loser”.
    Clearly this guy is highly frustrated with being, by cultural standards, a loser. Again:

    As a man you’re taught that men are more powerful than women, and that men always have the upper hand, and that it’s a man’s society … it just makes me hate beautiful women because they’re using their power over me

    There are two points here: To be a man means to have power and women have power over this guy. The conclusion is that the mere presence of a woman is emasculating to him. This bit struck me in particular:

    I also feel dehumanized, because when I’m being teased I just turn off, I cease to be human. Because if I go with my human emotions I’m going to want to put my arms around her and kiss her, and to do that would be unacceptable. I don’t like the feeling that I’m supposed to stand there and take it, and not be able to hug her or kiss her; so I just turn off my emotions. It’s a feeling of humiliation, because the woman has forced me to turn off my feelings and react in a way that I really don’t want to.

    He feels his desire as a loss of control and he has equated being in control with masculinity. Ergo, he is incapable of feeling healthy desire. The only kind of desire that is compatible with his view of proper masculine identity is one where the object of his desire submits to his control. This is also directly in line with his description of dating mechanics:

    I’ve been taught that if you’re not aggressive with a woman, then you’ve blown it. She’s not going to jump on you, so you’ve got to jump on her. I’ve heard all kinds of stories where the woman says, ‘No! No! No!’ and they end up making great love

    All this feeds into his growing frustration. He is told that to be a real man, you have to have money, power and women. He has none of these things and even his desire to attain them becomes an illustration of his failure. His reaction:

    In this society, if you ever sit down and realize how manipulated you really are it makes you pissed off– it makes you want to take control.

    Which is where the rape fantasy comes in. He simply sees no other way to be in control; to have power; to be “a real man”. This toxic culture also uses women to manipulate him further, something he’s clearly aware of, despite not quite making that last connection. He ends up focusing his frustrations on women and never seems to question the cultural catch-22 that has lead to this situation. On several occasions it seems like he’s almost about to get it… but then he defaults back to blaming women instead.
    He reads to me as someone who’s awfully conflicted and in dire need of some therapy.

    What’s really disturbing about all this is that there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s having a perfectly natural reaction to being steeped in this culture and having this highly disturbing view of what it means to be a man. He has effectively assimilated the cultural model, is drawing perfectly reasonable conclusions from those premises, and has entirely normal emotional reactions as a result. To the degree that he’s “crazy”, it’s only because he’s being driven crazy by a toxic social environment.
    Of course, that doesn’t make it any less problematic, nor does it make him any less dangerous. What is means is that the intervention has to come in form of breaking down this view of masculinity and replacing it with a more healthy one, both for him and for our culture as a whole.

  191. Beatrice says

    *stuffs a giant chocolate chip cookie in the USB port*

    Er, be careful to clean out all the crumbs. Wouldn’t want any stray crumbs to ruin some nice drink or whatever gets sent through the tubes next.

  192. says

    I find it ever so headdesk inducing ‘funny’ that StevoR (oooh look, I did it) thinks he gets to dismiss race, despite the very real influence of race on people around the world. Moreover, because of his privilege he never has to worry about any of the concerns of African-Americans* or Muslims. He gets to continue asserting “there is no such thing as race”, with his fingers in his ears. In pretending race doesn’t exist, he diminishes the struggles racial minorities have faced. It’s almost like their concerns are without merit. Like maybe they didn’t have it that bad. Minimizing the impact of racism-in the face of very real racist actions-is itself racist. But then, the fuckwit would have to leave his ivory tower of privilege and venture down here with us regular folk to grok that.

    *I am sure racist asshat extraordinaire didn’t even read the wikipedia link I provided that explained why African-American is a term preferred by black Americans (hint: it has to do with them picking a descriptive term for themselves; one with a nod to geographical ancestry rather than race; it is important for marginalized people to have the agency to determine how they express themselves, but StevoR thinks he has the right to decide for minorities how they should be referred to…by FSM I despise him even more than I had after typing all that)

  193. says

    I wonder if my “priorities” are divided since I am a queer male of color who is an American…
    Queer-American
    Cis-American
    POC-American
    Whoa, I am truly divided in my loyalties. I guess I am not a true American. At least according to the asshat, who says people shouldn’t define themselves by geographical ancestry. But, oh wait, I do not give three shits was he has to say on anything, and would be ever so delighted to never see his nym again.

  194. says

    The fact that race is socially constructed does not mean it is not real.

    This just made me think of an analogy. Laws are a social construct. I don’t think you’re going to find many people arguing that laws aren’t real, though.
    LykeX

    He’s having a perfectly natural reaction to being steeped in this culture and having this highly disturbing view of what it means to be a man. He has effectively assimilated the cultural model, is drawing perfectly reasonable conclusions from those premises, and has entirely normal emotional reactions as a result. To the degree that he’s “crazy”, it’s only because he’s being driven crazy by a toxic social environment.

    This is really the case for a whole lot of deeply toxic and totally irrational behaviors; looked at in the context they occur, they’re actually completely rational, it’s just that the context is horrific and often includes a fair quantity of false information.

  195. says

    Dalillama:

    This is really the case for a whole lot of deeply toxic and totally irrational behaviors; looked at in the context they occur, they’re actually completely rational, it’s just that the context is horrific and often includes a fair quantity of false information.

    Yep. And Guyland addresses this well. The traditional construct of masculinity is alive and well, but it’s become much more toxic because guys are accepting the more toxic version from peers who are only a year or two older.

    AAAA – these brought to you by Amelia.

  196. Ze Madmax says

    StevoR @ #245

    Why do so many of you seemingly think that a way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon is equally valid as a way of thinking that says its okay to chuck acid in women’s faces, mutilate their genitals and silence them thuggishly, stop them even flippin’ driving or travelling outside unaccompanied plus much more and impose all the cruelties and brutalities of shariah law on everyone else on the planet in theory if not practice?

    Because the “way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon” also led to the Holocaust, the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments, the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden, the My Lai massacre, Operation Condor, the Abu Ghraib scandal, among others. But for some reason, you present Western Civilization as some sort of wonderful happyland made up of candy, unicorns and industrial-strength historical revisionism.

  197. stevenbrown says

    <rant>
    I’ve stopped using facebook recently, except for the occasional check to see if anyone messaged me, simply because of people failing to read things. It was literally causing my blood pressure to rise almost every time I looked at the damn thing.

    Is it so hard to read something, check your biases and preconceptions, read it again maybe, and then actually respond to what a person said? I know I don’t live up to this every time but I fucking try and when I point out to people that they’re not being fair to someone by setting up a strawman argument suddenly I’m the bad guy? Fuck you.
    </rant>

  198. Ze Madmax says

    carlie @ #266

    Better not tell SteveoR where math came from.

    Honorary Westerners living in the Caliphate?

  199. Amphiox says

    Why do so many of you seemingly think that a way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon is equally valid as a way of thinking that says its okay to chuck acid in women’s faces, mutilate their genitals and silence them thuggishly

    StupidRacist comes up with yet another pathetic intellectually dishonest false dichotomy.

    Without the Islamic contributions to the advance of mathematics, among other things, we would never have gotten to the Moon.

    For that matter, without the rocketry advances pioneered by Nazi Germany, we would never have gotten to the moon.

    There is no single “way of thinking” that got us to the moon.

    And of course, as has been evident in the running discussions on THIS VERY THREAD, what the StupidRacist likes to call the “western” way of thinking ALSO includes portions that say it is ok to thuggishly silence women and mutilate their genitals, and commandeer the use of their bodies against their will.

    The level of intellectual dishonesty on display here by the StupidRacist is well in excess of that demonstrated by several banned creationist trolls.

    Utterly pathetic.

  200. Beatrice says

    carlie,

    You evil woman. You know we will now have it explained to us that only math after Europeans took it in hand counts, with maybe some of that old Greek stuff worth a bit.

  201. carlie says

    Oh, look at this. Think joey is still reading?

    Why gender equity stalled (boldface mine)

    Eighty percent of the women and 70 percent of the men Ms. Gerson interviewed said they wanted an egalitarian relationship that allowed them to share breadwinning and family care. But when asked what they would do if this was not possible, they described a variety of “fallback” positions. While most of the women wanted to continue paid employment, the majority of men said that if they could not achieve their egalitarian ideal they expected their partner to assume primary responsibility for parenting so they could focus on work.

    And that is how it usually works out. When family and work obligations collide, mothers remain much more likely than fathers to cut back or drop out of work. But unlike the situation in the 1960s, this is not because most people believe this is the preferable order of things. Rather, it is often a reasonable response to the fact that our political and economic institutions lag way behind our personal ideals.

