Learn to love your spiders!


Well, this is discouraging.

Scientists asked almost 1,800 people to rate 25 species of animals according to how much fear and disgust a photo of each one elicited. The spider got equally high rankings for both fear and disgust from more people than any other animal. The spider was also deemed the scariest and nearly the grossest as well.

I find myself snuggled up in the top right corner of that chart. No wonder nobody likes me.

But there are some words of hope.

Ecologist and self-proclaimed spider ambassador Bria Marty tested whether learning about spiders can change how people feel about them for her master’s thesis project at Texas State University in San Marcos. She recruited college students to find and identify spiders using an illustrated guide and then upload photos to iNaturalist. Marty, currently a PhD student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, surveyed participants before and after the activity, and one thing jumped out: Afterwards, people reported being far less likely to react negatively to a spider. “Doing an activity like this really does help a lot around fear,” she says.

This kind of change has been known to happen to iNaturalist users, says Tony Iwane, the platform’s outreach and support coordinator and a self-described spider lover. He pointed me to a thread on the site’s discussion forum about how contributing to iNaturalist helped people overcome their fear of spiders, with users sharing the “gateway spider” species that changed how they felt. For @mira_l_b, it was the particularly tiny Salticid (jumping spider) species Talavera minuta. “If I am finding myself confronting life-long fears and cooing sweetly to tiny Salticidae,” she wrote, “then there’s hope for us all!”

The author is advocating a big spider counting exercise for everyone, which sounds like a good idea to me. Except this is not the best time of year for it — spiders are making themselves scarce right now, hiding from the winter onslaught, but you can still find lots of spiders in your houses.

So go find them and say hello!

Comments

  1. cartomancer says

    There has been a little spider living in the little crack in the wallpaper by the ceiling above my bed for a couple of years now. Or, more likely, a succession of spiders. It catches moths that come in at night, and sometimes has to fight my cat for them (the cat inevitably wins). I have been tempted to remove the spider many times, but eventually I just let it be, It has yet to get a name, but that may happen in due course.

    On the other hand, my cat does have a toy spider that she really likes. We call this one Octavius, for obvious reasons, but after extended savaging he’s more of a Tertius now.

  2. seversky says

    My wife freaks out when she sees a spider so I have to dispose of (squish) it immediately. If I see one I shoo it into cover or move it outdoors quietly. Out of sight, out of mind.

  3. wzrd1 says

    I tried saying hello and it communicated back.
    It told me to go fuck off, I’m scaring off its prey.

    And sorry, but there is no way in hell that I’ll greet a maggot or tapeworm, some can be a bit hazardous. I’ll greet snakes and bovines from a safe distance, lest I find an angry snake hanging off of a presenting part or the bovine decides to wear me as a temporary hat. Roaches, sorry, but some competitors are just too destructive to allow anywhere nearby.
    As for the pigeon, well, if I didn’t just recently have a multiple extraction…. Squab is tasty!

  4. robro says

    I don’t find any of these particularly disturbing, except for wasps. They can be so persistent and they team up on me when I’m trying to eat in the garden. But it’s their world, too, and there’s not much we can do about them except put out poison and my partner and I refuse to do that. If they were nesting in the house structure we would have to deal with that…we had that at our house in San Francisco…but they live in the ground out in the garden which is large-ish and fairly wild.

    Gophers and moles are fairly destructive of the garden which puts them on the enemies list for the native plant gardener, but again, what are we going to do about them? Trap them? Then what? Kill traps?…ugh. Poison? No way.

    Spiders are much loved around this house. While she’s been away, my partner had me put a towel over the side of the tub so that the spider who frequently gets in the tub when it’s empty could get out again. She’s amazingly caring for all kinds of animals.

  5. StevoR says

    I wonder where octopi /octopusés, squid, cephalods generally rated and surely priapid worms ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priapulida ), leeches and cockroaches as well as fleas, dung beetles and genital crabs were worse than spiders here yeah?

    So many species even genera, so subjective a set of questions anyhow..

  6. StevoR says

    Aaaaannd I missed the cockroach there.

    Also just 25 animals? Talk about an unrepresentative limited sample size..

  7. rblackadar says

    “Fish” sure covers a lot of territory. Speaking for myself (No. CA coast) I’m much more afraid of one of our local fish than of any of our local spiders. More than our of local pit vipers, too, since those are not very common and tend to give timely warning. (Snakes? Vipers? WTF)

  8. skeptuckian says

    Outdoor cats disgust me due to the ecological damage they cause via predation. They should also be feared as the spread toxoplasmosis to people when they take a dump in your yard.

  9. Walter Solomon says

    Last night a little spider lowered itself down from my bedroom ceiling right beside me. I lightly blew on it and it quickly climbed back up the ceiling. It was pretty funny.

    Rats are lower on the list than I would’ve guessed. If you live in a city nearly overrun with them, your opinion on them becomes less tolerant I imagine. It’s not nicest sight seeing vehicle-flattened rats everywhere you go.

  10. StevoR says

    @ ^ skeptuckian : Wait, people are taking a dump in your yard? Like regularly? (Or irregularly /intermittantly as the case may be..)

    (Grammar how does it work? Beats me, I suck at it myslf or should that be I self? Anyhow.. Stillmy inner todlder was mause dby that..know what ya mean.)..

  11. StevoR says

    @ Walter Solomon : You think that’s un-nice for you? Imagine how much worse it is for the rats involved!

    Admittedly they probly don’t know much about it and its quick but still..

    Also as for cockroaches – & more of these randomly (?) selected animalia put to voters here, well, as many species of them are there that differ and confound expectations and how many people here know that some of them are actually kinda beautiful* albeit eye of beholders applies and they do ofte play significant ecological roles. Invertebrates generally. So under-estimated and overlooked despite their importance to, well, whole base of the food chain much?

    Ignorance ain’t always bliss. All too often it is actually phobia. Fear is the mind-killer (disgust too) and ignorance is all too frequently chosen and deliberate.

    .* See ‘mong other places :

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-04-18/cockroaches-insects-reasons-love-them-environment/100053056

    Plus : https://tooheyforesteec.eq.edu.au/support-and-resources/teacher-resources/beautiful-cockroach

    In addition to : https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2018/04/our-native-cockroaches-arent-as-gross-as-you-think/

  12. seversky says

    Bed bugs. I don’t see anyone expressing any great affection for them or even any interest in them – except in how to exterminate them.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    Snails and slugs seem to be in the wrong place. But I am biased because of the invasive Spanish forest snail eating the gardens.
    .
    People are apparently disgusted with organisms that lack effective lungs (with exception for ants, whose energetic life style presumably has earned them a honorary membership in the high-metabolism club).

    If we GM the spiders to get proper lungs -so they can run around faster- it would improve people’s opinion of them, right? Right?

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Do you remember when “Brazilian killer bees” were supposed to be a major threat? The seventies… I miss that innocent time. Punk was ‘dangerous’ and SNL had funny people.

  15. billseymour says

    I know that spiders are probably more afraid of me than I am of them, and I’m not the food that they’re looking for so they wouldn’t bite me unless I did something to make them afraid; but I do have one problem with them:  I wouldn’t recognize a Brown Recluse if I saw one and have no clue about what behaviors to avoid around them; so if I see any brown spider in my bathtub, I kill it.

  16. vucodlak says

    I can safely say that the spider posts here have increased my fear of and loathing for spiders. Especially the posts about spiders killing vertebrates, like the one with the redback spider killing the mouse, a while back. It’s weird how spiders get a pass for the hideous ways in which they kill from the same people who condemn cats for “playing with” their prey, or for killing unnecessarily. Have they never looked in a spider’s web? Freaking horrorshow.

