How to deal with a Shermer attack


It could happen at any time. People are still inviting Shermer to give talks at various events, despite his sordid history. He could suddenly show up on your campus! Do not fear, however. One thing we know about the Shermer is that he’s toothless. He’ll bluster and threaten, but he’ll back down, just as he did in his threats to Santa Barbara City College and their campus newspaper, The Channels.

Following threats to pursue legal action against The Channels, Professor Raeanne Napoleon, and City College as a whole, Dr. Michael Shermer announced in an email Saturday that he was dropping his case.

Although we have an excellent case that I was defamed, it is not worth the time and cost pursuing legal recourse for what is (hopefully) an inconsequential incident, Shermer wrote in his final letter regarding the matter. The letter was circulated on campus email by instructor Mark McIntire.

This is what he always does. He tries to silence people who mention the ugly things he has done with legal intimidation, and when that doesn’t work, he wilts. So don’t let it work! Stand strong!

His threats are empty. The Channels did stand strong.

The Channels maintained its position that the article was not libelous, and again decided to ignore the request to remove it from the website. The editors agreed at this point, however, to postpone publishing any more articles related to Shermer.

“It seemed apparent that there was no case of libel here,” said Aidan Anderson, the Editor-in-Chief of The Channels. “Because of that, we didn’t feel it was necessary to respond to the letter at all, let alone fulfill the demands.”

On April 4, Shermer sent a second Cease and Desist to Wallace and Beebe, listing the same demands, but with an extended deadline of 5 p.m. April 12. This time, Anderson responded to the lawyer via email on behalf of Wallace and The Channels.

He wrote that The Channels would not take down the article, and instead invited Shermer to submit a Letter to the Editor. In that letter—which The Channels would publish—Shermer could outline his objections with the article. Shermer never responded.

I guess Shermer’s lawyer agreed. I suspect Shermer’s lawyer has a stack of form letters at hand, ready to go, whenever he gets a phone call: “Who are you mad at today, Michael?”

But also notice that his complaints were effective: “The editors agreed at this point, however, to postpone publishing any more articles related to Shermer.” That’s exactly what he wanted, and he got it.

You should read Shermer’s surrender. It’s pitiful. One of his major complaints is that it was stated that he was investigated by the police, and he quotes his accuser to show…that that was…NOT true?

The newspaper did not fact check the claims nor did they even offer me a chance to respond. That was bad enough, but Napoleon did not simply repeat lies told about me in these blogs, she added a new one:

Although the police did not bring formal charges against him, there have been many witnesses that have publicly corroborated the stories of the victims.

What police? Where? When? Never in my life have I been investigated by the police—or any law enforcement agency—for anything anytime anywhere.

You will not be surprised at his other defense. It was Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has a solid news division that is quite distinct from their goofy listicles and quizzes section — I think we can guess which one brings in more ad revenue — so it has become de rigeur for the pseudoskeptics to dismiss any uncomfortable facts that the news division brings up by pretending it’s just another bit of clickbait. Read critically, people.

Fact Checking. That’s all it takes to debunk Alternative Facts and Fake News like this, which is why the way The Channels newspaper handled this issue is so inexcusable. There is a reason why no newspaper or print publication or journalistic source of any repute has ever published anything about the allegations against me: they fact check. The author of the BuzzFeed article that launched this whole affair four years ago is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. There’s a reason he ended up publishing it on a click-bait site that features such articles as “Butt Facts That Will Surprise You” and “Can We Guess Your Favorite Sex Position?”

Yeah, and the Los Angeles Times still publishes horoscopes, and the New York Times publishes David Brooks (I’ll leave you to decide which is more appalling.)

There’s a reason why I am still a professor at Chapman University, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular public speaker at colleges and universities around the country, and my books are published by one of the most respectable book publishers in the world: they fact checked the allegations against me and dismissed them. Social justice activists whose priorities veer far from the truth-value of claims and allegations have actively tried to get me fired and failed. Why? Fact checking.

That is incorrect. Before I posted any accusations against him, the first thing I did was check the facts — they’re pretty much unassailable. Multiple women stepped forward to complain about his creepy behavior. The reason is not fact checking at all, it’s more like fact ignoring that permits him to get away with it. There are two real reasons he still gets that positive attention:

  1. His chosen domain is the skeptic movement, which you may have noticed has a sexual assault and harassment problem. Major figures in that movement have a history of turning a blind eye to harassment problems. This is the kind of response he gets from skeptic leaders:

    “Shermer has been a bad boy on occasion — I do know that,” Randi told me. “I have told him that if I get many more complaints from people I have reason to believe, that I am going to have to limit his attendance at the conference.

    “His reply,” Randi continued, “is he had a bit too much to drink and he doesn’t remember. I don’t know — I’ve never been drunk in my life. It’s an unfortunate thing … I haven’t seen him doing that. But I get the word from people in the organization that he has to be under better control. If he had gotten violent, I’d have him out of there immediately. I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.”

    He only misbehaves himself with women. Well, that’s alright then!

  2. The other reason, the biggest reason, is that he is goddamned litigious. He is litigious as fuck. If you listen to his accusers, he will cheerfully sic a lawyer on you.

I just want you all to know that the power of #1 is fading, as more of these enablers in the movement find themselves out of power. And he’s effectively weakening his main tool, #2, because he threatens but backs down. He has to back down, because if he followed through he’d find himself exposed in the court of public opinion.

Comments

  1. says

    “His reply,” Randi continued, “is he had a bit too much to drink and he doesn’t remember. I don’t know — I’ve never been drunk in my life.

    Then, ‘Way to Skeptic, Randi.” Because if you had, you’d know that it can be hard to fuck when you’re so drunk you can’t remember, and you do remember waking up on the bathroom floor, or wherever, wondering “what happened last night?”
    Randi’s skeptical abilities are not really so good, are they?

  2. wcorvi says

    Actually, the story was very well written, and not libelous. It says, “Although the police did not bring formal charges against him, ….” This is true, they didn’t. They may never have been called, but that is irrelevant – the story doesn’t claim they were.
    If an article says, “She says, ‘blah….’ ” it isn’t libel as long as she said it. If they say, “blah….” and it isn’t true, then it’s libel.

  3. says

    It would be interesting to fact check Shermer’s own claims. Did Sciam and Chapman University really fact-check and dismiss the allegations against Shermer? Or did they just dismiss?

  4. EigenSprocketUK says

    Wcorvi (#4): unfortunately here in the UK repeating someone else’s libel/slander is too often still a defamation. This is part of why the UK is the libel tourism destination of choice for the whole world.

  5. raven says

    Speaking of creepy trolls with lawyers, how is the Richard Carrier lawsuit progressing?
    1. I even have a (small) stake in the game, having donated to the FTB legal defense fund.
    2. If Richard Carrier was smart (he isn’t) he would just drop his lawsuit. It’s a SLAPP suit he won’t win. And, everyone is famous and infamous on the internet for 15 minutes. He would have been soon forgotten in favor of newer creeps like Jordon Peterson, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Lawrence Kraus, and just about every fundie xian and GOP leader there is.
    This is apparently the Golden Era of malevolent creeps.

    3. Hmmm, I just called Richard Carrier a creepy troll and dumb. I guess I can expect a lawsuit from him any century now. Richard, file it in federal court. I’m not in Ohio but I do live in an anti-SLAPP suit state.

  6. whheydt says

    I suspect that Shermer’s lawyer told him to drop the suit because, if it proceeded, he’d be support to sitting for a deposition and a great deal of his “dirty laundry” would come out, plus there are decent odds that he might perjure himself. If the case ever went to trial, as a civil suit, he could be compelled to testify. So, all in all, actually following up might be the worst thing he could possibly do.

  7. says

    #8: It’s creeping along. We got a timetable a while back; I think the next judge’s decision on some small point is in May.

    Our lawyer did depose Carrier last month, I think it was. It was one of those things where he was asked lots of questions as the lawyer probed, but nothing happens until a later date when, possibly, his own words get thrown back in his face.

    Lawsuits are remarkably deficient in drama, and they drag on for a ridiculously long time.

  8. says

    whheydt
    That’s why I think Shermer will never actually sue. He creates a chilly climate by sending those cease and desist letters. After all, people will think twice whether it is really worth for them to subject themselves to this.
    But in an actual court case he’d have to put up or shut up and his lawyer has probably told him that his chances are quite asmall, at which point the cease and desist letter spiel would be over.

  9. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.

    If that’s what you do when you’re drunk, perhaps you shouldn’t get drunk.

  10. blf says

    Randi’s skeptical abilities are not really so good, are they?

    Uri Geller, James Hydrick, Peter Popoff, and numerous others should be asked. Which does not mean Randi (or the JREF) is infallible.

  11. screechymonkey says

    It seems to me that Shermer benefits from being a big fish in the small pond of organized skepticism. In that world, he’s considered a big enough name that apparently it’s just unthinkable to leave him out of your conference (even though I heard many people complain about his boring shitty presentations long before the misconduct allegations became broadly known). And of course, he’s also got relationships with most of the other big names and/or heads of the major organizations.

    Yet in the broader world, he’s not particularly famous. Ask the average person who Michael Shermer is and you’ll draw a blank stare. He’s not quite at the level of fame of even a Lawrence Krauss, and so major publications aren’t particularly interested in writing stories about Shermer, except maybe as part of a broader “controversy in the skeptical community” piece. And so Shermer’s shittiness mainly gets discussed by bloggers and podcasters and student newspapers — people who he can hope to bully in a way that he probably wouldn’t even bother trying with a major media outlet. (It’s gratifying to see that even some of these “smaller fish” are standing up to him, too.)

    On a separate note, I will forever remain puzzled by the fact that the main defense of Shermer seems to be “sure, he plies women with alcohol to get them drunk enough to have sex with him, but he doesn’t quite incapacitate them to the point of it technically being rape.” I mean, even if I grant that premise — and ignoring all the many other allegations of groping and harassment — is this still someone you want coming to your conferences, “interacting” with guest and donors and fellow speakers? I’m old enough to remember when “date rape” was this new-fangled term, but even then, we knew it was profoundly immoral to “take advantage” of a woman too drunk to really know what she’s doing; both women and men would keep an eye out at parties and bars for that kind of thing and intervene if necessary. Is his brand of warmed-over evolutionary psychology filtered through a libertarian lens so valuable and rare that you can’t do without it, and can’t possibly find someone else to provide it?

  12. says

    blf@#14:
    As an officer of a company, he has fiduciary responsibility to protect it against expensive lawsuits. JREF may be a nonprofit but it has a considerable endowment that it risks losing if JREF is shown to be protecting a serial rapist. Randi already demonstrated his mismanagement skills during the DJ Grothe affair.

    I have communicated with one other JREF board member (back during the Grothe affair) and the one I swapped emails said he was comfortable with how it was being handled. So, there ya go. If the whole Shermer thing explodes, someone might be able to get Randi’s $1m, as a settlement.

    Randi may be good at spotting fellow magicians pulling tricks but he does not impress me as executive material.

    (I have not checked: is Randi still in any kind of oversight capacity at JREF?)

  13. snuffcurry says

    To answer the questions posed in your last paragraph, screechymonkey, you’d first have to establish that Shermer apologists care about rape and women’s physical autonomy, at least enough to do something about it or advocate action behind a sad shake of the head (“sure, it may immoral, but whaddyagonnado? Ruin this man’s life? Make me lift a finger?”). Do you think they do? I think they think they do, but only when the question is theoretical, involving hypothetical victims and abusers, or pertains to people they do not know causing countless waves of harmful consequences they themselves will never feel. As for criminal investigation, I’d hazard a guess that most of these people define consent as anything other than fighting off an attack to the extent that your attacker is liable to beat you to a pulp or death or both. Everything else is a natural consequence of the victim being a mere [marginalized category], to whom these things happen now and again and it’s very sad, but, again, what can you do? Sex is violent sometimes. Women shouldn’t be alone with men unless they’re willing to risk that violence.

    Randi more or less expressed that when he described his threshold for action, which was “many more complaints” by people he had “reason to believe.” The fucking spineless, loathsome toady. I wish these people would just come out and say Bitches Be Lying and have done with this insultingly arrogant little ruse.

    His chosen domain is the skeptic movement, which you may have noticed has a sexual assault and harassment problem.

    Well, it also has a Woman Problem (“feminism is cancer”) and a social justice problem and a problem of clinging to the same bigotries as everyone else outside of skeptic circles because none of us are ever free from that conditioning, and sometimes the reaction is overtly hostile and sometimes it’s Randi-style disingenuous sea-lioning, where if he doesn’t actually see it happening he can handwave away sexual assault as “non-violent” because, after all, it only involves silly women and what else are they there for (in a community interested in Mostly Guy Things) but to be badgered into sex by them or their close male friends. It wouldn’t do for Randi to have to keep his promise of turning out an abuser from his midst — these men are his friends, plus his reputation might take a well-deserved knock if he was caught out rubbing shoulders with well-known rapists — so the only solution is to pretend none of it is happening and to shift the goal-posts as needed, plus express some obligatory sadness but only direct to it the villain and not his victims (whose existence he carefully skirts around acknowledging, even while managing to suggest they are divisive witches whose word he would never vouch for).

    Major figures in that movement have a history of turning a blind eye to harassment problems.

    All sorts of harassment, too. TERFs and transphobes and race realists among them, plus who can forget She Who Is Not a Skepchick But Definitely a Bully Herself? The only harassment that actuates their gag reflex is the ‘harassment’ of abusers by an audience sick of having to see their stupid fucking faces and wary of ever having to interact with them. Their solution to that problem? Discourage pesky people like women from attending their shindigs. Rather than exclude the predators, they’d prefer their gatherings be as white and male and reactionary as possible. It’s a neat little gambit: thin out the SJWs and protect your pals by making sure the potential victims that do show up are isolated and made aware that no one is on their side should they start to act up or complain.

  14. snuffcurry says

    To answer the questions posed in your last paragraph, screechymonkey, you’d first have to establish that Shermer apologists care about rape and women’s physical autonomy, at least enough to do something about it or advocate action behind a sad shake of the head (“sure, it may immoral, but whaddyagonnado? Ruin this man’s life? Make me lift a finger?”). Do you think they do? I think they think they do, but only when the question is theoretical, involving hypothetical victims and abusers, or pertains to people they do not know causing countless waves of harmful consequences they themselves will never feel. As for criminal investigation, I’d hazard a guess that most of these people define consent as anything other than fighting off an attack to the extent that your attacker is liable to beat you to a pulp or death or both. Everything else is a natural consequence of the victim being a mere [marginalized category], to whom these things happen now and again and it’s very sad, but, again, what can you do? Sex is violent sometimes. Women shouldn’t be alone with men unless they’re willing to risk that violence.

    Randi more or less expressed that when he described his threshold for action, which was “many more complaints” by people he had “reason to believe.” The fucking spineless, loathsome toady. I wish these people would just come out and say B*tches Be Lying and have done with this insultingly arrogant little ruse.

    His chosen domain is the skeptic movement, which you may have noticed has a sexual assault and harassment problem.

    Well, it also has a Woman Problem (“feminism is cancer”) and a social justice problem and a problem of clinging to the same bigotries as everyone else outside of skeptic circles because none of us are ever free from that conditioning, and sometimes the reaction is overtly hostile and sometimes it’s Randi-style disingenuous sea-lioning, where if he doesn’t actually see it happening he can handwave away sexual assault as “non-violent” because, after all, it only involves silly women and what else are they there for (in a community interested in Mostly Guy Things) but to be badgered into sex by them or their close male friends. It wouldn’t do for Randi to have to keep his promise of turning out an abuser from his midst — these men are his friends, plus his reputation might take a well-deserved knock if he was caught out rubbing shoulders with well-known rapists — so the only solution is to pretend none of it is happening and to shift the goal-posts as needed, plus express some obligatory sadness but only direct to it the villain and not his victims (whose existence he carefully skirts around acknowledging, even while managing to suggest they are divisive witches whose word he would never vouch for).

    Major figures in that movement have a history of turning a blind eye to harassment problems.

    All sorts of harassment, too. TERFs and transphobes and race realists among them, plus who can forget She Who Is Not a Skepchick But Definitely a Bully Herself? The only harassment that actuates their gag reflex is the ‘harassment’ of abusers by an audience sick of having to see their stupid fucking faces and wary of ever having to interact with them. Their solution to that problem? Discourage pesky people like women from attending their shindigs. Rather than exclude the predators, they’d prefer their gatherings be as white and male and reactionary as possible. It’s a neat little gambit: thin out the SJWs and protect your pals by making sure the potential victims that do show up are isolated and made aware that no one is on their side should they start to act up or complain.

  15. microraptor says

    Marcus Ranum @17: A quick and dirty search says that JR’s still listed as the Chairman of the Board and Acting President of the JREF.

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

    Remember, the Shermer is more afraid of you than you are of it.

    …not that this necessarily helps.

  17. markkernes says

    >>Yeah, and the Los Angeles Times still publishes horoscopes, and the New York Times publishes David Brooks (I’ll leave you to decide which is more appalling.)<<

    Wow! That's a REEEEEEALY tough one!

  18. blf says

    Randi may be good at spotting fellow magicians pulling tricks but he does not impress me as executive material.

    Which is not what you first accused him of (in @3), “Randi’s skeptical abilities are not really so good, are they?”

    Goalpost moving.

  19. billyjoe says

    Whatever you think of Michael Shermer’s tactics, they have worked.

    The professor said that he has being using Shermer’s books for ten years in his course and had never heard of these accusations. Likewise for the other person involved in inviting him to speak. And the newspaper, while not retracting the article, have agreed not to publish anything about him again.

    He doesn’t need to spend time and money on a legal case. He just needs to threaten to do so. I don’t think he ever intended to take them to court. Who wants to be tied up for years of legal manoeuvering? So the newspaper had a minor victory in not taking down their article, but Michael Shermer has made them promise not to write about him again.

    One thing is for sure, no one is ever going to take him to court over an accusation of rape. Least of all the alleged victim who has actually withdrawn the charge or, at least, said that she regretted calling it rape. And, another thing for sure is that we are never going to find out what actually happened. Certainly something [add your own adjective depending on your own bias] happened. What exactly that was we’ll never know.

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

    One thing is for sure, no one is ever going to take him to court over an accusation of rape. Least of all the alleged victim who has actually withdrawn the charge or, at least, said that she regretted calling it rape.

    Under the threat of being bankrupted by a SLAPP suit, you dishonest piece of shit.

  21. billyjoe says

    Azkyroth,

    Who’s being dishonest here?

    Do you have any evidence that she has been threatened with bankruptcy by a SLAPP suit and only then said she regretted calling it rape?
    It sounds to me she did this of her own accord in response to the feedback she got regarding her initial accusation.

    If she had to do it over again, Smith said, she would not use the word “rape” because “that seems to get people’s backs up immediately. If people prefer to use the term ‘creep,’ that’s fine.

    (You can find this by clicking on PZ Myers link, then clicking on “article” and then on “allegation” and it’s towards the end of that very long buzzfeed artcicle written four years ago)

  22. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #23
    Whatever you think of Michael Shermer’s tactics, they have worked.
    DIAF

  23. says

    @billyjoe
    Apparently you find it acceptable that some people need to avoid the word rape because other’s hearing it get overly defensive.

    Did you notice the following bit where they implied that they would use the word rape in courtroom testimony? They are literally dumbing things down for people with childish sensitivity to the word rape.

    You read the words and don’t comprehend anything. I have even less respect for you.

  24. says

    That’s such a profoundly shitty thing to have to do. Avoid the word rape, that they believe fits, because of their personal political situation. I respect what Smith did because they know their needs better than I do. But it’s fucked up and says awful things about the skeptic/atheist communities and the broader culture. It makes me more determined resist and oppose such sensitivity.

  25. billyjoe says

    Brony,

    My feelings about that incident has bounced back and forth.

    After reading some articles and discussions on the internet, I’m convinced something serious must have happened. But then you see a photo posted by Alison Smith of her and Michael Shermer many years after the event:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140923115023/https://myspace.com/skeptical_analysis/photos

    And a copy of a text message sent by Alison Smith to Michael Shermer inviting him to a panel discussion after a talk she was giving on “Myths about Sex and Sexuality” in 2010 nearly 2 years after the incident:

    From: Subject: Date:
    To:
    Hi, Michael!
    Alison Smith
    Sex workshop?
    May 24, 2010 12:16:40 PM PDT Michael Shermer
    I’m working on some TAM things, including the workshop I’m running on Skepticism and Sexuality. The workshop takes place on Sunday from 2pm until 4pm. The first hour will be a lecture where I discuss myths about sex and sexuality. There will then be a short intermission, and at around 3pm, a panel discussion will begin. I’ll be moderating the discussion, and will hold a Q&A session between the panelists and the workshoppers.
    So far, the panel consists of:
    Liz Cornwell, sexologist
    Heidi Anderson, rape crisis counselor and author of erotic fiction Brandon Thorp, gay rights activist and researcher into reparative therapy
    I was wondering if you’d like to be the fourth panelist. I think that your knowledge of psychology would make you a great addition, and that you’ll bring interesting viewpoints into the discussion.
    Will you still be in Vegas at that time? And would you like to participate? (Please say yes!! ;))
    Thanks so much! — Alison

    And then her regret regarding using the word “rape”.

    I can’t find anywhere where this photo and email have been debunked, or where she has reversed her description of the incident back to “rape”. What on Earth can you make of all that? My tendency is to reserve judgement until I see evidence that convinces me otherwise. What else can you do?

  26. billyjoe says

    Chigau,

    Pretty funny hey?

    Reminds me of a medical intern working in the A&E department of a local hospital who attended a patient who had just attempted suicide, and had done so quite a few times previously. The intern told his patient how to do it properly. He even recorded his advice in the patients history. The patient came back in a body bag a few days later.

    So maybe I’ll leave a link to your comment in my suicide note.
    A can of petrol. A match. Whoosh.
    Should make you feel real good hey?

    :D
    (thought I’d better add a smily just in case)

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

    @billyjoe:
    Do you seriously think that an e-mail from 2 years later is evidence of what happened that night?

    WTF?

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

    @Azky:

    Remember, the Shermer is more afraid of you than you are of it.

    This made my day.

  29. John Morales says

    CD, presumably, BJ is cunningly chiding chigau for the deathwish, and suggesting she would feel bad BJ self-immolated and blamed it on her comment. And a jape about suicide obviously merits a smiley to ensure it’s seen as such.

    (Because it would be stupid to imagine BJ so transparently seeks to push buttons, right? :) )

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

    For everyone except Billyjoe:

    …am I possibly thinking of a different litigious atheist celeb who was credibly accused of sexual assault?

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

    But then you see a photo posted by Alison Smith of her and Michael Shermer many years after the event:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140923115023/https://myspace.com/skeptical_analysis/photos

    And a copy of a text message sent by Alison Smith to Michael Shermer inviting him to a panel discussion after a talk she was giving on “Myths about Sex and Sexuality” in 2010 nearly 2 years after the incident:

    You cannot possibly legitimately be this naive.

    See also

  32. Saad says

    billyjoe, #30

    Your post gives the impression that you think rape is only when it’s a stranger in a mask attacking a woman in a dark alley.

  33. says

    I’m going to mention a few things for the criticism sensitive that I hope will help in a general sense. This has been in the back of my mind for a bit and this seemed a good time and place for it.

    When the schism over social justice issues occurred around 2011 I learned something about atheists/skeptics. We could dish it out but we couldn’t take it when it came to criticism in general and specifically in the form of in-group criticism on bigotry related issues. It feels like betrayal among other things. The inability to use and endure in-group criticism is a major problem in every way of grouping human beings that I have encountered and induces lots of motivated reasoning.

    Pharyngula is a place where you will get that sort of criticism. Learning to handle it and gain information in spite of it is a powerful thing. It’s hard. It hurts. But it’s worth it. I give my parents the same criticism I give here. We can be like a virus in the network if we can do this more broadly. Imagine the contrast between religious groups and atheists/skeptics that can fix their in-group problems and contribute to solving things like sexual abuse. Imagine us being better role-moldels and what that would force them to do to keep relevant.

    I’m also not saying that positive approaches are wrong, nor do I think anyone in particular should do a positive or negative approach (in fact the Tourette’s Syndrome seems to provide advantages with a negative approach, but the resulting “religion”/social rules OCD does complicate matters and frankly makes sense). Both approaches can be done badly and well and humanity needs the whole toolkit.

    @billyjoe
    Not all of the above has to do with you. I’ve just been thinking about how I try to keep my criticism as relevant and fair as it is intense and pointed.

    To answer your #30 if you peruse articles by people speaking out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault you will see many related patterns. It is not uncommon for them to have to work with their abusers for years even. Some because they needed the money, some because they would not let the situation drive them from what they want to do despite the disbelief of others.
    Still others have internalized society’s messages and buried what happened under denial and rationalization and speak of difficulty calling their experience harassment, assault, or rape (some of Bill Cosby’s accusers have this story and say that metoo helped them).

    As for Smith’s use of the word, the article’s implication is that her choice to avoid it was under duress. Even if they haven’t publicly used the word rape again the fact that they wanted to matters. I would not put pressure on them either way because then I would be another guy pressuring them on their language choice.

    As for what I can do, I apply social pressure so that people like Alison Smith can discuss their experiences without all the horrible pressure that they had to endure and be taken seriously. The same misogynistic bullshit happened to former FTB bloggers Stephanie Svan, Greta Christina, Ophelia Benson and more. Next to them and members of the commentariat who were specifically targeted for abuse I’m a rank amateur at dealing with such negative criticism.