    Women are still paid less than men at every educational level and in every job category. They are less likely than men to hold jobs that offer flexibility or family-friendly benefits. When they become mothers, they face more scrutiny and prejudice on the job than fathers do.

    So, especially when women are married to men who work long hours, it often seems to both partners that they have no choice. Female professionals are twice as likely to quit work as other married mothers when their husbands work 50 hours or more a week and more than three times more likely to quit when their husbands work 60 hours or more.

    The sociologist Pamela Stone studied a group of mothers who had made these decisions. Typically, she found, they phrased their decision in terms of a preference. But when they explained their “decision-making process,” it became clear that most had made the “choice” to quit work only as a last resort — when they could not get the flexible hours or part-time work they wanted, when their husbands would not or could not cut back their hours, and when they began to feel that their employers were hostile to their concerns. Under those conditions, Professor Stone notes, what was really a workplace problem for families became a private problem for women.

    This is where the political gets really personal. When people are forced to behave in ways that contradict their ideals, they often undergo what sociologists call a “values stretch” — watering down their original expectations and goals to accommodate the things they have to do to get by. This behavior is especially likely if holding on to the original values would exacerbate tensions in the relationships they depend on.

  202. Amphiox says

    Granted, I am not personally aware of any aspect of the “western” way of thinking that talks about chucking acid in women’s faces. They use bullets instead.

  203. stevenbrown says

    @carlie It’s interesting that my mother, who homeschooled me and my siblings, has encountered a very different response here in New Zealand. She has put up with people treating her like some kind of lesser person because she chose to spend her time providing education to her children without any kind of compensation.

    Please note that I’m not suggesting that the reason it’s my mother who was out of paid work rather than my father is not in a large part down to social norms and pressures. Clearly if it had been the other way around my father would have faced a far higher level of disrespect about his choice of occupation.

  204. says

    Amphiox:

    likes to call the “western” way of thinking ALSO includes portions that say it is ok to thuggishly silence women and mutilate their genitals

    Indeed. StevoRacist was apparently oblivious to the excerpt of Misogyny I recently typed out, a graphic description of a clitoridectomy performed on a 9 year old girl. The excerpt was from the British Medical Journal in 1867. It was performed with a hot iron. Not reading for the faint of heart. It was hardly unusual for “enlightened Westerners” to indulge in a fair amount of brutal, unthinkable female genital mutilation. After all, if girls and women were paying attention to those pesky clitorises, they sure as hell weren’t focusing on their one and only function – breeding.

  205. says

    Amphiox:

    Granted, I am not personally aware of any aspect of the “western” way of thinking that talks about chucking acid in women’s faces.

    Unless some “western” guy is making a joke about Ophelia Benson. And while it’s not terribly common in the West, acid throwing is not unknown, either. Some men feel that’s a much better revenge than just murdering someone.

  206. vaiyt says

    Look, it’s our favorite racist scumbag! Hello, StevoR!

    “Race” is pseudo-biology; a nonsense idea misidentifying humanity as divided into variant sub-species. Wrong. We are all humans and the differences between us matter not at all.

    Except for those towelheads who we should nuke before they kill our babies in our sleep, right?

    The former (“race”) is supposedly innate and unchangeable derived by birth & DNA and not a matter of personal choice, the latter (culture /religion/ideology) is very much a matter of choice and intellectual capacity to imagine, understand and shift from one way of thinking and viewing the world around one into another potentially much better one.

    Really, for all the bright people on this blog, what is quite so hard to comprehend about this key distinction?

    I find it funny that you have the gall to talk about distinguishing between race and culture while equating Muslims with Arabs and Middle-Easterns.

    Why do so many of you seemingly think that a way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon is equally valid as a way of thinking that says its okay to chuck acid in women’s faces, mutilate their genitals and silence them thuggishly, stop them even flippin’ driving or travelling outside unaccompanied plus much more and impose all the cruelties and brutalities of shariah law on everyone else on the planet in theory if not practice?

    Because that “way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon” only exists in your fucking imagination. You try to associate progressive values, democracy and development with “Western-ness”, a position even you can’t make sense of.

    You’re the prime example of the Western cultural disease – you think all kinds of cruelty and brutality are okay as long as the targets are different from us. Then you turn around and chide the different people from being cruel and brutal. Hypocrite.

    I really, really do NOT understand this or why so many on the progressive, atheist, secular Left fail to comprehend this and are so sympathetic towards Islam and Muslims generally.

    The reason is simple: we can see through the dogwhistles of racist scumbags like you. Somebody who’s actually worried about the evil spread by Islam does not advocate deconversion-or-genocide in the Middle East as a solution, and does not try to weasel “Western” as synonym for “superior/enlightened/progressive”. Your agenda is transparent.

    Do y’all hate your culture that’s given you the lives and benefits y’all (mostly yeah?) have *that* much? Why?!?

    “Mostly”? Not even close. For the ones who aren’t rich, white, male or heterosexual, our culture has “given” jack shit. What they got so far was thanks to a lot of fighting, suffering and running against the current, exactly like everywhere else.

  207. Beatrice says

    Sally Strange,

    It’s an anagram for “Doctor Who.”

    I never noticed that. /embarrassed

  208. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes. It’s an anagram for “Doctor Who.”

    So very British crossword puzzle.

  209. says

    StevoR @ 231

    Melanin enriched is a biological description of those whose skin has more not less of that substance.

    No, it’s not. It’s a description of someone who has more melanin than the norm. Enriched implies something being added to something else. That’s where the racist undertones come in; the assumption of white as normal and black as a modification of the norm.
    This is not rampant KKK-style racism, but it certainly is a racial prejudice and you shouldn’t be surprised that people react to it.

    Western values applies to anyone who holds those admittedly somewhat vague set of basic concepts synonymous with the Free World. Democracy, secular government & society, pro-science, nothing to do with “race” at all.

    Then why the term “western”? By associating it with the western world, you’re also associating it with caucasian people. It carries the implication that other people need to assimilate the culture of white skinned people in order to be truly civilized. Whether you intended that implication is completely irrelevant.
    No, you can’t use a historical argument, since many of the qualities you mention are also tied historically to cultures outside the western. E.g. we’ve previously been over the contributions of Arab culture to the development of the scientific method.
    Also, western culture has historically been deeply infested with the very antitheses of these qualities. E.g. several European countries are still monarchies and have state churches. The United States is currently engaged in a fight over whether democracy is really a good idea at all, with one of the two parties actively trying to prevent people from voting.

    If what you’re really getting at is a culture of democracy, secularism and science, then the choice of “western” as a label is misleading, to put it mildly.

    Also, regarding the “honorary westerner” thing, two questions:
    1) was that in relation to the Japanese? I seem to recall that, but I’m not sure.
    2) Have you, StevoR, retracted or modified that comment. I haven’t followed all the discussions closely, so I want to make sure I’m not going over old ground.

  210. says

    Tony

    I wonder if my “priorities” are divided since I am a queer male of color who is an American…
    Queer-American
    Cis-American
    POC-American
    Whoa, I am truly divided in my loyalties. I guess I am not a true American. At least according to the asshat, who says people shouldn’t define themselves by geographical ancestry. But, oh wait, I do not give three shits was he has to say on anything, and would be ever so delighted to never see his nym again.

    How’s the weather in Queercisland?

  211. Amphiox says

    Western values applies to anyone who holds those admittedly somewhat vague set of basic concepts synonymous with the Free World. Democracy, secular government & society, pro-science, nothing to do with “race” at all.

    By choosing to call it “Western” values, the StupidRacist is the one who MAKES the connection with race. And THAT is why the StupidRacist is being racist. And continuing to do so despite being called out multiple times, in obstinate, willful ignorance is why the StupidRacist is stupid.

    These are PROGRESSIVE values, not “western”.

    And point of fact, large portions of the “western” world do not, in fact, share these values. A probably majority is NOT “pro-science”. A definite majority does NOT favor “secular government and society”. And it was not that long ago when a majority did NOT favor “democracy” either.

  212. Beatrice says

    Quiverfull …. “western” or not?
    Ultra-nationalism in Europe… “western” or not?

  213. stevenbrown says

    the latter (culture /religion/ideology) is very much a matter of choice and intellectual capacity to imagine, understand and shift from one way of thinking and viewing the world around one into another potentially much better one.

    I would argue that calling culture a matter of choice is a bit misleading. Yes you can change your thoughts, which is hard enough as I’ve found trying to alter my internal dialogue to remove sexist words from it, but culture shapes your very perception of the world. I’d say that switching to another culture might be far more difficult than you’re making it out to be.

