[Thunderdome]


eastern-diamondback-rattlesnake

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

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

Comments

  1. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    azhael @ 498

    No, it’s not just Chas. The difference is that Chas gets a pass for it because he’s a longtime regular. I haven’t been around here anywhere near as long as some of the Horde have and even I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve ridden this little merry-go-round with him.

  2. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    “When I’m With You” was over.

    Ah, a major guilty pleasure of mine. One of the power-ballad-iest of power ballads.

  3. yazikus says

    theophontes,
    Was it you who cleverly built your own sous vide machine? If so, have you made anything tasty in it lately? (Sorry, food is on the brain).

  4. AlexanderZ says

    ChasCPeterson #482

    I do not in fact feel butthurt about being “misunderstood”…

    “butthurt”? You wanted Tony (of all people) to know that you don’t feel “butthurt”?

    azhael #498

    I’ve seen several times the very same claim about how this is an inhospitable place that alienates allies because of how vitriolic and hair-triggered people around here are

    …which is true. It isn’t true for most of the regulars, but it’s true for some. Hell, look the “did I hurt your feelings” meme; some people enjoy doing that so much that they might as well print that on a t-shirt. They think that this is an indication of speaking truth to power, while in reality it’s often just being obnoxious on the internet.
    I understand where they’re coming from. For many this is the only place where they are surrounded by like-minded individuals and get to feel like part of the majority. It’s only understandable that, from time to time, they might want to act like a majority would.

  5. AlexanderZ says

    A question to Chas (comment 482):

    ‘I do not in fact feel butthurt about being “misunderstood”’

    You wanted Tony to know that you’re not feeling “butthurt”?

  6. AlexanderZ says

    Screw this. Every comment that mentions the Guy With The Turtle Avatar is being put into moderation. I call it a conspiracy.

  7. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @ Anthony K, that performance art made my day.

    @Nick Gotts 379
    Thank you for this comment. It helped me to better clarify what it is that I am looking for. A lot of this is too much “danger sense” and working trough things with others helps me get more specific. I guess a good summary is I’m concerned about my “voice” and properly separating my experience based speculation from the science, while being appropriate with how strong the science is in each area. Maybe I’m looking to see if what I have in mind looks like I’m sufficiently aware to begin despite inevitable screw-ups? I am sensitive to how social emotions can be manipulated ethically and I am here because getting one’s ideas worked over by one’s peers does have a powerful effect on parts of me that are complicated and related to all of this. I think that a lot of social emotion is present in the “demon” that I want to express.

    The brain is an information processing device, and it produces behavior in response to external and internal inputs.
    The brain’s adaptive mechanisms were shaped by natural and sexual selection.
    Different neural mechanisms are specialized for solving problems in humanity’s evolutionary past.
    The brain has evolved specialized neural mechanisms that were designed for solving problems that recurred over deep evolutionary time, giving modern humans stone-age minds.
    Most contents and processes of the brain are unconscious; and most mental problems that seem easy to solve are actually extremely difficult problems that are solved unconsciously by complicated neural mechanisms.
    Human psychology consists of many specialized mechanisms, each sensitive to different classes of information or inputs. These mechanisms combine to produce manifest behavior.

    That’s a fair list of things to want to be able to connect to our experience. I can honestly say that I think in those terms and will talk about topics that touch on those issues, but I want to be honest about any bias and accommodate readers accordingly.

    I’m trying to adapt my writing habits to my particular psychology. I actually have to make an effort to not have a strong opinion and that has created interesting ways of being socially functional. It’s like installing breaks in system one responses on a regular basis. Yeah I think that is TS related too, I see this thing in instinctual terms and it feels like a conservative religious stereotype (it’s why authoritarian/conservative types make a lot of sense to me). There are layers of bias balancing and I can honestly say that the shape of this thing pushes me towards the dramatic. But I like the challenge and want to know if I’m up to it because the right kind of engaging speculation can drive a culture in good directions. The specific and controversial claims that are mine alone must be obvious and defend-able to any reader.

    It’s weird but I think of my brain and mind in very mechanistic, yet alterable terms that works for me. There is a sense in which I’m adjusting a “level of specificity” and “authoritative phrasing” and similar depending on where I am between “EP” (Evolutionary Psychology) and “ep” (evolutionary psychology) on specific issues (other adjustments to variables animal model/human or WEIRD issues too). The picture that I have in my head has variables that change in a spectrum from things like “me with TSpeople with TS in general” and “people with TSpeople in general”. So I can get specific and authoritative about my TS, but am working on when to shift my voice into a more tentative one. Humans and minds in general, and anatomy as a category will tend to be more tentative and careful than humans with TS and minds, and TS anatomy category. I’m not thinking in spectra as much as I am thinking in 3D-venn diagrams and similar.

    For example I have really strong ideas about how transgenerational epigenetics may map onto TS and how that may reflect on minds in general. But I’m still thinking about how to stylistically separate my strong opinions from the papers I want to blog about, and add the flavor of the real experience as it relates to TS which is often shocking or startling (but not always). I’m going to try to be careful and a include a sense of unknowns and unknown unknowns that exist in the actual field by routine.

    Another is gender and sex. I honestly believe that the system/network that TS represents is directly involved in some forms of gender expression. But my experiences here have helped so I am trying to be sensitive to the difference between sex/gender, the difference between TSmale/TS female how culture might alter things for a woman (or a girl) with TS, and as many other potential ways the things I read about around here might intersect with my writing. I see bits of instinctual programming floating in my head that I think apply to lots of gender related things, and I have a better idea about how complicated gender is. I am developing awareness in communities related to trans and asexual issues also (I have no idea if I can functionally work with those variable yet but have ideas about how to try). So I’m setting up something here that I can come back to in the future if I need help installing new, uh whatever I need.

    Sex and gender can be pried apart and I’m in the middle of that issue even if the situation is not one that tends to be seen around here. If I have the skill to pry them apart is my concern. Those words do not play across society the same way and I do what I can to know the difference. Many other things can also be pried apart and still let me be obvious about why I want to name the blog “A Demon Speaks”. If worse comes to worst I’m setting everything up to be obvious that I want feedback from anyone. Also I know that I can develop better tools here or similar places as issues arise, and I have the ability to make those tools.

    Some more impressions somewhat out of order,

    These are taken from the EP literature, and the controversial aspects are the degree of modularity asserted, and the claim that “modern humans have stone-age minds”. Yet we know that we can acquire many skills and act in many ways that can have had no stone-age parallel, but which are fundamental to how we live: for example, we can learn to read and write (and this is known to affect the brain at an anatomical level), and live in cities where we can meet – and largely ignore – thousands of people in the course of a day.

    EP tends to ignore or downplay how far humans differ from typical mammals, and indeed simplify and stereotype the variety of mammalian behaviour, notably but by no means only in relation to sex.

    I can agree that “modularity” is a problem because that word probably means too many things to too many people. I am however sensitive to what we can say about brains and minds with respect to things like anatomy and life experience. I read about TS anatomy and pay attention to the issues that affect how well data can be generalized. Like how medication, age, gender, and WEIRD issues might affect things like structure, networks, functional communication, distribution of anything like proteins and cells, and how all of that might relate to “common experience” and the experience of TS. There is a place where the general rules end and individual diversity using those rules dominates and I am somehow optimistic but paranoid about being able to point it out.

    We have functioning societies of a billion and more individuals, while stone-age societies probably never had more than a few hundred. We also, incidentally, have significantly smaller brains than our upper Paleolithic ancestors.

    If something is highly varied within a population, that’s an indication that it has not been subject to strong stabilising selection – the kind that drives a trait in a particular direction.

    The idea of a “monkeysphere” based on Dunbar’s number is something I like to think about as one model (among the many that are needed). Imagine millions of monkeyspheres dissolving into one another. The ways we arrange symbols, communication and emotional meaning in the single sphere will relate to how the dissolved mass is behaving now. Those computational systems and the emotions they use were shaped by something even if we can’t quite say what, and we have undergone a selective shift recently. I have a weird sense for how we tend to act and react relative to some of those emotions as they relate to what they are attached to. I don’t have all of the pieces. For example people who self label as autistic-type that I meet have a fascinating ability to point out things to me that I don’t notice and I don’t believe that is an accident. I want to create a place where others can rationally change my views to get closer to reality.
    There may (probably) be massive relaxation of selection in many areas that may even have contributed to things like TS, and the current pressures are things that we need to know and I want to respect the bias involved as I speculate about it.
    One reason that I keep looking at epigenetics for inspiration (I have other things too, it’s convenient for the conversation) is that it is an example of how some of those highly varied things that relate to populations over time will not be changes in gene frequency. They will be developmental programming that spans generations, and some of the details are going to be different depending on the sex of the ancestor transmitting and the sex of the offspring receiving. In addition to gender, “inheritance” is a lot more complicated than I see it being treated. We are developing better data for anxiety and transgenerational signaling, drugs taken for how they feel are messing with systems that have affects on behavior transgenerationally.
    Also that smaller brain thing is a good reason to not be as concerned about that cortical thinning that is seen in TS. I’m in good company with the rest of you. OOk OOk.

