[Thunderdome]


Evil-Santa

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

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

Comments

  1. Sven DiMilo says

    Both the light reactions of photosynthesis and the electron transport chain of mitochondria are examples of ATP PRODUCTION WITHOUT SUGAR. And both are powered by electrons. The Krebs cycle is much more importantly an electron source than an ATP source.

  2. AlexanderZ says

    Either tech support are all extremely stupid or they enjoy taking the piss out of me.
    me: I can’t interact with this page at all, including switching from bookshelf to list format.
    tech support: try switching to list format

    …probably the latter.

  3. Ichthyic says

    AlexanderZ

    And even if the respiration was sugar-free

    The discovery of electric bacteria shows that some very basic forms of life can do away with sugary middlemen and handle the energy in its purest form – electrons, harvested from the surface of minerals. “It is truly foreign, you know,” says Nealson. “In a sense, alien.”

    Nealson’s team is one of a handful that is now growing these bacteria directly on electrodes, keeping them alive with electricity and nothing else – neither sugars nor any other kind of nutrient

    so, what part of that did you miss then?

  4. Ichthyic says

    @ sven:

    Both the light reactions of photosynthesis

    which stores energy for later retrieval in the form of sugar.

    again, this is NOT the same thing.

  5. AlexanderZ says

    Ichthyic #4

    so, what part of that did you miss then?

    The part where they link it to the actual scientific publication. I read the original scientific article (by St. Paul et al. linked in the previous page) and it didn’t support anything from the press release. It looks like the journalist exaggerated and embellished everything.
    Hell, even the upcoming publication doesn’t show what the journalists says. It supposed to show that there are many more bacteria that can grow on electrodes, and fair enough, I believe him. But in no point is any scientists quoted to say that there is no sugar middleman. That line seems like journalistic sensationalism.

  6. Ichthyic says

    uh, the quote came from one of the people currently doing these studies, not the journalist reporting on it.

    you must have missed that bit too?

  7. Ichthyic says

    so unless Nealson himself is lying, which I rather doubt, I think I’ll wait for the next paper to come out and see for myself.

    thanks for the effort though, much appreciated.

  8. Grewgills says

    I had a weird experience while out last night waiting for a table to open up for dinner. I was walking through some of the nearby shops and galleries with my 14 month old daughter. As we were about to leave one of the shops the clerk that had been very nice to us both said something that took me aback. He smiled and leaned in and said to my daughter, “There are two words every pretty girl on this island should know… rich husband.” It was weird and off-putting on several levels. I just responded by talking to my daughter loudly enough for him to hear about how she was going to be a strong independent woman who didn’t need to rely on anyone but herself.

  9. Owlmirror says

    Some scholar.Googleing results in this:
    Electron transfer mechanisms between microorganisms and electrodes in bioelectrochemical systems

    Abstract:

    Microbes have been shown to naturally form veritable electric grids in which different species acting as electron donors and others acting as electron acceptors cooperate. The uptake of electrons from cells adjacent to them is a mechanism used by microorganisms to gain energy for cell growth and maintenance. The external discharge of electrons in lieu of a terminal electron acceptor, and the reduction of external substrates to uphold certain metabolic processes, also plays a significant role in a variety of microbial environments. These vital microbial respiration events, viz. extracellular electron transfer to and from microorganisms, have attracted widespread attention in recent decades and have led to the development of fascinating research concerning microbial electrochemical sensors and bioelectrochemical systems for environmental and bioproduction applications involving different fuels and chemicals. In such systems, microorganisms use mainly either (1) indirect routes involving use of small redox-active organic molecules referred to as redox mediators, secreted by cells or added exogenously, (2) primary metabolites or other intermediates, or (3) direct modes involving physical contact in which naturally occurring outer-membrane c-type cytochromes shuttle electrons for the reduction or oxidation of electrodes. Electron transfer mechanisms play a role in maximizing the performance of microbe–electrode interaction-based systems and help very much in providing an understanding of how such systems operate. This review summarizes the mechanisms of electron transfer between bacteria and electrodes, at both the anode and the cathode, in bioelectrochemical systems. The use over the years of various electrochemical approaches and techniques, cyclic voltammetry in particular, for obtaining a better understanding of the microbial electrocatalysis and the electron transfer mechanisms involved is also described and exemplified.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    So.
    Our Internets WentDown™.
    I went Upstairs and unplugged the modem and the router.
    Then I plugged them in again.
    Now all is tickety-boo.
    I iz a fecken IT guru.

  11. Ichthyic says

    heh, reminds me of the classic 1st response advice we always gave to Windows customers in the 90s…

    “Just reboot”

  12. chigau (違う) says

    Ichthyic
    ‘reboot’ was always my goto action back then
    pretty much always accompanied by profanity
    and sometimes heaving of furniture

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @David Marjanović.
    Again, whenever you want to discuss induction (e.g. Bayesian reasoning) vs parsimony.

  14. Acolyte of Sagan says

    #20, I’d really love to join that discussion but I’ll likely have something even more scintillating to do. If memory serves, I think I need to count my rice.

  15. chigau (違う) says

    The temperature is 0°C.
    It is raining
    snowing
    raining
    snraining
    raisning
    I am not leaving house tomorrow.

  16. Ichthyic says

    I read the original scientific article (by St. Paul et al. linked in the previous page) and it didn’t support anything from the press release.

    you mean the discovery paper?

    that would be because it was only cited as the starting point.

    the article was mostly talking about the research they had done since then, which is probably why the paper you read doesn’t discuss it.

  17. says

    Just a bit of fun:

    At the bottom of the first page of my google search for “freethoughtblogs” was an article at A voice for men called “The FreeThought Blogs sinking ship” from oct 2013 haha. I used “donotlink.com” to view it, and it said we were “teetering on the edge of collapse”.

    I’ve been around since 2011 and I don’t recall any time when freethoughtblogs was teetering on the edge of collapse…

  18. Nick Gotts says

    Enlightenment Liberal@385,

    Jesus wept, you’re a disgusting individual.

    As for your absurd fantasies about outlawing the Catholic Church, if it were possible – which it isn’t – the result would be a return to the religious persecutions and wars which preceded the Enlightenment to which you proclaim your allegiance. – mE

    How is it absurd? They are flagrantly violating the law of United States Of America, and many other sovereign nations. Their choices are to hand over their criminals, stop violating our laws, and admit publicly that “give Caesar what is Caesar’s” e.g. they will follow our laws. Until then, they are effectively sovereign citizens – except they’re getting away with it. ‘The book should be thrown’ at sovereign citizen who openly and with bravado ignore our laws, e.g. we should use every legal measure we (morally) can to stop them for the safety of others, and for the necessary deterrence effect.

    None of which changes the fact that it’s an absurd fantasy, and you know as well as I do it is not going to happen within any forseeable future. If you were really interested in fighting child rape, and convicting child rapists and those who covered for them, rather than being a self-righteous poseur, you would be thinking about how, in the real world, the Catholic Church can be pressured into changing its ways – by legal, diplomatic and publicity approaches. Posturing about “banning the Catholic Church” just distracts from what can actually be done.

    It’s an absurd fantasy to want an international child rape conspiracy to be legally charged, and to have court injunctions to make funding this conspiracy illegal?

    Again, this characterisation of the church just proves your dishonesty.

    Again, I’m all seeing from Nick Gotts is various reasons why nothing can be done, why we shouldn’t hold responsible the people who let it happen and who fund it. We’ve reached a new low in this recent post, where Nick Gotts implicitly argued that we should continue to let them rape children because otherwise they would go to war on us. It’s all just child rape apologetic.

    You’re a shameless liar as well as a self-important fool. Saying that the absurd fantasy you propose cannot be carried out, is not saying that nothing can be done. I have specifically said during this exchange that yes, members of the church should be confronted with the evil they are contributing to, and encouraged to leave the church. There are also, as I indicate above, many other things that can be done, and some of them are being done: publicising and protesting against the cover-ups, supporting victims morally, legally, financially and therapeutically , suing dioceses where abuse has taken place, public enquiries into the systematic abuses and cover-ups (all of which are being done in at least some cases). Expanding these activities and liniing them internationally, refusing to allow Papal visits until those criminals being sheltered in the Vatican are surrendered for trial, issuing international warrants for their arrest, reducing the legal and tax privileges of all religious bodies – with the aim of their complete removal – are further steps with some possibility of actually happening.

  19. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nick Gotts
    In a single term:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    Longer reply: In a public policy debate such as this one, it is customary that both sides are afforded a certain degree of latitude in constructing alternative ways that the world can be, such as different public policies that we can pursue. This is called fiat power. Generally fiat power is not unlimited – for example it would be rather foolish to fiat that we should change the rules of physics, or that we should change fundamental human nature to be selfless and all good.

    It seems that your entire beef with me is that I am going too far with my fiat power to ask that we should issue some RICO injunctions and seize all assets belong to foreign parts of the church? Wow.

    It’s an absurd fantasy to want an international child rape conspiracy to be legally charged, and to have court injunctions to make funding this conspiracy illegal?

    Again, this characterisation of the church just proves your dishonesty.

    Come now, you should realize that this is not dishonesty. Perhaps you think I’m unreasonable, or bigoted, or whatever, but I hope to be able to convince you that I am sincere and honest. I want some indictments of church leaders on child rape charges. I want some RICO injunctions to come along afterwards to seize any and all assets that we think might enable further the indicted people to commit related crimes pending trial. This seems like a perfectly sensible and reasonable thing to do, and AFAIK we have lots of US legal precedent for it too.

  20. Nick Gotts says

    enlightenment Liberal@28,
    No, my beef with you is that you are a puffed-up lying bigot.

    I hope to be able to convince you that I am sincere and honest.

    Stop lying then.

  21. says

    Chigau, several days ago, the weather was sunny and almost warm. Now it’s windy, cold, and ice is covering everything. Nasty.

  22. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nick Gotts
    I don’t know which claim of mine you consider to be a lie. You have to be more specific. Even then, it seems likely that I’ll just defend it as my honest belief, and I’ll likely defend that belief as justified.

  23. says

    In response to this, Nugent has been responded to, plenty of times already. His unhealthy levels of obsession and irritation with what he regards as the unsatisfactory nature of the response is HIS PROBLEM, not anyone else’s. His futile attempts to resolve this matter to his satisfaction is beyond farcical, it has metastasised into actual harassment.

    Here’s an interesting resource: Mention Checker (“This page allows users to see how many times one user has mentioned another in the past five hundred tweets.”)

    In their last 500 tweets (since 15:30:22, Thu 6 Nov 2014), @micknugent has mentioned @pzmyers 55 times.
    Permanent Link: http://bb.sarahlicity.co.uk/mention?author=micknugent&target=pzmyers

    (Would you like to guess how many tweets have been made in response?)

  24. says

    I am not going to address Nugent’s obsessive bullshit. And if dshetty continues to demand it, I’ll be happy to kick him outta here.

  25. says

    PZ — nor should you. My question in 32 has a trick answer – you’ve tweeted way more than 500 tweets since the same date in November (for an actual comparison of content over an equal period of time), but there’s only one tweet that you wrote, directed to him:
    https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/532694705880825856

    (There was also a retweet of a citation by Stephanie Zvan, who noted that one of the slymepitters who freely leaves comments in bad faith on the guy’s blog happened to be banned from Twitter – in other words, Twitter seems to have better standards of reporting abuse. Yes, I know how low a bar that is.)

  26. Rob Grigjanis says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @31:

    I don’t know which claim of mine you consider to be a lie.

