By the end of the story, I was ready to chop him up myself


You’d think this would be a straightforward crime to interpret. A woman, Emily Javier, is fed up with her boyfriend, Alex Lovell, who spends all of his time playing video games, and further, she suspects he’s been cheating on her. So she buys a samurai sword, tapes it to the side of their bed, and in the middle of the night, while he’s sleeping, starts hacking him up.

At this point, I’m thinking she’s a terrible violent person, she deserves to have the book thrown at her, what a ghastly crime. But then the boyfriend, who did survive with some serious injuries, opened his mouth.

When police did arrive at the scene on March 3, they found Lovell curled up in the blood-spattered bedroom, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by police in Camas, a Washington state town northeast of Portland, Ore. Remarkably, he survived the attack despite serious injuries. Lovell almost lost the index, middle and ring fingers on his hand. But in interviews this week, the competitive gamer sounded happy to be alive.

“I was just so proud for beating this samurai wannabe crazy lady with hate in her heart,” the 29-year-old told the Oregonian/OregonLive. “I’ve been preparing my whole life for something like this.”

Javier — who pleaded not guilty this week to first-degree attempted murder, according to the Columbian — had also allegedly been preparing.

Alex Lovell — known as “Biggie” in his local gamer scene — is an avid player of “PlayerUnknown’s Battleground,” a multiplayer online fighting game. As he told the Oregonian/OregonLive, Lovell has been recently logging 12 to 13 hours a day playing the game. The regimen also required “exercises for his hands, wrists and shoulders and also practicing mouse moves and techniques to maximize performance,” the paper reported.

“I wasn’t a sweaty nerd, more of an Ethlete,” Lovell told the Oregonian/OregonLive.

And with that, I changed my verdict and started thinking it was more of a justifiable attempted homicide. They better keep me off the jury.


Yes, you’re all right. That last line was making light of what was done to Lovell, which he did not deserve at all, no matter how smug he seems. I apologize for a bad joke.

Comments

  1. Michael says

    “he survived the attack despite serious injuries. Lovell almost lost the index, middle and ring fingers on his hand.”

    If that is the extent of his serious injuries, then it doesn’t sound like she was trying to kill him. I can understand him sustaining hand injuries while trying to protect himself, but she couldn’t have been aiming to kill if she started attacking him when he was asleep.

    Where did she get a (non-decorative) samurai sword from? Surely guns are easier to obtain.

  2. cartomancer says

    One wonders how either of these people managed to secure a romantic partner at all. I am constantly amazed at how the most objectionable and awful people manage to do this when, despite my best efforts I have never managed it myself. One of those sacred mysteries of existence I suppose.

  3. Porivil Sorrens says

    Uh, what. Maybe I’m missing something in my reading, but why would him being really into a game make this any less of a brutal physical assault?

  4. marcoli says

    Justifiable attempted homicide?? For video game addiction (like many other addictions this not really a choice). And for possibly being unfaithful? Of course you are joking… right?

  5. says

    Michael@#1:
    There is a renaissance in high quality bladed weapons. On ebay you can get anything from a $100 functional katana made of spring steel to impressive metallurgical artworks that woukd make an Edo period samurai cry with envy.

    Swords don’t kill, etc.

  6. Porivil Sorrens says

    Like, if he was cheating on her (I can’t tell any details because of the WaPo paywall) that was defiitely douchey of him, but like, you seem to be primarily focusing on the fact that he played PUBG a lot.

    I myself have played semi-professional games and put in hours like his, because it’s a hobby that makes me happy and engages me just like other people might play chess or tennis. Would I be a valid target of having my body mutilated by a fucking katana?

  7. consciousness razor says

    I’m sure that if you had just been hacked up by a fucking sword, then someone wrote this crap and attempted to defend it as a joke, while at the same mentioning your awful smugness, then you would probably not be entirely satisfied. I’m also sure you that would not feel like an apology had been made, since you definitely know what those look like.

  8. Porivil Sorrens says

    Yeah, like, even as a joke, this is in exceptionally poor taste. While, as mentioned, I don’t know if he suffered any permanent mutilation from this, it’d be really shitty to know that someone thought my use of gaming lingo was enough of a crime to make a post mocking my potential mutilation over it.

  9. dontlikeusernames says

    #10 et #12, oh, I definitely agree. Plus, I think it’s exceptionally likely to be picked up by “the opposition”, let’s say, and seen as entirely sincere. Thus, huge numbers and mindless and pointless rants will be made. Of course, they won’t affect “us”, but they’ll just enforce the attitudes of “not-us”. Anyway.

    (I think should probably add: I don’t think satire/sarcasm *should* necessarily be curtailed even when faced with such dismal odds of being seen for what it is. It’s just a difficult thing to do and PZ is no Noel Coward or Jonathan Switft… as I’m sure he’d be the first to say.)

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    I approve this joke. Also, using the word “Ethlete” should be punishable by a heavy fine at least.

  11. lotharloo says

    If your partner is playing a video game 12 hours out of 24, then you get a fucking divorce not a sword.

    Also, the joke is in poor taste. We have grown up to see crimes like rape as inherently not funny regardless of the circumstances, I don’t see why the same cannot be applied to crimes that cause injuries.

  12. emergence says

    Yeah, this reminds me too much of off color jokes about physical assault made by internet trolls. I’ve seen too many shitlords pass off wishing physical harm on someone as a joke to find this funny. I think this post was a bit of a miss.

  13. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    I’m sorry? Break up with the moron, but such violence?! What a monstrous person.

  14. says

    when my sons talk about how good they did in a video game like dunking, etc, I always say “You know that’s not real right?”
    I usually get blank looks or responses of “what are you talking about?”‘
    When the power goes out – that generation doesn’t have a chance.

  15. emergence says

    jensmith @18

    I seriously doubt that your sons think that the games are real. They’re probably just wondering why you’re bringing it up.

  16. zibble says

    @18 Jensmith
    They’re probably looking at you blankly because you’re acting smug while asking a stupid question.

    No one thinks being good at video games makes you good at basketball, they’re just sharing the enjoyment of mastering a game, and your response is to be a dick about it.

  17. says

    I’m pretty sure they consider it an accomplishment with the same level of importance as actually doing something real.

  18. zibble says

    Can I also add in that joking anyone deserves to be a victim of domestic violence, especially attempted murder, is just plain sick? I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even someone truly despicable like Trump, and certainly not for as asinine a reason as “I think his videogame obsession is annoying”.

  19. Porivil Sorrens says

    @21
    I mean, do you feel the same way about Chess grand masters? After all, they’re just nerds tooling around on a game table.

    High-Level videogaming requires both mechanical skills and tactical understanding of game mechanics. Being good at something that requires a serious amount of practice and talent is “doing something real”.

  20. zibble says

    @21 jensmith
    Basketball isn’t “real” either, they’re both just pointless games that train skills with no practical application in the real world. If they’re showing off like they’ve accomplished something, it’s likely because there’s a difficulty behind it that you’re not aware of.

  21. emergence says

    I like your writing PZ, but I think this crossed a line. I think you should consider writing an apology. Remember when you criticised Colbert for that joke back in 2014? This sort of reminds me of that.

  22. Rob Grigjanis says

    zibble @24: The practical application in the real world would be cardiovascular fitness while doing something you enjoy.