  8. says

    Nah, to me Chas really embodies the prototypical white guy who can’t deal with the fact that women and PoC “invade” and “take over” his space, demanding their humanity to be accepted in full, no longer accepting his authority.
    I’ll give him that, he hasn’t stooped to threats of sexual violence and slurs.

  9. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    I’m going to have a little fun of the kind that I like, and tend to suppress a lot around here. Social conflict analysis. I’m not unbiased but I do try to account for all of them as much as I can. Think creepy insane precise doctor type from horror movies for how the more immature parts of my mind are thinking of this in the context of this specific case. I tend to type a lot because I see a lot and being concise can be challenging with the way I approach language. I’m working on it.

    I’m definitely in a minority on this, but I find people who are in the spectrum between contrast and conflict fascinating. It not a social role that would be seen with much respect, but just like there are people that are connoisseurs of ritual physical combat and conflict, I am a person who has always been fascinated by social combat and conflict. So when the Chass, Pitchguests, and others show up I love to watch what they do and the effect they have functionally regardless of anyone’s intentions and meaning. I am constantly fascinated by what people “choose” to take from the social encounters that they have. Lately I’ve been trying to observe and engage differently as I get a better feel for how to best support specific groups of people.
    Every social encounter has three meanings as an objective fact of reality that must be respected if one wants to be able to function best, no matter what anyone thinks. The meaning to the sender, the meaning to the receiver and the meaning to the audience. They do not always have the same priority and there are rules for that. The nature of the three meanings has rules. The way people perceive, react to, and remember the symbols and actions representing and connected to the meanings have rules.
    People who do not respect these rules, try to make them apply unfairly, or respond to them purely impulsively are not individually powerful and tend to add to their communities the way that a grain of sand will add to the oyster that makes the pearl. That is not an equation that I know how to be accurate with. There is a balance between the creativity that results from some conflict and the integrity of the community.

    @Chas
    You are certainly one of those fascinating ones that make me wish my emotions were organized with objects well enough to write a manual based on the stuff I see. You seem to be not quite disruptive enough to expel from the oyster and the way you choose to divide parts of reality in your text is very interesting.
    First point, like many others that tend to be on the conflict end instead of the contrast end you are often resistant to lining up your emotional characterizations with the text you are referring to, and you only selectively respond to what the other person says which either means you are lazy and disrespectful, or even more useful to someone like me you can’t respond to them. When I manage to finally figure out what you are specifically pointing to in the words of another I rarely think that the emotions match the object beyond your person.
    @467

    But I will point out that the attitude you ascribe to me is not mine; those are Anthony’s sarcastic words.

    SallyStrange knew that those were Anthony K’s words, their comment was implicitly agreeing with Anthony’s. The actual point of engagement for you is why the characterization is a problem. As a member of the audience I am not impressed.

    I guess we differ in our basic conceptions of what Pharyngula is. You think it’s a “social group”? I think it’s some guy’s blog (except for the Lounge, where, you may have noticed, I never tread.) It’s the very nature of the Internet that I have exactly the same right/privilege to comment in threads of some guy’s blog as anybody else.

    1) Unless a blogger only writes for personal reasons and restricts their blog from all readers all blogs are simultaneously a person’s space for transmitting ideas and a social space. It’s a social group when the blog (or one of many kinds of expression) becomes busy enough for commentators in the comments or elsewhere engage with one another as well as the author.
    2)The existence of the Lounge and Thunderdome are not only entirely due to the social aspects of this place, the two represent an interesting social tension all by themselves.
    Your mental model of reality is limited and that weakens you.

    It’s the very nature of the Internet that I have exactly the same right/privilege to comment in threads of some guy’s blog as anybody else.

    Until that “guy” decides you are more trouble than you are worth. That “guy” is also allowed to listen to the opinions of their readers on matters of behavior by any standards they want. If that point arrives I will be very interested in what you will choose to take from the experience, and who you will choose work through those emotions with (and other things).

    You (and whoever else) despise me so therefore I should leave a third party’s blog threads forever? Do you really not see what presumptuous bullshit that is? Check your narcissism. It’s not your blog, and neither you nor Anthony can profess any insight whatsoever into the mind of the ECO.

    1) There is a structure to what “despise” represents and you seem unable to express that you understand that structure.
    2)”Third party” is contractual language that feels dry, tasteless and boring with respect to this situation. Without knowing what his feelings are, I am sure that PZ would feel quite differently about you in contrast to SallyStrange. We can in fact develop insight into what PZ thinks by looking at what he thinks and how he feels. That is in fact part of the process of becoming a fan of a person’s writing. You ignore this at your peril.

    Maybe he doesn’t despise me. Or maybe he does, but is possessed of sufficient skill in reading comprehension to realize that I have never said or done anything banworthy. (If you’d like a refresher, see here.) (OK, I admit that item IV-10 is potentially invocable, but that’s a relatively recent thing and besides I’m not always negative.

    I have no idea if you have done anything ban worthy but this is utterly false. You ignore the possibility of creating new rules because of new reasons to despise commentators. You ignore the fact that rules develop as a response to the conditions in the society. Human apes like us are diverse in the means and ends for conflict. He can ban you for literally any reason, change his rules to reflect changing conditions, or just toss people for special circumstances and not think about it much.

    Do you ever read the [vanishingly few] biology threads?)(Oh, and while you’re over there, maybe take a look at item V-5, that thing about talking to people instead of about them?)

    1) The “vanishing biology threads” would be a matter between you and PZ and does not seem to be relevant to anything else you brought up above. The only way that I can see that it matters is…

    2)If PZ is choosing to respond to what his readers want him to write about and the biology threads are decreasing at a rate of some kind, conflicting with the people that create this tendency is an interesting choice. Having fun with the language you used earlier, instead of increasing the appetite for biology threads among the consumers of PZ’s blog, you are in fact attacking people with other appetites within PZ’s range of products. That sort of behavior will have a relationship with rules and banning that you seem unaware of.
    3)With respect to specific rules, I do see people talking to you, and talking to others about you. So you should present the rules in the context of if that other behavior is bannable. Especially in the Thunderdome. You are being selective with your perception and you might want to address that because it makes your posts much less persuasive.

  10. Anthony K says

    I’d also like to note that someone who isn’t a complete fucking dumbass wouldn’t continue to use a years’ old in-joke while simultaneously trying to claim that this isn’t a social space (but some guy’s blog), and that old members don’t have privileges.

    Of course, Chas won’t respond to this, because this isn’t a social space, but some guy’s blog, and so he makes himself a liar every time he responds to something not directly written by PZ.

  11. AlexanderZ says

    Hey! My comments are back on! Not much to look at, though…
    Chigau, I guess it was the word “butthurt” then. Makes more sense, but still not fair – how did Chas managed to avoid moderation? Is it because he put it inside blockquotes?
    Clever guy.

  12. says

    Nope, definitely not a social space. What we’re doing right now? Definitely not socializing. Social interactions? Not happening. Social dynamics? Totally nonexistent.

    Probably because we’re all PZ’s sockpuppets. Yeah, that would explain it. Otherwise, this would look remarkably like online socializing. Silly me, though. Socializing is for girls and other despicable things. Biology is what the cool kids are into!

    Whoops, sorry, forgot–this isn’t a social space or a social group or anything like that. Won’t happen again.

    So, how about that biology? Sure is neat stuff, eh?

    Yup. Biology.

  13. Ichthyic says

    previous thread link goes back a whole month to Nov 19.

    whatever happened between then and now… didn’t.

    O.o

  14. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    In 16 I should have said “personal social conflict analysis”. I do the larger one all the time.

  15. Ichthyic says

    So, how about that biology? Sure is neat stuff, eh?

    Yup. Biology.

    I’m picturing you, on a porch swing, on a hut summer afternoon, swigging a cool glass of lemonade… maybe a mint julip.

    Yup. Biology.

  16. says

    I’m picturing you, on a porch swing, on a hut summer afternoon, swigging a cool glass of lemonade… maybe a mint julip.
    Yup. Biology.

    Maaannnn, it’s ALL biology.

    /stoned bio 101 student

  17. AlexanderZ says

    PZ #32
    It’s not my fault
    I’m not to blame
    It is the turtle-guy
    And his posterior pain
    It’s not my fault
    That on your site
    We trip the filter
    Even when we cite

  18. Owlmirror says

    I thought at first that Chas had figured out that it was b—h— that was tripping the filter, but going back and checking, I see that he wasn’t sure which term he used was problematic.

    He even thought that “Nugent” might be on the blocklist. Heh.