    I don’t tolerate spiders in my living space. If I catch them in or near my bedroom or bathroom, I kill them. If they touch me, I kill them. One gigantic, suppurating bite wound was more than enough to last me a lifetime, thanks. I have developed some limited forbearance for them in the basement, and I typically try not to kill them if I encounter them outside, but that’s as far as my limited tolerance stretches.

    If I ever encounter a spider of any kind crawling into any of my orifices, however, that’s it. I will became a mad scientist dedicated to the total annihilation of arachnid-kind, perhaps by creating an elite army of cybernetic atomic shrews. With sonic weaponry and, I guess, machine learning, since that’s what all the hip mad scientists seem to be into these days.

  17. Rob Grigjanis says

    vucodlak @20:

    It’s weird how spiders get a pass for the hideous ways in which they kill from the same people who condemn cats for “playing with” their prey, or for killing unnecessarily.

    Not sure about “the same people” part. Have you been keeping track?

    Cats are infantalised pets who follow their instincts. That can be horrific for their prey. Spiders are doing what they evolved to do, rarely without necessity. I find it horrific as well; I will free a trapped animal (insect, bird or mammal) if I find it in time, in either case.

    Do you eat bacon, beef or chicken? I do. Do I get a pass?

  18. wzrd1 says

    seversky @ 16, I studied bedbugs during an infestation that was refractory to the usual insecticide treatments. Confined some, studied them quite a bit. For not being so social, but gregarious in nesting, they certainly were observed grooming the young, especially newly hatched bedbugs.
    And I found a wonderful agricultural mold that killed them quite handily, if slowly. Took a bit over a month, but it more than halved their number quite abruptly and they showed zero signs of adapting to the mold. A few more treatments and they were gone.

    billseymour @ 19, if you’re midwest and west, you have brown recluses to contend with. Well, there and on US military bases, where they’ll hitch a ride, but fare poorly over winter (same with widow spiders).
    Identifying one is easy, the brown recluse has what looks like a violin on the back of its thorax, the base around the eye region, the stem approaching the abdomen. A similar appearing, absent the fiddle spider is a hobo spider, far less venomous, but gave me a quarter sized depression on my calf. Never turned into an open wound or eschar, but I saw the two punctures and found the deceased spider under my sheet of my bed after noticing the wound. Took months to heal.
    We’d occasionally get widows, mostly black widows at Fort Indiantown Gap, where they were quite happy to nest inside of field latrine toilet seats and they were known to object to human dangly bits entering their web. As in grapefruit sized, agonizing pain experiencing scrotum on (obviously) male soldiers who didn’t check the seat first.
    Heard reports of two cases, saw one case personally – over the course of over 20 years, so rather uncommon, but not unheard of.
    I’ve also observed snakes swimming in larger field latrines, not a clue what they ate, as I wasn’t about to go down there and interview them. As they were over two meters down, wasn’t exceptionally concerned.

    I have read field reports that rattlesnakes aren’t rattling a warning often over the past decade or so. It was theorized that the rattle resulted in humans killing them, so they warn far less often. As they bite even more rarely, it doesn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. One bit that I did observe was a “dry bite”, bit a soldier that crawled onto the snake, didn’t envenomate him. He did panic and begin to run about, resulting in my closelining him to stop him from running and allow me to assess and treat him. If he’d have gotten venom, that running about would’ve distributed the venom throughout his circulatory system, likely making him quite ill.
    Fortunately, venom is expensive to produce, physiologically speaking, so venomous critters tend to conserve it when warning off problematic creatures. And timber rattlers aren’t exceptionally lethal to most adult humans.

  19. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson @ 18, I remember those bees. An uncle, who was a merchant marine managed to bring a nest home to Folsom, PA. Exterminator nearly soiled his pants when he identified the bees.
    They were a problem briefly, actually killing a handful of people in Texas, before they hybridized with the local bees, diluting most of their problematic behavior.
    Now, the biggest invasive insect are fire ants, which are spreading throughout the south. Got stung by those more than a few times, mostly by sitting near a nest that I didn’t notice. Once that happened, they got a gift – poison pellets that killed off that nest.
    Wildlife and I usually come to an agreement, leave me alone, I leave them alone. Mess with me, it was nice briefly meeting them.

    @steveem, do go back onto your meds, before you cause harm to yourself or others.
    Besides, I’m sure that there are plenty of rapists local to you for you to join. What an odd way to look for a date!

  20. vucodlak says

    @ steveem, #24-27, and probably more

    Do you know your place? I think not. You seem to think you do, but here you are, talking like you’ve got something to say that anyone wants to hear. I bet you make that mistake a lot. You start thinking you have something valuable to contribute, then you just take a big old shit in the middle of the floor.

    I wonder: does it confuse you when people don’t react to this like you soiling the carpet is a noteworthy accomplishment? I think it must, because you keep doing it. It seems to excite you when your nose is rubbed in it before it gets cleaned up, yet you never seem to notice that you never accomplish anything more than mildly annoying people here.

    It’s fine to have interests, but it’s unethical and immoral to attempt to involve others in your kinks without their consent, not to mention gauche.

  21. vucodlak says

    @ steveem, #40

    I’m afraid you lack the wit to be truly offensive. You are, as I said, mildly annoying. I’m bored, so I decided I’d bat you around a little, to see if you make any interesting noises before you’re scrubbed.

    So far, no. Haven’t you got a single original thought? I’d settle for an unoriginal thought, amusingly phrased.

    Entertain me, if you can.

  22. vucodlak says

    @ steveem, #44

    Oh come on, you can do better than that!

    First off, castration refers to the removal of the testicles, not the dick. And I suck disembodied silicone dicks all the time. They’re called “dildos,” by the way, not “discarded dicks.” I’ve got quite the collection. My favorite is 19 inches long and shaped like a florescent blue dragon.

    Doesn’t vibrate or anything, but it’s real wiggly. Sometimes I just shake hold it out and shake it around, because it makes me laugh. Compared to you, that’s a party.

    Well, I’ve given you three chances, and you continue to be a bore. I’m gonna go make my own fun. Maybe I’ll check back later, but I doubt you, or any evidence that you were ever here, will still be here.

    Wiggle wiggle!

  23. StevoR says

    @ steveem the pathetic, boring, public masturbator troll here. I gues its apt that in a post about the most revolting creatures you come along and prove what I wrote at #2 that humans – some humans anyhow that give others a bad name – are indeed the most repulsive creatures of all.

    Sure you know that all your hate spewed and vioided out here will soon be scraped off like excrement scraped froma shoe and have about as much impact on all of us here. .What a waste of your time. What a sad life you must have. Almost enough to make me pity you.I’m sure you can find trans pon sites out there that will allow you to masturbate in private. Go do that.

  24. badland says

    Poor steveem, all that effort hatewanking onto his keyboard and it’ll all be flushed.

    “Deleted, unread” is the deepest possible cut for his kind.

  25. wzrd1 says

    I do find it fascinating. Obsessed enough to camp out on one post and respond to Christ knows what that isn’t mentioned whatsoever in the post, then has the compulsion to astroturf, likely knowing that his drivel will be deleted by morning at the latest.
    And in the morning, he’ll sober up and in his Wernicke’s delusions, go back to playing in traffic.

  26. vucodlak says

    @ steveem, #50

    None of you freaka adressed a single thing I said.

    Now, you know that’s not true! I directed addressed your comment at #44 right before I went to take Captain Wiggles on their magical journey.

    Captain Wiggles glows in the dark, did you know that? And has sparklies, so they can always find their way.

