The Mended Drum


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Discworld Emporium

This is The Mended Drum, the thread for off-topic conversations on Pharyngula. Talk about whatever you want.

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  1. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    What a surprise. A “true feminist” is someone who denies sexism is even a thing and nothing short of the actual murder of people of color by someone who explicitly states that’s why they’re doing it is “real racism”.

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

    Giliell,

    First I woke the kids and made them breakfast. Then I took them to school.
    Then I went grocery shopping.
    Then I went to college.
    Afterwards I drove to the refugee centre and brought them donations.
    Then I went to Ikea to buy a birthday gift.
    Now I’m home for a short while before I pick up the kids for their ballett class.
    I tweeted support for trans folks in between and retweeted some other stuff.
    I hope I make it till bedtime before I’m arrested for crimes against humanity.

    You monster.

    Technically, living an ordinary home life doesn’t preclude one from contributing to a toxic social group or not a particular group but generally harmful atmosphere. trapeziumsyncs, for example, could be cooking lunch for the family in between spilling shit here.

    trapeziumsyncs,
    Christina Hoff Sommers, really? Come on, you could at least try to make this believable.

  3. says

    CHS, the woman who complains that boys are being forced to play some girly games instead of tag about a game that is a variety of tag that alows children to play mre and run more…
    I admit, if she were a true feminist I’d be anti-feminist, too!

  4. Al Dente says

    The Troll @4

    I’m not a feminist or a racist and those topics aren’t high on my list.

    In other words, you don’t give a shit about other people. So I was right, your objection to SJWs is they don’t pay attention to YOU except when you’re making sexist, racist or other bigoted remarks. Your narcissism is your strongest characteristic.

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

    I’m not a … racist …

    Since when do we take racists at their word? Prove it by your actions. Oh, racism isn’t “high on your list?” Then you prioritize what over combating racism? Video games?

  6. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    Exactly what i expected. These people really aren’t original at all…

    Thank fuck we have people like this to tell us what real sexism and real racism are. Otherwise we might have mistakenly thought that saying sexist and racist things might constitute a problem…It’s good to know that only killing POC or savagely beating women are real acts of racism and sexism. Arseholes calling people “n****r” and “c**t” on the internet are neither sexist nor racist because they are well meaning, good intentioned individuals that know best what trully constitutes a problem…and anyone who dares to say something about it is a commy, feminazi, SJW, puritan, desperately looking for anything they might possibly interpret as prejudiced…like you know…actual fucking examples of obvious prejudice and abuse.
    You people are worse than children throwing a hissy fit because they have been grounded for kicking their cousin, except worse, on account of you not being children…
    “I’m a narcisist with no sense of accountability and negligible levels of empathy and i don’t want to suffer any consequences for anything i doooo, waaaaaaaaahhhhhh”

    And just for emphasis….Christina Hoff Summers…seriously?

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

    X isn’t high on my list of priorities, but I enjoy spending my spare time haranguing people who find X important

  8. bargearse says

    Beatrice @ 10

    X isn’t high on my list of priorities, but I enjoy spending my spare time haranguing people who find X important

    I see where you’ve gone wrong. X isnt’t the problem, apparently the problem is pointing out that x is a problem. If you’d just stop talking about x then the problem ceases to be a problem and we can all go back to the important things like mocking creationists and feeling superior because we know bigfoot doesn’t exist. Can I have my sooper skeptic atheist Dawkins roolz membership card now? (snark)

  9. Nightjar says

    throwaway,

    Then you prioritize what over combating racism? Video games?

    Trolling. Trolling is very important and worth creating sockpuppet accounts to troll some more after being banned.

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

    bargearse,

    Can I have my sooper skeptic atheist Dawkins roolz membership card now?

    Nope, that’s 5.000$.

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

    bargearse,

    You might be allowed to breathe the stale air in a room he just lest for free!

  12. says

    Beatrice
    Well, the really monsterous thing is that I didn’t do any of the following:

    -I did not donate the money to the RDF instead of buying birthday presents
    -I did not join a petition to ban women from making fun of men on Twitter
    -I did not explain to black people what actual racism is
    -I did not tell trans people that there are two biological sexes and that’s the end of the story

    Crimes I added to my list: I tweeted some bunny pictures in support of a woman who’s getting harassed on Twitter (it’s a long story. She liked them)

  13. Al Dente says

    Crimes I added to my list: I tweeted some bunny pictures in support of a woman who’s getting harassed on Twitter

    How depraved! Have you no shame?

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

    At least they weren’t cat pictures. That would be truly outrageous.

  15. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    That would be truly outrageous.

    Truly, truly, truly outrageous?

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

    That would be truly outrageous.

    Truly, truly, truly outrageous?

    Verily.

  17. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ Seven of Mine #497

    I think it’s common among reactionary people in general

    Yes, precisely. It’s a reactionary trait, and the vast majority of FtB’s detractors are reactionary in their outlook. Much more succinct.

  18. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    I see PZ noticed Trolly McTrolltroll’s sockpuppeting. I wonder if he’ll try again?

  19. says

    @ 25 Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    And that’s a lovely update too. (Scotus just ruled in favor of millions of people being able to have health care)

  20. says

    This will be a long one and I am sorry for that, but this is a problem of many facets that interacts with a diverse array of people. Short and sweet may not be possible. I will try to avoid text-walls for a while if I can.

    I realize that wanting to carve out a place here for demonstrative dispatching of people like zanyisspectrum/trapeziumsyncs, who I will refer to as SA#234 (Sociopolitical Aggressor, which is a neutral thing since we do that too) is a serious thing which is why if PZ eventually decides that it’s a bad thing I will accept that without complaint, and take steps to make sure that I adapt to the new rules. I can see this is serious in how three very different people responded to me in similar fashion, but I know that they are doing so for different reasons.

    People are non-literal in a conflict for reason of intense emotion(s). For SA#234 the reasons for that non-literality are interesting but less important what they are doing because of them. They are active agents in how supremacy is functionally done. White, straight, male, cis…different details in a general framework. What is called “bait” is an attack using the strategic and instinctual rules possessed by members of a group used to acting dominant and/or fearing change. This is a thing we want to be able to deconstruct, understand and functionally deal with both as oppressed people and privileged allies.

    But I realize that the form of dealing with group #4 (sociopolitical aggressors here on bad faith) can have the appearance of behavior that other people have suffered from. I can name it, I can turn the “take down” into a conversational style. I have the biggest “vulcan” of them all living in my head. When I say I have an authoritarian personality I mean it literally (and can justify it with research). So when people are non-literal I act like there can be a real good reason for it as best as I can. For people who may have those good reasons I try to avoid analyzing motives and avoid having assumptions about, but I often still need to talk about what they do in self-defense. I am socially complicated in a way that I try to avoid using like a shield, but it still matters.

    But what I want to leave room for here at Pharyngula if PZ and people who need the safe space approve is for my “groups 1-3”, and the subgroups they break into. And ultimately it’s all about the oppressed and marginalized people that I listen to here and how the thing that makes them oppressed and marginalized hurts all of us. Even “group 4” has more than one kind of person.

    1) “Each other” (functionally). “Regulars” which simultaneously you all know, but at the same time you don’t if you don’t know who specifically. The people typically posting of every racial, sex, gender and other category that matters, and who have social power. That is definable and the trick to being a non-predatory authoritarian like me is to let other people provide you the categories and meaning that go with them.

    2) Lurkers that could post more. They may feel afraid to post, and so we must create morals and ethics that let us treat all of these groups differently and gives them reason to feel valued.

    They may not know how to post (these rules are tricky and this is the whole point of this text-wall) and so we need to identify the “hows” and “whys” for interaction, “regulars” role-model the differences and we list them as best as we can as an intersectional 101.

    They may not think they have something useful to say, and they are wrong. If you are an oppressed minority you are another example that creates and strengthens the filters that the privileged can use to help and role-model for other privileged people, and you can help each other express what you feel best.

    3) New people. They will be confused intrigued, and some will be triggered to “tFFF” (textually Fight/Flight/Freeze). We need to be able to make them comfortable, and deal with specific problem behaviors that will often be difficult to separate from behaviors used by hardened sexists, racists, rapists, MRAs, TERFs, homophobes, pitters and more. The people of shitty behavior who are still reachable border 3-4. They matter (let’s call them “3.5s”). I strongly believe they can be dealt with as examples while respecting and supporting those who need a safe space, but there is no way I could find out how without the input of the people who need that safe space.

    There is a reason I am obsessed with defining behavior as independent of group as I can. The tools for dealing with that behavior should be universalized (via intersectionality, hands-on). We need an equivalent to the list of logical fallacies and the list of distorted thinking patterns that generate them. No one person can do that, and that is a benefit to studying one another’s troll-fu and allowing a context for its use.

    4) Sociopolitical Aggressors here on bad faith. We must find ways of separating the 3.5s from them while maintaining a safe space, if that can be done. That requires direct experience interacting with 3.5s and 4s and learning the dance I think of as “primate chess”. The exact same dance I learned by watching people fight creationists, but stripped of specific group identity.
    A key to this is focusing on the behavior as I did with SA#234. There are some people for whom this can never be made to feel good. Among them are hardened rapists, racists, misogynists, and other abusers. They will go into tFFF. Dawkins is in the 3.5 box until I know more but we should ask ourselves, are we only going to usefully dissect the beliefs and behavior of authorities who will not likely be in a real-time aggressive textual or verbal back and forth that we can publicly see?

    Dawkins’s behavior is different because of his position. He matters but a ground level 3.5/4 has many more behavioral options and is a far more valuable thing to draw observations from when finding patterns to define, create responses to, and role-model those responses. The pitters and similar do things that Dawkins could never get away with and even though they have similarities that come from being privileged people trying to maintain it, we need more discriminating ways of analyzing and dealing with them.

    SA#234, the way I see them.
    ***

    Nice to see that long time commenters are still being assholes to others in spite of all the soul searching and hand wringing that’s gone on. Leopards can’t change their spots and SJW’s can’t stop being pricks. Hmmm.

    Important context, this was their first post under that name which makes “new” and “deceitful sociopolitical aggressor” hard to differentiate.

    [Nice to see] that [long time commenters] are [still being assholes to others]

    “Nice to see”: Rhetorically casual. Portrays a false lack of concern about what they see rooted in sarcasm. They post because they are concerned. Humor reduces fear but they must look unafraid to the audience.

    “…long term commentors…”: Deliberately non-specific so that everyone and no one is targeted at the same time. Plausible dependability defense and lets them be lazy.

    “…still being assholes to others…”: Deliberately non-specific. What matters is how people are being assholes and why it is assholish. They paint the emotion for the audience without any of the demonstrative effort. Pejoratives are “attention grabbers” and “reaction creators” in context specific ways.

    SA#234 is faking lack of concern and asserting bad behavior of everyone on a de facto level.

    …[in spite of] all the [soul searching and hand wringing] that’s gone on.

    “…in spite of…”: Undefended assertion that there has been no result from the discussion.

    “…soul searching and hand wringing…”: Non-specific reference to how people feel about the discussions (and arguments, and fights) we have had, and what people feel about the discussions we have had.

    SA#234 is declaring all of our efforts and feelings about those efforts in a still ongoing process to be of no value without a single bit of explanation.

    [Leopards can’t change their spots] and [SJW’s can’t stop being pricks]. Hmmm.

    “Leopards can’t change their spots”: A abstracted repetition of the previous in the form of a common saying. Repetition is a means of improving the efficiency of learning. Sayings are always non-literal because they are essentially memes that unpack into cultural information. There is an obligation to be able to unpack it if a person wants to be an advocate instead of a mere sociopolitical aggressor.

    “…SJW’s can’t stop being pricks.”: A second abstraction of the previous part that contains a pejorative and is tied to the common saying in a rhythmic manner for even more efficiency in perception and learning.