  23. npb596 says

    Anyone claiming PZ has crossed a line in this post doesn’t understand the full context of this. The game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG), is notorious for encouraging violence against women. It’s common for male players (as male characters in game) to start off a round by gathering in a group of four and beating a woman character to death with frying pans. The game also has a significant following of people online who encourage actual domestic abuse against women who don’t support their male partners playing the game. Numerous women have to deal with physical abuse on a daily basis and no one is reporting on it. But when PZ jokingly supports a woman attacking her boyfriend a single time, that’s too far?

  24. ethicsgradient says

    Yeah, how dare a survivor of an awful attack feel good about surviving – partly by persuading his attacker to stop, and call the police? He should be … umm, what? Suicidal? Homicidal? Enraged? Stoical? What is the approved emotion?

  25. Porivil Sorrens says

    @27
    Nothing you described is an actual gameplay mechanic.

    The fact that the game is played by douchey misogynists is true of literally every modern video game with a suitably sizable playerbase.

    Implying that the existence of asshole gamers somehow justifies joking about brutal assault and mutilation is absurd and borderline sociopathic.

  26. Knabb says

    Sure, the guy’s response was a bit weird. Weird responses tend to crop up in the wake of violent trauma – for instance, someone planning to assault you in the middle of the night with a deadly weapon, buying said weapon, and then cutting off several fingers. Especially when said terribly violent person is also someone you trusted closely, what with them being your girlfriend and all.

    Weirdly pretentious titles around a hobby doesn’t change that. Suspicions of cheating also don’t change that. There’s ways to deal with both of these, and neither of them involve using a fucking sword to cut people’s fingers off.

  27. leerudolph says

    Without weighing in on PZ’s ethical obligations, I would like to ask him whether he distinguishes “justifiable attempted homicide” from “attempted justifiable homicide” (I would, at least formally; it may be that in the phrases are extensionally identical [every instance of either one is also an instance of the other, in the world we inhabit] but not intensionally identical [in some possible world, there is an instance of one that is not an instance of the other]), and, if so, whether he would be comfortable with changing the phrase in his post.

    The distinction feels to me like it’s related to the commonplace “it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission” though I can’t quite pin down why I feel that.

  28. zibble says

    @26 Rob Grigjanis
    And if you’re going to reach that far, video games train technological familiarity while doing something you enjoy.

  29. Janus says

    I read an article on that this morning and came out of it hating both of the involved. Her for deciding to murder him in his sleep, him for acting like this was some boss-fight in his personal Scott Pilgrim-esque video game world that he was very proud to have beaten with his own bare hands.

  30. Rob Grigjanis says

    zibble @32: Cardiovascular fitness is “reaching far”? OK. I don’t even know what “technological familiarity” means. Knowing which buttons to push on a controller?

  31. microraptor says

    jensmith @18 & 21:

    You’re how old, 35? Maybe 40? Probably not older than 45 would be my guess based on your description of your sons, since it sounds like they’re still kids. Video games have been a thing for your generation, too. Your generation wouldn’t stand a chance if the power went out.

  32. microraptor says

    Now, onto the original story, yeah, not really funny even if the guy does sound like a complete ass.

  33. microraptor says

    jensmith @35:

    Nobody who brags about telling their kids that video games aren’t real has the right to tell other people that they need to chill.

  34. Porivil Sorrens says

    @34
    One might, utilizing the textual clues, be lead to believe that it means “familiarity with technology.”

  35. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Yes, people who play video games all day are ugly fat losers who need to get a job and read a book and go outside and get a tan or some other sensible hobby that normal people with normal hobbies enjoy, hahahaha hig-hig hee hee.

    They don’t deserve to be mutilated by a sword for it.

    I’d also say that if someone managed to survive an attempted murder in their sleep in their own bed that resulted in significant and possibly crippling mutilation and an expensive and painful hospital trip, they’re allowed to be as fucking smug as they wanna. If the guy’s smug in general, then okay, he’s a smug asshole, but he doesn’t deserve to be hacked with a sword.

    Jeez louise.

    Also, maybe my sperginess makes it hard for me to grasp humor, but I reckon jokes are generally funnier when they aren’t poking fun at a real attempted murder on a real person that resulted in real injury.

  36. Hexiva Sihess says

    . . . from the tone P.Z. was taking, I expected to hear that the guy was a rapist or an abuser or at the very least an annoying right-winger. But his crime was . . . playing video games too much? And that justifies making jokes about domestic abuse? Because that’s what this was: when someone takes a weapon to their defenseless partner, that is domestic abuse.

    Sarcasm, jokes, and satire aren’t an excuse for saying horrible things. This is the kind of “joke” PewDiePie would make. What was Meyers thinking?

  37. Rob Grigjanis says

    Porivil Sorrens @39: Oh, that’s much clearer, less vague, etc. And walking gives you gravitational familiarity. Or “familiarity with gravity”, as the cognoscenti say. Do it enough, and the Einstein field equations become a doddle.

  38. Porivil Sorrens says

    @42
    As we all know, familiarity with using technology is of increasingly less usefulness in modern society.

    In fact, it’d absolutely boggle my mind, were modern control interfaces beginning to at all resemble those used in video games.

  39. emergence says

    I’m glad you were willing to admit that you made a mistake instead of doubling down PZ.

  40. Porivil Sorrens says

    @44
    In fact, I can’t think of a single reason why knowledge and familiarity with a controller would be useful in the future.

  41. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @42 & 44

    Oh man, these are gems. Thank you for finding those.

  42. Rob Grigjanis says

    @46: Oh no! All those idiots who didn’t spend countless hours virtually blowing up virtual things up will have no idea how to use that stuff.

  43. Porivil Sorrens says

    @49
    As we all know, all video games involve blowing things up, and everyone who plays them are idiots.

    Furthermore, it would just be absurd if people who have an intimate familiarity with a platform had some sort of advantage when it comes to using that platform!

  44. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    From the first link:

    The Navy plans to replace clunky and expensive periscopes controls on its flagship Virginia-class subs with Xbox 360 controllers — both because they’re cheaper and because most soldiers grew up playing console video games.

    Emphasis mine.

  45. says

    microraptor

    wrong on all accounts – but nice try. You’ll get one of those participation awards they hand out.
    But only if you chill.

  46. Porivil Sorrens says

    Furthermore, if the talent in question is “using a controller based off of video game controllers”, “using video game controllers” would be a pretty sensible means of acquiring that skill.

  47. microraptor says

    jensmith @52:

    Ah, you’re a Baby Boomer, the generation that decided it was important to give participation awards out to everyone, then make fun of people who were given participation awards.

  48. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Also like… people have literally made careers out of playing video games, and not just in the professional competition circuit. It’s not an easy or guaranteed way to make a living, but neither is making artwork or music.

    Point being, why is it such a problem that people get enjoyment and excitement out of things that you personally don’t like? Is it really that threatening to see other people having interests different from yours?

    People are allowed to enjoy themselves. They can like things that you don’t like. It’s okay! Lots of colors make a rainbow, blah blah blah.

    Also:

    When the power goes out – that generation doesn’t have a chance.

    Considering how immersed computer technology is becoming in modern society, I’d say that when the power goes out… neither does yours.

    I’m sure they’ll remember this the next time something goes funny on your TV, though.

  49. gregmusings says

    In terms of real world benefits of games, I played a lot of chess in high school and college. It taught me ways to analyze certain controlled situations as well as an other worldly ability to concentrate. Both those skills were extremely valuable during my 30 year career as a computer programmer.