    Also, did you know that another word for “castration” is “orchiectomy?” Gosh, but that’s fun to say! Orky-ecto-me! Orky-ecto-me! Orky-ecto-me!

    And did you know that there’s no “e” in “psych ward?”

    See, the problem is that there’s nothing worthy of being “adressed” in any of the skidmarks you’ve left in this thread, except as fodder for mockery. Even that isn’t very satisfying. It’s like trying to sink my teeth into someone only to find out they’re actually a blowup doll.

  27. StevoR says

    Couldn’t find that trans prn you were after huh, steveem? How sad.

    PS. If so bad this blog is, why so comment to comment on it you are? (Yoda voice.)

  28. vucodlak says

    @ steveem. #55

    What’s that you say? You want to know more about my collection of sex toys? Golly, but you’re thirsty. For knowledge. Okee-doke!

    Well, there’s Captain Wiggles of course, but I’ve already told you about them. Then there’s Buzzy-Beads; rechargeable and environmentally friendly. There’s Pasty Pete, a reliable standby, if a bit unimaginative. There’s the Conehead Triplets- I still have a bit of trouble with Big Bert. There’s Jiggly-Bum, who has to warm up in a big kettle before we play so that they don’t feel so much like a corpse.

    Last but not least, there’s the Whittled Wood, a veritable forest of homemade helpers. I don’t really recommend this adventure for any but the most expert of wood-working horn-dogs. We never go into the enchanting forest without protection, our little rain slickers and galoshes, but there’s always the chance of a wardrobe malfunction resulting in a very awkward trip to the ER.

  29. wzrd1 says

    vucodlak, what, no stainless steel or glass toys? My wife loved those.
    Rechargables are good, alas, the last time we made the mistake of charging all at once, we caused a turbine trip at Three Mile Island and they decided to shut it down.
    Then, there were the edibles…
    Hey, anything to break up the routine after 41 years together.
    Poor Stevie is just envious, as he can’t even pay someone to nibble on his chicklet.

    Well, this was excruciatingly boring. Time for this man of iron to bed, to finish rusting into the sunrise.
    Or something.
    I’ll be back awake by Saint Petersburg shift change. Much better class of failed troll during those hours.

  30. says

    The fun part I’m finding about steveem is that I can skip past their empty comments to find the funny responses from bored regulars.

    Checked a few just in case there was something in there, and yeah, steveem’s just another boring toothless troll who doesn’t know how to engage like a normal person. Strikes me as one of those pizza cutter edge lords: All edge and no point.

  31. says

    One thing that has me rolling my eyes at steveem is the old “irreversible damage” trope and how revealing it is to the transphobe mindset: They think the human mind only exists to serve the sacred meat between the legs and treats this reductive attitude of theirs as if this were the default human mindset.

    And then somehow we’ll just wake up one day and completely devalue the human experience in favor of their worship of the gonads/gametes/chromosomes or whatever they decide is the real binary determiner of sex this week. It’s like watching a religion that switches which One True God it believes in over the course of conversation.

  32. jeanmeslier says

    steveeeeeem shows clear signs of a disease that is actually one: right-wingerism. Suing empty wordshells like “SJW” common among right wing medieval champs who label everyone with that “term” who dares to question or criticise their holy paradigms and hierarchies , coupled with imbecile 2004 teen chat-lingo like “bu” or “ppl”

  33. jeanmeslier says

    Also funny that chief-neanderthal steveeeeem and people like “it” alsways used “his or her”, “s/he” or “his/her”,… to avoid the cursed “they” (which would take less time to type on a keyboard) because they’re so scared of the queers

  34. says

    Transphobes seem to think they’ll melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if they actually respect someone’s pronouns. What’s funny is that they’re tangling themselves in bigger knots trying to avoid the minor inconvenience of learning a simple communication skill.

  35. jeanmeslier says

    steveeeem cannot “think”. it is not a person, thats why it is probably anti-choice

  36. Silentbob says

    PZ’s not going to be happy about the most pathetic troll on earth derailing a perfectly good thread about the loveability of spiders. :-(

  37. says

    Given that large language models like ChatGPT can occasionally accomplish grade school five paragraph essays without thinking, steveem’s comments would certainly be within the realm of a bot.

    —One thing that amuses me is the notion that there’s a “trans craze” right now. What it looks like to me is that we’re casting aside the longstanding and pointless religious tradition that the human body is a deity’s perfect declaration of our social destiny. It’s annoying to see many atheists just reskinning “gods” as “evolution” and endowing the latter with intention and sovereignty. Newsflash: Evolution doesn’t have intentions.

  38. cartomancer says

    I doubt any of us gives a halfpenny jizz for our current tedious troll. I certainly don’t. But I do care about the possible effect on any vulnerable trans, non-binary or similarly oppressed people who might casually be observing the troll’s antics.

    Know this, my fabulous trans, enby and gender nonconforming comrades – such bile is a product of these people’s realisation that the world has moved on and they are irrelevant now. They are scared and angry that the world is bigger and brighter and more nuanced and complex than they are comfortable with. They will burn themselves out in their inane bids for attention eventually, whereupon they will slink off to fester in their sense of cloying personal inadequacy.

    You are worth ten of them and more. Don’t let the world’s bastards get you down.

  39. jeanmeslier says

    @72 “abnormal” your language is exposing your totalitarian diesease, your longing for control and discrimination and your apparent inability to process anything that has happened the last years..You are a fascist, and you do not care one bit about anyone but yourself and your might. On top of that, why do you waste your time here?

  40. says

    “Freaks of nature.”

    There goes that idolatry of evolution as a god-like agent with sovereign intentions, right on schedule. Naturalistic fallacy, much?

  41. says

    Thinking about it, all this desire to control other people’s bodies and social standing isn’t far off in principle from those tech companies who don’t want customers to modify (or, gasp, repair!) the products they buy to suit their individual needs.

    The tech companies don’t feel a need as much vitriol because they’ve still got power backed by a capitalist government. Transphobes are salty because they know they’re losing their power and thus their war on human individuality.

  42. StevoR says

    @77. cartomancer : Well writ and seconded by me. Spot on . Truth.

    A transphobe whose comments are about to go blank just wasted his night trolling here. It really does shit them so much that they are a thankfully vanishing breed and future generations will no longer be burdened by their vile bigotry.

  43. says

    cartomancer @77

    Know this, my fabulous trans, enby and gender nonconforming comrades – such bile is a product of these people’s realisation that the world has moved on and they are irrelevant now. They are scared and angry that the world is bigger and brighter and more nuanced and complex than they are comfortable with. They will burn themselves out in their inane bids for attention eventually, whereupon they will slink off to fester in their sense of cloying personal inadequacy.

    One thing that amuses me about the accusation of a “trans craze” is that it’s a confession: They know that the gender binary is nothing but a long-lasting fashion, not a foundational principle necessary for society to function. Their obsession with sex also shows through in that they think everything trans is about sex. They’re sex-obsessed to the point that they can’t conceive of someone not always thinking about sex. (Which brings an opportune excuse for me to wave my Aro and Ace flags.)

  44. StevoR says

    It really is rather staggering just how worked up some bigots get about other people just being themselves completely harmlessly to everyone else.

  45. StevoR says

    @ Bronze dog : Aro = ???

    Plus, yeah, Trans people have always been here globe-wide in all societies. Some kinderand fairer tothem than others. Same as all varieties of queer people generally.