    The beauty of science, which is what got us to the moon btw, is that it’s not a culture it’s a system which can be applied by anyone. They might not like the results but if they apply the system then it will provide the same results regardless of culture. (Yes, I’m assuming it’s applied perfectly without biases which is probably impossible but this is a hypothetical.)

  214. says

    Where does McBigot get off talking about “western values” as if they are set-in-stone values unique to Western civilization? The level of historical ignorance is mind-boggling. Also, equating the Western world with progressive values whilst simultaneously dismissing the concept of race has the effect of sweeping the fight for racial equality (and other struggles for equality) under the rug. Hey racial minorities in the Western world, did you know that our struggles for equality haven’t really happened? Yeah, it’s because of those Western values that only we possess (though we have been known to influence some of them inferior countries to the East). Oh, and lest we forget, those same Western values, combined with– ::tap those brown slippers together and repeat after me::– “there is no such thing as race/racism” means that the slaughter of all the Indians by the Europeans had no component of racial superiority.
    I wonder what other historical revisionist gems StevoR will shit out (and is he trying to compete with David Barton)?

  215. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    OMFSM StevoR is back. *Spits*.

    I have family members who identify as Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Protestant (various flavours), Muslim, agnostic and atheist. Who were born in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, the United States, Greece, Iran and South Korea.

    Which of those family members should I be nuking, again?

  216. Ichthyic says

    I’d say that switching to another culture might be far more difficult than you’re making it out to be.

    having done that very thing, no less than 4 times.

    yes, it’s very trying.

  217. Ichthyic says

    Well, I do have a first degree in developmental psychology and a doctorate in cognitive and computing sciences

    developmental psychology does not study the evolution of behavior. computing science even less so.

    the criticisms of evo psych are based on poor studies, not the foundation of the idea itself, which if you deny it, means you essentially deny selection EVER had anything to do with human behavior.

    that pretty much boils down to special pleading.

    very tired of it.

    you wanna criticize evo psych? fucking become a behavioral biologist, do some science, and publish in the related journals.

    that’s the best way to “fix” the problem.

    the way this endless sniping from the armchair goes on, it does nothing productive whatsoever, and instead just ends up detracting from the progress of any real science that goes on.

    I waded through all this crap when I was a grad student in animal behavior, and saw all the history of sniping against “sociobiology”, which, when it boils down to it, is really addressing the same issues as evo psych is.

    you make this shit a political hot potato, and guess what happens to the funding for it? It gets used as a hotbutton issue by politicians.

    this entire evo psych debate has done NOTHING productive to further scientific endeavor whatsoever, and actually has more likely caused damage, given the similarity of the arguments and attacks to those on sociobiology in the late 70s/early 80s.

  218. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    Tony, thank you. =^_^= Let’s always be optimists, yes?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ichthyic, all I (think that I) know (from experience) is that biological urges exist and that they can influence behaviour. I also (think that I) know that the behaviours expressed can be heavily influenced by culture/upbringing, and can even be suppressed altogether.

    I am prepared to learn that my (non-neurotypical, trandgender) brain has some preconditions hard-wired into it from genetic rather than intra-uterine, hormonal and/or culturally influenced developmental changes.

    As a layperson, how do I get to read good, scientific papers on evo psych and/or sociobiology? Those that aren’t massive generalisations about races or genders and/or ignore all the non-genetic influences on brain development?

  219. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    That should be ‘transgender’, sorry.

  220. consciousness razor says

    To be clear, you are saying one must have a background in Evo Psych to offer a criticism of it?

    Well, he said “behavioral biologist.” But I thought the issue was with understanding human psychology and behavior, not simply criticizing evo-pscyh specifically. Sociologists and the like can contribute in some respect, can’t they? Should we expect evolutionary psychologists to become sociologists too, or just to reduce their ignorance of those fields and try to work with them as much as possible, while doing their evo-psych research?

  221. cm's changeable moniker says

    Funniest chemistry paper I’ve read lately:

    A novel and straightforward synthesis of pseudoephedrine from
    readily available N-methylamphetamine is presented. This practical synthesis is expected to be a disruptive technology replacing the need to find an open pharmacy.

    Pseudoephedrine, active ingredient of Sudafed®, has long been the most popular nasal decongestant in the United States due to its effectiveness and relatively mild side effects. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to obtain psuedoephedine in many states because of its use as a precursor for the illegal drug N-methylamphetamine (also known under various names including crystal meth, meth, ice,
    etc.). While in the past many stores were able to sell pseudoephedrine, new laws in the United States have restricted sales to pharmacies, with the medicine kept behind the counter. The pharmacies require signatures and examination of government issued ID in order to purchase pseudoephedrine. Because the hours of availability of such pharmacies are often limited, it would be of great interest to have a simple synthesis of pseudoephedrine from reagents which can be more readily procured. A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material.

    http://heterodoxy.cc/meowdocs/pseudo/pseudosynth.pdf

    h/t:

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/02/noted-for-february-18-2013.html

  222. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    people criticizing EP should at least know something about cognitive psychology before they do so.

    none of you do, so shut the fuck up already. – Ichthyic

    Well, I do have a first degree in developmental psychology and a doctorate in cognitive and computing sciences

    developmental psychology does not study the evolution of behavior. computing science even less so.

    Nice piece of goalpost shifting, Ichthyic. Rather dishonest, too, to leave out what my remark was a response to. In both my first degree and my doctorate, I studied cognitive psychology, and although I have not published on evolution, I read a fair amount on the evolution of behaviour both for the latter, and during my postdoc modelling spider behaviour in the Zoology Department at Oxford. I’ve also read a couple of the key EP (in the sense of #9) texts (Barkow, Cosmides and Tooby, and David Buss’s Evolutionary Psychology, the New Science of the Mind), a key critique (David Buller’s Adapting Minds), and a good deal specifically on human cognitive and behavioural evolution, and on the evolution of cooperation.

    Now, what exactly are your qualifications for telling everyone to STFU?

    the criticisms of evo psych are based on poor studies, not the foundation of the idea itself, which if you deny it, means you essentially deny selection EVER had anything to do with human behavior.

    A glaring falsehood. See my #9.

    you wanna criticize evo psych? fucking become a behavioral biologist, do some science, and publish in the related journals.

    Since you can’t answer the criticisms, you try to discredit the critics the critics. I think there’s a term for that style of argument, but it escapes me.

  223. Have a Balloon says

    Point the first: It’s pretty disingenuous to deny that race is a thing and then talk about ‘Western’ vs. ‘Eastern’ when WE LIVE ON A GLOBE.

    Point the second.

  224. says

    Beatrice @243:
    Thanks for the link that shows how much StevoR has changed (he hasn’t):

    Or a couple of Daisy Cutter bombs maybe? Quick, effective and if most of the Gazans don’t know what’s hit them, arguably even the most relatively humane solution giving the extremely limited options? Drawn out agonising deaths and extended suffering versus instant nothingness?

    Gosh, he’s still talking about dropping bombs (and even uses “humane” in the process…HA) on entire populations, just to wipe out those people he doesn’t like (those ebil Muslims who are coming to get StevoR in Australia). I guess civilians mean nothing to our racist scumbag.

  225. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    Typical of a racist. When a white person commits a terrorist crime, the media and lawyers look into their upbringing and background, looking for individual circumstances that led to such a terrible outcome. When anyone else commits a terrorist crime, it’s all “Wipe out the entire culture!!!eleventyone!!!”

    They then say things like “Oh I’m not being racist! I don’t think race exists!”

    So, how are those daisy cutters going to selectively kill Muslims while leaving all those of other faiths (and none) intact, eh? Do daisy cutter bombs avoid doorways with lambs’ blood on the lintels, like the biblical avenging angels? Do they recognise religious symbols worn around the neck and thus ignore non-Muslims in the market place? Can they tell the difference between a White Muslim and a POC atheist? Will these astonishingly intelligent bombs be deployed in New York? London? Paris?

    Face it, StevoR; you have made racist comments and, when asked to explain, have accused everyone of misinterpreting your remarks unfavourably and defended yourself by making further racist remarks.

    That behaviour is the hallmark of a racist.

    If you are not ‘a’ racist, if you don’t think that your remarks are being fairly construed, then bloody well apologise for being so bloody unclear!.

    As long as you keep defending your racist remarks here (and you are right about one thing: we have no way of knowing what your meatspace persona is like. We are condemning your cyberspace one, which is racist) every reader here will continue to think of you as a racist. You are the only one who can correct that impression if it is wrong. So far, all you have done is confirm it.