  34. says

    Do you have any evidence that she has been threatened with bankruptcy by a SLAPP suit and only then said she regretted calling it rape?

    Isn’t that exactly what you were implying when you said Shermer’s tactics worked?

  35. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    Do you seriously think that an e-mail from 2 years later is evidence of what happened that night?

    Of course it is “evidence”.
    How can it not be “evidence”?

    I’m personally trying to assess what likely “happened that night”. And this is how I make that assessment. Before I read that email, I had a certainly probability in my head about what likely “happened that night”. The probability in my head was pretty high that something unsavory happened to Alison Smith at the hands of Michael Shermer. After I read that email that probability dropped a bit. How could it not? If I was later shown evidence that the email was fake, then the probability goes back to where it was before I saw the email.

    I know it sounds cold, but how more likely is an emotional reaction is true

  36. billyjoe says

    John Morales,

    CD, presumably, BJ is cunningly chiding chigau for the deathwish, and suggesting she would feel bad BJ self-immolated and blamed it on her comment. And a jape about suicide obviously merits a smiley to ensure it’s seen as such.

    I could have been harsher on chigau for wishing for me to die in a fire (can’t imagine a more horrible death!), because people have suicided as a result of Internet harassment. But, of course, I know chigau is not serious (or, at least, I assume so), and I know he knows enough about me from interactions on this blog to know that I am not the sort of person who would be the least bit affected by anything said to me on this blog.

    But, the smily was a joke in itself, because I don’t really believe chigau would take me seriously. But, just in case, I thought I would eliminate any chance that he would lose a good night’s sleep over this. :D

  37. billyjoe says

    Azkyroth,

    I am talking specifically about that incident between Alison Smith and Michael Shermer. I already understand the lessons contained in both your references. These things are generally true. But the likelihood is not a hundred percent. And you cannot apply statistics to an individual case. It is called “The Fallacy of Division”. You can say that in general these things are true, but you cannot apply that to the individual person. At the very least it’s something you keep in the back of your mind, not front and centre when you are considering the guilt or innocence of a particular person.

  38. billyjoe says

    Saad,

    Your post gives the impression that you think rape is only when it’s a stranger in a mask attacking a woman in a dark alley.

    I am sorry my post gave you that impression, but I have no idea how it could have given you that impression. And, to be totally clear, your impression is false.

  39. billyjoe says

    LykeX,

    Isn’t that exactly what you were implying when you said Shermer’s tactics worked?

    No.

  40. billyjoe says

    Brony.

    Thanks for your response. To be honest I barely see the negativity anymore. I just come to expect it, and then try to see past it to anything useful the commenter might be saying. In other words, I try to extricate the positive out of the negative. However, your most recent comment certainly works better for not having to expend the energy to do this.

    I agree with you about “intense and pointed” commentary, I’ve often learnt a lot from that. But I think, in general, abusive comentary is counter-productive. I got a lot more out of your most recent comment than all the other comments here combined.

  41. billyjoe says

    LykeX,

    Someone implied he did to Alison Smith what he did in the case of the The Channels newspaper.. I was asking for evidence that he did this to Alison Smith.

    As I said, go back and read the exchange.

  42. chigau (違う) says

    LykeX
    You spoiled billyjoe’s clean sweep of the “Recent Comments”?
    *tsk*

  43. Porivil Sorrens says

    Eh, just let enough people shittalk Sam Harris or Nazis and it’ll happen again.

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

    Azkyroth,

    I am talking specifically about that incident between Alison Smith and Michael Shermer. I already understand the lessons contained in both your references. These things are generally true. But the likelihood is not a hundred percent. And you cannot apply statistics to an individual case. It is called “The Fallacy of Division”. You can say that in general these things are true, but you cannot apply that to the individual person. At the very least it’s something you keep in the back of your mind, not front and centre when you are considering the guilt or innocence of a particular person

    Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t murder and eat EVERYONE he came into contact with.

    By your logic you shouldn’t mind being alone with him for a while, if he were still around.

  45. billyjoe says

    Azkyroth,

    I see logic is not your strong point.

    By no stretch of the imagination have you have provided an example of “The Fallacy of Division”, which involves going from the general to the particular But, maybe, if we squint our eyes and screw up our faces, we might just be able to generously grant that you have managed to provide us with an example of “The Fallacy of Composition”.

    But not really. :(

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

    @billyjoe, #40:

    Crip Dyke,

    Do you seriously think that an e-mail from 2 years later is evidence of what happened that night?

    Of course it is “evidence”.
    How can it not be “evidence”?

    Regardless of your feelings, the e-mail doesn’t actually discuss what happened that night, nor does it [directly] give any evidence that either Smith or Shermer is more or less likely to lie about what happened that night.

    You say:

    I had a certainly probability in my head about what likely “happened that night”. … After I read that email that probability dropped a bit. How could it not?

    But your question, “How could it not?” must actually be answered the other way. How could it affect the probability?

    If I include a smiley in this comment, is the comment more or less likely to be evidence that I’m a space alien? Why or why not? What is the mechanism by which this e-mail allows you to predict the reliability of an allegation made about events many months before the e-mail was written?

    Do you have data showing that people who write e-mails with certain characteristics are more or less likely to lie about sexual harassment, aggression or violence? Did you do the analysis to show that the characteristics of that e-mail match those of e-mails known to correlate with greater or lesser honesty on topics of SHAV?

    If you don’t actually have any data, if you don’t have a model with correlations, then what you’re saying is that you have personal biases that were activated here. “How could it not?” Very simply: by declining to make a decision on one’s bias or intuition when data are absent. It can fail to be evidence in exactly the same way that finding out what Smith ate for breakfast this morning might fail to be evidence. It could fail to be evidence in exactly the same way that a professional phrenologist’s measurements of Shermer’s head for potential “rapist bumps” might fail to be evidence. It could fail to be evidence in exactly the same way that your horoscope saying, “Trust your intuition today,” was published on the same day you first read that Smith e-mail might fail to be evidence.

    Jesus fucking Mohammed on a fakir’s bed of nails, this isn’t hard: if something isn’t correlated with something, it’s not evidence of that thing. Did you even **attempt** to find correlations between any particular part of that e-mail and her allegations being (largely) true?

    How about this: Point me to a single peer-reviewed article published anywhere that discusses how e-mails many months after an event that do not discuss the event are correlated with facts about the event and you could **begin** to have a case that the assessment of probability should be affected – in which case this e-mail could be considered evidence.

    But even then, you’d have to show that the article’s model is applicable to cases of SHAV allegations and that the Smith e-mail actually, unambiguously contains the qualities the model uses to predict the reliability of the allegation.

    Up until that point, the e-mail simply isn’t evidence, and your willingness to treat it as if it were evidence, knowing that it says nothing about that night and (presumably) knowing that there’s no research that allows you to predict the reliability of a SHAV allegation from characteristics of e-mails written months later, all goes to show that you are simply indulging your biases while asserting that you have “evidence” in order to avoid admitting to others (and yourself?) that you’re not doing any critical or skeptical analytical work at all.

  47. call me mark says

    Yet another thread in which billyjoe bends over backwards to avoid calling RAPIST Michael Shermer a RAPIST?

    something unsavory happened to Alison Smith at the hands of Michael Shermer

    Hella dismissive

  48. Oggie. says

    Of course it is “evidence”.
    How can it not be “evidence”?

    Well, I, and other survivors have been told, again and again and again, that our memories, our lived experiences, our narratives describing what happened, are not testimony. So, basically, you are arguing that because the email may be read as exculpatory, it is to be believed, but what survivors say actually happened must be skepticalled to death.

    . . . something unsavory happened to Alison Smith at the hands of Michael Shermer . . .

    Something unsavoury happened to me at the hands of my cub scout leader. Well, actually it was rape, rape by proxy, and forced pornography when I was 8 – 10 years old, but I guess that “something unsavory” would also be a big enough fig leaf to cover my rapist.

  49. says

    World: Ladies, if your were raped or sexually assaulted, there’s a big chance you’ll still have to deal with that guy later. He’s very likely to be in a position of power over you. If you don’t want to deal with him, your career in whatever is basically dead. If you don’t play nice with him, your career is basically dead.

    billyjoe:

    I’m personally trying to assess what likely “happened that night”. And this is how I make that assessment. Before I read that email, I had a certainly probability in my head about what likely “happened that night”. The probability in my head was pretty high that something unsavory happened to Alison Smith at the hands of Michael Shermer. After I read that email that probability dropped a bit. How could it not?

    Is there any rape denial trope billyjoe is not willing to trade out?
    Of course, the mechanisms by which perpetrator intentionally create such a papertrail are well known (look up Matt Forney on We hunted the Mammoth), as are the pressures on victims to keep interacting with the perpetrators (see Weinstein).
    But none of this is important to billyjoe, as he has found a way to dismiss the victim.

  50. Saad says

    call me mark, #54

    Yet another thread in which billyjoe bends over backwards to avoid calling RAPIST Michael Shermer a RAPIST?

    something unsavory happened to Alison Smith at the hands of Michael Shermer

    “something unsavory”

    Wow.

    And then they wonder why they get called a rape apologist.

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

    So, billyjoe isn’t taking notice of the questions I posed on the nature of evidence.

    Once again, billyjoe, what methodology are you using to correlate aspects of that e-mail with the likelihood of Smith’s account being accurate?

    If you have no methodology, if there’s nothing in particular that correlates with increased or decreased confidence in the accuracy of Smith’s (or Shermer’s, I suppose) account, then

    **you don’t have evidence, you have a hunch**

    The terrible thing is that from your earlier question, “How could this not be evidence?” I think that there’s a strong likelihood that you don’t actually understand the difference.

  52. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    Regarding you use of the word “lying”:

    Granted both Michael Shermer’s and Alison White’s accounts can’t both be correct. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one of them is lying and one of them is telling the truth. The truth could be somewhere in between these two accounts. Maybe half way between. Maybe more towards one account or the other account, That also doesn’t mean both were lying (meaning deliberately lying), they could simply be mistaken, or have false memories of the incident, or responded differently to the incident, or had a mistaken view of the role of the other person, or had a mistaken view of how the incident affected the other person. Probably a combination of all these things.

    Regarding “evidence”:

    You seem to be talking about what might be called “meta-evidence”. You want to see evdience that a piece of evidence is actually evidence. You want me to provide evidence that sending an email of the sort Alison White sent to Michael Shermer, in their particular circumstances, and with respect to the relationships they had with each other, would be evidence about the truth or falsity of Alison White’s accusation that Michael Shermer raped her a couple of years before the email was sent.

    I really doubt such evidence exists. Or could exist.Or the reverse, that such an email has no bearing on the truth or falsity of such an accusation. However, I would predict that, if such a study were done, the conclusion would be in the form of a probability. The researchers would give a probability that such an email in such circumstances would affect the probability that the prior incident was consistent with rape. They would also have to define “rape” for the purposes of their study, and we would have to agree with their definition.

    Whatever, we are inevitably back to considering probabilities. I said that the probability that the incident was rape (not yet defined for our purposes) “dropped a bit” from my prior probability of “pretty high”. I did not actually say “rape”, but used the phrase “something unsavory”. But that “something unsavory” could be equivalent to “rape” depending on our definition. For some reason you deny that this has any bearing on the probability.

    And, while we are here, I might as well acknowledge that I do see “rape” in degrees. I think it is obtuse to deny that rape that occurs during a date is potentially less severe than a rape that occurs during an assault by a masked person during a house invasion. Granted the impact on a particular victim of date rape could be as bad, or worse than, the impact on a particular victim of house invasion rape by a masked assailant, it is still true that, potentially (all else being equal), the later is worse than the former.

    In the end, maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree. But I do find it strange that you would insist that the initially “pretty high” probability would not have dropped even “a bit”.

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

    By no stretch of the imagination have you have provided an example of “The Fallacy of Division”, which involves going from the general to the particular But, maybe, if we squint our eyes and screw up our faces, we might just be able to generously grant that you have managed to provide us with an example of “The Fallacy of Composition”.

    “Jeffrey Dahmer murdered a notable proportion of people who were alone with him” is a general statement. “Jeffrey Dahmer is sufficiently likely to murder me if I’m alone with him that I would very much prefer to avoid that is a particular statement.

    Or I could just say that your comment made the probability in my mind that you have the slightest fucking clue what you’re talking about drop a little bit.

  54. billyjoe says

    Mark,

    Mark: Yet another thread in which billyjoe bends over backwards to avoid calling RAPIST Michael Shermer a RAPIST?
    BJ: something unsavory happened to Alison Smith at the hands of Michael Shermer
    Mark: Hella dismissive

    I will not call Michael Shermer a rapist until he is charged and convicted of rape. Until then he is, by definition, an alleged rapist because, because someone has accused him of rape. That is the reasonable position.

    The next question is the probability that he did rape the accuser. That is what we should be talking about here. See my reply to Crip Dyke for my opinion and also for my reason to use the phrase “something unsavory”. Rape IS “somethings unsavory” after all, so it would be included in my use of that phrase without committing myself to a conclusion about which I could not possibly be certain.

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

    @billyjoe:

    First, I’ll concede that “in/accuracy” is better for our purposes than lying/telling the truth.

    But then you say:

    I really doubt such evidence exists. Or could exist.Or the reverse, that such an email has no bearing on the truth or falsity of such an accusation. However, I would predict that, if such a study were done, the conclusion would be in the form of a probability.

    Which is exactly what I expected. Note that we’re talking **evidence** not **proof**. No need for a smoking gun here, the question is simply: does the writing of that particular e-mail make us incrementally better able to judge the degree of accuracy of Smith’s account?

    In your own words:

    You want me to provide evidence that sending an email of the sort Alison White sent to Michael Shermer, in their particular circumstances, and with respect to the relationships they had with each other, would be evidence about the truth or falsity of Alison White’s accusation that Michael Shermer raped her a couple of years before the email was sent.

    I really doubt such evidence exists. Or could exist.

    If the e-mail doesn’t allow us to make more accurate predictions, then it is not evidence. Just like what I had for breakfast this morning does not correlate with the accuracy of Smith’s account, therefore what I had for breakfast is not evidence.

    If you can’t tell me how and why this e-mail affects our predictions of Smith’s account’s accuracy, then it’s not evidence, because there is no specific attribute of the e-mail that allows us to make a more accurate prediction than we could before reading it.

    There are lots of true things, there are even lots of true things about Shermer’s life and about Smith’s life. Not all of those things are actually evidence of the accuracy of Smith’s (or Shermer’s) account.

    Just because you have a hunch that if some sort of study was done, with a methodology you haven’t even begun to imagine, that some smart folks might come up with a way to use the e-mail to make statistically reliable refinements in our assessments of the competing accounts, does not mean that it is any kind of evidence before such studies are done, and your hunch isn’t even proof that *if* such studies were done that you would be right.

    The e-mail is not evidence.

  56. Tethys says

    Oh look, billyjoe is still a disgusting shitlord. It’s just oh so rational to assume the victim is lying in order to be “fair” and that rape is so much nicer if you go on a date first. *vomit*

  57. says

    @billyjoe

    will not call Michael Shermer a rapist until he is charged and convicted of rape. Until then he is, by definition, an alleged rapist because, because someone has accused him of rape. That is the reasonable position.

    Now that’s just BS because rapes can still have occurred despite nothing being investigated, brought to trial, or given a guilty verdict. That is in fact a result of a biased society that does not want to take rape seriously. So in a biased society, that stockpiles rape kits and neglects them as an example or ignores video evidence at steubenville, a skeptic should be prepared to look for evidence of rape despite a judge or jury finding a person innocent.

    Anything else ignores the reality around rape.

  58. billyjoe says

    Oggie,

    Well, I, and other survivors have been told, again and again and again, that our memories, our lived experiences, our narratives describing what happened, are not testimony.

    I think maybe they would have said something along the lines of it being unreliable testimony on account of it being uncorroborated, and that it would not stand up to scrutiny in a court of law. But there have been situations where such testimony has been pivotal in obtaining convictions. But usually it does require multiple victims with corroborating accounts. Unlike in society, and for better or worse, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It is meant to reduce the probability of incorrect convictions but inevitably means some guilty people go unpunished.

    So, basically, you are arguing that because the email may be read as exculpatory, it is to be believed, but what survivors say actually happened must be skepticalled to death

    I said my prior “high probability” dropped “a bit”. I don’t know what you mean by “skepticalled to death”, but I think we do need to be sceptical. I do “believe women” (who make accusations of rape) in the sense of taking what they say seriously and assuming, at least initially, that what they report is true but then giving due diligence by ensuring that what they say is true or likely to be true.

    Something unsavoury happened to me at the hands of my cub scout leader. Well, actually it was rape, rape by proxy, and forced pornography when I was 8 – 10 years old, but I guess that “something unsavory” would also be a big enough fig leaf to cover my rapist.

    I understand that you would call it a lot of things in addition to “something unsavoury”,and a lot worse. I didn’t mean to lessen your experience. I think your circumstances are in another league entirely than the particular incident I was discussing when I used that phrase.

  59. John Morales says

    BJ @52:

    Azkyroth,

    I see logic is not your strong point.

    By no stretch of the imagination have you have provided an example of “The Fallacy of Division”, which involves going from the general to the particular

    Odd that you imagine Azkyroth sought to provide you with an example of that fallacy, which wasn’t there in the first place. You conceded the point that was made, though, so there’s that.

    (or: you indulged in an mistaken fallacy fallacy to no avail)

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

    No slave owner ever raped a slave: was that slave owner convicted of felony rape in a court of law? By evidence that allowed the conclusion to be certain beyond a reasonable doubt? Do we have the paperwork?

    No?

    No slave masters were rapists then.

    Also?

    Granted the impact on a particular victim of date rape could be as bad, or worse than, the impact on a particular victim of house invasion rape by a masked assailant, it is still true that, potentially (all else being equal), the later is worse than the former.

    How is it possibly worse if everything is held equal save the masked-stranger-violating-you-vs-known-person-violating-you?

    All else is equal. Thus in terms of bad vs worse, they’re equal. It’s right there in your hypothetical. I honestly don’t know what you’re even trying to say unless it’s that you have an intuition that being violated physically after someone also violated your home is worse that being violated physically after also betraying an established sense of trust.

    And if that is what you’re trying to say, maybe don’t treat your hunches and intuitions as evidence, eh? Maybe you could actually read something written by an expert who has gone to the trouble to actually put together some sort of methodologically sound comparison of some aspects of the aftermath of rape-by-trusted-person to some aspects of the aftermath of rape-by-never-trusted-person.

    Because here’s the deal: Even if you, personally, have been raped both by a stranger and by someone you trusted, without some effort at critical thinking and questioning, collection of data from a sufficiently large group of people, and then a rational consideration of that data in light of your questions and other available facts, you simply can’t make the kinds of statements you’re making with any reliability at all.

    It’s your guess. It’s nothing more than that. You’re allowed to guess, just as anyone else may do so, but your continued attempts to camouflage your guesswork with weaselwords leads just 2 places: your statements can be so watered down they don’t mean anything at all (“you know, it’s maybe possible that, in certain contexts I won’t specify, things about these rapes I’ve put into separate categories would be different if they didn’t happen to be the same, and assuming they are different, I think it’s probably reasonably fair to say that category 2 is worse than category 1”) or in other places you include just enough phrases sounding more certain that the weasel words could be taken as pro forma exclusion of data outliers… but without any understanding of when and why you discard data as outlying, the apparent certainty about “most” such cases is not merely illusory, but downright misleading.

    The psychology of trauma is seriously complex. In my professional career I’ve spent 14 years doing what the anti-violence movement calls “peer counseling”. I’m not a psychologist, and my graduate work overlapped with graduate psychology courses only the tiniest amount (only 2 formal classes, though there was project-related work beyond that), but I spent over 300 hours a year listening to trauma survivors for a period of 6 years, and more than 100 hour per year for another 8. Without creating randomization procedures, I can’t call my observations “data”, and it would be wrong to use those to make specific estimates of frequencies of different responses, but I have more than enough time in observation to tell you that I couldn’t anticipate from screening questions what would affect a trauma survivor most or what any specific trauma survivor would need to speak about most often.

    Human psychology is messy, and your overconfidence is so unwarranted as to bring to mind the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  61. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    I don’t know why you keep mischaracterising what I say. I’ve been around here long enough for you to know where I stand. You should know that what you just said about me is untrue. But, setting that aside for the moment…

    What you are saying about rape is true generally.

    When we first heard the accusation made by Alison White we take the “believe women” position and assume that what she said was true. But then we should take due diligence and confirm that it is true or likely to be true. We go from the general probability that something is highly likely to be true in cases such as these to the particular case of Alison White and Michael Shermer. I still think her accusations are likely to be true, and highly likely to be true in at least some sense, at least from her perspective. I think she is almost certainly not lying. But I don’t know how you possibly be one hundred percent certain that what Alison White said is true and what Michael Shermer said is false. This is effectively what you are saying when you criticise my probability statement.

    I don’t know why this is so controversial because it is actually implied in the abbreviated phrase “believe women” – that you believe but confirm.

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

    Unlike in society, and for better or worse, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It is meant to reduce the probability of incorrect convictions but inevitably means some guilty people go unpunished.

    Fragmentary figments of Freud, Batman!

    YOU are the person who said in your comment #61:

    I will not call Michael Shermer a rapist until he is charged and convicted of rape. Until then he is, by definition, an alleged rapist because, because someone has accused him of rape. That is the reasonable position.

    So YOU are saying that not on a blog, but on the fucking comments to a blog post, you’re not willing to use the word “rapist” as a descriptor unless someone is charged and convicted of rape.

    THEN you say that

    Unlike in society, and for better or worse, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    ???

    Because I hate to break it to you, but your behavior in this social milieu is – by your own statement – exactly Freuding like a court of law. You actually advocate as “the reasonable position” that social interactions grant exactly the same presumption of innocence to be removed under exactly the same conditions – a valid verdict at the end of a fail criminal trial process [possibly also that stands up (if necessary) on appeal? I have no idea what you would do if a conviction were vacated.]

    This is the very soul of duplicity: you are arguing two entirely contradictory points simultaneously, and appear to want your readers to take both seriously.

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

    Closed the italic tag, but forgot to close the bold tag after “exactly Freuding like”.

    Sorry about that.

  64. billyjoe says

    Saad,

    Like that other dude whose name I’ve forgotten because it looms so insignificantly in my mind, when you actually have something to say, I Williams the time to respond. I don’t know why you insist on being a yapping lapdog.

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

    But I don’t know how you possibly be one hundred percent certain that what Alison White said is true and what Michael Shermer said is false.

    No one is saying that.

    We’re saying that there are different standards of evidence and different burdens of proof when examining different, although related, questions. When you’re going to take away someone’s freedom for literally years and subject the person to a discipline regime that is only nominally possible to navigate without being victimized by violent thugs – in uniform or otherwise – then an exacting standard of evidence is required.

    If you’re deciding whether or not you’re going to avoid someone and tell your friends that you shouldn’t be alone with that person because they’re some sort of abusive shit-for-brains, the standard is very different, and a defense against a criminal conviction for rape may still include sufficient admissions that even the defendant’s story makes the defendant look indifferent to a point that borders on evil. Cases like that provide more than enough evidence to conclude that it’s worthwhile to use the defendant’s story on the internet to make some point or other about trauma, about assault, about the justice system, or whatever without giving two fucks about the unsympathetic criminal defendant who got off without jail time.

    Being more than certain enough for our purposes is not the same as existential or 100% certainty. It’s not even as high a burden as “beyond a reasonable doubt”. And that’s not only how it’s always been, it’s fucking how it should be.

  66. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    So, billyjoe isn’t taking notice of the questions I posed on the nature of evidence.

    Looks like I was composing my answer while you posted that :)

    Anyway, I have a life outside Pharyngula, believe it or not, and also our time zones are different. And you are not the only one responding to my posts. I tend to go through them chronologically but sometimes save the hardest to answer for last – if that’s any consolation ;)

    (I might not be able to respond further till tomorrow because of other commitments).

  67. billyjoe says

    …not sure how “I will take the time to respond” became “I Williams the time to respond”!

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

    You don’t have any responsibility to comment here at all, much less to respond to some specific statement of mine. When I noted that earlier, it was simply for those readers who choose not to comment and have a lot to read who may not have noticed that one thread of the conversation was dropped.

  69. call me mark says

    I see billyjoe is still pishing about trying to find excuses not to call a rapist a rapist.

  70. says

    billyjoe

    Granted both Michael Shermer’s and Alison White’s accounts can’t both be correct. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one of them is lying and one of them is telling the truth. The truth could be somewhere in between these two accounts. Maybe half way between. Maybe more towards one account or the other account, That also doesn’t mean both were lying (meaning deliberately lying), they could simply be mistaken, or have false memories of the incident, or responded differently to the incident, or had a mistaken view of the role of the other person, or had a mistaken view of how the incident affected the other person. Probably a combination of all these things.

    Tell me, how does that work? What is the middle between “I was too drunk to consent” and “it was a consensual encounter”? Oh, and I think “he really didn’t mean to rape her, how could he have known” is another field on my Bingo.

    You seem to be talking about what might be called “meta-evidence”. You want to see evdience that a piece of evidence is actually evidence. You want me to provide evidence that sending an email of the sort Alison White sent to Michael Shermer, in their particular circumstances, and with respect to the relationships they had with each other, would be evidence about the truth or falsity of Alison White’s accusation that Michael Shermer raped her a couple of years before the email was sent.