  46. Louis says

    I don’t read the comments as regularly as I used to, fits and starts, ya know, but is this the quality of muppet now occasionally causing “enjoyment” in the comment section? This one has an old, familiar pattern, but maybe that’s due to a general lack of originality. Who knows? Either way, I love the use of girls’ names as insults and mental health stigma. Big argument. Much reason. Wow.

    I infrequently note comment numbers on posts, I saw this one and thought, “Wow, spiders be poppin’ off, yo!” and clicked curiously. Upon reflection, I should have guessed there was muppetry afoot.

    Louis(e), Mad(TM).

  47. wzrd1 says

    Bronze Dog, the biggest problem I’ve observed with the pizza cutter edge lords is, they’re as incisive as a paint roller.
    @ 86, I’ll simply put the point blunter, like the troll. He’s worse than aromantic, in that he wouldn’t manage to get laid inside a cathouse with five grand tied to his neck, as he’d repel even the starving with his odiousness. About as attractive intellectually and possessing the charisma of a overfilled cesspool.
    And about the same mental capacity as well.
    Indeed, a veritable poster child for the local abortion clinic, with the slogan, “Don’t give birth to a child with this agonizing and incurable fatal disease, abort early!”. Highly effective as well, possessing all of the charm of a early second trimester ectopic pregnancy.

    Louis @ 88, just another fine example of an idiot astroturfing. Proving the only point in their possession is the shape of their head and proving yet again that zikavirus was causing microcephaly long before public health authorities were aware of the existence of the virus. That, worsened and exhibited via his typos and exhibited reasoning deficiencies, by apparent Wernicke-Korsakof syndrome.

  48. Paul K says

    Louis at 88. Yeah, I read this post yesterday, and enjoyed the fun responses from regulars about not-so-creepy crawlies. Then, this morning, I saw there were 88 comments, and that seemed pleasantly odd. Then I got to the troll’s first comment, way back at 24, and thought, ah, that explains it.

    I want to support what cartomancer said in comment 77. I’m a 63-year-old white cis-het American guy who is very happy to see people being not just allowed, but celebrated, for being who they are. I am swimming in privilege, so was not very aware of lots of things, and this blog has helped me so much to see and think. This troll seems extremely dated, and it’s sad to think there are places where the things they say might be taken at all seriously. But, happily, not here. I love this place!

  49. says

    just kinda surprised the chart doesn’t have the House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata) those things just fall under “nuke the site from space” for me… (in turn making Dr. Myers look perfectly fine 🤪)

  50. asclepias says

    I’ve always found it odd how many people are creeped out by spiders, especially in the United States. I have saved more than a few at the animal shelter where I volunteer, and every time I do, people are simply in awe. The often heard comment is, “But it might be a brown recluse!” Yes, it might, but it’s unlikely. Besides, a friend who is an arachnologist told me that recluses only tend to bite when they are in the process of being squashed. And they’re good for the environment! I admit to being a bit more creeped out by snakes, particularly if they just jump out of the grass to warn you off, like some rattlers, but once I get I get over the initial shock, I admire how they move along the ground. Also, they’re good for the environment.

  51. birgerjohansson says

    Where is the banhammer when you need it?
    The time zone makes me log out, and when I come back some troll living under Alex Jones’ outhouse has been smearing feces all over the place.

    I amuse myself with the fantasy of forcing all online trolls to live together. Despite considering themselves “normal” they would promptly fall out like a nest of House Republicans.

  52. Louis says

    @Birgerjohansson, #94,

    Forcing online trolls to live together could result in them falling out like House Republicans? Mate, that’s how we GOT Republicans! ;-)

    Bigots and fuckwits…but I repeat myself…have curdled together for donkey’s years. Their erotic befurtlements have generated the fine, fine crop of conservatives (of all stripes) we see globally today. And THAT, everybody, is why friends don’t let friends fuck conservatives. Firstly, you might accidentally spawn one of those utter shitehouses. Secondly, the possibility exists that the sexy sexy times will turn your genitalia fash on contact.

    And no one wants a right-wing mimsy or a bigoted wang, now do they?

    Louis

  53. wzrd1 says

    Louis @ 95, how would I know if I have a right-wing mimsy or a bigoted wang, since I’ve not talked to the thing since I was a child? ;)

  54. Louis says

    @wzrd1, #96,

    it can be quite tricky to tell. There is no one conclusive test, but if, under laboratory conditions, a carefully lead-shielded copy of the Daily Mail (handled by trained professionals) produces any form of arousal or engrumbulement in your Unmentionables you should immediately consult your physician for further assessment. MRIs, CAT scans etc.

    Should further analysis reveal right-wing economic or bigoted tendencies on the part of your Filthinesses, there are some effective treatments with substantial real-world and trial data behind them. Although, as with anything in medicine, nothing is perfect or without side effects. Education seems to work well, but it does require time and effort. Having your dong (if you are a dong-owner. Other Indelicatenesses exist) read Marx can be very instructive, for example. Dowsing one’s Lady’s Shamefulness with a solution, of an appropriate pH and sterility, that has had a chorus of blue-haired feminists sing “The Red Flag” at it also works. Make sure the song has been sung to high concentrations. Homoeopathic induction of socialist tunes is nonsense, obviously. A good, stiff dose-response curve is what we want.

    Any form of moistening or engorgement produced by the sight of Nigel Farage is probably a terminal case. Some form of sterilisation by repeated whacking with a copy of a David Graeber book could do something, but I wouldn’t hold out hope. You might have to strap some Gramsci to yourself and retire from public life.

    Louis

  55. StevoR says

    @102 steveem : “Thats whats screwed up.”

    No, soon to be banhammered troll with the soon to disappear stream of diarrhoeal comments, what’s screwed up is transphobic & homophobic bigotry like yours and you wasting all this time on a blog you claim to hate boring and annoying us. You never did answer my question upthread :

    If so bad this blog is, why so keen to comment on it you are? (Yoda voice.)

    ..when my brother told him adter sxhool that gay couples are a tiny minority and thats not normal, he started crying because of the contradiction between the two sources of authority: the teacher and his father.

    Firstly, I don’t believe you. Secondly, your brother or your father, make up your mind – or is your family as incestously inbreed as my brother’s late miniature bull terrier which had deformed paws, a banana shaped nose and which literally & not co-incidentally had grandbrothers? Thirdly, the contradiction is easily solved by observing the reality that the father / brother here is simply wrong.

    Also there’s no such thing as “normal” anyhow and homosexuality is pretty much everywhere in nature :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

    So clearly no evolutionary problem.

    Also clear how transphobes are homophobes too.

    Again, remarkable how some bigots get so worked up over what other people do with their lives despite those others doing nothing that remotely affects them.

    Guess you still can’t find that trans prn you so obviously yearn to find huh?

  56. wzrd1 says

    StevoR, “Also clear how transphobes are homophobes too.”, you didn’t already realize that? That’s the root of their phobia and they dysfunctionally express that fear via projection of their own inner desires.

  57. says

    Steveem’s getting wordier this time. Just grabbing a sample.

    However adopting children by gays should be completely out of the question.
    That damages them, screws up their minds with “role models”, that are not normal: usually, a boy’s role model is his father, a girl’s is her mother. And that has a host of consequences.

    Define “normal” and why it’s so sacred to you. I suspect it’s all built around a circular argument from tradition.

    As for the consequences, most of them are the result of being harassed by people like you, not their parental relationships. Of course, parents who think the way you do tend to disown their children if they come out as gay or trans, which does a lot of harm for much more obvious reasons.

  58. Louis says

    @steveem, #108,

    So what’s natural is what’s normal, in your use of the word “normal”?

    Louis

  59. wzrd1 says

    steveem said:
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.
    I dont think I need to say much more about Transgender ppl.

