Posts Tagged ‘atheist’

Feminist tries to get Veterans Fired over TWITTER! 

July 12, 2014

(MANY thanks to Linda for creating the transcript)

[0:00] Thunderf00t: So turning up at the funerals of dead soldiers with signs like this is just one of the most disgusting things you can actually do. Callously taking the grief of the relatives of dead soldiers and using that as a springboard to talk about your crazy religion—that’s just messed up. But surely modern feminists of the professional-victim sort would NEVER stoop that low. Right?

 

[0:26] Well, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is frequently found in soldiers who have experienced combat. War is ugly, and it leaves its scars on everyone it touches.

 

[0:38] clip from [?]: “-called in with some artillery and some napalm and things like that. Some innocent women and children got hit. We met them on the road and they had little girls with noses blown off, and uh, and like, husbands carrying their dead wives and things like that. That was extremely difficult to deal with ‘cause you’re like, you know, shoot. What the hell do we do now?”

 

[0:59] Well, Melody Hensley, that’s the DC Executive Director for the Center for Inquiry AND a staunch feminist, claims that SHE has got Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . . . from Twitter. Now many would just regard that as incredibly stupid. I mean it’s like saying I’ve got Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because my cookie won’t dunk into my milk; or that I’ve got PTSD because the shampoo and the conditioner never run out at the same time; or that I’ve got PTSD from playing Call of Duty. It simply trivializes and undermines the serious nature of the condition.

 

[1:34] She even goes on to say how just asking her questions like: ‘how does your Twitter PTSD compare to the PTSD someone would get from being raped?’, is actually the very harassment that gave her PTSD in the first place.

 

[1:49] But this is where it goes into full “God-hates-fags” mode:

 

“If you’re in the military and you are harassing me about my PTSD” (that’s her Twitter PTSD) “expect that I will be speaking to your commanding officer.”

 

[2:04] Even for a feminist, that is REALLY, really messed up. You tell her, that the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that people get from watching people they know, love, and care about being blown up in front of their eyes is REALLY, really not the same thing as someone calling you “Smellody” on Twitter—YOU TELL HER THAT and she’ll try and mess up your career. And she just goes on and on about it:

 

[2:30] “Military/ex-military combat folks: there are groups that have higher statistics of PTSD than you. You need to educate yourself.”

 

[2:38] Oh, that’s wonderfully compassionate and sympathetic to combat veterans with PTSD. And:

“This week has been tough. There’s been a campaign against me. I’m blocking dozens of accounts of people telling me I don’t have PTSD and threats.”

 

[2:56] Oh, well aren’t you a bloody hero Melody. And then she replies to:

 

“You wouldn’t talk about it if you had PTSD” by saying “According to my psychologist, anything that makes ME feel in control is good for my health.”

 

[3:12] -even if it involves trying to mess up the careers of combat veterans with PTSD, simply so you can “feel in control”. And this is NO hypothetical about she will try and mess up your career. This is what she says:

 

“I get it every day. I’ve decided I’m contacting commanding officers, as I just did.”

“They have their info on Twitter. I just contacted someone’s commanding officer.”

 

[3:39] Really, Melody. You tried to mess up someone’s MILITARY CAREER because they didn’t think that you had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from Twitter? And personally, I think it’s optimistic BEYOND HOPE that after you contacted their employer, simply because it was on Twitter, that you’re not going to get an awful lot of VERY angry Veterans contacting the Center for Inquiry; which you have chosen to so very prominently display on YOUR Twitter account. You are SELF-CENTERED and DESPICABLE beyond words.

 

[4:13] Dear feminists: I wanna make this LOUD and CLEAR. You DO NOT get criticism because you are outspoken women, as people like Anita Sarkeesian, Rebecca Watson, and Melody Hensley would claim. No, no more than Westboro Baptist Church gets criticized for being vocally religious. You get the criticism you do because of the STUPID—or, actually more accurately in this case—the UTTERLY CONTEMPTIBLE things that you SAY.

 

[4:44] Pissing all over the self-same people who have put their lives on the line, in an effort to maintain the very blanket of freedom that you sleep under. You poison EVERYTHING.

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Why are there so few high quality science communicators?

May 22, 2014

 

If civilization was a person, the scientific method, and the knowledge gained from it would not only constitute the brain and heart, but also all the major organs necessary to support life.  Or to put it another way, without the scientific method and the knowledge gained by it, civilization as we know it would cease to be, and we would be back to living in a very VERY bleak world.

Sadly societies in general seem to be happily, maybe even wilfully ignorant of just how much our civilization and quality of life depends on this method, and the knowledge gain by it. So why is this? Who, if anyone is to blame?