    EnlightenmentLiberal @385:

    Nick Gotts implicitly argued that we should continue to let them rape children because otherwise they would go to war on us.

    This is a malicious lie, with a feeble attempt at covering your arse with a sleazy ‘implicitly’.

  27. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Rob Grigjanis
    Sorry. I honestly believe that was the simple and exceedingly clear conclusion of what Nick Gotts wrote. He very clearly argued that we should not pursue this policy of stopping child rapists because it might cause enough outrage that it would cause a war.

    Now, I can see that Nick Gotts does not agree that the policy is a policy aimed and targeted at stopping child rapists. Thus Nick Gotts literally did not argue that we should let child rapists continue raping to avoid a war. However, intent is not magic, and I honestly believe with strong conviction that the clear effect of Nick Gotts position can be accurately described as “we shouldn’t enact this policy of stopping child rapists because it would lead to war”, and thus I feel that I have not been dishonest.

  28. anteprepro says

    Using Enlightenment Liberal’s logic, not supporting a U.N. declaration forcing the dissolution of the U.S. means that you are an advocate of torture. Intent isn’t magic. The U.S. has committed lots of torture, institutionally protected torturers, and has several followers that are explicitly in support of torture, with several others passively doing so. If it continues, torture will occur again. So….who is going to get behind the call for the U.S. to phase out of existence as promptly as possible? Who is going to say that it is a moral necessity to do so, that there is no redeeming qualities to the United States, that there is no economic cost at all to dissolving it, and that it is completely worth the high risk of a very destructive war arising if this is gone through with?

    I think the analogy here is damn near perfect. As close as a mere analogy can get. And I think the answer is obvious: There is no obvious answer. But that is exactly the point: The world isn’t as simple as Enlightenment Liberal would like to pretend for the purposes of Catholic bashing.

  29. anteprepro says

    Oh wow, didn’t even notice that:

    We’ve reached a new low in this recent post, where Nick Gotts implicitly argued that we should continue to let them rape children because otherwise they would go to war on us. It’s all just child rape apologetic.

    Go fuck yourself, Enlightenment Liberal. Just fuck right off.

  30. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @anteprepro

    Using Enlightenment Liberal’s logic, not supporting a U.N. declaration forcing the dissolution of the U.S. means that you are an advocate of torture.

    Actually, the proper analogy would be: voluntarily funding the United States for any particular purpose and when there are alternative charities or services which can do a comparable job.

    That’s why I don’t voluntarily give to the United States government. I prefer responsible charities with a proven track record, and whose financial records are open to the public. If I ever met someone who voluntarily gave to the United States government for charitable purposes rather than an actual charity, I would also ask him “wtf”.

    Of course, this is not to be confused with being against taxation for charitable purposes. I do think that welfare is a good plan, and that only governments can do it because you need to use force, e.g. it needs to be non-voluntary.

    In short, it’s quite hard to draw a proper analogy because you’re comparing two fundamentally different kinds of organizations. One organization is largely voluntary, and the other organization is largely involuntary.

    Again, at least in the United States. I agree that the situation is different in other countries where tithing is enforced with violence by the government for all people who register as that religion, and employers are free to discriminate based on a person’s registered religion. In that situation, I do not hold any contempt for people caught in such a miserable position. Again, it’s the difference between voluntary and involuntary. There’s no absolute bright line separation, but we are talking about pretty significant differences between mostly voluntary on one side, and mostly involuntary on the other.

    Also, I mean Nick Gotts did clearly state that. See:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/12/25/thunderdome-57/comment-page-1/#comment-905057

    As for your absurd fantasies about outlawing the Catholic Church, if it were possible – which it isn’t – the result would be a return to the religious persecutions and wars which preceded the Enlightenment to which you proclaim your allegiance.

    I mean, I don’t know how else to understand that. This was many posts after I clarified my position in terms of RICO: Namely, we should get indictments for church officials, and we should also throw on some RICO injunctions to seize any of their assets for which we can make a good case that the assets would further enable crime related to the indictment. E.G. we seize all of their shit, pending trial.

    This is standard operating procedure in the United States for handling (Islamic) terrorist organizations. This is also standard operating procedure in the United States when handling drug dealer kingpins (and even minor drug dealers). This is standard operating procedure in the United States for handling even foreign governments who do things we merely don’t like, let alone illegal under some law (US law, international law, whatever).

    I really don’t think this is an absurd fantasy. If this legal plan would result in an actual war, I again state that I think it would be a war worth fighting. Of course, I don’t know who would declare war on whom. I assumed that the war would be against the United States (whether internal or external) because of these policies. An even more remote possibility is that Nick Gotts is arguing that this policy would just spontaneously cause a bunch of holy wars amongst modern day Christians and non-believers in western countries? That’s too almost too fantastic to consider. I find the idea laughable.

    What would happen is that the Roman Catholic Church would capitulate, and they would turn over all documents relating to the child abuse scandal pursuant to our issued subpoenas. The incriminated people would be removed from power or otherwise moved, and we would have intrusive guarantees that this systematic protection of child rapists would not happen again. Once those conditions are met, then the RICO injunctions are removed, and the assets are freed.

  31. Rob Grigjanis says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @42:

    US Senate: 27 Catholics
    US House: 136 Catholics
    USA: 78 million Catholics (25% of total)

    And how would Protestants respond to your idea?

    Yes, totally absurd fantasy.

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, bloviating with evidence and pretending you are right is religious thinking.
    Acknowledging you are wrong until you evidence yourself right is proper thinking.
    EL, you have been engaging in religious thinking recently. Which is why I don’t believe a word you say without evidence that your word will work as you claim it would.

  33. chigau (違う) says

    FYI
    When you get past です/ます, most online translators for 日本語 just suck.
    I expect that this is true for many other languages.

  34. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Rob
    Again, Overton Window. I think my idea to get indictments andd issue RICO injunctions to seize assets pending trial is quite reasonable.

    @Nerd
    I don’t think anyone here is disagreeing as to the facts. We’re disagreeing about values. I don’t know how to answer your request to supply evidence that my moral valuation is right and other’s is wrong. Like, do you want me to commit the appeal to natural fallacy? What?

  35. says

    Professor Myers @33,
    Are you aware that Deepak Shetty has been badmouthing you along with the pitters over at Nugent’s place? Here are a couple of Deepak’s recent tone-trolling shittalking comments about you. There are others but this gives flavor for the kind of garbage he’s spewing out about you over there and elsewhere.

    Let me agree that Myers uses abusive terms and he is wrong for that.

    You can take Myers to task for his abusive tone and language and insults – Im not justifying or supporting those (for that matter Im inclined to agree with Daniel Finckes views on this topic)

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    EL, you sound like a paranoid islamphobe toward the RCC. Your values are your paranoia, which rational people don’t care to share. Get it?

  37. says

    We Are Plethora @ 47:

    Are you aware that Deepak Shetty has been badmouthing you along with the pitters over at Nugent’s place?

    People can say whatever they like at another blog. It’s probably best if you don’t try to use PZ to grind your axe.

  38. dshetty says

    @janine
    It is pointless
    If you are using this in the sense will it convince Nugent or slymepitters or whether it will end discussion there – then yes it is worthless. But that’s not why I said an explanation is needed.

  39. dshetty says

    @PZ Myers
    And if dshetty continues to demand it,
    So I think you should do something constitutes a demand? Im curious as to how exactly can someone critique your views if this is going to be your response (unless you feel that you can never be wrong on anything)

    @We are Plethora, Protectors of the Orb of Tranquility
    I would have thought the response would be “the targets deserved it” rather than any debate over whether abusive terms were used. It’s also hardly surprising that some people will agree with Dan Fincke that robust arguments can be made without needing to resort to abusive language and that a movement that prides itself on logic , reason and empathy would favor that. You are free to disagree but it hardly constitutes bad mouthing.

  40. says

    We are Plethora, #47:

    Your disingenuous shit-stirring is not appreciated.

    For anyone interested the relevant part of the comment We are Plethora quoted:

    ( specially if I were a woman) I sure as hell would like to know about the allegation – whether or not I believe the allegation is true , I would watch what and how much I drink around the accused. Michael’s preferred solution would have left me vulnerable. A police force that “sensitively and robustly” investigates such issues, while a worthy goal , doesn’t exist today – That position shows a complete lack of understanding of what and why the victim informed Myers.

    You can take Myers to task for his abusive tone and language and insults – Im not justifying or supporting those (for that matter Im inclined to agree with Daniel Finckes views on this topic) – but don’t mix it with the alleged rape incident – there I cannot fault Myers for what he said and did – And Michael is wrong there and Michaels views on that matter is harmful to the “atheist movement” – much more than the abuse Myers throws.

    We are Plethora, I have no idea what your agenda is, but kindly take it with you when you leave.

  41. dshetty says

    Daz: Keeper of the Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemur of Atheism
    We are Plethora, I have no idea what your agenda is, but kindly take it with you when you leave.
    It’s probably a get me banned to feed into “even defenders of Myers get banned for any disagreement => #FTBullies” –

  42. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But that’s not why I said an explanation is needed.

    Nobody has to explain anything to you to your satisfaction.

  43. says

    dshetty @51:

    It’s also hardly surprising that some people will agree with Dan Fincke that robust arguments can be made without needing to resort to abusive language and that a movement that prides itself on logic , reason and empathy would favor that.

    No, it’s not surprising. There are many people who place a great deal of value in being civil in their discourse. But there’s no reason that discourse must be civil at all times, and I dislike Fincke’s arguments in favor of doing just that. When I’m outraged, I want to express myself in the way I choose, not in the Fincke-approved way, or the approved manner of all the tone trollers of the world. Not everyone sees value in being an emotionless automaton.

    Plus, I think Fincke takes things way overboard. Yeah, he can moderate his blog however he wants, but that fucking Civility Pledge of his? It doesn’t take into account that there are times when civility ain’t worth shit. Look at the Black Lives Matter Movement. People are protesting the unfair treatment of black people by the criminal justice system. And yet, there are still many, many people who feel that all the civil protesting is wrong. That there’s nothing wrong with the system (of course when you’re part of the dominant group for whom the system usually works, of *course* you’d say that). That Black people just need to listen to what the police say and things will be fine. The thing is, that’s not true. Blacks can listen to the police and still get killed. Black people are fucking beyond tired of this shit. We are tired of being civil and following the White Man’s rules of survival. We are tired of being fed scraps and told to be satisfied with what we get. We are tired of being disproportionately imprisoned, shot at, brutalized, and killed. We are tired of a criminal justice system that treats us like criminals long before there’s any trial. We’re tired of the fact that many times there *IS* no trial.
    How many times can you push back against an oppressed people before they speak up and push back? How many times can you deny the basic humanity of people before they demand-forcefully, vocally, loudly, and uncivilly-to be recognized as human beings with the same rights as white people?

    The same thing applies to other marginalized groups. It seems the dominant group always wants the marginalized group to act in ways they [the dominant group] approves of. If the marginalized group wants to air their grievances, the dominant group demands they do so on their terms, or else they won’t listen. The thing is, for People of Color, for women, for queer people–our existence should not and WILL NOT be defined by the dictates of the dominant group. Dan Fincke things they should. He thinks PoC, women, and queer people should air their grievances in the manner he approves of. Notice which group Finkce belongs to–the dominant group.