    -dissecting even farther,

    “SJW’s”: A pejorative of recent vintage and thus vulnerable to deliberate actions to limit its effectiveness. (I’ll “toot my own horn” and link a post on what I see in SJW, If you want to skip most of the Tourette’s crap scroll down to “Dictionary atheists, versus social justice warriors. Patterns in the chaos.”) SA#234 actually fits the definition of SJW far better than we do, and that is probably the whole point of “SJW”.

    “…can’t stop being pricks.”: An assertion that we will always be behaving badly that uses a gendered pejorative. So this also reinforces the idea of males being “assholes”.
    ***

    I believe that helping people to be able to see the depth and subtlety in what seems like such a simple comment as the one that SA#234 posted is critical to changing society. There is wanting to deal with the various forms that supremacy takes, and there is creating a system for dealing with supremacy in it’s specific manifestations. The behaviors need identified, analyzed, responses designed, tested, and role-modeled. Maybe Pharyngula is not the place to do that in an organized way. But I do not believe that anyone can tell me that this is a thing that should be avoided. IT’s critical to winning and being correct.

  21. Al Dente says

    Brony @28

    There’s one other concept, the infamous SIWOTI syndrome.

    SA#234 (good name, BTW) came here apparently to let everyone know that some people do not hold PZ, Pharyngula and the commentariat in high regard. It later developed that xe is a bigot, claiming that Hoff Summers is a “true feminist” and only people like Dylann Roof are racists, no other feminists or racists need apply. I firmly believe that SA#234 and others of that kidney need to be squelched. Also if you’re coming on our turf to be rude to us and to the ideas we generally hold in common, then it’s not unreasonable for us, or some of us, to react. Nobody told SA#234 to fuck off or used any other foul language. However we were firm in our rebuttals of xir rants.

    Otherwise I agree with your analysis @28. Thank you for it.

  22. says

    That should say “plausable deniability defense” instead of “plausible dependability defense” in #28. I can never seem to get rid of all of the typos and crap.

    @Al Dente 29
    SIWOTI is important. But it’s also universal. I’m probably here a lot because of it.

    I agree about what sort of person that SA#234 is. I think a reason that being able to dispatch these people openly at least once in a while is important to me is that you often can’t see what kind of person they are or, how to find out what kind of a person they are without hitting new people and lurkers without some experience at pulling it out of them like pulling teeth (or revealing them). But I also can’t deny that it helps that I like to do this sort of thing.

    I don’t deny that it’s a challenging thing to do this, or learn to see this and do this, or see someone doing it. But I don’t see a lot of options for helping allies become effective allies that can help a person tired of dealing with people like SA#234 without something like this.

  23. says

    Cross posted from the Lounge-
    Ok, ya’ll might need to sit down for this one. It is epic. A friend of mine on Facebook posted a screencap of the following (names have been removed, obviously):

    Dear Walmart,
    Please tell us where it all ends?
    It’s not your job to impose morals. Admit it, it is the soula nd heart of people that’s the true cause of racism. Not silly symbols. I fear you are missing the point in a free society. A flag now, a book next time. Where does it all end, where?

    Response:
    I think we both know where it ends [redacted]. Your home in ashes, our starving children strewn about you half-dead and sobbing, packs of vicious wild dogs roaming the streets of once-happy American suburbs feeding off the weak, the cities burning on the horizon and the ground rumbling underfoot from the Chinese tanks out enforceing the new governments mandatory curfew. And always, through the din of screams and smoke and jackboots marching in unison, above it all you hear Obama laughing. It’s been three weeks since you’ve had anything but pages torn from the family bible to eat. Your fee ache, your shoes have long ago been stolen by roving gangs of armed minorities and the tattered strips of the American flag you’ve bound them in do little to stop the cold, let alone the blisters. Your wife is a man now and all your guns have gotten gay married. With your last, dying breath, you raise a defiant glance to the darkened patch of sky where the sun should be were it not blocked by looming mushroom clouds and woefully bemoan “if only Walmart hadn’t stopped selling confederate flags none of this would have happened…” I wish I could say it wasn’t too late. I wish I could say that, [redacted].

  24. PatrickG says

    Tony!: Real or not, that’s hilarious. Though if real, that seems like the kind of customer service that might have repercussions on the career of a certain Walmart Customer Service Representative…

  25. emergence says

    Tony,
    Thanks for showing me those articles, but I still feel like I need more information. I think that I’ll take your advice and ask Lousy Canuck for help.

    Brony,
    I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while, and I think that I need to spend a bit more time arranging these ideas in my head before I can have any specific questions to ask you. I hope that you’ll still be willing to help me at a later date.

    More generally, I have a few questions about where to go from here if I want to learn more about this;

    1. What sources should I go to for information?
    – Should I actually email the scientists who are doing research on this topic and ask for help?
    – Should I ask advice from some of the psychology professors at my college, or email psychology professors from other colleges?
    – Are there any books that go into this topic that could help me?
    – Which research journals should I read to find studies that talk about games and violence?
    – Are there any scientists in the skeptical/free-thought community that are good at judging the validity of scientific theories? They can be actual psychologists, or just scientists who are good at sniffing out badly done science. Is there anyone on FTB that hasn’t been suggested to me yet?

    2. Would taking an actual class on psychology help me understand this issue better?
    – What sort of psychology class would cover the effects of media consumption?
    – How much psychology would I have to learn to understand it enough to make judgements about the effects of video games?

    3. How can I learn how to detect bad scientific practice or arguments?
    – It seems as if guys like PZ are able to detect badly done science and explain the flaws in it quite easily. In cases like Kehoe’s lead industry apologetics or ENCODE’s results, PZ was able to clearly point out the flaws in the researchers’ thinking and explain how the science should actually be done. How can I learn how to notice when scientists are making methodological errors or sensationalistic claims about what their research proves?

    I hope that someone here can give me answers to these questions. I think that they would probably help set me on the right track to figuring this stuff out.

  26. says

    emergence @33:

    Tony,
    Thanks for showing me those articles, but I still feel like I need more information. I think that I’ll take your advice and ask Lousy Canuck for help.

    At this point, I’m confused as to what you’re looking for then. There is not enough evidence to support an assertion that there is a causal relationship between video game violence and violent crime. And if violent crimes were caused by violent video games, then the violent crime rate would have gone up over the last 20 years, but it has not. It has gone down.

    What are you looking for?

  27. emergence says

    Tony,
    I’m not sure. I looked online and at first glance it seems like more papers find a link between games and aggression than those that don’t. I suppose that I’m just worried about what the actual anti-combat game researchers have to say about their results and arguments against them. They seem to be very convinced that their experiments show enough of an effect to be cause for concern, and I’ve gotten hints that they have arguments as to why the crime rate doesn’t matter to their conclusions. I don’t know if I’m just being paranoid, or if there really is something that I’m missing.

    I think that my OCD might be getting to me a bit. I actually obsess over sociopolitical issues, and constantly worry if some idea that I have might be wrong. That can make me hyperbolically doubt my own ideas and become obsessed with whether or not people who disagree with me might have an argument against my own ideas. It’s something that I have to work on, so I’m sorry if it seems like I’m running over the same points constantly.

  28. says

    @emergence 33, 35
    This might sound a little insensitive but the intent is so I can figure out how to answer better.

    Would it be fair to say that you are having trouble accepting what you casually hear and read about research into how video games relate to violence because you are not able to judge the research for yourself? If true that is a pretty normal thing.

  29. chigau (違う) says

    Not about the current discussion.
    How many people can be thrown under the bus before the bus just falls over?
    Who in hell is on the fucking bus, anyway?

  30. Nick Gotts says

    And if violent crimes were caused by violent video games, then the violent crime rate would have gone up over the last 20 years, but it has not. It has gone down. – Tony@34

    That doesn’t follow, because other factors could have outweighed it – notably the removal of lead additives from gasoline, which correlates well internationally with a drop in violence starting some 20 years later.

  31. Ragutis says

    The Mended Drum? Fantastic!

    So, this is where I leave all the surfing crap from now on, right?

    Speaking of Wright… so, I got distracted and neglected to update whoever was paying attention to my posts about the Fiji Pro. My bad. Not sure where I left off, but wrapping up the contest: Brazilian rookie Italo Ferreira knocked out Kelly Slater, Jeremy Flores (FRA) looked great, Julian Wilson (AUS) was on fire, and Owen Wright (AUS)… well, prior to this event, there had been only 6 “perfect heats” in professional surfing. Perfect meaning that all of a surfer’s scoring rides (top3 prior to 2002, top 2 since then) received a 10. (normally when scoring, the high and low scores are dropped and the remaining 3 are averaged). Well, Owen Wright got the 7th. And the 8th. In the same contest. First in Round 5 and then in the Finals. First time someone’s gotten 2 perfect heats in a comp, and first perfect score in a Final. And both 20’s were 10’s from all 5 judges. Needless to say, he won. Dude was throwing away 9.6’s. Anyway, Finals Day was great, even with conditions getting a bit wonky, and you can check out Wright’s highlights here or skip around complete heats/rounds with the heat analyzer.

    The women have a QS event in South Africa, beginning the 28th, and the waiting period for the men’s CT event at Jeffreys Bay ,S.A. starts July 8. Jeremy Flores, who I mentioned before, is reportedly out with an injuries he sustained freesurfing somewhere in Indo. Don’t know who’s replacing him, but Dane Reynolds apparently did well enough in Fiji for the WSL to give him their wildcard slot again in Africa. A lot of people who just watch clips of his airs might discount him for J-Bay, but he’s shown in Fiji and other events past (like Hossegor a few years ago) that he’s a much more complete surfer than people take him for. He grew up surfing right-hand pointbreaks in California, I think he could really do well at J-Bay.

    Now, even more off off-topic… 2006 BMW 325i (appears to be in outstandingly clean and maintained condition, 36000 miles, all options except for that stupid i-Drive and nav) for $12,500, or 2012 VW Passat 2.5l (also looks just about perfect, and with same miles, loaded except for sunroof, nav, and rearview camera) for $15,500? The BMW is this cool bronzish-brown, while the VW is a quite nice blue. I don’t see a lot of blue VW’s. And especially not Passats. But that brownzy (feck off, spellcheck) color is nice too, and the first I’ve seen IRL)

    TLDR: surf surf surf. blah blah blah. Which car should I get?

  32. John Morales says

    @28:

    … and who have social power …

    Perhaps better to refer to social cachet, Brony. Such effective power as its forms have is always context-dependent, and its misuse has non-linear consequences.

    (PS Are you aware of the Roman Virtues? If not, you may find it an interesting ontology)

  33. says

    And now I’m just laughing at my cyberstalker.

    According to him, I am and/or have:

    *Falsely accused someone of rape. (Nnnnope. The only person I’ve ever accused of rape is my abuser, and that’s because he did, in fact, rape me. The other situation he could have been referring to with this one was not an accusation of rape, but me pointing out that I cannot know if any given male-identified person is a rapist until it’s too late.)
    *Had a roommate arrested (Abusive Ex was arrested, yes, after assaulting three of our then-housemates. It was a legit arrest, and I’m not the one who called the cops on him.)
    *Misandrist (Not even sure where this accusation came from…)
    *Homophobic (for pointing out that some of the worst misogyny I’ve witnessed has come from gay men. Yes, I have issues with some gay men, but it has nothing to do with them being gay.)
    *Not a feminist (because Reasons that only exist in his head.)
    *Vindictive, petty, cruel (No, no, and no. That takes too much energy.)
    *A liar (and crazy, to boot.)
    *I “lack empathy” because I told someone that they shouldn’t dismiss pet-parents’ grief as “less than” their own grief. (Context: OP whinged about how she’d lost a child and how pet-parents would say, “I know how you feel, I lost a [pet]”, and it’s totally not the same thing. She turned it into the Grief Olympics, and I had the nerve to point out that it’s not a competition.)

    Oh, yeah, and I’m “bitter”.

    Bitter.

    Yeah… about that.