    Seriously, astroturfing isn’t improving your point, which was repeatedly proven invalid in every other species on the planet.
    Here’s a hint, science doesn’t work by ignoring something that contradicts a view or theory, which is precisely your MO.
    But, to stoop to your level, keep on trying, aunti.em, you might hurt yourself, much to our amusement.
    Now, why don’t you go run with scissors.
    I’ve gotta go out and play in traffic.*

    *AKA, crossing a busy street while walking with a cane to get to the store.
    Then, start prepping to make another gallon or so of pasta sauce.

  60. StevoR says

    @ steveem : Sorry dude but however much you beg, I ain’t gonna be your boyfriend.

    You are just too ugly on the inside.

    Now go keep looking for that queer prn you are obvs after and maybe also go rethink your life.

    .. Actually scratch that. No maybe ’bout that last bit.

  61. Louis says

    @steveem, #114,

    It’s okay, I read and understood what you wrote, and what Dawkins and Coyne et al. have written. I’m trying to better understand what you think as there are some inconsistencies, both in the internal logic of what you say, and with the biological sciences as a field.

    You have stated clearly that something that occurs in nature is “normal”, thus by your own words cannot be any form of deviation. Homosexual behaviour is found in a large number of animal species, including humans. It demonstrably occurs in nature. It is natural. So, by your own definition, homosexual behaviour is “normal”. You can avail yourself of the veracity of that statement by doing a tiny thing called “looking it up”. Regardless of explanation, approval, or any such thing, this phenomenon demonstrably occurs, widely, across nature. It is, given all the caveats and philosophical niceties about the word, an observable and observed fact. Satisfy yourself of the existence of that fact. Do the homework, as it were.

    Just because you cannot think of an adaptation that means homosexual behaviour leads directly to the production of offspring does not mean that:

    a) There isn’t one.

    b) Adaptation (esp. regarding direct production of offspring) is the relevant mechanism of evolution in this case. not all evolution is adaptation. Which, of course, having read Dawkins and Coyne, you’d know. Because they know.

    c) “Mental illness” or similar is a requisite condition for, or accurate description of, homosexual behaviour in humans.

    All you have done is assert that you are somehow able to provide authoritative definitions and statements about sexual biology despite rather obviously having a less than GCSE-level understanding of it.

    Next, if you are going to shift to “normal” meaning “frequent” (or similar), taking humans as an example, “white people”, “Christians”, and “Americans” (to pick three examples) are not “normal” (presumably you think at least one of those is “normal”?). So you making a “frequency” argument, as you have above, also fails as it’s just reflective of another limitation of your relevant subject matter knowledge. This also demonstrates your confusion about how to form a very basic, logical argument because you slide from one use of a word to another with a lack of basic intellectual clarity and honesty. What frequency defines “normal” according to you? Please show your workings. Additionally, as homosexual behaviour is found in a large number of animal species, by virtue of the frequency at which it occurs, it counts as “normal” by your own (unquantified, woolly) definition.

    Given that a significant amount of research has been done on a wide variety of sexual behaviours, features, and adaptations, I’m curious to know why you are ignoring that work. A lot is cheaply/freely publicly available. After all, surely, rather than wasting your time in the comments section trying to “educate” the benighted fools who dwell there, wouldn’t a better use of your time be educating yourself about biology?

    It’s just not very impressive of you. You demonstrably know an insufficient amount about the relevant biology to discuss the topic, you’re clearly not even sufficiently competent to be capable of creating a coherent, internally consistent, logical argument. So you fall at the first hurdle. Predictably.

    Equally predictable is the assumption of ignorance on the part of people more expert than yourself in a field, and your handwaving away of anything you don’t like. Why should anyone waste their time on you beyond mockery? You can’t even coherently answer incredibly simple questions. It’s laughably pathetic.

    Louis

  62. Louis says

    P.S. LOL “Normal” as acceptable too!

    My gay friends find homosexual behaviour to be acceptable. Therefore it is “normal”. Unless, for some reason, steveem thinks he is in a position to dictate to others what is acceptable. Hmmm.

    Louis

  63. says

    I dont think those kids should be disown(that does create enormous harm), anymore than having an autistic or physically disabled child means you should disown the kid.
    What I said, is that that aspect of them should not be normalized and we should not redefine what a (mentally) healthy individual is because of such diviations/abnormalities. It’s that simple.

    You haven’t explained what you mean by “normal” and thus you haven’t explained what constitutes a deviation or why normality is preferable. And nice to know you consider me to be a deviation, implying that I was born defective for having autism. Do you not see how that attitude leads to dehumanization of whole classes of people? You praised “the greatest generation” for fighting Nazis, but you wield some rather eugenicsy language. I suspect your alternative to disowning the children would be to abuse them until they mask as normality. It’s a common trope with autistic people like me. We wind up bottling up everything and becoming miserable because “normal” people like you are taught to freak out about our expressions of passion as well as our harmless quirks. What I’m objecting to is this fashion of hyper-fragility in your world that’s busy maintaining the inertia from an old western trend of eugenics that’s dying out (kicking and flailing, but still dying). Let that fashion die in favor of one that recognizes the dignity and varying needs of individuals. But you won’t. You’d rather project your eugenics biases onto evolution the way a religious bigot projects their biases onto their gods. You’re just like all those YouTubers I ignore because they’re just running up fake outrage about “wokeness” (usually basic human dignity) for clicks.

    Humankind does not exist to service your antiquated notions of normality. You are not a god to be obeyed. We don’t need to treat people as inferior just because treating them with respect and striving to meet their unique needs hurts your feelings. You need to grow up and accept the messy complexity of the world. If I can do it while held back by some rigid autistic thought tendencies, why can’t you? What’s holding you back in this eternal sheltered, spoiled child phase?

  64. StevoR says

    @107. wzrd1 :

    StevoR, “Also clear how transphobes are homophobes too.”, you didn’t already realize that? That’s the root of their phobia and they dysfunctionally express that fear via projection of their own inner desires.

    Oh I’m all too well aware of that and how very fragile and insecure the bigots and bullies are.

    Merely being different is such a threat to them somehow and one they will happily bash and kill you for being.

    Yet they are somehow the ones under threat and have such a whopping Persecution Envy. They are such utter cowards.

    Fragile toxic masculinity is such a thing the mere mention of it has them going batshit.

    Except bat feces = actually useful guano (fertiliser, phosphorus – Greek = “light bringer” Venus & element) whereas them, not-so-much.

  65. says

    @steveem
    Fear is why you are here.

    People don’t engage in approach or withdraw behavior without feeling. You describe things above as bad. You have fear. Don’t lie. Negative feeling doesn’t go away because you want it to.

    If it was just dislike you would withdraw. But it’s not, you are here, totally incapable of citing or quoting anything, politically posturing.

    If you have something worth reading you can quote it. Do the work. Otherwise all I see is empty fear attached to nothing and eventually baseless fear spreading gets banned.

  66. says

    <

    blockquote>Next, if you are going to shift to “normal” meaning “frequent” (or similar), taking humans as an example, “white people”, “Christians”, and “Americans” (to pick three examples) are not “normal” (presumably you think at least one of those is “normal”?). So you making a “frequency” argument, as you have above, also fails as it’s just reflective of another limitation of your relevant subject matter knowledge.

    <

    blockquote>
    And suddenly I’m reminded of some bigoted D&D players throwing a big shit fit about a black woman being used as the illustrated example image of “Human” in the 5th Edition Player’s Handbook player races section. IIRC, about 51% of the human population in the real world are women, and there’s certainly more humans with dark skin than there are white people. Like many other communities (atheism and science, included), the gaming community needs to clean house and shun these displays of performative, fashionable fragility.

