Yes, I would like to censor YouTube!*

One of the minor annoyances of YouTube is their superficial algorithm for predicting your preferences, so they can help you with recommendations for what to watch next. Oh, you watched a scathing takedown of Thunderf00t? Here’s the whole Thunderf00t catalog of obsessive inanity, you’ll like that.

So I’m very happy to see a Google Chrome addon that kills all that crap, Hbomb’s YouTube Censorship Chrome Addon. It also wipes out a whole bunch of other assholes. Recommended.

*By the way, it’s not actually censorship to voluntarily refuse to pay attention to someone; it would be censorship if the preferences of others were blocked against their will. It’s just fun to call it censorship because we’re refusing to watch the videos of precisely the kind of people who are unclear on that distinction.

Hey, gang! I’m at Convergence! #cvg2017

I’m checked into the Doubletree in Bloomington for Convergence, and have a busy day ahead of me. In a quirk of scheduling, almost all of my panels are today: 5 of them, one after the other, that will completely tie me up all afternoon and early evening. Which leaves me with just one panel on Friday and one on Sunday, so after this I’ll have a light weekend and can enjoy just being here. Anyway, today I’m discussing invasive species, religion in the future, the cosmic perspective (all the things that make us inconsequential in the universe), apocalyptic plagues, and the state of science. Hmm. None of that is very cheerful or optimistic. Looking over my notes for the panels, I’m not bringing much levity, either. I’ll have to hit up some parties tonight.

Why would you trust a guy calling himself “HanAssholeSolo”?

The fine fellow who created the Trump/CNN wrestling video has been tracked down and identified (but not “doxxed”, as the wingnuts are trying to claim). CNN called him and confronted him with his inanity and his contemptible history of racism and sexism, and he scrambled to cover his butt with an apology.

I would like to apologize to the members of the Reddit community for getting this site and this sub embroiled in a controversy that should never have happened, HanAssholeSolo wrote in a Fourth of July post on Reddit.

On Tuesday, HanAssholeSolo said he was sorry for his remarks. I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, HanAssholeSolo wrote. I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on Reddit.

It became an addiction as to how far I could of with the posts that were made, the Reddit user wrote, calling the incident an extreme wake up call to always consider how others may thing or feel about what is being said before clicking the submit button.

Free speech is a right we all have, but it shouldn’t be used in the manner that it was in the posts that were put on this site, HanAssholeSolo said, before arguing he intended for the meme to be taken purely as satire.

I do not advocate violence against the press and the meme I posted was in no way advocating that in any way, shape or form, the user continued. Our First Amendment protect the press from things like violence, and we as American citizens should respect that even if the opinions of the press are not in line with our own.

I had no idea alone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the President’s Twitter feed, HanAssholeSolo wrote. It was a prank, nothing more.

Apparently, we’re now expected to accept his apology and praise him for seeing the error of his ways. I don’t. I see the usual noise: Free speech! First amendment! It was satire! (said by someone who has no concept of satire). It was just a prank!

Worst of all, the denial implicit in I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life. Yes, HanAssholeSolo, you are exactly that person. We saw what you chose to be when you could skulk in cowardly anonymity, and that person is an ugly bigot who tries to curry favor with other ugly bigots. This was you before you learned that your anonymity was easily pierced.

HanAssholeSolo claimed he made the gif, writing on the pro-Trump subreddit r/the_Donald, Holy sh*t!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my shitpost but the MAGA EMPORER [sic] himself!!! I am honored!!

Shortly thereafter, news organizations noticed a history of offensive posts, including casual use of highly offensive terms including n*****, goatf*cker and f****t.

500,000 dead Muslims is a good start, HanAssholeSolo wrote in one response. Kill the rest and I’ll be impressed. Good keep up the good work until the last Islamic piece of shit is wiped from the planet.

There are people who have to be anonymous on the internet, who express themselves as decent human beings…and they have to be anonymous to protect themselves from vicious petty bullies like HanAssholeSolo. I’ll be more amenable to accepting that apology when he admits to himself that the middle part of his nom de smear was exactly accurate and describes precisely what he is.

