[Thunderdome]


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This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

Comments

  1. says

    @ chigau

    How do Zuul and Gozer fit in this?

    Well, if you want to feel the presence of Zuul or Gozer, you need to pay someone to talk to you for a few years about letting Zuul and Gozer into your life, how real they are and how they’ll always look after you. In time you regard them as some distant relative and hir dog that you are about to meet. Connect yourself up to the robot and SHAZAM!!! you are in their presence. I tried this with My Imaginary Cat ™ but felt a bit let down ’cause She looked no different to Ms Molly.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    I’m more about excluding Zuul and Gozer from my life.
    I am thinking of new kittehs…

  3. chigau (違う) says

    My Plan™ is to get two kittens.
    Sometime in the Dead Of Winter so they won’t even want to go Outside.
    Their names will be Zuul and Gozer.

  4. says

    Ooops should have refreshed.

    @ chigau

    That is an awesome area around Star Street in Wan Chai with an old-school village feel to it. In spite of all the very tall (100m) buildings there. Unfortunately it is too expensive for us. And yes, the people are amazing too. Ship Street, at the bottom of the stairs has many very good restaurants including “Limehouse”, which you see in the footage.

  5. Nick Gotts says

    Alexander Z@488,

    In Russia’s case the needed change is minor

    You produce clear evidence that this is not the case in the rest of your comment.

    “Putin” is codename for Siloviky. Removing that power structure – a power structure that was already overthrown once and was out of power for the entire Yeltsin presidency – is enough to improve things significantly.

    If that power structure was removed, how did it come back so easily?

    The GOP has enough people (like McCain, for example) who itching to take a stand against Russian military expansion. That is exactly what the opposition wants.

    Then they are worse than fools; they are criminally irresponsible fools. Not only would the sort of confrontation they want (and you appear to want) strengthen the already toxic nationalism Putin both fosters and relies on, it would also risk nuclear war.

    Putin flourishes because he has huge popular support, which is in turn because Russia is a hugely dysfunctional society due to decades of totalitarian rule followed by kleptocracy.

    You think I don’t know that?

    Well, it’s in stark contrast to your assurance above that “the change needed is minor”.

    Do you have any way to improve things other than changing the ruling elite? Do you think that people simply change their views without political or economical change? Do you think that progressive thought just springs out of the ground on its own?

    Changing the elite will do no good unless there are far more fundamental changes to political culture and to the oligarch-dominated economy, and unless the new elite is both competent and democratically minded. By your own showing, the leadership of the opposition includes a lot of Yeltsin-era retreads, who have already proved their complete unfitness for power. That the opposition is eager to make common cause with the Republican Party and – by your account – rely on foreign military power to gain their objectives, is enough to show that they are not democratically-minded. And you seem to regard the general population as a passive lump, incapable of ideas or collective action. If you are right in that, then there is no hope of a democratic transition in Russia.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    So all the current action is on the PZ’s prostate thread.
    What have we come to?‽?!

  7. AlexanderZ says

    Maureen Brian #491

    That 4300? Is that figure verified anywhere?

    From newspapers. The official figure is 40,904 from the voting committee website.

    Were there any convictions?

    No. There never were. Not even when Ariel Sharon (then PM) personally violated the law of election day propaganda while appearing on TV (the judge in charge of the election merely pulled the plug and disabled the channel for about an hour). There are always some arrests for the most violent offenders, but after a few days everyone is released.
    Why is that? I’ll give you a hint: all violation favor right-wing and/or religious parties.

    Who made the decision that the votes were fraudulent and on what basis?

    When people vote with an invalid address, dead people voting, voting with invalid names, invalid IDs and much much more. These vote are either tagged by the voting observers on the spot, during election committee (both observers and counters have member from several parties to make sure no internal agreement takes place) or during a recount ordered by the judge in charge.

    Nerd of Redhead #492

    AlexanderZ, I’m not interest in your pity. What I am interested in is getting you to think about more than able bodied folks…

    I was offering you sympathy, not pity. As someone who has a damaged spine since I was 18 I know enough about being disabled, not being able to walk (luckily *that* was sorted out) and living with constant pain every single waking moment.

    And the hard evidence is not there for those trying to prevent fraud.

    From the original post: “In a statement, the Virginia Department of Elections said that some AccuVote TSX Touch Screen voting machines changed votes to something other than what the voter intended”
    I don’t know if that’s accidental fraud, or fraud by the manufacturing company or fraud by the state. All I know is that when machines can’t register your vote then machines shouldn’t be registering votes!

    brianpansky #496

    If money transfers can be done (mostly) securely over the internet, why not voting?

    When money is stolen you at least know about it eventually. How would you know that your vote was stolen?

    Nick Gotts #10(2nd comment page)
    No practical suggestions? Fair enough, at least that tells me all I need to know about you:
    That you have no idea how social progress is achieved through incremental steps and that you have a all-or-nothing monochrome vision of politics believing that anyone who isn’t the purest of the pure must be eternally evil. You are unwilling and seemingly incapable of understanding anything that goes on outside of your Western bobble.

  8. AlexanderZ says

    chigau

    So all the current action is on the PZ’s prostate thread.
    What have we come to?‽?!

    …his ass, presumably.
    I hope the new post means he’s recovering.

  9. numerobis says

    Conflict Kitchen, in Pittsburgh, serves food from places that are in conflict with the US. It’s a fast-food joint, so they wrap up the food, and on the wrappers, they have text from some interviews done with people from the conflict area, either there or expats living in Pittsburgh.

    Unfortunately, I moved from Pittsburgh before they opened, so I’ve never actually been, but it’s been interesting to hear about.

    The current edition: Palestine. So it’s falafels and hummus and etc, and the wrappers look like this:
    http://conflictkitchen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Palestine_wrapper_final.pdf

    *OF COURSE* some local jewish organizations take offense, because representing Palestinians as humans is a priori anti-semitic.

    Then one of the local papers gives them voice. The first article is basically just stirring up a tempest in a tea pot:
    http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/07/Conflict-Kitchen-s-Palestinian-dishes-leave-bitter-taste/stories/201410070088

    The second article comes out (same author), and states as fact that the wrappers (linked above) have “anti-Israel” messages on them.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/11/06/Conflict-Kitchen-wrappers-spark-conversation-on-foundation-s-role/stories/201411060163
    The reporter reached out to Conflict Kitchen, but apparently only gave them less than 24 hours to respond.

    Now the reporter can be pleased to report on death threats having shut down the place:
    http://www.post-gazette.com/life/dining/2014/11/08/Conflict-Kitchen-closes-indefinitely-after-death-threat/stories/201411080153

  10. says

    When money is stolen you at least know about it eventually. How would you know that your vote was stolen?