    This guy went on a two-week campaign of harassment, following me around the ‘net, posting unhinged little screeds about how awful I am, over him getting banned from a few Patheos blogs for the exact behavior that he continued to display towards me.

    He will not accept responsibility for his behavior, and insists that it’s somehow my fault that he was banhammered. I know for a fact that at least one of those bans was because he dragged his personal vendetta into another blog-space after I dared to post there. The others were because of his misogyny and abusive commenting habits.

    …and I’m the “bitter” one?

    I think he finally wore himself out, though.

  34. says

    So does everyone else also have the live blog from SCOTUSblog open, waiting for the day’s upheaval to come down from on high?

    I’m hoping for another apoplectic fit from that ass, Scalia.

  35. Nick Gotts says

    PZM@43,

    No, I didn’t – but the BBC now reports a 5-4 decision in favour of a marriage equality! Congratulations to the USA on catching up with Canada, Spain, most of the UK…

  36. AlexanderZ says

    Great day(days?) for the US. First Obamacare, now marriage equality. Good stuff. BTW, try googling “marriage equality”. Pay close attention to the Google toolbar above.

  37. Owlmirror says

    This was an amusing fanfic:

    steve rogers: pr disaster

    “So,” she said, leaning back in her chair. She’d read that imitating body language was a good way to set people at ease but it seemed to make him suspicious. “What are your plans for the weekend?”

    “Should catch up on my laundry,” said Steve. He tried to hunch his shoulders, but they were too wide for it to work. “And I’ve got a library book to read.”

    “Oh? What book?” she said, smiling indulgently. At the back of her mind she was picturing one of those Time magazine hardcovers about the Greatest Generation.

    “A biography of someone named Cesar Chavez?” said Steve. “A lady from the teacher’s union recommended it to me. She was real nice, I’m probably gonna go to their rally on Saturday—they’re striking for better pay—and then Sunday there’s a protest for the rights of undocumented immigrants, so.”

    Eva’s jaw worked for a second. “Steve, I can’t force you not to go, but if Captain America gets arrested at a protest, it’s going to get a lot of attention—”

    Steve coughed politely. “That’s…kind of the point of a protest,” he said.

    ‘Well,’ thought Eva, ‘Shit.’

  38. AlexanderZ says

    (I had a busy week at work and I’m just now catching up with the thread. Seriously, were you really engaging a guy whose nym called PZ a c**t? Twice?)
    _______________

    Brony
    I’ve noticed that you like to cite fMRI studies. I’m by no means an expert but from what I’ve read fMRI is a finicky and problematic method. This method is very sensitive to everything (like literally everything, some scientists have reported that the images for the same sample depend on whether or not one of the light-bulbs in the room is broken) and it requires some very good controls (remember that IgNobel Prize in Neuroscience for a dead salmon?). Not to mention the cost of the study which limits the number of people in your study and the significance of your results for a wider population.
    _______________

    Caine
    Great bird pics, as always ;)
    I didn’t know that birds other than the cuckoo were brood parasites, but apparently it’s a common behavior in birds.
    _______________

    Nightjar
    I loved your hoopoe pics. We get them here as well and I know how difficult it is just to catch a glimpse of one, let alone take so many pictures (for those not in the know, hoopoes are extremely shy, will come mostly very early in the morning when nobody is around and will take off the moment you lay eyes on them).

    Sorry about your shitty day. It reminds of something I once witnessed: Two biologists had a broken incubation chamber or whatever that thingamajig is that acts as both a heater to keep a culture in a specific temperature and also stirs the solution.
    So what did they do? They tore out the door of their microwave, put inside their beaker with a beaker mixer (the one that operates by spinning a little magnetic thingy that is inserted into the beaker) still plugged in (after all, they needed the solution stirred AND heated) and turned on the microwave.
    I don’t know how it all ended, because I left immediately.
    Biologists are sometimes like Wile E. Coyote, which is why I love them so.
    _______________

    Rob Grigjanis #45

    …and the Pitcairn Islands!

    I wouldn’t be so thrilled about that one. That tiny island is rather notorious.

  39. PatrickG says

    @ AlexanderZ:

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. That’s all kinds of awesome. :)

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

    Owlmirror, in #47

    I loved that fanfic, thanks for linking to it.

    I love SJW Steve Rogers. What I’ve also seen referenced in a number of fics was Rogers having strong opinions about vaccination.

  41. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    ZOMG:

    Just… this.

    Chief Science Officer they say.

    Me, sitting in on the hiring committee:

    Committee Chair: Well, you have several impressive degrees, interesting publishing credits, a curious mind, and fabulous managerial skills. Thank you for your time. Before you leave, does anyone else here have a last question for the candidate?

    Me: Yes. If offered the job, would you take it?

    Candidate: Oh, surely.

    Me: Well that’s one more candidate disqualified.

  42. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Dhorvath, OM, #54:

    I’m sorry, are you using a device that makes it hard to see links?

    I linked to this job description:

    Chief Science Officer
    Perception Medicine Foundation

    About Us
    The Perception Medicine Foundation (PMF) is a non-profit dedicated to broadening our scientific and practical understanding of how the human mind directly influences the genesis, advancement, regression, and remission of disease.

    Building on the deep work of the fields of mind-body medicine, psychoneuroimmunology, epigenetics, meditation research, positive psychology, and other credible, innovative fields of study, we work with leading researchers to identify, develop, execute, fund, discuss, and collaborate on projects that deepen our scientific understanding of the connection between what goes on in our heads with what goes on in the physical systems of the body. PMF is assembling a team of world class thinkers, researchers and clinicians to guide the Foundation’s work.

    Our vision is to help build a new model of medicine where the power of the mind is both central and critical to the healing process; where pharmaceutical intervention is not considered the most powerful means for addressing illness; and where our understanding of illness and what it takes to heal has experienced a revolution in perception.

    Our Projects

    Our efforts are focused on three key areas:
    Convening thought leaders in diverse fields to shape and evolve the conversation of what constitutes “perception medicine” and its underlying model of healing.
    Funding and collaborating on cutting-edge research projects that study the mechanisms involved with the mind-body healing response and push the boundaries of existing knowledge.
    Creating a user-friendly archive of research that updates and builds on existing databases of spontaneous and “radical” remission cases and a directory of studies that address the mind-body healing dynamic.

    Desired Skills and Experience

    Post graduate University degree (PhD/Postdoctoral Fellowship/MD) from an accredited institution with background in psychoneuroimmunology and/or related field of mind-body medical research/practice
    Extensive research experience and publication, preferably in the field of psychoneuroimmunology
    Minimum 5 years’ teaching experience, with engaging verbal communications and presentation skills and a gift for making complex scientific concepts accessible
    Extensive contacts in the psychoneuroimmunology, oncology, integrative oncology and/or complementary & alternative medicine field

    AND, wait for it,

    Established credibility in the international scientific community

    There’s some juicy deliciousness in the parts I snipped, too, but I couldn’t make it too long.

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    CD#55

    AND, wait for it,

    Established credibility in the international scientific community

    OK, I see the dilemma.

  44. Lofty says

    Nerd

    OK, I see the dilemma.

    Not a dilemma at all, they want someone who speaks well and looks good in a white lab coat to promote their drivel. Suitable letters after the applicant’s name are promotional gold.

  45. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not a dilemma at all, they want someone who speaks well and looks good in a white lab coat to promote their drivel. Suitable letters after the applicant’s name are promotional gold.

    The dilemma comes with credibility within the scientific community.
    They can either have the scientific credibility, or they are nothing but pseudoscientific rip-off con artists. They can’t be both.

  46. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chigau, #59:

    LOL.

    I wonder if they would take Chuckles as a 2nd-best?

  47. says

    @John Morales 40

    Perhaps better to refer to social cachet, Brony. Such effective power as its forms have is always context-dependent, and its misuse has non-linear consequences.

    That’s a good distinction.

    In my mind social power unpacks into how it is functionally “gathered”, “stored” and objectively expressed but it’s good to get that explicit. Pretty much all of that comment would need to be unpacked more. It’s intended as an outline of what I believe should be defined and created that must be modified by other people to make it truly effective.

    I’m sure there are many things that I don’t have the perspective to see that need to be added or modified. It’s essentially proposing that we figure out how to define these things well enough to successfully make discussion and argument something as serious as martial arts while respecting people needing a safe space. It would need tons of things from society and history.

    (PS Are you aware of the Roman Virtues? If not, you may find it an interesting ontology)

    I’m acquainted with them and a closer familiarity would not hurt. Do you have anything specific in mind with respect to what you think is useful to apply?

    My reading list has things that are a bit more broadly neglected socially when it comes to social systems and treatment of people in front of it though. While the thinking in your link is relevant, at the moment I’m looking for inspiration when it comes to ways and means of increased awareness of different kinds of people. There is a positive social benefit to the average person having a more accurate understanding of what kinds of people there are. I need data before I can strategize.

    Directions in gender research in American Indian societies: Two spirits and other categories.

    For many Plains Indian societies, a feminine or transgender role was “institutionalized.” Contrary to the common designation of berdache to mean male homosexual, there were traditionally several strands to the winkte class in traditional Lakota society.

    Heyokha

    Heyókȟa are thought of as being backwards-forwards, upside-down, or contrary in nature. It was manifest by doing things backwards or unconventionally — riding a horse backwards, wearing clothes inside-out, or speaking in a backwards language. For example, if food were scarce, a heyókȟa would sit around and complain about how full he was; during a baking hot heat wave a heyókȟa would shiver with cold and put on gloves and cover himself with a thick blanket. Similarly, when it is freezing he will wander around naked complaining that it is too hot… The heyókȟa symbolize and portray many aspects of the sacred, the Wakȟáŋ. Their satire presents important questions by fooling around. They ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say. By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about, or to look at things in a different way.

    There is also supposed to be a social role for the physically disabled that I have heard connected to the term Huste that I am looking for.
    I’ll add the Roman Virtues in.

    @ WMDKitty 41
    We need to have more people shaming this stuff. Those people are often fun to play with when I catch one in the wild.

    I want to start categorizing the most common defense mechanisms used by predatory authoritarians so I can work on ways of making them obvious to an audience. I see projection (homophobic, vindictive, petty, cruel, liar, lacking empathy). I see trying make you accept that you are not something that the fear (a kind of gaslighting?). I see choosing to believe that you represent the mirror image of the current problem (false rape accusations believed to be worse than rape problem).

    Misandry is pretty much sprayed everywhere as a general force field like the emotional version of “SJW”.

    I suspect that they have a psychology that is more “self-focused” in ways that are related to stuff I watch for. So lots of what they do involved assuming that their enemies are just like them, pushing their bad characteristics off on someone else, make the loudest noise so everyone hears only you and if that does not work try to dominate everyone until they cooperate.
    And if by any chance they are socially routed they delete, hide, bury, to make it go away. Denial denial denial.

    I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I’m glad you can laugh about it. It sounds like you are ok but If they show up at one of your other places online would you want some help?

    @AlexanderZ 48
    I’m going to break my text-wall promise. I actually have a lot to say about this and it might give emergence and idea of how to think about what he wants to investigate.

  48. Lofty says

    Nerd

    They can either have the scientific credibility, or they are nothing but pseudoscientific rip-off con artists. They can’t be both.

    Past credibility can be traded on present income. There would be a few retired, once respected scientists out there who crave some extra cash.

    chigau (違う)

    They’re trying to hire RD.

    That’s exactly the sort of hire I had in mind ;-)

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Past credibility can be traded on present income.

    True, but the situation will be like with NIH-CAM. Once true double-blind scientific studies are run, the results will be—nothing except PLACEBO effect. Not the way to seem like you are competent.

  50. Lofty says

    Nerd

    Once true double-blind scientific studies are run, the results will be—nothing except PLACEBO effect.

    No kidding. You don’t think that the purveyors of this rubbish aren’t aware of this? It’s just another boondoggle looking for fast bucks.