    Chris Clarke’s Desert Tortoises With Boltcutters Civility Pledge perfectly encapsulates how I feel about calls for civility:

    I pledge not to fetishize civility over justice. I recognize that the very notion of “civility” is defined in large part by those in whose benefit the status quo is maintained. I further recognize that the structure of “civility” at least in part has been created with the express purpose of bolstering chronic injustices. As Malvina Reynolds sang, “it isn’t nice to block the doorways, it isn’t nice to go to jail; there are nicer ways to do it, but the nice ways always fail.”

    I pledge to remember that civility and compassion are not the same thing. Executive Order 9066, for example, was an emphatically civil document. There was not a mean-spirited or insulting word in the entire document, with the exception of the phrase “alien enemies.” In fact, it specified that a group of people would be provided with food, housing, and transportation. And yet it was one of the most unkind, uncompassionate acts of the US Government in the 20th Century. Civility is a very effective camouflage for hatred.

    I pledge to remember that a fetishized civility is a field mark of insulation from suffering. The cries of the wounded on a battleground may be very unpleasant and uncivil indeed. I pledge to nod sympathetically and help bind those wounds rather than chide the wounded for bleeding so indecorously.

    I pledge to keep a sense of perspective. Tossing basic civil rights under the bus in order to maintain a jury-rigged superficial peace in a single-issue movement is a bad bargain.

    Rather than worry overmuch about civility, I pledge to be as kind as possible. And sometimes the kindest possible contribution to a discussion with someone acting in bad faith and harmfully is to tell them to go fuck themselves sideways.

  44. says

    dshetty @51:

    So I think you should do something constitutes a demand? Im curious as to how exactly can someone critique your views if this is going to be your response (unless you feel that you can never be wrong on anything)

    You didn’t critique his views though. You told him he should respond to Michael Nugent. That’s a demand on your part. Moreover, you seem to think Nugent deserves or is worthy of a response.
    He does not deserve a response and nor is he worthy of one.
    Again, he’s an asshole who provides a platform for some of the most horrible people on the Net (the Pitters) and he defends a rapist. Fuck him.

  45. says

    dshetty #53:

    It’s probably a get me banned to feed into “even defenders of Myers get banned for any disagreement => #FTBullies” –

    Aye, you’re probably right.

    FWIW, I disagree with you on your ‘civility’ point (which Tony explains well @55), and I happen to think that PZ’s already responded perfectly well to Nugent—and with much more patience than Nugent deserves. But your disagreement on that score didn’t rate anywhere near the spin that Plethora tried to put on your words.

  46. dshetty says

    @Tony
    When I’m outraged, I want to express myself in the way I choose, not in the Fincke-approved way,
    If you want to be the side that argues that atheism (or logic or reason) has implications and those include empathy for other people then your statement does not follow. The case you have to make is how is your argument made better by using say “fuckwit” in your response to me. I’d also say that I would agree to disagree if you say this is how you behave in real life – that the level of provocation you got would elicit the same response were you face to face. By all accounts P Z Myers does not behave this way(probably you too) , in person – so why the difference.

    Not everyone sees value in being an emotionless automaton.
    Don’t confuse emotion with abusive language. are you unable to express outrage or anger without using abuses? (If so I can only say you dont have a spouse/children/relatives/friends)

    You told him he should respond to Michael Nugent.
    fair enough – there was a follow up comment later.

  47. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    dshetty, there is absolutely no reason for PZ to respond to MN. But there is plenty of reason for MN to ban the slymepit from his bolg, quit apologizing for a known rapist, and quit demeaning half the population by implying they aren’t fully human with as many rights and privileges as he has. It is called ethics and decency.

  48. dshetty says

    @Daz: Keeper of the Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemur of Atheism
    FWIW, I disagree with you on your ‘civility’ point
    Sure – which is why your intervention is appreciated :) .

  49. says

    dshetty @58:

    If you want to be the side that argues that atheism (or logic or reason) has implications and those include empathy for other people then your statement does not follow.

    Why not?
    I do argue that atheism has implications and that those ought to include empathy for other people, but I also believe that when people are being shit on they have no obligation to speak in the manner that the dominant group–which has been oppressing them–approves of.

    The case you have to make is how is your argument made better by using say “fuckwit” in your response to me.

    I don’t have to make that case. Who says the use of “fuckwit” was meant to bolster my argument, as opposed to being how I wanted to express my disdain?

    Did you even read the Chris Clarke’s pledge? I think you’re over fetishizing civility.

    I’d also say that I would agree to disagree if you say this is how you behave in real life – that the level of provocation you got would elicit the same response were you face to face.

    Firstly, the Internet *is* real life.
    Secondly, I don’t have the opportunity to engage in conversations about atheism or social justice issue in meatspace, so I don’t have the chance to be all that uncivil.
    God I wish you tone trollers would quit whining about the language people use. Note, I’m not talking about language that is bigoted or discriminatory. I’m talking about insults. Yes, I will use insults against those I feel deserve them. It’s a way of expressing my contempt, hatred, and/or disdain. You and other tone trollers believe that there’s some value to be had in people expressing them in the Dominant groups approved manner. Fuck that shit. Again, “discuss things the way we approve of, or we won’t even listen to you” is a great way to dismiss the problems oppressed people deal with.

    Don’t confuse emotion with abusive language. are you unable to express outrage or anger without using abuses? (If so I can only say you dont have a spouse/children/relatives/friends)

    I’m not confusing emotion with abusive language. While coarse language *can* be abusive, it isn’t always. You seem to automatically associate profane/curse/swear words with abusive language. Why is that?

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t confuse emotion with abusive language.

    Don’t confuse being a Vulcan with being an Earthling. Vulcan style discussions are for a philosophy. For real world problems, there is no way to avoid emotion coming into play. Sometimes, those trying to be Vulcanish need to hear the emotion to get the idea they aren’t going over with their arguments, and they are pissing people off unnecessarily by dismissing emotions. And being told essentially you aren’t a real human being is emotional.
    Shorter: lose the Vulcan argument attitude. That tone trolling goes nowhere here.

  51. says

    dshetty:
    This is what your calls for civility sound like to me:

    Women, I know you have your rights infringed upon everyday. I know that women are dying across the planet because they aren’t allowed to have an abortion. I know that women face tremendous levels of violence from men. Despite this, you need to temper your language and speak to people civilly to achieve your goals.

    Trans people, I know people are denying your basic humanity and your right to exist on your own terms. I know that you are being beaten and killed across the planet for the crime of existing. Nonetheless, when you seek equality, please do so in the manner I approve of, otherwise, you will be dismissed.

    Dshetty, you’re fetishizing civility while people are being brutalized and treated as if they are not human beings with rights. When people are treated like that, there is absolutely no reason for them to remain civil. When humans stop denying the rights of other human beings, I’ll think about being more civil. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be alive when (or if) that happens.

    I should also point out, that in the vast majority of my interactions with people online, I *am* civil. I become uncivil in discussions where people’s humanity is denied (and even then, I don’t always use coarse language). I will NOT apologize for that. And I will NOT stop.

    I wonder…people who call for civility, do they recognize that incivility takes more forms than simply FUCK SHIT ASSHOLE? Look at people like Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, and their ilk. These are people who make statements devoid of profane words, but the things they say are lightyears from anything one could reasonably consider civil.

  52. dshetty says

    @Tony
    Firstly, the Internet *is* real life.
    Did I say it wasnt? The question was why is there a different standard in face to face behavior v/s Internet. From third party accounts PZ Myers is very different in personal interactions – What about you?

    While coarse language *can* be abusive, it isn’t always.
    Im not objecting to you using *fuck* or to coarse language – I am objecting to abusive language.

    @Nerd of redhead
    there is no way to avoid emotion coming into play
    Did I ever say no? What do you think empathy is?

  53. azhael says

    @58 dshetty

    The case you have to make is how is your argument made better by using say “fuckwit” in your response to me

    How, exactly, is it made any worse?

  54. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Did I ever say no? What do you think empathy is?

    A code word you use to avoid being told what an idjit you are being in no uncertain terms. If you don’t like being called names, then don’t talk on sensitive subjects. Anybody with a working brain knows that.
    I have no empathy for MN, Shermer, or the Slymepit due to their actions.

  55. Sven DiMilo says

    FFS.
    Nuance just isn’t cool around here. There’s a failure to distinguish Principled Incivility from Immediately Defaulting To Being a Belligerent, Abusive, Reactionary Asshole For No Good Reason. It’s usually easy to tell the difference, unless you’re happy soaking in it.

    Hey, Tony!, if you like what Chris Clarke has to say about it, consider this comment too.
    What gets lost among the my-emotion-is-righteous backpatting is precisely the part of the pledge that sez “I pledge to be as kind as possible” and the counsel for “Less reflexive antagonism. More self-awareness”.
    But it’s probably easier and more self-fulfilling to just be A Rude Blog all the time.

  56. says

    dshetty @65:

    Before we go any further, can you explain what you mean by abusive language? I ask bc if you don’t have a problem with coarse language, we may be talking past each other here (to some extent).

    Did I say it wasnt?

    You implied that the Internet was not real life right here:

    I’d also say that I would agree to disagree if you say this is how you behave in real life – that the level of provocation you got would elicit the same response were you face to face.

    Incidentally, if someone in meatspace were to call me an asshole in response to me calling them a douchebag, that same response wouldn’t bother me terribly.

    The question was why is there a different standard in face to face behavior v/s Internet. From third party accounts PZ Myers is very different in personal interactions – What about you?

    Are you not reading my responses to you in full? I already addressed this:

    Secondly, I don’t have the opportunity to engage in conversations about atheism or social justice issue in meatspace, so I don’t have the chance to be all that uncivil.

    Most of the time, online is the place where I interact with people and discuss social justice issues. The few opportunities I’ve had to discuss social justice issues in meatspace has been more in the vein of education (such as explaining Rape Culture, advocating for skepticism in purported cases of the supernatural, or expressing my support for a woman’s bodily autonomy).
    Also, I’ll say again, not all of my discourse online involves harsh language. I can’t address whether or not my language has been abusive bc you haven’t defined what you mean by abusive language.

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

    “Farewell, Chris” had just 22 comments? That’s strange.

  58. dshetty says

    @Tony
    Ok again let me rephrase as face to face interactions v/s internet instead of “real life”.

    Before we go any further, can you explain what you mean by abusive language?
    Ok Ill take one of the early examples that caused me to pause – http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/04/14/witless-wanker-peddles-pablum/
    Michael De Dora if i remember correctly leaned accomodationist but was atleast as far as I remember one of the good guys (and subsequent posts by Ophelia about Michaels work should also prove that). I would consider witless wanker who peddles pablum as abusive , and unnecessarily so – PZ Myers could have just as easily disagreed and made just as strong a case for his views without these words – Do you agree or disagree ?

    that same response wouldn’t bother me terribly.
    Sigh. And Im sure you could call me all sorts of names and I’d be amused. That you can take it is no reason to dish it. I also agree that some people are really harmful and really evil so a few abusive words towards them would hardly cause me to object. But do you think Michael De Dora or Massimo Pigliucci or Michael Ruse are really in the same category ? If a philosopher wants to reconcile religion and science is he really in the same category as the other examples that you provide?

    I can’t address whether or not my language has been abusive bc you haven’t defined what you mean by abusive language.
    No you havent. But I leave it upto you , whether you think adding that I am a clueless gobshite would add or subtract from your response.