    1. Who’s Allison White?
    2. Yes, that’s the question.

    I really doubt such evidence exists. Or could exist.Or the reverse, that such an email has no bearing on the truth or falsity of such an accusation.

    So you doubt both opposite possibilities at the same time?
    The question remains: what does that email tell us about what happened that night.

    However, I would predict that, if such a study were done, the conclusion would be in the form of a probability. The researchers would give a probability that such an email in such circumstances would affect the probability that the prior incident was consistent with rape.

    There’s a hell lot of “would” in this, i.e. you making shit up.
    And that shit is based on a fucked up premise, the premise that rape victims behave in a certain way, and if they don’t they haven’t been raped. This is a fucking big part of rape culture and you are the poster boy.
    Anybody remember the example PZ posted a while back where a young woman was forced to apologize for making up a rape story, only for the police to later found out that she had been the first victim of a serial rapist? They did exactly this: they looked at her behaviour and concluded she was lying. The fact that she wanted to have the same sheets again as the ones she’d been raped in was seen as proof of lying because everybody knows that no real rape victim would do that.
    This whole idea is based on that bullshit. The fucking idea that we need to do studies to determine some probability when we already have studies and testimonies that tell us that rape victims behave in no stereotypic way. Some rape victims stay married with their rapist, some have consensual sex with them. None of this negates the rape.

    I will not call Michael Shermer a rapist until he is charged and convicted of rape. Until then he is, by definition, an alleged rapist because, because someone has accused him of rape. That is the reasonable position.

    Bull-fucking-shit. A rapist is somebody who has raped another person, not somebody who is convicted. It is the action that determines the label. Which is another part of rape denial and rape culture: Try to minimize the number of “rapes” and “rapists” by claiming that this can only be determined in court and therefore, somehow, the 90something percent of men whose action meets the legal definition of rape are not rapists and the deed is not rape.

    I don’t know why you keep mischaracterising what I say.

    I quoted you…

    I’ve been around here long enough for you to know where I stand.

    Always on the side of Nazis and rapists.

    You should know that what you just said about me is untrue. But, setting that aside for the moment…

    You may believe that in your heart of hearts, I believe that what I said is true.
    Again, who the fuck is Allison White?
    What I commented on is that you said that something Smith did years later makes it less likely that her claims are true, when the thing she did is absolutely not related to that night. And I explained above why that is fucked up.

    CD

    If you’re deciding whether or not you’re going to avoid someone and tell your friends that you shouldn’t be alone with that person because they’re some sort of abusive shit-for-brains, the standard is very different, and a defense against a criminal conviction for rape may still include sufficient admissions that even the defendant’s story makes the defendant look indifferent to a point that borders on evil.

    Exactly.
    This is why we have whisper networks and the reaction of the world tell us why we need them: We have known for a long time to look out for each other. But certain people are more worried about the fact that a man could be denied to get his dick wet consensually because somebody told a false story than they are about the 10 women who get raped because they don’t know a particular rapist’s modus operandi.

  71. says

    I think maybe they would have said something along the lines of it being unreliable testimony on account of it being uncorroborated, and that it would not stand up to scrutiny in a court of law.

    So you’re even admitting that court systems are in favour of the rapists and unfair to rape victims but still think they’re a good way to determine if somebody was raped or not. Why could that be?

  72. Saad says

    billyjoe, #61

    I will not call Michael Shermer a rapist until he is charged and convicted of rape. Until then he is, by definition, an alleged rapist because, because someone has accused him of rape. That is the reasonable position.

    The definition of “rapist” is not someone who has been convicted of rape in court. Holy fuck, just how much will you embarrass yourself in the service rape culture?

    Also, that is definitely not a reasonable position. You rape apologists think you’re being all rational and logical and this is a prime example of how foolish you actually are. So if you knew someone killed someone you’d call them a murderer. But the minute a court acquits them, you’d say the murder didn’t take place. And to you the many white people who lynched black people and didn’t go to court aren’t murderers. Wow, much reasonable.

  73. Ichthyic says

    I think maybe they would have said something along the lines of it being unreliable testimony on account of it being uncorroborated

    Last I checked, corroboration was not a requirement of reliable testimony.

    In court or, more applicably even, out of it.

    you appear to be basing your personal opinions on your ignorance of law… and thinking that somehow validates your position.

    it’s bizarre to watch, and I tend to agree with others who have been struck with thoughts of Dunning Kruger syndrome.

    you really need to sit down sometime and spend a week or two pondering on what actual basis you are forming your opinions. really.

  74. billyjoe says

    Ichthyic,

    Of course I meant the total evidence. The total evidence is more reliable if one piece of evidence is corroborated by another piece of evidence. I assume at least you will agree with that.

  75. billyjoe says

    Saad,

    I understand what you’re saying.

    A rapist is someone who has raped regardless of whether or not he has been convicted; or even charged; or even if no one other than the rapist himself knows about it. But I, me, BillyJoe, am not going to call someone a rapist unless I have personal knowledge of the rape – like if someone raped me; or if I witnessed the rape – or if that person has been charged and convicted of rape. Otherwise all I have is probabilities that a rape occurred and probabilities that a certain person is a rapist.

    Now, do you understand what I’m saying (even if you don’t agree)?

  76. billyjoe says

    Gilell,

    Okay, I think you’re not doing it deliberately, but you are still misrepresenting my position. There is even a hint of this in your last comment that I am admitting the the court system favours the rapist. Except the word “admitting” is wrong, because I’ve never denied it.

    If you understand that what it true in general may not be true in the particular, you will understand where I’m coming from. You keep telling me what is true in general. I agree with you. And I’ve never denied it. But you are speaking as if the general is always true. It is always true that a person accused of rape is guilty of rape. But this is not the case. There are exceptions. So, our actual disagreement is that I will not to apply this general truth to the individual. I can however assess the probability of this applying to the individual and that probability is always less than 1.

    In the case of Alison Smith and Michael Shermer, my probability is high that “something unsavoury” happened to Alison Smith, and that “something unsavoury” could constitute rape depending on the definition of “rape”. I can’t go futher than that on the evidence that I personally know about which is all second or third hand accounts.

    (And sorry about the mis-naming of Alison Smith)

  77. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    What is the middle between “I was too drunk to consent” and “it was a consensual encounter”? Oh, and I think “he really didn’t mean to rape her, how could he have known” is another field on my Bingo.

    Michael Shermer denies he got her drunk. He claims someone else was filling their glasses. He claims they had consensual sex. He claims she was no longer drunk at the time. Those are his claims. Those claims could all be lies, all true, partly lies, partly true. They are certainly self-serving, but not necessarily all completely false.

    But he never claimed that he “didn’t mean to rape her” and he never said anything along the lines of “how could he have known”, if that is what you are implying.

  78. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    The fucking idea that we need to do studies to determine some probability when we already have studies and testimonies that tell us that rape victims behave in no stereotypic way. Some rape victims stay married with their rapist, some have consensual sex with them. None of this negates the rape.

    I agree about there being no stereotypical way that rape victims behave. I have never said otherwise. Moreover, I know that this is true. It is also true for situations far removed from rape.

    For example, people respond differently to the death of their child. I have previously cited the case of Azaria Chamberlain, whose mother was convicted by the population, and the media, and finally the legal system, essentially because of her idiosyncratic way of dealing with her daughter’s death. She was eventually proven innocent after spending a few years in gaol. I also know personally of a very religious couple who loved their children but reacted to the death of one of their children (from meningitis as a rare complication of periorbital cellulitis) in such way they someone who did not know them would think they did not care.

  79. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    What I commented on is that you said that something Smith did years later makes it less likely that her claims are true

    It does make it less likely.

    Or, in my case, my prior “high probability” was lowered “a bit”. This is because I do not apply the general to the particular – because it is a logical error – so what I have is not certainly but probabilities. That probability changes with more evidence. The email is not good evidence but it is still evidence and therefore it lowered my high prior probability a bit. On the other hand, you are are one hundred percent certain he raped her and no evidence, no matter what it is, will ever lower your certainty that he raped her.

    That position is simply untenable from my point of view.

  80. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    Crip Dyke: If you’re deciding whether or not you’re going to avoid someone and tell your friends that you shouldn’t be alone with that person…the standard is very different…

    Giliell: This is why we have whisper networks and the reaction of the world tell us why we need them: We have known for a long time to look out for each other.

    I have no issue with this whatsoever.

    If you have been abused or raped by someone but you feel unable to report that person to the police; or if your testimony and evidence is such that the prosecutor feels he cannot make the case in court and therefore doesn’t charge that person, then absolutely I empathise with your efforts to protect others against that person. But I still would not know that your accusation is true.

    I do not know you and I do not know the person you accused, and I did not witness the incident, and therefore I cannot know that what you said actually occurred in exactly the way you said it did. This is more than unfortunate from your point of view, especially if there is no doubt in your mind about what happened, but it is the sorry truth of the matter. As an outsider I can never be certain what happened.

    But certain people are more worried about the…man…

    Again (if you are referring to me), this is an unfair characterisation of my position.

    I used to have a positive response when I heard the name “Michael Shermer”. Even though I never liked his style of writing, I did learn a lot from reading a couple of his early books and before I found others who wrote in a more interesting style. But, now, after Alson Smith’s accusation, I have a negative response. So her accusations have that effect on me. But, when push comes to shove, I don’t really know if my negative reaction is justified. On balance, I think it is, but I can’t possibly be sure.

  81. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    BillyJoe: Granted the impact on a particular victim of date rape could be as bad, or worse than, the impact on a particular victim of house invasion rape by a masked assailant, it is still true that, potentially (all else being equal), the later is worse than the former.

    How is it possibly worse if everything is held equal…All else is equal. Thus in terms of bad vs worse, they’re equal. It’s right there in your hypothetical. I honestly don’t know what you’re even trying to say…

    I can’t believe I have to explain this simple point to you.

    Consider someone who has been sexually assaulted. The description of the assault is given as one of the following:

    1) My boyfriend and I went to a restaurant and then went back to my home. We both ended up naked and were hugging an kissing on another. He then started to penetrate me and I tried to withdraw from him. He wouldn’t stop and had penetrative intercourse with me. I was so upset and angry that I wouldn’t speak to him for a week. Since then he has been respectful of my non-consent.

    2) While asleep in my home, a masked man broke in and violently raped me. I resisted with all my might but he was to strong. He threatened me if I didn’t comply and shouted obscenities while he was raping me. I have no idea who the person was and neither do the police. They say that it is unlikely he will ever be found and punished.

    So, when I said “all else being equal”, I meant all else being equal except for the actual rape. We are talking about the same woman and hence “all else is equal”. And, clearly, the second scenario would have had a far greater impact on her than the former.

    On the other hand, imagine it was two different women – one in the first scenario, and the other in the second scenario. I don’t think it would be too difficult to Imagine two women who were so different in their make-up and life histories that the woman in the first scenario could have been equally effected, or even more affected, than the woman in the second scenario.

    For the life of me I don’t understand why that was so difficult to understand.

  82. John Morales says

    BJ @89:

    So, when I said “all else being equal”, I meant all else being equal except for the actual rape.

    And the identity of the actual rapist. And whether she has legal recourse.

    (As a comparison intended to isolate only one variable, it fails miserably)

    And, clearly, the second scenario would have had a far greater impact on her than the former.

    You are mistaken. It is not at all clear. In fact, in your second scenario she makes no mention of being upset and angry, unlike in the first…

    Your effort at hypothetical comparative rape scenarios was supposed to illustrate why stranger rape is worse, right? And yet, it boils down to an assertion without warrant.

    (Take note doing that sort of thing is a bit on the nose around here, and does you no favours)

  83. John Morales says

    PS

    For the life of me I don’t understand why that was so difficult to understand.

    (sigh)

    Be aware that you are attempting to mansplain explain to someone who (unless you disbelieve them) “spent over 300 hours a year listening to trauma survivors for a period of 6 years, and more than 100 hour per year for another 8” about the merits of your opinion about the relative grievousness of purported categories of rape.

  84. chigau (違う) says

    hypothetically
    Consider someone who has been sexually assaulted.
    I think that rather than switching the track, I’ll just disconnect the kidney-thingy, pawn the violin(,) and go down (to) the local for a pint.
    Join me, John Morales?

  85. jefrir says

    billyjoe

    Michael Shermer denies he got her drunk. He claims someone else was filling their glasses. He claims they had consensual sex. He claims she was no longer drunk at the time.

    He also claimed not to have had sex with her. And we have witnesses to testify she was drunk when she came out of his room. Shermer has told about four different, mutually contradictory versions of that evening – we know he is definitely lying. There is no need to posit that Smith might have made a mistake about whether she was raped.

  86. says

    billyjoe

    So, our actual disagreement is that I will not to apply this general truth to the individual. I can however assess the probability of this applying to the individual and that probability is always less than 1.

    Oh FFS, probabilities are not the reality. This isn’t throwing a die. In reality the die has already been thrown.

    I can’t go futher than that on the evidence that I personally know about which is all second or third hand accounts.

    Allison Smith telling what happened that night is not a second hand account.
    Her friend stating that she was too drunk to walk is not a second hand account.
    You are dismissing everything the victim says.

    Michael Shermer denies he got her drunk. He claims someone else was filling their glasses. He claims they had consensual sex. He claims she was no longer drunk at the time. Those are his claims. Those claims could all be lies, all true, partly lies, partly true. They are certainly self-serving, but not necessarily all completely false.

    Really?
    Let’s look at this in detail

    Michael Shermer denies he got her drunk. He claims someone else was filling their glasses.

    This is actually the only statement in this that can be half true. It is possible that he didn’t mean to get her drunk (misjudging how quickly small women do get drunk), it is possible that he filled the glasses sometimes, it is possible that somebody else always filled the glasses (also possible: on his instruction).
    It is also true that to the main claim, this is only a sidenote which at best tells us something asbout whether he planned it or not.

    He claims they had consensual sex. He claims she was no longer drunk at the time

    How can that be partly true?
    Make your claim.

    It does make it less likely.

    How?
    You still haven’t explained that. You keep asserting it, you waffle about studies that could be carried out that might blablabla, but until now you have not state any reason or mechanism.
    Also, may I quote somebody:

    If you understand that what it true in general may not be true in the particular, you will understand where I’m coming from.

    On the other hand, you are are one hundred percent certain he raped her and no evidence, no matter what it is, will ever lower your certainty that he raped her.

    That position is simply untenable from my point of view.

    And you keep complaining that people misrepresent you or ascribe views to you that you don’t hold. No, I’m not saying there couldn’t be evidence, I’m dismissing that email as evidence. The fact that I’ll visit my parents today and be friendly and that I love them and hug them is not evidence that they didn’t abuse me.

    I have no issue with this whatsoever.

    Do you think we’re stupid? You’re on record on this block claiming that people shouldn’t accuse people of rape and that you are very worried about the men facing consequences even if they’re guilty.

    This is more than unfortunate from your point of view, especially if there is no doubt in your mind about what happened, but it is the sorry truth of the matter. As an outsider I can never be certain what happened.

    Yeah, and while you’re doing your philosophical wanking about the nature of truth and evidence, more people get raped. Rape victims will be less likely to come out and speak about what happened to them because they know exactly that guys like you will treat it as a he said / she said, how can we ever know and treat every thing she ever did with extreme scrutiny, but completely ignore everything he ever did. Nobody benefits from this but rapists.

    Again (if you are referring to me), this is an unfair characterisation of my position.

    Again, we’re not stupid, we remember what you wrote and can even quote it.

    So, when I said “all else being equal”, I meant all else being equal except for the actual rape. We are talking about the same woman and hence “all else is equal”. And, clearly, the second scenario would have had a far greater impact on her than the former.

    Heavens forbid, for somebody who is really veeeeeeeery careful about not believing rape victims when they tell their stories, you do make some very absolute claims in other areas. Quite apart from making false claims, since “Since then he has been respectful of my non-consent.” is clearly something that is an additional detail that you’re making up. Your whole reaction is made up and different. You have constructed a scenario in which the woman obviously isn’t affected (I was upset for a week) as much by one as she is by the other and then you claim that this is obviously true (because that is exactly how you constructed the example) and THEN you go on and claim that this is not only a general truth, but an absolute truth.
    Of course, in reality the rape by the boyfriend could be worse that the rape by a stranger because on top of the rape it includes a deep breach of trust on behalf of somebody you love and trusted completely. To me “rape by my spouse, the one person I trust completely, the love of my life and father of my children” does actually sound worse than “random act of violence from a stranger” the same way it hurt me so much more when my sister stole my money than it did when a stranger did.
    Also, if a single email lowers the probability of a rape having occurred I don’t want to know what “years of continued relationship and consensual sex” would do.

  87. call me mark says

    Just as a thought experiment, let’s play billyjoe’s probabilities game.

    Person A accuses Person X of rape. Now all other things being equal, I would assign a probability of 90% that this is true (and even then I’m being massively charitable to Person X)
    But then Person B accuses Person X of sexual assault.
    And Person C says that Person X got them drunk and made sexually inappropriate comments…
    And… And… And…

    Now I think we observe a pattern of behaviour, leading us to revise the 90% figure drastically upwards.

    You want to argue that Allison Smith’s behaviour changes the probability of whether it was a rape? The real factor is Shermer’s behaviour.

  88. Saad says

    billyjoe, #83

    A rapist is someone who has raped regardless of whether or not he has been convicted; or even charged; or even if no one other than the rapist himself knows about it. But I, me, BillyJoe, am not going to call someone a rapist unless I have personal knowledge of the rape – like if someone raped me; or if I witnessed the rape – or if that person has been charged and convicted of rape. Otherwise all I have is probabilities that a rape occurred and probabilities that a certain person is a rapist.

    1. Does a close family member of friend being raped and making an accusation against the rapist count as personal knowledge? Or will you still tell them “I didn’t witness it” so I’m not calling him a rapist.

    2. Your standard for a crime that is almost always done in complete privacy (and involves only the rapist and their victim) is that you need to witness it or it didn’t happen? Can you imagine how many rapes you will disregard if you follow this line of thinking?

    3. How is a court conviction being counted as “personal knowledge”? You said either you have to be raped, you have to witness the rape, or a jury has to declare it a rape. How is a jury’s decision more convincing to you than the actual victim of the rape? Further, courts can hand down wrong verdicts. And you saying you’ll call someone a rapist if a court decides they are seems pretty sloppy based on how strict you are saying your requirements are (personally witnessing it).

  89. Saad says

    Correction to my 3rd point:

    I should have said “How is a court conviction being counted as convincing like personal knowledge but the actual victim’s words aren’t?”

  90. billyjoe says

    John,

    I’m not going to write three pages to explain everything in minute detail every time I post a comment so that no one will misunderstand what I’m saying. Apart from being impossible, it just creates more opportunities for others to cherry pick and criticise out of context.

    Also, using Crip Dyke’s experience is not valid as to the truth of the argument I was making. And, if you’re going to deny that a rape by a stranger committed during a house invasion is, all else being equal, no different from a rape by a boyfriend after a night out, I’ve nothing left to say. It is also true that one person’s date rape can be worse than another person’s house-invasion rape. Which is the other point I made. The second point does not deny the first point.

    And Crip Dyke hasn’t categorically denied the truth of what I said above.

  91. billyjoe says

    Jefrir,

    He also claimed not to have had sex with her.

    I’ll need a quote because I am certain he did not deny the sex. On the contrary, he said it was consenual.

    And we have witnesses to testify she was drunk when she came out of his room.

    And eye witness testimony is very unreliable, can be biased, misremembered, and hyperbolised over time

    Shermer has told about four different, mutually contradictory versions of that evening – we know he is definitely lying.

    Again I will need quotes and a link. I’ve read only one version. Also witnesses all change their story over time. Memory is defective and gets revised every time it is re-called.
    Also I’m not defending MS.

    There is no need to posit that Smith might have made a mistake about whether she was raped.

    Unless, of course, you can’t provide those quotes and links. And, even then, you forget that I am not defending MS. I am trying to assess, as an outsider reading about this incident second and third hand, what the probabilities are.

  92. billyjoe says

    Chigau

    Why do you think that assault and rape are the same thing?

    Why do you think that I think that assault and rape are the same thing?

  93. John Morales says

    billyjoe:

    I’m not going to write three pages to explain everything in minute detail every time I post a comment so that no one will misunderstand what I’m saying.

    You sure your problem is that you are misunderstood?

    (I think, rather the opposite)

    Also, using Crip Dyke’s experience is not valid as to the truth of the argument I was making

    You sure rely on epistemic uncertainty a lot.

    (Expert testimony? Bah! Experience? Humbug!)

    And, if you’re going to deny that a rape by a stranger committed during a house invasion is, all else being equal, no different from a rape by a boyfriend after a night out, I’ve nothing left to say.

    (sigh)

    Cringe-worthy. Try reading that aloud.

    Seriously. People aren’t fungible!

    It is also true that one person’s date rape can be worse than another person’s house-invasion rape. Which is the other point I made. The second point does not deny the first point.

    Your point being that either can be worse than the other, depending.

    OK. Got it.

    And Crip Dyke hasn’t categorically denied the truth of what I said above.

    Because the claim was so qualified that it was worthless (my emphasis):

    @59:

    Granted the impact on a particular victim of date rape could be as bad, or worse than, the impact on a particular victim of house invasion rape by a masked assailant, it is still true that, potentially (all else being equal), the later is worse than the former.

    Your claim is, essentially, that it is not an impossible thing. Hard to deny that truth.

  94. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    Oh FFS, probabilities are not the reality

    The probability of you throwing heads with your next throw is 0.5. The probability that you threw heads with your last throw is 0.5. Unless of course I actually saw you throw heads. This is the appropriate analogy about the incident between MS and AS which I did not witness.

    Allison Smith telling what happened that night is not a second hand account. Her friend stating that she was too drunk to walk is not a second hand account.
    You are dismissing everything the victim says.

    For me, Allison Smith’s account is second hand. AS->reporter->me. Same for the witness.
    And I am not dismissing everything AS said. It is part of the reason my probability is high that “something unsavoury” happened to AS at the hands of MS, which could amount to rape depending on definitions.

    Make your claim

    It is not my claim. It is MS claim. I am merely assessing the probability that his claim is true based on what he, and AS, and others have said, and on subsequent events.

    You’re on record on this block claiming that people shouldn’t accuse people of rape and that you are very worried about the men facing consequences even if they’re guilty

    No, you have misunderstood what I said. If you have been raped, I have no issue at all with you telling and warning others, especially potential victims. This is very different from calling someone a rapist based on second hand accounts from people who you don’t know about people you do not know, and then spreading the accusation far no wide.

    You also misunderstood my examples. They weren’t meant to apply to the AS incident. It was meant to explain that, all else being equal (or “generally” or “by and large”), home invasion rape by a stranger is worse than date rape by a boyfriend AND it is also true that one woman’s date rape by a boyfriend can be worse than another woman’s home invasion rape by a stranger.

    Finally, for you to say that the email did not lower the probability that rape occurred, even by “a bit”, which is all I claimed, means that you think the probability that AS would have sent that email if she was raped is exactly the same as the probability that AS would have sent that email if she wasn’t raped. That conclusion is untenable. This does not deny that she could have sent that email AND that she was raped.

  95. billyjoe says

    Mark,

    You want to argue that Allison Smith’s behaviour changes the probability of whether it was a rape? The real factor is Shermer’s behaviour.

    Obviously, it is both.

  96. billyjoe says

    Saad,

    There are no sharp boundaries, only a spectrum.. That doesn’t mean there are cases where it is justified to call someone a rapist; and cases where it is inappropriate to do so. There are cases in between the two ends of the spectrum where it’s a tough call. My call in the case of MS is that I would simply say he has been accused of rape and that there is a reasonably high probability that this is true.

  97. John Morales says

    BJ:

    Giliell,

    Oh FFS, probabilities are not the reality

    The probability of you throwing heads with your next throw is 0.5. The probability that you threw heads with your last throw is 0.5. Unless of course I actually saw you throw heads. This is the appropriate analogy about the incident between MS and AS which I did not witness.

    There is no such thing as an ex post facto probability for an event having occurred, unlike the a priori probability of an event occurring. Giliell is noting this asymmetry.

    (Wasn’t it you who decried inferring from the general to the particular, even if mistaking that for the fallacy of division?)

  98. John Morales says

    BJ:

    Mark,

    You want to argue that Allison Smith’s behaviour changes the probability of whether it was a rape? The real factor is Shermer’s behaviour.

    Obviously, it is both.

    Point being, whatever behaviour after the alleged fact cannot is irrelevant to whether the alleged fact is actually factual. The email upon which you place so much weight does so because you have a particular perception as to how a victim “should” behave.

    (Or: “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on […]”)

  99. says

    For me, Allison Smith’s account is second hand. AS->reporter->me. Same for the witness.

    So we have noticed that you cannot count to two since Allison Smith has spoken of this directly and has been quoted.

    home invasion rape by a stranger is worse than date rape by a boyfriend AND it is also true that one woman’s date rape by a boyfriend can be worse than another woman’s home invasion rape by a stranger.

    This doesn’t make any fucking sense. You’re the one talking about probabilities (without apparently having a high school grasping on how they work) and then you write such bullshit.
    You know, nobody would take umbrage if you had used your favourite word and said ” due to the additional assault, stranger rape after a home invasion is probably worse 8 out of 10 times”. Something isn’t A but can also be the exact opposite B. Something can only be A or B with A being more likely than B.