Well scientists have to take their share of the blame for this, in that if anyone can promote science, it’s them.  However speaking as a research scientist I KNOW why communicating science/ debunking pseudoscience (in science circles) is generally seen as a gamma rate objective, typically only pursued by betas.

The metrics by which scientists typically measure their success is by how much research money they bring in, and how much stuff they publish.  Nowhere in this equation is communicating science valued or rewarded.

-Communicating science takes time, which practically means the more time you spend communicating science, the less time there is to ‘succeed’ in the metrics used to determine success.

 

In many ways science has been corrupted by the access to data.  20 years ago, there were no easily accessible ‘metrics of success’ like the h-index and citations.  People didn’t/ couldn’t waste as much time worrying about it.  Now things like the h-index can be easily obtained with a few mouse clicks and are widely accepted and used for determining the success of an academic.  The game has slowly changed from ‘who can do the best research’ to ‘who can get the better h-factor’.  Now this is not to say the h-index has no value, in that it is correlated to the achievements of an academic but the correlations is not great and more importantly the index is relatively easy to game for personal advantage.

 

That’s really it in a nutshell.  Once you have defined a metric for success, it is expected that people will try to optimize how they score on that metric….. they will start to game the system.  This is the research equivalent of that often heard student question ‘will this be on the test’.  That’s the tipping point between where the student has gone from being there to actually learn, to being there to simply get the highest mark they can on the test.

 

Simply put, if ‘success as defined by h-index’ is what you are after, gaming the system is now the name of the game. Or put another way, if you are honestly doing the best science you can, you will not be able to compete in ‘success metrics’ with an equally talented scientist who’s playing the game of ‘winning in success metrics’.

 

If the system is set up such that scientists have no incentives for communicating science, then it is small wonder that there are so few high quality science communicators out there?

$10 000 dollars to encourage rational video makers! Your help needed.

January 4, 2013

We recently had David Silverman on The Magic Sandwich show, and I agree completely with him that above all, the conference scene should be FUN!

Fun like this!

I have great memories of our group singing of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ at the end of that conference!  Telling ya, we have GOT to adopt that as our anthem!

Kinda difficult to have fun like that with the killjoy PC police telling you ‘your tshirt is too offensive‘ or ‘creates a sexualized environmental‘ or that  ‘fake jewelry is against the conference code‘.

We are responsible adults thank you, and do not need to be treated like children!

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…..anyway, I digress.  However much fun conferences might be, they are effectively still a side show compared to the potential reach of the internet.  Lets keep it real: the internet is a place where religions come to die!

-New media is a game changer in a way that conferences never were, and likely never will be!

In this sense, I see it as vital that we maintain a strong internet presence on viral media.  Regrettably the secular/ rationalist community has a problem on youtube at the moment.  Established players have been slowly drifting away, and because the barriers to entry are so high, there are not being replaced!  To be honest, this is to me a far bigger issue than pretty much anything that is happening on the conference scene.

The way I see it we want people making good videos on a semi-regular basis.  But how to encourage this?

Well I actually care about this a lot!, and so I am going to put basically all of the donations I received from last year into a fund to encourage this ($10 000).

So how best to do this?  Well this is where I want your help, for many minds are better than one, and I have essentially no experience at doing this sort of thing.

So far my rough ideas looks like this:

The first thing is of course, while I will supply the prize money, I should detach myself from the judging.  So far Eugenie Scott, Elisabeth Cornwell and ZOMGitscriss have suggested that they would be willing to help out with the judging.  If you have any other names you would like to suggest, please leave them below.

I was thinking about three categories:

1) Merit grants.  This is basically giving money to established people who have contributed much for little reward.  Its just a small way for the community to say thank you for all you’ve done! I also think this would create a lot of good will among our established video makers.

2) Equipment grants.  This is for folks are happy to spend their time making videos, but think that its a bit much to have to spend their own money to make videos for other people to watch for free.  The solution is simple, buy them what they need, HD webcam, microphone, green-screen, etc. and everybody wins!

3) A video competition.  Youtube is becoming an increasingly competitive attention economy, and what is really needed is people who are making competativley good media on a semi-regular basis.  So I suggest that people get to submit their three best videos made over a period of 3 months with the winners taking home cash prizes, and getting their work featured on my channel etc.  We do our best as a community to bring new blood in that are making good videos on a semi-regular videos.

So what do you think?  Good ideas? How best to partition up the prize money?

That is, if you had $10 000 dollars to spend to invigorate the secular presence on youtube, how would you spend it?

On the Failure of Atheist Organizations and Choosing Life!