  67. says

    @steveem
    Nature is full of modified forms and behaviors that don’t have a specific reproductive purpose. Homosexuality is normal. It’s natural existence despite your cooties about the idea doesn’t vanish because you want it to.

  68. says

    @steveem
    Who is ignoring things?

    You haven’t presented anything. You’ve name-dropped non-experts in sex and gender issues without any competence at tying any of their specific ideas to anything, I guess you want us to do your work for you? If they have anything of worth you can explain it or fail.

    Your a-c is all your bullshit as far as I’m concerned. Things you couldn’t support if your life depended on it so you have to shove the pressure onto others.

  69. says

    I think like so many other bigots, steveem conflates “natural” with “traditional” or “familiar,” so it doesn’t matter how many natural examples animal homosexuality we provide. Because religiously-inspired fashions dating back to certain iron age civilizations are more sacred than reality.

    His obsession with “normal” is a self-defeating ideology because it can only contract inwards. Like someone who consistently stays only within their comfort zone. It’s my exposure to weird people (and being a bit weird myself) that makes it plain to me how pathologically fragile these self-declared “normal” people are to justify their abuse of people who aren’t causing harm.

  70. says

    Oh, the feeling that has to do with getting something out of a common group? A behavior, person, or kind of person? Disgust. The emotions and the associated logic doesn’t go away because it’s inconvenient language in this emotionally incompetent culture.

  71. wzrd1 says

    Bronze Dog @ 125, thanks for the statistics. I honestly thought women were a slightly higher percentage to males, but a quick check verified the approximation quite nicely. Thought it’d be a hair higher due to a bit more robust immune system that’s present in women (and causes its own issues with autoimmune diseases).
    I also found confirmation on percentage by age, with around 1/4 of the global population being under age 15.
    It’s always welcome to being reintroduced to the current statistics! Knowledge is power, ignorance is weakness.

  72. Louis says

    If knowledge is power, then knowledge is the product of current and potential difference. Potential difference is the product of current and resistance. This is why there is so much resistance when encouraging people to keep their knowledge current.

    QED innit.

    Louis

  73. wzrd1 says

    If sociology and electrical engineering could equate. Alas, electronics works by logical formulae, human behavior works by illogic.

  74. brightmoon says

    Well since reading your blog I don’t scream in terror anymore then run and get the Raid . But I still can’t stand spiders . I will try to catch and put them outside now, which is what I do for bees and some other insects

  75. Jazzlet says

    The number of spiders in our downstairs toilet has recently reduced from four to one, and that one is displaying different behaviour. Whereas it formerly always hung around upsidedown it it’s web, it has taken to splaying itself against the skirting board with occasional sorties to hang upsidedown. This is similar to the behaviour of the only one in our upstairs toilet before it disappeared a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea if this means anything, but as it it has it’s web in view of the seated user of the facility I’ve noticed the change.

  76. Louis says

    I want to know what this perfect Ubermensch looks like. The default human.

    I’m tired of learning what this ignoramus thinks is “deviant”, I want to know what everyone should be, what people are deviating from. Let the dog see the rabbit. Don’t be coy, come out and tell everyone. I wonder if there is, you know, some kind of hierarchy. Perhaps with one type of person at the top {wink wink} and different people {wink wink} lower down in the hierarchy.

    if this ends up being the case, let no one say I did not see this coming. Get it? NOT SEE this coming. NOT SEE. Huh? Huh.

    Tough crowd.

    Louis

    (P.S. No one mention variation as an engine, or result of, evolution. And for fuck’s sake no one mention drift. Or numbers. It’ll just get too funny.)

  77. wzrd1 says

    Louis, why I’d always end up at the top. Can’t help it, one can of chili with beans, my booster rocket’s primed to carry beyond orbit.
    steveem, well, no such propulsion is possible, due to the fuel pathway being obstructed with shit, from stem to stern. Still, I’m sure the “perfect” human has blonde hair and blue eyes.

  78. Louis says

    @ Steveem,

    Look back at your very own post #114.

    So what’s natural is what’s normal, in your use of the word normal?

    Yes, it this biological context it is.

    So you said exactly that.

    Your comments about your brother in #102

    My nephew is 7 yrs old, the teacher explained to the kids that many children have fathers and mother, while many other children have two morhers and two fathers, and that’s normal.
    And when my brother told him adter sxhool that gay couples are a tiny minority and thats not normal, he started crying because of the contradiction between the two sources of authority: the teacher and his father.

    You have associated “normality” with “minority”, i.e. frequency of occurrence within a population. So yes, you said that too.

    It should be apparent that, when you don’t understand your own claims and {cough} “arguments” {LOL}, being undeservingly patronising to others is not a good look. Funny, but not good. I suspect that introspection of the degree required to notice that is not something you of which you are capable. Which is sad, because a yoghurt can do it.

    When you are using terms like “normal” with many varied meanings, meanings you yourself are using, yes, it is important in anything approaching reasoned and reasonable discussion to be clear about which meaning you are using. In the space of a few posts you have used “normal” to mean “not deviating”, “normal” to refer to some unspecified frequency, and “normal” to refer to “acceptable in a social context”.

    The problem is not that people are behind you, and don’t understand your “arguments”. The problem is that people are AHEAD of you and understand the drivel you are spouting better than you even can. You realise your nonsense is neither good nor novel, right? You can wade in and call people names and refer to things like “normal” and “deviant” in the traditional manner that all bigots use weasel words to make claims. The problem is you don’t realise precisely how transparent you are. Hence a simple question like “what do you mean by ‘normal’?” causes you problems. Because you’re fully Humpty-Dumptying. A word means just what you want it to mean when you want it to, and you hyperventilate when pinned down about it. You can’t make a reasoned or coherent argument, so you elide. This is because you are very obviously intellectually dishonest and limited.

    Louis

  79. Louis says

    Buggeration I borked the first quote.

    The quote should read:

    So what’s natural is what’s normal, in your use of the word normal? Yes, it this biological context it is.

    …from steveem’s #102

    Shame when a lad can’t even read his own words for comprehension, innit?

  80. Louis says

    Today in “The Logic of Steveem, Internet Bigot”:

    Quoting from his own words where appropriate:

    1) Homosexual people are deviant and abnormal
    2) Just because homosexual people are deviant and abnormal “that doesn’t mean those people are subhuman or should be discriminated against”
    3) Heterosexual people, who are deemed fit, can adopt children
    4) “Adopting children however is a privilege, and they [Homosexual people] shouldn’t be seen as fit.” This “fitness” rests, it seems, purely on the sexuality of the person, no other “fitness” metric is proposed.

    Is there a word, I wonder, that describes the granting of different rights and social access to one group of people, on the basis of one characteristic, and denies those same rights and access to another group of people on the basis of their possessing a variant of that characteristic?

    Hmmm.

    Nah. Can’t think of one. Wait…Waaaaaaait…nah. Someone help out. Dis…something, I think? Dyspepsia?

    But, guys, guys, relax. Steveem’s not a bigot! He had a gay co-worker once who was good at his job. That’s a get-out-of-bigotry card right there. Don’t worry. We cool. We cool.

    Louis

    P.S. I have so many fun questions: Can a parent whose heterosexual spouse has died keep their kids? After all, not having the second parent of the opposite sex to the first present is DEVIANT and ABNORMAL. I propose all children be removed from parents who divorce or lose a spouse. No children can be adopted by wealthy, but heterosexual, maiden aunts either. That’s right out. Grandparents too. It’s not NORMAL for grandparents to parent grandkids. It’s DEVIANT. It should be banned in a non-discriminatory way.