  19. ChasCPeterson says

    I apologize for use of the verboten word. I used it in the sense that I have always interpreted it–a reference to having been spanked–(frankly I find any other interpretation to be a real stretch), but it was unnecessary. And I did not know until just now that it’s a filter-tripper.
    Not my blog, not my rules.

    [“Dick” on the other hand I used intentionally because it conveyed exactly the connotations I intended, is neither bigoted nor sexist, and I find a blanket ban of “gendered” words to be just silly.]

    Gilliel @515: Your vague subjective impression, offered without evidence, reason or justification, is downright bizarre. Congratulations, you came up with the single thing that anyone’s said to or about me here to which I take sincere offense. In reply: Fuck you.

  20. Owlmirror says

    Chas @469: Huh. For years, I thought that you were really disgusted by Walton, and had made that announcement (about renouncing your Molly if he got one) . . . somewhere. And seeing your ‘nym replaced with “Removed by Request” looked like you had followed through on that. I guess I had a false memory from somewhere?

    Possibly from Ichthyic or someone else, after all.

    Ichthyic @ 472:

    just how old is this request?

    archive.org shows the Molly page changing between March 2011 and April 2011

    renouncing a molly sounds more like a Truth Machine thing though.

    Ironically, truth machine (acknowledging a ‘nym change as “nothing’s sacred”, and sounding unusually mellow) posted to the announcement thread a half-year later with belated congratulations.

  21. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    He even thought that “Nugent” might be on the blocklist. Heh.

    But what if I wanted to talk about a great point that Ted Nugent made?

    Oh, wait, that is improbable.

  22. says

    @ yazikus

    Was it you who cleverly built your own sous vide machine? If so, have you made anything tasty in it lately? (Sorry, food is on the brain).

    Yes, I made a sous vide machine, using a s/s bowl from a bain-marie. It was brought up to temperature by the heating element of a small electric stove & controlled by a PID controller, using a temperature probe to take the readings. It was a bit of a kerfuffle to set up the controller, but it ended up working really well. And then I stopped eating meat, so that was the end of that.

    @ Tony!

    Yeah, I called Chas out on that twice, and both times it got eated.

    @ PZ

    Oops, sorry.

    @ Chas

    You wouldn’t insult people by referring to them as women’s genitals. Why then use men’s genitals as an insult? Think about the implications of the insults you use.

  23. azhael says

    @Chas

    “Dick” on the other hand I used intentionally because it conveyed exactly the connotations I intended, is neither bigoted nor sexist, and I find a blanket ban of “gendered” words to be just silly.

    No, no, not gendered words, silly, gendered insults. There is a difference, you see….you can use as many gendered words as you like, it’s when you use them as an insult that it absolutely becomes sexist. Using the name for male genitalia as a derogatory term is inexcapably sexist, here and in any alternative universes in which logic operates. It doesn’t magically stop being sexist just because it’s about males.
    For someone who has been here a long time, saying something as absurd and dishonest as that is at best, weird…at worst terribly malicious. Maybe, just maybe, people have a point when they say you are a vicious bigoted wolf clumsily disguised as a sheep.

  24. rorschach says

    Mick Nugent allowed this comment on his blog:

    “On the other hand raping Ophilia Benson would, to my mind, be necrophilia even without the pillaging bit.”

    I asked him to remove it and he did. I appreciate that, I really do. I would also appreciate if Mick would take this instance to review his policy regarding comments on his blog in general. Case in point, noone in the comment section thought the comment in question was questionable at all. That probably tells you all you need to know about the skeptic capabilities of his commentariat these days.

  25. ledasmom says

    ” Red blueberry” sounds like lingonberry or similar. There certainly are species with red berries in the same genus with blueberries, though generally they’re not as sweet, which seems like a kick in the pants for the red-berries-women-like-pink evo-psych sorts.

  26. Anthony K says

    Gilliel @515: Your vague subjective impression, offered without evidence, reason or justification, is downright bizarre. Congratulations, you came up with the single thing that anyone’s said to or about me here to which I take sincere offense. In reply: Fuck you.

    Oh, fuck off Camille Cosby. It’s a reasonable assessment based on the evidence available here. I’m sure in your little brain (no lie!) you have all sorts of reasons for being the terrible person you are, but since you’re all tight-lipped an’ shit, nobody knows what they are. (Or cares. Frankly, you’re so fucking self-unaware here, you’re the last person I’d ask to explain how you tick.)

    And fuckface, this is some guy’s blog, namely PZ’s. What the fuck are you spending all this time talking to other people for?

    Have a nice day, you sad, broken little man.

  27. anteprepro says

    . I used it in the sense that I have always interpreted it–a reference to having been spanked–

    Humpty Dumpty rides again.

  28. Anthony K says

    “Dick” on the other hand I used intentionally because it conveyed exactly the connotations I intended, is neither bigoted nor sexist, and I find a blanket ban of “gendered” words to be just silly.

    Not your blog, fuckface. Not your rules.

  29. anteprepro says

    azhael:

    For someone who has been here a long time, saying something as absurd and dishonest as that is at best, weird…at worst terribly malicious.

    Never underestimate the sheer, magnificent power of putting your fingers in your ears and chanting “lalalala, I can’t hear you”. There is a simple elegance to it that belies the incredible might and effectiveness it possesses.

  30. Dhorvath, OM says

    I have a Molly. I even got it basically when Chas had his removed. This makes me an expert, right? Or maybe not. Still. I was paying acute attention, by my lax standards, at the time. The award was already dying, PZ had stopped doing it, instead having MG take care of tabulation and announcements, with May announced in August it was little surprise when it was discontinued shortly thereafter and had the short lived comment of the month take it’s place.

    Knowing who I am and what I contributed leading up to mine, I am reasonably confident that it was community knitting, not elocution or clarity of thought which netted mine. I won’t speak for Chas, who has made it clear we ought not expect understanding, but based on the interactions I had with Chas here at the time I was not surprised to see Sven’s OM removed from the list.

    I will note that a number of other recipients have at least stopped wearing the colours, some have even explained why, (I remember Brownian doing so, I can’t explicitly recall anyone else.) For myself, it was a time when I was very low and brought some light to a very bad year so I continued to wear it as a reminder that I am more than one path. I do consider retiring it from time to time, I am different now than I was then, but I am also lax and absent from here much of the time so it doesn’t seem horribly important.

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

    Chas,

    Some time ago, you:

    In an attempt to cut off a derail:

    “the-butt-word” is homophobic.

    Thank you for confirming my suspicion.

    I always thought “the-butt-word” was about getting spanked.

    We’ve had this discussion before. It’s incorrect to make the blunt statement that it “is homophobic,” because a lot of people read it and use it and always haved in the ‘spanked’ sense. However, others testify to interpreting it as a reference to anal sex/rape instead, no matter the intent, and worse, evidence was presented to show that many people not only interpret it that way but also use it intentionally in the perjorative homophobic sense.
    So once you know that, you have to decide whether your intention is pure and obvious enough to risk misinterpretation. Best to drop it altogether.

    Note: the-butt-word written instead of the other word that would trigger the filter

    I’m not guessing whether this time you used the word to cause offense or you didn’t think about the choice at all. Just giving a reminder.

  32. chris61 says

    rorschach

    Regarding that comment that Nugent removed from his blog when you asked him to. It is a disgusting comment and given that you appreciated him removing it, I cannot imagine what made you think that posting it somewhere else was a good idea.

  33. ledasmom says

    It’s too bad there’s no flowers visible. It does look a lot like saskatoon – something about that particular blueish red.
    Such saskatoons as I have sampled were completely boring except when dead ripe, but tasty when they were.

  34. says

    Dhorvath @ 54:

    I will note that a number of other recipients have at least stopped wearing the colours, some have even explained why,

    I stopped using it because I already had enough problems with people assuming I had amazing powers here, and especially after the Mollies were winding down, using it seemed more akin to wearing a banner saying “I won a popularity contest!”, and that made me uncomfortable. Specifically, John Morales would often point out that anyone sporting an OM should automatically be listened to, and I didn’t like that, either. I want anything I say here to be taken on merit, and if I say something stupid or wrong, I want people to call me out on it, not let it slide because I happen to have an OM.

  35. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I took my OM to mean that some people liked what I had to say to Barb when she was actively advocating her godbotting homophobia. It was nice but it was not something I could take that seriously. Also, I did not like the suggestion that I should somehow be taken more seriously because I had it attached to my name.

    Hell, I do not even remember when I stopped using that title in my monikers and I really do not feel like taking the time to figure out when it happened.

  36. Anthony K says

    I stopped using it because I already had enough problems with people assuming I had amazing powers here, and especially after the Mollies were winding down, using it seemed more akin to wearing a banner saying “I won a popularity contest!”, and that made me uncomfortable.

    My reasoning was something like that. I think I’d had a few encounters with newcomers wherein I thought I was being accorded undeserved respect. I also recognized that Pharyngula was changing, and it seemed to me that in-group signifiers like the Mollies (or in-jokes like referring to Mary Myers as the Trophy Wife™ or PZ himself as “Teh ECO”) presented unnecessary hurdles for newcomers to overcome in order to be comfortable commenting here.