  50. vucodlak says

    @ jensmith, #52

    Yeah, I can’t believe those damn spoiled brats, demanding trophies just for showing up!

    Oh wait, it’s not the kids who demanded them, is it? It’s the parents. Assuming such things exist in the first place, that is- I’ve never actually seen one, and I’m half-convinced “participation trophies” are just something made up by asshole right-wingers as an example of how the next generation has been “ruined.” Kind of like the idea that kids today think that being good at video game sports is exactly the same thing at playing professional sports. Kids aren’t that stupid, whatever some adults might like to believe.

    I was being a bit sarcastic in the preceding paragraph; I’m sure someone, somewhere has gotten a participation trophy. I grew up in a poor-ass town in a poor-ass county in a state that’s always in the hole, so there were no participation trophies. It was a stretch to be able to afford both the first/second/third-place trophies for the season-winners and basic equipment for the teams for summer baseball. I can assure you, however, that no one I knew would have displayed such a thing, had they gotten one.

    I have a couple of 1st place volleyball trophies buried somewhere. I always hated that my parents them displayed because, while the teams I was on legitimately won them, I had less-than-nothing to do with those wins. My participation was coerced, and my attitude toward the whole affair was that those who demanded that I must participate or fail could FOADIAF, while my equally-coerced teammates could merely go fuck themselves on general principles. When an opportunity to make them disappear presented itself, I sent them to the cornfield. The trophies, that is. Not everyone else.

    tl;dr- Children are neither as stupid nor as narcissistic as some adults love to paint them.

  51. leerudolph says

    I am agnostic (inclining to disbelief) on the question of how much (if at all) those game-players who temporarily immerse themselves in imagined violence (tied to real perceptions, including haptic perceptions) thereby prime themselves, when a particular bout of gaming is over, to react more extremely to out-of-game situations.

    But I am absolutely certain that some such priming occurs in (very) many of us when we temporarily immerse ourselves in accounts (or depictions) of real violence. This present thread is a perfect example! The news story at the top was genuinely scary, and PZ’s conclusion (since amended) was itself a bit scary. And the thread got a lot more adversarial than (in my experience and observation) most threads here do (particularly since this thread, unlike some, seems completely free of deliberate trolling by people of ill will). My own reaction to such stimuli (the original post and the adversarial comments) is to try to deflect everything by getting wordy and abstract; others react otherwise. But it seems to me that nearly everyone IS reacting very strongly.

  52. gorobei says

    PZ, that’s a joke only in way that unfunny conservatives tell “jokes.” Their entire content is “stupid minority is stupid” or “stupid person got raped” or “person I don’t like suffers bodily harm.”

    Two misfits. One buys a weapon and executes a premeditated attack on the other. That’s tragedy, not comedy.

  53. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    @8 Chigau
    Your slant usually manages to make me snicker.
    __________
    @27 npb596

    Anyone claiming PZ has crossed a line in this post doesn’t understand the full context of this.

    Thank you for saying that. I’m aware of the context, my grandson and I were discussing it just now. I still think it is crossing a line. Albeit my subjective one.

    Numerous women have to deal with physical abuse on a daily basis and no one is reporting on it.

    I agree and that’s an understatement even. I’ve read some trying to defend it as being “just a game” as if their insular, imaginary world doesn’t matter. One could also argue “It’s just a book” or “it’s just a social club”, “just a newspaper article”, “just a fun flamethrower”. What matters is cumulative effect. While it’s superficially true that pointing to any one thing as the cause of societal problems might be the wrong tack. It all does matter.

    But when PZ jokingly supports a woman attacking her boyfriend a single time, that’s too far?

    Yes. It’s wrong. The boy is deserving of our pity, especially for his delusions. I mean think about that, if he actually believes that he spent a huge portion of his life engaged in a game that promotes domestic abuse, so that in the one in a million chance that his girlfriend or wife should happen to become physically abusive he’d be ready for it. Not only is that slathered in insecurity, it’s such a neat tying up of his insecurities and failures in life. In some kind of very perverse way it’s almost as if she gave him exactly what he needed to justify the choices he’s made in his life. I couldn’t think of anything more unhealthy than that. (A steady diet of Mountain Dew Code red and hot pockets not withstanding, we’re talking mental health.)

    Not to mention any further ramifications of his mental state. Will this boy find refuge in some reactionary circuit, making the rounds being interviewed on various youtube channels. It’s easy to joke that a misogynistic cad got his comeuppance. But there is a pervasive toxicity there that tends to ripple on the pond and occasionally those ripples find resonance with each other and we can never tell who will be in the way of that flood.

    After that screed dare I be facetious? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKYAfdcMYJY Yeah, to make a point. Think about what he said in that clip in this context. What are the consequences when we take potshots at people like this boy, who need help shedding these types of delusions. From us they receive derision, from them they receive acceptance. In that way regressives get just a nip stronger from our shooting. Does that mean we should never crack a joke? Absolutely not, as I’ve shown. There are ways to do it without shooting from the right.

  54. anti says

    @ PZ Myers, #9

    “Yes, it’s a joke. No one deserves that kind of brutal assault. It’s just the awful smugness of the man.”

    Smugness. You mean like yours?

  55. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Oh for fuck’s fucking sake, are we STILL pretending that the basis of dislike is JUST “he played video games?”

    Whatever the merits of PZ’s joke, that’s both intellectually and regular dishonest and frankly just fucking contemptible.

  56. Porivil Sorrens says

    @64
    Except, as mentioned above, PZ specifically said that it was because of how smug he was. No room for intellectual dishonesty there.

  57. John Morales says

    What Azkyroth wrote.

    What the article claims is that this woman exploded thus, but did not actually kill him, and then called the police. Either a seriously incompetent murderer, or …

    anti:

    Smugness. You mean like yours?

    Perhaps, or perhaps the bragging;
    “I was just so proud for beating this samurai wannabe crazy lady with hate in her heart,” the 29-year-old told the Oregonian/OregonLive. “I’ve been preparing my whole life for something like this.”” when what he actually did he describes thus: “I saw the look in her eyes, and it scared the living poop out of me,” he told the news outlet. “I told her I loved her, and she was killing me. She needed to call police, or I was going to die.”

    I’m a bit short of sympathy for him, too.

  58. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I am agnostic (inclining to disbelief) on the question of how much (if at all) those game-players who temporarily immerse themselves in imagined violence (tied to real perceptions, including haptic perceptions) thereby prime themselves, when a particular bout of gaming is over, to react more extremely to out-of-game situations.

    None, despite decades of extremely motivated reasoning and “research.”

    particularly since this thread, unlike some, seems completely free of deliberate trolling by people of ill will

    Did you not see the people pretending that PZ was just making fun of him because “he played video games?”

  59. tmink128 says

    @18 jensmith my mother asked the same questions of me and my sister about video games and movies and got blank states in response too. Adults seem to think kids are idiots that can’t discern reality from pretend. That’s why kids look dumbfounded when adults act that way towards them. Unless there’s some health issues at play kids knew the difference between reality and pretend, and it’s condescending to repeatedly ask them if they understand.

  60. says

    69. tmink128 –
    Yawn. That’s not what I said, nor what I think.
    thanks for playing. you too can pick up your participation trophy on the way out.