    You’d be able to check, silly! ^^

    The data of votes would be officially recorded. This would be a necessity for various reasons, such as audits. The identities of the voters would have to be innacessible exept to the individual themselves, of course.

    Or, a completely different method: identities are not stored, but other details are stored that allow investigators to detect stealing. Might be possible, after all, banks (or someone) have discovered hacks that skimmed fractions of cents from transactions, do you think the buyers noticed? No.

    I doubt the speculation of either me or you can settle this, however.

  11. Saad says

    A Pharyngula lesson I’ve learned is that if you see an old, dead thread all of a sudden reappear in the “Recent Comments” section on the left, it’s always a troll. Avoid clicking.

    Case in point: the Kent Hovind post.

  12. says

    Saad @17:
    Yup. It’s almost always a troll who has stumbled upon PZ’s post after commenting has died down. They often think they’re presenting some stunning rebuttal of PZ’s points. If they’d read the thread, more times than not, they’d see their points addressed and dismantled.

  13. toska says

    Saad

    A Pharyngula lesson I’ve learned is that if you see an old, dead thread all of a sudden reappear in the “Recent Comments” section on the left, it’s always a troll. Avoid clicking.

    Or make some popcorn before clicking. Depends on the troll.

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Or make some popcorn before clicking. Depends on the troll.

    Or, sharpen your fangs. They keep my titanium fang nice and sharp.

  15. toska says

    Or, sharpen your fangs. They keep my titanium fang nice and sharp.

    *admires Nerd’s pointy teeth*

  16. chigau (違う) says

    toska
    Please note
    Nerd actually has a singular titanium fang.
    We don’t actually know how that works.
    Actually.

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    toska
    Please note
    Nerd actually has a singular titanium fang.
    We don’t actually know how that works.
    Actually.

    An implant after a root canal, and many years later, and extraction when the tooth broke. The implant is titanium. The actual tooth (crown), is porcelain. But it does the job.

  18. says

    Just became aware of another way my male privilege plays out:
    http://www.citylab.com/politics/2014/11/the-lack-of-equal-bathroom-access-for-women-is-a-global-design-flaw/382418/

    We talk about poor design all the time, yet rarely do we discuss one of the world’s most tangible and pervasive design failures: The lack of adequate restrooms for women.

    Research shows women take on average twice as long as men in the restroom, yet it is the rare public space that provides equal access. An insufficient number of women’s restrooms regularly results in mind-bogglingly disproportionate wait times, leading to countless minutes wasted at sports arenas, movie theaters, and perhaps worst of all, the office.

    At the U.S. Capitol, female lawmakers up until recently faced the indignity (and legislative disadvantage) of having to use a distant restroom for tourists, since there were none directly adjacent to the House floor. John Boehner rectified that disparity in 2010, but still no federal legislation mandates this kind of reform elsewhere.

    “When many buildings were laid out, [restroom access for women] didn’t make a big difference because there weren’t many women in the offices or in positions of power,” says John F. Banzhaf III, a public interest lawyer and professor at George Washington University. Banzhaf has filed federal complaints arguing that disparate restroom access may be a violation of equal protection rights. Many older buildings were also designed at a time when contractors, architects, engineers, builders, and government procurement officials were overwhelmingly male and so rarely considered the needs of women—a fact pointed out at a 2010 Committee on Oversight and Government Reform meeting, which was the last time a ‘potty parity’ bill was brought to the federal level. It died.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    My personal experience in public restrooms is that I take the same time as ‘normal people’.
    Go in. Pee. Wash hands. Leave.

  20. We are Plethora says

    Tony @29,
    Un-fucking-believable! Is this just another form of “separate but equal?”

    Here’s a thought – why not pull the old switcheroo and let the women use the closer accommodations and make the men hike for a change. We strongly suspect that none of the men ever brought up that option.

  21. says

    We are Plethora @31:

    Here’s a thought – why not pull the old switcheroo and let the women use the closer accommodations and make the men hike for a change. We strongly suspect that none of the men ever brought up that option.

    This might seem like a good idea on the surface, but I’m not sure it would work as well as you might think. A lot of men’s restrooms have urinals and not enough stalls.
    I like a solution that just makes all bathrooms unisex.

  22. Nick Gotts says

    No practical suggestions? Fair enough, at least that tells me all I need to know about you:
    That you have no idea how social progress is achieved through incremental steps and that you have a all-or-nothing monochrome vision of politics believing that anyone who isn’t the purest of the pure must be eternally evil. You are unwilling and seemingly incapable of understanding anything that goes on outside of your Western bobble. – Alexander Z

    No, you know fuck-all about me. I work with a wide range of people in political organizations and social movements, as I have been doing for decades; what I don’t do is cozy up to fascists or militarists, or accept the leadership of failed andor corrupt politicians. I see the situation in Russia as extremely difficult to improve – and I’m not arrogant enough to think I can provide solutions, because they must come from people on the ground. I do feel qualified to warn against reliance on outside forces, particularly those of the western right, because I am familiar with those forces. Unless and until there is a broad popular movement for democratic and progressive change in Russia, which produces leadership untainted by past failures, and avoids associating with corrupt oligarchs and reactionary foreign forces, things are very unlikely to improve. I don’t, by the way, see any practical solutions from you – all you have come up with so far is an apparent wish for a new Cold War – or any answer to the points I raised @10.

  23. rq says

    Alexander Z @459

    Who are Latvians, I presume, and were not treated the same as the majority of Soviet population (which is exactly my point).

    Please define ‘not treated the same’ in more concrete terms.

    They were removed politically (day-to-day business weren’t dictated by the Kremlin, but by their own Communist Party), militarily (they had their own secret services), economically (they were exempt from core 5-year plans and other Soviet nonsense, as well as having greater access to cooperatives) and culturally (they didn’t undergo the Russification that was the norm for core).

    You make some interesting points on the lack of russification in the Baltic states, with which I cannot agree completely. I wonder if some of the different attitude towards Latvians has to do with perceiving them as historically more loyal citizens than as being part of some more-Western off-shoot of the USSR. It was, after all, Red Latvian Riflemen who also protected Soviet leaders in the move from Petrograd to Moscow (also a summary of their efforts here), and who gained many prominent positions in the Red Army in following years. That kind of influence does wonders for one’s own, even a country away. So what you see as concessions to a pro-Western attitude may simply be internal favoritism relying on past deeds.

    He commits only to causes which look undisputed and only to an extent that won’t rock the boat too much, as both the Oligarchs and the Siloviky are sufficiently invest in Western countries and don’t won’t their quality of life reduced because of a new Cold War brought by a dubious military campaign.

    Interesting point. But I’ve never thought Putin to be particularly concerned with rocking or not rocking the boat. Apparently you see and/or know something about him that I don’t.
    I don’t think I’m envious.