  59. says

    dshetty @72:

    Michael De Dora if i remember correctly leaned accomodationist but was atleast as far as I remember one of the good guys (and subsequent posts by Ophelia about Michaels work should also prove that). I would consider witless wanker who peddles pablum as abusive , and unnecessarily so – PZ Myers could have just as easily disagreed and made just as strong a case for his views without these words – Do you agree or disagree ?

    He could have yes. But he didn’t. At a guess, I figure PZ wanted to express his disdain and did so using that language.

    Sigh. And Im sure you could call me all sorts of names and I’d be amused. That you can take it is no reason to dish it.

    Look, when people act like fucking assholes, they deserve to be called fucking assholes.
    And with that, I’m done addressing your tone trolling fuckwittery.

  60. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ Myers could have just as easily disagreed and made just as strong a case for his views without these words – Do you agree or disagree ?

    PZ makes his own decision on what to say and how to say it. NOT YOU OR ANY OTHER TONE TROLLING WANKER. So I agree with what PZ did, as you took your sorry tone trolling out to the equation.

    If a philosopher wants to reconcile religion and science is he really in the same category as the other examples that you provide?

    Non-sequitur. If you are attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable, you tend to be more polite. But nobody here thinks that should happen, so if the slymepit, Shermer, or MN are pissed because of impolite terminology to describe their shenanigans, who cares? Only tone trolls like yourself.

    But I leave it upto you , whether you think adding that I am a clueless gobshite would add or subtract from your response.

    Your response shows what you are. And it your description is close to what you present here. You are deaf, and just preaching your tone trolling.

  61. says

    Caine @49,

    People can say whatever they like at another blog. It’s probably best if you don’t try to use PZ to grind your axe.

    Of course Deepak can say or write whatever he likes wherever he likes, but we see no reason why comments posted elsewhere would be off limits for discussion and critique here. Deepak is spewing shit and that needs to be called out regardless of where that shit is being spewed. Also, Professor Myers has a right to know what Deepak has written about him.

  62. dshetty says

    @Tony! The Queer Shoop
    Ok Ill direct one last round of questions to you
    a. Do you agree that it was abusive to call Michael De Dora a witless wanker who peddles pablum on the basis of a series of blog posts? i.e. are you with me on what constitutes abusive language or not? Do you think it was deserved in this case?
    b. If you think it was not deserved would it be ok for you to tell that to P Z Myers on his blog? Given that a blog and comments are public forums?
    c. If yes to b) are you a tone troll?

  63. says

    We are Plethora @76:
    That’s not white knighting. You took those comments out of context to make your point.
    And btw, PZ is well aware of the kinds of things people say about him.

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    i.e. are you with me on what constitutes abusive language or not?

    Nope, not if that is considered abusive language by you. But then, who listens to tone trolls.

    Given that a blog and comments are public forums?

    They are no “public forums”, in the sense of the neighborhood park for a political speech. Pharyngula is more like a neighborhood bar. Come in and piss the owner off, you can be banned, as it is not totally a free speech area. That you think so says something, not good, about your thought processes.

    looks like im banned

    Don’t you wish? It appears so, and would match your picture of how dissent is handled. PZ usually warns people first in big red letters. I have seen nothing giving you notice.

  65. says

    We Are Plethora @ 75:

    Deepak is spewing shit and that needs to be called out regardless of where that shit is being spewed.

    The nym is dshetty – use it, and use it correctly.

    Also, Professor Myers has a right to know what Deepak has written about him.

    Ah, well, if your only true concern is making sure PZ knows every thing anyone is saying about him at any given time, you can contact him directly via the ‘contact a monitor’ link. Go for it, and I’m sure PZ will let you know how he feels about your zealousness on his part.

    Unsurprisingly, PZ has a pretty good idea of what’s going on where, and has no need of self appointed watchdogs. It’s rather obvious you have an axe to grind, and universe forbid you give it up – just be honest about what you’re doing, and leave PZ out of it. Your attempts at poisonous shit stirring haven’t gone over well, and that won’t magically change.

    And as for dshetty, lots of people are having a good discussion with them right now, in spite of your need to stir shit. Amazing, ennit?

  66. screechymonkey says

    dshetty@58.

    I’d also say that I would agree to disagree if you say this is how you behave in real life – that the level of provocation you got would elicit the same response were you face to face. By all accounts P Z Myers does not behave this way(probably you too) , in person – so why the difference.

    PZ can answer for himself, but I would say there are multiple reasons why people are less confrontational in meatspace. A couple that come to mind off the top of my head are:

    1) Meatspace encounters often take place on someone else’s “turf,” where the rules are different. I try to avoid calling someone a fucking asshole at a dinner party, because my host would prefer I not do so, and as a guest I try to respect my host’s wishes.

    2) Meatspace encounters often involve other social relationship considerations, where one might be willing to suppress one’s comments in order to achieve some other social goal. So maybe I try to avoid calling a friend’s friend an asshole, because I don’t want to put my friend in an awkward position.

    3) Meatspace sometimes involves actual or implied threats of physical violence. Even the Pope — despite all that turn-the-other-cheek stuff he’s supposed to preach — has announced that he feels entitled to punch people who say things he doesn’t like. I’ve seen many people online wistfully bemoan that a conversation wasn’t taking place in meatspace where “you wouldn’t DARE say that to my face.” Note that this is a particularly sharp concern for those who are less physically capable.

    I’m sure others can offer other reasons. Note that none of those reasons has to do with making arguments more or less effective, or with whether the other person is, in fact, an asshole.

    People like you who prize civility so much like to point to the differences between online and meatspace behavior like it’s some kind of gotcha. As if meatspace and all the social pressures and considerations that may apply there are the gold standard against which other forms of communication must measure up. It ain’t necessarily so.

    Face-to-face communication has its virtues. If you need to get something done, it’s useful to have some of those social pressures to “grease the skids.” So yeah, if you want legislators to compromise on something, the proverbial smoke-filled backroom or late-night drinking session is a big help. If you need 12 jurors to agree on something unanimously, locking them in a room together and not letting them out until they agree is quite effective at “persuading” dissenters to change their minds. But is it the best method for ensuring a full and honest discussion of issues and opinions?

  67. says

    screechymonkey @87:

    2) Meatspace encounters often involve other social relationship considerations, where one might be willing to suppress one’s comments in order to achieve some other social goal. So maybe I try to avoid calling a friend’s friend an asshole, because I don’t want to put my friend in an awkward position.

    Yes. This is a great reason for being less confrontational in meatspace and in fact, it reminds me of something that happened recently, at work.
    One of the two guys who owns the restaurant I work at made a horribly homophobic comment that I overheard. He said he didn’t like a particular city because there were a lot of fucking faggots there. When I heard that, I really wanted to go off on him, but I couldn’t because, that’s the owner of the fucking restaurant and I really don’t want to spend four more months being jobless (like I did last year). So I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything. Yeah. I said nothing. Because I was afraid that whatever I said, he’d have retaliated in someway.

    But if I encounter someone who spews such shit and they’re not my boss (regardless of whether its meatspace or online), I’m likely to be less inclined to remain silent, and perhaps more inclined to express my outrage. And that outrage would contain expletives and vulgarities.

  68. says

    Caine @86,

    Ah, well, if your only true concern is making sure PZ knows every thing anyone is saying about him at any given time…

    Thanks, but that’s not our concern. At all. Perhaps it would help if you went back and re-read our prior comments, which clearly stated that our intent was to make the comments of one specific person known. The idea that we want to make sure Professor Myers knows “every thing anyone is saying about him at any given time” seems to have originated in your mind, not ours.

    just be honest about what you’re doing, and leave PZ out of it.

    Our intention was merely to make Professor Myers and others aware of dshetty wrote about him elsewhere, and we’ve done that.

    And as for dshetty, lots of people are having a good discussion with them right now, in spite of your need to stir shit. Amazing, ennit?

    Nothing we said prevents you or anyone else from continuing your good discussion with whomever you please. Nor is it in any way surprising or amazing that the good people here are able to have good discussions. What else is to be expected?

  69. anteprepro says

    “Witless wanker who peddles pablum” doesn’t strike me as abusive. Sorry. (Hell, I don’t know whether “witless” or “wanker” is the most insulting part, but both are rather mild insults, that have even readily available stronger alternatives.)

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Our intention was merely to make Professor Myers and others aware of dshetty wrote about him elsewhere, and we’ve done that.

    Unnecessarily, as dshetty has been thoroughly debunked before. And yet again today. Nothing but a misogynist leaning tone troll. They are a dime a dozen.

    Our point (which could have been more clearly communicated) was merely that dshetty twice labeled Professor Myers’ words as “abusive”. The context does not somehow magically erase or negate that, does it?

    Who gives a shit a tone troll says? You shouldn’t. No abuse, unless you are tone troll like dshetty.

  71. anteprepro says

    We are Plethora:
    1. Someone merely whining about PZ’s tone is hardly news or significant.
    2. You did take it out of context: one of the quotes that mention Myers using “abusive” language is from a comment that is explicitly saying that Michael is wrong and his position is more harmful than Myers, tone rightfully set aside.
    3. Related to 2, your original post insinuated that dshetty associates with the pitters or is a supporter of Nugent, which is belied by the Context, as provided by Daz.
    4. You should be far more embarrassed at invoking the MRA “white knighting” meme than you actually seem to be.
    5. Maybe just admit that you were wrong and move on. It isn’t inherently wrong to bring up someone’s posting history, but you better have a damn good reason for doing so. . You didn’t in this case. Just admit it and let it go.

  72. says

    putting this here because it’s drifting somewhat OT for the Ghostbusters thread:

    Things I’d like to see instead of another ‘white guy saves the world and gets with attractive (usually also white) woman’ (regardless of whether it’s a remake, reboot, adaptations, ongoing continuity or brand new character and story; particularly calling out the new Trek, the continuing Bond, and any number of interchangeable gorn and/or rom com movies that come out on a continuing basis and I can’t be arsed keeping track of):
    Wen Spencer’s Ukiah Oregon series, Tanya Huff’s Smoke series (and I remain deeply pissed off about the adaptation of the Blood books, due to the way they completely wrote out the gay character (and by extension also straightwashed his bisexual boyfriend); allegedly it was because a different studio had the rights to the series he stars in and hence the character entirely (which is damn foolish, but a lot of copyright law is damn foolish, so whatever), so where the hell is it, huh? Also, Raymond Feist’s Faerie Tale would make a great horror flick, Tobias Buckell’s Arctic Rising and Hurricane Fever would be better spy movies than another Bond rehash any day (some of his other work is excellent space opera that would look stupendously badass on the big screen) and if Lauren Beukes could be convinced to make one, I’d watch the hell out of a TV serial focusing on Zinzi December, from Zoo City.

  73. says

    I’d be able to list more, but my memory for names of books and series isn’t any better than that for people, so there’s a bunch I’ve lost track of til something jogs my memory.

  74. says

    We are Plethora, Protectors of the Orb of Tranquility ~+~ Seated on the Throne of Fantasia #91:

    The context does not somehow magically erase or negate that, does it?

    Actually, yeah it does, for me. Others may, of course, differ. The tone-concern I could do without, but in context was little more an an aside in a comment telling Nugent that he’s wrong on the more important issue. Yep, that does cut some ice with me.

    And the fact that you snipped the comment where you did shows that you agree that the context matters and were deliberately trying to throw the worst light you could on it. So please, fuck off.

  75. Ichthyic says

    I’d be able to list more, but my memory for names of books and series isn’t any better than that for people, so there’s a bunch I’ve lost track of til something jogs my memory.

    don’t ever be hard on yourself for that, you most certainly are NOT alone. :)

  76. Ichthyic says

    .. I like to tell people I actually CAN remember everything I have ever seen or experienced. I just need my magic pencil to trigger the right pathway to the right memory.