  81. Louis says

    Steveem,

    What “woke”? I’m mocking you for being an incoherent muppet who doesn’t understand his own drivel. THAT’S what’s amusing me!

    How is someone with no legs “abnormal”? Explain it to me.

    I’ll help: The key word in the question is the word “how”. The second important word is “abnormal”. Start with “how”. Be clear. show your working.

    Go on, old son. I’ll wait.

    Louis

  82. Louis says

    Hell, I’m feeling generous. I’ll help some more!

    Fact number 1: Homosexual people make up a minority of the population.

    Fact number 2: Homosexual people, behaviour, and homosexuality have been socially acceptable to varying degrees in various times and places.

    I don’t think there is a person on the planet who could reasonably disagree with those two facts.

    The first question is: So what? Why does that matter?

    So we return to the question I posed in #148, but we can update it in light of those two facts: How are homosexual people “deviant”? What are they “deviating” from?

    Louis

    P.S. Don’t worry, I never thought you had any brains to start with, and bless your heart, you do keep proving me right.

  83. vucodlak says

    @ steveem

    Oh good, you’re back.

    My cisgender, straight parents were perfectly “normal” by your warped definition. Dad liked to throw me against the wall, or squeeze my arms until I thought they’d break while screaming threats in my face. Mom trained her dog to maul me while she watched and told me how worthless I was. Some fucking role models.

    But growing up in that household did teach me a lot about reading people, and I can read you like open book. And you know what I see?

    Fear. I can practically smell it. You are terrified- of LGBTQ+ people, of the people in these comments, and, most of all, of yourself. It oozes from between your every insult, and screeches from behind your every pitiful threat. You are a miserable coward, and everyone can it.

    From your #102:

    The previous year, the kids were asked who among the FEELS like a boy and girl.

    If I were a better person, I might feel some pity for you, but I’m not, and I don’t. I don’t FEEL like a girl, or a boy, either. I feel…

    What was it you said to me last time? Ah, yes, from your comment at #58:

    Well, sink your teeth in my dick.

    You know, I’ve only ever had one man’s dick in my mouth. He was a very upright and moral man, like yourself, married to a woman and all that. I was three years old at the time, and he was the woman who ran the daycare’s husband. He shoved his dick so far into my mouth that I couldn’t breathe. I’d made noise, you see, when he was trying to sleep. Like you, he thought rape was an appropriate response to something that upset him. I gagged, vomited, and aspirated. I woke up hours later, dressed in different clothes in a bed, lying in a pool of vomit. The collar of the shirt was way too tight, almost strangling me. I only realized many years after the fact that the people who ran the daycare thought I’d died, and the shirt was their attempt to cover it up.

    I want to thank you for reminding me of that. I want to thank you for the wonderful dreams that memory always brings with it.

    You were right, you know: I’m utterly and completely mad. Batshit insane. But I live in a country that’s full of people like you- hateful, ignorant bigots who think mental illness is a moral failing- so it’s hard to get real help.

    You accuse people here of feeling a sense of moral superiority, but I can assure that that’s not the case for me. I know I’m not a good person. But I’m not a little boy anymore, either. The abusers, the rapist-wannabes, the frothing, hate-filled cowards can’t hurt me anymore. Now, it’s my turn to teach them the importance of kindness, of mercy, and of understanding.

    I value those three things above all else, but I’m not a good person. I struggle with those qualities every day, because savage cruelty and brutal violence come far more easily to me. I’m a monster, plain and simple, but I walk through this world looking and, for the most part, acting just like everyone else. Most people never suspect what I really am. I’m vicious, vile, and I can hurt people with a smile, but I try not to. I really do. I’ve made my peace with that.

    If I can manage that, coward, then surely you can manage to shut your fucking mouth and get the fuck out of here.

  84. Louis says

    I do also want to know what PZ’s face has to do with anything at all. I cannot say one way or the other whether I have found any aspect of PZ’s face inoffensive or offensive. It does a good job of covering the front of his skull, as indeed, do many faces. I’m not sure why parts of PZ’s face are relevant to homosexual people.

    Is PZ’s face particularly attractive to the gays? Does he give off gay-diation which engayifies the populace at large? Is PZ’s face the reason, retroactive through all space and time, for homosexuality? Big if true.

    I’m beginning to think that dear old steveem hasn’t got a point at all, and would struggle to think his way out of a wet paper bag. Do I get called a girl’s name now?

    Louis

  85. says

    Well, you WERE born defective and have a deviation of sorts(autism). But so what?
    It shouldn’t be dehumanizing. If you lose your legs in an accident, that doesn’t mean you are any less human.
    I can sympathize with your condition. But you are not a mentally healthy individual.
    Not that it means much. I am not in great physical shape to become a basketball player. I am 40lbs overweight and I smoke quite a lot. It diesn’t mean I get to redefine what an NBA class basketball player is.

    The problem isn’t that autism is a defect, it’s that your predecessors (including the eugenics fashions of yesteryear) built society in a way that causes unnecessary problems for people like me. We want to change society so everyone can prosper and make the most of what they have. You seemingly want “normal” people to be given even more special privileges for the sole reason of being “normal.”

    On the basketball thing, quite frankly, you strike me as exactly the sort of person who’d demand a participation trophy to salve your hurt feelings. I’m not asking for lowered standards of professional achievement, you’re asking for ever lower standards of basic adulthood. You want “normal” people to live a coddled life on easy mode because you’re threatened by the prospect of people like me overcoming actual obstacles that are bigger than mere hurt feelings and making you look bad.

    Oh, and by the way, I have a Master’s degree in GIS. I didn’t need much in the way of accommodation aside from gasp other people learning to communicate clearly. How dare I ask adults to act like adults! Meanwhile, your everyday anxiety has you making excuses as to why you shouldn’t have to learn to behave as an adult and why childish fragility should be the norm.

    Your obsession with antiquated norms continues to convince me that you’d rather carve off chunks of humanity to fit in your shrinking box of “normal” society than grow up.

  86. says

    Something that might break your brain, steveem (as if it wasn’t already broken) is that “defect” is a subjective valuation. Your feelings of being threatened are not an objective measurement, nor are they shared by the whole of humanity, so don’t treat them as such. I suspect another thing that really gets you is that I’m not asking for pity just because I was born into a situation that you find “defective.” If anything, you’re asking for pity as a “normal” person who has to live in a society that doesn’t conform to your sheltered expectations. Get over it and do something with your life instead of wallowing in your ivory tower of misery.

    One thing I find funny is that a lot of ableists swap between being threatened by our “superpowers” and devaluing an entire field of study specifically because an autistic has both passion and a talent for it. Reminds me of some whiny male gamers who declared that first-person shooters were no longer hard core games because some girls got gud and pwnzerd them.

  87. says

    @steveem
    Hi garbage! If you’re going to use history’s failed mental terminology (R-word directed at another poster while ordering them away, you can’t do that) you can’t complain about tone.

    Are you going to actually quote and respond to something with some substance at some point? It’s not good enough to just keep repeating yourself as if any of this depends on your feelings about your assertions.

  88. says

    @steveem
    Maybe chucklefuck. I haven’t used that in a bit and you’re still human.

    You’re the one hung up on “abnormality”. Nothing here is any kind of a problem. It doesn’t hurt anyone so you have a form of cooties as far as I’m concerned. Just because something is less numerous doesn’t make it worth your hand-wringing. I don’t see you going after left handed people.