    Finally, for you to say that the email did not lower the probability that rape occurred, even by “a bit”, which is all I claimed, means that you think the probability that AS would have sent that email if she was raped is exactly the same as the probability that AS would have sent that email if she wasn’t raped. That conclusion is untenable.

    No, it’s fucking not.
    Because the moment Allison Smith sent that mail all possibilities collapsed into one reality. We cannot draw reliable conclusions backwards because of that. This would only make sense if the result “sends a mail” would not be one of the many possible behaviours of somebody who was raped.
    But since you obviously think your bullshit is not rape apology and rape culture. Men cleared of teenager’s gang rape
    This is what you’re arguing. You’re that fucking defense attorney arguing that since she smiled with her friends, she couldn’t have been traumatised, because the probability of a traumatised girl smiling is lower than that of a non-traumatised girl smiling and that since a victim of gang rape will be traumatised, this means she wan’t a victim of gang rape, so they get acquitted. This is you, this is your logic in all it’s disgusting results.

  100. billyjoe says

    John,

    There is no such thing as an ex post facto probability for an event having occurred, unlike the a priori probability of an event occurring.

    Correct.

    What you got wrong is the description of *the event*. The event I was talking about was *finding out that she threw heads*. Before *finding out that she threw heads*, the probability that she threw heads is 0.5. Consider: If I bet on the outcome of her throw before *finding out that she threw heads* I would have a 0.5 chance of winning that bet.

    I truly hope that is now clear.

  101. billyjoe says

    John,

    The email upon which you place so much weight does so because you have a particular perception as to how a victim “should” behave.

    This is not correct.

    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape. But, it seems to me, you have only one conclusion regardless of her behaviour and that is that she is a victim of rape.

  102. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    BJ: For me, Allison Smith’s account is second hand. AS->reporter->me.

    Giliell: So we have noticed that you cannot count to two since Allison Smith has spoken of this directly and has been quoted.

    The hole you are digging for yourself is now six foot deep.
    If I speak to Allison Smith face to face, I am getting FIRST hand information.
    If I read an account of what Allison Smith said to a reporter, I am getting SECOND hand information. Period.

    BJ: home invasion rape by a stranger is worse than date rape by a boyfriend AND it is also true that one woman’s date rape by a boyfriend can be worse than another woman’s home invasion rape by a stranger.

    Giliell: This doesn’t make any fucking sense

    It doesn’t make any sense because it is an incomplete quote. Here is the full quote:

    all else being equal (or “generally” or “by and large”), home invasion rape by a stranger is worse than date rape by a boyfriend AND it is also true that one woman’s date rape by a boyfriend can be worse than another woman’s home invasion rape by a stranger.

    Now it makes perfect sense.

  103. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #114
    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.
    Do tell.
    How does an actual victim of rape act?

  104. chigau (違う) says

    oh, and
    billyjoe: Giliell … The hole you are digging for yourself is now six foot deep.
    *SPOING*

  105. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    This would only make sense if the result “sends a mail” would not be one of the many possible behaviours of somebody who was raped.

    No, my statement would still make sense if the result “sends an email” (of that type in those particular circumstances) was one of many possible behaviours of someone who was raped but that there was a lower probability that she would “send an email” (of that type inthose particular circumstances) if she was raped.

    You’re…arguing that since she smiled with her friends, she couldn’t have been traumatised, because the probability of a traumatised girl smiling is lower than that of a non-traumatised girl smiling and that since a victim of gang rape will be traumatised, this means she wan’t a victim of gang rape, so they get acquitted. This is you, this is your logic in all its disgusting results

    All correct except for “she can’t have been traumatised”,and “she can’t be a victim”. That is not logically derived from what I have said./ The logical conclusion is that “the probability that she was traumatised/raped is lower if she is smiling”. I do not know of the case, so I won’t comment further.

  106. John Morales says

    billyjoe @113:

    What you got wrong is the description of *the event*. The event I was talking about was *finding out that she threw heads*. Before *finding out that she threw heads*, the probability that she threw heads is 0.5.

    No; the probability that your guess matches the actual outcome is 0.5. Not the same thing.

    There is no probability as to whether heads was the outcome in your example — she threw heads according to you — but only certitude. I suppose you can claim certitude is a probability of 1, and therefore is a probability.

    Perhaps don’t write as if you thought that your personal degree of certitude about some event having occurred were the likelihood of that event having occurred, like this:
    “The probability of you throwing heads with your next throw is 0.5. The probability that you threw heads with your last throw is 0.5.”

    Again: the first sentence expresses a probability of a future event’s outcome, but the second doesn’t express the equivalent probability of a past event’s outcome, rather of guessing right about that predetermined outcome.

    @114:

    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.

    You made that clear very early on, no need to repeat it.

    “After reading some articles and discussions on the internet, I’m convinced something serious must have happened. But then you see a photo posted by Alison Smith of her and Michael Shermer many years after the event:”

    “And a copy of a text message sent by Alison Smith to Michael Shermer inviting him to a panel discussion after a talk she was giving on “Myths about Sex and Sexuality” in 2010 nearly 2 years after the incident:”

    Seems to me you placed significant weight on your perception when you wrote: “I’m convinced something serious must have happened. But then [those things]”.

    But, it seems to me, you have only one conclusion regardless of her behaviour and that is that she is a victim of rape.

    Synecdoche? I am me, not the commentariat.

    (Curious how you converse about this alleged incident as if it were an isolated case, rather than as an instance of a pattern)

  107. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #119
    I see the yapping lapdog is back.
    Is that me?‽!??
    It could take me some time to make a good translation, but if I manage, it is going into my nym extention.
    Meanwhile, mydiafdts.

  108. says

    The logical conclusion is that “the probability that she was traumatised/raped is lower if she is smiling”.

    And here you go, showing that you have zero understanding of how any of this shit works while claiming with certainty that this is how the world works. You make up a set of rules as to how a rape victim has to behave if she (especially she) wants to be believed. With every single thing she does that deviates from the rules that you pulled out of your ass (traumatised people don’t smile!), you deduct some points from the probability that she’s telling the truth (while obviously never doing so for the rapist) until you can comfortably say “ahhh, maybe something “unsavoury” happened, but really, that probability is now too low. She lost too many points for smiling, sending emails, drinking alcohol, wearing short skirts, having sex with somebody else, …”

    The hole you are digging for yourself is now six foot deep.
    If I speak to Allison Smith face to face, I am getting FIRST hand information.

    No, really, that’s not a commonly used definition of “first hand”. For one it excludes phone calls already, for the other it excludes all written information. Allison Smith writing something is first hand. Something Allison Smith said being accurately quoted is first hand.
    According to your bullshit autobiographies are second hand hearsay.

  109. billyjoe says

    John,

    Thanks, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Or, to put it another way: For me, in my state of knowledge, before I look at the result of your coin toss, the probability that you threw heads is 0.5. So, now that we are on the same page, let’s consider MS. The probability that it was rape before I know what actually happened is less than 1. In this case, however, certain things will increase or decrease the probability (for me, in my state of knowledge) that it was rape, but the probability will never 1. For me, my prior high probability that it was rape was reduced “a bit” by the email.

    (Curious how you converse about this alleged incident as if it were an isolated case, rather than as an instance of a pattern)

    Well, you are back to the logical fallacy of applying statistics to the individual. Statistics apply to populations, not individuals. It’s a pretty common fallacy around here, even when the fallacy is repeatedly pointed out. But don’t trust me, ask your favourite statistician or epidemiologist. It is statistics 101.

  110. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    It seems to me that you seem to be the one who knows how rape victims behave, because you seem to be absolutely certain that AS was raped. I’m the one who is uncertain, hence my probability statement about the incident. If I believed that rape victims behave in certain ways and do not behave in other ways, I would state with certainly either “AS as raped” or “AS was not raped”. Which is what you have done. I estimated a probability.

    AS writing something about her life is providing first hand information to her readers.
    AS talking to a reporter about her life is providing firsthand information to the reporter.
    But when you read what the reporter wrote about what AS told them about her life is reading second hand information. If you don’t understand that simply algorithm I can’t help you anymore.

  111. billyjoe says

    Gilliel,

    Sorry, I clicked the “post comment” button instead of the “preview” button, so I’ll repost the above comment with typos eliminated:

    It seems to me that you are the one who seems to know with certainty how rape victims behave, because you seem to be absolutely certain that AS was raped. I’m the one who is expressing uncertainty, hence my probability statement about the incident. If I believed that rape victims behave in certain ways and do not behave in other ways, I would state with certainly either “AS was raped” or “AS was not raped”. Which is what you have done.

    As for the difference between first and second hand:
    AS writing something about her life is providing first hand information to her readers.
    AS talking to a reporter about her life is providing first hand information to the reporter.
    But when you read what the reporter wrote about what AS told them about her life, you are reading second hand information.
    If you don’t understand that simple algorithm I can’t help you anymore.

  112. John Morales says

    BJ @123:

    Thanks, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Or, to put it another way: For me, in my state of knowledge, before I look at the result of your coin toss, the probability that you threw heads is 0.5.

    Indeed. It is your personal opinion expressed as if it were fact.

    (And when you use those opinions as lemmas, you compound the error)

    (Curious how you converse about this alleged incident as if it were an isolated case, rather than as an instance of a pattern)

    Well, you are back to the logical fallacy of applying statistics to the individual. Statistics apply to populations, not individuals. It’s a pretty common fallacy around here, even when the fallacy is repeatedly pointed out.

    Actually, this is applying statistics to the individual: “The logical conclusion is that “the probability that she was traumatised/raped is lower if she is smiling”.”

    But I note you don’t deny there are multiple reports.

    Are you suggesting that multiple reports about someone carry no more weight in your estimation than a single isolated report, lest one be applying statistics to the individual?

  113. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #114
    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.
    Do tell.
    How does an actual victim of rape act?

  114. Saad says

    billyjoe, #114

    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.

    Was it you or one of the other scumbags here who was whining about being called a rape apologist?

  115. billyjoe says

    John,

    You are just being obtuse now, like Giliell.

    It isn’t my personal opinion. It is a fact. It applies to everyon. I’ve just thrown a coin but you can’t see whether it has landed heads or tails. From your point of view (i.e. not knowing the result of my coin toss), what is the chance I threw heads? What sort odds would you expect to get if you bet that I threw heads?

    And you insist on misunderstanding the phrase “you can’t apply statistics to the individual”. For your information, it means that if the statistics say that men are taller than women, therefore this man is taller than this woman. That is what everyone here is saying about the rape claim. And it is false. It is my conclusion about assigning a probability to the claim of rape that is the reasonable conclusion.

  116. billyjoe says

    Chigau,

    How does an actual rape victim act?

    I can’t believe you still don’t know the answer to this question. Have you not learnt anything form this long exchange? Rape victims’ behaviour varies according to personality, past history, and circumstances of the rape. There are average statistical ways that rape victims behave, but that does not mean that all rape victims behave the same way. It also does not mean that all the different behaviours of rape victims are equally likely.

  117. billyjoe says

    Saad, when did you stop beating your partner.
    Your liberal use of the epithet “rape apologist” has rendered it meaningless and counter-productive.

  118. John Morales says

    BJ:

    It isn’t my personal opinion. It is a fact. It applies to everyon[e].

    It is a fact that it is your personal opinion as to the likelihood of a past event’s reported outcome being veridical, but other people may adjudge the likelihood differently, and the actual outcome is predetermined, not speculative.

    So, your personal opinion is, unlike a fact, neither intersubjective nor objective.

    (Which I thought you’d conceded already)

    From your point of view (i.e. not knowing the result of my coin toss), what is the chance I threw heads? What sort odds would you expect to get if you bet that I threw heads?

    From my point of view, as I have now reiterated repeatedly, the chance of you having thrown heads is either 1 or 0 — leaving aside the possibility of the coin landing on its side or being biased.

    The likelihood of my guessing the actual outcome correctly is 0.5 — but note that 0.5 ≠ 1 ne; 0.

    Were it a roll of 1 on a 6-sided die, the likelihood of my guessing the actual outcome correctly would be 0.17, but the likelihood of you having actually rolled a 1 would still be only either 1 or 0.

    The asymmetry to which I referred and refer — the different categories represented by the likelihood of an event occurring and by the likelihood of one’s judgement as to whether an event occurred — is not obvious in ordinary language.

    And you insist on misunderstanding the phrase “you can’t apply statistics to the individual”. For your information, it means that if the statistics say that men are taller than women, therefore this man is taller than this woman.

    Why do you imagine statistics are useful, if not for drawing inferences?

    If the statistics say that men are taller than women, it follows that a randomly chosen man is likely to be taller than a randomly chosen woman.

    (Or do you dispute that? :) )

    That is what everyone here is saying about the rape claim. And it is false.

    Um, your second statement is applicable to your first.

    (What I think is that you just had this burning need to shoehorn the fallacy of division to show your aptitude, and that it went downhill from there)

    It is my conclusion about assigning a probability to the claim of rape that is the reasonable conclusion.

    No worries. So, what is the probability that you’ve concluded upon?

    What’s the error margin?

    Do you start with a 50/50 probability?

    Is the probability 0 until an allegation is made?

    If multiple allegations are made, are they isolated allegations?

  119. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #114
    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.
    Do tell.
    Tell us your perception of the behaviour of an alleged victim.
    Does this differ from the behaviour of an actual victim?

  120. chigau (違う) says

    BJ #130
    There are average statistical ways that rape victims behave…
    No.
    There are not.

  121. John Morales says

    PS

    Your [Saad] liberal use of the epithet “rape apologist” has rendered it meaningless and counter-productive.

    <snicker>

    Way to not whine.

  122. says

    billyjoe
    Your liberal use of the epithet “rape apologist” has rendered it meaningless and counter-productive.
    I’d actually go further and label you a rape enabler. Your rhetoric, endlessly repeated in public spaces by you and your sort, enables many rapists to get off scot free with their crimes. Very scummy behaviour on your behalf, if you ask me.

  123. billyjoe says

    Lofty,

    Encouraged by the echochambre, you have reached a false conclusion about me that just serves to undermine your cause by alienating support.

    In fact, what I’m advocating is “trusting and confirming” as opposed to “believing”.This supports the accuser while protecting the innocent. That is the most reasonable position to take regardless of what the echochambre here leads you to think.

  124. billyjoe says

    John,

    The likelihood of my guessing the actual outcome correctly is 0.5

    I am happy to accept this wording of the position I have been stating now for about a week or more. :)

    And yes you can draw inferences. But the inference is that a random man is likely to be taller than a random woman. What you can not infer is that this man IS taller than this woman. I will leave you now to think about what that means for in the case of MS.
    Hint: It supports my position, not yours.

    I hope that brings your week long dodge to a conclusion, but I doubt it. Nevermind.

  125. billyjoe says

    Chigau and Giliell,

    Both of you need to take a beginners course in statistics.
    My statement is straight-forwardly true.

    Every human behaviour in response to a particular event has a range of possibilities.
    Each of those possibilities has a probabilitiy of occurring.
    These probabilities cover a range from 0 to 1.

    In the middle of that range of probabilities Is the average probability of 0.5

  126. billyjoe says

    John,

    Whining is in the ears of the beholder.

    I’ve been typing words, not giving them voice. They can be read with a dispassionate voice or a whiny voice in your head. That your read them with a whiny voice in your head says something about you, not me. It says that you are likely to whine in circumstances such as these.

    In other words, you’re projecting. That’s all.
    Cheers.

  127. billyjoe says

    Lofty,

    You should live up to your mane.

    What about those who are accused but are innocent?
    Wouldn’t they want my support?

    What about the many women who are capable of actually standing up for themselves and reject your mindless paternalistic or maternalistic acceptance that what they said is true and would rather you be more discriminating about what you are prepared to believe without evidence?

    What about PZ Meyers?
    Or do you think he wrote that post and linked to that article which translated the meaning of the phrase “believe women” as “believe but confirm” more broadly translated: “as your immediate response, trust and believe that women who make an accusation of rape are telling the truth but take due diligence and confirm that this is actually the case in order to avoid bad consequences for both her and the person accused”.

    Anyway, we’re going around in circles.

  128. chigau (違う) says

    BJ#114
    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.
    Tell us your perception of the behaviour of an alleged victim.
    Does this differ from the behaviour of an actual victim?

  129. chigau (違う) says

    BJ #143
    Anyway, we’re going around in circles.
    Does this mean you are leaving?

  130. says

    Billyjoe has 627 comments here, usually in the form of these commenting jags where he tries to defend something stupid he has said, and that is correct — he still can’t spell my name.

    That says all you need to know about him.

  131. billyjoe says

    Sorry, PZ, that was a typo I didn’t catch. And you can’t edit comments here.

    But I haven’t said anything stupid here. Mostly it’s other commenters putting stupid interpretations on what I’ve said, or getting caught up in the pedantic definition of the words I’ve used instead of addressing what I’m actually saying. John and Crip are leading examples of that stradegy of avoiding addressing what I’m actually saying.

    I would prefer to post a lot less, but it is hard to restrain myself from correcting all those misrepresentations and misunderstandings. From now on, however, I will avoid going around in circles. If commenters wish to keep misunderstanding what I’m saying, my continuing to correct them seems to be having little effect anyway.

    Also, in this thread, I’ve said nothing more than was contained in that link you provided approvingly in one of your posts a few months back. I wish I could remember the link or the author.

    Cheers.

  132. Tethys says

    But I haven’t said anything stupid here. ~ billyjoe

    From the SFB who has argued for nearly two weeks in this thread alone that he magically can figure out the odds of women lying about being raped, based on a first person account of rape. (which I doubt he bothered to actually read, since it’s written by a woman) Nevermindthefact that he repeatedly and consistently assumes that bitches crying about rape always be lying, the truly important thing is for billy to mansplain all cases of men behaving rapey as misconceptions on the part of the women, and poor communication skills of the poor rapist menz.

  133. Tethys says

    But I haven’t said anything stupid here. ~ billyjoe

    From the SFB who has argued for nearly two weeks in this thread alone that he magically can figure out the odds of women lying about being raped, based on a first person account of rape. (which I doubt he bothered to actually read, since it’s written by a woman) Nevermindthefact that he repeatedly and consistently assumes that bitches crying about rape always be lying, the truly important thing is for billy to mansplain all cases of men behaving rapey as misconceptions on the part of the women, and poor communication skills of the poor rapist menz.

  134. chigau (違う) says

    BJ #148
    I can edit my comments here. In preview.
    What is your problem?
    .
    Tell us how a rape victim behaves.
    on average

  135. Tethys says

    hmm, my comment seems to be getting eaten by the spamfilter. Test post, and I apologize if it ends up appearing later as a duplicate.
    But I haven’t said anything stupid here. ~ billyjoe

    From the SFB who has argued for nearly two weeks in this thread alone that he magically can figure out the odds of women lying about being raped, based on a first person account of rape. (which I doubt he bothered to actually read, since it’s written by a woman) Nevermindthefact that he repeatedly and consistently assumes that b****es crying about rape always be lying, the truly important thing is for billy to mansplain all cases of men behaving rapey as misconceptions on the part of the women, and poor communication skills of the poor rapist menz.

  136. billyjoe says

    Chigau,

    I posted without previewing the comment. Some blogs, for example those that use Disqus, have an edit function that can be used after you have actually posted your comment. Sometimes it’s easier to pick up your errors after posting. Sometimes you don’t see them before others point them out. As in this case. Then the only thing you can do is apologise, which I did.

    As simple as my name is, it is extraordinary how often it is accidentally misspelled (though not as often as it is deliberately misspelled!). Not that it bothers me. My actual name is a bit more difficult to spell, and I have friends who still misspell after twenty years. They’re still friends though.

  137. billyjoe says

    Tethys,

    Where is AS’s first hand account of the incident. I have only ever seen second hand accounts written by reporters to whom she has spoken. Or are you still claiming this is a first hand account?

    Also, I haven’t figured out “the odds of women lying” as you claim. All I have done is come to some conclusion about the nature of the incident between AS and MS based on everything that I have personally read about the incident. My conclusion about that particular incident – which cannot be extrapolated to “all women” – is that the probability is high. I also said that the email lowered that probability “a bit”. That’s all I have said.

    If you want to make up things I haven’t said, that is known a “strawman fallacy”.

    But we’re going around in circles.

  138. chigau (違う) says

    BJ #152
    But we’re going around in circles.
    Does this mean you are leaving?

  139. chigau (違う) says

    BJ #151
    I posted without previewing the comment.
    That was a stupid thing to do.
    Given that that is how to “edit” comments on this blog.

  140. billyjoe says

    Yeah, chigau, but I’m more used to Disqus where you always get another chance. Having said that, I prefer this format where comments appear chronologically. In Disqus it is easy to lose track of conversations, You always get the feeling that someone somewhere has responded to your comment and you haven’t been able to defend yourself because you’ve lost track and haven’t seen what they’ve got so stupidly wrong.

  141. says

    billy. billy. billy

    Both of you need to take a beginners course in statistics.
    My statement is straight-forwardly true.

    Every human behaviour in response to a particular event has a range of possibilities.
    Each of those possibilities has a probabilitiy of occurring.
    These probabilities cover a range from 0 to 1.

    In the middle of that range of probabilities Is the average probability of 0.5

    The problem is I don’t even know where to begin.

    Every human behaviour in response to a particular event has a range of possibilities.

    That’s banally true.

    Each of those possibilities has a probabilitiy of occurring.

    Yeah, obviously.

    These probabilities cover a range from 0 to 1.

    Again, a very trivial truth and pretty obviously the point where you start being uneducated or dishonest.
    Probabilities are derived on the basis of statistics and as such they apply to large numbers of groups and events.
    You can only determine the probability of something after you researched a sufficient amount of events. Watching me roll a die twice won’t tell you shit.
    This is where I asked you to show your data. You keep on making claims about probabilities without having demonstrated the work.

    In the middle of that range of probabilities Is the average probability of 0.5

    Holy shit, no.
    There is no such thing as an average probability. The claim you’re making is that “all events have an average chance of happening 50% of the time.” Probabilities don’t follow a fucking normal distribution and while they can range from 0 to 1, the sum of all probabilities is actually 1. Therefore the average would be 1 divided by the number of possible events. Which is how you actually get the probability for events where all possible outcomes are equally likely.

    This doesn’t even get into the fact that you cannot make a reasonable deduction from event A has occurred (an email was written) to event B has/hasn’t occurred (As was/wasn’t raped) because probabilities don’t work backwards like that.

  142. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    Yes, reading confused comments has rubbed off. Damn. You’re right. Probabilities don’t follow a normal distribution.

    What I meant to say is that there are some behaviours that are statistically more likely to occur than not occur after a particular incident. This does not mean that those behaviours do not occur, only that they are less likely to occur.

    When I said that rape vicitms are less likely to display a certain behaviour than not display that behaviour, some commenters claimed that I was concluding that alleged rape vicitms displaying that behaviour were not raped. What I actually said was that an alleged victim displaying that behaviour lowered by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that she was raped. The reason being that a rape victim would be “a bit” less likely to display that behaviour than not display that behaviour.

    I’m happy you caught my error (and I know you will probably continue to disagree with my assessment of that case), but I’m wondering why you haven’t bothered to correct Tethys’ misunderstanding about first and second hand information. Surely you don’t agree with her, seeing as you’re all up to speed with statistics.

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

    When I said that rape vicitms are less likely to display a certain behaviour than not display that behaviour, some commenters claimed that I was concluding that alleged rape vicitms displaying that behaviour were not raped. What I actually said was that an alleged victim displaying that behaviour lowered by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that she was raped. The reason being that a rape victim would be “a bit” less likely to display that behaviour than not display that behaviour.

    This is all fine and dandy, but where do you get your list of behaviors that correlate with being victimized? And once you have that list, how do you know which behaviors are negatively correlated and which are positively correlated? And is it possible that some behaviors are correlated with certain kinds of victimization, but not with other kinds of victimization?

    So we get this list of questions:

    1. What specific behaviors did Smith’s letter display that are known to correlate with being victimized?
    2. How do you know that the correlation exists?
    3. How do you know whether the correlation is positive or negative?
    4. How do you know that the correlation is applicable to the specific kind of victimization in question for the Shermer/Smith scenario?

    Because what we’ve been trying to tell you is that if you don’t have answers to these questions, then you’re just guessing based on your prejudices and/or stereotypes (assuming those are different).

    Can you honestly tell me that you have answers to those 4 questions? And if not, why won’t you admit that it’s not merely the **quantity** of how much up or down you should revise your estimate of the likelihood of accuracy for Smith’s account (you should have noticed that I didn’t even bother asking for the numeric value of the correlation, only that you know that it exists and whether it is positive or negative), but whether you should be adjusting your estimate of accuracy AT ALL.

  144. Tethys says

    billyjoe

    I’m wondering why you haven’t bothered to correct Tethys’ misunderstanding about first and second hand information.

    Gilliel and I have both read the victims (first-person) account of her encounter and subsequent rape by MS. We both also know that women don’t lie about sexual assault/rape, and the odds of any womans account of rape being true are around 97%. (those odds are what as know as a sure thing) The odds that they are making a false accusation are so exceedingly low that believing victims is the only correct course of action both legally, and morally.