    From the link CD helpfully provided:

    Our efforts are focused on three key areas:
    Convening thought leaders in diverse fields to shape and evolve the conversation of what constitutes “perception medicine” and its underlying model of healing.
    Funding and collaborating on cutting-edge research projects that study the mechanisms involved with the mind-body healing response and push the boundaries of existing knowledge.
    Creating a user-friendly archive of research that updates and builds on existing databases of spontaneous and “radical” remission cases and a directory of studies that address the mind-body healing dynamic.

    It’s bafflegab all the way down…

  51. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Lofty:

    Convening thought leaders…to shape and evolve the conversation

    yeah, really gives you confidence in their understanding of evolution, doesn’t it?

  52. PatrickG says

    Holy crap, skimming totally failed me. They actually are seeking thought leaders? I mean, it was obvious bullshit/woo, but now all I got is:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  53. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s bafflegab all the way down…

    Well Duh.
    I cannot think of a way to even test psychological healing as there is not third party evidence, as happened with prayer. It’s all the patient knowing what is going on. Not a way to extract the signal from the noise. Hence my problem….

  54. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Nerd

    I cannot think of a way to even test psychological healing as there is not third party evidence, as happened with prayer.
    </blockquote.

    But… but…. psychoneuroimmunology!

  55. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, xposted with Dispatches’ Obergefell thread over at Ed’s place:

    =============
    Okay, it just hit me, and I had to come here to pop the question:
    Does anyone see Justice Kennedy retiring this summer? Or very, very soon, no later than next summer?

    He gets to write Obergefell, he retires during the presidency of someone unlikely to appoint the justice to be the deciding vote in overturning Obergefell, and there he’s got a legacy of some certainty that he couldn’t have if he waited til after the next presidential election. I think he might like to go out on this note, though who knows? Power does effectively tempt. He might want to stay as long as he can and screw the uncertainties of presidents, their terms, and their appointments.

    But seriously, after Marshall=>Thomas he’s got to wonder if hanging around too long risks too much.

    What do people think?

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But… but…. psychoneuroimmunology!

    *snicker*
    You think somebody whose IUPAC names of their original compounds took five lines in their dissertation is intimidated by a mere 21-22 letters? ;)

  57. emergence says

    @brony

    Yes, that’s pretty much exactly what my problem is, not just with the violent game issue, but also with every other contentious scientific topic I’ve come across. I would add on, as I’ve said before, that a big part of it is being unable to see the warning signs of poorly done, agenda-driven science. It seems like there’s an art to that which requires a lot of familiarity with how science is done.

  58. Snoof says

    Apropos of nothing, does anyone have a decent killfile script for Firefox (requiring addons like Greasemonkey is fine) that works on FtB at the moment? Mine stopped working years ago and I haven’t yet found a replacement.

  59. says

    @emergence 72
    Do you mean that you have been diagnosed with social OCD? Like scrupulosity? Fun fact, there are atheists with the “religion OCD”. I have not been diagnosed but the signs are pretty clear to me at this point. I don’t know your background but that religious upbringing made me something of a social control freak on issues similar to what I’m hearing from you. I just have to find out for myself on the things I really care about. There is just no real trust for what you hear from people you don’t know personally. I curb it’s excesses and shape it into motivation for the most part.

    What is your education and work experience? It’s not by any means easy, but if you have the emotional drive you can learn what you want to learn. But you need to get enough experience looking at the information to build up the equivalent of a mechanic being able to tell what is wrong with something by listening to the noises it makes. You get enough terminology, associated concepts and examples of the concepts in actual use in your head to be able to relate them and move them around and answer the questions you want.

    I’ll do that post concerning the things that make MRI experiments and data tricky to properly understand and that might give you an idea of how these things need to be looked at. After maybe you can work on basic research skills related to information that will get you towards being able to understand the research. If you have many things of social controversy that you feel compelled to understand then it would seem that building a basic skill set to find and teach yourself whatever you need (or find someone who can teach you) is the best place to start.

  60. says

    Someone is persistent. It’s boggles my mind that this person continues to return to a place they know they are not welcome at and has been banned from repeatedly. The entitlement mentality is strong in this one.

    ****

    chigau:
    Do you recall sometime last year (I think) when we had someone do this for days on end? Wonder if it’s the same fool.

  61. Owlmirror says

    Troll comes in.
    Troll goes out.
    You can’t explain that.

    (So much for civil discourse.)

  62. chigau (違う) says

    After so many repetitions, it all kinda runs together.
    They never do anything new.

  63. chigau (違う) says

    And looky.
    PZ is still awake.
    Bad timing, enzymaticspurs.
    (you pitiful loser)

  64. rq says

    Tony
    Ha. I’m used to hearing them more like this or this, but I’m glad to see one of my favourite bands taking on Scalia. :D

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Apropos of nothing, does anyone have a decent killfile script for Firefox (requiring addons like Greasemonkey is fine) that works on FtB at the moment? Mine stopped working years ago and I haven’t yet found a replacement.

    An upgrade to WordPress caused the old script to stop working, and nobody I know of has updated the script to make it work. Last time it was updated, it was by somebody Josh the SpokesGay knew. I just threaten to use it.

  66. AlexanderZ says

    STUDY: Watching Only Fox News Makes You Less Informed Than Watching No News At All
    Though I’m glad that the study validates my view of MSNBC – that it’s only a step above FOX News. They’re both shit.
    The Daily Show is pretty good, though.
    ___________________

    PatrickG #49-50
    …and thank you for demonstrating why it’s important to refresh before posting ;P
    ___________________

    emergence #72

    It seems like there’s an art to that which requires a lot of familiarity with how science is done.

    That’s true and it’s something that even people familiar with a certain field can fail at. Basically, the rule is that unless you can read and understand the Methods and Results sections of a paper you can’t be sure whether the paper is good science or not (since some papers claim to show the opposite of what their results really show and some are just gibberish). And even then you don’t really know whether the conclusions are important or not.
    I would caution against relying too much on self-taught material. There is no substitute for a decent college and smart autodidacts all too often fall prey to various woo.

  67. Owlmirror says

    So I was reading this:

    http://lifehacker.com/everything-you-can-do-with-adblock-plus-that-isn-t-jus-1469861264

    and I realized that that you could use Adblock Plus as a comment blocker as well.

    Obviously, you need to have it installed, and the Element Hiding Helper is useful.

    You need to either view source for the page, or use the Element hiding helper to look at one comment so as to see one piece of information: who the comment author is. You are looking for the list object that contains the entire comment:

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-trapeziumsyncs even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-955478"

    The part in bold is the important one, and the part in italics will of course be different for each commenter. It is often the same as the display name in lowercase, but it does not have to be.

    Now you need to create an Adblock custom filter. Go to the Adblock Plus menu → Filter preferences, and choose the “Custom Filters” tab.

    Create a new filter group (I called mine “block comments by”, but it can be anything).

    Add a filter that looks like this:
    ##.comment-author-commenter > article > .comment-content

    And you’re done.

    Notes: I first tried using ##.comment-author-commenter alone, but removing the entire object screws up the comment numbering and appearance. Doing it as I outlined above makes it look like an empty comment.

    If you want to restrict the blocking to this site, you would use something like this:

    freethoughtblogs.com##.comment-author-commenter > article > .comment-content

  68. Owlmirror says

    Addenda: It looks like it can be even more granular than what I wrote in the last line above @90/590. A filter that looks like:

    freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/06/17/the-mended-drum/##.comment-author-commenter > article > .comment-content

    will only block that commenter in this thread, and in all other threads that commenter’s comments will not be blocked. Presumably, it works at the blog level as well.

    Blocking .comment-content makes all the commenters look very quiet.

  69. emergence says

    @Brony,

    It’s actually more than just scrupulosity. My OCD can be about any sociopolitical or scientific issue in general, just as long as someone, somewhere has challenged what I think. I’ve obsessed over common topics that people here would be familiar with, like evolutionary biology or LGBT rights, and over more obscure stuff like geocentrism, relativistic physics, or the literary merit of SF.

    The obsessive-compulsive behavior normally takes the form of doing computer research on the topic and looking for other people who may have already answered the questions that I’m asking, while at the same time constantly worrying that the other side of the debate might have convincing arguments against what I’ve read.

    I also worry about possible confirmation bias on my part, because there are issues like this video game thing where I have a preferred answer due to personal investment.

    @ AlexanderZ

    Would gaining general knowledge of the scientific process help? For example, if I were to study molecular biology or genetics on a university level, would I be able to judge the validity of a scientific study in another field like psychology or neurology? It seems like all fields of science have at least some shared methods of practice, like statistics or gauging effect sizes.

    I’m sorry if my point in the last paragraph was hard to understand, I’m having trouble explaining this idea.

  70. says

    @AlexanderZ 48
    I’m not sure what to make about your reference to the sensitivity problems in MRI, can you show me what you mean? Also I have cited some structural MRI studies on my blog, but I did not think that I cited any functional MRI studies yet. Where are you talking about? I had not read about the dead salmon study yet, thanks for posting it, that was pretty amusing.

    You are right about it being tricky. It’s only in a broader context that includes a lot of other experiments that the functional studies get supported best and the pitfalls of analyzing the data is something I’m still teaching myself. I’ve been reading lots of structural MRI work, doing general reading about the structures involved in TS and lining that up with lots of other research examining molecular biology to cognitive abilities and functions. That is what I have tried to use to think about the functional MRI work that I have read. But it’s not a complete enough understanding yet. Reviews are good to get some feel for the meaning of what exists though, and it has to fit with other data.

    Also, beautiful T7 MRI
    @89

    I would caution against relying too much on self-taught material. There is no substitute for a decent college and smart autodidacts all too often fall prey to various woo.

    Very true. This is one of those meta-social problems that I worry about a lot though which is why I don’t mind trying to help emergence gain some research skills and good investigation habits if I can. People only know things in one of two ways, personal experience and culture. I can’t speak for their background, but often when someone leaves a culture where the culture was the source of trusted knowledge, that makes it hard to trust culture when you find out they are wrong. You get used to noticing all of the flaws in culture and you need to know for yourself.

    I think that science could use a group of outside critics that are less biased to act as watchdogs. The ones we have now are mostly woo-filled and don’t notice the real bias problems, but if there were some people trained with good reasoning, logic, investigational and skeptical skills that would be another matter.

    @emergence
    I don’t know for sure but it’s possible that video game violence work will be much simpler than this sort of thing, unless you decide you need to look at violence in general in order to get a better feel for the area of research. This is an example of how something that might seem simple on the surface (as sample of people with TS and a sample of “normal people” used to look at brain structure) is actually more complicated that people might think.

    Control sample.
    Even the “average brain” is something that does not exist the way that someone looking at the papers might think that it does. Someone people probably think that you can stick 10 “normal” persons in an MRI and everything looks the same. No. When you stick someone in an MRI and look at the pretty pictures you get that one person’s brain that was shaped by genetics, inheritance and experience.

    If you take a second person and compare them with the first one you WILL see differences in lots of places. From one person to another neuroplasticity and development do a whole lot of work. Those two data sets can be combined into an average structure. So every control group is a composite. So to many people thinking about brains it might be like having 34, 82, 4, and 76 then pretending that everything is 49.

    If you look at society in terms of diagnosed mental conditions you discover that at this point more than 20% of people in America has one. 5% of the population alone has AD(H)D (there are subtypes) and you can find anatomical differences in a great many. From there these features blend into the “population at large”. OCD becomes normal concern for the security of your environment and such. The basic features of TS are an extreme end of what are otherwise normal human characteristics. The population at large will have a similar diversity of features when considering violence, predisposition to violence (like me but my environment allowed for it to be kept in check), and other relevant factors.

    TS sample.
    The TS individuals will also have a lot of life experience differences, but the basic psychology and symptoms show enough similarities that you can be sure that something should be doing the “same thing” in all of the people with the condition when you sum them together. The hope is that the life experience differences will average into the same thing in both structures and what is left is the average difference between a TS brain and a “averaged population at large brain”.