    Errm… no. No, it would not be nice. Unless you think throwing the established and barely functioning geopolitical balance to the wind and risking a nuclear war is nice.

    It was a joke pointing out the present forward-thinkingness of Sweden, as far more preferable to any subtle influence from Russia (and not so subtle, too). Besides, it would be none of Russia‘s business if Sweden were to invade Latvia (across the Baltic Sea, of course, no land attack via the Finland-Estonia corridor, a term I have just pulled out of my ass, and yes, it’s a joke). It’s interesting that you think that Latvia would have such a huge role in maintaining geopolitical balance, while also maintaining that Putin isn’t all that interested in the country.
    Also, I’d write more, but to be honest, I found some sentences grammatically incomprehensible (and mostly you write well, but I’m just not deciphering some of your points, I think, so I will refrain from commenting).

    One last thing, though:

    They views are an inter Latvian problem. Tough, but it’s better than open war between Russia and NATO.

    The views of Latvian Russians are an internal Latvian problem until their views are used as a basis for attacks (not necessarily military) against Latvia, by Russia. There’s already been media attacks, and a lot of talk about protecting Russian-speakers. Some political strain, which comes and goes. Very similar to other places in the world right now. The intimidation tactics of Russian military vehicles on water and in the air approaching Latvian borders probably has nothing to do with anything anyway.
    Because of the huge media influence of Russia among Latvian Russians, plus the fact that the currently most popular pro-Russian party gets funding from the Kremlin, I would say that the thoughts of Latvian Russians on the independence of Latvia aren’t as internal a matter as you might believe.

  24. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Saad @37:
    Around here we feed the trolls til they burst or PZ bans them. One of the reasons I like this is that bullshit does not go unchallenged here. Especially if Nerd is around.

  25. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I think it is safe to say that Richard Dawkins is a failure in his job as a science communicator. The simple fact that he is willing to link to groups that actively works against a secular world view just because they are making a social point that he holds is proof of this.

    If things have not gotten so personal with Ben Stein, I would expect Richard Dawkins to link to some of Ben Stein’s rambling anti-feminist musings.

  26. AlexanderZ says

    brianpansky #15

    You’d be able to check, silly!

    Given what is going on right now with Bitcoin-related businesses I remain very skeptical about the use of e-voting. I mean, if the security-nerds who use Bitcoin can’t safeguard their own money, how can anyone? But I’m a Luddite so I hope you’re right and it’s a solvable problem. When it comes to voting I’m not worried about hackers doing this or that – I’m worried about hostile actions from foreign countries or own country’s government or ruling party/ies taking control of the process and hiding their involvement (you can’t hide effectively in paper-based systems because of the sheer number of people involved).

    Nick Gotts #35

    I’m not arrogant enough to think I can provide solutions, because they must come from people on the ground.

    They ARE coming from the “people on the ground”. You are the one who refuses to accept them!

    Unless and until there is a broad popular movement for democratic and progressive change in Russia, which produces leadership untainted by past failures, and avoids associating with corrupt oligarchs and reactionary foreign forces, things are very unlikely to improve.

    numerobis #14‘s comment got me thinking. How about Palestine or Iraq or any other country occupied or at war with Western (YMMV) forces? They are even less progressive than the Russian Right Union. Less progressive by far. And unlike the RU, they have no problems allying themselves with any dictatorship willing to listen (you’ll notice a distinct lack of Saddam, Assad, Ayatollahs, Qaddafi, etc from RU’s list of allies). Are you going to preach to them as well? Deny any support until they are the holiest of the holy? Until they adopt every point of your agenda?

    I don’t, by the way, see any practical solutions from you – all you have come up with so far is an apparent wish for a new Cold War

    Well for one, you could start by changing your position on Putin’s only opposition.
    Re: “new Cold War” – yeah, the situation has become so dire (in no small part thanks to Shrub son of Bush, but all US presidents since Reagan hold the blame, possibly with a minor exception for Bush senior) that some return to Cold War era rhetoric and thinking is in order. I don’t think that a real Cold War can come back (unless something dire happens), but it’s high time the world powers got together and decided when any of them – both Russia and USA – can use their armies and when they can’t, how military situations are evaluated and how deeply can they interfere.

    rq #36

    Please define ‘not treated the same’ in more concrete terms.

    How many of them were working outside of their home country and for what length of time (everyone, yes, everyone, that I know had to work at least a year in a different republic/country)? How many of them took yearly vacations across national borders? How much contact did they have with people outside their republic/country?
    When it comes to (middle class, because money still mattered) citizens of core Soviet Union the answer was “a lot”.

    You make some interesting points on the lack of russification in the Baltic states

    Not “lack”, but a much lesser degree than in other places. About a couple of hundred of thousand Balts were deported at the end of WW2, but they were also the first deported population to be allowed to return to their home when Khrushchev took power. Compare that to the Crimean Tatars who still can’t return home, or to millions of Ukrainians who were killed.
    All were treated badly, but some were treated much worse.

    I wonder if some of the different attitude towards Latvians has to do with perceiving them as historically more loyal citizens than as being part of some more-Western off-shoot of the USSR.

    I doubt it. Leaders of the Red Latvian Riflemen were purged in the 30s. Besides, even if any good will did remain (and that’s a big “if” – “Stalin” and “good will” don’t go together) it must have evaporated by the time the Latvian Waffen-SS Legion was formed.
    A more likely explanation is that Latvia, along with other Baltic states, was spared the Stalin’s Korenizatsiya (due to its independence) and as such wasn’t sufficiently Russified when Khrushchev’s Sliyanie rolled out. Which means that they were considered too un-Russian, and therefore seen as foreign, just like the Warsaw Pact countries.

    Apparently you see and/or know something about him that I don’t.
    I don’t think I’m envious.

    Oh god, yes. If you haven’t heard him hold a press conference or give a speech you can count yourself lucky. He doesn’t know when to stop talking, and he talks about anything and everything. You can get a really good and rather disturbing picture of the man.

    It’s interesting that you think that Latvia would have such a huge role in maintaining geopolitical balance, while also maintaining that Putin isn’t all that interested in the country.

    It’s not a contradiction. We can all agree that US doesn’t want to conquer Cuba at any time soon, but we also know what happened when Soviet Union decided to put its missiles on Cuban soil. Countries react very badly when the geo-political landscape near their borders changes suddenly. You never know what they might do.

    There’s already been media attacks, and a lot of talk about protecting Russian-speakers. Some political strain, which comes and goes. Very similar to other places in the world right now.

    My point is that the Russians within Latvia make it appear like Russia is more interested in them than it really is, and they do that for their own political gain. There are no high level politicians talking about “re-unification” with Latvia or other Baltic states (compare that to Ukraine, which was called a non-country and a Russian off-shoot almost every week since 2004).