    …and I lost my magic pencil in high school.

  77. says

    Our sincere apologies to dshetty, Daz: Keeper of the Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemur of Atheism, Tony! The Queer Shoop, Caine, and everyone else. We were wrong. We should not have brought it up, should not have quoted without the full context, and should not have lashed out at any of you for pointing that out.

    We were angry and upset at seeing Professor Myers’ words mischaracterized so badly and we honestly did not believe that the context mattered, but we realize now that we were wrong. We had no intention of misleading or derailing, but realize that intent is not magic.

    Sorry again, we will try to do better in the future.

  78. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t think apologies are allowed in the Thunderdome.

    Hmm. Open thread, minimal monitoring. Full vocabulary.
    Where is the problem? *thanks Plethora @101*

  79. says

    Dalillama:

    Also, Raymond Feist’s Faerie Tale would make a great horror flick,

    That’s on my to read list, so it gets a recommend from you?

    I’d love to see Jim C. Hines’s Magic ex libris (Libriomancer, Codex Born, Unbound) on teevee or movies, and done right. (Yeah, I know, wishful thinking.)

  80. says

    “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.”
    Jane Jacobs

  81. dshetty says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    . Nothing but a misogynist leaning
    Please list which comments of mine (here or elsewhere) cause you to believe that I “lean misogynist”

  82. anteprepro says

    dshetty: The “misogynist leaning” accusation from Nerd is something I cannot support, and I think he should retract it. Or justify it, if he can.
    Though that was just a modifier to him calling you a tone troll. Which is definitely accurate.

  83. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You want PZ to apologize to someone with misogynist blog. Not the behavior of someone who doesn’t have those leanings. I look beyond what you say to why would you say that. Tone trolls try to be careful to hide their agenda, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

  84. dshetty says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    I believe my words were that Myers should respond once and that a more nuanced explanation is needed for why Myers said what he said. The “nuanced explanation” should have indicated to you that I believe one exists for whatever Myers said.
    At no point did I say Myers should apologize. Or even that Michael is entitled an explanation. I believe an explanation is needed because we are the rational side.

    but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.
    The evidence indicates you definitely are not rocket scientist.

    @anteprepro
    fair enough

  85. says

    So I saw this question on the SciFi stack on Stack Exchange: Why did The Unmarried Mother have both set of organs in the movie Predestination?

    In the movie, based on “All You Zombies” by Heinlein, the main character is xyr own mother and father, through time travel, hermaphrodism, and surgery. The question is why xe is a hermaphrodite.

    Most answers mention inbreeding, but I’m arguing that since xe is xyr own mother and father, xe is essentially a clone.
    So I thought to check here, as there seem to be biologists around.

    Also, hello, I’m back after lurking for a long time. How is everybody?

  86. Ichthyic says

    Most answers mention inbreeding, but I’m arguing that since xe is xyr own mother and father, xe is essentially a clone.

    nope. meiosis. recombination. not clone at all.

    you would have to worry about negative recessive traits more though.

  87. says

    Dalillama:

    Yes, I’ll recommend Faerie Tale.

    Thanks, I just downloaded it. You haven’t steered me wrong yet, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

  88. Ichthyic says

    the main character is xyr own mother and father, through time travel,

    point of clarification, as I’ve never read the book.

    if the idea is simply time travel, the result is simply a child, not a hermaphodite, or a clone.

    think of the episode of Futurama where fry finds out he’s his own grandfather.

    otoh:

    hermaphrodism, and surgery.

    if the result actually has both sets of organs, then they are a hermaphrodite.

    if they are the child of a hermaphrodite, they are not necessarily a hermaphrodite themselves (would have to have both sets of sexual organs themselves), but also not a clone.

    a clone would come from asexual reproduction and would not include a meiotic step.

  89. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I believe an explanation is needed because we are the rational side.

    Your definition of rational is different than mine, but then, I invariably don’t agree with tone trolls, and I consider them a type of presuppositionalist who can’t see their axioms don’t work.
    When you have a cancer in a movement, like irrational misogyny, and people who support it, that cancer should be excised like any tumor, and then ignored and kept in the margins to make the movement healthy. YOU are the only one claiming PZ needs to explain himself, when he has done so before and in great detail. Either you didn’t do your homework, or you ignored it. Either way, it is not rational to think anybody owes YOU an explanation, when it has been previously provided and evidenced.

  90. screechymonkey says

    dshetty@120,

    The evidence indicates you definitely are not rocket scientist.

    Tsk, tsk. So uncivil!

  91. says

    anteprepro @117:

    The “misogynist leaning” accusation from Nerd is something I cannot support, and I think he should retract it. Or justify it, if he can.

    Seconded. Tone-troll though dshetty most certainly is, based on xir comments, I don’t see a misogynist leaning

  92. says

    Jane, an orphan, grows up and gets pregnant by a man named John, who leaves her. She delivers her daughter by c-section. During surgery it is discovered that xe is a hermaphrodite and that xyr female reproductive organs are damaged too much, so through reconstructive surgery, xe becomes a man named John. The daughter is kidnapped and taken back in time to the orphanage. Later, John travels back in time to impregnate his former self.

    He later recruits himself for the Time Corps, and kidnaps his former self to be delivered to the orphanage.

    The PDF of “All You Zombies” is easily found online, if you’re interested.

  93. says

    dshetty, as has been said most emphatically a number of times, an explanation has been given, but for you it is not enough as you claim it lacks “nuance”. Since you are about the only person here (aside from pitters lurking, since they can’t post without having their comments disappear into the ether) who seems to believe this lack of “nuance”, then you need to pony up and point out what precise features it lacks. There’s at least 350 comments currently unfilled on this page of Thunderdome, should be plenty of room for you to make your case.

    You should also be aware that even if there was a legitimate case for PZ making a more “nuanced” explanation, which I entirely doubt, you would have to consider that the primary audience for it would be the Slymepittery, since the explanation would be surplus to requirements for the commentariat here on Pharyngula — and we have evidence from three plus years of slimy behaviour that any additional “nuance” is going to be entirely lost on those folks.

    So, go to it. Bear in mind, I’m of the opinion that you’re not doing much better than Nugent himself, in demanding something that is qutie unreasonable to ask in the circumstances.

    Oh, and speaking of the ongoing badgering on Twitter, today’s number is 58/500. The 500th last tweet hasn’t moved on very far, so he must have been quite busy back on 6 November badgering someone else, while the most recent tweets are referencing PZ, for the fraction to have increased. Isn’t repetitive use of social media by a person to contact someone who has asked not to be contacted by that person defined (possibly even in statutes) as harassment?

    In their last 500 tweets (since 15:52:18, Thu 6 Nov 2014), @micknugent has mentioned @pzmyers 58 times.
    Permanent Link: http://bb.sarahlicity.co.uk/mention?author=micknugent&target=pzmyers

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Xanthë #131

    You should also be aware that even if there was a legitimate case for PZ making a more “nuanced” explanation, which I entirely doubt, you would have to consider that the primary audience for it would be the Slymepittery, since the explanation would be surplus to requirements for the commentariat here on Pharyngula — and we have evidence from three plus years of slimy behaviour that any additional “nuance” is going to be entirely lost on those folks.

    QFT.
    Also, the observation that the only audience for a “nuanced” *snicker* explanation is the ‘pit. That hints of misogynist leanings in my mind.

    Dshetty, YOUR problem is this. YOUR presuppositions say PZ was mean. YOUR logic alone requires more explanation, whereas those of us on the ground see it fully explained. You appear to be SeaLioning until it is explained to YOUR satisfaction.
    Notice the capitalized YOUR. YOUR’s is the real problem. YOU haven’t explained, with supporting evidence, why YOU should be listened to. And like most tone trolls you love to hear your voice and think you are being heard. I am laughing at YOUR ego.
    Frankly, anybody who keeps saying LISTEN TO MEEEEE, AND OBEY MEEEEE, gets treated as they should. Told to shut the fuck up and go away.
    So, now is time for the real questions to answered honestly:
    What did you hope to accomplish here?
    How is that going? *not well for you*
    Why are you still here?

  95. dshetty says

    @Xanthë
    but for you it is not enough as you claim it lacks “nuance”.
    Which is a subjective evaluation.

    you would have to consider that the primary audience for it would be the Slymepittery
    We live our lives by our standards , correct?- not by how we are going to be perceived or who is doing that perceiving. (Once upon a time you’ll would have argued that your targets were the fence sitters not the ones who have already made up their minds)

    Do you think the phrase “support rapists” or “provide a haven for rapists” -which could be used to represent everything from
    a. The current law enforcement agencies behave in such a poor manner that many rape victims liken going to the police as being raped again
    b. MRAs
    c. Fundamental religious nuts who believe that the only purpose of women is to create babies and hence a husband can demand and have sex anytime
    d. Cults that brainwash young women and spiritually marry them to older perverts
    …..(many more)
    e. Stupid atheists who feel the need to tweet “If you want to be in a position to testify & jail a man, don’t get drunk”
    f. Internet trolls who want to settle old scores and will use anything to further that.
    g. People who allow these trolls to comment on their blog (and more)

    doesn’t need some more explanation than what was provided? Apparently you don’t and I do. I fail to see how you are obviously correct .The Myers I want for this issue is the one who used to write “Sunday Sacrilege” not a Sam Harris who believes his views are obviously correct and can dismiss everyone else.

    Stop trying to portray this as I am entitled or I am owed. Comments are allowed on this blog and this is my opinion. Im not speaking for Michael Nugent (any more than Im speaking for Myers as the slymepitters believe)

  96. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Dshetty@137:
    Are you new around here? I ask bc PZ has explained before why he feels Nugent is supporting rapists. He supports Michael the rapist Shermer.

  97. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Stop trying to portray this as I am entitled or I am owed.

    Then YOU shut the fuck up, otherwise it IS all about YOU and YOUR EGO.

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do you think the phrase “support rapists” or “provide a haven for rapists” -which could be used to represent everything from

    What part of MN denies the words of women claiming MS raped them don’t you understand? Most folks here see MS as a rapist due to the testament (evidence that is admissible in court) from multiple women. Your lack of understanding appears to be boundless, or you are being purposely stupid. Except, It might not be on purpose. You just don’t won’t understand for *reasons*.

  99. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    EL, you sound like a paranoid islamphobe toward the RCC. Your values are your paranoia, which rational people don’t care to share. Get it?

    “Paranoia”. You use that word, but I do not think you know what it means.

    Frankly, I’m disgusted at all of you that you would not use all of the legal remedies at your disposal to deal with people who think that they are above the law, who refuse to report child rapists to the police, who protect child rapists from police prosecution, who purport that their secret religious counseling is an appropriate substitute for prison, etc. No amount of “good works” excuses our lack of movement in capturing the people responsible, and in the meantime ending the funding which enables this behavior. No amount of “but it’s their ethnic / cultural / religious identity” excuses our lack of action either.

    This has absolutely nothing about the religious identity of Roman Catholic and everything to do with how the church hierarchy as a whole has official rules in place, which are regularly and systematically followed, which allow the rape of children and the protection of those rapists. I could care less if it’s a religious organization, or a secular organization, or what. As soon as the people responsible are rotting in prison, and the internal policies are changed, then my loathing for Roman Catholics will change to the normal mere loathing I have for members of any religious movement, specifically the normal for any religious movement which doesn’t as a matter of internal policy protect child rapists.