    What we don’t do is spend weeks thinking that our deeply sexist opinion on the matter is a valid substitute for statistical analysis, or claiming to have insight into the attack that the victims somehow is lacking. Billy really does need to learn the fine art of shutting the hell up.

  145. chigau (違う) says

    A bunch of numbers can have an average.
    A bunch of behaviours cannot.

  146. chigau (違う) says

    BJ#114
    I have a perception of the range of behaviours an alleged victim could show, and that certain behaviours are more likely than others to indicate that she is an actual victim of rape.
    TELL US YOUR PERCEPTION OF THE BEHAVIOUR OF AN ALLEGED VICTIM.

  147. consciousness razor says

    What I meant to say is that there are some behaviours that are statistically more likely to occur than not occur after a particular incident. This does not mean that those behaviours do not occur, only that they are less likely to occur.

    When I said that rape vicitms are less likely to display a certain behaviour than not display that behaviour, some commenters claimed that I was concluding that alleged rape vicitms displaying that behaviour were not raped. What I actually said was that an alleged victim displaying that behaviour lowered by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that she was raped. The reason being that a rape victim would be “a bit” less likely to display that behaviour than not display that behaviour.

    You’re still acting as if you have access to information about the observed frequency of behaviors of actual rapists and non-rapists. But I’m sure you haven’t collected the relevant data regarding this behavior, and you’re not using a thing you don’t have.

    Instead, you’re modeling your personal credence as a probability, so that the number going down by some amount is intended to correspond to a decrease in your belief that a rape occurred. It’s an expression of how “certain” or “confident” you are of this or that proposition, not the statistical likelihood of an event based on the empirical evidence. You don’t merely say “yes” or “no” to the proposition but add a statement which reflects how sure you are of your answer. That’s all this is.

    If I were asked how certain I am of what the outcome will be when billyjoe flips a coin, I’m not committed to 50/50 odds of heads and tails. That is not written in stone anywhere. We’re not faced with an algebra problem here, which one can solve by counting the number of possibilities and applying some simple algorithm that you knew in advance must be true. It’s a real-world problem of finding how things really behave, when they may do all sorts of unexpected things for all you know (which you know jack shit about, until you gather evidence). And what I think is another question altogether. I can think there’s a decent chance you’ll fuck it up somehow. I can think the coin is not fair. I can think we live in a world in which heads is more frequent when the coin is fair. I can think heads is more likely when tails had just been flipped in the previous round. I can think the outcome is somehow related to some other set of phenomena that you’re not describing, and ask you for information about the price of tea in China or whatever the fuck it may be.

    My priors could be totally bizarre and all out of whack, relative to what we see happening in the real-world, which of course is not the same as your priors or the set of everyone else’s priors. I may be representing my actual beliefs appropriately, and doing this does not give anyone valid evidence concerning what the frequencies of these of events are actually observed to be, because my judgement about it may well be mistaken. Perhaps it’s an indication of how twisted my views are, if that’s how it goes. But it’s not as if things must always work out for us as we’d like, such that whenever I evaluate arbitrary propositions and express my confidence in them, it must correspond with real events in the world, of which I may have no empirical evidence whatsoever. It takes some actual work (data collecting, etc.) to get this stuff approximately right, not just some aimless guesswork (and more than a little pretending) while sitting on your ass in front of a keyboard.

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

    You have to wonder if billyjoe’s #157 is encouraging or not.

    On the one hand, it’s certainly always good when a person is able to admit error, e.g.

    Damn. You’re right. Probabilities don’t follow a normal distribution.

    On the other hand, billyjoe used #157 to ten-thousand-down on the idea that there are behaviors exhibited by Smith that allow us to accurately adjust our estimates of the accuracy of her story up or down … and yet billyjoe is unable to put a name to a specific behavior (or even a general one) that is manifest in that e-mail that anyone, anywhere has shown correlates to victimization, to telling the truth about being victimized, or anything else specific enough to justify adjusting estimates of her accuracy even “a bit”.

    It’s hard to know where to begin with someone who so clearly has a general idea of what it means to think about a topic, to exchange ideas, to argue in the philosophical (not colloquial) sense, and yet equally clearly refuses to engage in any critical thought about the actual content, the actual nature of the statements made that are actually causing the uproar.

    The glimmerings of the ability to think critically only make attributing these evasions to incompetence to be less and less plausible, and to cause me to revise upward the likelihood that bad faith is driving these evasions.

    Not a ton, mind you. I’m not talking about existential certainty of bad faith. Those glimmerings just raise the likelihood of bad faith by a bit.

  149. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    You don’t seem to realise that they you have a similar problem.

    There are no studies that I know of to backup my decision to reduce by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that MS raped AS. I can’t imagine that any such studies have been done, or are likely to be done in the future. So, I’m going on what seems reasonable.

    But you don’t seem to realise that you are in the same predicament. Your conclusion is that the email sent to MS by AS has zero effect on the probability that MS raped AS. How do you justify that? In the absence of studies, is your conclusion reasonable?

    I think the conclusion that it reduced the “high” prior probability by “a bit” is the more reasonable conclusion.

  150. billyjoe says

    Tethys,

    Come on, you claimed that reading a reporter’s account of what AS said, was a first hand account. You could just admit your error.

  151. billyjoe says

    CR….Same as for CD.
    BTW, what sort of bizarro world is your coin toss happening in. :D

  152. Tethys says

    reading a reporter’s account of what AS said

    Your reading comprehension is truly sub-par billy. I haven’t read any account of the assault except the one written by AS herself, as is quite clear in my comment. Inventing a reporter out of whole cloth is either dishonest or simply dumb. Possibly both.

  153. John Morales says

    billyjoe @164:

    Crip Dyke,

    You don’t seem to realise that they you have a similar problem.

    There are no studies that I know of to backup my decision to reduce by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that MS raped AS.
    […]
    But you don’t seem to realise that you are in the same predicament. Your conclusion is that the email sent to MS by AS has zero effect on the probability that MS raped AS. How BJ do you justify that?

    No wonder you feel as in you are going in circles; you do not incorporate new information into your considerations.

    Again: Events after a given occurrence do not affect that occurrence’s probability.
    So, yeah, zero change in the probability.

    Think about it: “… the email sent to MS by AS has zero effect on the probability that MS raped AS.”

    How could that email affect a prior occurrence, pray tell?

    Again: Perhaps don’t write as if you thought that your personal degree of certitude about some event having occurred were the likelihood of that event having occurred, lest you be taken at face value.

    @148:

    John and Crip are leading examples of that stradegy of avoiding addressing what I’m actually saying.

    Not only are we addressing what you’ve written, but we are further noting how what you have written is uninformed.

    e.g.: “I think the conclusion that it reduced the “high” prior probability by “a bit” is the more reasonable conclusion.”

    You @84:

    In the case of Alison Smith and Michael Shermer, my probability is high that “something unsavoury” happened to Alison Smith, and that “something unsavoury” could constitute rape depending on the definition of “rape”.

    So it’s still “high”, right? Or does those perceived incongruences between the hostility and hair-rending distress you expect and the events that you say influence your estimation (not the probability) that Shermer is indeed a rapist to the degree that it is no longer, um, “high”.

    (Depending on the definition of “rape”, of course, no less than your personal categorisation of likelihood categories — the which you are conspicuously reticent at attempting to quantify)

    Also notable is how you focus on how you perceive the credibility of the accuser(s), and say nothing about the accused.

    Also, while I’m here:

    Tethys,

    Come on, you claimed that reading a reporter’s account of what AS said, was a first hand account. You could just admit your error.

    A true transcript of what someone has said is a first-hand account, as Giliell has noted, no less than is an unmodified audio-visual recording.

    (It’s about the ultimate provenance of a claim, not its proximate provenance!)

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

    Crip Dyke,
    You don’t seem to realise that they you have a similar problem.
    There are no studies that I know of to backup my decision to reduce by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that MS raped AS. I can’t imagine that any such studies have been done, or are likely to be done in the future. So, I’m going on what seems reasonable.

    Which means you’re going by guess – call it instinct, your gut, whatever.

    What you’re not doing is adjusting the estimate of accuracy by use of evidence. Do you understand the difference?

    But you don’t seem to realise that you are in the same predicament. Your conclusion is that the email sent to MS by AS has zero effect on the probability that MS raped AS. How do you justify that? In the absence of studies, is your conclusion reasonable?

    Really? So now you have no idea what the burden of proof is? The null hypothesis?

    The number of verifiable facts that don’t correlate with whether or not Smith’s account is true are astronomical in number. The number that do correlate can’t even approach 50% of that number. Even if you reduce it to the number of true facts about Smith, the number is still astronomical, and includes the nature of every scrap of food she’s ever eaten, how many bites were required to consume it, and vastly, vastly more.

    The null hypothesis would be perfectly justified. But even if it isn’t, this

    Your conclusion is that the email sent to MS by AS has zero effect on the probability that MS raped AS. How do you justify that?

    is unmitigated bullshit. I think even you would recognize the level of bullshit if you saw it in this form:

    Goddist: God exists.
    Skeptic: I have no reason to believe that’s true, and so your statement will not cause me to adjust my estimate of the probability of any god’s existence up or down.
    Goddist: I have EVIDENCE.
    Skeptic: What is the nature of that evidence? And how do you justify claiming that whatever facts you propose as “evidence” actually correlate with the likelihood of the existence of a god?
    Goddist: YOU’RE ASSERTING THAT GOD DOESN’T EXIST! WHAT’S YOUR PROOF? WERE YOU THERE????? WHY ARE YOU SO EXISTENTIALLY CERTAIN WHEN YOU CLAIM TO BE A SKEPTIC????

    You have asserted that there is actual evidence in that e-mail that justifies adjusting our estimates of Smith’s accuracy down “a bit”.

    I have repeatedly asked you to justify that statement instead of pretending that your assumptions amount to evidence.

    You have repeatedly declined while maintaining the the e-mail somehow constitutes “evidence”.

    I have never, not once, said that there could not be any evidence in that e-mail and that there could be no one with the skills and knowledge to use that e-mail to accurately predict that the probability of the accuracy of an account should be adjusted up or down based on one or more qualities of that e-mail.

    No. I’m not in the same situation. I actually have a broad history with this work, and I know enough that we have a very poor ability to predict who is accurately recounting a story of trauma and who is not accurately recounting a story of trauma. I’ve changed fields, however, and even while I was up to date, up to date isn’t the same as knowing every result from every psych or sociology lab ever.

    But I’m making no assertions. I’m happy to be exposed to new data, new articles, new hypothesis and the analytical work and argument that supports them.

    You made an assertion that you had evidence. Now, after tens of comments, you’re saying I have no evidence and never had any evidence but fuck you crip dyke you’re a stupid hypocrite who doesn’t realize she’s in the same boat.

    No. I’m not in the same boat. And it speaks volumes that you can’t recognize that simple fact, that in addition to having incredibly poor understandings of human reactions to sexual trauma you also don’t understand the null hypothesis or its application or the burden of proof and how and when it applies.

    I’d like an apology, please, for your lie that I have made a “conclusion” that the e-mail “has zero effect on the probability that MS raped AS”. The e-mail on its own doesn’t raise or lower our estimates that Smith recounted the events accurately, but it absolutely could have an effect if research demonstrated that aspects of e-mails (or communications generally) sent by those who recounted a story of trauma could be used to accurately adjust estimates of accuracy of those accounts.

    This is the same as saying that on its own the fact that Person X has a rare genetic allele can in no way accurately increase or decrease our estimates of the likelihood that Person X committed some murder. Now, if you find some DNA at the crime scene and compare it to the DNA of Person X, and if you have data on the reliability of your analytical techniques, then you could have reason to adjust the likelihood if the lab went on to produce the finding that the DNA of person X and DNA from the crime scene share an allele that is not shared with very many people and certainly not shared with anyone else at the crime scene for legitimate reasons.

    You don’t understand evidence. You don’t understand the human response to sexual trauma. You don’t understand the null hypothesis. You don’t understand the burden of proof. And from what you’ve written about me being in the same situation as you in making a positive assertion, you don’t even understand what other commenters are writing.

    Is there anything, anything at all, that would justify a reader of this conversation finding particular value in your participation here? Because maybe after apologizing, you should just bow the fuck out.

  155. says

    Now, after we got probability 101 out of the way, of course even if we had reliable data that said “9 out of 10 rape victims don’t send their rapists nice emails” then that would only be useful in making predictions about the future behaviour of a rape victim.
    Because the email was sent. This doesn’t allow you to draw conclusions because AS can well be the one in ten (one in 100? one in 1000) who does send the email.
    To give an example, there was a deadly traffic accident in my neck of the woods this morning. Now, every day, thousands of cars drive that road, hundred thousands of cars drive that road every year. Millions in 10 years. Yet you’d ask me to take less drugs if I went on claiming that there hasn’t been a deadly traffic accident because the chance of that happening is one in ten millions.

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

    Yes, Giliell. Take fewer drugs.

    Here, I’ll help. Why don’t you hand those drugs to me. I’ll take very, very good care of them.

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

    Oh, darn it. You’re the one who’s NOT making the claim.

    Well now I have to ask for billyjoe’s drugs, I guess, though whatever billyjoe’s taking is not something i think i want.

  158. billyjoe says

    Tethys,

    I possibly confused you with someone else ?Giliell ?Brony.

    It was a reference to statements made in another thread. I quoted from a linked article. It was an article written by a reporter about what was said by AS about the incident (and many others about many other incidents in the sceptic movement). I referred to this as a second hand account (there were also third hand accounts in the article). Someone retorted that it was a first hand account, and I pointed out that the reporter got a first hand account from AS, but that I got a second hand account from the reporter about what AS told the reporter (AS->reporter->me). Whoever it was that said it was a first hand account continued to claim it was a first hand account and I eventually gave up.

    But that aside, do you have a link to that first hand account of that incident – something written by AS herself? I have never seen her first hand account and would appreciate reading it. I think I asked for it before – but maybe not from you – but didn’t get a response.

  159. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    Because the email was sent. This doesn’t allow you to draw conclusions because AS can well be the one in ten (one in 100? one in 1000) who does send the email

    I haven’t come to a conclusion. I have adjusted the probability. I have not said that AS allegations are false. I have said that the “high” prior probability that AS allegation is true is lowered “a bit”.

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

    Wow. You didn’t understand what Giliell said at all. You’re almost impressive in misunderstanding her so badly that you think she was asking you for a numerical factor by which you would adjust your assessment of Smith’s likely accuracy.

  161. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    It seems we still can’t agree about the probability about past events.
    Let’s go back to the coin toss. I just tossed a coin (a fair coin that has an equal probability of falling on either “heads” or “tails” and was rethrown if showed any other behaviour, okay!). That event is in the past. It landed either “heads” or “tails”. You haven’t seen the result and are asked to bet on the result was “heads”. What odds would you accept?

    I’m going to assume you would want odds of 0.5.

    In other words, for someone who does not know the result, and even though there is a fact of the matter as to whether it landed “heads” or “tails”, your estimated probability that it landed heads is 0.5.
    This shows that you can indeed estimate probabilities about past events.

    All of history works that way. What is the probability the JC existed. There is a fact of the matter. Either JC did exist or JC did not exist. But historians don’t know what this fact of the matter is, so they work out the probability that it is true based on all the evidence they have available. As a matter of interest, most historians think that JC did exist, and a minority think JC did not exist.

    This is what I’m doing with the AS incident. The fact of the matter is either MS raped AS or MS did not rape AS. But I don’t know what the fact of the matter is, so all I can do is assign a probability based on the evidence that I have.

    As for the null hypothesis….
    This is how it works: If your hypothesis is: “MS raped AS”. The null hypothesis is: “MS did not rape AS”. Your task is not to prove your hypothesis. Your task is to reject the null hypothesis (“MS did not rape AS”). Of course, you can never totally reject the null hypothesis, but what you can do is reduce the probability that it is true. In other words, your task is to provide evidence that reduces the probability that the null hypothesis (“MS did not rape AS”) is true. And the more evidence you have that reduces the probability that the null hypothesis (“MS did not rape AS”) is true, the greater the probability that your hypothesis ( “MS raped AS”) is true.

    I’m sorry, but that’s how it works.

  162. Tethys says

    boringbilly

    But that aside, do you have a link to that first hand account of that incident – something written by AS herself? I have never seen her first hand account and would appreciate reading it.

    You can’t use a search engine to find the first-hand account of the original incident, thread here on Pharyngula, or follow the links provided in the OP, but you can find an e-mail written by AS years after the fact and claim it somehow lowers her credibility!? Yeah, long past time for the shitlord to be fucking off. I am going to go sacrifice some crustaceans to the squidly overlord in hopes he will take mercy on the horde and smite billy with his hammer.

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

    This shows that you can indeed estimate probabilities about past events.

    YES. YOU CAN ESTIMATE THE PROBABILITIES THAT SPECIFIC PAST EVENTS OCCURRED.

    BUT YOU ARE IGNORING THE FACT THAT YOU ARE THE ONE WITH A HYPOTHESIS ABOUT WHETHER THE E-MAIL CAN BE USED TO ACCURATELY ADJUST OUR ESTIMATES OF SMITH’S ACCURACY.

    YOU ASSIGNED ME A BURDEN OF PROOF.

    CAN YOU FIND THE ASSERTION I’VE MADE THAT CARRIES A BURDEN OF PROOF?

    OR CAN YOU ONLY FIND ME SAYING THAT YOU’VE DONE FUCK ALL TO SHOW THAT THE E-MAIL CAN BE USED TO ACCURATELY ADJUST OUR ESTIMATES OF SMITH’S ACCURACY AND AM THUS WAITING FOR YOU TO ACTUALLY PICK UP YOUR OWN BURDN OF PROOF AND DO SOMETHING WITH IT?

    DON’T IGNORE THE IMPLICATIONS OF YOUR OWN COMMENTS. YOU ASSIGNED ME A BURDEN OF PROOF. YOU WERE WRONG TO DO SO.

    ALSO, YOU’RE A FUCKING IDIOT.

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

    Nice, John.

  165. billyjoe says

    John Morales,

    See my reply to CD.
    But let me see. What AS told the reporter has now become a transcript of what AS said. Like a reprint of her personal account. Yeah, that would be a first hand account. However, what the reporter said she sad is still a second hand account. Have you ever played the game called “telephone”?

  166. chigau (違う) says

    telephone game!
    (randomised)

    違う→CD, “BJ is an asshole”
    CD→JM, “BJ is a ashole”
    JM→Tethys, “BJ is an ashole”
    Tethys→Giliell, “BJ is a asshole”
    Giliell→違う, “BJ is an asshole”

    .
    Did I miss anyone?

  167. rq says

    I think billyjoe is afraid to come right out and say it: the real issue he has with that email is that it contains a smiley. What’s more, it has a winking eye. Good people of Pharyngula, I put to you the question – would not an Actual Rape Victim never again use smileys ever in their lives, esp. when interacting on a professional level with their rapist?!!
    Excepting, of course, the few who might, probably less than 0.5, so definitely no more than 1, and I would say slightly above 0 but it’s hard to say because it’s all averages, so 0.5, but honestly, it’s a range from 0 to 1 and you just can’t tell with those statistics. It’s all probabilities of one kind or another, and if you have enough reducing probabilities, you can approach a 0 chance of a past event having occurred, even if it has already occurred! It’s like magic.
    (See billyjoe:

    What I actually said was that an alleged victim displaying that behaviour lowered by “a bit” my “high” prior probability that she was raped. The reason being that a rape victim would be “a bit” less likely to display that behaviour than not display that behaviour.

    Add ’em up!!)

    Anyway. From billyjoe:

    You always get the feeling that someone somewhere has responded to your comment and you haven’t been able to defend yourself because you’ve lost track and haven’t seen what they’ve got so stupidly wrong.

    Because, obviously,

    But I haven’t said anything stupid here.

    Let’s assume you haven’t said anything stupid here. Then you’re simply an asshole.

    chigau, I want in on that circle.

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

    @rq:

    違う→CD, “BJ is an asshole”
    CD→RQ, “BJ is a ashole”
    RQ→JM, “BJ is a ashole”
    JM→Tethys, “BJ is an ashole”
    Tethys→Giliell, “BJ is a asshole”
    Giliell→違う, “BJ is an asshole”

    Updated. Wouldn’t have wanted you to miss it.

    I haven’t said anything stupid here.

    Let’s assume you haven’t said anything stupid here. Then you’re simply an asshole.

    Exactly. If billyjoe was really up to speed with all the research on human psychological responses to trauma he either wouldn’t have made his original statement or when asked for justification he would have quickly rattled off the sources that allow one to find indicators in the e-mail that accurately predict a shift in probable accuracy of Smith’s account.

    Of course, we know from later admissions that he doesn’t know of any such sources and that he doesn’t even believe it’s possible to do any research that would allow one to determine whether the estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down. Yet he did it anyway.

    If we take him at his word that he’s not stupid, that he understands these topics and knew from the get go that you can’t correctly predict how an estimate of Smith’s accuracy should change by reading an e-mail written two years later, then he said that shit knowing it was wrong and all the justifications and argument were also known by billyjoe to be bullshit.

    I can almost believe (not really) that billyjoe did that knowingly, but then that’s seriously asshole behavior there.

    Fortunately there’s a resolution to this apparent dilemma. I think billyjoe ran his mouth at the beginning of this thread without having any expertise in the human psychological response to trauma, and certainly not expertise specific enough to determine whether or not estimates of Smith’s accuracy should be revised up or down based on reading an e-mail written two years after the time of Shermer’s reported behavior. But he also doubled down, refused to listen, refused to acknowledge that some people here knew (and know) a fuck of a lot more than he does on important areas of study that bear directly on the questions being posed and generally acted like an entitled, arrogant, ignorant asshat.

    And so the false dichotomy is resolved, the rift is healed: billyjoe’s behavior here has been stupid AND assholish.

  169. rq says

    And so the false dichotomy is resolved, the rift is healed: billyjoe’s behavior here has been stupid AND assholish.

    Agreed. It’s not like the two attributes are mutually exclusive, anyway.

  170. billyjoe says

    Tethys,

    That’s now the second time I’ve politely asked for a link to the first hand account (that you claim exists) by AS about the incident. At this stage Im going to assume it does not exist.

    To be transparently clear, I’m looking for a article written by Alison Smith that gives her personal account of the incident. Please do not reply by arguing about first and second hand accounts. I just want a link to an article written personally by AS.

  171. billyjoe says

    John Morales,

    Thanks for finally posting that link.
    Why was that so hard?

  172. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    Thank you for finally agreeing that you can estimate the probability of past events.
    But why did that take so long?

    But please quote me where I said I could accurately adjust the probability that MS raped AS. Unless you think that lowering the probability by “a bit” qualifies as “accurately adjusting”.

    Also writing a whole post in capitals and ending with an expletive does not impress me at all. It just suggests you’re losing the argument. My post explaining that you need to refute the null hypothesis not prove the hypothesis was meant to inform not inflame.

    But…please clarify the following:

    Am I wrong in thinking that what you claim is that “MS raped AS”.
    Because if you are NOT claiming that, why are you even arguing with me?
    And if you ARE claiming that, then you damn well do have the burden of proof

    .

  173. billyjoe says

    Chigau,

    Nice one :)

    Now…you probably understand why I needed a first hand account…which I’ll read shortly…which will probably adjust my probability either “a bit” up or down depending on the contents.

  174. Tethys says

    My reply (no matter how politely I am asked) is still, “Go do your own homework.” It was kind of John Morales to use the search function to find the original OP, but I’m certainly not lifting a finger for disengenious, pompous windbags. Perhaps billy could go hang out with noel plum? They make quite the pair of pearl clutching rape advocates. Alas, won’t anyone spare a care for the poor accused menz destroyed reputations!!

  175. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    Yet he did it anyway

    And so have you.

    If you are not adjusting your probability up or down, then you are effectively saying that the email had ZERO effect on the probability.
    And you’re saying that without studies to support that conclusion.

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

    @billyjoe:
    I don’t give a fuck whether you’re impressed or not. Again, you’re acting as if I care about you and that you are the only possible audience.

    Am I wrong in thinking that what you claim is that “MS raped AS”.

    YES!

    Over and over I’ve said that your claim is that you can use a particular e-mail to accurately determine whether or not our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account should be adjusted up or down.

    Over and over I’ve said that I do not believe that you have proven that the e-mail can be used to accurately adjust our estimate up or down.

    Unless you think that lowering the probability by “a bit” qualifies as “accurately adjusting”.

    There are three possibilities when considering whether the e-mail should adjust our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s story.

    1. The estimate should be lowered
    2. The estimate should remain the same
    3. The estimate should be raised.

    “Accurately” changing the estimate in this case, since no numerical magnitude has been given, means lowering it only when it should be lowered, raising it only when it should be raised, and allowing it to remain the same in all other circumstances, whether that entails proof that the current estimate is correct or lack of proof that the current estimate should be changed.

    You have said it should be lowered. But there are 2 other possibilities. How do we know you’re right?

    The null hypothesis says that among these three possibilities, we should first presume that our estimate should not change. We should maintain that presumption up to the moment when we have adequate proof that the estimate SHOULD change.

    The null hypothesis says that you’re wrong to have lowered your estimate – either by a specific number or by “a bit” – unless you have proof that lowering it is the appropriate action.

    The burden of proof says that when you advocate lowering the estimate and I say, “I’m not convinced the estimate should be moved at all” then YOU ARE THE ONE ASSERTING SOMETHING AND YOU ARE THE ONE WITH THE BURDEN OF PROOF.