    The intimidation tactics of Russian military vehicles on water and in the air approaching Latvian borders probably has nothing to do with anything anyway

    They did the same thing in the Black Sea. It looks like a message to NATO to stay out of Ukraine rather than specifically testing Latvian defenses.

    Also, I’d write more, but to be honest, I found some sentences grammatically incomprehensible (and mostly you write well, but I’m just not deciphering some of your points, I think, so I will refrain from commenting).

    I’m very sorry about that. I have a mild dyslexia which gets worse when I write in a foreign language. Please don’t hesitate to tell me when you notice an incomprehensive or badly worded sentence.

  27. AlexanderZ says

    Tony!
    I see “son” and “US” in your new gravatar. What does that mean? Do you have a son?
    Also, the link to your site in your name is gone (P.S. I love your blog’s new design).

  28. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I have a question for the general population.

    Am I that unlikable that most of you just ignore me now?

  29. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Esteleth, that fact that I am pretty much ignored.

    I don’t expect nor want people to mob to my every word but I get tired of leaving comments and links that just drop like a stone.

  30. Tethys says

    Janine

    Am I that unlikable that most of you just ignore me now?

    NO, no, one thousand times NO! This place is changed, and many of the regulars don’t come around much anymore. It’s sad. I miss the long ramblings lounge thread threads that were filled with everything from recipes and Janines music links to raging week long discussions about free will and the regular fiskings of DDFM.

  31. toska says

    Janine
    I have been a lurker for a while but fairly recently started commenting more (though I still read much more than comment), and I recognize your nym as someone who makes good contributions here, even though I don’t think I’ve ever interacted with you.

    tl;dr, I don’t think you or your contributions are unlikeable at all.

  32. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Janine,

    You’re not unlikable! I can’t vouch for anyone but myself, but I don’t think you are being ignored. Thunderdome has been a bit weird and empty lately.

  33. Saad says

    Janine, #38

    Guess who said this?

    Oh NO. Just checked my privilege. Turns out I’m a white heterosexual male. http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6041 How can I atone? Hair shirt? Flagellation?

    Oh, good fucking god. Why does he even act like he gives a shit about social issues anymore?

  34. AlexanderZ says

    toska #46
    Oh. Now I see it. Clever!

    Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen #47

    Am I that unlikable that most of you just ignore me now?

    No! I just didn’t have anything to add to The Dawkins Problem. He’s the unlikable one. Mentioning him kills joy faster than a watery fart in a packed, slow-moving elevator on a hot summer day.

  35. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Esteleth, you asked me what my problem was. Please notice the reaction I got for pointing out that tweet by Richard Dawkins and what is happening here. And this is not the first this has happened.

    I am not expecting the reaction and a long discussion from a comment as from a blog post but it is frustrating to point something out and get no comments and yet when PZ does that same, it gets a lot of commotion.

  36. AlexanderZ says

    Janine #56

    I am not expecting the reaction and a long discussion from a comment as from a blog post but it is frustrating to point something out and get no comments and yet when PZ does that same, it gets a lot of commotion.

    Join the club, then. As long as I’ve been following the Thunderdome (six months? can’t remember) I’ve seen people post new and interesting things here that after a day or so get picked up by PZ and end up on the main page. I think that every commenter that posts any links has seen it done to their post. Hell, even one of my things ended up part of a PZ post.

    There are very few readers here, and PZ isn’t one of them. If you look PZ’s post you’ll see that only three of the commenters there write here even semi-regularly (also notice that most comments aren’t about the post itself, but about other commenters’ comments to the post). It isn’t about you. Nobody has any ill will towards you. That’s just the way things are.

  37. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    @ Janine

    I personally feel like “Richard Dawkins is a callous fuckwaffle” is sort of a truism at this point, which is why I didn’t have anything to say when you linked that tweet. But then, when PZ brings it up, you get the inevitable trolls: in this case whining about the word “privilege” and how it hurts his feelings. That’s why I got involved there and not here. I have nothing but respect for you and your contributions here. For what it’s worth. Which may be nothing.

  38. chigau (違う) says

    AlexanderZ
    I’ve been in the Thunderdome since it was the Zombie Thread (early 2012).
    I’d be interested to know how you know how many people are reading.
    (Janine has been around longer than that.)

  39. AlexanderZ says

    chigau #60

    I’d be interested to know how you know how many people are reading.

    I don’t. I do know that PZ isn’t reading because otherwise he would have mentioned that this issue was brought to his attention here on TD. It happens often enough to stuff that Tony! and Iyeska (since they are the ones who contribute the most links, usually) post to make me certain that PZ comes here only when he needs to start the new thread.
    Whereas for the general readership, it’s obviously pretty low. If you have the same dozen or so commenters talking with themselves for over a month, it’s quite obvious that there aren’t many people reading this.

  40. Lofty says

    Janine, sometimes I drop a link in teh t-dome that I think might be of interest to the commentariat. Often I get no replies, sometimes one or two, occasionally a few more (giant pink condoms anyone?). Once I even got psychoanalysed for free as being a total asshole and general bad guy. It’s all life, I don’t mind much either way, I don’t expect deep discussion here and I suspect most of the T-dome readers are even lurkier than me. A lack of responses here doesn’t mean that people don’t appreciate a particular post.

  41. Tethys says

    I know that PZ’s view of his blog is very different from the hordes view of his blog. It is always nice to get an acknowledgment of your existence from other hordelings, but the threads are much faster and the commentariat very different from when we were over at Sciblogs. In any case, PZ does note links and often makes them into posts. RD said something stupid on twitter is sadly, not news. Maybe he has been infected with the newly discovered in humans algae virus? American Researchers Discover ‘Stupidity Virus’

  42. Rob Grigjanis says

    Alexander Z @61:

    If you have the same dozen or so commenters talking with themselves for over a month, it’s quite obvious that there aren’t many people reading this.

    Maybe you should check your quite-obvious-o-meter. It’s quite possible (I’d say likely) that there are many Thunderdome readers who don’t comment, or who rarely comment here.

  43. anteprepro says

    Here’s how I operate and how I think most readers would as well: We read PZ’s posts through the regular news feed, and then when we want to see what comments have been left around, we check out the recent activity bar and go to the relevant threads. So I read Thunderdome as often as people are talking in the Thunderdome, and if there is no recent activity there I don’t bother (don’t remember) to check there. In addition, while some threads I might read backwards to see how the conversation got to its current point, the Thunderdome is different in that I only backtrack as far as I need to in order to understand the current conversation, because it is not focused around one central topic like usual blog post comment threads. So it is a limited positive feedback loop: The Thunderdome gets more attention when other people are giving it attention. At least that’s what I would expect.

  44. chigau (違う) says

    AlexanderZ

    I do know that PZ isn’t reading because otherwise he would have mentioned that this issue was brought to his attention here on TD.