    I strongly resent the assertions that this is about “bigotry” against Catholics when it has everything to do with protecting innocent children from asshats who think that they are above the law of humans and that they answer only to “god’s law”.

  100. says

    Deepak, I know you are not a slymepitter. I am simply unimpressed with what thin gruel you’ve mustered as argument to demonstrate these alleged deficiencies of PZ’s responses to date, especially since your points (a) to (g) above at #137 are red herrings which you’ve thrown out as chaff. I wasn’t asking you to invent a whole bunch of shit which someone could mistakenly believe from making a facile interpretation of out-of-context remarks. I was asking you to outline exactly where you believe there have been shortcomings. Be specific.

    I think you’re also assuming the fence-sitters (which has a vague ring of “the lurkers support me in e-mail”, but leave that aside) haven’t been swayed or are ignorant of the last three years of history and can’t do their catch-up homework; I’m saying it sounds a lot more as though that you haven’t been paying attention recently. Here’s a few resources that might help you out?

    You could read all the posts on this blog that already address Nugent directly (if you haven’t already) – which brings this issue into its purview: http://bit.ly/1zgErOz
    There’s four posts in the previous six or so months, The War of the Smug (26 July), Call the police or GTFO (20 September), Turning a rock over and exposing slime to the light (7 October), and The end of the @micknugent saga (1 November). The one on 20 September squarely points out Nugent’s hypocrisy on this issue, but perhaps you are unimpressed by brevity as much as you were by the longer post on 1 November. Why? What more could PZ have to say after all that? It’s considerably more succinct than the corresponding campaign (35 posts by now or more?) and from what little I’ve read on the other side it’s much better written too.

    You should also read the sequence of posts written by Stephanie Zvan starting with this: What Aneris Means (Almost Diamonds, 27 October), and once you have read that (and the comments if you wish), move on to each of the “following” posts in order (via the usual links at the top right of each page): Honesty Matters, Aneris (28 October); A Haven for Rapists (29 October); Basic Reading Comprehension (30 October); The Ogvorbis Boondoggle (31 October); finishing with Michael Nugent and the Email (1 November).

    Stephanie has previous history valiantly dealing with Slymetwits at Nugent’s ill-judged behest for “dialogue” (which ended in utter failure, no blame for which should fall upon her), and in those posts I think she did a marvellous job spelling it all out at greater length, but was it really needed? If you believe everything the disingenuous commentariat at Nugent’s blog say in evident bad faith without a finger lifted by the blog owner, then possibly yes. Plenty of people however have noticed how Nugent’s comments sections have degraded into Slymepit Ireland. The rot truly set in after that “structured dialogue”.

    Also … since I know you guys are reading this… Hi, creeps! I could care less about you Slymetwits (obsessively monitoring What Goes On Here) think, and how you completely misinterpret it, because you are disingenuous, foolish, and wrong. Damion Reinhardt tweeted something at me on the weekend (and then later seemed to delete it‽), but he was replying to some horrible person amongst y’all whom I have blocked, so I didn’t know exactly what I was being asked to respond to. A couple of days another tweet alerted me to glance at #FTBullies and I discovered one tweet which quoted one of my comments as though it implied PZ would censor all commenters: no, it’s a joke, Joyce. Yes, humour is contextual but in that thread that was one of the sillier ones to highlight as being supposedly emblematic (?) of #FTBullies. You guys give me the lulz.

    Another tweet there alleges I’m the one monitoring/stalking someone else’s tweets, which is pure projection as well as DARVO (i.e. Reversing Victim and Offender); the evidence is supposedly my citing the Mention Checker above in comments 32/38/131. The whole point of the Mention Checker is that I don’t have to read those tweets to know that one of the two parties is continuing to pester the other via Twitter; the only person whose timeline I looked at was explained for you in comment 38, but evidently you’re too witless to figure that out. This is a variation on the gambit that since pointing sexism is teh REAL sexism, therefore using a tool which points out someone else’s stalking is itself teh REAL stalking… yeah, riiiiiiiiiight. Have fun with that idea, slymetwits!

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “Paranoia”. You use that word, but I do not think you know what it means.

    Which means you don’t know what it means. Irrational fear, which is what you sound like when talking about the RCC. You certainly aren’t enlightened. just tedious and loving to hear the sound of your own words, and think everybody else must agree with you. Not happening.

    Frankly, I’m disgusted at all of you that you would not use all of the legal remedies at your disposal to deal with people who think that they are above the law, who refuse to report child rapists to the police, who protect child rapists from police prosecution, who purport that their secret religious counseling is an appropriate substitute for prison, etc.

    And frankly, I am disgusted with paranoia that requires one go beyond constitutional and institutional means to get what they consider to be truth and justice.
    In case you don’t know where to start, try working on getting the world to not recognize the Vatican as a state, which begins to change the dynamics involved. Don’t bother us with your drivel.

  102. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nerd

    And frankly, I am disgusted with paranoia that requires one go beyond constitutional and institutional means to get what they consider to be truth and justice.

    And now I get to call you a liar. Because I did no such thing, and I was exceptionally careful to ensure that I did not do that. I discussed many other cases which provide substantial US precedent for my proposed policies, including freezing the assets of foreign countries as sanctions.

    Get back to me when you can engage honestly.

  103. says

    dshetty @137,

    The Myers I want for this issue is the one who used to write “Sunday Sacrilege” not a Sam Harris who believes his views are obviously correct and can dismiss everyone else.

    Are you saying that you do not feel that Professor Myers’s views, as regards rape culture and proper handling of rapists in our midst, are obviously correct? Could you clarify what you mean by this please? What’s not obvious about rape culture and the need to protect people from dangerous predators?

    You seem to be saying that there is some contingent out there (fence sitters maybe) with an alternative viewpoint that ought to be considered and that deserves a more nuanced explanation. Could you be more specific about who they are and why you think it’s important to further explain anything to them? If they are still fence sitters at this point in the game what makes you think they can and should be won over?

  104. Rob Grigjanis says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @141:

    Frankly, I’m disgusted at all of you that you would not use all of the legal remedies at your disposal…

    You seem to be labouring under the misconception that ‘all of you’ have the powers of Attorney General, or influence over Congress. Maybe you’re merely suggesting that the Americans among us write angry emails to their congresscritters? Making huge financial contributions is demonstrably a better strategy.

    Or maybe you’re just engaging in long-winded leg-pulling.

  105. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Rob Grigjanis
    See:
    >Introduction To Policy Debate
    http://webpages.charter.net/johnprager/IPD/Chapter03.htm

    The plan is a series of commands that will be made into law. Within the limits of law, though, the Affirmative can do absolutely anything it likes in the plan. Anything. It doesn’t matter if the proposal is germane to the resolution or not. The Affirmative has the power of fiat (FEE-ott), the ability to “wish” their plan into existence; “fiat” is a Latin word meaning “let it be done!” Of course, if the Affirmative uses their fiat power to do foolish things, the Negative will certainly point out these disadvantages. Other than that, there are very few restrictions on fiat power (but see the section on solvency attacks in the Second Negative Constructive and the chapter on Topicality to learn what some of these limits are.)

    It’s like half a dozen people in here have never engaged in a public policy argument, whether formal or informal. Some degree of fiat power is a necessary component to any public policy debate. I’m not here to engage in a discussion of what will happen. I’m here to engage in a discussion of what should happen, in order to hopefully influence and change what will happen.

  106. Rob Grigjanis says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @148: When you used the words “all of the legal remedies at your disposal“, you went beyond policy argument. You suggest (wrongly) what can be done, rather than what should be done.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    EL, where would try to obtain the evidence so that it would stand up in court.
    1) All internal investigations by the RCC in the US to Cardinal Law, without announcement.
    2) Cardinal Law gets a diplomatic passport from the Vatican. Likely making his place of work a consulate, with all the immunities that implies.
    3) Cardinal Law, on a Vatican Passport, carrying a diplomatic pouch, travels to Rome/Vatican city.

    Back up your claims with case law, or shut the fuck up.

  108. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nerd
    You are an asshole. You haven’t even read half of what I wrote. You’re just skimming it for smartass replies. You are dishonest. You are a liar.

    I have not limited the scope to just Cardinal Bernard Francis Law. Not everyone involved has diplomatic immunity nor a presidential pardon. We should go after everyone, lowly priests, high ranking bishops and cardinals, everyone we can get our legal hands on. “I was just following orders” is not an excuse. Obviously, we shouldn’t open an investigation on every single person in the church, but neither should we shy away from investigations when evidence or hunches point towards particular individuals no matter their position in the organization.

    Further, if the indictments and RICO injunctions are not sufficient, and/or if the Vatican uses diplomatic immunity to shield their child rapist protecting operations, then we can elevate it, and use other tools – tools which I’ve mentioned many times. Such as in the very post of mine before this one up-thread.

    I discussed many other cases which provide substantial US precedent for my proposed policies, including freezing the assets of foreign countries as sanctions.

    This is not out of left field. I have mentioned this in most of my posts on this topic in the last few weeks, going back to the very first post I made in the thunderdome on this topic. I have been very clear that we (The United States government) have other methods at our disposal.

    That alone should have been enough, but you are a liar who cares more to win a fight than to understand your opponent’s position. That alone should have been enough, but I can do more.

    The United States maintains a black list of several countries which make it illegal to send money, weapons (which apparently includes software encryption programs), and other things to. Who goes on and off this list is a legislative matter, not a judicial matter. Diplomatic immunity is irrelevant. Whether they have even committed a crime is irrelevant. Oftentimes, the list is changed according to open public diplomatic deals.

    The United States maintains a black list of several non-governmental organizations which make it illegal to send money to. Again, who goes on and off this list does not require a criminal conviction or even an indictment. Oftentimes, the list is changed according to open public diplomatic deals.

    The United States regularly imposes sanctions on foreign governments. As these foreign governments are not subject to our jurisdiction, and thus again indictments, injunctions, convictions, and even diplomatic immunity is irrelevant. If the Vatican did not want to play ball, we could do the effective equivalent of hardball foreign policy: seize all of their assets that we can (again – assets not people, and so diplomatic immunity is irrelevant), issue travel sanctions on their leaders, criminally charge any of our own citizens who give money, and fully isolate their “country”. Of course, I don’t endorse all of this off the bat, but rather as an escalating set of steps we can take if the Vatican does not capitulate.

    tl;dr diplomatic immunity is not a moral excuse to not use all of the tools we have at our disposal to fix this problem, and diplomatic immunity is a minor inconvenience when using the available tools to fix this problem. We don’t need criminal convictions per se to stop the future rape of children enabled by the policies of the church, and we don’t need criminal convictions to create a necessary deterrence effect against future protectors of child rapists.

    PS:

    All internal investigations by the RCC in the US to Cardinal Law, without announcement.

    I don’t even know what this means. You appear to be missing a word or two.

  109. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t even know what this means. You appear to be missing a word or two.

    I described the situation that happened under the last pope, who was hiding the evidence to make sure it is out of the hands of anybody who can convict priests by getting it all into the Vatican. And you call yourself an intellectual, and you weren’t aware of what happened? You are dismissed as irrelevant.

  110. Nick Gotts says

    Enlightenment Liberal@42

    As for your absurd fantasies about outlawing the Catholic Church, if it were possible – which it isn’t – the result would be a return to the religious persecutions and wars which preceded the Enlightenment to which you proclaim your allegiance.