  226. omnicrom says

    StevoR: If you REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want people to stop calling you a racist you need to stop acting like a racist. And you have consistently acted like a racist throughout these threads. If you REALLY want people to get off your back do the following:

    1) ADMIT YOU HAVE SAID RACIST THINGS. This is number 1 because the very first thing you need to do to stop being racist is stop denying you have said stupid racist things. If you recognize your own racism then and ONLY THEN can you actually work towards not being racist.

    2) Take a break and cut ties with your past. Maybe leave Pharyngula for a while, but even if you don’t avoid mentioning your history. Call on the reset rule and avoid bringing up your previous statements. After admitting to your previous racism cut ties with it and don’t look back. I’d suggest you avoid talking about Race in general for a long while anyways, you’ll only do yourself harm.

    3) STOP SAYING RACIST THINGS.

    Now naturally StevoR will deny that they have ever said anything racist, which of course is why their current slate of behavior will prevent them from ever being able to cut ties with their sordid love affair for racist genocide. That’s why it’s reason number 1 on the list after all.

  227. says

    Tigger:

    Face it, StevoR; you have made racist comments and, when asked to explain, have accused everyone of misinterpreting your remarks unfavourably and defended yourself by making further racist remarks.

    But to him, since race doesn’t exist, then neither does racism. Totes easy to excuse his bigotry while maintaining the illusion of being a civilized, progressive fellow, eh?

  228. says

    Omnicrom:
    As long as StevoR dismisses race and racism, he isn’t likely to understand *why* we see how racist he is. He needs to both become more self aware, and also listen to others. He is so wrapped up in his world view, that he is currently impervious to the plight of others (let’s drop Daisy Cutters on a bunch of innocent people). Hence his “race doesn’t exist”.

  229. omnicrom says

    I really have no hope that StevoR will change Tony. That person has their head firmly up their ass when it comes to their own racism.

    The central point of my post is that StevoR has to recognize they’re quite racist if they want an ounce of respect. Until then StevoR will receive the scorn and derision he’s owed as a racist.

  230. ChasCPeterson says

    You know that the last comment Stevo posted on this thread was like 15+ hours ago? If you don’t want threads to be about Stevo (*raises hand*) then quit fucking talking about Stevo all the time.

  231. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    I agree with Tony. We simply can’t let this slide (which is, no doubt, what he wants us to do). Why? Because it is important to show that we do not tolerate bigotry of any stripe and will call it out.

    Attitudes like StevoR’s poison the world for actual, living people. I wouldn’t like to go through a fraction of what my sister (who lives on Long Island) and her family have been put through since the terrorist attacks on the USA in 2001, simply for being a mixed-race family. It started days after the attacks; a woman in the adoption agency rang my sister and told her that they would no longer be able to adopt, being Muslims (after they had already gone through all the procedures, been accepted and were awaiting their son). Fortunately, my sister had contacts and was able to go over the woman’s head to find out she was lying – but that was extra stress she and her husband didn’t need. For years afterward, they were viewed with suspicion by people in authority. Theirs was always the family pulled out of line for ‘random security checks’ at airports. It got so bad for a while that they stopped going anywhere they couldn’t get to by driving.

    Every time StevoR comes out with his anti-Muslim nastiness, I remember another one of those events. I’m not going to let him get away with it.

  232. anteprepro says

    This just made me think of an analogy. Laws are a social construct. I don’t think you’re going to find many people arguing that laws aren’t real, though.

    Indeed. “Social construct” ultimately means “constructed by society”. Some people get the right impression from this: That it means it is real but malleable. Others get the wrong impression, and think “social construct” is the social science equivalent of shouting out “PHOTOSHOPPED!”.

    Because the “way of thinking that got Humans to the flippin’ Moon” also led to the Holocaust, the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments, the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden, the My Lai massacre, Operation Condor, the Abu Ghraib scandal, among others.

    But, you see, none of that involved acid in the face. Westerners win again!

    Honorary Westerners living in the Caliphate?

    I’m sure if StevoR squints hard enough through the mists of history, it will be as if they were really white non-Muslims all along.

    Which of those family members should I be nuking, again?

    Any of them that don’t love America hard enough. Bonus points if an angry, violent, and paranoid blowhard, picked off the streets based on the amount of flag paraphernalia they have displayed on their clothing/lawn/vehicle, thinks that family member is a “threat”. With “threat” being defined as *grumble**mumble**mumble*

    A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material.

    That’s just comedy gold!

    Gosh, he’s still talking about dropping bombs (and even uses “humane” in the process…HA) on entire populations, just to wipe out those people he doesn’t like (those ebil Muslims who are coming to get StevoR in Australia). I guess civilians mean nothing to our racist scumbag.

    It sickens and amuses me endlessly that those who are most insistent on how Muslims are so diabolical because of violent acts X, Y, and Z are perfectly willing to commit violent acts X, Y, and Z themselves, in order to fight against the diabolical Muslims. “Our enemy is a terrible sort of person, who will kill civilians and torture without remorse! They are so terrible, that we have no choice but to kill their civilians and torture them without remorse!”. And they won’t even so much as blink regarding the hypocrisy. Right-wing authoritarianism at its most vile.

    Now naturally StevoR will deny

    QMFT

    You know that the last comment Stevo posted on this thread was like 15+ hours ago? If you don’t want threads to be about Stevo (*raises hand*) then quit fucking talking about Stevo all the time.

    Honestly, this is Thunderdome. This is supposed to be the place where trolls live and where we do battle with them. If our talking about him lures him here, that is a good thing. It is where he belongs. If it doesn’t lure him in, then it is just regular ol’ troll bashing that will die out when StevoR is too cowardly to dive back in, and then we will go back to the usual bizarro-Lounge style while we wait for a live one to enter into the arena again. Besides, chewing StevoR out over his racism for the umpteenth time is better than having Sneering Contest over evolutionary psychology for the umpteenth time, in my opinion. But that might just be a matter of taste.

  233. mythbri says

    @Chas

    I get where you’re coming from. I’m tired of StevoR making it all about him all the time. But I also don’t think that his pity-party should go unchallenged, especially as he displays a remarkable ability to continuously Not Get It.

    @StevoR

    I try to follow Crommunist’s well-reasoned suggestion that it’s not useful to label someone as “a racist”, but instead focus on the ideas or arguments: “your idea is racist” or “that argument is racist” or “what you said was racist.”

    So let me make this very clear:

    A lot of the things you say are racist. A lot of your ideas are racist. A lot of your arguments, particularly those about the Middle East, are racist.

  234. Lofty says

    A lot of the things you say are racist. A lot of your ideas are racist. A lot of your arguments, particularly those about the Middle East, are racist.

    Seconded. with knobs on. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
    StevoR: Get a clue.

  235. John Morales says

    anteprepro:

    If it doesn’t lure him in, then it is just regular ol’ troll bashing that will die out when StevoR is too cowardly to dive back in, and then we will go back to the usual bizarro-Lounge style while we wait for a live one to enter into the arena again.

    No, this is one half of what was TET, and the Lounge is the other half*.

    (Might as well say the Lounge is bizarro-Thunderdome)

    * Dr. Jekyll couldn’t have done better!

  236. strange gods before me ॐ says

    and you are right about one thing: we have no way of knowing what your meatspace persona is like. We are condemning your cyberspace one, which is racist

    But that is a pretty good way of knowing what he’s like offline.

    StevoR isn’t a one-off trolling persona. He’s been StevoR for at least five years online. And around 2009 we can even watch him change from a left-winger into a right-winger, without inventing a new unconnected pseudonym as we’d expect him to do if he just wanted to “pretend to be a racist” all of a sudden.

    Even people who pretend to be economists on the internet probably enjoy chatting about economic policy offline, to the extent they are able.

  237. Ogvorbis: Now with Boltcutters! says

    omnicrom:

    I would add a number 4 to your list (if I may?):

    4. You (StevoR) keep quibbling over words, selecting partial definitions, and redefining concepts to show that what you have written is not racist.

  238. anteprepro says

    No, this is one half of what was TET, and the Lounge is the other half*.
    (Might as well say the Lounge is bizarro-Thunderdome)

    How is that relevant to what I said, exactly?

    (I’m aware that this isn’t Lounge. I was referring to the conversations here in the absence of trolls as Lounge-like. Also: The Lounge was originally the TET, but Thunderdome was originally the TZT. And siphoning off the in-fighting of the TET to the TZT hardly makes TZT/Thunderdome “half of what was TET”)

  239. ChasCPeterson says

    “social construct” is the social science equivalent of shouting out “PHOTOSHOPPED!”.

    *guffaw*

    this is Thunderdome.