    But again, I’ve said this before, so I repeat myself yet again only so that the people following along can count the number of times you entirely fail to get that you’re actually advocating an assertion – that the estimate should change – and yet refusing to defend that assertion.

    We’ve said you don’t have evidence, you have a fucking guess. You went off on how the experience of one rape victim is different from another. But all rapes are unique and all experiences of rape are unique. What the fuck does that tell us about whether this e-mail should lower our estimate of accuracy of Smith’s story?

    Nothing.

    You ramble on, but you can’t create a coherent argument to defend the original assertion, and instead throw up bullshit to cloud the issue. The people reading along, I’m sure, are adding one more to the number of clue-by-fours to the count of how many blows to your metaphorical head it will take before you acknowledge that you have a burden of proof, you haven’t met it, I don’t, and you’ve been full of shit this entire time.

  177. billyjoe says

    Well, that was not really an account by AS of the incident but her corrections about some reported aspects of the incident and an explanation for why she sent that email. Nevermind. This is the relevant quote for our purposes:

    The other part is – me asking Shermer to be on that panel for the Sex workshop wasn’t a reaction based upon victimization (like, it wasn’t that I was pushing aside how I felt about him in order to accomplish something; and I wasn’t in denial).

    It was incredibly calculated – because I knew for an absolute fact that his views on consent were different from the other panelists. I had a rape crisis counselor on the panel as well, and I was hoping, as the moderator, to steer the conversation over to date rape. I wasn’t going to ‘Gotcha’ him or mention what happened or anything – I just honestly believed that he could stand to have that debate with someone, and maybe learn a thing or two. That’s why I was nice in the e-mail – I didn’t want him to put together what I was doing. I actually laughed when I saw that he was using that e-mail as evidence, because I so carefully crafted it to not sound like I was up to anything. It’s actually proof OF what happened – not against it – and for a brief, wild moment I found that funny.

    So, imagine you’ve just read that for the first time.
    How did that change your prior probability that “MS raped AS”?
    Was the change in your prior probability positive, zero, or negative?

  178. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    The null hypothesis says that among these three possibilities, we should first presume that the estimate should not change.

    You don’t start with the null hypothesis.
    You start with your hypothesis.
    And you derive the null hypothesis from your hypothesis.

    You have just confirmed that you believe MS raped AS. So…

    Your hypothesis: “MS raped AS”
    The null hypothesis is “MS did not rape AS”
    Your task: to disprove the null hypothesis.

    I’m sorry my but his is how it is done.
    And please note that the result is always a probability less than 1 and greater than 0.

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

    If you are not adjusting your probability up or down, then you are effectively saying that the email had ZERO effect on the probability.

    NO.

    If I am not adjusting my estimate of the probability*1 up or down, it might mean I’m eating lunch and haven’t gotten around to doing the adjustment yet.

    It might meant the e-mail should adjust adjust the probability, but the adjustment is so small compared to the margin or error that it would be misleading to change the estimate. In this case, think of an estimate reported to only 2 significant digits as 88% with a margin of error of 5& and evidence showing from a new study focussing on just the e-mail showing that an adjustment downward of 1 in 100,000 is warranted. But if we actually change the estimate to 87.999% that communicates to the reader that all the other work we did to come up with the 88% estimate was accurate at least to 1 part in 100,000. That’s not true, so the adjustment, even if apparently warranted by a separate study, provides a misleading picture of the overall accuracy of the estimate and the estimate should not be changed.

    It’s also possible that a study of whether or not the estimate should be changed was simply inconclusive. There’s no proof that the estimate should NOT be changed, but there’s no proof that it should. In that case, the estimate should also not be changed.

    In none of these cases need someone assert that there’s proof the estimate should not be changed in order to justify not changing the estimate.

    Your claim is exactly analogous to the theists who assert that a particular god exists when then, when confronted by someone who is not yet convinced, asserts that saying “I don’t know” is the same thing as saying, “I know for sure that god does NOT exist.”

    Your claim is also stupid and wrong.

    *1: not the probability – the probability is either 0 or 1, it either happened or it didn’t, it’s in the past. It’s our ESTIMATE of the probability that changes

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

    @billyjoe:

    You have just confirmed that you believe MS raped AS. So…

    Holy fuck, how do you live with yourself? You just asked me,

    Am I wrong in thinking that what you claim is that “MS raped AS”.

    And I just responded:

    YES!

    What kind of liar do you have to be to assert in comment 199 that I believe the opposite of what I said in 197 and manage to think that you won’t get caught.

    Did you think I was going to forget what I said?

    Your moronity knows no bounds.

  181. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    It is still a result.
    It might not be statistically significant.
    It might not be clinically significant or significant to any practical degree.

    But it is not zero.
    That’s the point.
    If you dismiss that evidence, you are effectively concluding that the difference is zero.

    You cannot justify doing that when the actual result is non-zero.

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

    Show your work that the actual result is non-zero.

  183. says

    The only person impressed by billyjoe’s logical contortions remains billyjoe himself. Everyone else inflicts terminal damage to their keyboards trying to parse the dreck he continues to spout.

  184. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #194
    …I needed a first hand account…
    You needed?
    What does that even mean?

  185. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Re #202.

    So, he still considers things that are not statistically, clinically, or practically significant to be evidence.

    Hey billyjoe, how’s the homeopathy working out for you?

  186. rq says

    chigau
    They need to package that in those little creamer packages.
    For camouflage.

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

    So, he still considers things that are not statistically, clinically, or practically significant to be evidence.

    I know, right?

    and I get every impression that billyjoe thinks himself the voice of reason in this thread.

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

    I was actually just making an Anita Bryant joke to my best friend earlier today. I wasn’t old enough to remember Bryant’s Campaign For Heterosexist Values or whatever the fuck she called her crusade. Although I remember the commercials, I didn’t know (or remember) her name. Then in my 20s as I was learning queer history (maybe reading Eric Marcus’ Making History?) I came across her name and learned that she was the one who led that Hate The Gays charge in Florida (and elsewhere). For whatever reason, since first learning of her name and her heterosexist politics, I’ve never forgotten: not the politics, not Bryant’s name, and not the connection with orange juice.

    Don’t know why that’s lodged so firmly in my brain, but it is.

  189. rq says

    CD
    Oh yes, I believe he does – in one of his previous comments, he says:

    You always get the feeling that someone somewhere has responded to your comment and you haven’t been able to defend yourself because you’ve lost track and haven’t seen what they’ve got so stupidly wrong.

    He is here, thank all the SQWs of the IDW, to show us the Right Way! Aren’t you just sooooo glad?
    All in all, there’s a very catholic-like, guilt-inducing (“why was that so hard?” “thank you but why did that take so long?”) tenor to his comments.

  190. chigau (違う) says

    So.
    Why is Anita not in the WhiteHouse?
    She could advise Donny.
    Is she too old?

  191. says

    bj>/b>

    This is how it works: If your hypothesis is: “MS raped AS”. The null hypothesis is: “MS did not rape AS”. Your task is not to prove your hypothesis. Your task is to reject the null hypothesis (“MS did not rape AS”).

    Funny thing is that the hypothesis “MS had consensual sex with AS” is never the one that needs any evidence.

  192. says

    This topic heavily offends my statistical sentibilities.
    billyjoe, you made positive claim “After I read that email that probability dropped a bit”, so the burden of proof is on you to substantiate said claim. It is not on the shoulders of those who are unimpressed by your statement.
    And no, saying in many verbose ways “it is so because it just is” does not count as substantiaiting said claim.
    You are the one who talks about shifting probabilies this way or that way. So show your data and your math (you know those two things are not the same, right?). Until you do, we are left with the notion that accusations of rape are true in 90-98% cases. Note the first sentence on wiki “It is extremely difficult to assess the prevalence of false accusations.”. Yet you seem to think that adjusting an uncertain probability “a bit” in favor of a probable rapist is extremely important. So either clerly define how big a precentage “a bit” is and why or shut up and be content with being rightufully called rape apollogist.
    I would call you a weasel, but that would be offensive to those cute little predators.

  193. billyjoe says

    Why did you jump to the conclusion that I am a liar, when any reasonable person would have immediately understood that I misinterpreted your “yes” as “yes I do believe MS raped AS”, instead of what you actually meant by your “yes” which was “yes you are wrong to think that I believe MS raped AS”. But correct me if I’m wrong.

    So, let me be totally clear. You are saying that you don’t believe MS raped AS. Because most commenters here would disagree strongly with you and would encourage you to “believe women” when they say they have been raped. I imagine if I made such an admission here that I’d be set upon with hammers and chains.

    Also you haven’t responded to my suggestion that you need to disprove the null hypothesis. And you haven’t responded to my suggestion that you can’t ignore a result because it’s not statistically significant, because to do so would be to effectively take the result as being zero. You cannot do that. You cannot take any result and change it to zero because the result is not statistically significant.

  194. billyjoe says

    Chigau,

    Yes “needed”.
    Is English not your first language.
    (Don’t need to answer – as far as I’m concerned your here for light amusement)

  195. billyjoe says

    FossilFishy,

    So, he still considers things that are not statistically, clinically, or practically significant to be evidence.

    Is English not your first language either?
    I said you can’t reduce a result to zero just because it is not statistically significant. It has to stay the value you determined it to be,and then you can qualify it as not statistically significant if appropriate calculations determine that that is the case.

  196. billyjoe says

    Giliell,

    Funny thing is that the hypothesis “MS had consensual sex with AS” is never the one that needs any evidence

    It works fine. It’s just that no one here has claimed that that is their hypothesis. Though I haven’t quite worked out where Crip Dyke stands so we may get there yet.

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

    You are saying that you don’t believe MS raped AS.

    No. I’m not saying that.

    I’m not saying I believe, I’m not saying I don’t believe. If you actually read my comments, you would know that I have never in this thread made any statement about my belief or lack of it. When I haven’t said anything, it doesn’t mean I’m secretly saying something. It means that I haven’t said anything. What the fuck is so hard about that?

    What I’ve said has been in response to you. You said that you had an initial estimate of the probability that Smith’s story was accurate. You also said that based on what you read in a particular e-mail, you revised your estimate of Smith’s accuracy downward “a bit”.

    I have asked you repeatedly to justify that, by saying what in the e-mail can be accurately correlated with estimates of accuracy of an account of rape or other sexual victimization.

    You have repeatedly sidestepped the fundamental question which has been here from the beginning. Lately you’ve been sidestepping by trying to guess what I believe even though I’ve been crystal clear and even though what I believe is irrelevant.

    You’ve made a claim that, having had a previous estimate, something about that particular e-mail necessitates revising that previous estimate downward.

    I’ve said “show your work”.

    Show your work is not a statement that I believe Smith. It’s not a statement that I disbelieve Smith. It mean, it technical terms that might be hard for you to understand, SHOW YOUR WORK.

    Why did you jump to the conclusion that I am a liar, when any reasonable person would have immediately understood that I misinterpreted your “yes” as “yes I do believe MS raped AS”, instead of what you actually meant by your “yes” which was “yes you are wrong to think that I believe MS raped AS”. But correct me if I’m wrong.

    I “jumped to that conclusion” because I thought you understood your own question. If you found your own question confusing, I’m very sorry about that. But you asked me a particular question. I answered the question that was asked in the simplest possible way – a one word affirmative.

    If you didn’t understand your own question and/or have some trouble understanding the English word “yes”, then I guess my conclusion was unwarranted, but I think it’s hardly unfair to you to accept as a premise that you understand the meaning of the words you’re typing.

    Should I perhaps reject that premise? I’d be happy accept your word and the reject that premise in the future if you tell me that premise is not true. Although, that’s a little weird, because I’m not sure how you could successfully communicate to me that you don’t know what your own words mean, since if you really don’t know it would be a bit hard for you to reliably communicate that to me.

    All in all, I think “liar” is by far the easier and more robust conclusion. But again, if you really don’t understand what you type I can revise that conclusion in the light of new evidence.

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

    And you haven’t responded to my suggestion that you can’t ignore a result because it’s not statistically significant, because to do so would be to effectively take the result as being zero.

    Also, this is wrong. You think that “ignoring” a result because it’s not significant is setting the result = zero.

    But that’s not what it means to have a result that is not statistically significant. If it’s not statistically significant, then the answer to how a previously established estimate should be revised = “I don’t know”.

    If you have a previous estimate, then you perform a new study to see if the estimate should be changed, and then the answer from the new study is determined to be “I don’t know”, then the previous estimate is not changed. That’s not setting the statistically INsignificant answer = zero. It’s acknowledging the truth that the answer to the question, “Should the old estimate be changed?” = “I don’t know”.

  199. chigau (違う) says

    Is English not your first language.
    (Don’t need to answer – as far as I’m concerned your here for light amusement)

    Comedy gold.

  200. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Giliell, his point, such as it is, isn’t particularly interesting. But his desire to maintain his belief in his own correctness is fascinating.

    I can’t decide if he lacks the intellectual honesty to admit he’s wrong, or if he’s simply incapable of understanding the rebuttals to his poor thinking.

  201. Tethys says

    AFAICT his point is that he does not understand statitistical analysis. His broader point is that people should never simply believe womens reports of sexual assault, because 98% odds aren’t 100%. Maybe that’s the bit he keeps referring to?

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

    Who knows what his point is?

    He’s said that it’s impossible in principle to demonstrate that anything in the e-mail correlates with the probability that our estimates of Smith’s account are accurate. He also has insisted that the e-mail is “evidence” – meaning, apparently, that it correlates with nothing.

    At the same time, he has asserted:

    I don’t know how you[, Giliell, could] possibly be one hundred percent certain that what Alison White said is true and what Michael Shermer said is false. This is effectively what you are saying when you criticise my probability statement.

    because stating that a previously established 80% probability should not be adjusted downward “a bit” until we have proof that such an adjustment is warranted is exactly the same as saying that the probability is 100%. Also, Giliell doesn’t understand statistics and probability.

    He’s also repeatedly insisted that “i don’t know” is the same as “I do know, and the answer is zero”.

    He’s publicly insisted that “I am not convinced that your assertion is true” is the same as “I am convinced that your assertion is not true, and that the real answer is zero”.

    As a result of those last two, he’s repeatedly insisted that other people have a burden of proof, but don’t understand what the burden of proof is.

    And, of course, he’s insisted that it’s unreasonable to accuse him of lying when the more reasonable interpretation is that either he doesn’t understand either the word “yes” or he doesn’t understand the things he writes in his own comments.

    But throughout he’s been thoroughly convinced that he’s both right and reasonable and his critics in this thread are … not.

    My best guess is that his point is that I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    But again, I’m the one who thought he understood the question he typed into his own comment, which was apparently an unjustified assumption, so how the fuck we’re supposed to understand what billyjoe is writing might just be beyond my meager communication skills.

  203. chigau (違う) says

    Giliell #224

    Does anybody still know what point billyjoe is trying to make?

    I’m guessing it is a plea for the ban hammer, since BJ cannot just stop.

  204. John Morales says

    What amuses me is how BJ actually quoted “That’s why I was nice in the e-mail – I didn’t want him to put together what I was doing. I actually laughed when I saw that he was using that e-mail as evidence, because I so carefully crafted it to not sound like I was up to anything. It’s actually proof OF what happened – not against it – and for a brief, wild moment I found that funny.”

    That’s the information that was ostensibly requested @31. The entire purportedly reasonable analysis and its rationalisation directly contradicted by testimony.

    (Perhaps BJ apprehends the significance of that)

  205. billyjoe says

    John Morales,

    Posters have been so busy with their daggers and chains that no one pursued that quote, and no one asked me to comment on that quote. In case you still don’t understand my position – like the others who still haven’t understood as their comments clearly demonstrate – I have assessed the probability that the statement “MS raped AS” being true taking into account all the information I have about the incident. That probability is “high”. And that probability was reduced “a bit” by the reading the email. Note that I hadn’t yet read the personal account by AS of why she sent that email. I have now read that account and you can hopefully guess how I’ve adjusted the probability of that statement being true as a result of reading that statement.

  206. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    I think you’re being a bit disengenuous about all this. I fully understand the question I asked. I simply misinterpreted your response. Because you replied “yes”, and because I was assuming that you believed the claim that “MS raped AS”, I misinterpreted your response as meaning that you…believed the claim that “MS raped AS”. Instead you now explain that you have stated neither that you agree with the claim or disagree with the claim. But I didn’t ask what you have already stated in this thread. I asked you if I’m wrong to think you believe “MS raped AS”. But, for obvious reasons, you’re not going to answer.

    You’re playing a game of “win the argument at all costs” here. You’re refusing to make a statement about whether you believe or don’t believe the claim that “MS raped AS”, for the specific purpose of making it seem like you’re winning the argument. And, of course, you have a receptive audience so that ain’t exactly hard. I mean everyone here knows that you believe the claim so it’s pretty clear why you’re dancing around that issue. I’ sorry I put you on the defensive with “that rejecting the null” post, but you could have learnt from it rather than seeing it as a personal attack.

    As for ignoring a result. Yes, that is definitely setting the result at zero. How else could that possibly be interpreted. You’re ignoring the result; you’re pretending that result doesn’t exist; you’re not taking that result into account; you’re setting the result to zero. And yes, if you are saying “believe women” period, then that does mean that your probability that the statement “MS raped AS'” is true is 100%. How else could that possiblity be interpreted. In fact, if you deny this, you are exactly in my position of estimating a probability which is always going to be greater than zero and is always going to be less than 1. You know…the position you’re criticising me for having. And that is exactly why you refused to answer that question.

  207. billyjoe says

    Chigau,

    Look I don’t mind you at all. When I said “light relief” that wasn’t a criticism, who couldn’t do with some “light relief”. As long as you don’t kid yourself that’s not the sum total of your contributions here.

    (Sorry, double negative, so I hope you don’t think that is not a criticism)

  208. billyjoe says

    Tethys,

    AFAICT his point is that he does not understand statitistical analysis.

    You can’t really believe that. You’d have to not understand statistics yourself to say that I don’t understand statistics.

    His broader point is that people should never simply believe womens reports of sexual assault, because 98% odds aren’t 100%. Maybe that’s the bit he keeps referring to?

    No. I’ve clearly and repeatedly stated what I meant (which is what is generally meant by all reasonable people) by the phrase “believe women”. There should be no confusion about this.

  209. Tethys says

    delivery for billyjoe. [cloak] 1 [ball] 1 This completes your order, courtesy of the mixed metaphor media company.

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

    Instead you now explain that you have stated neither that you agree with the claim or disagree with the claim.

    Why do I have to explain that I have neither agreed with the claim or disagreed with the claim? Why is it so impossible for you to simply not make assumptions where data don’t exist?

    As for ignoring a result. Yes, that is definitely setting the result at zero. How else could that possibly be interpreted.

    There’s a difference between “I don’t know” and “I know, and the answer is zero.” Everything you’re stating here argues passionately that you don’t comprehend the difference. But critical thinking actually requires us to be honest about when we know something and when we don’t. It also requires us not to set numerical values to an “I don’t know” answer. You can’t set any specific value equal to an “I don’t know” answer.

    Are you ever going to learn that “I don’t know” (or, “I don’t know yet“) is different from “I know and the answer = zero”?

    You’re playing a game of “win the argument at all costs” here. You’re refusing to make a statement about whether you believe or don’t believe the claim that “MS raped AS”, for the specific purpose of making it seem like you’re winning the argument.

    Not at all. If you hadn’t consistently engaged in assumptions about what I believe and then posted those assumptions in your comments, then I could speak about what I believe or don’t without clouding the issue.

    But you haven’t actually owned up to making statements about my beliefs without evidence. You haven’t actually apologized for making shit up about me. I don’t care if people would think it was a good thing that you made up or a bad thing: you don’t get to make shit up about what i believe and then splash that across the internet without being called on it. I’m calling you on it. I deserve an apology and will not engage in any conversation about what I believe with respect to the accuracy of Smith’s account until I know that you’ve committed yourself to not lying about, distorting, or merely recklessly misunderstanding the plain meaning of my words (obviously I have to take responsibility for wording that is genuinely unclear).

    So I’ve withheld that information because you have consistently demonstrated that you cannot be trusted on that aspect of the conversation. It’s not about winning. It’s about knowing in advance that a conversation about my beliefs is going to be worse than unproductive unless and until you stop making shit up about what I believe.

    I mean everyone here knows that you believe the claim

    And this is just the latest example of the phenomenon. No. Everybody does not know what I believe about the claim. Because I haven’t said anything about my belief in the accuracy of Smith’s account. Therefore any thoughts that people have about my beliefs can only be guesses … and guesses aren’t knowledge.

    I misinterpreted your response as meaning that you…believed the claim that “MS raped AS”.

    I know that you misinterpreted, but your misinterpretation was stupid, because it was your own damn question and I answered it exactly as it was asked. You are literally implying here that you asked a question formulated in a manner in which you couldn’t understand a one word response. Why did you fail so hard? Although on many matters I don’t trust you at all, on this one, let’s go with exactly what you said about why you couldn’t hear “yes” to mean “yes”:

    because I was assuming that you believed the claim that “MS raped AS”

    Ultimately what happened here is that you believed something without evidence, and you believed it SO HARD that you failed to interpret a “yes” answer to your own question.

    Yet you seem to feel hard done by. I would expect someone to feel sheepish if they were unable to manage sufficient self-awareness of their own assumptions to recognize that “yes” means “yes” to the actual question they asked, and not some other, differently worded question, where my “yes” would mean the opposite. You evince no sheepishness. You have no skeptical or epistemic humility. You don’t say, “Holy shit, I really got that one wrong, sorry.” In fact, you seem to think it was unreasonable of me to accept as a premise that you actually understood your own question sufficiently to accurately interpret a “yes” answer.

    Yes, it’s entirely possible that you weren’t lying. It’s entirely possible you were “merely” mistaken because you were clinging tenaciously to assumptions you made up. But if your conversational partners begin instead with the premise that you either don’t mean or are unlikely to accurately interpret the things that you yourself say, then communication becomes impossible. You could say that the sky is blue and I could interpret that as you saying that the sun symbolizes eternal life.

    We absolutely have to trust each other to mean what we say if communication is to be productive at all. You’ve just asserted that I was wrong to trust you to mean what you say without pairing that to any commitment that you’ll do better or that you apologize for making such a rookie mistake. Moreover, you continue to assume that you know things about my beliefs that you plainly and simply do not know. You clearly haven’t taken your failure as a wake up call to try to do better.

    It is, in a word, disappointing.

    Or it would be if it weren’t so heavily foreshadowed.

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

    Separately:

    I asked you if I’m wrong to think you believe “MS raped AS”. But, for obvious reasons, you’re not going to answer.

    WTF? I did answer. I answered “Yes”. It’s an easy, one-word answer that anyone should be able to understand. You even purport to know that you misunderstood it, but you now realize why you misunderstood it, and have correctly interpreted the answer.

    And after all that, now you’re saying that I’m not going to answer the question? If I’m unwilling to answer the question, then what the fuck was the answer we’ve been talking about for two days? I was under the impression that you were fully aware that I answer “Yes” –

    -which, for clarity, means “Yes you are wrong to think I believe that Shermer raped Smith”.

    If you’re not aware that I’ve already answered this question, or if you’re playing word games with

    for obvious reasons, you’re not going to answer

    in such a way as to mean something like

    Since you’ve already answered in the past, obviously you’re not going to answer the same question again in the future. That would be a waste of everyone’s time.

    I will happily answer again, at a moment that was in the future when you wrote that statement:

    You are wrong to think I believe that Shermer raped Smith

    Good. Fucking. Grief.

  212. John Morales says

    BJ:

    Posters have been so busy with their daggers and chains that no one pursued that quote, and no one asked me to comment on that quote.

    Perhaps what you’ve seen as dagger-and-chaining consists of people noting how your rationalisations were based on ignorance and naivety, and opining on your recalcitrance accept that. In passing, my onomatopoeic indicator that it only took me a few clicks to get to that old post shows how seriously you took any research into the topic.

    In case you still don’t understand my position – like the others who still haven’t understood as their comments clearly demonstrate – I have assessed the probability that the statement “MS raped AS” being true taking into account all the information I have about the incident.

    Yes, yes. And your assessment has been duly critiqued, and inferences made therefrom.

    I have now read that account and you can hopefully guess how I’ve adjusted the probability of that statement being true as a result of reading that statement.

    That elusive statement!

    [PS]

    You’re [Crip Dyke] playing a game of “win the argument at all costs” here. You’re refusing to make a statement about whether you believe or don’t believe the claim that “MS raped AS”, for the specific purpose of making it seem like you’re winning the argument. And, of course, you have a receptive audience so that ain’t exactly hard. I mean everyone here knows that you believe the claim so it’s pretty clear why you’re dancing around that issue. I’ sorry I put you on the defensive with “that rejecting the null” post, but you could have learnt from it rather than seeing it as a personal attack.

    Seriously?

    You should be aware that claim would only be made unironically by someone who thought in that manner. It is therefore a revealing claim.

    PPS

    I kind of like it that you are here, billyjoe. FWTW.

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

    Finally:

    I have assessed the probability that the statement “MS raped AS” being true taking into account all the information I have about the incident. That probability is “high”. And that probability was reduced “a bit” by the reading the email.

    So. You had an initial estimate. You came across an e-mail. You decided that some quality of that e-mail required a reduction in your estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account. You decided that the reduction should not be large, but neither was it easily quantifiable and thus the extent of the reduction justified was best characterized as “a bit”.