    To be clear, I don’t think it’s at all a problem if someone continues to wear their molly, or someone else likes to refer to PZ as “Teh ECO”. It’s kind of an issue of critical mass. There’s nothing wrong with nods to the past, but this social space isn’t the Class of ’05 or the Flying Hellfish: it’s a constantly evolving group in which older members fall away and are replaced by newer members—and that’s a thing to be encouraged, not lamented. (Here’s a good example of why.)

  37. says

    Hi Chigau. Things are busy. Same old and all that. Got some movies in though, finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy (fun!), X-Men: Days of Future Past (surprisingly good), and Snowpiercer (good, but seriously grim – and Evans still looked too well groomed for the part).

    Anthony K:

    There’s nothing wrong with nods to the past, but this social space isn’t the Class of ’05 or the Flying Hellfish: it’s a constantly evolving group in which older members fall away and are replaced by newer members

    It’s a group where the older members who stick around are constantly evolving too, so to speak. Society changes, culture changes, and the group here changes, except for those oldsters who are increasingly bitter over the changes. I suppose some people need to be the ones on the figurative lawn, yelling at the rest of us.

  38. anteprepro says

    Michael Nugent seems to have cribbed from the slymepit in his list of violent and regretful things commenters have said here. 2 quotes from one post in 2012, two others from separate 2012 posts, and one 2007 post. He also has a bunch of other “smears” that are just insults to his precious, previous thought leaders.

    It made me wonder: Why did he have to dig so deep to find this shit?

    So I decided to do a comparison: Look to see what I could find from commenters in just the most recent PZ related post. Instead of trying to hunt down any possible bad thing ever said on his blog by someone who wasn’t him from the beginning of time, I think this is a far fairer approach.

    Trigger warning in effect.

    Rape and sexual harassment is essentially a joke to these people. They lie about PZ using accusations of such things as a weapon while vengefully scheming about how they could do exactly that.

    http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/12/16/hurtful-harmful-smears-pz-myers-happy-atheist/

    Robert Ewebus, speaking favorably of this gentleman and a tale of him exposing himself to a neighbor:

    His son was in my year there and one story he told was when they moved to Bearsden in Glasgow that the neighbours were calling him a Jew.

    One Summer morning he went into their back yard wearing a bathrobe when the wife of their neighbour was in her back yard, he called over to her and opened his robe and he was bare naked underneath and shouted over to her, “See, I am not Jewish!” (he still had his foreskin).

    I loved being in Professor Bell’s lectures and almost always they would go on for hours after he had finished

    Aneris, claiming that sex positive feminists are enabling or commiting rape (or worse). Somehow.

    (K) Double-Think 1: “Rape Culture” vs “Sex Positive” — outgroup does the former and when the identical (or worse) thing is done by the ingroup, it’s the latter.

    Steven Carr, with whatever the fuck this is:

    Myers has so devalued rape accusations that he now regards it simply as a defense mechanism to state that people who are criticising him are rapists, or providing a haven for rapists.

    He just throws out libellous, malicious rape accusations as a smear tactic to discredit the person he is responding to.

    I can’t imagine what a genuine rape victim must think ….

    Crackity Jones, plotting.

    The TRUTH is that Pharyngula and Butterflies and Wheels (along with a couple of other sites) are the ONLY known “safe havens” for a rapist. Therefore, the people who comment and support those sites are ‘rapists’, or ‘supporters of rape culture’, or whatever hackneyed definition PZ vomits up.

    Shout this LOUDLY and directly in their FACES. Whenever they have one of their silly “rape apology” pieces on Slate or Buzzfeed, make sure the comment section clearly labels PZ, Ophelia, Pharyngula, Butterflies and Wheels, etc. as THE “safe havens” for rapists. Mention the FACTS. Make this knowledge mainstream. It will wound them, and dilute their potential for further attacks and BS.

    Ewebuns again using troll logic to make a vague rape accusation:

    I mean OK, better late than never I suppose, but if Myers is trumpeting the “Social Justice” now, then when did he actually convert from the idea that gay bashing or lynching or rape was a bad thing? I mean if he thinks that it is such a bad thing now he must have thought that it was a good thing or at least OK in the past.

    There are some of us who have never thought it was a good thing – didn’t then and still don’t – so we don’t have any particular reason to expound or emphasize it.

    With regard to Myers and consortium I would say, “Those that shout the loudest usually have the most to hide”.

    Shermertron making light of rape threats:

    It just so happens that my non-existent sister received a rape threat from, one must assume, a person who supports “Jackie,” the alleged rape victim from the discredited Rolling Stone UVA article.

    Pogsurf:

    Were someone to give Myers a swift kick in the nads we would then be entertained by the spectacle of Myers as victim. I can hardly wait.

    And of course, the post previously mentioned that was removed.

    —–

    Michael Nugent, your ship ain’t as clean as you are pretending it to be. Which is the entire issue that has you angry with PZ and obsessing over him in the first place. Your “tu quoque” fails. It fails obviously. Ridiculously. Clear to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention. You know, aside from your dedicated fanbase. And the slymepit. But I repeat myself.

  39. azhael says

    There are some of us who have never thought it was a good thing – didn’t then and still don’t – so we don’t have any particular reason to expound or emphasize it.

    Translation: I don’t have to do fuck all about this, except claim that i’m, of course, opposed to these things, without actually doing absolutely anything to oppose them, even to the extent of not even expressing that i oppose them because that would be taking action. Plus, you know, that’s all in the past, and it has nothing to do with me, i’ve moved on…

    Argh….

  40. says

    @64, anteprepro

    Thanks for that post. Now I have something bookmarked I can easily provide to any person who needs to be brought up to speed on Nugent.

  41. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Just so you know, anteprepro, Crackity Jones is one alias for Richard Sanderson. It was also the name of his twitter account when his main account was suspended.

    As for that quote, it is what he has been repeating for years now.

  42. anteprepro says

    brianpanksy

    Thanks for that post. Now I have something bookmarked I can easily provide to any person who needs to be brought up to speed on Nugent.

    Glad I could be of service. Skimming that was a nightmare, it was so hard to not just quote something for being egregiously mean-spirited or stupid, so if I save some people the trouble, works nicely.

    Janine

    Just so you know, anteprepro, Crackity Jones is one alias for Richard Sanderson. It was also the name of his twitter account when his main account was suspended.

    Good to know. Saw a lot of other familiar nyms over there too that didn’t say anything worth quoting. It really is just the Slymepit 2 over there. I thought people were just exaggerating when they were saying that, but it is pretty much them, plus an extra drive-by commenter patting Michael on the back. It’s a giant fucking circle jerk.

    One of the most entertaining things I saw in that thread was the insistence that Michael Nugent’s posts are our worst nightmare and that we are all so angry and terrified and blah blah blah. And then they make fun of the idea that anyone would view the posts as stalker-ish or obsessed. It’s just so goddamn stupid. Even reading one thread and quoting however many random commenters was more effort than they really deserve. They probably will think I actually give a shit now. Must help them sleep at night.

  43. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @anteprepro 64
    That link is amazing.

    Nugent has a regular pattern that is meant to suppress bad behavior in other parts of the movement as you mention. He does the same thing over and over. He acts outraged and overwrought, points to things that someone (usually PZ) said and never explains why they are a problem.
    I can never tell if he has a problem with the tone or with people uncovering our collective social sewage. If he does not start doing some explaining soon I’m going to start assuming the latter because he has had plenty of time, and he just loves engaging in repeated unwelcome behavior that if properly named would probably make him freak out. He would not have to harass if he actually had a point. Bullies do tend to respond to an accusation of wrongdoing with raised volume and behavior that suggests that they think saying something over and over and over and over will have some effect.
    1.1

    They indiscriminately attach themselves to countless decent people around the world…

    A literal appeal to group think that ignores quantitative and qualitative statement about proportions of individuals. Apparently we must respect holy mother movement atheism.
    Spineless shithead does not want to be told he is enabling and ignoring rude to illegal behavior.

    1.2
    So why are these statements problems? He never says outside of a blanket characterization of them. I love a good harsh characterization when they are rationally connected to a problem and logic is presented.
    Also Hitchens had a few mean things to say about dead people himself. He should respect Hitch’s beliefs if he has that much regard for the dead.

    1.3
    I don’t necessarily have a problems with non-literal violent imagery, he needs to get more specific as usual. Do you know where else I had someone insist that something was so using emotional language only? Church.
    Not every term referring to substandard brains implies disability or other inborn issues. Some references to substandard brains refer to how yours got screwed up by regular experience and choices. That matters. I think that Nugent’s brain is quite substandard. Lunatic, idiot, moron and similar have some historical connections, but to things that have better names and categorization today. I’m sorry but we need words for people that break their brains as a matter of programming that they were responsible for and can fix.