  61. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @66

    What the article claims is that this woman exploded thus, but did not actually kill him, and then called the police. Either a seriously incompetent murderer, or …

    According to the police affidavit, she’d bought the sword specifically for the purpose of killing him for cheating on her, and had been planning on doing it for several days, until the night he came home and didn’t pay her any acknowledgment, which pissed her off enough to decide to do it that night. She stated that she hid his phone so that he couldn’t call for help and used the light on her phone to find him in the dark.

    I’m guessing regret happened halfway through. It sometimes happens.

    So, an incompetent murderer.

    @69:
    My mom likes to make sure that I don’t get too comfortable being excited or having generally positive feelings about things without her permission, usually by making cutting, belittling comments about how silly it is that I should have these feelings about these things.

    Not necessarily about video games (by the way, did you know that you can go three months straight without playing any video games at all, but if you’re caught playing Mario Run for ten minutes while on the toilet, you “do nothing but sit around and play Nintendo all day while [she] does everything,” even if it’s a ten-minute reward to yourself for ending a week of doing chores? Even though playing videogames on the weekend after doing the week’s chores was something she explicitly stated I was allowed to do?). But also things like archery, food prep and preserving, nature journaling, trying to improve my health… Striving for independence…

    Heck, you don’t even have to be playing video games to be yelled at for playing video games. All I have to do is be watching a video, or looking up recipes, or reading a blog, or working on my art commissions…

    Hyrule sure is looking nice this time of year.

  62. Zmidponk says

    I can understand the reaction of thinking this guy is a bit of a smug git, with an overly grandiose opinion of himself, and it sounds like he is quite likely to be one of the more toxically bigoted members of the gaming community, but, yes, even making a joke about about this attack being justifiable is a bit beyond the pale – it is still the case parts of his body got violently removed by a fucking big sword. If his games were so much important to him than her, either leaving him or kicking him out (depending on whether it’s her house or his) would be the way to go, and, if Ms. Javier is correct in that he was cheating on her, then his gaming obsession is now the problem of his new girlfriend, and she’s well rid of him.

    @jensmith #70

    If what tmink128 said in #69 is not what you think, then you’ve just given the reason why your kids are giving you blank looks and asking what you’re talking about – you’re asking a totally pointless question for no discernible reason.

  63. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Did you not see the people pretending that PZ was just making fun of him because “he played video games?”

    While PZ later stated that his smugness was the actual reason for the joke, the fact that he included a paragraph that didn’t add evidence of Lovell’s smugness but instead talked about his scandalous game-playing habits* sort of implied that this was part of the crime.

    If his video game habits had nothing to do with it, then there was no point to including it.

    So it’s not hard to see why people would get up in arms about implying that dorks who play video games too much deserve a butchering. I’m still not 300% convinced that there wasn’t something implicit in it, even if unconsciously. There’s kind of a long precedent for shitting on people who play video games, often with actual legit acts of abuse, because only a loser fuck would spend a bazillion hours playing video games and *gasp* being excited about it, so they deserve everything they get.

    *(Oh, and a bad pun.)

  64. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    So it’s not hard to see why people would get up in arms about implying that dorks who play video games too much deserve a butchering

    You can’t POSSIBLY think that the same quivering wad of spineless, mewling, feet-of-clumping-cat-litter hypocrites who excoriated me for over 200 comments because they’d somehow gotten it into their stupid fucking heads that they now OWNED the term “splash damage” after having appropriated it from gamers, and then couldn’t even muster what they would in any other context have taken GREAT pleasure in deriding as a “notpology,” have suddenly taken an interest in whether gamers are treated fairly?

    That’s adorable.

  65. Athaic says

    @ Michael #1

    If that is the extent of his serious injuries, then it doesn’t sound like she was trying to kill him.

    I suspect that she found out that inflicting killing wounds by slashing with a sword is a bit more difficult than video games and movies would have make us believe.
    Most likely, she was wielding the sword like a baseball bat. More often than not, the blade would have hit sideways (well, not square enough) and failed to cut deeply. More importantly, she may have been aiming to bash – i.e. hit the top of the guy – where she should have aimed to go through – i.e. hitting the mattress under the guy.

    I would go for “seriously incompetent murderer” * rather than “not really trying to kill him”. Although I would admit that humans are complicated, and she may have been more intend on venting her rage and bashing him for being an obnoxious twit than murdering him.
    But she still went for a sword.
    And many deadly conjugal disputes started exactly like this. The surviving spouse may feel sorry afterward, but he/she was still trying to do serious bodily harm during the act. Some of us are more competent than others when trying to harm. Or more lucky. Or unlucky, depending on the point of view.

    Re: PZ bad joke.
    Not the better day for me to feel sympathy for a child-man. A friend of mine has been confiding to me about his sister’s abusive partner, and I just come to the conclusion that his sister should get the fuck out asap. Not just on general principles, but also because it looks like she is in imminent danger of being harmed. In the latest episode, the boy acquired (illegally) some alarm pistols and small-caliber rifles and has been trying them inside her house, purposely damaging a wall and her furniture.
    I will try to convince my friend of this today. Easy job, I’m sure he knows that already. Convincing his sister to run away is the real challenge. Going through this and avoiding retaliation from the bully is going to be even more peachy.
    I’m so glad neither I or my own sister are married. Avoiding all the issues partners and in-laws seem to bring along.

    The girl with the sword should have walked out instead. That would have grabbed her boyfriend attention as much as the sword-wielding. Or maybe not, but in this case, nothing would have.
    But again, humans are complicated. And to answer @ cartomancer #2, many of us are believing so strongly that we need to be in a relationship, we easily end up trapping ourselves in a toxic one. Because the alternative – being alone – is deemed worse, both socially and for one’s ego.

  66. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    [Okay, I guess there’s some context missing there. Never mind. >.>]

  67. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @75

    ???

    Uhhh… okay I’m not a long-term visitor here and don’t have a clue what you’re talking about so.

    I’ll take you at your word and say fair enough?

  68. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Just lazily chiming in, I agree with Zmidponk @73 and similar posts that the the PZ did not express an acceptable sentiment here. “Just a joke” also shouldn’t fly as a defense in these parts.

  69. leerudolph says

    I wrote:

    particularly since this thread, unlike some, seems completely free of deliberate trolling by people of ill will

    Akzyroth quoted that, and replied:

    Did you not see the people pretending that PZ was just making fun of him because “he played video games?”

    Yes, I did. I didn’t, and don’t, interpret that as “deliberate trolling by people of ill will.” I recognized several of the posters by name or handle as people who comment regularly and frequently (much more frequently than I do; perhaps not as frequently as you do) and who I don’t recognize, at all, as “people of ill will” (no more than you are or I am). Nor did any comments by anyone I didn’t recognize come across (to me) as “deliberate trolling”—in particular, I didn’t see any reason to believe anyone was “pretending” anything about PZ or his motives. Evidently you did see trolling and pretense. Maybe it was there! But maybe it wasn’t, and your seeing it was partly in consequence of being primed by reading about the terrifying facts of the matter.

  70. fffabio says

    This post is not supportive of anything you usually stand for and offensive to the cause. I get that the smugness in those 2 sentences is cringeworthy, but he wasn’t physically nor psychologically violent to her, as far as we know. Searching for reasons to excuse her behaviour makes feminists look like vengeful bloodthirsty extremists with no moral balance. If somebody calls her “crazy” for what she did, would that make that person misogynistic? On the other hand, feeling Schadenfreude about an innocent guy being slashed with a sword, is fine? Let’s fight back mysogyny with all we’ve got, but we shouldn’t fall to the low level of dishonesty and hypocrisy we’ve learned to expect from the other side. If we discover that he was abusing her in any way, I’ll be the first in line with a blowtorch ready to punish, but ’til then…

  71. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Thanks PZ @apology. Keep on writing the good stuff!