Right now, I have a suspicion that he has a couple of these shitposting account names and will be back seeking the approval of his fellow shitlords. Because that’s who he is.

Getting ready for Convergence

Convergence starts this week, so this weekend I’m finally actually taking a serious look at my schedule. I somehow seem to have packed most of my panels into Thursday — I think that means I get to burn out on the first day. No! I think it means I get inspired on the first day.

Here’s what I’ll be up to. Maybe I’ll see a few of you around.

Thursday, July 6

Invasive Species
Thursday July 6, 2017 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Atrium 4
When, if ever, is it possible to bring a species into a new environment? What are the potential consequences. Let’s discuss the outcomes of historical examples. Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, PZ Myers, Vernon McIntosh, Jen Dixon, Renate Fiora (mod)

Religion in the Future
Thursday July 6, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Atrium 4
How will current religions evolve as time progresses? What new variants will arise? What about completely different religions that may come from encounters with aliens? Panelists: Lana Rosario (mod), PZ Myers, Hertzey Hertz, Samantha Bitner, Lathan Murrell

The Cosmic Perspective
Thursday July 6, 2017 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Atrium 4
Neil deGrasse Tyson refers to the “cosmic perspective” when it comes to managing anxiety about day-to-day life. Scientists share and discuss the many facts about the universe that make modern earthly problems feel insignificant. Panelists: Dan Berliner, Melanie Galloway, PZ Myers, Luxander Pond (mod)

Apocalyptic Plagues: Threat or Ghost?
Thursday July 6, 2017 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Atrium 6
Are we overdue for the next pandemic? Will we ever face the motaba virus or plagues like it? How have we overcome the plagues of the past. Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, PZ Myers, richard hurley, Tim Lieder (mod), Kris Coulter

State of Science
Thursday July 6, 2017 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Atrium 4
 It’s 2017 and science is moving at a roaring pace. Let’s talk about the greatest breakthroughs this year, including both corporate and academic hits that my not get as much press. From front page to popular only within that discipline, come get inspired. Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, Dan Berliner, PZ Myers, Vernon McIntosh, Peter Larsen (mod)

Friday, July 7

I Want To Be Ms. Frizzle: Using Sci-fi and Fantasy as Teaching Tools
Friday, July 7 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Atrium 2
Everyone wanted to be in Ms. Frizzle’s class as a kid (well, except Arnold). Now that we’re teachers, how can we use fantastical elements in our classrooms to encourage our students and drive their learning? Panelists: Dan Berliner, PZ Myers, Michael Zecca (mod), Jen Dixon, Peter Larsen
 

Sunday, July 9

Face Value: Why Do We Believe False Things?
Sunday July 9, 2017 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Edina
That thing you posted.. It’s not real. Why do humans keep believing false things over and over, even though it’s easier than ever to check the facts? Discuss the history and psychology of false beliefs and how they apply to the modern, digital era. Panelists: PZ Myers, William Donohue, Kayla McGrady (mod), Sara McAtee, Lathan Murrell

Hangout with Dr Sarah

Another hangout today? Yes! I’ll finding out what Dr Sarah of the Geeky Humanist is up to at 4pm Central time. Sarah is…

a 45-year-old GP living in England with one husband and two children. I’m a skeptic, a humanist, a feminist, and an atheist, and I love debunking myths when I can find the time to do so. I also love reading, and I’m a big fan of fantasy: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (most of his non-Discworld books actually aren’t all that), Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Diane Duane’s Young Wizard series, Mercedes Lackey’s 500 Kingdoms and most of her Valdemar books, and probably several others.

We might end up talking about fantasy novels. Leave questions here or on the youtube video if those subjects strike your interest. As usual, other freethoughtbloggers might drift in, too.

Hangout with Siggy

I’m going to be hanging out with Siggy of A Trivial Knot today at noon Central time. Here’s Siggy’s blurb:

Siggy is a physics grad student in the US. He writes about math, philosophy, social criticism, and origami. He is an ace activist best known for running The Asexual Agenda, and for analyzing ace community demographics.

If any of those topics interest you, show up at noon, leave questions here, or on the youtube chat board.

Also, I open up entry to the hangout to everyone on the FtB backchannel, so we might have a surprise guest or two. You never know.