    1.4
    I’ve only ever encountered that porcupine issue and similar when people on that side of the rift bring it up. I don’t think that I have seen that sort of thing around here otherwise. I agree that inviting people to harm themselves is too much but that has been the conclusion around here for a long time actually.
    Why were the commentators wrong about those other opinions? He does not say.
    Why was banning that person a problem? He does not say. I’m not in church.

    1.5

    Despite there being so many smears that each can hide behind the others, as PZ drags us on a desensitising race to the ethical bottom, we should try to look at each of his smears as if they were isolated allegations, to be judged on their individual merits based on principles of evidence, fairness and justice.

    HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAAHA!!!!!! *Deep inhale* HAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHAH!!!!!

    I’m tempted to start posting there as a gadfly but I need to think carefully about how.

  44. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    69 should say “…meant to suppress attention to bad behavior…” at the beginning.

  45. says

    FBI confirms that North Korea was behind the cyberattacks on Sony Pictures.

    Confirming what had been speculated almost since the beginning, the FBI Friday confirmed that North Korea was responsible for the hack on Sony Pictures perpetrated by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace, a cyberattack the White House has called a national security issue that will get a “proportional response.”
    “As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions,” the FBI announced.
    “We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States,” the FBI said.
    “The FBI’s announcement that North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures is confirmation of what we suspected to be the case: that cyber terrorists, bent on wreaking havoc, have violated a major company to steal personal information, company secrets and threaten the American public. It is a despicable, criminal act,” said Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Sen. Chris Dodd.
    MPAA has been criticized for not weighing in more forcefully on the attack and Sony’s response, though he did address the attack at a press event in Washington earlier in the week.
    “Disappointingly, that fact has been lost in a lot of the media coverage of this over the past few weeks,” said Dodd in a statement. “This situation is larger than a movie’s release or the contents of someone’s private emails. This is about the fact that criminals were able to hack in and steal what has now been identified as many times the volume of all of the printed material in the Library of Congress and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who work in the film and television industry, as well as the millions who simply choose to go to the movies. The Internet is a powerful force for good and it is deplorable that it is being used as a weapon not just by common criminals, but also, sophisticated cyber terrorists. We cannot allow that front to be opened again on American corporations or the American people.”
    The White House has said it takes the hack very seriously, considers it a national security issue-it stopped short of calling it a threat, and has said it is considering a range of options, and has not ruled out a counter cyber-attack.

  46. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I can never tell if he has a problem with the tone or with people uncovering our collective social sewage.

    The second, without the slightest second of a doubt. If you respond to him with a legitimate concern/complaint/whatever, he’ll completely ignore you. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Running interference for the Sherm so that maybe Dawky-poo will let him in the big boys club.

  47. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @ UnknownEric the Apostate
    I have not seen that yet. But given the garbage that I just read I can believe it.

  48. AlexanderZ says

    Giliell #75
    lol. I love how “doxxing” is the first item on the list. It’s like:
    I’m a registered terrorist with the Interpol on my heals, but you doxxed me man! Not cool, bro.
    Though I suppose a terrorist hunted by Interpol would be touchy about doxxing.

  49. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    Pointing out or responding to abuse and/or harassment is worse than abuse and/or harassment. Q.E.D.

  50. anteprepro says

    Yeah, I noticed franc linked to by Giliell and I wondered: what the fuck is the story there? Because he obviously ain’t telling the full story. It’s like someone whining “he called the cops on me!”. Sure, that could be very unethical….assuming that they did so falsely. But you conveniently left out the preceding events and the reason for the call, so…..

    (And that is, of course, assuming that he isn’t flat out lying or just blaming every unfortunate event on PZ)

  51. HappyNat says

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nugent is a tedious wanker. How he can spill so many words without actually of substance is . . . something. His obsession with PZ is odd, but the way he does it is is so vague and hand wavy, he just knows saying PZ is bad will get people praising him. Months ago after one of his first pieces I asked a question for clarification and he pointed me right back to the article I had a question about. Like his 7,000 words handled everything completely, then he has how many other thousands of words without making a point. I think he really just wants to be Dawkins lapdog, all yip and no bite.

    Since PZ can get people on the no fly list, if you could add me that would be great. I’m not looking forward to this upcoming business trip.

  52. anteprepro says

    Iyeska: Welp, that answers that. Thanks. Thought it was hoggle, but didn’t remember hoggle doing anything except hoggling. Apparently he didn’t either, at least not the part where he was planning to stalk and intimidate PZ. Or he just decided that leaving out that little detail was convenient at the time. Go figure.

  53. anteprepro says

    I’m sorry, I just can’t resist a bonus round. It is not in my nature.

    Same Michael Nugent threat, Trigger Warning again.

    There are two new comments that are borderline: one claims that PZ advocates for bestiality (harkens back to the days where his daughter was harassed over the same strawman), and one claims that PZ is “calling himself a ‘nonce'” (a similar joke was made several times in the thread itself, but they were jokes over word choice, not used to declare that PZ was, somehow, ungrammatically, claiming to be a sex offender).

    But this shit by Michael Nager….oh boy…

    Did I mention Trigger Warning? Because, Jesus Christ.

    With regard to rape then there are only two possibilities that I can see.

    1) Rape is innate to males of the species, hard wired like being afraid of the dark/snakes/spiders etc. In this case what the hell are Watson & Co. whining about? They should be happy that there only is as much rape as there is and not even more. In fact it would then not be something to complain about (it would after all only be an expression of a normal genetic hand-me-down), but rather to factor into their daily lives as an inevitability, so they should just suck it up and stop whining.

    2) Rape is aberrant behaviour on a par with breaking and entering – only in meatspace instead of houses. In this case their whole “all men are rapists” meme is a conscious lie on their part for the purpose of self aggrandizement.

    It might serve well to remember what Michael Nugent is whining about. It is the cherry atop the shit sundae. Very first paragraph of that post:

    After I criticised PZ Myers and others for smearing the atheist movement and individual atheists, PZ responded by falsely accusing me of defending and providing a haven for rapists, and he has now refused for ten weeks to withdraw and apologise for this defamatory smear.

    Smearing for thee, but not for me. Please apologize for saying I provide a haven for rape apologists and harassers. Please pay no attention to all the rape apology and plots for harassment.

    All so very polite. Civility at its finest.

  54. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    So terribly unreasonable to say Mick Nugent provides a haven for rapists when he has to be prompted to delete a comment advocating the rape of a specific person and then lets another comment stand which a) suggests women should be grateful they don’t get raped more often b) lies about the “Watson & Co.” position on rape and c) equates rape to a property crime.

    Also: I’m beginning to hate the word “smear”. Does the man have a rule about using it once per sentence or something?

  55. anteprepro says

    Tried to figure out what this “PZ supports bestiality” meme came from. Googling it led to a blog post and a bunch of conservapedia articles. Dandy.

    But this was the thing they were pointing to:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/05/22/the-objective-morality-gotcha/

    The full thing:

    Let’s apply my moral tools to the problem.

    1. Sorry, I have no interest at all in having sex with animals. I think sexual behavior is a fascinating subject and enjoy the diversity of sexual patterns I observe in nature, but I have never had the slightest desire to join in. Of course, since there are so many different ways that human beings have sex that I also have no interest in sharing, that I have to say that my disinterest is not an argument against allowing it.

    2. Most animals will not consent to sex with a human (and vice versa), and will respond with violent opposition to any attempt to do so. Consent is much more complicated with animals, though: cows do not consent to be turned into hamburgers, but we do it anyway.

    It’s also the case that some domesticated and intelligent animals seem to be willing to participate in sexual activity with humans — dolphins and dogs, for example. It is possible to find animals who demonstrate a willingness to participate in sex play. Within that narrow band of possibilities, I’d have to say that this criterion doesn’t provide an argument against sex with animals in all cases.

    3. I oppose causing harm to animals unless there is an opportunity for significant gain (sorry, while I can be absolute in opposing harm to humans, I do not make the same argument for animals.) Having recreational sex with an animal is not a gain significant enough to justify causing it harm, however. So most instances of bestiality must be opposed for the same reason.

    Some forms of animal sex play do not cause harm to either participant, though, so again in that limited domain of behavior, I cannot make an objection.

    4. Zoophilia has strong cultural stigma and is against the law in many (but not all!) states and countries. Given my total lack of interest in sexual activity with animals, this is more than sufficient incentive to avoid such activities. Also, given the absence of any vocal lobby arguing for the their right to participate in bestiality, I’m not feeling any need to change cultural taboos. I do feel that bestiality is adequately addressed by laws against cruelty to animals.

    So, to answer clueless thick-skulled Christian idiot’s question, I don’t object to bestiality in a very limited set of specific conditions , but do not support it in any way. My position is rooted in objective moral principles other than the dogma of the bible, and is defensible as a reasonable approach based on improving the welfare of all participants in an activity. I also reject his question as a clear ploy to label critics of his dogma as goat-fuckers — and as such, his whole game is fallacious and deeply dishonest.