    WTF?
    You know how PZ would behave?
    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for about 6 years and I don’t quite grok him, yet.

  45. opposablethumbs says

    It’s quite possible (I’d say likely) that there are many Thunderdome readers who don’t comment, or who rarely comment here.

    ::iz silent in corner, totally does not raise hand::
    ps I don’t have much of a mental “handle” on most commenters – I have quite srs trouble with names and faces in meatspace – fwiw I think of Janine as one of the core regulars.

  46. chigau (違う) says

    I read this thread (and every other thread) from my bookmarks.
    After I catch up, I look at Recent Posts on the sidebar.
    I almost never go to the front page.

  47. ChasCPeterson says

    Teh ECO almost never offers a hat-tip or appends a ‘via’ note to acknowledge his source for the subject of an OP. Never has. Not his style. *shrug*

  48. AlexanderZ says

    Tethys, chigau, ChasCPeterson, I do remember a handful of posts where PZ did leave a “via” link, but maybe they were a special case. In any case I hope that he doesn’t get the links from here, otherwise leaving out the person who provided the link in the first place is just bad netiquette.

    Rob Grigjanis #64
    There is a fairly basic lurker/poster ratio. The number of posters is a good indicator for a number of lurkers.

    opposablethumbs #67

    ps I don’t have much of a mental “handle” on most commenters – I have quite srs trouble with names and faces in meatspace

    That’s why I have a list o all the people I talk to. I highly recommend GoogleDrive.

    OT:
    Does anyone else use Firefox? Did you start having unusual problems (browser not responding, tabs load very slowly, info from a closed tab is superimposed on the next tab) since about a month ago?
    I got one of those bugs a moment ago. The only good thing is that FF remembers typed-in stuff now so I didn’t have to retype this message when I closed and re-opened FF.

  49. says

    I get a lot of links via email — and I learned long ago that rarely do my email correspondents want to have their reading habits known. If they give me a name and specifically request attribution, I’ll do so — but more often the email specifically requests that I don’t mention them by name. There are a lot of lurkers who sympathize with the stuff we all talk about, but are afraid of the risk of losing total anonymity, and so never speak up…except to send me tips surrounded with pleas to not let anyone know.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In any case I hope that he doesn’t get the links from here, otherwise leaving out the person who provided the link in the first place is just bad netiquette.

    Yes “Miss Manners”? Who the fuck made you the arbiter? So, stop with that shit.

  51. Tethys says

    alexander

    I do remember a handful of posts where PZ did leave a “via” link, but maybe they were a special case. In any case I hope that he doesn’t get the links from here, otherwise leaving out the person who provided the link in the first place is just bad netiquette.

    I post links here for the purpose of sharing them. If PZ finds it convenient to use any link I post, (not common, but he has done so more than once) I am happy to have been useful. especially since PZ is currently ill. I do not expect any sort of hat tip or acknowledgement for sharing a link. Maybe it’s the Minnesota nice thing, but I expect that people share because that’s what truly kind,caring, polite people do. Expecting a reward for acting like a decent person is the province of assholes.

  52. chigau (違う) says

    “Did not!”
    “Did too!”
    “Did not!”
    “Did too!”
    “Parental Unit! Sibling Unit poked me!”
    “Did not!”
    “Did too!”
    “Did not!”
    “Did too!”

    actually more relevant to another thread but since it’s petty and childish, I leave it here

  53. Dhorvath, OM says

    I start in the ‘dome and if time permits read back to where I left off. Some days I comment as well, not necessarily because I have something meaningful to add, but because the fancy catches me. Then I may try reading the main page, but since full articles stopped being there I have been less inclined to do so. Lazy am I.

  54. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I keep the Lounge and Thunderdome open in tabs, as well as any other comment thread I want to follow at the moment. Other than that, I use recent comments to keep up.

  55. says

    Janine @47:

    I have a question for the general population.
    Am I that unlikable that most of you just ignore me now?

    I don’t think you’re unlikeable at all. In fact, I think of you as one of the core regulars. You may not comment as much as you previously did, but I still appreciate your comments when I come across them.
    In the case of your link to Dawkins’ latest shittiness, at this point (for me), it’s no surprise that he’s going to say something awful or privileged or sexist. I didn’t feel I had anything new or a different perspective to add.

    If I may, I think I’ve felt the way you feel in this case. I’ve dropped links or commented on something I thought interesting in the hopes that it would spark a conversation with others. In the past, I’ve been mildly annoyed to see that sometimes that’s not the case (although sometimes it is the case; it’s a crap shoot; I never know when something I’ll link to/comment on will generate discussion and when it won’t). It took some time for me to realize that it may be that others simply don’t have anything to say, or that they feel others have said it before or better. Or it may be that because it doesn’t generate discussion, some who read a comment also don’t comment (a vicious circle of sorts).
    Please don’t take a lack of commenting to mean that anyone thinks you’re unlikeable. I like you a lot.

    ****
    AlexanderZ @57:

    There are very few readers here, and PZ isn’t one of them

    I think you are 100% wrong here. There may be few commenters in the Thunderdome, but IIRC, Pharyngula is one of the blogs at FtB with the highest traffic. There are far more lurkers than there are commenters. Over the years, I’ve read dozens of comments from people who usually lurk. They’ll say something and go back to lurking. Those people, and others like them? I think there are a LOT of them. I see no reason to think that there aren’t many lurkers in the Dome. Looking at my blog, I see a small handful of commenters, but when I check the stats, I see quite a few more people who are reading my posts. They may not be commenting, but they’re reading. And the numbers reading my blog are a drop in the Olympic sized swimming pool compared to the people reading Pharyngula.

    @61:

    I do know that PZ isn’t reading because otherwise he would have mentioned that this issue was brought to his attention here on TD.

    I find it strange that you presume to know what PZ would or wouldn’t do.

    Whereas for the general readership, it’s obviously pretty low. If you have the same dozen or so commenters talking with themselves for over a month, it’s quite obvious that there aren’t many people reading this.

    You don’t know that! You don’t have access to all the facts to even begin to offer a reasonable opinion on this subject. Unless you’re privy to the information about the traffic on Pharyngula, you don’t know how many people read the Thunderdome and don’t comment. My suspicion is that it’s quite a bit more than the people who *do* comment (especially given that that’s true for many blogs, not just here).

    @70:

    The number of posters is a good indicator for a number of lurkers.

    Maybe I’m reading the information from your link incorrectly but this:

    In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.