    But just how much do you need to keep the same to make sure your data is good? As much as you can. The older data on TS anatomy certainly lumped too many things together. For example many structures are technically part male and part female. The following is what they should ideally sort by and that makes finding enough subjects difficult. The ones with the “*” are controlled for often, especially in more recent work. The good news that that if you see something more than once and in a range of subjects you can be pretty sure about it:

    Origin of the condition: TS not only develops and appears as a person ages, but it’s been known to have been triggered by drugs, injury and infection. It’s largely inherited (I believe mostly non-genetic) and is associated with maternal psychosocial stress (being a feminist was somewhat predestined). Different ways of triggering TS, or inheriting it (it seems to pass from males and females differently, “imprinting effect”) may look different in anatomy.

    “Type of TS”: When you look at large sets of people with you actually see them cluster into 3-4 subtypes that differ in the constellation of symptoms. These may look different in anatomy.

    *Age: TS has a time course where tics (including types of tics), OCD symptoms and similar appear at a range of ages with some generalized patterns. So at each stage of development anatomy may (and does) look different.

    *Sex: TS presents differently in males and females in terms of incidence (3:1 m:f), appearance of various symptoms and co-morbidities (conditions that come along), and proportion of symptoms (more tics in males, more ocd in females). It turns out that the female and male amygdala are different in TS (this could be nature or nurture, my money is on non-genetic inheritance and different socialization of male and female children with TS, also in gender below).

    Gender: males and females in TS show interesting deviations from what society views as the standard sex/gender combinations. Females perform like males on some cognitive tests, prefer more “masculine behavior”, and have more gender dysphoria. Males perform more like females on the same tests (maybe that is why I drive some people crazy XD, in all seriousness I’m not sure how this plays out). TS has to do with more aggressive, assertive, sexualized and oppositional behavior and psychology in general. Males with TS are mostly privileged in the gender wars, but females are not. These can all potentially alter structure and function.

    *Co-morbidity: ADHD and OCD come along most of the time (~80% and ~60%) and many personality and behavior conditions are more common (ODD, CD, anxiety, depression…). Those conditions have their own structural features and they have unique (synergistic) effects when combined. For example in TS alone you get some volume decrease (hypotrophy) relative to controls in parts of the cerebellum, but in TS + OCD you get a volume increase (hypertrophy) relative to controls in the same regions. One of my next blog posts is going to be about how when you combine TS, ADHD, and OCD you actually see cognitive enhancements in rule-based motor and cognitive domains (like language and suprasecond time sense). That’s going to include anatomy differences.

    *Medication use: medication can often alter structure and function.

    Culture: TS has culture dependent (ODD, mood and non-OCD anxiety disorders), and independent features so the WEIRD problem (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) is relevant.

    Economic status: TS is associated with lower socioeconomic status. Are there differences in anatomy between high (they exist) and low status people with TS? This will have to do with “life experience stuff” that might show different patterns in brain development in the two groups.

    There are many other studies looking at different aspects of TS and they will have their own subtleties and features to get used to. The same will be true for your research into video game violence. It’s not impossible to learn, but it’s no small thing so you should come up with a plan of some kind. A good exercise to start with is to take a recent review and break it down into terminology, concepts, experiments and any other necessary categories. THAT will give you a picture of “knowing what you don’t know”, that is to say you will at least have a road map.

    Unfortunately you are going to run into a problem that I often run into. Fucking pay walls! I don’t see any recent reviews (hit the “review” link on the side) that are freely available, and in the first 40 papers there is only one free one. Human knowledge should not be caged. This is where you will need a professor or a nice person who will post something.

  71. says

    @emergence

    It’s actually more than just scrupulosity. My OCD can be about any sociopolitical or scientific issue in general, just as long as someone, somewhere has challenged what I think. I’ve obsessed over common topics that people here would be familiar with, like evolutionary biology or LGBT rights, and over more obscure stuff like geocentrism, relativistic physics, or the literary merit of SF.

    Would you describe the emotional reaction as one of “feeling oppositional” when challenged? I don’t want to be rude by comparing my psychology to you wrongly, but TS has essentially left me with an aggressive, authoritarian personality that I need to manage. It actually has benefits but like every other kind of personality you need to develop the benefits, manage the drawbacks and prevent your excesses from becoming flaws.

    The obsessive-compulsive behavior normally takes the form of doing computer research on the topic and looking for other people who may have already answered the questions that I’m asking, while at the same time constantly worrying that the other side of the debate might have convincing arguments against what I’ve read.

    Do you record the answers that you get somewhere listed by subject? Doing things repeatedly “just to be sure” (more like “JUST TO BE SURE” in your head) is a compulsive behavior. There is little to do but deliberately design some “this is good enough” points into your habits. Like if you ask three people with some experience for an answer you can be somewhat sure of finding useful patterns (one is an anecdote, two might be a coincidence, three gives a pattern.
    AS for the arguments that the other side has, think about it like this. Someone advocating a position has little reason to avoid giving you an argument. On any issue you should be able to google the arguments on both sides and mine them for reason, logic and research subject matter.

    I also worry about possible confirmation bias on my part, because there are issues like this video game thing where I have a preferred answer due to personal investment.

    My solution was to always second guess any fact claim that was thinking of making, especially in an argument. Naturally as a person with an authoritarian personality just about everything that comes out of my inner monologue sounds a manifesto on some levels. So as a result I’m extremely unforgiving on myself when it comes to argument, which is a rather brutal social OCD (your Muses essentially become your Furies).

    Did these help when I gave them to you last time? Admittedly they are an outline of something that amounts to a program of behavioral modification, but they can be unpacked.
    An outline of what I think it takes to be an effective advocate. Part1, Part2.

    Also on a forum devoted to TS I posted some general information about googling and boolian logic and sources of information for research.

    I understand if this might seem overwhelming. Would you like some guidance on prioritizing things if you intend to try to gain good investigation and associated skills?

  72. Menyambal - враг народа says

    Ragutis, thanks for the links. (I looked up your moniker the other day, just because I liked the sound – I love the meaning.)

  73. Ragutis says

    (I looked up your moniker the other day, just because I liked the sound – I love the meaning.)

    Thanks. Picked it years ago. I’m Lithuanian-American and had been poking around some site on pagan mythology. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but it seems that the Baltic pagans had little gods or spirits for just about everything in daily life, like most pagan cultures. Fermentation, the hearth fire , the lake, the river, pigs, each species of tree, that rock over there… Also a good source when trying to name a RPG character. Or a kid, I guess if I find a woman willing to name her daughter after an obscure fire goddess, she might be The One.

    A bit ironically, I’m currently trying to back off of the fermented stuff, (Beer, not pickles.) Trying to lose some pounds and get healthier in general.

    Anyway, one more link tonight. How creepy is this? Wondering who’s going to buy more, the LDS or Scientology?

  74. Ragutis says

    One more. I can’t resist. Did y’all hear about the ISIS flag in the Pride Parade?

    If I may borrow a line from Skwisgaar Skwigelf: “This is dildos.”

    Just a shame it got busted so quickly. I really wanted to see Fox grab it and go completely ape-shit bonkers.

  75. PatrickG says

    @ Ragutis, #100

    Given the insular nature of their audience, I’d give a 40% chance that Fox in general will run with the GAY ISIS angle. Raise that to 80% for Fox & Friends.

  76. Ragutis says

    I just had to check in and refresh one last time. (Yay willpower!)

    Glad I could lift your spirits, Tony. Even if in such a small way.

    Anyway, going to bed, finally. Got sucked into Youtube, and now it’s almost 6. Anyway, this is the last song I’m listening to tonight, and thought some of you might like this version. I simply adore Anneke’s voice. Been a fan since I first discovered The Gathering back in the Napster days. Anyway, peace and sweet dreams. Good Night.

  77. Spoo says

    Here’s a fun thing ( or maybe a spooky coincidence too weird not to mean something):
    A pizza of radius z and depth a has a volume of pizza

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

    Janine,

    I have no idea what actually happened there.

    Stonewall riot = white privilege? Huh?

  79. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    She called me that when I pointed out the group that disrupted the Chicago pride parade, never mind the fact that I applaud what they did and why they did it.

  80. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    And I was showing off my conservative white privilege by pointing out that the Stonewall Riot was not a case of being nice in order to make allies. Because we do not need to be confrontational since 2009.

    Yeah, my head is still spinning.

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

    Ahaaa, so that’s what that 2009 meant. How strangely specific.

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

    Obama presidency, maybe?
    Since that obviously meant the end to racism in US.

  83. emergence says

    @ Brony

    This is all really complicated and it’s making my head spin. I think that my OCD has calmed down with regards to the video game thing (talking to my psychiatrist helped), but the thing about it is that once I finish obsessing over one thing, I just move on to another.

    I still think that I want some help figuring out how to “learn how to learn”. With all of the different contentious scientific issues that people debate over, and science deniers trying to undermine theories that they don’t like, I want to have enough general knowledge of science, and more specific knowledge regarding certain issues, to make informed decisions on what I think is true. I would appreciate tips an advice on how I can learn about the scientific process in general, how I can get a competent level of knowledge in subjects that interest me, and how I can look for the warming signs of badly done science.

  84. Rob Grigjanis says

    emergence @112:

    …how I can get a competent level of knowledge in subjects that interest me…

    Don’t know your maths background, but you might be surprised how much becomes a lot more accessible after learning basic calculus and algebra.

  85. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PSA
    Looking at programs to DVR for the Redhead, and saw where Fox was showing live the FIFA Women’s semifinal game between US and Germany Tuesday afternoon/night.
    /PSA

  86. Rob Grigjanis says

    Nerd @114: Should be a corker of a game. Probably the first time in my life I’ll be cheering for Germany :-)

    They’ll probably show the third place match (Sat July 4) and the final (Sun July 5). I’ll be cheering for England* in the other semi against Japan on Wednesday, but Japan has played the best football I’ve seen for a long time.

    *while still mourning Canada’s loss to them.

  87. consciousness razor says

    I would appreciate tips an advice on how I can learn about the scientific process in general, how I can get a competent level of knowledge in subjects that interest me, and how I can look for the warming signs of badly done science.

    I agree with Rob, and I’ll add that you might get a lot out of books on the history of science (or math or whatever it may be). Also, some TV shows like Cosmos (if that’s your thing) even cover some of that territory, but not nearly enough to be much more than entertainment. Or lots of other kinds of videos are freely available online these days, of lectures, conferences, documentaries, nerdy youtube channels, who knows what else. Maybe just dig through wikipedia on subjects that interest you — some of the sciency articles can get pretty deep into complicated jargon or math, but to the extent they give links or explanations or background info, it can still sometimes be helpful to have it all in one place.

    Generally, I don’t learn things just once. Most of the stuff I think I know well seems like it usually sinks in only after repeated exposure to the material, especially if it’s been presented in multiple different ways over a long time. Because different authors have their own unique take on the subject, let’s say…. but reading it, hearing it, visualizing it, doing some math, conversing about it, etc. … all of that together seems to work better than any one of them alone. But I like to learn things (and be surprised every time at how I can relearn things I never really got the first time), so it’s okay that it’s basically a never-ending lifelong process for me.

    Thinking about my suggestion of familiarizing yourself with the history, you’ll find there really isn’t a scientific process or the process/method, generally. People learn things or come up with theories about them in all sorts of crazy ways. For me at least (besides being some of the more interesting bits of history to read about), understanding the ways people thought about things in the past (rightly or wrongly), how they made their observations/experiments/arguments/etc., seems to help with understanding a lot of the interesting/important/relevant parts of more modern sciences. Sometimes it helps to have a clear sense of the timeline in a field. That can be really complicated and tedious depending on the subject you’re interested in, but the idea is just to know what sorts of silly things were people saying about X in 1750, for example. Why on Earth did they think that to begin with (if there’s any reason at all), and what specifically led them to the views they have now (if those are any different)?