    Lots of things show up in the human population at low level species wide. ADHD, tourette’s syndrome, autism… that’s a part of what we are. I’ve no reason to think the diversity in sexual orientation, presence of sex drive, sex, gender… is a problem.

    It’s all you and a case by case basis as far as I’m concerned. For me tourette syndrome, ADHD, and gender-null are personality and you can’t say different.

  89. says

    There’s some short cartoon I saw as a kid (maybe from a Saturday Night Live episode my parents let me stay up for) about a kid having a meltdown and repeatedly shouting “I’m normal! I’m normal!” after being called a freak. I forget what was supposed to be unusual about him, but that’s what I think of with pathological normies who insist they’re normal despite engaging in unhealthy, obsessive, or even criminal behavior.

    That brings me to think of a more recent comedy sketch (Mad TV?): “Smith Comma John, Human for President,” featuring Mr. John trying to convince you how human he is while accidentally highlighting something “off” about him.

    (Sitting by a fireplace) “Hi, I’m Smith Comma John, and I’m sitting near fire!…” (looks nervously at the fireplace) “…willingly!”

    “Hi, I’m Smith Comma John, Human for President, and I eat hot dogs just like you!” (reaches into boiling grease with his bare hand to grab a hotdog and proceeds to “eat” it by a series of bad jump cuts, rather than chewing.)

    That’s what you look like to me, steveem.

  90. wzrd1 says

    Wait, are you saying one shouldn’t reach into boiling grease to remove food that’s done? How is one supposed to get the food out if that’s so?
    As for eating, that seems to be my method, due to some in-progress dental work, dammit…

    I’ve noticed one other thing about steveem, the use of language is quite non-specific, regionally speaking, so revealing region seems to be something being consciously avoided.
    Reminds me of the saying. A brave man dies one death, a coward a thousand deaths.

  91. says

    Steveem has been banned, again.

    It’s that familiar gay-hating, slur-flinging chicken-shit coward who likes to show up with a new pseudonym when I leave town for a day and neglect the blog. The chicken-shit coward knows I’d ban him with his first misogynistic comment, so he waits until I’m out of sight and darts in to dump 50 comments (that’s how many he made this time) before I get back and notice.

    The chicken-shit coward is pathetic.

  92. John Morales says

    chigau,

    There was a powerful déjà vu about all that.

    Not for me. And I’m pretty sure not for you, either.
    You are just making the usual mistake people who don’t get the concept make.

    The very point of the concept of déjà vu is that one feels a sense of recollection or familiarity about something novel.

    Or, to quote Wikipedia: “It is an illusion of memory whereby—despite a strong sense of recollection—the time, place, and context of the “previous” experience are uncertain or impossible”.

    (Opposite is jamais vu where one finds a familiar or repeated experience to be novel)

  93. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales #160
    You are just making the usual mistake people who don’t get the concept make.
    No I’m not.

  94. John Morales says

    Yes, you are.

    There’s nothing new in any way (or different) about this specimen.

    (It’s merely vu)

  95. Silentbob says

    I don’t know why poopyhead doesn’t just turn on first comment moderation, at least when away for a while.

    It’s obviously overwhelmingly regulars here, and I’ve never found first comment moderation to be a hardship on other blogs*. So you wait a day to get your first comment published. Who cares?

    *(Except on Coyne’s blog where my first comment got me banned without ever being published. Because being rude is against Da Roolz. Not that I was rude. It’s just that on Coyne’s blog website, any disagreement with Jerry Coyne is by definition rude. X-D )

  96. Silentbob says

    @ 161 違う

    You are just making the usual mistake people who don’t get the concept make.
    No I’m not.

    @ 162 Morales

    Yes, you are.

    I love it. Chronic oblique passive-aggression vs. chronic hyperliteralism cage match!
    X-D

  97. Louis says

    @Chigau and @John Morales,

    I’ve got deja vu about your bloody conversation. OR DO I? ;-)

    Either way, no one has answered the one, important and original question raised in this thread:

    Why does PZ’s face matter to The Gheyz(TM) or even to spiders? (Or gay spiders, for that matter.)

    This lack of engagement with a serious question is a poor show. THIS IS A DISGRACE! I have written to my MP to complain. Frankly, I expect better. For shame, for shame.

    Louis

  98. wzrd1 says

    Well, I have it under good advisement that PZ remains mystified as to why Mary finds his face as attractive.
    Something I’m familiar with, given my own wife’s attraction to mine, the face that launched ten thousand gargoyles into panicked flight.
    I suspect that some mysteries of life will never be resolved.

  99. says

    First comment moderation is on.

    The chickenshit coward likes to make an innocuous comment first, and after that gets approved, go on one of his posting jags sometime later.

  100. chigau (違う) says

    Chronic oblique passive-aggression vs. chronic hyperliteralism cage match!
    Which one do you want to be, John?

  101. Louis says

    @Wzrd1 #167,

    Oh indeed! All we married men are, or at least should be, bemused by our wives’ love for us, even if we are physiognomically pulchritudinous.

    My curiosity stems from our recently departed chum’s comments re: PZ’s mush. The most recent ‘Disappeared Interlocutor Contributing “Knowledge” Horrifically Extra-Anally Derived’, or DICKHEAD, who has now been re-banned, made much of PZ’s looks. Personally, I don’t see PZ’s face as exuding a particular woke evil, so I am curious about the methods of detection and how this piece of the man’s anatomy relates to gay people.

    Like you say, we’ll probably never know.

    Louis

  102. wzrd1 says

    Louis @ 170, I suspect that the rebanned putz has defective gaydar and really was seeking a date, despite this being an odd selection for use as a dating service.
    Still, there are rare things that I really never want to know, this populating the very top of that rather short list.

  103. Silentbob says

    @ 169 違う

    Hahahaha. “Which one do you want to be?”, says 違う, passive-aggressively using Comic Sans and addressing a third party. X-D

  104. says

    The breeding obsession stands out.This most recent xenophobe makes obsession with other people breeding more clear. They can breed. The species is in no danger of going extinct from lack of offspring (economies need to learn to operate without endless reproduction).

    But they are obsessed with other people breeding to the point of engaging in social disgust behavior with things that don’t have to do with breeding but are categorically connected with things related to breeding. It’s even possible that many people feel less like breeding when there are so many people, but I doubt people like steveem can let themselves imagine such a thing.

  105. wzrd1 says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite @ 174, I disagree. Endless breeding is necessary for species survival, but limitless breeding is destructive, as waste accumulates beyond disposal capabilities and resources will rapidly be depleted.
    The rest, you’re spot on target.

  106. wzrd1 says

    There’s a man on youtube, who has assorted ant colonies and a few spiders in various enclosures in his home. The colonies tend to remain contained and thriving, once he learned to tune their ecosystems a big for each species.
    One day, he noticed his eldest tarantula had died, so he decided to recycle the spider in one of the yellow ant colony enclosures. He then noticed that the ants, while attempting to feast, were behaving oddly.
    Upon closer examination, he found to his horror that the ants were being impaled by the tarantula’s hairs. And entertainingly, quite a few of those hairs were falling out to the grounds of that colony. Yeah, major cleanup and lesson learned.
    The proper name for those hairs should’ve been a hint.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urticating_hair
    So, petting one of those would be like petting a poison quilled porcupine that actually can launch those quills.

    Upside, I leave them alone, they leave me alone, we get along fine. I’ll seriously leave the Goliath Birdeater tarantula alone, as they’re the second largest in leg span spider in the world, largest in general size and body mass, with launchable “hairs” that can afflict humans intensely. They’re welcome to their entire continent.

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