    So. Now. Skip the part about how you came up with your initial estimate, and show your work that demonstrates that one or more characteristics of the e-mail justified a reduction – not maintaining the status quo and not an increase – in your estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account.

    You asserted that the e-mail could be used to justify this reduction; all we’re asking is that you show your work.

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

    Actually, y’know what: the question I answered in #237 is somewhat different from the earlier question under discussion. I was wrong to state that you asked that exact question before.

    The first question from #193 was this:

    Am I wrong in thinking that what you claim is that “MS raped AS”?

    (Question mark is mine)

    The follow up question was implied in this statement, from #232:

    I asked you if I’m wrong to think you believe “MS raped AS”.

    I allowed myself to be confused by the fact that you introduce this statement with “I asked you…” implying the question was the same as before.

    But, in fact, they are somewhat different. One asks if it is wrong to think that I have made a positive claim. The other asks if it is wrong to think that I hold a particular belief.

    In both cases the answer is yes. In both cases the reason for the answer is the same: you are wrong to believe something for which you have no evidence.

    If you have no evidence that I hold a particular belief and then guess as to what that belief might be, you might be correct and you might be in error, but you’re still sure as hell “wrong” to think you know things without evidence.

  215. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #233
    You quote yourself as saying “light relief”. But you did not use that term.
    That is really stupid. We can all scroll to the land of upscreen.
    My #223 was about your failure to use correct punctuation and your stupid use of your instead of “you’re”.
    While asking if English is my first language.
    馬鹿ね。

  216. rq says

    I would like to see those calculations mentioned @219.
    Tethys @235, LOL.

    And there is no number of billyjoes I would trade for a single chigau. billyjoe is just really bad at this ‘amusement’ stuff.

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

    @rq:

    And there is no number of billyjoes I would trade for a single chigau.

    Seconded.

  218. blf says

    Does anybody still know what point billyjoe is trying to make?

    There was a point?

  219. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    billyjoe’s point was the same as the misogynists/mra/pua assholes during thee Hand Grenade thread and its successors. Only believe the menz, and accusing a man of being a rapist, no matter what the evidence is, is worse on him than the rape is on the woman. Add in that a woman’s story is likely both a lie and should be discounted as not being the evidence it is.
    Total and utter drivel, totally unsupported by facts.
    Now, all we have is billyjoe’s unsupported word he is “right”, and his view that we should all bow down to his mansplainin’ words. *snicker*

  220. blf says

    billyjoe’s point was [… o]nly believe the menz, and accusing a man of being a rapist, no matter what the evidence is, is worse on him than the rape is on the woman.

    (I wouldn’t call that a “point”, but that is a quibble…)
    Their “point” is a series of poorly- / non-evidenced assertions and presuppositions. However, it is a “point”, and is neither poorly- nor non-evidenced, nor assertions nor presupposing, simply because they self-assert, famously, they haven’t said anything stupid here (see @149).

    (I don’t know if the above-eejit quoted quote is the shortest self-referential idiotic phrase ever written, but it seems a very plausible candidate for the shortlist.)

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

    Nerd,

    to be fair he has explicitly disavowed much of what you’ve written there. Yes, he has engaged in quite a bit of what about the menz? argumentation, but he is different from the full blown rape apologists. He has consistently said that women should be mostly/generally/largely believed and doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that statistics show that accounts of rape are more often accurate than not.

    Given that, some of what you said really is wrong:

    Only believe the menz, and accusing a man of being a rapist, no matter what the evidence is, is worse on him than the rape is on the woman. Add in that a woman’s story is likely both a lie and should be discounted as not being the evidence it is.

    Both the bold parts, then, are pretty well contradicted by billyjoe’s writing.

    Let me be clear: he’s also said that people should not accuse other people – which is stupid and leads directly to a world without justice. That non-bolded part of your quote fits quite well with his express position that no one should make an accusation unless the accusation has already been proven in a court of law. (Of course this is a position which, aside from leading directly to a world with no justice, is also surpassingly nonsensical since how we would know to have the fucking trial without the accusation?) He’s asserted expertise and knowledge that he doesn’t have. He’s done many things in this and other threads that make his contributions quite worthy of a forceful critique. But if one of the things he routinely does is assume without evidence the beliefs of others, you aren’t helping anyone by doing the same to him.

    Feel free to mock him without bothering to produce a substantive criticism, if that’s what floats your boat, but if you’re going to assign errors to him, at least make sure you’re assigning errors to him that he’s actually made. There’s far too much about billyjoe’s comments that is risible, mockable, or both to waste time attacking the sins he didn’t commit.

  222. Tethys says

    I find most of Nerds’s assessment of Bj’s opinions fairly accurate. Now, to be fair, BJ usually doesn’t come right out and say that women should not be believed, but that is the distint impression given when he advocates at great length that the only rational and fair way of handling instances of sexual assault is to subject the victim to the third degree in hopes of finding a inconsistent detail. ( questioning the rapists story never seems to eeter this equation)

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the lothesome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It appears that billyjoe has changed his stance. My apologies to billyjoe for misrepresenting him.
    That being said, billyjoe sure sounds like someone trying to put down the testimony (evidence) of a woman, if he can’t/won’t show his work in his personal downgrading of her evidence. A little consistency is needed, and if he has changed his stance, he should drop his claims.
    Back to lurking.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the lothesome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasonable analysis did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the lothesome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis of “evidence” did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the lothesome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the loathsome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis of “evidence” did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the loathsome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis of “evidence” did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the loathsome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis of “evidence” did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the loathsome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis of “evidence” did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that bitches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    …tbc…

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

    @Tethys:

    Going on and on about an e-mail written long after the assault, and its magical power to erase past events? This is the opposite of believing the victim. The foray into statistical analysis is merely a smokescreen for not beleiveing the victim in the first place. Just cloak your “b****tches be lyin” rhetoric in sciencey numbers and voila, you too can pretend that you are simply being properly skeptikal , as advocated by the rapist and all the loathsome MRAs that enjoy getting away with rape as their privilege.

    Generally I agree, which is why I’ve repeatedly asked billyjoe to show his work. I think that might be productive because I strongly suspect that there’s no “work” there. He almost admits this when he says that there could not possibly be any analysis that would justify modifying our estimates of the accuracy of Smith’s account by any specific number, but retains an insistence that reasoned, statistical analysis of “evidence” did justify reducing his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account downward, and by “a bit”.

    What work could possibly justify that? I’m someone who before a career switch would have been genuinely regarded as an expert in the field of domestic violence, domestic sexual assault, and violence/assault that occurs in a dating context. Hell, some would probably still consider me an actual expert despite a lot of my knowledge being a few years out of date now. And for all that, I’m not aware of any established method that can be used to reliably predict that estimates of an account’s accuracy should be adjusted up or down (even without determining a specific amount) based on a single e-mail written two years after the events in question.

    I have no problem saying that his professed desire to “believe women” is in tension, almost contradiction, with his insistence that no one should ever accuse anyone of a serious crime as long as social consequences might attach to a person accused. I have no problem asserting that many, many of his statements are in conflict to some greater or lesser degree with other statements of his. I also have no problem asserting that he’s an asshat who doesn’t understand what it means to generate a statistically insignificant result, among likely many other deep misunderstandings of statistics and probability.

    But I’m more aware than most of the human capacity for cognitive dissonance. As humans, we can believe two contradictory things at once. So just because he obviously advocates for bullshit like never making an accusation, it is not logically required that he believes that b*tches be lying. He could, in theory, believe what he says about “believing women” in some sort of nebulous way that allows us to believe their accounts without believing that the facts in those accounts, which he advocates we accept as true, cannot be used to justify taking action against a perp. He just has to be a non-sensical idiot who fails at skepticism, but that wouldn’t exactly be an extraordinary claim. Or, hell, he can even believe women’s accounts 100% without even failing skepticism so long as he believes that rape and sexual assault are crimes that should not be punished … and that, too, is an attitude too prevalent to be considered an extraordinary claim about someone.

    But even more importantly, we were discussing billyjoe’s “point”. Even if billyjoe is lying about what he believes, even if he believes that space aliens are currently eating away all the green cheese that makes up our moon, his “point” in this conversation isn’t anything about space aliens. Just because he believes something doesn’t mean it’s his point here.

    So I don’t have any problem with mocking him, attributing “points” to him that are not intended to be taken as literally true, like these:

    I’M NOT STUPID. I’M NOT STUPID. YOU’RE THE STUPID. GIRLS CAN’T EVEN DO THE SCIENCE THING BECAUSE THE PROBABILITY THEY CAN EVEN MATH AND LOGIC IS, LIKE NEGATIVE THREE AND I ADJUSTED IT DOWNWARD AGAIN AFTER READING YOUR EVERY COMMENT.

    but if we’re not satirizing and not mocking, if we’re actually articulating billyjoe’s “points” such as they are, then we might as well get them right.

    But really, my own investment in this is more about the fact that billyjoe keeps making wildass assumptions about other people’s beliefs and points. If he wasn’t doing that so consistently then we could probably ignore errors on both sides as the general noise in the signal of internet comments. But billyjoe has consistently lied about what I claim and consistently guessed about what I believe. I’m trying to get him to cut it the hell out, and as long as that’s a priority I don’t want the asshat to have the excuse that Nerd went off half-cocked therefore he’s justified in ignoring his own even worse sins because they’re vaguely of the same type.

    billyjoe dishonestly makes shit up. Nerd appears to have taken previous comments into account without reading all the intervening comments, but for whatever reason Nerd appears to be wrong about the point that billyjoe intends to make here. Though fuck if I really know what point he “intends” to make here, I do know that if he does make a specific statement here, unless it’s sarcasm, facetiousness or satire, we can’t plausibly assume that his point is the opposite.

    And again, I wouldn’t care, except billyjoe’s aggrieved entitlement seems to be getting in the way of his ability to actually acknowledge that he did not work that would reliably allow one to predict that a previously established estimate of Smith’s accuracy should be modified, and thus it’s getting in the way of him ultimately recognizing that rather than considering specifics facts about the e-mail in the context of a method which allows accurate revision of previously established estimates of accuracy, he was actually engaging in stereotyping of rape/assault, of rape/assault victims and then using an unscientific sense of whether or not the e-mail fits with his prejudices to adjust his estimate of accuracy.

    I’d like him to either educate me by producing a model which allows the accurate prediction of how one should adjust an estimate of accuracy of a person’s account of trauma, which he could easily do with a quick citation that established the peer-reviewed basis for relying on his model OR admit that he’s engaged in unscientific bullshit that depends deeply on prejudice and stereotyping.

    He’s already admitted that he has no model that can quantify the adjustment. He just needs to go a little further and admit that he has no model to predict that such an adjustment should be positive or negative, but of unknown quantity. Then there remains only one more step: admitting that what actually led him to adjust his estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account wasn’t science or statistics.

    Once he’s there, even if he commented in this thread again, I wouldn’t feel a need to respond. But as long as he’s advocating for unscientific bullshit that presents a pseudo-justification for stereotyping survivors of trauma, I’m going to keep firing back, because that shit hurts people in the real world.

  232. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    Here is the exchange:

    BJ: Am I wrong in thinking that what you claim is that “MS raped AS”.
    CD: Yes.
    BJ: You have just confirmed that you believe MS raped AS.
    CD: What kind of liar do you have to be to assert…that I believe the opposite of what I said.
    BJ: I misinterpreted your “yes” as “yes I do believe MS raped AS”, instead of…“yes you are wrong to think that I believe MS raped AS”.
    BJ: You are saying that you don’t believe MS raped AS.
    CD: I’m not saying I believe, I’m not saying I don’t believe. If you actually read my comments, you would know that I have never in this thread made any statement about my belief or lack of it.
    BJ: But I didn’t ask what you have already stated in this thread. I asked you if I’m wrong to think you believe “MS raped AS”.
    CD: Why do I have to explain that I have neither agreed with the claim or disagreed with the claim?

    It is hilarious how you continue to refuse to answer that simple question. And your motivation for not answering that question is as obvious as your repeated evasions in not to answer the question.

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

    your motivation for not answering that question is as obvious as your repeated evasions in not to answer the question.

    Well, other than the fact that “evasion” connotes deception and I am quite up front about the fact that I’m not answering the the question, it is, in fact, quite obvious why I’m not answering the question.

    The answer is that which I’ve already stated.

    Now.

    SHOW YOUR WORK.

    What logical work based on evidence found in the e-mail in question actually justified revising downward your initial estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account?

    Are you even capable at all of answering that question?

  234. billyjoe says

    CD,

    You answering the question is a necessary step in me answering your question. I’m trying to demonstrate that my answer is far better than what I am still assuming is your answer. That is your motivation for not answering that question. If you did, that would be the equivalent of putting you head in the noose. Whey else would have spent multiple days and posts trying to avoid answering it. So you keep obfuscating hoping no one will notice. Maybe no one else does notice. Maybe some have noticed and are too cowardly to call you out. Hammer and chains. Pretty daunting prospect except for the thick skinned.

  235. billyjoe says

    Nerd of Redhead,

    billyjoe’s point was…Only believe the menz, and accusing a man of being a rapist, no matter what the evidence is, is worse on him than the rape is on the woman. Add in that a woman’s story is likely both a lie and should be discounted as not being the evidence it is.

    No, no, and no.
    Total comprehension fail.

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

    I’m trying to demonstrate that my answer is far better than what I am still assuming is your answer.

    Pick an answer that is less preferable than your answer. It doesn’t matter that it’s mine or not. Prove your answer is preferable to that other answer.

    There is no way in fuck that I have to have an opinion before you can prove yourself right. Does a child have to get 3+3 wrong before the teacher can prove that 6 is the better answer? Or can the teacher just walk people through the reasoning for believing that 3 + 3 = 6?

    Are you saying that you’re not competent to teach a kid the 3+3 = 6? Are you really so flawed that you can’t actually go about advocating your point of view? Do you really have to argue against another point of view? Because that’s also a fallacy: just because proposition A & B exist and proposition B is proved wrong (or A is “far better”) does not mean that A is actually true.

    Make an argument that justifies a downward modification in a previously established estimate of accuracy for Smith’s account based on characteristics found in the e-mail. If necessary, compare it to any alternatives you want to conjure. But don’t assign those hypothetical alternatives to me. If your argument depends not on the nature of any alternative claims but instead upon the identify of the person making the claim, then your argument is a bullshit genetic fallacy argument.

    So make your argument. I’m not stopping you.

  237. chigau (違う) says

    So hammer and chains
    Whence the chains?
    Who first mentioned chains?
    Is this a kink thing?

  238. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    Nerd, to be fair he has explicitly disavowed much of what you’ve written there…He has consistently said that women should be mostly/generally/largely believed and doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that statistics show that accounts of rape are more often accurate than not…Both the bold parts, then, are pretty well contradicted by billyjoe’s writing….if you’re going to assign errors to him, at least make sure you’re assigning errors to him that he’s actually made

    Thanks for that.
    But you are not correct when you say:

    That non-bolded part of your quote [accusing a man of being a rapist, no matter what the evidence is, is worse on him than the rape is on the woman] fits quite well with his express position that no one should make an accusation unless the accusation has already been proven in a court of law.

    That is not my position and I’m not sure how you’ve concluded that.

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

    @chigau:

    Who first mentioned chains?

    billyjoe

    Is this a kink thing?

    FSM I hope not. Then i’d have to worry about showing up to the same events as billyjoe some day when I actually bother to show up to a kink event again.

    On the other hand, you, chigau, can be as kinky as you like. I’d not be at all disappointed if you showed up to the local munch.

  240. billyjoe says

    Tethys,

    I find most of Nerds’s assessment of Bj’s opinions fairly accurate.

    So much the worse for your opinion then.

    Now, to be fair, BJ usually doesn’t come right out and say that women should not be believed

    I wonder why that might be?

    but that is the distint impression given when he advocates at great length that the only rational and fair way of handling instances of sexual assault is to subject the victim to the third degree in hopes of finding a inconsistent detail

    So much the worse for your impression.

    ( questioning the rapists story never seems to eeter this equation)

    It seems implying something in what you’ve said means it hasn’t entered into the equation.

  241. billyjoe says

    Nerd of Redhead,

    It appears that billyjoe has changed his stance. My apologies to billyjoe for misrepresenting him.

    Thanks for the apology, but I haven’t changed my stance. It’s been my stance from all along.

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

    @billyjoe:

    I can’t help but think that there has to be a better way of approaching issues such as this. We can’t go about accusing people of crimes when the very accusation, apart from questions of guilt or innocence, could destroy them. On the other hand, there is the unsavory situation where the guilty get away with their crimes only because evidence of guilt with particular types of crimes is, by their very nature, hard to prove.


    (emphasis mine)

    While you certainly seem like you don’t feel good about your conclusion (“on the other hand, there is the unsavory situation”), the segment I bolded is not at all vague. You are quite clear that “we can’t go about accusing people of crimes”. There’s no ambiguity at all.

    If you wish to retract that statement, you’re free to do so, but you should at least acknowledge that this constitutes more than sufficient evidence to believe that you take the position that no one should accuse anyone of a crime if people are subject to …whatever the fuck you’re talking about when you say accusations “destroy” the accused. We have interpreted you to be talking about what happens in real life, but if you’re talking about some alternative universe and you don’t believe that in this world any accusations “destroy” those who are accused then I don’t know why the fuck you would bring it up.

    So we’re assuming, but for good reasons, that you think “destruction” happens to people accused of crimes. And you think that until such “destruction” is impossible, no one can make an accusation of criminal behavior – or at least not serious criminal behavior, I’m not exactly clear on the limits of your statement.

    These are your words. They are clearly written. “We cannot accuse”. If they have some meaning other than what I’ve presented, then I have no idea what that meaning might be.

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

    @chigau:

    I’ve just realized that one anagram of your name is gnocchi, if you just change the “a” to an “n” and the “u” to an “o” and then add an extra “c”.

    That is so excellent and well timed, since you’re named that right now and the most recent post over on Pervert Justice is about potatoes!

    Also, I suppose, it’s only an anagram even in the loose sense if you first transliterate it since it’s not actually spelled with any roman letters at all, but what the hell? It’s the spirit of your ‘nym that shines, not the ideograms, and in that sense comparing you to potato stuffed pasta is entirely appropriate. Because I’m logical. And very, very good at wordplay.

  244. chigau (違う) says

    CD
    mmmm, gnocchi.
    Moi, j’aime bien le gnocchi.
    ニョッキが大好きですよ。

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

    Ich bin ein gnocchi

  246. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #267
    You stinking pustule, I am not your “mate”, do not refer to me as such.
    💩

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

    @Tethys:

    Oh, my! Is it hot in here? Or is it just this boiling water I’m in?

  248. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    You are quite clear that “we can’t go about accusing people of crimes”. There’s no ambiguity at all.

    I don’t remember the context, but I think I was referring to “due diligence”, which most commenters here seem to have forgotten is part of “believe women”. PZ did a post on it some time ago, referring approvingly to an article to which I regret I’ve lost the link. In that linked post, the author interpreted “believe women” to mean “do not dismiss women’s claims but believe them when they say they were raped because they are mostly true, but take due diligence to verify the accusation is not false because sometimes there is a false accusation”.

    In other words, similar to what I’ve been saying here. So, when you hear such an accusation, initially believe it but don’t just go straight ahead and accuse people of rape without paying due diligence to verify that the accusation is not false.

    I think the context was the accusation against Geoffrey Rush by an Australian newspaper that, if it hasn’t ruined his career, has halted it for at least a year untill the after the trial for defamation concludes. There seems to be little substance to the accusation but, as a result, he has had to pull out of the stage show and other planned public appearances he was engaged in, or was planning to engage in. It is unlikely his reputation will ever be completely restored even if he wins his defamation case.

    But at least one commenter here has stated that they would not care if the MeToo movement ruined the professional and social lives of some innocent men.

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

    I don’t remember the context,

    Then just follow the link. Don’t you internet?

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

    at least one commenter here has stated that they would not care if the MeToo movement ruined the professional and social lives of some innocent men.

    If that’s true, I don’t remember it. Why not link it the way I did with your quote so that we can deal with the actual evidence?

    I do remember some people articulating that they care about the consequences of false accusations but that given the number of false accusations and the number of unreported assaults and rapes that truly did occur that as social policy we shouldn’t be discouraging accusations.

    But in any case, I’d be happy to be proven wrong if you want to do the work to support your argument. BUT PLEASE NOTE: you did not admit that this quote provides good evidence to believe that you believe people shouldn’t make accusations. Nor did you explicitly deny that this is your position, only guessed that maybe there was some context that justifies interpreting it other than in the way that any speaker of english would find obvious. I don’t know why you would guess at the context rather than actually reviewing it, but there we are.

    In the meantime, why not show your work justifying using specific characteristics of the e-mail to modify a previously established estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s story? That would sure move the conversation along.

  251. billyjoe says

    chigau,

    Stinking pustule! Gee that hurt. Damn, I never wanted to be called a stinking pustule. But that’s what you get by engaging with someone who can’t come up with anything intelligent to say. Sadly I think we should break our engagement, chigau, what do you think?

  252. Tethys says

    Most of bilys latest reply to me can be translated as neener, na-na a boo-boo but the last bit that is a bait and switch of a reply to my last comment.

    Tethys~( questioning the rapists story never seems to eeter this equation)

    It seems implying something in what you’ve said means it hasn’t entered into the equation. ~billyjoe

    Implying was not part of my comment, but since you brought it up as a gotcha I’m just going to quote you from way back at 24 instead of wasting any pixels on explaining how logical implications work once you make a positive claim.

    One thing is for sure, no one is ever going to take him to court over an accusation of rape. Least of all the alleged victim who has actually withdrawn the charge or, at least, said that she regretted calling it rape. And, another thing for sure is that we are never going to find out what actually happened. Certainly something [add your own adjective depending on your own bias] happened. What exactly that was we’ll never know.

    It is billy’s pattern of behavior to make every thread about assault into another episode of “won’t somebody consider the poor rapists and destroying their lives.” He occasionally has spoken up in defense of nazis as a minority group, but otherwise he usually comments to establish the rapist’s need to be given the benefit of the doubt, because reasons. He also enjoys mining victims stories for the most prurient details so he can ‘share’ them with us while picking them apart for the slightest of inconsistencies. (gee, I wonder why we don’t believe him when he claims he believes the victims?)

    The OP is about a completely different instance of MS bullying, and acting like a complete jerk to a woman. If billy was not getting his jollies by being a rape advocate, this thread would have died weeks ago.

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

    @billyjoe:

    As diverting as all this other conversation might be, billyjoe …

    why not specify the method you used to determine that certain characteristics of the e-mail justified taking a previous estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account and revising it downward “a bit”?

    I’m sure it would be educational for all of us.

  254. John Morales says

    CD, however (@298, @230):

    So, imagine you’ve just read that for the first time.
    How did that change your prior probability that “MS raped AS”?
    Was the change in your prior probability positive, zero, or negative?

    I have now read that account and you can hopefully guess how I’ve adjusted the probability of that statement being true as a result of reading that statement.

    No, I can’t guess; indicators go both ways (either by considering it further proof of her machinations: down, or by believing/trusting her testimony: up), and BJ has been coy about which case is applicable.

    Still. I’m hopeful that BJ has amended their prior estimate about something unsavoury having occurred given the email by increasing it by a “bit” (at least to the degree it was decreased prior to testimony about its true significance becoming available).

    But I do not know.

  255. John Morales says

    PS
    @68

    Human psychology is messy, and your overconfidence is so unwarranted as to bring to mind the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    The sentiment has been vindicated.

  256. says

    billyjoe

    It is hilarious how you continue to refuse to answer that simple question. And your motivation for not answering that question is as obvious as your repeated evasions in not to answer the question.

    She answered your fucking question. The problem is that you didn’t ask the question you wanted to have an answer to, which is why I suggested up at #243 that you simply try that.

    chigau

    Ich bin ein gnocchi

    Much healthier than being a Berliner.

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

    how weird.

    Johnn Morales appeared (though maybe I just misunderstood) by putting my name above a quote of billyjoe’s to have attributed another’s words to me.

    And then Giliell attributes my words to chigau.

    An unusual symmetry, that.

    No harm done, of course. It just struck me as odd.

  258. John Morales says

    Crip Dyke,

    Johnn Morales appeared (though maybe I just misunderstood) by putting my name above a quote of billyjoe’s to have attributed another’s words to me.

    I was overly terse.
    Addresed to you but quoting BJ, to highlight their own coyness in reference to the email’s newly-adjusted significance though decrying yours, but mainly suggesting you’ve posed a quandary since the original justification is now (presumably) superseded by further information.

    (Contrast @124: “For me, my prior high probability that it was rape was reduced “a bit” by the email.”)

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

    @John: thanks. I thought it might be something like that, but i wasn’t sure.

  260. John Morales says

    No worries, CD. We’ll see if BJ responds.

    Of course, this is all a digression from the OP topic, and the focus in particular has not been on Shermer.

    (Few of his admirers venture here, nowadays)

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

    Don’t worry about it, Giliell: really. I posted it out of nothing but amusement at the (imagined) symmetry.

    Now, if only billyjoe can actually articulate how one or more characteristics of that e-mail can be used in rational process to logically justify a reduction to a pre-existing estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account we can put this thread to bed fairly quickly.

    Of course, it’s unlikely he’ll ever do that, but if he posts again without doing so, we can at least get some more mocking entertainment out of his cluelessness.