    Maybe also ask yourself “competent to do what?” a few times, sleep on it, ask it again, and remember what kind of answer you gave once you decide to stick with that. If you only want to recognize badly done science or debunk it or whatever, especially in a field that already interests you, it doesn’t seem like you need to be very competent at anything except reading and thinking carefully. I’m not sure why you would want to do that, if it’s genuinely interesting to you in its own right, but that’s a possibility I guess. Somebody else already can recognize the more technical issues if you can’t, and they will report their ideas in some format or another. Just do some very basic research on the topic so you can simply figure out what the various parties are saying, and that’s what “learning” is going to be for you. On the other hand, being competent enough to understand or have some real in-depth knowledge of a subject is more than arguing with people who get stuff wrong or identifying their utter bogosity and dismissing it.

  88. Ragutis says

    Rob Grigjanis

    28 June 2015 at 9:50 pm

    RIP Chris Squire

    Oh, fucking fuck. That just blows. My three all time favorite bands are Rush, Yes, and Iron Maiden… all three largely driven by the bass player. Not to mention the other two being immensely inspired and influenced by Chris Squire. If it wasn’t for him, I bet that half of the bands I listen to would sound completely different, if they existed at all.

    I’m with chigau: Fuck Cancer.

    The worst part of middle age isn’t a growing gut, receding hairline or flagging potency, it’s seeing the heroes and inspirations of your youth pass.

    Going to the Clearwater show in August. Damn, that’s going to be bittersweet and emotional.

  89. Ragutis says

  90. Ragutis says

    Ummm… didn’t mean to do that. So Sorry. Looked right in preview. Don’t even know how I managed to embed that. PZ ,or whoever fixes these things, this should be the proper link. Sorry.

  91. Owlmirror says

    @Ragutis: Youtube autoembedding is a behavior that appears to occur on all WordPress blogs, but it isn’t obvious or well-known when or why it happens. It doesn’t show up in preview, either.

    If you post a Youtube link, and it is the last (or only) line of text in your post, then that link will be transmogrified by the blog software into an embed.

    You can post an “a href” link, and it won’t embed, and you can follow the link with some text, and it won’t embed, so (note the period/dot that follows the Youtube line):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNGVaN8FPYw
    .

  92. emergence says

    Sorry if I’m interrupting anything. I’m sorry to say that I’ve never listened to any of Squire’s music.

    I already have some calculus and algebra under my belt. I think that reading some books on the history of science would definitely help me, and I can definitely see how using multiple methods to learn something could be useful.

    I think that part of my problem is that I spend too much time focusing on all of the cranks and kooks online and trying to get the ideas organized in my head why they’re wrong. It just gets tedious and mentally exhausting after a while, especially with my OCD. It’s like, when I’m in the middle of obsessing over some pseudoscientist, I either constantly fume over the arguments that they make that I know are wrong, or constantly worry that the arguments that I don’t have rebuttals to might be right.

    I think that I need to take a long break from spectating this ongoing internet feud and just spend some time actually learning about science and other topics that interest me. I’ll keep everyone’s advice in mind. Thanks for helping me out.

  93. says

    Giliell @125:
    He such a goddamn fucking asshole. The fucking Southern states fought to retain slavery as they saw it as essential to their economy. They wanted to keep it around and if they’d won the war, they most certainly would not have gotten rid of it (I know you know this, I’m just venting).

    Fuck that smugnoramous.

  94. says

    And let me guess- he’s going to say his critics misinterpreted his words. I just spent the better part of two days writing a blog post about slavery and the Confederate flag. I spent that time bc I didn’t want to ignorantly spout off on the subject. I felt it was important as someone who speaks out against racism to expand my knowledge of how pervasive it runs and how far back in USAmerican history it extends. I learned many things in the process and even found out that I was wrong about a few things. Hell, I came out of that having a greater interest in USAmerican history, especially the Civil War era than I’ve had in my life (I wish I had this interest in learning back in high school).

    Meanwhile Dawkins sits over there in his hoity toity chair, above all us peons spouting off about shit he is supremely ignorant about.

    Grrr…

  95. Rowan vet-tech says

    Dawkins honestly thinks that another 50 or hundred years of slavery would have been okay? Can he get any more repulsive?

  96. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Not to mention the basic fact that speculative history (although sometimes fun to read) is a complete crock of poop. Nobody can know what “really would have happened” if an event turned out differently. He’s probably also certain that if Constantine had lost the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Christianity would have died out.

  97. says

    Hell, the US is still feeling the effects of slavery 150 years after the South lost the Civil War. If the South had won, I shudder to think what the US would be like today.

  98. says

    Saganite

    And, no, of course I’ll continue to diss it [Twitter] because I dislike it. If I didn’t dislike it, I wouldn’t diss it, after all.

    You know, I teach my children that just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s bad. Apparently it’s a lesson you failed to learn. You’re not making any arguments. You dislike the 140 character limit? Fine. But you’re constantly trying to badmouth (not properly criticise) something others like and find very helpful. Sounds like you simply want to spoil it for others.
    Now, generally that’s just bad behaviour, but to do so each and every time the discussion is harassment is victim blaming.

    ++++
    Tony
    Even if slavery would have become economically unwise over time and had therefore been abandoned, it would still have meant people living in slavery for longer, people being murdered. Gotta be a white guy with a slave owner pedigree to think that’s not that important.

  99. rq says

    Giliell
    Big whoop. How many black people have won the Nobel prize, after all? Gee. It’s not like they’re actually contributing or anything like that. [/HEAVYSNARK]

    I find the idea that slavery could have lasted any longer, or should have been left to die out on its own, quite horrifying, in fact. I find the current consequences of that slavery, the one that was, already terrible enough – it’s going to be a heckuva job scrubbing out the last vestiges of the racist mindset! – and I don’t have the emotional imagination to spare in fantastizing about what the world would be like if slavery hadn’t been ended when it was.

  100. consciousness razor says

    Giliell:

    You know, I teach my children that just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s bad. Apparently it’s a lesson you failed to learn.

    That argument wasn’t made, so this isn’t apparent. If the point here is just to do some name-calling, then simply say Saganite’s a “child” and be done with it. I would accept that just because you want to insult them doesn’t mean that they should be insulted in that way (or that that shouldn’t be).

    You’re not making any arguments. You dislike the 140 character limit? Fine.

    The character limit all by itself is a substantive criticism (and a “proper” one if that matters), when it’s a criticism of a communication medium and how that medium is used. You’re framing that as liking it or disliking, to act as if there’s nothing to be said about it more substantial than “I like chocolate,” but that’s not what the issue actually is.

    I can’t tell what your argument is supposed to be, though.

    But you’re constantly trying to badmouth (not properly criticise) something others like and find very helpful. Sounds like you simply want to spoil it for others.

    What? Try to view it as a criticism of a medium that isn’t so very helpful in certain specific ways. The fact that it gets used inappropriately to carry out certain kinds of discussions it’s not equipped to handle (ones that require some reasonable amount of depth and focus and an attention span) makes it less helpful to people like you who presumably do find it useful in ways which are effective. That wouldn’t be spoiling anything for you unless you were the sort of person who wants to use it inappropriately — it’s a problem that you should recognize and a criticism you should happily accept, since misusing it is obstructive to you and everyone else who want to have the best experiences they can with twitter. But like all media, it does have certain built-in limitations. In twitter’s case, some of those are particularly severe, and that fact has nothing to do with negating its good features like being a way to communicate (in a limited way) with vast numbers of people all over the world.

    Take Dawkins, for example. Trying to reason with him is not going to work well anyway of course, but he can muddy the waters much further than they would be in another setting, and attract much more attention, by planting himself in that swamp. You just can’t adequately respond to shit like that in 140 characters. Or even with a big confusing clusterfuck of people talking past each other in 140 character chunks. And you definitely can’t say nothing, because people all over the fucking world can listen and “learn” from their guru Dawkins and spread it everywhere else. That’s a dream scenario for a professional troll like Dawkins, every time he gives the world his next fortune cookie ‘o bullshit. If he wrote an essay that long, or if he stood on a stage and said some such nonsense then simply dropped the fucking mike, he wouldn’t be nearly as satisfied with the kind of attention that assholery gets him. And people wouldn’t immediately assume (or think it’s convenient) that lashing back on twitter (or a snappy comeback on the stage — or thousands of them) is a good way to counter it.

  101. says

    @emergence 112
    First thing, make your health a priority. It’s not something you see often in the scientific literature, but I find that OCD useful if you know what it is and get control of it. I see OCD as a themed perceptual sensitivity (objects of obsession) that becomes attached to habits that relieve (negative emotion) or respond (positive emotion) to the emotions evoked by the perceptual theme. So a person with an OCD related to germs (intense natural instinct) will deal with the negative emotion by doing washing rituals.

    In your case, and mine, concern about society leads us repeatedly engage with what we are worried about. Like concern about germs this is a perfectly good sensitivity but we have to moderate how we do it. It’s your tool, you are not it’s tool. So you don’t have to stop working on this stuff but you do need to work with your mental health professional to establish control.

    Learning how to learn.
    I’m sorry if my last post was too heavy content-wise. I actually tried to make it approachable (and maybe others can tell me if and how I failed), but it’s challenging because learning to understand science well enough to pick up a journal article and follow along requires a lot.
    It’s not beyond your reach though, I think that you just need a process, and some rules to make sure you don’t do anything to excess. Often when I’m lost and I know where I want to be but I don’t know how to get there, I choose one small definable part of the place I want to be to follow. Then I do everything I can to understand it. If you have an anchor you can work backwards from the thing to create a map to get there.

    Depending on the level you are at (this was why I asked about your education and employment experience) I would just start with one definable thing that is connected to one conflict in society you are concerned about. It has to be hard, but not impossible for where you are at. The benefit is in what you learn as you get there. So if you continue with video game violence you can pick a concept, a technical term or similar and focus on understanding that thing. This article is a place to start because it’s content heavy enough to be challenging, it uses technical terminology you can pursue and is even friendly to your concerns (just don’t forget that this author can be wrong, but you are using this as a tool to get to where you can figure out for yourself).
    A Further Plea for Caution Against Medical Professionals Overstating Video Game Violence Effects . (Note that in research perfectly ordinary words often take on very specific definitions and many of those are in quotes in that letter). When you find a definition or description you will discover that your thing unpacked into some new things to learn. Don’t fear this because this process is not endless. You will end up getting to a place where you have the basic knowledge to get the things to learn at the bottom and then you can work your way up. If it were me I would wonder how “harm” is defined in violence research and how many kinds of harms there are. I would want to know what an “aggression measure” was.

    The benefits are many and you will need to find guidance many times along the way (it’s a social primate thing, we can’t do it all alone). I’m sure this place will be good but you just need to be a specific as you can (so mention a specific experiment or term or person and not so much the general thing they are associated with). You will be forced to “learn how to learn” because you will need to find out how find about the thing. You will need to learn how the professionals describe the thing (and will get used to learning new jargon that you can google). You will need to get some practice finding ways to contact professionals while being as brief and specific as possible (that route words best).

    When you finally get there you will discover that as a result of figuring that one thing out you had to learn a bunch of things that fleshed out what you know in general. Those things are a basis for new related knowledge that lets you pick a new thing to learn. You will have been exposed to a bunch of terms and concepts that you did not need to know at the time, but at least you have one of those “I think I have heard of this” moments that let you build a new map. You will learn how to ask good, relevant questions.

    And as for rationality, skepticism and logic as it relates to controversies, if you do this right you will also get the opportunity to see experts argue with each other and explain why the other one is wrong. If you get to the point where you can follow them and see why one was right and the other was wrong you build some of these skills.

