This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly.
Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread
I understand that Los Angeles is a barren wasteland of ennui in February, unlike Morris, Minnesota, so in a fit of altruism I’m bringing a spark of Minnesota excitement to boring California. I’ll be speaking at CFI LA, in a talk that is sure to piss off a lot of people.
It takes a lot to get me to try to report a twitter user for offensive content — I’m usually happy enough to simply be liberal with the block button (I block, on average, 3 or 4 people a day). But there have been a grand total of two occasions on which someone was so egregiously awful I thought it necessary to report them. One was a guy who was spamming with over-the-top death threats from multiple accounts, and taunting me with his knowledge that Twitter would do nothing about it. Another time, it was someone who was sending me explicit crime scene photos — rotting bodies, bloody suicides, decapitated or disemboweled people. So I tried to send complaints.
The Twitter complaint submission form is a nightmare — it’s a perfect example of putting up a bureaucratic roadblock to prevent people from complaining. These two cases were so extreme that I struggled through several pages of ridiculously detailed inquiries, submitted the final form, and sat back, thoroughly convinced that this was a cynical pretense by Twitter and that nothing would be done.
There’s a furious argument going on between Tom Flynn, who hates Christmas and thinks no right-minded atheist should have any truck with a religious holiday, and Beth Presswood, a confirmed atheist who loves the Christmas holiday. I agree with Flynn that the day is thoroughly tainted with ongoing religious garbage, but I also agree with Presswood that the season is in the process of being totally secularized, and that we ought as atheists to keep up the pressure to strip away the superstition and reconstruct the day to serve our completely human needs.
SGU is still an excellent podcast, of course (and by the way, they’re being sued by a quack and could use your support), but Rebecca Watson has amicably left the show. It was a smart move on her part — she has an identity that isn’t defined by SGU, so she didn’t need it anymore.
Members of the Morris City Council agreed with the assessment of Morris City Manager Blaine Hill: the chimes at Summit and Calvary Cemetery need to be play less often and at a lower volume to respect the rights of neighbors.
I haven’t heard the chimes this morning, or for the last couple of days. I’d fling my windows wide open and revel in the silence, except that it’s cold and snowy out there.
Like rice paper, I guess. Neil deGrasse Tyson made a couple of light-hearted tweets on Christmas that prompted an awful lot of whining. From the reaction, you’d think he’d posted this joke:
I don’t even think that’s particularly offensive, but Tyson’s jokes were tame, even compared to that.
Several years ago, I attended one of Kent Hovind’s seminars in St Cloud — it was genuinely the worst talk I’ve ever heard. It was over-long, it was shallow, it was a succession of lies, and it was full of really bad cornpone jokes — some of which were anti-semitic or marginally racist. It was terrible.
It seems the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kent Hovind’s son, Eric, was affiliated with a pair of clowns spawned from Creation Science Evangelism, in something called The T.R.U.T.H. Group. They put out YouTube videos, including this one from several years ago. These are really bad YouTube videos. Prepare yourself for some astonishing trash.
It’s not just the Christians who have a persecution complex, but also other religions? Say it ain’t so! But read this remarkable whine about poor, picked-upon Hinduism — did you know that only Hindu beliefs get mocked?
…why is it that only Hindu practices and traditions are targeted for censure and ridicule? How is what Smriti Irani did more superstitious or unscientific than a Muslim kneeling to pray to a black stone in Mecca or a Catholic imbibing bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ?
Here, I’ll make Ms. Aditi Banerjee feel a little better: all of those practices are absurd, superstitious, ritualistic baloney.