  72. Rob Grigjanis says

    Mak @55:

    why is it such a problem that people get enjoyment and excitement out of things that you personally don’t like?

    It’s not a problem at all! The problem is pretending that it imbues you with some kind of deep learning which can be transferred to some jobs. At best, it would make you feel more comfortable than others during early training. It’s pushing buttons on a controller, FFS! It’s no more “familiarizing with technology” than operating a TV remote.

  73. tmink128 says

    @71

    Sorry your interests are belittled like that. Hopefully you can get away from that environment at some point. I think people that act like that have forgotten how to take any enjoyment out of life and think everything should be about productivity and getting things done. That’s no way to live.

    Sounds like jensmith does that to her children too, which is a shame. A child is excited about something and you shit all over it saying it’s not real. One day they’ll move out and stop talking to you and that behaviour is why. Take an interest in what they’re interested in and be a decent human being.

  74. kupo says

    The problem is pretending that it imbues you with some kind of deep learning which can be transferred to some jobs.

    I have had many jobs. Every single one I’ve held over the past 20 years I would not be as good at had I not played a lot of video games as a child (and adult!). Some I would have had no chance at performing well without having played video games.

  75. kevinkirkpatrick says

    “It’s pushing buttons on a controller, FFS!”

    I’d wager that mission control centers of space-shuttle launches have numerous people who “just push buttons on a controller”.

    You may have a valid point to make, but calling attention to the simplicity of the interface is probably not the best way to make it.

  76. says

    Who is this new Jen Smith troll, why does she think there is any sort of intellectual merit in disparaging an entire artistic and entertainment medium, and what’s with the inexplicable obsession with assuming everyone pointing out she’s being arrogant and vapid is the myth of a “millennial” who wants “participation trophies”?

  77. drowner says

    I agree with everyone who says that the “joke” was unfunny and not one of PZ Myers’ best moments, even that possibly a more substantive apology or correction is in order. There is another recent post with PZ describing how he forgot his wedding anniversary, and more or less dismisses this with a hand wave, and could possible come across as smug. Not a good look, dear favorite blogger, sir.

    I’d probably have to issue many times more apologies than PZ were I to publish a blog with multiple daily entries. Thanks to everyone for striving for excellence and informing each other positively.

  78. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @83

    It’s not a problem at all!

    For some it evidently is.

    The problem is pretending that it imbues you with some kind of deep learning which can be transferred to some jobs.

    Well in the competition circuit I’d say it helps a whole lot.

    But, playing video games has directly led to my interest in developing my art skills, both early on and nowadays, to the point that I’m working toward building it into a career. Writing/story development and worldbuilding, too.

    Modern games especially have actually become visual references and points of study in composition, character and environmental design, and color theory, in some cases.

    Plus stuff like gregmusings listed up in #56 with chess. Video games taught me analytical skills, focus, patience, problem solving, desire for delayed gratification (i.e. working toward a long-term goal instead of jumping on a short-term but less satisfying result), developing strategy, organization, money management, and–most importantly of all–how to love myself enough to allow myself a little fun once in a while.

    Be nice if it helped with my social anxiety; the players on Triforce Heroes have been so very, very nice but I think jumping straight to an online social co-op game was moving too quickly. But it’s allowed me to have some social interaction and connection with other members of my family who also enjoy video games but don’t enjoy the other stuff that I like to do. (My brother aches too much on nature walks, and archery doesn’t interest him.)

    And while the results seem to be temporary in my case, my brain sure seems to work more sharply and smoothly after a binge of Professor Layton. Maybe if I played it more long-term, I dunno.

    Dance games are great fun and decent exercise, too.

    tmink128 @84
    Thank you. I hope so too, even if it’s a scary prospect. (Somehow the fear of leaving this environment supersedes the fear of staying in it, even though I know I won’t be able to thrive in it for very much longer.) In my mom’s case, if she doesn’t enjoy it, it’s not worthy of her time, which means it’s an inferior activity that shouldn’t be worth anyone’s time, and therefore is worthy of mockery. Plus, perhaps a little bit of need for me to feel uncomfortable with myself so that I’ll be forced to be more reliant on her. Having personal autonomy is a threat to her absolute and unquestionable authority.

    She walks around with a preconception that me and people like me and my generation (and generations beyond mine, of course) are lower than she is, and everything we do is stupid and broken. We will never be as wholesome and strong as her generation is, and our “addiction” to technology will be our ultimate downfall, and she never misses a chance to remind me. But guess who the first people are that she calls when her computer has a problem or she needs to change the input on her TV! And you should’ve seen the fit she threw when we were hurting for money and my brother and I suggested that we drop our satellite TV package and switch to over-the-air and/or streaming.

    Based on stories my grandma—a long-time enthusiastic retro gamer in her own right—have told me, it might also be a little bit of sour grapes. Mother can’t stand when a lowly worm like me might be more proficient at something than she is, and the idea of being taught ANYTHING by a six-year-old was explosively offensive to her, and the bitterness has festered ever since. To this day, Space Invaders and Pacman are the only acceptable games in her eyes (in theory anyway; none of us can play them or else we’re just feeding into our horrible video game addiction), though I think she’s showing signs of warming up to a few clicky mobile games. She’ll still say they’re stupid and pointless though.

    It’s okay. I’ll remember this when I’m out on my own and she calls me wanting to come down for Christmas.

    So yeah, that comment hit home pretty hard and reminded me of a lot of ugly feelings and you betcha I was glad to see folks calling it out. So thanks!

  79. Rob Grigjanis says

    kevinkirkpatrick @86: I do cryptic crosswords (very simple interface!) because they’re fun for me, and I don’t feel the need to justify that by pointing out that NASA scientists use pens.

  80. Porivil Sorrens says

    @90
    Yes, and I’m sure the act of routinely solving difficult puzzles will have no impact on a person’s skills or capabilities. After all, it’s just putting a pencil to paper!

  81. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @90 Hey I do that too, except the paper is a DS screen and the pen is a stylus. It’s called Professor Layton.

    I’m sure it’s still inferior because it’s electronic, though.

  82. Rob Grigjanis says

    Porivil Sorrens @91: There is no question that doing cryptics makes one better at doing cryptics, and it may have an impact on other skills*. I don’t care, because that’s not why I do it!

    *After decades of doing them, I’m not convinced. I suspect school and reading books did a lot more.

    Mak @92: Try The Guardian cryptics online here. Highly recommended.

  83. Porivil Sorrens says

    @93
    Yeah, okay, you’re just fact proof, so enjoy that, I guess.

    I’ve already demonstrated both that the mechanical skills involved with video gaming do indeed map to practical skills in the real world today and that the content of said games can indeed have a positive effect on one’s mental capabilities (unless you somehow still ascribe to the idiotic belief that the only games that exist are mindless shoot-em-ups – which isn’t even true of the FPS genre)

    The fact that games are “just pushing buttons on a controller” and therefore can have no real life utility is both an idiotic reductive argument and blatantly untrue given the facts of the matter.

  84. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @94

    I mean, I just made a list of all the skills that video games have taught me, at least some of which I know that employers look for in their employees, but… meh. Still just pushing buttons, I guess.