    Yes, of course. An excellent point, the onlyu one necessary. (I’ll note that I would not have posted my little whine on any other thread either.)

    chewing StevoR out over his racism for the umpteenth time is better than having Sneering Contest over evolutionary psychology for the umpteenth time, in my opinion

    Ha! Point taken. (but it is, as you say, a matter of taste)

    people who pretend to be economists on the internet

    *guffaw*

  240. ChasCPeterson says

    I have opined on this before, but I regard the numbering of the Lounge threads as illegitimate. The Endless Thread definitely ended (gah! paradox! my braaaain!!). TET was many things to many people, and neither of the current Open Threads fulfills all of them. The short-lived TZT, on the other hand, was designed as a dedicated troll-sequestering arena*, but this is only a small part of how the Thundrerdome is used.
    Best to think of the Lonunge/TD instantiation as a clean break and a new start, in my very strongly held but of course pointless opinion.

    *I say ‘designed as’ because despite its explicit raisin date, de facto it was rather quickly overrun with bolshevik weather reports and microscopic members of the Panarthropoda.

  241. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Trigger warnings:

    Alain de Botton gives us a few more WTF moments to discuss.

    Involuntary physiological reactions such as the wetness of a vagina and the stiffness of a penis are emotionally so satisfying (which means, simultaneously, so erotic) because they signal a kind of approval that lies utterly beyond rational manipulation. Erections and lubrication simply cannot be effected by willpower and are therefore particularly true and honest indices of interest. In a world in which fake enthusiasms are rife, in which it is often hard to tell whether people really like us or whether they are being kind to us merely out of a sense of duty, the wet vagina and the stiff penis function as unambiguous agents of sincerity.

    Source: Psychology Today (naturally)

  242. glodson says

    Holy shit, that was… what the fuck is he thinking?

    From the article linked in 320

    Summary: if you would have found de Botton’s claims reassuring, or even just reasonable, take a little time to re-think some of those assumptions.

  243. says

    Rev:
    De Botton even shows up in the comments at the link to give a notpology for people reading his statements out of context. WTF?!
    All the context was given! The only thing missing from the portion you quoted is “How is sex the great lie detector?”
    http://m.psychologytoday.com/articles/201212/12-rude-revelations-about-sex

    De Botton, your words were not taken out of context. Your words perpetuate harmful ideas about sexual interactions. You should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

  244. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    perhaps he didn’t pray hard enough at his secular church…

    oh

    um

    or something like that

  245. Matt Penfold says

    You should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

    I don’t think De Botton does shame. He certainly has never shown any signs of shame before.

  246. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Holy fuck. So basically, he’s saying that body betrayal is not a thing? Jesus h. Christ.

  247. glodson says

    @ Tony

    Great comment. It seems that he’s blind to the issue, and that’s being charitable.

  248. mythbri says

    @Tony #328

    I agree with Beatrice – that was a good comment.

    I was thinking the other day about victim-blaming, inspired in part by the comments on one of Crommunist’s recent articles:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2013/02/15/new-required-reading-confessions-of-a-former-misogynist/

    The very first comment is from a person who later revealed himself to be one of those “I’m totes a feminist and I think it’s MORE dis-empowering to call women victims when they’ve been abused or raped, and the best way to stop it is for women to quit putting up with it” types.

    Erista and FossilFishy both had some great responses, as did others.

    So, about victim-blaming. We all know that it focuses on the actions of the victim instead of the perpetrator, which kind of reminds me about how people talk about animal attacks:

    “He should have known better than to go swimming in that water at that time of the morning.”

    “She should have known better than to get in between that bear and her cubs.”

    “He should have worn thick boots instead of tennis shoes – then that snake wouldn’t have been able to get to his skin.”

    All of these statements assume that the actions of the animal are inevitable consequences of the victim’s behavior – which is pretty true, since (as Kathleen O’Brien Willhelm was kind enough to point out) animals can’t talk. They’re not conscious actors – their actions are instinctive. They can’t be held to a human standard of behavior (which is why deer-crossing signs are for humans, and not for deer).

    In this sense, victim-blaming in cases of sexual assault and rape treat the perpetrator’s actions as inevitable. This has the dual effect of categorizing victims as failed humans AND de-humanizes the perpetrators by removing their agency. It’s very much a mentality of “Stimulant X provokes Action Y”, with the victims being entirely responsible for X. Action Y is perceived as a natural, instinctual response instead of an active choice by the perpetrator.

    “Rape as a force of nature”. No. “Force of society”, maybe. That’s what rape culture is all about.

  249. Beatrice says

    In another article about this (link), De Botton gives this explanation:

    I’m so sorry that so many people were offended by the lines published in Psychology Today. I’d like to assert that the lines were meant only in one very specific context: a loving consensual relationship. As soon as they are applied to a situation of rape, they become grotesque – which they were never intended to be. So I do apologise and share your concerns. It’s another example of the need to get the full story before delivering a verdict. If any of you would like to discuss the matter further, please feel free to contact me on twitter @alaindebotton

    Even if we take this for granted (and no, we can’t, since the context is not about “a loving consensual relationship” ), he is then claiming that rape in marriage is impossible. Seriously, he’s scum.

  250. glodson says

    From the fuckwit:

    Involuntary physiological reactions such as the wetness of a vagina and the stiffness of a penis are emotionally so satisfying (which means, simultaneously, so erotic) because they signal a kind of approval that lies utterly beyond rational manipulation.

    Or they are just the result of the stimulation of nerves, or I just woke up and need to go to the bathroom. I can’t speak for anyone else, of course, but I know that not all my arousal are signals of “a kind of approval that lies utterly beyond rational manipulation.”

    Unless I have an attraction to calculus that I was entirely unaware of.

  251. Beatrice says

    One may be in a consensual relationship, even in a loving consensual relationship, and still on one occasion be raped by his or her partner.

  252. glodson says

    Beatrice: And it does ruin his that spiel. Those involuntary reactions are supposed to be a kind of signal. And as noted, they aren’t. Even in trying to cover his ass, he still misses the point.

  253. thumper1990 says

    @John Morales, Janine and Vaiyt

    Ooh, I’ve been meaning to give Civilization a go. Which one would you reccommend? Bear in mind that I am the sort of spoiled young’un to whom graphics are as important as gameplay :) I was thinking IV, I like the idea of the Religion and Espionage elements, it sounds like they add a whole new dimension to the game.

  254. David Marjanović says

    Erections and lubrication simply cannot be effected by willpower and are therefore particularly true and honest indices of interest.

    Except for the fact that I don’t get erections in public. Does he???

    more evidence that whatever “human nature” turns out to be, it’s deeply weird, and has been so for a looong time

    Oh, have you noticed the horses? Having read the article, I’m reminded of the aśvamedhá, which was arguably even weirder… here’s a small glimpse of it from a linguistic perspective. That ritual has the dubious distinction of being the first that is documented to have been considered “obscene” by someone from the same culture (though admittedly 1000 years later).

  255. mythbri says

    @Beatrice

    Seriously. What decade is this guy from, that he thinks that rape cannot occur in ANY kind of relationship? Even “loving, consensual” ones? And this:

    It’s another example of the need to get the full story before delivering a verdict.

    Is more correctly understood as “No one understaaaaaaaaaands meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

  256. ChasCPeterson says

    The context was poorly supplied in that particular answer, but the whole rest of the interview is about consensual people in the privacy of their bedrooms etc. I think extension of his words to cases of sexual assault is, in fact, an uncharitable removal of (doubtless) intended and (arguably) provided context.
    But hey, keep on dogpilin’.

  257. Beatrice says

    glodson,

    Yeah, he doesn’t even notice how ridiculous it sounds. During rape = involuntary reaction X means nothing (or does he not know about body betrayal?). In a consensual situation=involuntary reaction X is more sincere than we are.

    It’s a fucking involuntary reaction. Note the “involuntary”.

  258. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Some of the old timers here should remember Barb. Among her obsessions was pointing at Dr Ben Carson as an example of scientist who reject Darwinian evolution. (Funny how he is a medical and not a biologist.)

    As it turns out (Sorry, I did not care enough to dig into the life story of Ben Carson), the wingnuts really love him.

  259. David Marjanović says

    Or they are just the result of the stimulation of nerves, or I just woke up and need to go to the bathroom.

    “Morning” wood happens several times every night, maybe to ensure adequate provision of oxygen. No stimulation is involved; and when you sleep enough, you don’t wake up with morning wood.

    Ooh, I’ve been meaning to give Civilization a go. Which one would you reccommend?

    All of them!!!

    Granted, I haven’t tried (or seen) I or V, but II through IV are fucking awesome. And while II obviously lacks a few good things that III and IV have, it also has a few that they lack…

    Unless I have an attraction to calculus that I was entirely unaware of.