    I mean, I don’t know how else to understand that. This was many posts after I clarified my position in terms of RICO

    What a dishonest little shit you are. I refer directly and explicity to “your absurd fantasies about outlawing the Catholic Church”, and you just pretend I was referring to something else. If you ever actually resiled from your proposal of outlawing the Catholic Church, I missed it.

    An even more remote possibility is that Nick Gotts is arguing that this policy would just spontaneously cause a bunch of holy wars amongst modern day Christians and non-believers in western countries? That’s too almost too fantastic to consider. I find the idea laughable.

    It’s actually laughable to suggest that millions of Catholics would meekly accept the outlawing of their church. But the outlawing of the Catholic Church could only take place in an atmosphere of “loathing and contempt” for Catholics – which you stated your desire to bring about – and in such an atmosphere, religious wars are by no means unlikely. Take a look at northern Ireland or former Yugoslavia a couple of decades ago. Moreover, it’s pretty rich for you to start complaining about things that are “almost too fantastic to consider”!

  111. says

    While perusing the ARCs available to early reviewers on Library Thing, I came across this mess (I did not request a copy):

    A God That Could Be Real by Nancy Ellen Abrams (Beacon Press)

    Description: A paradigm-shifting blend of science, religion, and philosophy for agnostic, spiritual-but-not-religious, and scientifically minded readers
    Many Americans are disaffected by traditional religion for the way it can perpetuate conflict and ignore science and reason. Nancy Ellen Abrams, life-long atheist, lawyer, and philosopher of science, is one of them. And yet after turning to the recovery community in her struggle with an eating disorder, she found that imagining a higher power gave her a new and surprising freedom from her illness. Intellectually, this made no sense to her. At the same, she had been collaborating with her husband—famed astrophysicist Joel Primack, one of the creators of astronomy’s modern picture of the universe—about how to present a radically new understanding of the universe to the public and put it into a humanly meaningful context. While writing two books with Primack, Abrams began to wonder whether anything real in this new and still unexplored understanding of our very old universe might be worthy of the name “God.”
    In A God That Could Be Real, Abrams explores the radical new possibility of a God that is real but does not break any of the rules of physics as we know them: a God that doesn’t require a suspension of disbelief or of reason, an emergent phenomenon that exists in the same way that culture and the economy exist. The God Abrams explores unites all of humanity and provides the wisdom and larger sense of meaning that we need to face our future, as well as the future of our damaged planet, together—while being powerful enough to change a life.

  112. says

    PZ @ 158:

    I have that book! I’ve been considering writing a review.

    Ooh, please write a review!

    It’s a colossal mess.

    Yes. My eyebrows were trying to climb over my head just reading the synopsis. I can’t imagine wrestling through all that muddle.

  113. Ichthyic says

    Jane, an orphan, grows up and gets pregnant by a man named John, who leaves her. She delivers her daughter by c-section. During surgery it is discovered that xe is a hermaphrodite and that xyr female reproductive organs are damaged too much, so through reconstructive surgery, xe becomes a man named John. The daughter is kidnapped and taken back in time to the orphanage. Later, John travels back in time to impregnate his former self.

    He later recruits himself for the Time Corps, and kidnaps his former self to be delivered to the orphanage.

    that’s gonna need a flowchart to sort out.

  114. Ichthyic says

    but, just starting at the beginning…

    if I have this right jane’s daughter and john are the same person, separated by time and surgery?

    so john was his own father.

    again, like I said earlier, this is just the same dilemma as fry being his own grandfather.

    not a clone, and the hermaphrodite issue is a red herring. it has no bearing on anything other than having to get that sex change surgery.

    unless there is something else I am missing, this isn’t that complicated.

  115. Ichthyic says

    or is john his own mother as well?

    meh, just adds another layer. it’s the same thing though. not a clone, and the hermaphrodite is a red herring.

  116. says

    Ichthyic, it isn’t complicated in essence, though the details are messy. Jane/John’s existence is simply an ontological paradox (like many of the “timey-wimey” occurrences in Steven Moffat’s writing for Doctor Who). Besides Heinlein’s “All You Zombies”, there’s also his story “By His Bootstraps” as a classic example of the paradox, and there are aspects of it in his novel “The Door Into Summer” also.

  117. dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!" says

    delurking to clarify (I hope) on the “All You Zombies” conversation. The protagonist is in fact their own mother AND father, having traveled back in time to impregnate themself, then kidnaping the child and taking them back in time as well so they can grow up to be their own mother. I’d really recommend anyone interested just google up the story and read it, as it’s one of Heinlein’s best, but if you really cant be bothered the story is framed as a tale told in a bar, and the punchline is that the protagonist “knows where he came from” (because his timeline is a closed loop), but doesn’t know about “all you zombies.”

    Really though just go read it, it’s good and it’s short.

  118. Ichthyic says

    sorry, never have been a fan of Heinlein.

    he basically was a McCarthyite, came close to even being a Bircher.

    politics like that INEVITABLY find their way into their writing, and it was rather obvious it did in his case.

    terrible man, poor writer, imo.

  119. says

    Ichthyic

    he basically was a McCarthyite, came close to even being a Bircher.

    There was considerable variance over his lifetime; for much of it he was more like a libertarian. Not that that’s really any better, mind.

  120. AlexanderZ says

    Oh my. This is stupid and bad on so many levels:
    Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome:

    Researchers can’t prove their theory about Putin and Asperger’s, the report said, because they were not able to perform a brain scan on the Russian president. The report cites work by autism specialists as backing their findings. It is not known whether the research has been acted on by Pentagon or administration officials.

  121. AlexanderZ says

    Owlmirror
    It was a word chosen by Israeli LGBT activists at least 20 years ago (if not earlier – the Hebrew web is a barren wasteland when it comes to the 90s) precisely because it sounds similar to the English “gay” and has a positive meaning (essentially combining “gay pride” into one word). Mind you, it’s mostly an official word used by organizations to refer to both gays and lesbians. The people themselves refer to themselves as either “homo” (הומו) or “lesbian” (lesbit לסבית).

    I don’t think it can be called a pun since the word had only one meaning until it was given a second one. It’s like saying “gay” is a pun because it also has two meanings.

  122. says

    From the Kristen Hawkins thread:
    drst

    You can’t use a corpse’s organs without the owner’s consent, even after death, even if someone will die without that heart or lung. But these people believe they should be able to force a woman to stay pregnant and give birth against her will. We give corpses more bodily autonomy than these people think women should have.

    While it’s true, I do wish people would stop using this argument, because it implies that dead people should retain that level of ‘autonomy’ (in scare quotes because they’re fucking dead, and not in a position to make any decisions), something with which I categorically disagree. As far as I’m concerned, dead people haven’t got rights, and if your* dead ass can keep someone alive, then as far as I’m concerned we should be mining it for anything remotely useful.

    *generic you here.

  123. says

    As far as I’m concerned, dead people haven’t got rights, and if your* dead ass can keep someone alive, then as far as I’m concerned we should be mining it for anything remotely useful.

    The reason why I think that people should have the right to make that decision nevertheless is because of the harm to that person while they’re still alaive.
    A person who is categorically against organ donation for whatever reason will obviously suffer if they do not have the ability to opt out.

  124. Owlmirror says

    AlexanderZ:

    I don’t think it can be called a pun since the word had only one meaning until it was given a second one. It’s like saying “gay” is a pun because it also has two meanings.

    Having the second meaning “given” doesn’t mean that it’s not a pun.

    The phrase “גאים בוולאג׳” is indeed a pun because both meanings are plausible (and intended) simultaneously.

    The word “gay” isn’t necessarily a pun, but it would be if it were used in both meanings simultaneously. For example, deliberately calling an LGBT retro-themed party “A Gay Old Time” would be a punning usage of “gay” (and of “old time”, since that phrase doesn’t necessarily mean “retro”)

  125. AlexanderZ says

    Owlmirror #178
    Thanks for clarifying that. I used to think that a pun is a pun only when the second meaning is either unintentional or the word has been slightly altered or an unusual syllable was stressed (like “I like my football with more PUN-ts” or “this is becoming a PUN-derdome” or “if I use more puns will I get PUN-ished?”).

  126. says

    Giliell

    A person who is categorically against organ donation for whatever reason will obviously suffer if they do not have the ability to opt out.

    People who believe that not abusing queers will land them (the person with the belief and/or the queers in question) in eternal torment like to talk about their ‘suffering ‘under a regime that doesn’t let them do so, and that doesn’t cut any ice with me either. More generally, if someone’s going to die because of your* dumbass beliefs, their right to not die trumps your right to be a dumbass. This covers vaccinations, drunk driving, faith healing, gun ownership, and also insisting that no one can get any use of your* body after you’re done with it. In short, their ‘suffering’ from worrying about things that they will never experience in no way trumps the actual suffering of people who are dying painfully from organ failure.

    *generic you again

  127. Owlmirror says

    One of the punniest things I ever saw was a pregnant woman pushing a baby in a stroller wearing a t-shirt that had printed on it: “SEX made me what I am today”, because there were so many different meanings that the word “sex” could refer to. . .

    1) Her own gender, specifically.
    2) The action of her parents that caused her to be conceived and born.
    3) The action of herself with her SO that caused her to be a mother the first time.
    4) The action of herself with her SO that caused her to be currently pregnant.
    5) More abstractly, sexual reproduction as a crucial part of metazoan evolution.

  128. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nerd
    I speak the English language, and I am not a mind reader. What you wrote is grammatically incomplete. I still do not know what you meant – I only know that you are referencing something about the Roman Catholic Church’s investigation into Cardinal Law. Guess what – we can start our own investigation, and subpoena their record. If they don’t play along, then RICO injunctions. If the Vatican plays hardball with diplomatic immunity and such, then we can play hardball by issuing travel sanctions and freezing their assets like we do with any other rogue state.

    Second, I never claimed to be all knowing, even on the topic of the child rape policies of the Roman Catholic Church. I can consider myself sufficiently knowledgeable to have an informed opinion on the problem of child rape in the church without being fully familiar with any one particular incident of child rape coverup in the church. Your standards are ridiculous. You are dishonest, still a liar, and still an asshat.

    @Rob Grigjanis
    No idea who that is.

    @Nick Gotts
    I don’t know what conversation you are having, but it’s not one with me. The only policies I have ever proposed for dealing with the Catholic Church are RICO injunctions, criminal sanctions on funding it after putting it on a terrorist list or equivalent, and international sanctions against the Vatican just like we would use against any other rogue state. I have no idea what sort of bait and switch you think is going on. I don’t know what you mean by “outlawing the Catholic Church” beyond these particular policies because I have not presented any other sort of “outlawing the church” except these policies.

    I don’t know if you are knowingly lying, or if you just have your head up your own ass causing you to be unable to recognize that you are arguing against a strawman – that you have seemingly understood my actual position as something other than what I have been clearly describing in basically every post of mine. There is no room for good-faith honest misunderstanding at this point.

    And I still have absolutely no idea what you think I have proposed which counts as “outlawing the church”, except something other than my actual aforementioned proposals.

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy in 175

    Completely agreed. The idea of wills in general as sacrosanct is bullshit on similar grounds (which is part of my argument for heavy progressive death taxes). Once you are dead, you have no more rights, no more interests, no more legal protections. Your property and body are ours to do with as we please. Of course, I find nothing objectional with the cultural practice of respecting the dead to some degree, and requiring minimal fulfillment of some wills and pre-death wishes regarding the body. However, if I had to choose between the “interests” of a dead person regarding their body, vs saving an actual human being, the naive moral choice is exceedingly clear. Unfortunately, this is greatly muddled in practice IMHO, because following that reasoning into policy might create perverse incentives – e.g. the usual reasons why we don’t require organ donations from death penalty criminals, and why it’s frightening that China does IIRC.