    Actually, my fidget cube would just be pushing buttons. There’s no visual feedback, no story, no puzzle solving, no goal, no strategy, no gauging of speed or (virtual) space. The repetition is calming, though.

  85. Rob Grigjanis says

    @94: All you’ve demonstrated, apart from your poor reading comprehension, is that some jobs use devices which are a lot like game controllers. “fact proof”? Sure, sunshine. Just keep telling yourself that.

  86. kupo says

    I guess you have no refute for someone who has worked for 20 years in jobs where her skills were either directly related to video game playing ability or born from an interest in video games? I’m currently a software engineer and would not be had I not thoroughly enjoyed my Atari and decided to teach myself to program from a BASIC cartridge as a child because of that love for video games.

  87. Rob Grigjanis says

    Lawks, I didn’t know (some?) gamers were so defensive. If it’s that important to you that gamer skills are actually meaningfully transferable to job skills (other than professional gaming, obviously), I’m afraid simply saying that isn’t enough to convince anyone.

    Mak and kupo have asserted that gaming has improved their job performance/analytical skills/whatever. I could say that doing cryptic crosswords has improved my problem solving abilities. It seems reasonable, but I have no evidence for that, and I’m by no means certain it’s true. How do you measure that? How did you measure that? How many hours of gaming before you noticed an improvement in your general abilities? Was anything else going on during that time which might explain it? Are there any conclusive scientific studies (I’ve seen a few non-conclusive ones)?

    Also, why isn’t it enough that you simply enjoy doing it? Surely that’s the most important thing.

    Before posting, I refreshed and saw kupo‘s #97. OK, playing Atari inspired you to learn BASIC. That’s fantastic (seriously), but it’s not about the skills which gaming gave you. Catching tadpoles inspires some kids to learn biology, but the activity itself doesn’t teach them that. It does help teach attention to a task, which is far from trivial, but most activities/hobbies do the same.

  88. kupo says

    *Sigh*
    Playing video games also introduced me to ways of solving puzzles and using math and how to break down problems into smaller problems. Those are all skills I use daily as an engineer.

  89. John Morales says

    This to-and-forth about gaming seems an irrelevance, to me. It’s a hobby.

    It’s been established that PZ took issue with the smugness, not the video-game playing.
    I found that rather obvious on first reading.

    Also, the merits of whatever competence accrues by virtue of playing video games is not relevant to the situation (that game’s players’ culture aside); he played those games for personal enjoyment (they are specifically designed to be enjoyable to play) “12 to 13 hours a day”. Notably, it’s a multiplayer game, so he spends a lot more non-sleeping time with his friends than with her and she probably perceived that as instead of her*.

    That’s the relevance of his gaming in this case, not the gaming per se.

    * I feel I should make it clear that I don’t think any of that justifies what she did.

  90. kupo says

    Do I seriously need to pull out the scientific studies? You’re not going to believe people about their actual experiences?

  91. Porivil Sorrens says

    @98

    Also, why isn’t it enough that you simply enjoy doing it? Surely that’s the most important thing.

    Because we were specifically responding to a post that asserted that it was somehow a lesser hobby than something like tennis or chess, purely by virtue of being electronic. Try to read up on a conversation before you hop into it?

  92. Rob Grigjanis says

    kupo @99: Makes me wonder how I ever got by in maths and physics. Maybe schools should replace maths classes with video games, at least for the first few years.

  93. Rob Grigjanis says

    @102: I was responding to commenters in a subthread that developed after the OP, dumbass. Including your laughably clueless #39.

  94. Porivil Sorrens says

    @105
    Indeed, and the people in said subthread were responding to another person’s posts decrying videogames as being less valid than other hobbies because they are electronic.

    Perhaps you might give them a try at some point. I know a few that could inprove your reading conprehension.

  95. Rob Grigjanis says

    kupo @101: Please do pull them out (from where?).

    You’re not going to believe people about their actual experiences?

    I don’t accept people’s beliefs about their personal experiences as scientific evidence, no. Nice try.

  96. Rob Grigjanis says

    @106: I played Riven. Does that count? Didn’t notice any inmprovements.

  97. Rob Grigjanis says

    @104: Well, if they’re using them (I’d be surprised if they weren’t), they must work! The educational system never fails us, after all. I’m sure your maths and English are better for it.

  98. Porivil Sorrens says

    @109
    Yes, it definitely strains the imagination that a game that is functionally identical to a fancy pen and paper math workbook might achieve the same things as pen and paper math workbooks.

  99. Porivil Sorrens says

    Which is to say – are you also this skeptical about the ability of normal math workbooks to teach math? If not, why?

  100. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ooh, “functionally identical”. This is all getting far too technical for me. ‘Night all!

  101. Porivil Sorrens says

    @112
    I mean, yes. Those games are literally just math equations that you type the answers to. With like, colorful art and music.

    I’m sorry that this is so hard for you. I’d imagine having an argument built entirely on contrarian bullshit might be a little hard to deal with. I hope you feel better!

  102. kupo says

    Rob@107

    Please do pull them out (from where?).

    From the usual place: scientific journals. Unlike your patently absurd claim that practicing skills in one area never translates into useful skills in other areas, I can back up my assertions with actual scientific studies. Not that I should need to back up claims about my own life and how I learned skills, but since you’re being so obtuse and combative, here you are.
    https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.244.3.357
    http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2013-42122-001
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361476X17303156
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131514001869
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563215300121
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0091506

  103. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Lawks, I didn’t know (some?) gamers were so defensive.

    Mm yeah this is something my mom likes to do too. Make an insulting, belittling remark, then tell me to stop being sensitive when I say it hurts my feelings.

    It does help teach attention to a task, which is far from trivial, but most activities/hobbies do the same.

    Including playing video games.

    Or are you now asking for a skill that can ONLY be taught by playing video games (or rather the button pressing action that is the very literal playing of video games) and through no other means?

    ‘Cause… I mean. You said that cardiovascular exercise was a useful practical application of playing basketball, but there’s all sorts of ways to get cardiovascular exercise (INCLUDING PLAYING VIDEO GAMES) that don’t involve playing basketball, so does that make it a moot point?

  104. zibble says

    “What’s the importance of technological familiarity?” asks the generation that has to call us to help them open Powerpoint.

    I don’t really care about “Esports” for the same reason I don’t really care to pay out the ass to watch roided up manchildren play children’s games like “basketball” either. But it’s pretty clear the distinction here is that physical feats are impressive because our chimp brains subconsciously idolize strength and violence as valuable attributes that contribute to the survival of a tribe. Kids growing up now, however, instinctively understand that digital technology has become a fundamental aspect of human society in a way that those of us who remember the days before the internet can’t truly grasp, which is probably why they’re a little more primed to see skillful and well-timed button presses as at least as practically valuable as being able to get a ball in a hoop.

  105. logicalcat says

    Smug? Or maybe using humor to cope with the traumatic fact that he was almost murdered by a loved one. As a gamer with lots of mental health issues a lot of people in this thread can rightly fuck off.

    Where is the empathy?

  106. John Morales says

    logicalcat:

    Or maybe using humor to cope with the traumatic fact that he was almost murdered by a loved one.

    Either of “I trained my whole life to shit myself and beg for my life when under threat” or “I beat the murderous hater’s attack by dint of my kung-fu training” would by themselves have made sense given what occurred (one more than the other, of course).

    Both, not-so-much.

    Where is the empathy?