    Morning wood after not having slept enough, while tired, and safely hidden behind a desk. And possibly wearing ill-fitting pants.

  260. Portia, who will be okay. says

    I know I shouldn’t have laughed at your comment, Tony, but the bit about the bed got me even after reading your comment here about your “genuine interest” in your bed. And bravo, sir, bravo. You are laudable as always.

  261. ChasCPeterson says

    the context is not about “a loving consensual relationship”

    um, sez who, you? I think the author is in a better position to judge the context he was talking about. And (imo) it’s there, if slightly implicit.

    he is then claiming that rape in marriage is impossible.

    What? Reading comprehension seems to go out the fucking window whenever the word ‘rape’ is in play.
    Does a relationship that includes rape meet the criteria of ‘loving and consensual’ to you? Does relationship = marriage? wtf?

  262. glodson says

    Beatrice:

    The only thing that will fix this is a retraction of the statement. Everything else is just a special pleading.

    David Marjanović:

    Ah, I didn’t know that. Learn something new everyday. That’s what I get for conflating my need to pee in the morning with the occasional stiffness. Still, I never find those moments emotionally satisfying, as per the quote.

  263. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Even granting you all of that, Chas (which I’m not willing to do), do you honestly not see how this passage is pretty likely to embolden any rapey-inclined readers? You always seem to give the benefit of the doubt against people who fight rape culture.

  264. Beatrice says

    Chas,

    In the first comment, I used marriage where I should have used relationship.

    What the fuck does the term “consensual relationship” even mean, then, other than “relationship one has entered into without being coerced or forced”?

    And yeah, people can rape someone they honestly believe they love, and certainly someone who loves them. They can have a perfect loving relationship right until one of them rapes the other.

  265. Portia, who will be okay. says

    I think de Botton is defining this down to a tautology, granting his modifications.
    If you consent to sex (Beatrice, you are right, what does consensual relationship mean? I’m being generous)
    and you feel loved and emotionally fulfilled
    and you are sexually aroused
    your genitals exhibit signs of arousal
    ERGO you desire sex because it is emotionally fulfilling.

    QEmfD

  266. says

    Re: de Botton’s “clarification” (courtesy of Beatrice’s #335):

    No. No no no no no fucking no.
    I just re-read the portion leading up to his rape enabler bullshit. Nowhere does that asshat mention that he is talking about a loving, consensual relationship. He gives some awful purple prose while discussing sexual activities (and was he being specific about ‘a man and a woman’? If so, way to exclude everyone who isn’t heterosexual).
    Also, even granting a loving, consensual relationship, getting hard or getting wet are not always indicators of this mythic ‘arousal beyond rationality’.

  267. Beatrice says

    I mean really, “…in which it is often hard to tell whether people really like us or whether they are being kind to us merely out of a sense of duty, the wet vagina and the stiff penis function as unambiguous agents of sincerity.”

    Yeah, it really takes being totally hysterical about rape to read this in a very bad way.

  268. Pteryxx says

    Chas #342, speaking as someone who was in fact raped DURING what was (up to then) a consensual encounter with a loved (so I thought) partner in the privacy of my own bedroom, go fuck your context.

  269. glodson says

    I am not seeing how any context makes this better. He is talking about involuntary arousal being indicative of a “a kind of approval that lies utterly beyond rational manipulation. Erections and lubrication simply cannot be effected by willpower and are therefore particularly true and honest indices of interest.” I don’t see a way to make this any better.

    These words send a message. The message can be devastating to a victim of sexual abuse or rape if they felt any kind of arousal. This unwanted arousal is psychologically damaging enough, and now there’s this. It is a thoughtless blundering. And it sends this idea to those who would abuse and rape, that if they see the reaction, it is a signal of approval.

    Even it it is just implicit, there’s no caveat about cases of rape or abuse. It doesn’t match up with reality, and it is just a poorly thought out idea. Maybe he was looking to be uplifting, but his thoughtlessness led him to write something objectionable, which is persists in defending.

  270. says

    OK, I’m reading the whole thing and I tell you, only do so if you’ve taken your blood pressure mediction.
    Such an amount of fucking bullshit, especially bullshit about fucking has hardly ever been written.

    Just to turn his “most charitable” interpretation around: does that mean that when women don’t get wet they’re faking it?

  271. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Ha, that’s true. A much more trivial damaging consequence of his views is that every person who ever thought they were unattractive due to a partner lacking an erection was right! Thanks de Botton!

  272. glodson says

    Tony

    *I wonder if the reverse is true- flaccid penis=insincere?

    Great. Now people suffering from erectile dysfunction are a bunch of fucking liars trapped in insincere relationships! Viagra doesn’t make you have an erection, it makes it so that you have a sincere and true acceptance of arousal for your partner!

  273. Pteryxx says

    …so anyone with lubrication problems or erectile dysfunction must be faking being interested in sex then? Gah… so much horrible to unpack.

  274. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Why am I feeling grateful that I never gave a shit about the idea of an atheist church.

  275. Pteryxx says

    or what everyone else said.

    A much more trivial damaging consequence of his views is that every person who ever thought they were unattractive due to a partner lacking an erection was right! Thanks de Botton!

    I wish that were always so trivial, but some rapists blame their inability to sustain erections on their victim, for being ugly or not acting submissive or enthusiastic enough.

  276. thumper1990 says

    @Mythbri #341

    What decade is this guy from, that he thinks that rape cannot occur in ANY kind of relationship? Even “loving, consensual” ones?

    In the interests of fairness, and regardless of what other bullshit this idiot may have come out with, a relationship in which rape is occurring does not fullfill my definition of “loving and consensual”.

  277. Beatrice says

    In case you couldn’t be bothered to read the whole thing, he also manages to get a bit misty eyed regarding religion:

    Only religions still take sex seriously, in the sense of properly respecting its power to turn us away from our priorities. Only religions see it as something potentially dangerous and needing to be guarded against. Perhaps only after killing many hours online at youporn.com can we appreciate that on this one point religions have got it right: Sex and sexual images can overwhelm our higher rational faculties with depressing ease. Religions are often mocked for being prudish, but they wouldn’t judge sex to be quite so bad if they didn’t also understand that it could be rather wonderful.

  278. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Oh, I forgot to say this, Barb is still running her blog. You can find her letter to Barack Obama there.

  279. mythbri says

    @Chas

    Given that “body betrayal” is a real and documented phenomenon, it’s absolutely NOT a stretch to apply his comments to rape and sexual assault.

  280. says

    Giliell:
    I am trying to read it all, but it is trying my patience. He makes some assumptions that I do not agree with.
    For instance, “uniforms inspire lust through their evocation of rule breaking”. Not for me. The guy I had fantastic sex with mentioned that he used to be in the Marines. I told him I would like him to wear his uniform if we hook up again. He said he’d be happy to. I do not desire to break any rules. It likely has more to do with power and dominance.

  281. mythbri says

    @thumper1990 #366

    In the interests of fairness, and regardless of what other bullshit this idiot may have come out with, a relationship in which rape is occurring does not fullfill my definition of “loving and consensual”.

    That’s the thing, thumper – whose definition is he using? That’s why I put those words in quotation marks. Many people would assume that married couples are in “loving, consensual” relationships, and yet clearly that is not universally the case. Appearances can also be deceiving – abuse can be well-disguised to people on the outside of the relationship.

    So while I agree with you that rape and assault do not fit the definition of a “loving and consensual” relationship that I would use, given de Botton’s remarks, I’m not sure what definition he is using.

  282. Pteryxx says

    In the interests of fairness, and regardless of what other bullshit this idiot may have come out with, a relationship in which rape is occurring does not fullfill my definition of “loving and consensual”.

    thumper: since I didn’t know much about consent nor did I realize I was being abused by my partner until more than a decade of abuse, at the time I was raped I absolutely would have told you I was in a loving and consensual relationship.

  283. thumper1990 says

    @Mythbri #371

    That’s the thing, thumper – whose definition is he using? That’s why I put those words in quotation marks. Many people would assume that married couples are in “loving, consensual” relationships, and yet clearly that is not universally the case. Appearances can also be deceiving – abuse can be well-disguised to people on the outside of the relationship.

    So while I agree with you that rape and assault do not fit the definition of a “loving and consensual” relationship that I would use, given de Botton’s remarks, I’m not sure what definition he is using.

    Ah, very good point. If he is merely defining “loving and consensual” as “married” then it is indeed entirely possible. I forget people sometimes arbitrarily redefine words; it’s a pet peeve of mine. For the record, I meant a relationship whcih fullfills the dictionary definition of those words regardless of the couple’s marital state.