September 1, 2012

Y’know I kinda knew it all along that feminism was the third rails here.  You can even see it in the very first video I put up on this subject, that I knew this was going to end ugly (“tactically dumb” I think were the words I used).  I really didn’t have a ‘dog in this fight’ beyond the fact that having all these professional victims trying to pass off the most mild transgressions as systematic and pervasive misogyny in the secular community, really did make the group that took this seriously looks like a bunch of jokers, and then to have ‘leaders’ of the community take an accommodationist stance to such professional victim-hood really doesn’t inspire one with much faith that these are dynamic organization capable of prioritizing and focusing on important goals to achieve results.

Having said that, I don’t really feel too badly about how this all came out.  I certainly learned a lot on the journey about the nature of this community, and why so much (although notably not all) of it is operationally ineffective.

In the current case the problem seems to be quite simple, that a group, notable centered around Freethoughtblogs and Skepchick have mistaken (initially arguably accidentally, but later apparently willfully) the odd troll as ‘evidence’ that the community is ridden with misogynists etc.  Indeed now it seems that folks from these forums almost relish the trolling, as they can then use it to ‘score some online pity’.  This path of ‘embracing victim-hood’ is not healthy for them or the community and ends in this hypersentivity to criticism that really doesn’t do anyone any good (‘use the block and ban functions’ urges Rebecca Watson in 100% VFX terms, and we all know how well that worked out for him!).  For instance they see the word “bitch is a gendered insult that demeans ALL women” (a point which Rebecca Watson of Skepchick assures us is so uncontroversial that almost everyone ‘gets’ it), but will have no problem in using the words “don’t be a dick” in their guidelines for their new ‘Atheism Plus’ forum (whose rules prohibit degrading people using sexual slurs).

Yes, ‘Bitch is a gendered insult to all women’ but in the utterly consistent Utopian world of AtheismPlus, ‘dick’ (mentioned only one line earlier in the forum rules!) does not count as the hate speech of a gender slur.

When such casual and common use of language becomes a matter of heated debate, arguably you have already been rendered operationally impotent by your political correctness.  Take another example.  The founder of atheism plus is quite candid about being ‘banned’ from the internet by her boyfriend, while doubtless if I had similarly imposed such restrictions on my girlfriend I would have been labeled a misogynist intent on subjugating women (“WHY NOT JUST TELL HER TO GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN!” etc) and she a propagator of destructive submissive female stereotypes, a gender traitor and therefore a rape culture enabler etc etc.  This is the disproportionate destination you arrive at when you are so sensitive to criticism: seeing the most banal activities that you engage in everyday as fine and healthy but as evidence of horrible sexism endemic in society when anyone else does it.  It also seems to have enabled a formidable cognitive dissonance in these folks.  For example many of these people consider “you’re only a feminist because you are old fat and ugly” as some great evil that should get you pilloried, but have no problem in thinking that saying “you’re only a misogynist because your privilege as a member of the patriarchy means you don’t ‘get it’ ” is some great argument winner.  In both cases the statement may well be perfectly accurate, but even if they were, the arguments constitute little more than personal mudslinging, while the more virtuous path would have been to actually address the argument, not the person.  Yet the latter example here is typically considered by such folks to be an argument winner, but the former beyond the pale as an ad hominem.  The cognitive dissonance is formidable.

However, going back to the original problem though, personally I wouldn’t give such trolls the time of day.  Example in question, coughlan616 in a recent exchange (over a month ago at the time of writing) ended up suggesting that he had performed needless sexual exchanges with my mother.

Inject yourself into the free speech arena? Better be ready for the slings and arrows! However that does not mean those who have not injected themselves into that arena are ‘fair game’.  For those with an interest, this was the full exchange.

Did I go ballistic at this and get a load of ‘secular leaders’ to write letters of support saying that this sort of hate should not be tolerated?

Did I campaign for a code of conduct for the atheist community etc?

Did I demand that anyone who opposed my proposed changes be driven out as C.H.U.D.s, as rejecting my proposals clearly meant that they endorsed Coughlan’s views?

Did I sit there crying at how unsafe this made me feel until someone paid attention?

No! I just ignored him.  If he wants to use his freedom of speech in the open arena to be a dick, that’s his affair. However there are of course some limits, and arguably coughlan crossed those in this case. Not by insulting me, as I’ve CHOSEN to inject myself into the public domain, and in such a free speech arena you have to suffer the slings and arrows of that arena.  This is not true however of my mother (see ‘YOUR MOTHERS A WHORE.. and other stuff‘.  She did not inject herself into the public arena, and is not therefore fair game.  Nor is impersonation, and various other elements such as slander and liable etc, but outside that, everything else, within a VERY broad remit is pretty much fair game.

This is in stark contrast to the way in which the ‘atheism plus’ people apparently think things should go, where one of them says that saying something that hurts someones feelings should be regarded in the same fashion as physical assault.