    Doesn’t appear to support your assertion that the number of posters is an indicator for the number of lurkers.
    (I did get a mild chuckle out of being part of the 1%).
    ****

    anteprepro @65:

    Here’s how I operate and how I think most readers would as well: We read PZ’s posts through the regular news feed, and then when we want to see what comments have been left around, we check out the recent activity bar and go to the relevant threads. So I read Thunderdome as often as people are talking in the Thunderdome, and if there is no recent activity there I don’t bother (don’t remember) to check there.

    I’m like that sometimes. There are other times when I’ll read a new post in my news feed and feel the need to comment on it before even logging on to Pharyngula to check the comments. Those are the times I don’t pay attention to what comments have been made on what post. I do agree with you about the Dome.

    ****
    Re: dropping links
    I agree completely with Tethys @74.

    ****

    Toska @42, AlexanderZ @45:
    The gravatar is for the It’s On Us Campaign to end sexual assault..
    Those comments I’ve left with no link to my blog were ones I’ve made on my cellphone. Since I’m on my laptop now, the link to my blog should be back.

  56. essjay says

    This is a comment about the question of how many people are reading the Thunderdome but remain lurking. I have been reading Pharyngula for many years including the Lounge and the Thunderdome, as well as most of the comments. I have commented only a few times, mainly to say how much I appreciate the Horde. I think I have a good idea as to who are the regulars. I thought I would use Alexander Z’s info about the ratio between the regulars, the occasionals, and the lurkers to see how many lurkers there might be on this page. (Of course, I have no reason to think the ratio of 1 to 9 to 90 is accurate, or that it applies to all comment threads, but let’s assume it is.) I went back to all the comments on this page (just 82 comments), and I counted the regulars–the people whos names I have been seeing on many different threads for years. I found 19 names, even after I eliminated names that have been commenting frequently, but only in the last few months or so (for example, saad); I also eliminated Alexander Z and PZ Myers. So, using the 1-9-90 ratio, that comes out to 1710 lurkers–not a particularly small number, especially when this is just a short page of only 82 comments.

  57. says

    essjay @83:
    Thanks for doing that. Those numbers are helpful in showing the ration of commenters to lurkers (assuming the 1:9:90 ratio is accurate; actually, I think the article AlexanderZ linked to said that blog posts have a 1:9:95 ratio, though who knows how accurate *that* is).

  58. essjay says

    As to how I decide what to read in Freethought Blogs: I always read all the recent posts at Pharyngula first, and then give a quick look to the blogs I have bookmarked (Dispatches, Mano, Greta, Stephanie, Ophelia, Dana, and a couple more). Like most people who have talked about it, I seldom look at the main page anymore, since the grouping of recent posts by category is totally useless. I’m interested in all subject matter, but I’m only normally interested in what certain people have to say. Before the format change, I would start with the main page and go down the entire list of bloggers (each with a distinctive banner) and see what the most recent comments are. Now, after checking my bookmarked blogs, I see what the recent comments are on Pharyngula to pick up on active threads. Unfortunately the recent comments lists only 10 recent comments, which leaves out a lot, especially if I haven’t been on line the last day or so. Sometimes I will go to the main page and see who has posted recently when I don’t normally read their blogs. In order to do this, of course, I totally ignore the categories and just scroll through them all. At some point I always catch up on Thunderdome and Lounge.

  59. essjay says

    To Tony at 84. I am a bit confused. How could the ratio be 1 to 9 to 95? Don’t they have to add up to 100? Or put another way: 1% are regulars, 9% are occasionals, and 90% are lurkers, which adds up to 100%

  60. says

    essjay @86:
    I’m sorry, I mistyped.
    I’ll just quote what they say instead:

    Blogs have even worse participation inequality than is evident in the 90-9-1 rule that characterizes most online communities. With blogs, the rule is more like 95-5-0.1.

  61. essjay says

    Tony, in that case if you use 95-4.9-0.1 for blogs, then if there are 19 regulars, then there would be 18,050 lurkers and 9310 ocassionals. (If my arithmetic is correct.) So, If that is closer to the truth, that’s a lot of lurkers. Of course, I suspect that someone just made these numbers up. I also suspect that the ratio would be different for different blogs and different subjects.

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, I have a light fixture “over” the landing in the stairway upstairs (it is offset a bit over the second set of risers, which is the problem), that I need a rig, which was a plywood board to extend over the edge of the stairs slightly for ladder placement, to be able to change it without feeling like I might fall off the ladder at any moment, even if I was at the limit of my left arm. The compact fluorescent that just burned out has been in since before the stairlifts were installed. The stairlift for the second flight interferes with the placement of both the board and the ladder. I replaced the CFL without feeling unduly unsafe, but I’m seriously considering one of the new LED’s to replace it. Simply due to the lifetime of the light.

  63. Lofty says

    Over the last 2 years I’ve replaced all my curly CFLs with LEDs. The best thing is the way they go to full brightness instantly on switch on. Cold CFLs don’t work too well. A couple have failed but it was the electronic driver rather than the LED chips themselves that died. I got a warranty return on them so all OK. The LEDs are halving in price nearly every year and getting more efficient too. I think they’re great.

  64. Dhorvath, OM says

    Beatrice,

    I keep the Lounge and Thunderdome open in tabs, as well as any other comment thread I want to follow at the moment. Other than that, I use recent comments to keep up.

    Sounds like winter Dhorvath.

  65. says

    Time magazine ran a poll of the worst word of 2014. Guess what word made that list?
    Feminist.
    FFS!

    feminist: You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.

    Feminism has been a thing for a long time. Some celebrities have chosen to publicly state that they’re feminists. I imagine that those who did felt that supporting gender equality is a statement worth making.
    This is something I wish more celebrities (and people in general) would embrace.
    Feminist is a GOOD word.

    Fucking TIME.
    (hat tip The Mary Sue)

  66. AlexanderZ says

    As of now “Feminist” leads with 49% with “bae” in second with 13%.
    Now I know what kind of people read Time.

  67. Rey Fox says

    Being “banned” by Time mag is probably a good thing. It means that the comfortable are being afflicted.

  68. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    PS: What does that minus thingy in front of the temperature mean?
    Oh, sweety. You don’t wanna know.
    unless you like to walk on water

  69. Tethys says

    Oh yuck, -20 C hurts to breathe it’s so cold. It’s an unusual weather system that has brought the arctic circle down over North America. It was fall last week, and now it looks and feels very much like winter. Its 18 F here right now, and there has been horrid frozen white stuff covering my sidewalks for a few days now. If I ignore it it will go away, right?

  70. Saad says

    Lofty, #106

    Julien Blanc will be refused a Brazilian visa.

    “One of his pick-up techniques to “open” a woman is to approach the target and choke her before covering her mouth to keep her quiet.”

    That’s a pick-up technique? So would killing someone and taking their wallet be a borrowing money technique?

  71. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau 109:

    -20°C is really fucking COLD!

    I saw the temperatures for Alberta, and got all nostalgic…and hey, it’s a dry cold!