    So what else is new? He’s a fundamentalist Christian.

    So Mick Nugent has dishonest shitheels, straight from the slymepit, that are also cribbing arguments from fundies and Conservapedia.

    Why am I not surprised?

  56. says

    anteprepro @83:

    All so very polite. Civility at its finest.

    and tone trolling.
    Civility and a fuckton of tone trolling. I clicked that link to Nugent’s post and was amazed to find that his post was one big whine-fest. OMG PZ Myers called someone a mean name. OMG he called dead people mean names. OMG he called living people mean names. That’s just the worst thing ever.
    Meanwhile, his blog has become a second Slymepit HQ.

  57. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @ anteprepro
    I’ve seen that bestiality claim before via an issue with Slymies and Facebook. Basically it stems from some art that PZ posted involving people sending him porn with octopi.

    This is an example of why atheists can essentially be religious, some of us mythologize. Either someone turns into a prude and tries to slime PZ via “ewww look what he posted!”, or they try to make him look like he is pushing bestiality. The problem with these people is that they have no connection to reality when it comes to social conflict. People in general learn things in one of two ways, personal experience or another person. Their drama is from another person and the “telephone game” (unless outright lying, I always plan for both rhetorically). Since they are making ridiculous claims that should be supported and people over here are making claims about harassment and bad behavior that is more common and not ridiculous and easier to support we have the advantage. It can get a little tiresome but the routine does make that easier.

    @Tony
    Fuck tone. Unless it’s a person who is triggered by trauma and the tone I don’t give a damn anymore (and they can’t go there because that creates a culture that respects people who went through traumatic experiences). The tone is what gets attention because that is what it does. One reason why they get repetitive is to overcome tone since they can’t go there strategically.

    Tone only has it’s power because a large enough number of people decide that something is a bad thing to say. That is why Nugent is harassing and repetitive, the Spacing Effect has power as well as Spaced Repetition does have power. If he exposes enough people that get most of their information from other people instead of primary sources he can have an effect. Community drama is a legitimate skill and based on what I remember from subbing in middle schools Nugent and the slymies know their stuff. When I encounter this stuff I relentlessly demand the sources since this is a ridiculous claim and get ready to berate them for expecting me to believe ridiculous crap without evidence. You can’t deal with a ridiculousness claim and a room full of people reinforcing the message any other way that I have seen than calling them out for missing or bad sources. We are supposed to be above believing things based only on other people by cultural stereotype from skepticism.

    Culture has to be shifted somehow and since we have a history as a movement of being very demanding of evidence for ridiculous claims that is an advantage. That can be used to twist the hyper-skeptic narrative back on itself since they ignore the whole “some claims are more believable than others” angle and we can provide evidence that our claim is more believable. The more allusions to religion and believing based on feelings and word-of-mouth the better since that is probably one of the worst insults we can pass out as atheists. We know these fuckers can’t bear to have to actually say why specific parts of a piece of evidence mean what they assert.

  58. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @ Seven of Mine

    I’m beginning to hate the word “smear”. Does the man have a rule about using it once per sentence or something?

    See what I said to Tony about the Spacing Effect and Spaced Repetition. Meat computers.

  59. says

    Brony:

    Basically it stems from some art that PZ posted involving people sending him porn with octopi.

    No, it doesn’t. It goes back before that, and regardless of slyme tactics, it’s not worth re-hashing. All that does is to provide encouragement to those wishing to defame Pharyngula. I find it particularly distasteful to constantly reiterate such things here, for the benefit of newbs.

  60. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @ Iyeska
    Let me be more clear then.

    The links that I posted in #87 responding to anteprepro are the most solid links to PZ and bestiality that I have seen.

  61. anteprepro says

    Apologies for the rehash then. As far as I could tell, they are blatantly distorting the truth as always, but I suppose we don’t need to retread just to know that.

  62. says

    Let us not forget that Mick Nugent has also contributed to this Professor-Myers-is-into-beastiality meme when he wrote: “In another post, he [Professor Myers] wrote: “Although nothing beats a sea slug for that vulval feel, I’m afraid. Mmmm, Aplysia, if you weren’t so cold, I’d… ahem.”

    Seems like these disgusting and vile memes are born at the pit and grow to adulthood at Nugent’s place.

  63. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    This bullshit about bestiality is just history repeating. This is the same shit that creationists like “For The Kids” were saying about PZ’s daughter years ago.

  64. says

    @ Iyeska

    No, it doesn’t. It goes back before that, and regardless of slyme tactics, it’s not worth re-hashing. All that does is to provide encouragement to those wishing to defame Pharyngula. I find it particularly distasteful to constantly reiterate such things here, for the benefit of newbs

    Meh. Personally I am all for transparency. Yeah, we haven’t been perfect. We’ve made mistakes. We still screw up occassionally. The point is more that we call each other out, learn and adapt. We outgrow our mistakes. We evolve.

    Part of that is teaching “newbs” our history, warts and all. It will also inform their own transformation. Being a self-critical, loving & open human being is not something any of us where born with. It takes a lifetime of effort. We should share our successes and failures openly. It is enough that we constantly seek a higher level, not that we claim to ever achieve it.

    Our opposition are not incapable of making relevant criticisms. If they call out comments we have made that were ableist, for example, (far to common on FTB, but constantly improving), it doesn’t help to throw sand over it.

    On the other hand, we are constantly improving, and they are having to stoop to the level of raising issues that were called out, and resolved, many years prior. I may also point out that any errors, on our part, in no way justify, nor diminish, the rank sexism and reactionary bullshit that Michael Nugent, slymepit™ and the like provide a haven for.

  65. anteprepro says

    Fascinating pattern going on in regards to Michael Nugent’s posts. The two most recent pages worth of posts:

    “Atheist Ireland submission to Children’s Rights Alliance on UN Convention on Rights of the Child”
    Comments: 1

    “Please support Atheist NI – new atheist and secular advocacy group formed in Northern Ireland”
    Comments: 3

    “The hurtful and harmful smears of PZ Myers, “The Happy Atheist””
    Comments: 260

    “He came. He saw. He went home. Now he’s back. I, Keano is returning to the Olympia in March 2015.”
    Comments: 2

    “Iraq and Afghanistan – gravest violators in the IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2014”
    Comments: 3

    “Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia – good news stories in the IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2014”
    Comments: 3

    “Would you vote for an atheist? My discussion on BBC Radio Ulster on launch of IHEU Report”
    Comments: 4

    “Ireland systemically discriminates against atheists, says IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2014”
    Comments: 0

    “The pattern continues – like PZ Myers’ smear about rapists, Theo fails to apologise for his smear about fascism”
    Comments: 142

    “You have the right to offend atheists, but not to discriminate against us”
    Comments: 38

    “Come to the Atheist Ireland Christmas Party in Dublin on Saturday 13 December!”
    Comments: 3

    “Is PZ Myers sexist? Am I fascist with a seedy past? It depends on whether you ask Charitable Theo or Uncharitable Theo.”
    Comments: 308

    “Should atheists ask for an inclusive symbol to replace the vandalised cross on Carrauntoohil?”
    Comments: 15

    “My debate about the vandalised cross on Carauntoohill mountain on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show”
    Comments: 5

    “Better chance of dying than being cured at Lourdes – my debate about miracles on RTE TV”
    Comments: 11

    “PZ Myers updates his story about the threatened false rape allegation made against him”
    Comments: 528

    “Be a cyber buddy not a cyber bully – advice from young Dublin people that some adults might also consider”
    Comments: 7

    “Atheist Ireland attends Irish Youth Councils celebration of 25th anniversary of Convention on Rights of the Child”
    Comments: 2

    “Does God exist? Video of my debate with Catholic evangelist Hugh Owen from the US Kolbe Center”
    Comments: 3

    “Atheist Ireland endorses FLAC report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights launched yesterday”
    Comments: 0

    Huh? Wonder what’s going on with those numbers? It’s a mystery.

  66. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    Ha, that’s hilarious. Apparently nobody at all gives a shit about what Mick Nugent has to say unless he’s whining about PZ.

  67. says

    @ anteprepro

    Yup! I’ve raised that point before. If you devide the comments from the aetheist/humanist posts he makes, by the raving anti-PZ (et al) posts, you end up with a vanishingly small fraction.

    One of his acolytes explained to me that it is because they read the posts but don’t comment because they agree – or some such twaddle. Surely even someone as obtuse as Michael Nugent has noticed this phenomenon. The underlying point though, seems to whizz over his head without notice.

  68. anteprepro says

    theophontes:

    One of his acolytes explained to me that it is because they read the posts but don’t comment because they agree – or some such twaddle

    That certainly is a thing that happens, but it doesn’t make sense, because they agree with each other and with Nugent about PZ too. It is pretty transparent that Mick just doesn’t have a real audience. He is just importing slymepitters every time he talks about one, specific topic: PZ. They vanish outside of that context.