  284. says

    Portia

    Ha, that’s true. A much more trivial damaging consequence of his views is that every person who ever thought they were unattractive due to a partner lacking an erection was right! Thanks de Botton!

    Hey, it gets even better when he later claimes that impotence is an achievement and sign of respect because you don’t want to force your lust on your partner…

    I’ll shut up here now and make it a proper blogpost…

  285. Portia, who will be okay. says

    A much more trivial damaging consequence of his views is that every person who ever thought they were unattractive due to a partner lacking an erection was right! Thanks de Botton!

    I wish that were always so trivial, but some rapists blame their inability to sustain erections on their victim, for being ugly or not acting submissive or enthusiastic enough.

    Good point. Yeesh…rape culture has so very many manifestations, it’s hard to keep up : (

  286. thumper1990 says

    @Pteryxx

    …Oh. I didn’t consider that. I’m sorry to hear that Pteryxx :(

    Did you think what he was doing was normal? I assume you didn’t enjoy it?

  287. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Hey, it gets even better when he later claimes that impotence is an achievement and sign of respect because you don’t want to force your lust on your partner…,

    Gawd, gross. How about we measure respectful non-coercion by…respectful non-coercion. If my partner has an erection and knows I’m not interested in sex at the time, the mere presence of his erection is not offensive to me. It’s his actions. Jesus. Another consequence of this logic is “Ugh, you, sitting over there, having an involuntary reaction and making no advances on me whatsoever, you’re so disrespectful!”

  288. thumper1990 says

    Oh Jesus, Pteryxx I am so sorry that was a horrendously insensitive question! Please, do not feel you have to answer that, it was completely thoughtless of me :( I am so sorry. I will try to engage brain in future.

  289. joey says

    From the Scientific morality post:

    I think reason and science are the only ways we can implement our goals effectively, and that we should be empirically assessing our progress and making changes as necessary in a rational way. But — and this is a huge exception — science is not sufficient. Scientists are flawed, and while you can use science to optimally reach a particular goal, setting that goal in the first place is not determinable by scientific methods.

    As a non-atheist, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised stumbling upon this post. Good stuff.

    Pretend that there actually was a class of “undesirables,” people destined to be rotten wastrels who would increasingly drain society of its worth (further, suppose they are the poor rather than, say, investment bankers). You could legitimately argue that Galton’s solution is a good one. Wouldn’t that be a dilemma for all us godless liberals; we’d have a logical solution to a real problem, that would require a most illiberal course of action to reach an advantage for our country.

    So, how exactly do we escape from such a dilemma, other than hoping that the personal preferences of the majority say that we shouldn’t eliminate the “undesirables”?

  290. thumper1990 says

    Oh fuck, I really have to log off now and can’t wait around for a reply, but Pteryxx, I just want to reiterate how sorry I am for that horrendously insensitive question.

  291. Pteryxx says

    thumper: I appreciate that, and I may answer it but not right this moment, y’ understand.

  292. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So, how exactly do we escape from such a dilemma, other than hoping that the personal preferences of the majority say that we shouldn’t eliminate the “undesirables”?

    Where do you get “we” presuppositional godbot? All you have, if you were honest, is the prejudices of of the people who wrote your holy book years ago. It isn’t the word of your unevidenced and imaginary deity. I would say you have to better define your own “morality”, such as it is. Read your babble. I wouldn’t want to pretend that it is a book of morality.

  293. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Chas […] You always seem to give the benefit of the doubt against people who fight rape culture.

    Not true.

  294. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Chas […] You always seem to give the benefit of the doubt against people who fight rape culture.

    Not true.

    I suppose “seem” is the operative word in my statement. I acknowledge that I don’t know everything he has ever said, and that he may at times express sympathy to the anti-rape culture arguments. That doesn’t change the fact that so often in these discussions, he pops up to say “But you all just misunderstand/mischaracterize/take out of context!! It’s not rape enabling, it’s subtle logic.”

    In the interest of not misrepresenting Chas (which I suspect is your goal here) I concede the point that he does not always defend rape enabling. Just often enough that it’s fucking obnoxious.

  295. says

    Rev @382:

    Argh! I am pissed off now.
    Why did I read the comments??
    Homophobia: alive and well in 2013.
    Yes, the magazine can refuse any ad. From a human rights perspective they were completely in the wrong to do so. I wonder how many apologists would crawl out of the woodwork if she gave them a photo with an interracial couple…

  296. thumper1990 says

    @Pteryxx #381

    Hi, I just got home and nipped back on to see if you replied. Yes of course that’s fine, it’s more than I deserve. I was finishing something off at work and rushed off a reply without thinking. I am an idiot and I am very, very sorry. Thanks for being so understanding.

    I just want to apologise to anyone else I may have upset with that stupid, thoughtless, inconsiderate comment.

    Now I’m going to say goodnight to everyone and go be angry at myself for a while.

  297. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Also #225, #69.

    I suppose “seem” is the operative word in my statement.

    Mm. Some people say it’s a weasel word.

  298. Portia, who will be okay. says

    I acknowledged that my assertion was (and could only be, no?) based on my perceptions and experiences. I have incorporated your examples and adjusted my assertion accordingly. I am only slightly less annoyed at Chas’s comments. What is your goal now? To make me less annoyed? To get me to be unequivocal?

  299. glodson says

    @Tony

    The comments are always the worst. I do like the ones trying to dismiss it as simply a publicity stunt. Even if the photo was selected for that purpose, it was the rejection of the photo that fueled the publicity. The issue comes back to homophobia and the fear of losing out on readers because of one ad featuring a same sex couple.

  300. strange gods before me ॐ says

    What is your goal now?

    I dislike 1) the practice of making sweeping false claims about certain people who are considered fair game, and 2) defenses of sweeping false claims that fall back on intellectual laziness like “that’s my perception” when evidence is available that would inform a more fairness-oriented perception.

    Having contested the first, my goal is also to contest the second.

    To get me to be unequivocal?

    That would be a bonus, but my goal is to say what I feel morally obliged to say.

  301. says

    glodson:
    I also love how the commenters assume everyone in the South is a homophobic bigot. Those who buy that magazine are likely to have diverse backgrounds. Some might be turned off by the photo, while others might applaud its inclusion. Still others might think nothing of it.

  302. glodson says

    @ Tony.

    Yea, I know. I know the South gets a bad wrap, and often deservedly so. But not everyone is like that, and it is changing in the same direction as the rest of the country. Yes, many down here are backwards bigots, but I’ve noticed that more and more are for gay rights.

    All the comments dismissing the story, or the South, run in that same vein of “don’t talk about this issue!”

  303. ChasCPeterson says

    jeez with the rhetoric.
    “rape-enabling“?
    I’m sorry, I can’t think of any response to that but ‘fuck you’.
    Also, to imply that I am some sort of a friend to rape culture? fuck you.
    And this because I suggested there was a more charitable way to read something?
    I mean, the PaulW thing recently was at least in response to PaulW saying stuff about rape. In this case, as I read the (whole) piece, the context is clearly about intimate communication between intimate and (my inference?) consensual adults. He never mentions sexual assault in any way. But people here take an excerpt and hammer the guy because it is (or would be) offensively wrong and insensitive if applied literally to the specific context of sexual assault (and less offensively wrong in the contexts of sleeping. or perspiring or whatever). But none of that was what he was talking about (indeed, he did not in fact talk about it). He responds with the oblivious-pompous-twit version of ‘gah! I wasn’t talking about rape!!’ but people keep hammering him anyway.

    I’m just calling this one as I see it, as always. And as I see this one, a blinkered refusal to read charitably has escalated into some really offensive accusations. To the extent that some of them were aimed at me: fuck you.

  304. says

    joey @ 379

    As a non-atheist, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised stumbling upon this post. Good stuff.

    Just to be clear, you do understand that this lends no support whatsoever to any kind of theism or supernaturalism, right? Nor does it in any way imply that religion is required for moral decision-making or indeed that religion is a good method for coming to moral conclusions.
    Not making any assumptions about you, but we get a lot of low-quality trolls here, so I want to be sure we’re on the same page.

    So, how exactly do we escape from such a dilemma, other than hoping that the personal preferences of the majority say that we shouldn’t eliminate the “undesirables”?

    Well, as PZ writes, the first step would be to make sure that there actually is a dilemma at all and it’s not simply a perception produced by our personal prejudices. If such a dilemma really existed, the possible results would be:
    1) Do nothing and society collapses under the weight of a growing group of “undesirables”
    2) Implement the plan to limit the number of undesirables, accepting the limitations of civil rights that inevitably follow

    Neither of those are really acceptable to me. I suppose you could make an argument that eliminating the undesirables only violates their civil rights while a complete societal collapse will effectively remove the civil rights of everyone. Lesser evil and all that.
    On the other hand, you might argue that any society that’s willing to take that step is doomed for failure anyway. Maybe it’s better to go through a period of collapse and rebuilding.