    You empathise, fine. Me, I lack any empathy for that particular specimen, given what I know.

    (Because I figure if my wife did that to me, I would probably deserve it)

  107. John Morales says

    Zibble:

    “What’s the importance of technological familiarity?” asks the generation that has to call us to help them open Powerpoint.

    Stereotyping FTW, eh? Also, is that a purported quotation or is is your paraphrase of what you understand is being questioned?

    (I suspect I know what it is)

    Also, meh. You do realise your generation was taught by my generation (or its ancestors) in the first place, no? The higher expertise is not at the lower level, though its incidence may be so.

  108. logicalcat says

    Fuck you John Morales. The language you use is so dehumanizing to what is essentially the victim of extreme domestic violence. Back in the days when misogynist ass-hats used to troll these forums comments like yours, and all lot of people’s on here-would be banned.

    (Because I figure if my wife did that to me, I would probably deserve it)

    Victim blaming now? I was physically abused as a child by an older sister, and while I know domestic violence is a serious women’s issue, when it comes to male victims nobody treats that shit seriously. This kind of bullshit is the reason why I never went to the police about my abuse, because motherfuckers like y’all kept me ashamed. Thanks for perpetuating that harmful stereotype asshole.

    Also you, none of you, get to dictate how abuse victims deal with trauma.

  109. Porivil Sorrens says

    @119
    Indeed, my generation was presumably taught by yours. Said schooling involved an inordinate amount of “Can anyone from the class help me figure out how “The Email” works?” and such things.

    Insofar as that absurd argument that the assault is somehow proof that he deserved it – go fuck yourself. I was physically abused by my previous partners, to the point of having several teeth of mine knocked out by him. Are you going to assume that they had good reason to do so?

  110. John Morales says

    logicalcat:

    Fuck you John Morales. The language you use is so dehumanizing to what is essentially the victim of extreme domestic violence.

    Really. In what way do you imagine I have dehumanised the victim of the physical assault?

    Victim blaming now?

    No, just judgemental. As you are.

    (But fine, just consider the event, not its antecedents)

    I was physically abused as a child by an older sister, and while I know domestic violence is a serious women’s issue, when it comes to male victims nobody treats that shit seriously.

    So? Both people involved here are adults; also whatever makes you imagine I don’t take it seriously?

    The thrust of my comments is that she clearly felt provoked, whether or not that provocation was actual, and that the victim of the physical attack then boasted of his purported puissance after the fact that his begging and his assaulter’s mercy and aid succeeded.

    (Or, I go by the entire narrative, not just the outcome of it)

    This kind of bullshit is the reason why I never went to the police about my abuse, because motherfuckers like y’all kept me ashamed.

    WTF? I’m not in any way, shape or form excusing the assailant’s actions, but noting it was the assailant who went to the police. I take it your own abuser did not do so.

    I here explicitly advocate for any assault victims to seek whatever justice they may find, whether through official channels or otherwise.

    (I do)

    Also you, none of you, get to dictate how abuse victims deal with trauma.

    (sigh)

    I’m not dictating anything, I’m quoting the victim and interpreting the situation as given.

    Here: I am firmly of the opinion and explicitly advocate that victims should deal with trauma as they see fit. They have agency, and should exercise it.

  111. John Morales says

    Porivil:

    Indeed, my generation was presumably taught by yours.

    And furthermore, it was not your generation actually wrote the software you’re proud to be able to use sufficiently well. Until it is, whenceupon the newer generation will share a similar relationship to yours. ;)

    Insofar as that absurd argument that the assault is somehow proof that he deserved it – go fuck yourself.

    Whatever makes you imagine that’s the sentiment I am expressing, nevermind that I supposedly argue on its behalf?

    No. What I’m suggesting (aside from the incontrovertible after-the-fact smugness) is that it was probably not without reason. That something may be explainable doesn’t entail that it is justifiable.

    I was physically abused by my previous partners, to the point of having several teeth of mine knocked out by him. Are you going to assume that they had good reason to do so?

    Who said anything about good reason? Also, people are such that they may do stuff without any provocation, whether what they do is justified or not. It may have been so in this case.

    Basically, I’m noting that this is unlikely to be a random victim (other virtues of this victim aside).

  112. Porivil Sorrens says

    @123

    Whatever makes you imagine that’s the sentiment I am expressing, nevermind that I supposedly argue on its behalf?

    Uh, your literal words, on the matter?

    Even if it’s not what you intended, you have to admit “I don’t feel any empathy towards this person because I figure that if I was mutilated at night with a samurai sword by my significant other, I would have done to deserve it” is a pretty fucking inflammatory way to put it.

  113. chigau (違う) says

    in keeping with current practice
    @123
    whenceupon
    like, thats a word!?
    r u a moran?

  114. John Morales says

    Porivil:

    Whatever makes you imagine that’s the sentiment I am expressing, nevermind that I supposedly argue on its behalf?

    Uh, your literal words, on the matter?

    Uh, eh? Right.

    Care to quote my “literal words” to which you spuriously appeal, and show how that’s not just the sentiment I express, but for which I argue?

    … you have to admit “I don’t feel any empathy towards this person because I figure that if I was mutilated at night with a samurai sword by my significant other, I would have done to deserve it” is a pretty fucking inflammatory way to put it.

    Well, I suppose so, for those who are easily inflamed.

    But it was a simple declaratory statement.

    […] bI figure that if I was mutilated at night with a samurai sword by my significant other, I would have done to deserve it” is a pretty fucking inflammatory way to put it.

    There’s a bit packed there. Leaving aside that there was no mutilation (fingers were almost cut off, not severed, and successfully treated), you haven’t adduced the previous history of satisfying yourself at the expense of your SO, nor have you adduced braggadiccio about your puissance in the face of your SO’s enraged and unsuccessful murder attempt.

    (You want to make hypothetical analogies, at least match the situations!)

    chigau,

    @123
    whenceupon
    like, thats a word!?

    Either it’s a word or its a neologism and therefore a word. So, yes, it;s a word.

    I admit ‘whence’ would have sufficed. I like curlicues, sometimes.

  115. Porivil Sorrens says

    @127
    “Nearly” having one’s fingers removed necessarily involves a great degree of tissue damage – more than enough for me to count it as mutilation. Perhaps not permanent mutilation, but i’m not really interested in semantics over how fucked up his hand was by a midnight attack by a katana.

    The idea that his large amount of time spent playing videogames or his vaguely smug remarks after the fact somehow make him anything less than a victim of a vicious assault by a deranged individual is absurd. Even if he was spending literally every hour of the day either playing games or cheating on her, it wouldn’t make her attack anything but vicious abuse and assault.

  116. John Morales says

    Porivil:

    “Nearly” having one’s fingers removed necessarily involves a great degree of tissue damage – more than enough for me to count it as mutilation. Perhaps not permanent mutilation, but i’m not really interested in semantics over how fucked up his hand was by a midnight attack by a katana.”

    Fine. By analogous reasoning, do you hold that “Nearly” dying counts as dying?

    (Perhaps not permanent dying, but if you’re consistent, you’re not interested in the semantics over ‘dying’ vs ‘nearly dying’ either. No diff, and using the former instead of the latter is excusable hyperbole)

    The idea that his large amount of time spent playing videogames or his vaguely smug remarks after the fact somehow make him anything less than a victim of a vicious assault by a deranged individual is absurd.

    I entirely concur. Yup. His victimhood is no lesser whether it was merited or not.