    It happens here that some topics are way more popular than others. And comment quantity is largely a function of the controversy factor of the topic itself and how many people Don’t Agree, or just decide to play at being a douchebag. I can’t vouch for every thread, but I saw the “Hurtful Smears” thread. The large comment quantity wasn’t due to arguing with Dissenters; it was almost all back-patting and handwringing over “SJW”s. In fact, towards the end, they were mocking Pharyngulites for not coming there to argue with them.

    So, yeah, bullshit excuse is bullshit. Michael Nugent just writes very boring posts, often on very boring topics, but his obsessive posts against PZ draw in people who obsessively hate PZ and FTB. It’s really kind of hard to deny.

  69. opposablethumbs says

    they were mocking Pharyngulites for not coming there to argue with them

    That’s pretty amusing. If it weren’t for occasional comments here, I would never even have heard of Nugent. Why on earth would one bother? I know that MRA sites, AGW denialist sites and the like exist, for example, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth visiting (even if they might hypothetically contain good info on unrelated topics, like DIY plumbing advice or something; Nugent may be fine on certain issues for all I know, but why bother going to a cesspit for atheism info when you can get it somewhere that isn’t a cesspit?).
    I know it’s been said, but I can just imagine how the stats compare – wordcount on PZ-related topics vs non-PZ-related topics chez Nugent: wordcount on Nugent-related topics vs non-Nugent-related topics here. It is to laugh.

  70. chigau (違う) says

    On the bus.
    The movie will be some version of “Miracle on 34th Street.”
    I’m not going to watch it.

  71. anteprepro says

    chigau: That sounds unpleasant. The thing is, I kinda like Christmas, but the Christmas season is just fucking oppressive. Treacly bullshit everywhere. Force-feeding the eyeballs.

  72. chigau (違う) says

    I think that when Virginia saw the reply to her letter, she did the 1897 equivalent of rolling her eyes and muttering, “Tsk. Grown-ups.”

  73. says

    I am going to post this here because it’s only tangentenial to the Furgesson thread (which i can’t rind now and am too busy being fucking furious to track down).

    But the police reaction to the shooting of the two NYPD officers is fucking disgusting and hyperbolic and smacks of the racist and classist double standard under which we live.

    The shooter killed his victims (only the cops, not his black girlfriend, ’cause they don’t matter natch) because of the constant anti-cop riots and attitudes of the left. It is all their fault. And now the police are a war police.

    fuck them. fuck this. fuck everything.

    When a white fuckwit with a rifle quotes every RWA talking point broadcast on the right media empire while emptying his weapon into people, well he’s just a lone crazy nothing there to look at we don’t have to deal with the wider culture.

    But if a black man kills cops it’s *obviously* everyone who is talking about police violence and militarization and we can’t let that FLY YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS YOU LEFTIST LIBERAL SCUM NOW WE HAVE TO KILL EVEN MORE BLACK PEOPLE TO KEEP CONTROL.

    I am done. Just so fucking done. I’m getting numb about this bullshit happening every fucking day.

  74. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @anteprepro 95

    Fascinating pattern going on in regards to Michael Nugent’s posts.

    That is an interesting pattern. I’m going to have to keep that in mind.
    @98

    It is pretty transparent that Mick just doesn’t have a real audience. He is just importing slymepitters every time he talks about one, specific topic: PZ. They vanish outside of that context.

    We may see behavior similar to Thunderfoot. The fact that Thunderfoot does get money for his awful videos because of the viewers is rewarding his behavior so he makes more videos. In addition to support of Dawkins et al in a conflict Nugent finds the attention and possible increased revenue rewarding. Did you notice if rates of posts about PZ have increased?

    In fact, towards the end, they were mocking Pharyngulites for not coming there to argue with them.

    Yeah that’s just ridiculous on the face of it. The cowardice in the use of the excuse instead of having the courage to demonstrate why someone is wrong.
    It’s entirely possible for both groups to analyze comments elsewhere and post replies to their own areas. If we wanted to we could dissect everything over there for fun and they could replay over there. It would be functionally identical to two bloggers responding to one another on their own blogs.
    In fact since the internet is moving towards each community choosing their own culture and customs that may functionally be the way some social conflicts will play out for a while. I like the fact that they are bothered by SJWs. It means that we are a threat. People like safety and the more safe communities that exist that do not carter to their sociopathic behavior and willingness to ignore harassment, abuse, sexism, racism and the like, the more that will become a preferred behavior standard online that people are willing to support in numbers. It will also reinforce behavior in meat space.
    @theophontes97

    One of his acolytes explained to me that it is because they read the posts but don’t comment because they agree – or some such twaddle. Surely even someone as obtuse as Michael Nugent has noticed this phenomenon. The underlying point though, seems to whizz over his head without notice.

    It’s a tricky one to use rhetorically so when I have noted things like this in the past I usually have to have the neutral and negative assumption ready in my head. The negative assumption being that the commentators are only there in a cultural conflict sense. But in this case the neutral assumption that they don’t comment because they agree is also unflattering. It’s more evidence of authoritarian personalities over there.
    Authoritarians don’t tend to analyze one another’s ideas and conclusions as much (even for fun). Anything but praise can look like challenge more often because authoritarian personality is more aggressive by its nature so they actively look for challenge instead of simple compare or contrast. It also goes against the stronger instinct to simply respect authority quickly and without comment. A community that is not dynamically working with their ideas is not a healthy one.
    The community separation is a good one. It concentrates certain personalities and brings out differences in behavior, as well as leading them to “accidental” support of the authoritarian religious and political right. If we are really fortunate their toxic personalities will weaken their communities.

    @Tashiliciously Shriked 104
    I’ll use those to piss off my Fox News loving family later today. It’s been too long since I jabbed at the family conservatives, which is unfortunately almost all of my family.

  75. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Pompous blowhard Roberto Sampson is back in the Sarah thread.

  76. Ichthyic says

    you know what’s really fun to notice about Mike Nugent?

    the only thread he ever gets comments on are the ones where he attacks PZ.

    just look at the 4 most recent posts…

    1
    3
    337
    2

    I’ll let you figure out which of those had 337 comments.

  77. says

    Oh gawd. ‘Winterval,’ the Myth That Will Not Die.

    More recently, various secularists have had a go. A few years ago, Birmingham city council sought to replace ‘Christmas’ with ‘Winterval’, alleging that it was “offensive” to Muslims and other non-Christians that a holiday based on ‘Christ’s Mass’ should be on the calendar.
    [Link]

  78. says

    @ Ichthyic

    Hehe … The new science of nugentology:

    On the back of a napkin, for the past month, I see that PZ gets about 45% of MN’s total word count, but 94% of his blog’s comments. Anti-PZ posts are 1726% more efficient¹ than regular, non-PZ posts. The next most effective means of soliciting comments, seems to be to post videos or recordings with the least number of typed words possible².

    ¹ In nugentology, efficiency of posts is measured in nugents, where η = [# of comments] ÷ [OP word count]. Best score to date is the incredible 160 mη (millinugents) for his post of 24th November, berating PZ for keeping us updated.
    ² A recent 67 word post garnered 59 mη.

  79. chigau (違う) says

    Oh please, that spaghetti guy got pirates and global warming on a graph.
    Anything is graphable!

  80. Lofty says

    Plot of micronugents of relevance vs word count :
    0.1
    0.0———————————————————————————————
    0>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>100000000000

  81. rq says

    Tashiliciously @103
    Feel free to repost that comment here, links and all, which is the latest Ferguson thread. If you feel up to it.

  82. rq says

    … and I swear I read the comments after and still missed Pteryxx’ redirection to that thread. :P Sorry.

  83. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    The Troll Hunters.

    A bunch of journalists with data mining skills identify and confront people who engage in harassment and abuse online. A Swedish troll version of “To catch a predator”.

    More like this please. If we are to have the freedom to speak anything, we must also ways of confronting one another for bad behavior. Via Skepchick.

  84. anteprepro says

    theophontes: Is the date going from most recent to least recent, or is it going in traditional chronological order?

    Also, I am reading it right that there are only two points plotted for that green line? Which posts did you choose? Almost all of his post qualify as “chloroform posts”, I agree, but at least a handful do actually qualify as POTENTIALLY interesting and worthy of discussion of some form (“Ireland systematically discriminates against atheists”, 2 posts about vandalized cross, one post about miracles, the post about “right to offend atheists”. Also, the post about “cyber bullying” seemed like it could have been a veiled jab at PZ, so I’m surprised that got no attention).

  85. says

    @ anteprepro

    I constructed it in jest, per chigau’s pirate comment. The plotted points ( in millinugents vs dates in order) are accurate though. How to draw the graphs is anyone’s guess. Other than the obvious, anti-PZ posts, the odd one’s out are very short posts and a post which had non pitters. More points would obviously be more interesting, but I only get so bored at work.