    The scientific method.
    There are a lot of ways that describe the scientific method, this one is mine. It’s a process, like the process one would use to create a lamp or a book. It’s a series of steps you take and anyone can learn to do it. Many people confuse the information that goes into and comes out of science with science.
    1. Identify and define a phenomena you want to learn about. Learn what is already known about it in a minimally biased way. This can be as simple as “my news paper disappears from my yard every morning”.
    2. Create a reason-based (as in, you have a reason) hypothetical explanation for the phenomena that you can use to design testable questions (experiments). “My neighbor is stealing my paper” is reasonable. “Dragons are eating my newspaper” is not reasonable.
    3. Design testable questions based on your explanation that can potentially result in your explanation being demonstrated to be incorrect (falsifiability) . “If I set up a camera to watch my lawn will I see my neighbor steal my paper?”
    4. Carry out your experiment and analyze the results. If you see dragons eat your newspaper you will have disproved your hypothetical explanation (you have discovered reason to appeal to dragons in the future). If you see your neighbor you will have confirmed your hypothesis.
    5. Peer review. In my examples peer review is just showing the video to someone else. Unless dragons. Then someone else should duplicate your efforts to confirm your result.

    I actually do hypothesis testing when I argue with people online. Science is a weapon and a tool.

  102. consciousness razor says

    Adding to my #136…

    If there were a widely-accepted norm on twitter that it’s not a place to get into any kind of extended discussion that matters to anybody, since you only provide links to substantive things you want to tell people about (writing, audio, video, merchandise, whatever), I think that would make it much less of an endless pit of despair. I do realize that’s how some people use it, and I know it’s very useful for that sort of thing. But when it can barely fit a haiku, it’s obvious to me that it’s just not up to the task of doing certain forms of communication, even if it does others well. Even seemingly simple things, like having a dialogue, are complicated by the fact that it’s not just extremely compact but also that millions of people are using it, so they can jump in and confuse, disrupt, derail, troll, harass, gang-up and generally pull off all sorts of shenanigans that don’t work as well elsewhere. But people try and fail anyway, at fitting a square peg into a round hole. It’s just such a ridiculous thing to see sometimes. Before they even started using it this should’ve been obvious, but after so many years of twitter being around, I would’ve expected people to at least figure out things like this by now and use some fucking common sense. Apparently, it’s not very common.

  103. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Here’s an interesting article about How Colleges Stop Depressed Students From Returning to Campus. The short of it is that the colleges are using prior diagnosis and medical leave as an excuse to keep students out to prevent a suicide from sullying their brand. Furthermore, they go out of their way to make sure what the expect of the students who wish to return is so vague that it can always be denied by claiming the student didn’t fulfill the requirement.

  104. anteprepro says

    I cannot believe Dawkins actually said the thing that Giliell linked to at 125. I am at a loss. I knew he was severely deficient in empathy and was far less logical than he imagined himself to be but that quote….it is like a diamond of concentrated ignorance. It is an incredible gem, with a DK* value that is off the charts. I just cannot believe that Dawkins could not step back before he hit post, read what he just said, think about for it two seconds and then say “holy shit, this is completely speculative with no basis in reality, and posits a scenario we have no indication would happen, and seems to give support to the modern day Americans that slobber out continued support for the Confederacy!”. But I suppose Dawkins is far too important and far too well paid to worry about thinking about stuff and things. His next book should just be a compilation of twitter rants. Just so that those who aren’t paying attention will have no reason to not be aware of this particular “legacy” that Dawkins is set on forging for himself.

    (* “Gems” of this variety are measured in Dunning Krugers. It is like carats, except instead of measuring purity, it is a score based the ratio of Brain Cells Lost When Reading to Assessed Ego of the Word Dribbler)

  105. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    chigau,

    Here ‘ya go. Yer demand is my command.

    facebook.com/celebratepride

    .Hope that works.

  106. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    chigau,
    oops. Haven’t figured out the gravitar one yet. Sorry.

  107. chigau (違う) says

    Morgan
    Thanks for trying.
    I don’t facebook but shirley there is some other way.

  108. says

    MOrning

    anteprepro
    You know, that’s my experience with Dawkins ever since Dear Muslima.
    I mean, I was around when the original comment was made and I said “no way, that’s not Richard Dawkins. Anybody can use that name, so it’s just a troll.” And I was proven wrong. And then it repeated time after time after time. By now I should have learned.

    cr
    I’m no going to reply to you. Now or in the future. I don’t think it’s worth my time.

    chigau
    There are by now many LGBTQ voices who think it’s appropriation for straight people to rainbow everything now. Sorry if that doesn’t apply to you, I admit to not keeping charts of people around ;)

  109. Nick Gotts says

    Dawkins’ tweet would have been a surprise a few years ago, but he’s made it clear in that time that he’s prepared to pontificate on any subject, whatever his depth of ignorance. “It would have been better if the South had won because…” (when it doesn’t come from an outright supporter of black slavery), is typical contrarian pseudo-sophistication, on the level of “Hitler was OK until…”, when that doesn’t come from a neo-Nazi. Never mind that it’s obvious crap to anyone who knows a smidgeon of the history, never mind the insult to the victims of the slaveowners or the Nazis, the speaker thinks it makes them sound clever, and that’s all that matters.

  110. says

    emergence:
    I just came across a new article about video game violence that I thought you might be interested in.
    Long term U.S. study finds no links between violent video games and youth violence:

    The research, led by psychologist Christopher Ferguson and published in the Journal of Communication, not only found that there was no link between violent media and behaviour but also questioned the methodology of previous studies suggesting the two were related.

    Ferguson and his team point out that many laboratory-based studies into the effect of media violence have measured aggression in test subjects through “less aggressive outcomes ranging from filling in the missing letters of words through delivering nonpainful noise bursts to a consenting opponent.”

    The study points out that these studies also commonly “provide exposure to brief clips of media, rather than full narrative experiences” and that “the resultant aggressive behaviors are also outside a real-world context in which the aggression appears to be sanctioned by the researchers themselves.”

    In the first of two historical studies the researchers examined the correlation of violent films and societal violence, analysing the frequency of violent acts in the top-grossing titles between 1920 and 2005.

    The study notes that film violence followed “a rough U pattern” during this time period, but that societal violence fluctuated differently, with the latter half of the 20th century even showing an increase in film violence “associated with reduced societal violence”.

    A second study into video game violence used data from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to estimate the violent content of popular games from 1996 to 2011. This was then compared with data on youth violence during the same years, with the study finding a correlation between falling youth violence and the popularity of violent games.

    During this time period “youth violence dropped precipitously”, the researchers write, “despite maintaining very high levels of media violence in society with the introduction of videogames.”

    In a press statement Ferguson notes that the media narrative surrounding violent video games and youth violence may be due to the “limited amount of resources and attention” that society can devote to “the problem of reducing crime”.

  111. says

    Re: computer games and violence
    A good explenation I’ve hear was one that compared it to alcohol: It does not make you a violent person per se. But if you’re inclined towards violence, it can reinforce that tendency.
    Personally, I find discussions that simply centre around one medium as explenation (not one medium as example) to be fruitless, both in the “videogames make you violent” and in the “videogames don’t make you violent” variety. Because you only study one teensy tiny part of culture. Video games are part of larger culture, they are part of the world that shapes our concepts, thinking, feelings.
    Currently, violence and hypermasculinity are valued within society. If you go to the cinema, a huge number of the previews are rapidly cut action scenes from another movies where a hero (usually male and white) saves the world from villains using violence. This influences us, especially when many other media such as video games reinforce this message. Yet to say that “watching Die Hard made him do it” is clearly stupid. It’s not just one thing. I mean, no one here suggests that diversity in videogames would solve sexism and racism, right? We see it as one step.

  112. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    RE: The Dawkins slavery comment.

    Slavery didn’t even stop when we actually made it illegal. We just brushed the dust off, tied an official looking bow on it and called it things like “convict leasing”. And it still took nearly 100 years for that to stop. And that was only because we finally reached a point where working scores of black people to death just couldn’t keep up with technology, not because anyone actually concluded that it was wrong. Like anteprepro said, it’s a breathtaking amount of ignorance to cram into a single Tweet.

  113. AlexanderZ says

    Russia examines 1991 recognition of Baltic independence:

    A source at the prosecutor’s office, quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency, said the investigation into the Baltic states’ independence followed a request from two parliamentary deputies.
    In their letter, MPs Yevgeny Fyodorov and Anton Romanov, of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, said the 1991 decision to recognise Baltic independence had been taken “by an unconstitutional body”.

    Russia is the textbook example of “good fences make good neighbors” but nobody listens to me.

  114. rq says

    AlexanderZ

    Russia is the textbook example of “good fences make good neighbors” but nobody listens to me.

    Can you please clarify what you mean by that statement?

  115. AlexanderZ says

    rq #152

    Can you please clarify what you mean by that statement?

    Two years I could (and did) offer various ways. A year ago only a handful of tactics remained. Now, as of today, when Russian jets are testing the military readiness of Sweden, are making routine incursions into NATO territory or close to NATO ships and are “re-examining” the status of the Baltic states, I’d say that the only remaining option is a full return to the Cold War.
    Sad, but that’s the price of US arrogance on one hand and EU servile appeasement of Russia on the other hand. It’s time to go back to the Long Telegram.
    ____________________

    Brony #93

    Where are you talking about?

    See the third reference (“Scientists identify emotions based on brain activity”…) of your latest post. Apart from Plutchik’s Wheel itself, that seemed to me to be the main scientific basis on which that post (and your interpretation of the wheel) stands.
    I could be wrong, of course.

    It’s only in a broader context that includes a lot of other experiments that the functional studies get supported best and the pitfalls of analyzing the data is something I’m still teaching myself…

    No problem. You obviously know more than me – I just wanted to make sure that you’re being careful, but you’re well aware of the dangers of autodidactism. My remark wasn’t a critique, it was just a little notice.

    think that science could use a group of outside critics that are less biased to act as watchdogs.

    Technically, there already are people like that. Philosophers and other humanities offer good criticism, and cross-discipline approaches are often valued (sometimes they are too valued, like in the case of evolutionary psychology).
    ____________________

    P.S.
    I saw this tweet today and I immediately though of Dear Muslima for some reason.

  116. rq says

    AlexanderZ
    Mm. Well, considering that yesterday 5 pro-Russian agitators were arrested, probably on just-barely-there charges (for doing politically activist stuff in a public space without a permit, I suppose, which means they can now complain about unfair treatment before the law and discrimination, etc.), I’m more worried about what the Russian prosecutor decides about the Baltics. The article says no repercussions, but one just never knows.

  117. AlexanderZ says

    rq 3155

    which means they can now complain about unfair treatment before the law and discrimination

    Yeah, that’s probably what will happen. The moment a sufficiently large ethnic-Russian riot erupts in Riga, Russia will claim that they are being oppressed and will send in “humanitarian aid” and “peacekeepers” to help “maintain order”. Invading a NATO member isn’t the same as invading Ukraine or Georgia, but Russia has been violating NATO air space in that region for so long that it might think it can get away with a war in the Baltic.

    I’m more worried about what the Russian prosecutor decides about the Baltics.

    I’m sure that Georgians appreciate your solidarity :\
    My point is that Russia really does act based on the Domino Theory. When it had success in conquering Georgia it decided to try Ukraine. If Russia feels that the Ukrainian campaign is a success it’ll try the Baltic (or somewhere else). After that it might go after East Germany, who knows?
    Anyway, the prosecutor’s decision is irrelevant. Russia legalized the annexation of Crimea and Ossetia only after it had full military control over those regions. The legal examination merely shows that Russia is willing to continue its expansion.

  118. says

    This comment was posted on another forum, thought I’d share it:

    The Confederacy lasted less than five years, so I don’t get how itssuch a big part of their heritage. Same folks tell blacks to forget about slavery, which lasted centuries. Full House had 8 seasons. The Confederacy lasted just over half as long as Full House’s primetime run. Uncle Jesse > Robert E Lee.

  119. rq says

    AlexanderZ

    The legal examination merely shows that Russia is willing to continue its expansion.

    I live here. That’s quite enough to scare me.