  129. Amphiox says

    More sloppy science communication to tear one’s hair out over….

    ewsroom.ucla.edu/releases/scientists-discover-organism-that-hasnt-evolved-in-more-than-2-billion-years

  130. says

    Amphiox
    4 February 2015 at 8:32 pm
    Oops, thats:
    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/scientists-discover-organism-that-hasnt-evolved-in-more-than-2-billion-years.

    The explanation from Matrix/DNA Theory is better than the one from Darwin’s Theory.

    Darwin’s Theory suggests that “The rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes. The environment in which these microorganisms live has remained essentially unchanged for 3 billion years. These microorganisms are well-adapted to their simple, very stable physical and biological environment.”
    Matrix/DNA Theory suggests that primordial organisms from 2 billions years ago still are very similar to LUCA – the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all biological systems. LUCA is the astronomic system that produced biological systems, as the astronomic model suggested by the theory. Luca is shared into left-face ( which also is the male face and the first stage of a life) and right-face ( which is also the female face, and the last stage of a life). All left-face informations are radiated by stars, while all right face informations are radiated by planetary-nucleus radiation. The deep floor of oceans are invaded by Earth-nucleus radiation while Sun’s radiation does not reaches there. So, the organisms formed at oceans’ floor have only the first part of informations that would be necessary for a complete living organism. And the absence of Sun’s photons-informations will not promote evolution of this half-life.

    The Darwin’s explanation is flawed. We now that life has an inner force towards evolution and if the environment stops, life will change it. The environment for our primate ancestors was the jungle, we changed it for the urban environment as required by our life’s evolution. Like the biological production of oxygen was preparing the evolution of life here. And by another hand, if the organism was well adapted and the environment did not change, should have today a super-population of those organisms, like happened with fungus, lichens, etc. But actually these organisms are scarce.

    The state of these organisms was predicted by Matrix/DNA which is earning everyday that a new scientific discovery is published.

  131. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You shouldn’t judge large groups of people by the actions of individuals or small groups of people.

    Until you provide evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature that expressly mentions your fuckwittery, all you have is your self-delusion. Without evidence, you have gibberish, that won’t change no matter how many times you post. It will remain gibberish until recognized by scientists as scientific, and their is scientific evidence only explained by your gibberish, and that is mentioned in the papers.

    You still have nothing but your delusions. Run along. You have nothing cogent to say.

  132. Ichthyic says

    not morelli again?

    sweet plastic jesus, can we just ban this spam?

    it wasn’t funny or useful when Davison used to spam his nonsense, and it’s not useful to see morelli doing it now.

  133. Ichthyic says

    ewsroom.ucla.edu/releases/scientists-discover-organism-that-hasnt-evolved-in-more-than-2-billion-years

    IT’S A LIVING FOSSIL!!!11!!

    *headdesk*

    will that crap never end?

  134. Amphiox says

    re @186;

    The explanation from Matrix/DNA Theory is better than the one from Darwin’s Theory. …etc

    Wow. What a spectacular example of completely missing the point, which is that the cited article is in fact poorly reported and WRONG to claim that those sulfur bacteria had not evolved.

    I have little doubt that if it were possible to culture a sample of the ancient bacteria along with their modern descendents who “have not evolved” together in the same environment, the moderns would wipe the floor with the ancients and outcompete them within a few generations. Lenski has done this experiment in his ongoing evolution study, and the later generation E. coli almost always outcompetes the older generation E. coli even when there appears to be no morphological differences between the two.

    I also have little doubt that the ancient and modern strains of these bacteria would have had different levels of resistances to different types of bacteriophages.

  135. Rey Fox says

    I’m starting to wish we could delete that sea lion comic from the internet and everyone’s collective memories.

  136. chigau (違う) says

    …if the environment stops…
    enough
    ENOUGH
    ENOUGH
    make it stop
    please make it stop

  137. says

    louismorelli

    All left-face informations are radiated by stars, while all right face informations are radiated by planetary-nucleus radiation.

    No, no and thrice no. Lefty informations are radiated by the pinko-commie hammer and sickle, whilst the patriotic right-facing infomations are radiated by the glorious light of the stars and stripes.

    Do keep up, there’s a good chap.

  138. says

    Dalillama
    I can’t agree with you here. The “harm” suffered by not being able to actively harm others is not the same as the harm suffered by somebody who is for some reason or other against organ donation. Those fears are not all religious and not totally irrational. Some people are afraid that they might be declared dead a bit too early, or not getting all the medical care because there might be somebody rich and powerful who happens to need a tranplant, and you’re not going to tell me that this is a completely paranoid fear in our super-capitalist world. Mind you, just a few years ago Germany had a big scandal where over years doctors had falsified medical data so their rich patients would get on top of the list. And that system is supposedly safe, too.

  139. says

    EnlightenmentLiberal 183
    Since I categorically oppose the death penalty, my position remains intact.

    Giliell198

    Some people are afraid that they might be declared dead a bit too early, or not getting all the medical care because there might be somebody rich and powerful who happens to need a tranplant, and you’re not going to tell me that this is a completely paranoid fear in our super-capitalist world.

    Because someone willing to murder you for your organs is going to scruple at misfiling some paperwork for a few days too?

    Mind you, just a few years ago Germany had a big scandal where over years doctors had falsified medical data so their rich patients would get on top of the list.

    That would appear to be a reason to have more donor organs available, not fewer.

  140. says

    Dalillama

    That would appear to be a reason to have more donor organs available, not fewer.

    Yep, but it led to the opposite.

    Because someone willing to murder you for your organs is going to scruple at misfiling some paperwork for a few days too

    No, because someone willing to murder you for your organs is going to have a much easier time when they don’t have to confront the consent issue. But it is besides the point. My point is that somebody might have a legitimate fear of this happening and that this would cause them actual physical and emotional distress in exchange of the very unlikely chance that they might end up in a situation where they could become an organ donor.
    My argument is not about corpse rights but about real harm to living people.
    I’m all in favour of changing the laws to presumed consent, because I think there would be many more organ donors, probably enough, if people had to confront the issue while they’re still alive instead of dumping this on their shocked relatives who might simply refuse in a bad decision they’ll regret later.

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

    Giliell,
    Nope, refusingtreatment is monstrous

  142. Saad says

    The explanation from Matrix/DNA Theory is better than the one from Darwin’s Theory.

    Oh for fuck’s sake!

  143. azhael says

    @186
    xDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
    *falls of chair*
    Oh, Luis….you silly, silly man…

  144. says

    A petition. (Did you know that menstrual sanitary products are a ‘non-essential, luxury’? Me neither.)

    The Government taxes sanitary products but not crocodile steaks. If you value the functioning of those who menstruate at least as much as you enjoy your crocodile Friday then sign our petition and join our campaign. Help to put an end to the marginilisation of issues that have been traditionally associated with women.

    A 5 per cent tax rate has been placed on sanitary products, while exotic meats walk tax-free. HM Revenue and Customs justified this tax by classifying sanitary products as “non-essential, luxury” items. Despite decades of protesting, this tax has survived for almost half a century!

    change.org

  145. says

    Giliell

    Yep, but it led to the opposite.

    Which is yet one more reason not to rely on people volunteering premortem. This is people’s lives we’re talking about here, and yet apparently people are willing to let who knows how many others suffer and die in a fit of pique over a few queue-jumpers. That kind of bullshit reasoning is no better than the people worried that when Jesus magics them back to life he won’t be able to magic their organs back too.

    My point is that somebody might have a legitimate fear of this happening

    They really don’t, and they need to get the fuck over it, with the aid of counseling if necessary. If someone’s going to bribe a doctor to kill you and take your organs, and the doctor goes along with it, straight up fucking forging the consent documents is still trivial compared to that, especially since it only has to work long enough for the organs to be taken out, after which it’s a fait accompli. Indeed, the specter of organlegging has been trotted out regularly for at least the last 40 years, and yet do you know how many verified cases there have been in that time? Zero. It’s never actually happened. So, yes, I’m going to say that fears of such a thing are, indeed, invalid, and amount to a conspiracy theory More generally, worrying about bizarre hypothetical ways that the rich might (but, as far as can be demonstrated haven’t) fuck you over for their own benefit and/or just for shits and giggles, doesn’t do anyone any good, because the number of ways they could fuck you over is pretty much infinite. Spend the effort worrying about the ways they provably are fucking people over, and on working on ways to reduce their ability to fuck people over generally, but don’t go opposing simple public health policies on the grounds that it might conceivably make it marginally easier for a rich person to fuck you over.

  146. says

    On an unrelated note, and because it’s somewhat OT in that thread as well:
    In the description of what the fellow did wrong, they included the following:

    He sent a generic cover letter that was not geared towards our organization or our job ad. We received hundreds of submissions. If we are going to take the time to read the documents that you send us, you should take the time to tailor the documents to us.

    Speaking as someone who’s been a jobseeker for some considerable time now, I’m terribly sorry that it’s such a burden to read hundreds of cover letters and submissions, and takes all of maybe 20-30 seconds per cover letter to read them. How many do you think I’m sending out, though? What about the time it takes me to try to write a custom letter for each and every outfit I apply to, no matter how similar they are to all the other places I’ve applied? You have to read hundreds of cover letters? I have to write that many, and that takes a lot more time (and spoons) than reading them, so it does.

  147. says

    Scientists in Mongolia are examining a 200-year mummified monk who some Buddhists believe is still alive because he is in a deep meditative trance.

    […]

    Gankhüügiin Pürevbat, the founder of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulan Bator Buddhist University, told the Siberian Times, a news website: “The lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolises of the preaching Sutra.

    ‘This is a sign that the lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas”.

    Torygraph link

  148. Ichthyic says

    Did you know that menstrual sanitary products are a ‘non-essential, luxury’? Me neither.

    as a tangent…

    for those that have never heard of them, these work great (as noted by my partner, who has used them for decades):

    http://www.mooncup.co.uk/

    or, maybe more familiar in the US:

    http://divacup.com/

    cheap, more comfortable, easy to use… etc.

  149. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Giliell

    My point is that somebody might have a legitimate fear of this happening and that this would cause them actual physical and emotional distress in exchange of the very unlikely chance that they might end up in a situation where they could become an organ donor.

    I’m not exactly on either side of this, but let me understand your argument. Your argument here is roughly: If we change the law to require organ donations, then there will be people who will experience more fear and anguish that others may illegally kill them for their organs. Regardless of whether there actually are more murders for organs under this new law, it is possible that the collective suffering from fear and anguish of maybe being murdered for one’s organs outweighs actually saving the lives of people via forced organ donations.

    Do I have that about right? I think that argument is patently absurd. We should not let irrational fears stop us from passing policy which will actually help people.

    If instead you meant to argue based on an actual increased rate of murders for organs, then that’s a legitimate concern, one which I share, but please don’t let (real) suffering from irrational fears stop us from implementing good policy. The solution is education as to the facts, not bowing to irrational fears.

  150. A. Noyd says

    Ichthyic (#211)

    for those that have never heard of them, [menstrual cups] work great […] cheap, more comfortable, easy to use

    Maybe for someone who has a conventionally shaped vagina. Those of us with funky shapes have to rely on tampons or pads.