  86. anteprepro says

    theophontes: I would gladly help contribute to the Grand Graphology, as my boredom at work is limitless, but unfortunately deadlines are drawing near so maybe some other time!

  87. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @anteprepro

    Also, the post about “cyber bullying” seemed like it could have been a veiled jab at PZ, so I’m surprised that got no attention).

    I have not read the article in question yet, but that may make sense with respect to the hypothesis that Nugent is simply a convenient social space for pitters for the purposes of social conflict primarily.

    If there are significant historical elements to the culture of the pit that can be associated with cyber bullying and there is no direct link to FTB that can be twisted they may be hesitant to address the topic. A bully can’t safely talk about something that might be associated with them without some sort of means to deflect attention from themselves.

  88. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    WBFF is owned by Sinclair, those same slimy fuckers who aired that anti-John Kerry “swift boat” documentary right before the 2004 election. I put nothing past them. (And I refuse to watch that station.)

  89. says

    @ Sili

    Why eta for nugent?

    Measure of efficiency. (And the η looks, to me, a little like a comic-sansy “n”.)

    @ anteprepro

    Grand Graphology

    If you get really bored and have time on your hands, try doodling on the raw graph: Link here. High scores seem to correlate to anti-PZ posts and very short posts.

    The anomaly is on 04 December, when the post was actually read by some non-pitters. Subject was discrimination against atheists.

  90. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    well, that whole bird anesthesia thing
    and the lumpy transformers
    and the welding helmet

  91. says

    @ chigau

    I wouldn’t go within a mile of that job-site!

    Hey, I’ve been on far worse job sites than that one!

    well, that whole bird anesthesia thing

    Perfectly parsimonious with what would be required were the story to be regarded as true. A sign of a good work of fiction.

    and the lumpy transformers

    They were really cool. Exactly as angels look when they have fallen to earth.

    and the welding helmet

    They actually wore welding helmets? Far more responsible than many welders I have met.

    .

    If I can’t convince you by other means, here is the clincher: Ark-believing goddists absolutely hate that movie.

  92. says

    @ chigau

    bamboo ladders

    I can explain. They arrived with the shipment of pandas from China. Panda’s ate the leaves, builders used the leftovers.

    fucking Tubal-Cain is fucking on the fucking Ark!‽?

    If Tubal-Cain WASN’T on the Ark, HOWCOME is therE still Assyrians??!!?

  93. Owlmirror says

    To quote Charles Stross:

    By 2004, when MI5 (the counterintelligence agency) openly placed recruiting advertisements in the press, we can be sure that Bond would have been best advised to seek employment elsewhere. Spies are supposed to be short—less than 180 centimetres (5 feet 11 inches) for men—and nondescript. As a branch of the civil service, MI5’s headquarters are presumably non-smoking, and drinking on the job is frowned upon. As intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6 staffs aren’t in the business of ruthlessly wiping out enemies of the state: any decision to use lethal force lies with the Foreign Secretary, the COBRA committee, and other elements of the British government’s security oversight bureaucracy. An MI6 agent driving a 1933 Bentley racer with a supercharged engine, frequenting the high-stakes table at a casino as James Bond so memorably did in his first print appearance, is an almost perfect inversion of the real picture.

    What happens when I do this?

  94. Owlmirror says

    To quote Charles Stross:

    By 2004, when MI5 (the counterintelligence agency) openly placed recruiting advertisements in the press, we can be sure that Bond would have been best advised to seek employment elsewhere. Spies are supposed to be short—less than 180 centimetres (5 feet 11 inches) for men—and nondescript. As a branch of the civil service, MI5’s headquarters are presumably non-smoking, and drinking on the job is frowned upon. As intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6 staffs aren’t in the business of ruthlessly wiping out enemies of the state: any decision to use lethal force lies with the Foreign Secretary, the COBRA committee, and other elements of the British government’s security oversight bureaucracy. An MI6 agent driving a 1933 Bentley racer with a supercharged engine, frequenting the high-stakes table at a casino as James Bond so memorably did in his first print appearance, is an almost perfect inversion of the real picture.

    See also: spyness (read all the way down to the bottom right)

  95. says

    @ Owlmirror

    Let’s try that:

    ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂
    ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ UMBRELLA ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ REVOLUTION☂ ☂ ☂ ☂
    ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂ ☂

    Yay!

    Thanks.

  96. says

    Owlmirror
    Ubuntu. My browser of preference is Firefox, which may also be of significance.
    x posted from Lounge: This came to me courtesy of my aunt, in a consignment of goods from my late grandmother’s kitchen. I have no clue what it is or what it’s for, and I was hoping someone here might be able to enlighten me.

  97. Owlmirror says

    @Dalillama:
    You’re probably running an older release of Ubuntu.
    Ubuntu 14.04 (at least) includes a version of DejaVu Sans which includes many emoji.

    Can you install a package called ttf-ancient-fonts, which includes many more emoji?

  98. says

    Owlmirror
    I did install it, but it didn’t help; I now see gray squares without numbers in them, except the top one, which is a non-colored smiley. I am indeed running a slightly dated version, though, which is probably what’s happening.

  99. Owlmirror says

    I don’t have colored smileys either, FWIW. I am wondering if it is possible to yoink the colored font from somewhere, but I haven’t done so yet.

    I see that there is a poop emoji. Um.

  100. says

    My apologies for the tediousness of this long process of attrition. QFT:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    @ Carrie

    Michael is not telling a “story”,

    Everyone has a story.

    His current narrative is getting stranger by the post. He is taking to misrepresentation in order to call out what he calls “misrepresentation”.

    nor is he building a strawman.

    Look at his posts: “…Am I fascist with a seedy past?…” and (above) “…Theo fails to apologise for his smear about fascism.”

    Michael says that I personally associate him with fascism (” to associate me personally with fascism”) when I show that he was a member of the Fine Gael. Fine Gael are called Blueshirts because, as the linked article shows (“Fine Gael’s Fascist Roots”), they quite literally had fascist tendencies in their past. Is Michael, in any way, responsible for that aspect of their past? No, of course not. But he nevertheless claims that I suggest otherwise. Is Michael to blame for Fine Gael being a Christian Democratic party with neoconservative tendencies? No, of course not. But I nevertheless suggest that it would have been better (as a supposedly socially conscious atheist) not to have joined the Blueshirts in the first place.

    With regard to the references to coloured “shirts”, it all started on this blog, in the discussion concerning the inappropriate (in my opinion) attire of a Matt Taylor.

    The reference to “seedy past” comes from another commenter (Crackity Jones) here:

    You have got under his skin, Michael. You have exposed his seedy interior. Well done. All he can do is try and dance around your responses and fire off his own typical brand of personal abuse.

    It would appear that I have got under Michael’s skin and that he is firing off with typical hyperbole and distortion. One would have thought that one so fixated with “nuance” would have picked up on the nuanced inferences within my comments, rather than crassly leaping to accusations of “smears”.

    Dancing around indeed.

  101. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    my dear friend
    shut down the Nugent tabs and walk away.

    how are your ‘helicopters’?

  102. says

    shut down the Nugent tabs and walk away.

    You are right chigau.
    {blushes}
    My SIWOTI is showing.
    {closes tabs}

    how are your ‘helicopters’?

    Tricopters & quadcopters. They are still in pieces. I shall rebuild and upgrade in the next month or so. Now, if only I could learn to fly the bloody things properly…

  103. AlexanderZ says

    Pteryxx #166
    Every week a black person is being shot and killed by the police, only when two policemen were shot then they suddenly became “wartime” police. Though I suppose NYPD does have a point – you can’t call it a war if nobody shoots back, you call it target practice.

  104. AlexanderZ says

    chigau 157

    Hercules is a pretty fucking good movie.

    I saw (part of) it a couple of days ago. Please tell me you’re joking. The first half was so bad I didn’t want to stay for the second half.

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

    AlexanderZ,

    And barely anyone even mentions the young woman who was shot before the two police officers, who is still in critical condition.

  106. AlexanderZ says

    Beatrice
    You’re right. It’s like an layered onion of disenfranchisement – if you’re black you lose your right to live and people won’t even hear about it if you’re also a woman.

  107. chigau (違う) says

    The 2014 “Ninja Turtle” was scripted by 12-year-olds.
    But the Turtles are Awesome.

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

    chigau,

    from wiki:

    In Like Flint received mixed reviews when released in 1967; a New York Times critic said: “Although the film crawls with dime-store beauties, there is a noticeable lack of sexiness in it. Women bent on being tyrants evidently haven’t much time for anything else”.[4]

    Roger Ebert had similar criticisms: “The sexiest thing in the new Derek Flint misadventure, In Like Flint, is Flint’s cigarette lighter, which is supposed to know eighty-two tricks, but actually delivers only five, of which, one is the not extraordinary ability to clip Lee J. Cobb’s moustache”.[

    Hah!