    As I see it, the whole point is not to think about this dilemma. After all, there’s no such thing as a genetic class of undesirables that can so easily be gotten rid of. The point is to think about how we reach moral conclusions and to point out that while facts are required to make proper decisions, they don’t in and of themselves lead to the right decision, at least not in all situations.
    At least, that’s what I took away from it.

  305. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Good apology from Weddings Unveiled though. That’s rare.

    Yep. I thought so too.

  306. says

    Chas

    And this because I suggested there was a more charitable way to read something?

    In this case, as I read the (whole) piece, the context is clearly about intimate communication between intimate and (my inference?) consensual adults. He never mentions sexual assault in any way.

    See, that’s the problem:
    He talks in absolutes. He would still be wrong if he explicitely said “in the context of consenting adults”, but that’s an aside.
    How does:

    Erections and lubrication simply cannot be effected by willpower and are therefore particularly true and honest indices of interest.

    leave room for the experience of body-betrayal rape victims feel? Or is rape magically different so that while you can’t get pregnant from legitimate rape you can still get a boner or even an orgasmus? And then it’s just a physical reaction of your body to certain stimuli while in the context of consenting adults those switches are turned off and it’s an indication of honest interest?

    +++
    BTW Part II is on.

  307. vaiyt says

    As a non-atheist, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised stumbling upon this post.

    Not surprising, since you, being a religiot, automatically shove your god in any gap you can find on the edifice of knowledge.

    Sorry, science not being the best tool to evaluate morality on its own, does not mean your god is a valid alternative.

  308. says

    Chas
    I seriously don’t understand why you have such a problem understanding this, especially since it’s the same fucking problem as with PaulW. This statement:

    Involuntary physiological reactions such as the wetness of a vagina and the stiffness of a penis are emotionally so satisfying (which means, simultaneously, so erotic) because they signal a kind of approval that lies utterly beyond rational manipulation. Erections and lubrication simply cannot be effected by willpower and are therefore particularly true and honest indices of interest.

    Is categorically wrong regardless of context, and is used in various forms by rapists and rape apologists to justify their actions and shame/silence victims. It is a false and harmful statement, and people have explained how to you. His intent is irrelevant, and his attempts to contextualize it in a way that avoids this are laughable. Adding ‘in a consensual relationship’ means jack shit; either physical responses are ‘true and honest indices of interest’ or they are not. In order for that statement to be accurate, it must be true in all cases, because if it’s not, then it is not a true indicator. Thus, that claim is inherently a blanket claim, regardless of intent. No other honest reading is possible.

  309. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Joey,

    Why do you fallaciously presuppose that if one doesn’t follow your mythical/fictional holy book, and believe in your evidenced and imaginary deity, one must automatically believe in the practice of eugenics? That was disproven (for example, see here) ages ago, and only true presuppositional idjits like yourself think otherwise.

  310. mythbri says

    @Dalillama #407

    Adding ‘in a consensual relationship’ means jack shit; either physical responses are ‘true and honest indices of interest’ or they are not. In order for that statement to be accurate, it must be true in all cases, because if it’s not, then it is not a true indicator. Thus, that claim is inherently a blanket claim, regardless of intent. No other honest reading is possible.

    Exactly. If it can be “true” only in consensual, loving relationships, it MUST be true for sexual activity that is neither loving nor consensual. If it is NOT true for sexual activity that is neither loving nor consensual, then it MUST be bullshit.

    De Botton’s entire point is that arousal is independent of conscious control. He can’t magically make that the case for consensual sex and not for non-consensual sex.

  311. joey says

    LykeX:

    Just to be clear, you do understand that this lends no support whatsoever to any kind of theism or supernaturalism, right?

    It lends no direct support.

    Well, as PZ writes, the first step would be to make sure that there actually is a dilemma at all and it’s not simply a perception produced by our personal prejudices.

    But determining whether there is an actual dilemma depends on your particular moral code. I’m pretty sure the Nazis were convinced the presence of Jews was a real problem.

    As I see it, the whole point is not to think about this dilemma. After all, there’s no such thing as a genetic class of undesirables that can so easily be gotten rid of.

    I disagree, there can quite easily be considered a thing as a “genetic class of undesirables that can so easily be gotten rid of”. People with Down syndrome, for example. So why not eliminate the people with DS from society if science says that society would be better off? If it’s wrong to do such a thing, why would it be considered wrong?

    The point is to think about how we reach moral conclusions and to point out that while facts are required to make proper decisions, they don’t in and of themselves lead to the right decision, at least not in all situations.

    But if science alone cannot determine what is “proper” or “right”, then all morality ultimately becomes arbitrary. Unless you want to argue for an absolute morality.

  312. ChasCPeterson says

    either physical responses are ‘true and honest indices of interest’ or they are not.

    Exclude the middle much?
    Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. That’s been my experience, anyway.
    Dude was pretty clearly talking about the times they are.

    (but what do I care?)

  313. says

    Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. That’s been my experience, anyway.

    You complete and utter fucking moron, chas, that’s exactly our point. According to De Botton, “, the wet vagina and the stiff penis function as unambiguous agents of sincerity.” This is a categorical fucking statement like the last one I quoted from him. And, as you admit, they are not. Therefore, there is no fucking point to any of De Botton’s blithering from there, because his fucking premise is fucking wrong. (And harmful).

  314. says

    It lends no direct support.

    Well, if you want to cling to that, be my guest.

    But determining whether there is an actual dilemma depends on your particular moral code

    Indeed. Let me rephrase then; the first step is to make sure you’ve got your facts straight. Only then can you evaluate what implications those facts may have, according to your particular moral system.

    I disagree, there can quite easily be considered a thing as a “genetic class of undesirables that can so easily be gotten rid of”. People with Down syndrome, for example.

    According to your moral system. However, since Down’s syndrome is not an excusively inheritable trait, it can’t be bred out of the population. Most kids with Down’s syndrome are born to parents who are perfectly normal. This is a fine example of what I mean by getting your facts straight.
    In addition, we can then talk about screening methods and abortion, as well as whether Down’s Syndrome people are really a significant drain on societal resources.

    So why not eliminate the people with DS from society if science says that society would be better off?

    Well, like I said, first we need to determine whether science actually says that at all. I’ve given a few reasons why that might not be the case.

    But if science alone cannot determine what is “proper” or “right”, then all morality ultimately becomes arbitrary

    Not arbitrary, subjective. Just because it’s subjective doesn’t mean it isn’t valid or consistent, nor that it can’t form the basis for a productive system for governing our interactions. Our laws are subjective, yet that system seems to work fairly well.
    The problem here is that you’re intuitively coming from a position of absolute morality. That’s actually quite common, even for people who don’t accept absolute moral values. Part of that is the way our language works.
    Science can’t determine what’s right because nothing’s right. There’s no such thing. Right doesn’t enter into it until you’ve got conscious agents who care about outcomes. Asking what’s “right” is strictly meaningless.

    Things aren’t moral. They’re moral, according to somebody. Moral judgments are opinions. Some moral judgments can be conclusively demonstrated to be in accordance with, or in violation of, certain objective facts (i.e. that the conclusion does or does not follow from the premises of the moral system in question). Others are simply subjective and science cannot judge anymore than we can objectively determine which ice cream flavor is the best.

    Morality, on a larger, social scale, becomes a matter of compromises and negotiations between various individuals. This is no different than what we already do on matters of politics or any number of other subjects.

    Now, are you trying to argue that science can objectively determine the validity of morality? Do you accept an objective morality? What’s your position on all this?

  315. consciousness razor says

    It lends no direct support.

    In other words, it lends no support, joey.

    If you want to show me how it lends indirect support to magical beings with magical superpowers, go right ahead. I don’t know how convoluted you think this is supposed to be, but I sincerely want you to go for it: make it as convoluted and as full of holes as you fucking like. Actually making an argument in favor of your dribble, no matter how bad it is, would be a real improvement.

    But if science alone cannot determine what is “proper” or “right”, then all morality ultimately becomes arbitrary.

    That doesn’t follow.

    Unless you want to argue for an absolute morality.

    That also doesn’t follow.

  316. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I should note that despite its comedy value, the above link is not to a parody site. The author is an extreme misogynist, and I cannot recommend clicking if you are low on spoons.

  317. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Josh -what’s the title of the stefanelli’s book? “Why You Deserved It: Interviews with lying man-haters”?