  72. Lofty says

    And then, this:

    Blanc’s sidekick Owen Cook admits to an act of rape online

    “I didn’t think she wanted to have sex again. But I just threw her on the bed,” he is reported to have said on the video, which has since been taken down.

    “I’m like ‘I’ll just make this quick because she doesn’t even want it.’”

    Extremely dangerous creeps, the pair of them.

  73. consciousness razor says

    Cool video containing cats, robots and science.

    Wait a minute…. Does this mean they’re going to make robotic cats or catotic robots or something even more horrifying?

  74. Lofty says

    consciousness razor

    Does this mean they’re going to make robotic cats or catotic robots or something even more horrifying?

    Space cats that can stick to any passing comet they are thrown at. Aimed by shining a giant red laser at the target.

  75. Lofty says

    2kittehs, sssshh, you’ll give my Little Brown Cat big ideas. It’s all we can do to keep her sub orbital as it is.

  76. HappyNat says

    chigau,

    If you need a cat I will gladly give you ours. He is sweet, but a cold blooded killer, well maybe not cold blooded. I actually think he is playing with the critters he kills, until they stop moving and are then no longer fun to play with. We’ve actually gotten a citation from the local police because a neighbor was traumatized by watching him kill a baby squirrel. I’ve gotten used to cleaning up the slain but the neighbors and my wife are about done with him.

  77. chigau (違う) says

    HappyNat
    It is cold here where I live.
    The mice want to come and live in my kitchen.
    a cold blooded killer is exactly what I want.

  78. ChasCPeterson says

    Jerry Coyne sez:

    The lack of comments on science posts, leads me to wonder if people even read them, or read them but have nothing to say, or just skip them as seeming “too hard”…If it’s the latter, what’s the point of writing about science? But if I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t want to run this website. I could turn it into the Daily Mail of atheist sites, but there’s already an entire blog network devoted to drama, rage, and recrimination.

    [248 comments so far today]

  79. AlexanderZ says

    ChasCPeterson #145

    there’s already an entire blog network devoted to drama, rage, and recrimination.

    Did he have a specific atheist blogging network in mind?
    Also, I find it a bit strange of him to rail against “drama” in a post that is nothing but drama. Or is that his way of saying mecum omnes plangite?

  80. says

    I’ve read the comments on Coyne’s blog. He really doesn’t have to work at drama, rage, and recrimination — his commenters do a fine job of that already, with his tacit permission.

  81. dõki says

    there’s already an entire blog network devoted to drama, rage, and recrimination

    It’s the second time in a single day, and in completely different communities, that I see the word “drama” being used to shame people who speak up against sexism. It sounds so much like 4chanspeak.

  82. microraptor says

    Well, can you blame them? I mean, if they didn’t, someone might get the impression that standing up for the rights of women and minorities and calling out people when they say stupid, misogynist things on Twitter was something to be applauded. How could we possibly allow that? It might give women the impression that they’re entitled to not get bombarded with catcalls and crude pick-up lines when they go to atheist conventions.

  83. consciousness razor says

    The lack of comments on science posts, leads me to wonder if people even read them, or read them but have nothing to say, or just skip them as seeming “too hard”

    So get statistics on how many people load different kinds of pages. Maybe some of them still don’t actually read what’s in their browsers, but that’s at least something. But it’s not really about that, is it?

    I kind of want to blame creationism: some kind of rot from being around its decaying corpse has infected his brain.

  84. anteprepro says

    Some horrible people rageblog for the blog hits.
    Jerry Coyne, sophisticated blogologist, merely frustrationblogs for the blog comments.
    Big difference.

  85. says

    Anyone else seen the Cosby allegations coming out? I was too young when the Cosby show was on to be a fan or anything but sheesh. Can prominent men please stop sexually harassing women as a best-case-scenario?

  86. Badland says

    I ♥ Phil Plait and his take on the Matt Taylor shirt. The comments, though, oy: “Y u no talk science u talk feminism u corrupted booooooo”

    He cites Lewis’ law and they still don’t get it

  87. says

    We are saddened to see a once great science blog, like Coyne’s, go all to shit on account of rabid unchecked faux-outrage and manufactured drama. As the blog owner, Coyne owes a duty of care to the rest of society, and would be doing himself a good turn, to keep his commenters in line and get his blog back to producing relevant high quality science content.

  88. HappyNat says

    @chigau

    Louie would have a field day. If you are within 200 miles my wife would drive the cat to you. Longer than that she’d make me drive him out.

  89. says

    @ SC (Salty Current), OM

    If you are wondering about the lack of Chinese visitors to your site, it is likely because it has been blocked by The Powers That Be ™.

    @ Chas

    The lack of comments on science posts, leads me to wonder if people even read them

    I noticed a similar phenomenon at Nugent’s site. When it comes to piling onto PZ (inter alia) the comments sections are riddled. But when it comes to issues of atheism, or social justice, they fall quiet. I had it explained to me, that it is because the ‘pitters are in agreement with the (non-PZ-bashing) posts and therefore don’t comment. (I don’t quite follow the logic either, but there you go.)

    @ dõki

    {waves} Long time no see!

  90. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I rarely comment on the science posts for one simple reason, I do not know enough to even try to talk about it. And the people who do truly understand to not need to deal with what I fear would be question that do not even raise to the level of “stupid question”. Yes, I do not like to speak when I do not know what it is I am talking about.

  91. ChasCPeterson says

    speaking of Nugent’s site, did you-all see this Steaming Festival Of False Equivalence?
    holy shit, Nugent is OTT IMO.

  92. says

    Re: Coyne and “drama”. There’s nothing like a good pejorative term to distance yourself from others: “I make trenchant criticism, but you are a drama queen, and that other guy’s a rageblogger”. In the British comedy Yes Prime Minister this gag was referred to as a form of “irregular verb”, but I recently discovered one of the possible technical terms for it is emotive conjugation, and it was observed by Bertrand Russell as the bias towards thinking better of ourselves and those who are close to us, while ascribing negative connotations to distant others (as usual Wikipedia has some more to say if you’re interested).

    Early on in the days of the Deep Rifts™, the CEO pointed out the emotive conjugation going on – he pointed out a certain philosopher using the phrasings “criticised X in a civil way” and “took the opportunity to attack Y” to describe almost the exact same thing. With the way the Deep Rifts panned out, the guy in question never went back to assess whether one or other of those descriptions were a fair portrayal, but it’s no surprise to see similarly biased representations over and over again. So it would be nice if people would, firstly, acknowledge that similar things should not be characterised differently but given equivalent descriptions without loaded language; and secondly, when there are important differences, that the description of those differences should be in their proper proportion; after all, what is rationality if not an attempt to keep matters in their proper perspective?