    But then, that has never been my claim. Or PZ’s)

    (Why do you keep flaming that straw dummy?)

    Even if he was spending literally every hour of the day either playing games or cheating on her, it wouldn’t make her attack anything but vicious abuse and assault.

    Assault, yes. Abuse, debatable — unless you hold ‘assault’ and ‘abuse’ to be synomyns, which your phrasing suggests is not the case.

  117. Porivil Sorrens says

    @129
    I’d certainly argue that nearly dying and dying are very similar states (and that one generally precedes the other), but I am indeed equally uninterested in the semantic distinction.

    Insofar as abuse vs assault – physical assault is one form of abuse (ie, physical abuse). It doesn’t matter if you’re attacking your partner with your fists or a fucking samurai sword – physical assault is a form of abuse, just like how sexual assault or verbal assault are also forms of abuse (ie, sexual/verbal abuse).

  118. John Morales says

    Porivil:

    … physical assault is a form of abuse …

    Fine. Whence then “vicious abuse and assault” rather than either “vicious abuse” or “vicious assault”?

    Multiple propositions as a conjunction are only needed when the propositions are not mutually-entailed.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re attacking your partner with your fists or a fucking samurai sword – physical assault is a form of abuse, just like how sexual assault or verbal assault are also forms of abuse (ie, sexual/verbal abuse).

    (sigh)

    Since you disdain semantic (about actual meaning) distinctions, all I can do is note what I have — that you are treating the terms as synomyms, yet using both.

    You might care to consider the functional difference to those with which someone interacts, both short and long-term, between dying and nearly dying to perhaps fathom that the semantic distinction is not pointless.

    I do like your passion, but I wish you were more rational about it.

  119. Porivil Sorrens says

    @131
    I was intending it as vicious (abuse and assault), not vicious abuse (and assault). I’m not really interested in the grammatical concern of how to properly use propositions here, given that this is a blog’s comment section and not a formal essay.

    I’m not treating the terms as synonyms at all. Abuse is a category of maltreatment, and assault is a thing in that category. Apple:Fruit::Physical Assault:Abuse.

    Given that you’ve done nothing but vociferously argue for your lack of empathy for an abuse victim and argue semantics, I’m just going to conclude with “Eat my ass and have a nice day”, and take a sabbatical from this thread.

  120. chigau (違う) says

    Porivil Sorrens
    Have you noticed that you address people as a number?
    and the people who address you, call you by name?

  121. John Morales says

    Porivil:

    Abuse is a category of maltreatment, and assault is a thing in that category.

    You’d do well to study logic. That all A are B does not entail that all B are A.

    I’m not really interested in the grammatical concern of how to properly use propositions here, given that this is a blog’s comment section and not a formal essay.

    It was not grammar about which you quibbled, and it’s not grammar about which I school you. It’s about semantics — and you raised the issue, not I.

    I’m not treating the terms as synonyms at all.

    Which is why I wrote “unless you hold ‘assault’ and ‘abuse’ to be synomyns, which your phrasing suggests is not the case” and “Multiple propositions as a conjunction are only needed when the propositions are not mutually-entailed.”

    (Did you imagine you were disputing me thus, rather than endorsing me?)

    Apple:Fruit::Physical Assault:Abuse.

    Oh dear.

    But sure; not all fruits are apples, and analogically not all abuse is assault.

    (Interesting how many of your retorts are claims with which I concur! ;) )

    Given that you’ve done nothing but vociferously argue for your lack of empathy for an abuse victim and argue semantics, I’m just going to conclude with “Eat my ass and have a nice day”, and take a sabbatical from this thread.

    Interesting.

    Personally, I think I’ve done more that merely “vociferously argue for [my] lack of empathy for an abuse victim”; but I do note you equally seem to have a lack of empathy for the perpetrator.

    (FWIW, I am male (not just cis), close-enough to “white”, and was born in 1960. And I have a not-inconsiderable rating on Steam as an player (duly earned) — i.e. I too am a gamer, and closer in many ways to the victim than to the perpetrator)

    Anyway. We’ll see how credible your thread sabbatical claim is, soon enough.

    * Neologism ahoy!

  122. DLC says

    PZ’s apology noted and appreciated. Personally, I read an article on this and found the victim’s comments a bit absurd, but I think he was trying to rationalize why he was still alive, and forgetting the fact that his big “wing chun” defense was getting the woman in a bear hug and then begging for mercy. Subconsciously he doesn’t like the look of that, and so he’s trying to rationalize, and beginning to resolve his cognitive dissonance in his favor. I’m sure that by the end of the month he’ll have rewritten the story to make it look like he held off a super-ninja with his bare hands and pure essence. He’s willing to drink the Flavor Aid of confabulation, but not the fluoridated water of truth.
    Oh, and a brief comment on swordplay : many people have the mistaken belief that all one need do to kill with a sword is start in swinging like Babe Ruth. But the truth is, considerable skill is required to successfully swing an edged weapon. For those wishing to murder without guns, I suggest the good old fashioned Louisville slugger.

  123. Rob Grigjanis says

    kupo @114: Thanks for taking the time to provide the links.

    chigau @133: I’ll only use number alone for someone who persists in doing that to me. It isn’t best practice; too easy to mix numbers up. But if someone can’t be bothered to use my name, I don’t feel inclined to use theirs.

  124. says

    By far the most disgusting human beings on planet earth are people who listen to PZ myers.

    This post proves it.

    You people can save yourselves and become better people. Leave this website.

  125. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @138
    The most disgusting?

    More than neo-nazis?

    More than child molesters?

    More than right-wingers?

  126. logicalcat says

    @John Morales. There is no way to say what you have said and not imply victim blaming. You don’t get to pretend its not. The sentence “If my wife did that I probably deserved it” followed by “…she clearly felt provoked”. If you didn’t imply victim blaming, then don’t say victim blaming shit.

    Also do I have to be the one to point out that if the genders were reversed we wouldn’t see this kind of shit happening here? If the genders were reversed we wouldn’t see the level of scrutiny and wild assertions put upon the words of a survivor of domestic violence, like some of you are doing. Ive seen the pharyngula horde get riled up for lesser.

    If I survived an attack with a sword, I’d respond in exactly the same way. Almost dieing is scary. Humor is a great coping mechanism that may not be for everyone, but it works well for those that do. And its pretty damn clear that his statement is not something he actually believes. At least it is for those of us who are trying to empathize with the guy instead of reading into a joke made after surviving abuse as some kind of statement to how he views the actual events which happened. Again, wild levels of bullshit. Even coming from those who at least acknowledge that he is a victim and PZ’s joke was in poor taste. I mean for fucks sake the statement “Ive been preparing my whole life for this” should have been a dead giveaway. Instead a lot of people are assuming he is constructing this whole fantastic narrative filled with cognitive dissonance to make himself look more heroic, when no one here has any way of actually knowing that.

    I wont return to this thread. Thank you PZ at least for apologizing, but that alone doesn’t address the level of hypocrisy I see evident in your original post, and on some of the commenters here. Even the ones who are trying to be sympathetic to the victim.

  127. logicalcat says

    I posted that last comment before I realized John Morales said this:
    Personally, I think I’ve done more that merely “vociferously argue for [my] lack of empathy for an abuse victim”; but I do note you equally seem to have a lack of empathy for the perpetrator.

    Yea, you are garbage. I didn’t know you could ‘both sides’ attempted murder.