  262. billyjoe says

    To all:

    In case anyone is really in any doubt, in my opinion, the probability that “MS raped AS” is increased “a bit” after reading the reasons AS gave for why she sent the email to MS.

    Now my question for all of you:

    Assuming you had less than 100% certitude that “MS raped AS” prior to reading the reasons AS gave for sending that email, what effect did reading those reasons have on your prior probability that “MS raped AS”?

    If you were claiming 100% certitude that “MS raped AS” prior to reading her reasons for sending that email, then obviously reading those reasons cannot have increased your prior probability that “MS raped AS”.

    But that position is unreasonable. It is clear to me that this is the reason CD refuses to answer the question. CD would need to claim 100% certainty that “MS raped AS” in order to attack my position. Otherwise CD would be agreeing with my position and concede the argument.

    To Giliell:

    CD has not answered the question: “do you believe MS raped AS?”. Replying along the lines of: ‘In this thread I have not said I believe MS raped AS, and I have not said I do not believe MS raped AS’, is AVOIDING the question, not answering it.

    To Tethys,

    So you don’t think anything is implied by me about MS when I said that my probability that “MS raped AS” is high? Really?

  263. John Morales says

    [meta]

    billyjoe:

    In case anyone is really in any doubt, in my opinion, the probability that “MS raped AS” is increased “a bit” after reading the reasons AS gave for why she sent the email to MS.

    No worries. Clarification duly appreciated.

    CD has not answered the question: “do you believe MS raped AS?”. Replying along the lines of: ‘In this thread I have not said I believe MS raped AS, and I have not said I do not believe MS raped AS’, is AVOIDING the question, not answering it.

    CD limpidly and explicitly addressed that @236:
    “But you haven’t actually owned up to making statements about my beliefs without evidence. You haven’t actually apologized for making shit up about me. I don’t care if people would think it was a good thing that you made up or a bad thing: you don’t get to make shit up about what i believe and then splash that across the internet without being called on it. I’m calling you on it. I deserve an apology and will not engage in any conversation about what I believe with respect to the accuracy of Smith’s account until I know that you’ve committed yourself to not lying about, distorting, or merely recklessly misunderstanding the plain meaning of my words (obviously I have to take responsibility for wording that is genuinely unclear). ”

    What you consider an evasion I consider a conditional placation. Nothing to do with the purported untenability of thinking other than the way you do, as the vindication of those who critiqued your premature rationalisation demonstrates.

    (Arguably, you are yourself evading the thrust behind CD’s recalcitrance)

    But hey, how many people would give this issue as much research and consideration as you already have? So, kudos for that, no less than for your grudging admissions.

  264. billyjoe says

    John Morales,

    They are not “grudging” admissions, nor are they “admissions”.They are part of what I believed coming into this discussion and have freely, not “grudgingly”, given when asked or when they have become relevant to the discussion.

    And I did not spread lies about CD. I made the reasonable assumption that CD believes MS raped AS. And that is still a reasonable assumption. So I have nothing to apologise for. CD is simply filibustering. CD has steadfastly refused to confirm of deny it, giving the excuse: ‘I have not shared my belief or non-belief in this thread‘. If you don’t think that is disengenuous there’s not much more I can say.

  265. John Morales says

    billyjoe, you can’t simultaneously be Vulcan and aggrieved.

    Let me try again: when you ventured here you regaled us with your suspicions about the email and its significance and then expounded upon its justification, but now that you are more informed you have adopted a position entirely contradictory in regards to its significance.
    As it should be, so no kudos due.

    (Happier now?)

    And I did not spread lies about CD. I made the reasonable assumption that CD believes MS raped AS. And that is still a reasonable assumption. So I have nothing to apologise for. CD is simply filibustering.

    Your perception of the situation is duly noted. Luckily, anyone can peruse this thread and form their own perception.

    I made the reasonable assumption that CD believes MS raped AS. And that is still a reasonable assumption.

    Yes. Yes, you did, and it very probably is.

    CD’s very point is that it is an otiose assumption for the purpose of making your case, so that you should not be in a position to require confirmation — and that you are in this position because you relied on it nonetheless, to CD’s displeasure.

    CD has steadfastly refused to confirm of deny it, giving the excuse: ‘I have not shared my belief or non-belief in this thread‘. If you don’t think that is disengenuous there’s not much more I can say.

    To what disingenuousness do you refer? The adduced reason (excuse, as you call it) is pellucid, so the only possible way I can think for CD to be disingenuous in your estimation is that you believe CD is lying about the basis for that obstinacy. But that seems weak.

    (By the way, doesn’t the locution ‘I have not shared my belief or non-belief in this thread‘ imply that sharing may have occurred in other threads? Following that up would entail work, it is true…)

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

    I used the “in this thread” formulation because, although i did not think I’d expressed my belief or non-belief anywhere, this has been discussed for years and I couldn’t be certain I hadn’t said something definite at some point.

    The point was that billyjoe had no access to anything I might have said as i was very sure I hadn’t said anything definite recently, and thus billyjoe’s certainty that my beliefs were one thing or another was of necessity an imaginary and unjustified certainty.

    Also, as you said, there is simply no need for billyjoe to reference my beliefs when explaining what method was used by billyjoe to determine that his initial estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account should be revised. Whatever method billyjoe used cannot have taken my beliefs into account for the simple reason that billyjoe did not know them.

    So, billyjoe: What method did you use to establish that characteristics of the Smith e-mail required that your previously determined estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account should be revised?

    Please don’t tell us again that you can’t explain this without reference to my beliefs.

  267. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve never stepped on a lego but I have stepped on a number of those clippy things that all backpacks have more of than they need.

  268. says

    I keep coming back to this thread for the train wreck that is billyjoe’s “logic” and “statistics”. Thank you to everyone besides billyjoe who’s still posting on this thread.

  269. billyjoe says

    Nuts.

    My whole point, from the very start, has been that taking a probability view on the question of whether “MS reaped AS”, and updating that probability if additional information comes to hand, is more reasonable than taking an absolutist view that “MS raped AS” period.

    If CD takes the probability view, then we are in agreement and arguing is pointless…because it is pointless arguing with someone who agrees with you!.

    If CD takes the absolutists’ view then we disagree and I am prepared to continue to argue for my view. But I am not interested in arguing with someone with whom I agree. So, Unless CD comes clean, the argument is over.

    Same with the rest of you here.

    So…If anyone else here holds the absolutists’ view and are one hundred percent certain that “MS raped AS”, and has the courage of their convictions to say so, and the intellectual nouse to defend that position, then please step forward.

    Otherwise I will assume all of you believe that the probability view is the more reasonable view, and the discussion is over.

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

    I disagree that the e-mail can be used to accurately adjust one’s estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s account.

    Whether one starts with an accuracy estimate of 2%, 20%, 50%, 80% or the “extremist” position of 100%, it’s definitely possible to adjust one’s estimate down “a bit” from any of those starting points.

    But if you adjust it downward from any starting point based on the e-mail, then you’ve left logic behind and your adjustment is unjustified.

    You’ve asserted that you adjusted the estimate downward based on the e-mail. Could be you were lying and you didn’t adjust your accuracy estimate downward, but I doubt that.

    I think you were telling the truth, but that you cannot possible rationally justify that adjustment to your estimate.

    In other words, I think you entirely failed basic logic here. Prove me wrong.

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

    @billyjoe:

    also?

    If CD takes the probability view, then we are in agreement and arguing is pointless…because it is pointless arguing with someone who agrees with you!.

    Probabilities are numeric. You yourself have stated that you didn’t have any specific number in mind. Therefore, you were not taking a probability view. Therefore someone who does take the probability view would be disagreeing with you.

    But you probably genuinely think you were taking the probability view, despite the fact that you (claim you) had no numbers in mind. Which just goes to show how many times you’ve failed basic logic in this thread, and how hard you failed when you did.

    Imagine what people felt about being lectured by you about probabilities when you assert that vague english words like “likely” or phrases such as “likely but not certain” are probabilities.

    Do you even math?

    As a parting gift, I’ll just note that even when trying to correct your “reaped” typo, you still managed to commit the same typo again. You’re failing so hard and so often that you’re completely pathetic.

  272. John Morales says

    billyjoe:

    My whole point, from the very start, has been that taking a probability view on the question of whether “MS reaped AS”, and updating that probability if additional information comes to hand, is more reasonable than taking an absolutist view that “MS raped AS” period.

    Hm. Your very start @24: “Whatever you think of Michael Shermer’s tactics, they have worked.”
    And, in that same comment, “One thing is for sure, no one is ever going to take him to court over an accusation of rape. Least of all the alleged victim who has actually withdrawn the charge or, at least, said that she regretted calling it rape.”
    @26: “It sounds to me she did this of her own accord in response to the feedback she got regarding her initial accusation.”

    Seems to me your point was far more on Shermer’s efficacy at avoiding consequences than on the truthfulness of the allegation.

    So…If anyone else here holds the absolutists’ view and are one hundred percent certain that “MS raped AS”, and has the courage of their convictions to say so, and the intellectual nouse to defend that position, then please step forward.

    My personal view (informed by the statistics about the veracity of rape reports, and considering the principle of cui bono in this particular instance) is that I have no good reason to disbelieve the allegation, nor that it was initially made to warn others.

    So yes, I personally provisionally believe the claim, rather than appealing to epistemic doubt and remaining agnostic about it and avoiding taking a position.

    (Are you agnostic about the claim?)

    Otherwise I will assume all of you believe that the probability view is the more reasonable view, and the discussion is over.

    Do you mean a Bayesian or a frequentist probability view? ;)

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

    @John:

    When I enter this thread, instead of taking the path of Bayes, I feel a desperate need to take the path of Bayer.

    Also, since we’re going back to the beginning of this thread, I think Artor’s comment in #1 is just as relevant here in the 310s:

    Cripes, what an asshole.

  274. rq says

    We can do another round of the asshole circle, take the cyclic view of life, the universe and everything.

    Probabilities are numeric. You yourself have stated that you didn’t have any specific number in mind. Therefore, you were not taking a probability view.

    I guess he’s taking the possibility view? Much more scenic (depends on your taste of scenery, of course), no actual math required (nor statistics!), and probability/possibility, what’s the big difference anyway. #abitoffeelings
    (And then I googled ‘possibilistics’, of course, and it turns out you still need some math. And statistics.)

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

    Ooooo, now you’re going to make me google possibilistics. Let’s see what I find! Should be entertaining for an hour, except I’m more likely to have a glass of wine and go to sleep.

  276. says

    Probabilities are numeric. You yourself have stated that you didn’t have any specific number in mind.

    As an aside, can we notice how utterly ridiculous the whole idea is anyway? I mean there may be some people who do this, but about nobody walks through life estimating probabilities in numeric terms when making decisions. Nobody says “I’m 70% sure that Mike broke my coffee cup”.

    Chigau
    In your neck of the woods, would an intellectual moose work instead?

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


    / \
    (_\_(___)_/_)
    (o o)
    \ /----------\\
    O|| ||~
    ||------/@||
    || ||
    ^^ ^^

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

    Aw, crud. I can’t get the ascii moose to work.

  279. rq says

    Well I’m about 95% sure that it’s time for lunch, and the rumble in my tummy gives me a 2% increase. So…

  280. blf says

      /       \
    (_\_(___)_/_)
        (o o)
         \ /----------\\
          O  ||        ||~
             ||------/@||
               || ||
               ^^ ^^

    (This seems to work in preview. Apologies, I took the “can’t get the ascii moose to work” as a bit of a challenge, albeit I’m not at all sure what work it is doing, other than being brighter than Teh Eejit That Shall Not Be Named. Being brighter would also probably be true of an ascii rock, or even a real rock. And, for that matter, lunch, my lunch will probably be brighter as well, even if it does taste like ascii or moose. Now where can I find some moose, say on a pizza or something…)

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

    That’s much better, blf, thank you.

  282. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke,

    As a parting gift, I’ll just note that even when trying to correct your “reaped” typo, you still managed to commit the same typo again

    That just about sums you up. Pedantic little issues like complaining about a typo. I wouldn’t even have bothered correcting it on other forums. But let me just throw that parting gift straight back in your face. The ‘e’ in “reaped” was stricken out – here and in the original comment.

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

    @billyjoe:

    The ‘e’ in “reaped” was stricken out – here and in the original comment.

    How interesting. Indeed it was, though I went back to look again – making sure my glasses were on – and the strikethrough was still invisible until I zoomed in quite a lot. My apologies for the error.

    That out of the way, do you even recognize that there’s a serious difference between us over whether any specific qualities of Smith’s e-mail can be used to logically justify a modification to any previously established estimate of the accuracy of Smith’s story? Or are you going to continue to cling to your myth that the only possible disagreement is between your “probability” view and the “absolutist” view of 100% existential certainty?

    My bet is still on you failing to even understand the criticisms, as you have done throughout this thread, while maintaining a sense of aggrieved superiority.

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

    @John Morales, 321:

    Speak of the bedeviled.

  285. billyjoe says

    John Morales,

    So yes, I personally provisionally believe the claim, rather than appealing to epistemic doubt and remaining agnostic about it and avoiding taking a position

    Progress of sorts.
    I am of course taking your “provisionally accepting the claim” to mean that you will reject the claim if new evidence leads you to do so. A bit closer (pun intended) to my “high probability that the claim is true and adjusted up or down as new information comes to hand”.
    Maybe we’ll leave it there.

    Oh, and Bayesian statistics of course. Why? What sort of statistics did you think I was using with my use of the term “prior probability”?

    And agnostic? Of course not. How could “high probability” of the claim being true be an agnostic position?

    Really, you guys worry me sometimes.

  286. billyjoe says

    Crip Dyke.

    It’s not a question of me not understanding the criticism, it is a question of whether the criticisms can be understood. Except as desperation on your part to avoid stating your opinon. Both you and John are practically agreeing with my position. You just need to put it as vaguely as possible so as not upset the status quo on this blog. That’s why you obstinately refused to answer that simple straight forward question. I’d be surprised your view is much different from mine.

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

    Both you and John are practically agreeing with my position.

    Bullshit.

    You’ve taken the position that one or more qualities of the e-mail you cited can be used to logically justify modifying a previously established estimate of Smith’s account’s accuracy.

    I disagree with that in the strongest possible terms. I don’t practically agree. I don’t sort-of-agree. I don’t agree with reservations. And I sure as hell haven’t withheld my opinion on the matter.

    Unless and until you recant or prove that claim, we are in rhetorically-violent disagreement.

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

    What sort of statistics did you think I was using with my use of the term “prior probability”?

    Based on your clear articulation that you weren’t assigning any numbers to any of the probabilities, the kind that doesn’t actually use any numbers.

    I think Bayesian statistics, unfortunately for you, actually uses numbers. Feel free to correct me, however, if I’m wrong about that.

  289. chigau (違う) says

    I have encountered moose.
    In the woods.
    They can be vewy, vewy, quiet for Pleistocene megafauna.

  290. John Morales says

    billyjoe:

    I am of course taking your “provisionally accepting the claim” to mean that you will reject the claim if new evidence leads you to do so. A bit closer (pun intended) to my “high probability that the claim is true and adjusted up or down as new information comes to hand”.

    Provisional acceptance means acceptance of the claim, until and unless new evidence leads me to do otherwise. Speaking about the likelihood of a claim’s veracity is not itself accepting the claim, provisionally or otherwise.

    Or: your position, unlike mine, remains indeterminate — an isolated superposition yet to decohere.

    Maybe we’ll leave it there.

    Maybe, but not by my will. Again: I make a provisional determination, whereas you O so thoughtfully assign alleged probabilities but without committing to a determination, provisional or otherwise. Alas, such aloofness is not amenable to success in real life.

    Oh, and Bayesian statistics of course. Why? What sort of statistics did you think I was using with my use of the term “prior probability”?

    Looks like my little joke fell flat. I did smile at CD’s and chigau’s, but.
    Moose in a noose.

    (It’s nous, BTW, which informs my appreciation of the joke)

    And agnostic? Of course not. How could “high probability” of the claim being true be an agnostic position?

    Um… same as with theism; either you believe, you disbelieve, or you are agnostic. Agnosticism is the only position that entails not taking a position on the matter.

  291. billyjoe says

    John,

    Firstly, there is more than one god that people believe in. Secondly, since when is a belief in god(s) a dichotomy. The choice is not between 100% belief in god(s), or 0% belief in god(s). There is, in fact, insufficient evidence to say the probability of god(s) existing is 0%. My belief in god(s) is close to, but not exactly, zero because the evidence is close to, but not exactly zero.

    Maybe that will provide some insight into my thinking.

    Crip,

    Please give up on your demand for a numerical value for my probability of the event. Probabilities almost always have error bars or confidence intervals. When I express my probability I am reflecting my confidence; which lies somewhere in the “high” range. This really is a silly argument that you have going there. If you insist then just change my “probability” to my assessment of the “likelihood” of the event.

    This pedantry is getting us nowhere.

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

    Please give up on your demand for a numerical value for my probability of the event.

    First, I’m demanding nothing. I’m merely pointing out that you’re not using probability. I don’t particularly care that you’re not using probability. Use whatever method you want. But I think it’s silly to assert you’re doing probability when you’re not using numbers or math at all. I am merely calling attention to the absurdity – no response from you is required.

    Second, even if you were using probability, I don’t give a fuck what your numbers are or how big your error bars are. This is why I say you don’t even understand the criticisms, because you obviously don’t read people.

    I have never once, not ever, asked you to assign a specific number to your estimate of accuracy of Smith’s account.

    i have never once, not ever, criticized you to for the size of your margin of error.

    That’s shit you’re just making up.

    I have criticized you because you have asserted that you can use certain qualities of Smith’s e-mail to logically justify a change in your accuracy estimate. I actually have experience in the field and I’m telling you that when I left full time work in the field just a few years ago, there was no such method by which someone could use reason and logic to accurately predict whether an estimate of accuracy (of an account of trauma) should be changed up or down or not at all based on the qualities of an e-mail written by the source of the account two years after the alleged incident.

    The only exception, which does not apply here, is if that e-mail was another account of the alleged incident which included new statements of fact where those statements were capable of being subjected to direct evidentiary testing not available for other, previously made statements of fact.

    You simply are too stupid to understand that I’m not asking for numbers. You’re so stupid that you’ve probably read nearly everything I’ve written in this thread and still somehow think I’m criticizing you for over broad error bars.

    I’m criticizing you because I know that the state of the research did not allow one to logically justify the type of adjustment you describe. Further, while no research had validated a technique to accurately identify how such e-mails could be used to adjust estimates of accuracy, LOTS of research has gone into subjects such as the variability of human response to trauma and the erroneous clearing of certain rape cases as “unfounded” by professional investigators who based their decisions on their (clearly erroneous) stereotypes of how survivors of sexual trauma behave.

    In short, I’m criticizing you because your argument that e-mails can be used in this way doesn’t have any serious chance of being correct without brand new research being published in the last few years of which I’m entirely unaware. And this is unlikely since even though I left full time work in my field, my new field – law – is related and I have kept current on at least some aspects of that research, even if I can no longer spend as much time reading the research as I would like.

    I am also criticizing you because you’re too boneheaded to even realize what’s being criticized despite your apparent literacy. You evince all the hallmarks of not mere ignorance – which is common to everyone, as no one can know everything, and is also easily fixed – but arrogant ignorance in which you steadfastly maintain a position in which you think your argument is superior in the face of obvious problems and even the informed commentary of experts (or, in my case, recent experts no longer quite as current as a contemporary expert is expected to be, but with all the education and background knowledge necessary to make good judgements that do not require the very latest research to get right).

    You have no epistemic humility and you have no special knowledge of how to read an account of trauma and extract from it any guess about any particular qualities of the person presenting the account without directly engaging your prejudices.

    I’ve been humble about my ability to know what’s going on in your brain. I’ve given you plenty of chances to respond by asserting that one can use a valid, logical method of demonstrated accuracy to make judgements in these situations based on months-delayed e-mails on unrelated topics. I’ve given you plenty of chances to cite the research that proves any level of accuracy at all for your method.

    You have repeatedly failed to respond. I no longer feel compelled to withhold public judgement: you are a charlatan relying on stereotypes to make judgements about the behavior of trauma survivors. You also publicly insist that such behavior is reasonable when reason and a whole shitload of research into erroneously closed rape cases shows that it is not. You repeat behavior that harms real survivors of sexual trauma and then attempt to publicly justify such behavior as appropriate for others to copy.

    THAT is why I have been in this thread so long. THAT is why I’m committed to refuting your bullshit. THAT is why I’ve said what I’ve said.

    And your piss-poor intellect, epistemic hubris, and dearth of anything like something that could be called education on the subject of human psychological, behavioral, and communicative responses to sexual trauma can’t do anything to convince anyone on this thread that your opinions are worth shit. If there weren’t other people out there with similar stupidity, vanity, overweening pride, and vacuous ignorance who might accidentally think your arguments justified their own stereotyping, I wouldn’t have taken you seriously for a moment.

    I hope that’s sufficiently non-pedantic and on-point for your sluggardly brain to comprehend.

  293. billyjoe says

    For some reason you think I don’t understand what you’re argument is. I actually understand it very well. But I think you don’t understand it very well. For a moment, let me refer you back to the Lindy Chamberlain case. It’s on a different topic altogether so we don’t need to deal with all the emotionality that mitigates reason in cases of accusations of rape.

    Lindy Chamberlain was accused of killing her daughter Azaria. She was convicted by the media and the court of public opinion long before her actual trial. The reason is that she did not react to Azaria’s death in the way most mothers would react. She was an outlier. She was eventually convicted in a court of law and spent years in prison untill incontrovertible evidence of her innocence emerged.

    So what’s the lesson here? Is it that mothers whose children die don’t break down and weep and become irrational? No. The lesson is that “in general” mothers do break down and weep and become irrational, but “in specific cases” they don’t do that. So, “in general” you would still suspect mothers who do not react in the general way mothers react when their children die, but you don’t insist that they are guilty because this is a “general” statement and may not apply “in specific cases”.

    “In general” women who claim they are raped are telling the truth. “In some cases” they are not telling the truth. And, “in general”, women’s stories about their rape are a valid account of their rape, but “sometimes” they are not. “In general”, women who are raped would not send an email to their rapist to join a panel discussion they were organising, especially with a smily attached. But “in some cases” they might. The reasons a woman gives for doing that might be reasonable or it might not.

    All of these things adjust your prior probability. If you deny that you are effectivley saying there is zero effect on prior probability. If I must justify my adjustment, then so do you. You must justify effectively saying that the adjustment is zero. I do not understand why that isn’t clear.

    In many, if not most, instances we don’t have studies to inform us. That doesn’t mean we don’t come to any conclusions about events for which no studies have been done. If there are no studies, we need to come to conclusions that are reasonable. If you don’t or refuse to come to any conclusion, you’re effectively saying the effect of the action is zero, and you will need to justify that conclusion.

    Commenters here tend equate the particular with the general and the general with the particular. This is not reasonable. It results in commenters saying “Y raped X, period – because X said so, and X is a woman”. No, that is true “in general”, and could be wrong in “this particular case”.

    In general women remain in contact with their rapist if the rapist is known to them, and if it is not possible to avoid that person, and if that person has power over them. But “in particular cases” they do not; they cut off all ties even at the expense of their professional advancement. It is unreasonable to say that this does not increase the lilelihood that they were raped. But, if you do say so, you need to justify your conclusion that it has no effect.

    “Believe women” does not mean “believe women, period”. It means “because, in general, women don’t lie when they say they have been raped; and because, in general, women have traditionally not been believed when they say they have been raped and have thereby suffered additional trauma; and because men who get away with rape continue raping, your initial response should not be to dismiss women as has so often has been the case in the past, but to immediately beleive women and support them, but then to take due diligence and check to ensure that this is actually the case”. Yeah, a mouthful, but more reasonable than a blanket “Believe women, period”.

    All your pedantry about the proper use of the word “probability”; and that “probabilities must be numerical” (no, they don’t); and that “adjustments must be accurate” (no, they don’t), and that “there must be a study” before you can say anything at all (no there doesn’t, otherwise our lives would be crippled by inaction)); your refusal to acknowledge that “saying nothing” is equivalent to assigning to that proposition exactly zero likelihood of it affecting your probability; is just obfuscation and denial. As is your refusal to give your opinion on the specific case we have been discussing.

    You also try to take the moral high ground by claiming my reading of this issue harms woman. Well, let me tell you that, in my opinion, your take on this is issue harms both men and women and the relationships between them, and society in general. But that’s another topic. And I have to wonder what your moral high ground is when you failed to respond when one commenter egregiously stated that they are happy for innocent men to suffer for the MeToo movement. Though I do acknowledge the moral high ground you took in correcting the commenters false accusations against me. So, thank you for that.

  294. Tethys says

    The horde is concerned with morality in general, but the people who keep pointing out that billyjoes statistical analysis is merely a bit of confirmation bias are not doing so to occupy some moral high ground. They are doing it because billy is just plain wrong, incorrect, erroneous, etc….

  295. chigau (違う) says

    billyjoe #(666/2)
    You have achieved peak incoherence. You should probably have a cookie.

  296. rq says

    @324
    Bedevilled eggs, is what came to mind.
    chigau’s comment-number division just confirms: that moose in an intellectual noose has eaten some terribly bedevilled eggs, and is now producing materials of unknown composition with fumes of confusion and frustration. The bear, in fact, is no longer shitting in the woods because it was just too much to take.

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