    This lack of proportion is maddening – for example, you need only look at the tone of criticisms made directly towards Matt Taylor on Twitter during the Philae landing (see M.A. Melby’s analysis which has been put on Storify), to see little that can possibly be characterised as a “feminist lynch mob”, when compared to the attacks that have come afterwards towards people identified as having made those criticisms (partly from the #Gamergate mob, and the usual Internet Hate Machine who soon were attracted to the controversy).

    I guess with respect to the 1:9:90 ratio of commenters, I’m firmly in the 9%. Although I leave comments sporadically, I do tend to circle back soon afterwards to see if anyone has anything to say, but otherwise for the rest of the thread I might be reading/lurking, I might not be. (Sorry if this adds to your impression of being ignored, Janine.) The most recent time I was going to leave a comment here in the Dome, I perceived there had been too long a gap between a previous conversation for it to be a worthwhile addition – a couple of weeks back the worldwide Jehosophat’s Witlesses convention had been in town, and it was just that little bit too late and uninteresting to mention having been mobbed by about fifty thousand of them all trying to descend on Spencer Street Railway Station at the same time, and then having to catch a train home utterly chock-a-block full of them. (It was bizarre, but not that terrible either.)

  93. says

    At this point in time Nugent’s obsession is worrisome. It’s a bit like watching a friend fall for a new hobby to the extend that they neglect friend and family and their job.

    Xanthe
    this is a small but exemplary sollection of this phenomenon by Adam Lee.

  94. dõki says

    Oh, hi, theophontes! *waves back*

    I’m genuinely surprised someone remembers me, I only commented here for a few months last year. I should also issue a shout out to Tony!. He was very kind to me in Ashley Miller’s blog a few weeks ago, but I was too embarrassed for having posted something whiny, and couldn’t get myself to write something in reply. So, well, hey, thanks, you two!

  95. consciousness razor says

    Xanthë:

    In the British comedy Yes Prime Minister this gag was referred to as a form of “irregular verb”, but I recently discovered one of the possible technical terms for it is emotive conjugation, and it was observed by Bertrand Russell as the bias towards thinking better of ourselves and those who are close to us, while ascribing negative connotations to distant others (as usual Wikipedia has some more to say if you’re interested).

    More generally, you could think of it as a form of fundamental attribution error. That frees you from talking about it as a sort a linguistic phenomenon, as well as one with definite, recognizably-emotional content associated with it. People act in all sorts of ways that reveal this sort of bias, you know? That is, they do it even when they don’t articulate it in words (out loud or in print), while their emotions or other mental states can also be a lot more complicated than simply embodying that one isolated thought, as it were.

    Imagine a white racist who thinks of their own poverty mostly in terms of external factors, while they want to blame black or brown people for having certain characteristics or making certain kinds of choices which led to poverty in their cases. The racist has some idea why “life isn’t fair” for him (a stupid phrase, just to simplify things here), but he doesn’t have access to that kind of biographical or environmental information when it comes to others, so it’s ignored and replaced with all sorts of other junk that he dredges up out of his stupid racist head. It may not be put into a coherent string words making a substantial claim, and there may be all sorts of irrelevant and chaotic activity making up the nonsense in the racist’s head instead of a specific emotionally-loaded distinction of some kind. But you get basically the same kind of effect.

  96. AlexanderZ says

    What I don’t understand are the people that support or excuse sending death/rape threats. I know it’s a no-brainer, but it’s almost comical when you look at it from the global/political angle. Aren’t the sexists, misogynists and their supporters the exact same people who keep saying that the Muslim world is inherently flawed because They™ all support death threats over mere words, while We™ are so enlightened that we don’t do that? Isn’t that the (main) reason why Dawkins and Maher and Harris and the rest keep on bringing the Islamic boogeyman?

    consciousness razor #165

    Imagine a white racist who thinks of their own poverty mostly in terms of external factors, while they want to blame black or brown people for having certain characteristics or making certain kinds of choices which led to poverty in their cases.

    Isn’t that called the Actor/Observer Effect?

  97. says

    Dear gob, Nugent has become a slymepit clone. I notice this fable:

    6. PZ has written three times about how he prevented an investigation into a threatened false allegation of rape against himself. He says that when a student threatened to make the allegation, he asked someone else to sit with her while he (zoom) went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation before it could get dragged out into an investigation that he said could destroy his career, no matter that she was lying.

    That’s straight from the slymepit. It has no relationship to reality. You get it echoed in a comment from some ass named Carr:

    Myers prevented any possible investigation of an allegation of misconduct against him that could be conducted in line with official university policy.

    Where the hell did that fantasy come from? In that incident, I went straight to the chair to invite an open investigation — that’s what you do when there’s an accusation. If I’d not gone to university officials immediately, and had instead tried to cover it up, there would be an appearance of guilt. Suddenly, in the minds of these fuckheads, reporting an incident becomes preventing an investigation.

    As it was, the chair, a woman faculty person, and a woman grad student met with her, she recanted and apologized, and I declined to pursue further official action. I followed proper procedure, was completely open about the incident to all involved, and now asshole Nugent is happily embracing slymepit lies and distortions to claim that what I did was sexist? Disgusting. He’s become a demented fuckwit.

  98. rorschach says

    xanthe@162,

    and it was just that little bit too late and uninteresting to mention having been mobbed by about fifty thousand of them all trying to descend on Spencer Street Railway Station at the same time, and then having to catch a train home utterly chock-a-block full of them. (It was bizarre, but not that terrible either.)

    I happen to pass by Etihad stadium on my way to and from work, and literally ran into 70000 JWs on the Friday morning of their convention. The saddest thing was to see the many children they had with them.

    PZ,

    Dear gob, Nugent has become a slymepit clone.

    You were right, and I was wrong. So sad to see.

  99. ck says

    I just have to share this bit of GamerGhazi info: The GGers have joined forces with Jack Thompson, the former lawyer (who was enhanced disbarred) who famously claimed that video games were training people to be murderers, and often painted gamers as people with no lives. And he’s become one of their heros because he was willing to say bad things about Anita Sarkeesian on camera (which is also a bit ironic, since he used to get death threats from gamers, too).

    These people are a truly parody of themselves.

  100. says

    What a surprise that if you’re not prepared to assess the truthfulness of what people tell you, and weed out those demonstrating bad faith by determining they have lied outright or deliberately misled, that you find yourself repeating the lies, and meanwhile your commentariat is a cesspit. People have been pointing out the most egregious lies that regularly get brought up (they have been told so often they are now ‘tells’ that the utterer surely cannot be demonstrating good faith) and have been rebutted over and over again, yet the liars still retain the ability to go on lying; that is an utterly fuckwitted lack of moderation and respect for discourse. He should rename his blog Slymepit Ireland, because that is what it has become. *sigh*