  120. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    rq,

    Pardon my terrible ignorance, but if Russia were to again annex the Baltic countries, what would that mean in the daily lives of the people? Assuming there were no fighting of course, and no one died in battle, what would Russia impose, and how? If I am being insultingly ignorant please just tell me to go read a book. Thanks. BTW, I worry about your safety.

  121. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    awakeinmo @157:

    Every park in America named after Lee should instead be named Dave Coulier’s Career Memorial Park.

  122. rq says

    Morgan
    That’s actually a good question. Aside from all the terrible laws in Russia and a lack of freedoms in general (see: gay propaganda, as one example) and being tied to the currently-kinda-crappy Russian economic system, plus probably a loss of EU citizenship (or a forced choice) (though one hopes that EU (and NATO) membership will be a bit of a deterrent), I don’t actually know – and I can’t even say ‘Of course there will be fighting’ because after all, it happened without fighting once before (see: June 17 1941).
    In daily life, probably a language switch in official capacities (incl. my job).
    On a more social/interpersonal level, I have no idea.

  123. AlexanderZ says

    rq #158

    I live here. That’s quite enough to scare me.

    I wish I could say something encouraging, but I can’t. I hope that Russia won’t invade and that you and yours will be safe.
    ___________________

    Morgan!? #159

    but if Russia were to again annex the Baltic countries, what would that mean in the daily lives of the people?

    Putin’s war on the Crimean Tatars:

    Russian security services have raided homes and offices of prominent Crimean Tatars on dubious pretences. Moscow has banned the annual ceremonies marking the mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin in 1944. Russia has also banned select pieces of Crimean Tatar literature and religious books even though the same texts were acceptable when Ukraine governed Crimea.

    Tatar-language media outlets have been raided by Russian security forces and in some cases shut down. Some in Moscow are even calling for the “de-Turkification” of Crimea by changing the name of the peninsula and its major cities back to the names used by the ancient Greeks.

    Crimea’s New Russian Overlords Are Seizing Thousands Of Businesses:

    One day in October, a dozen armed men in masks drove up to the gates of Yalta Film Studios. They weren’t actors, and this was no make-believe.

    The studio, nestled in hills overlooking the Black Sea, is just one of thousands of businesses seized from their owners since Crimea was annexed by Russia eight months ago. Crimea’s new pro-Moscow leaders say the takeovers, which they call nationalizations, are indispensable to reverse more than two decades of wholesale plunder by Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs.

    But an Associated Press investigation throughout this peninsula the size of Massachusetts found many instances of less noble practices: legal owners strong-armed off their premises; buildings, farms and other prime real estate seized on dubious pretenses, or with no legal justification at all; non-payment of the compensation mandated by the Russian constitution; and targeting of assets belonging to or used by independent news media, the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority and the pro-Kiev branch of the Orthodox Church.

    And that’s the best case scenario. The worst is something like Stalin’s ethnic cleansing.

  124. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    rq, I believe it was Angela Merkel who said that Putin was “not in touch with reality.” Maybe, maybe not. But his sabre rattling is frightening, as I am sure he intends it to be. Would you stay in Latvia if Russia takes over? Would you and your family even be able to leave if you wanted to?

  125. rq says

    AlexanderZ
    Thanks. :)

    Morgan
    Whether Putin is in touch with reality or not doesn’t seem to have any bearing on his influence on reality and his ability to function within a reality that involves all of us. :/
    I don’t know what we will do. I have Canadian citizenship, as do the kids, but they were born here so I don’t know if that will become an issue. Also, Husband doesn’t. So I could probably leave. Probably the kids could leave with me, if the Canadian government got involved. I’m far less sure about Husband.
    In the meantime, I’m stockpiling canned goods and eventually rainwater. It seems like such a silly little thing but it’s at least something I can do in the meantime. Along with making sure everyone’s passports are updated.

  126. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    rq,

    Is it at all possible to acquire Canadian citizenship for Husband?

  127. fearhope says

    anyone here work with at risk lgbtq youth? I’m looking for an organization to volunteer at and wondering if there are any good ones to look into…

  128. rq says

    Morgan
    Not unless we’ve (*he has) lived there for a while, as far as we’ve looked into it. Though if we’ve been married before that, they can accelerate the process and shorten the required stay time (something about keeping families together, etc.). But just last week (I think?) the Harper Government passed a bill that makes it more difficult to acquire a second citizenship (haven’t looked into the details yet, though). So it’s probably a question we’ll be raising again sometime soon.

  129. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    rq, stay as safe as you can. And stockpiling food and supplies is probably a good idea. Damn Putin. I suppose if Russia invades then internet traffic will be impeded. It is said that the Cold War was World War III. Now we get to anticipate WWW IV? This has to stop.

  130. AlexanderZ says

    rq #170

    But just last week (I think?) the Harper Government passed a bill that makes it more difficult to acquire a second citizenship (haven’t looked into the details yet, though).

    I encountered the same problem when I moved to Israel since Ukraine laws don’t permit a second citizenship. In my case I just took a plane to Israel, acquired its citizenship the moment the plane landed and lost my Ukrainian citizenship automatically.
    Naturally that’s not an option for your husband. However, I know that there are lots (LOOOTS!) of Ukrainians, Russians and Israelis living in Canada with their spouses with no problems. If immigrants can do it, I’m sure an actual Canadian like yourself can do it as well. It might also be a good idea to contact some sort of Canadian immigrant/refugee organization for advice.
    _________________

    fearhope #169

    I’m looking for an organization to volunteer at

    Pharyngulates come from all over the world (as the last few comments show). You should tell us where you are and maybe someone here will be able to help you (it won’t hurt to ask in the Lounge as well). Either way, it’s probably easier to just google your town and see what LGBTQ organizations are located there.

  131. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @rq:

    If you have the money, apply for status as a permanent residency sponsor for your spouse, and then (or at the same time – at the same time is more efficient) perm residency for spouse.

    There’s a different procedure for Canadian citizens applying for spice while both are living outside of Canada than for spice living inside Canada at the time of application, etc.

    It takes a good long time, but spouse can come on an extended stay visa without perm residency status, provided a certain amount of time continues to be spent outside of canada IF you’re applying through the “living outside of Canada” option. During the process, there can sometimes be MORE paperwork to visit canada than there would otherwise be. Since Latvia is in the EU, you might fall into that category for spouse’s visits to canada.

    However, you can still apply from outside canada while you’re not sure when (if ever) you might live permanently in Canada. Let the paperwork happen over time while you figure things out. Visits can continue – the permanent residency allows things like work permits, it’s not (obviously) necessary just to come to Canada for a while.

    It’s soooooo much better than **needing** to move to Canada and then having only one spouse eligible to work.

  132. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    So….

    I’m all in favor of the new trend for more information about exactly what is being served in restaurants and where it fits in the food web of what part of the world, etc.

    But just using the latin name isn’t necessarily providing more information and is bound to cause confusion in restaurants that advertise
    “fresh caught onychophorans on a bed of sea vegetables under a soy-ginger glaze”
    and
    “lobe-shaped, velvety, boneless oncorhyncan steak with black rainforest rice”

    on the same menu.

  133. AlexanderZ says

    Crip Dyke #175

    “fresh caught onychophorans on a bed of sea vegetables under a soy-ginger glaze”
    and
    “lobe-shaped, velvety, boneless oncorhyncan steak with black rainforest rice”

    on the same menu.

    OMG that sounds delicious!
    Don’t forget to take pictures.

  134. says

    @AlexanderZ 153

    See the third reference (“Scientists identify emotions based on brain activity”…) of your latest post. Apart from Plutchik’s Wheel itself, that seemed to me to be the main scientific basis on which that post (and your interpretation of the wheel) stands.
    I could be wrong, of course.

    I see! I was hyper-focused on the MRI work I was talking to emergence about and that one did not want to come to mind.

    You are right that I need to get a better feel for the strength of the data in that study. But I felt comfortable using it because of the way i was relying on it. That paper was demonstrating that ability to recognize emotional states by fMRI. A result of the study was that they saw that emotion was affected by several things (five things) to different degrees and they make sense: valance (good/bad), intensity, and the involvement of another person. The fact that those three things alter how we process emotions is pretty clear on their own independent of how accurately they can identify an emotional state. The effect of group-related emotions has to be involved in the cognitive biases that generate logical fallacies. So the paper is a convenient means of pointing at those three things that bias emotional processing. Otherwise if future research alters the specific relationships it’s easy to make alterations.

  135. says

    @AlexanderZ 153

    See the third reference (“Scientists identify emotions based on brain activity”…) of your latest post. Apart from Plutchik’s Wheel itself, that seemed to me to be the main scientific basis on which that post (and your interpretation of the wheel) stands.
    I could be wrong, of course.

    I see! I was hyper-focused on the MRI work I was talking to emergence about and that one did not want to come to mind.

    You are right that I need to get a better feel for the strength of the data in that study. But I felt comfortable using it because of the way i was relying on it. That paper was demonstrating that ability to recognize emotional states by fMRI. A result of the study was that they saw that emotion was affected by several things (five things) to different degrees and they make sense: valance (good/bad), intensity, and the involvement of another person. The fact that those three things alter how we process emotions is pretty clear on their own independent of how accurately they can identify an emotional state. The effect of group-related emotions has to be involved in the cognitive biases that generate logical fallacies. So the paper is a convenient means of pointing at those three things that bias emotional processing. Otherwise if future research alters the specific relationships it’s easy to make alterations.

  136. rq says

    Thanks, CD and Rob. We don’t have the finances for it right now, but it’s going to have to go on the list.

  137. Nick Gotts says

    Sad, but that’s the price of US arrogance on one hand and EU servile appeasement of Russia on the other hand. – AlexanderZ@153

    I’m not sure quite how incorporating several former satellite states and three ex-soviet Republics, and more recently refusing to recognise the Ukrainian and Georgian annexations, signing economic agreements with Ukraine and imposing economic sanctions amount to “servile appeasement”.

    I think it most unlikely Putin would risk invading the Baltic states, but of course if you live in one of them, the Russian sabre-rattling is bound to be very alarming. In Russian propaganda, the NATO military exercises in the Baltic are described as “sabre-rattling”. The recent announcement about the Russian prosecutor’s inquiry may well be a response to them.

  138. Ragutis says

    Alas, I don’t have any interesting surfing news to share tonight. There was a supposedly incredible swell headed for Indonesia, but I haven’t seen a lot of video from it yet. (Although, what I have seen is rather impressive) Rumor is that Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian really scored at a secret spot, but I have no idea if there was anyone there to film it.

    So, in light of that, I’ll have to find another way to bore you folks. I mentioned Anneke Van Giersbergen and posted a video earlier, but I just realized that it’s now been 20 years(!!!) since I first got into her with The Gathering. Holy shit does time fly. So, to start, here’s when I first fell for her and her voice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5PySbFS6Tg

    Here she is a couple of years ago trying out a new cover song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESCIutJ75kk

    And lastly, backing up Devin Townsend (who I also just realized that I’ve been a fan of for more than 20 years. First heard him on Steve Vai’s Sex and Religion album. Saw them first show after Frank Zappa died. (Steve and 2 other band members had played with FZ.) I think it was Dec . 10, so just a week. They’d all been to the funeral and just flown back. So they did their set (with Devin in a pink bunny onesie) and then a Zappa jam for the encore. (IIRC, it was Peaches, MGWTKYM, Dirty Love, an Inca Roads tease, and Stevie’s Spanking) Anyway, great show. A bit melancholy, but no better way to honor and recognize Frank.)
    What a parenthetical clusterfuck that is…

    Anyway:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d57krbOuV7w

    .

  139. rq says

    The recent announcement about the Russian prosecutor’s inquiry may well be a response to them.

    No. It’s not a response to anything as such, it’s part of a long and sustained campaign of general antagonism against this region. See also: entering Swedish, Finnish, Baltic air- and seaspace. Just trolling, really – very effective trolling.

  140. Ragutis says

    Fuck! I embedded it again. Even after being told how to avoid it.

    Sorry. I’d edit it if I could.

    Still, watch it.