This is simply bullshit, and it is a damning indictment of everyone in that room that not one of them, not PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson or Jen McCreight actually stood up or questioned this proposition that would involve no less than the abolishment of the first amendment.

AtheismPlus, as defended by PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight and other is about as popular with their own base (freethinkers?) as venomfangxs arguments are with his audience!  A religious man would say ‘God is trying to tell you something there!’

Indeed the mere fact that even with their ‘home audience’ (secularists and rationalist?) they can only get a video rating comparable to that of venomfangx should be giving them a warning that a lot of people actually have issues with what they are saying.  I mean did they not think this through merely on personal-gain-logistical-grounds?  That if just one person finds their comments hurtful, then they will be prohibited from talking about it on freethoughtblogs and skepchick or get prosecuted for ‘assault’.

However, I’ve become increasingly of the opinion that these people are functionally incompetent, to the point where ‘being drummed out of such a community’ is not actually a punishment but a welcome and valuable gift.

My opinions of this were further backed up by checking out the google ‘web interest’ stats on this which show that I actually have a sizably bigger footprint that freethoughtblogs (both comfortably unique search terms).  Not bad seeing as I’m only one guy and pretty much only work on this half time!

So according to Google Insight, ‘Thunderf00t’ has about twice the web interest of Freethoughtblogs. I’m not a big player in the grand scheme of things.  -Freethoughtblogs CLEARLY make a disproportionate amount of noise for their size.

So yup, I figure I’m pretty much done with these hapless noise makers.

Done with those folks who think patronizing ad hominem/ ’emperors new clothes’ style arguments like “you just don’t ‘get it’ ” is some great cerebral, thoughtful and persuasive argument.

-I’m looking ahead and choosing life!! (que upbeat music)

I’m getting back to making videos that can appeal to everyone, not just some petty drama of just how incompetent certain fractions of the secular community are.

There are bigger fish to fry!

Thunderf00t 2012: The Aspirations.

April 13, 2012

The Priorities :

Why Do People Laugh at Creationists.

Of the people I talked to at The Reason Rally, (of the stuff I’d done) this was mentioned more than anything else as the key factor in ‘saving the saved’.   Two more episodes were meant to be put out before the Reason Rally (they are all scripted, just need a couple of weeks to put them together), just all the distractions that WLCs DMCA abuse and Dawahfilms flagging harassment took up all my spare time.  The Reason Rally, above all else convinced me that this is an area to focus on.   I am hoping to get 1/3 to ½ the time devoted to this (probably means somewhat under half the videos will be WDPLAC).

 

“OMG, The Bible says WHAT?!”

The bible is batshit crazy.  Most Christian have never read it, and so Im going to make the media.  I may even start this up as a guest spot for people read their favorite crazy bible verses.  This may take the form of a ‘mid-week short’.

 

SCIENCE BITCHES, IT WORKS

I’ve already got permission to get the footage from within a nuclear reactor for an experiment (~June).  Last year I showed you how close the edge of the unknown was and even demonstrated, for the first time as far as I can tell, that gaseous potassium is evolved when the metal is thrown into water, and its GREEN!  This year I’m going to show you the REAL face of the unknown, and how it could affect your life.  Yup going to go inside a nuclear reactor to look at something a billion times smaller that your typical human!

 

Nailing the religious types in the 2012 elections.

I would have liked to have been more active here, but regrettably I got sidetracked into DMCA and flagging complaints.

 

Build the community. 

The secular atheist community on YT emerged strongly, quickly overtaking all the religious communities.  In order to maintain and take full advantage of this position we need to increase the number of people producing good media regularly. I will be moving towards facilitating that goal.  There will be two mechanisms, 1) A (biyearly?) competition for people who have produced at least 3 good videos in three months.  This way promotional effort is focused on those who are both committed to, and capable of producing the goods 2) donation of equipment (green screen, cameras, sound equipment etc) to active folks who are making quality content videos, but that have the amateur-ish look that doesn’t fly so well on youtube these days.  Basically, imagine if someone had supplied ZOMGitscriss with a camera, green screen and other kit early on how much this would have helped.

-Deploy the resources where they will have greatest benefit for the community.

 

Create a DVD.

This is another project I’ve been trying to get done for about a year, to create a dvd of the work, if not for sale, then simply so it can be hosted and torrented.  Indeed I had wanted to get a thousand or so pressed (several kgs) to give away at the Reason Rally.  Sadly again event overtook the aspirations.

This year I’m not going to get enough time to go touring, so sadly no touring or dark sky astro video.   I might yet be able to get a good timelapse of Mars though!  Hope for clear skies 🙂

Yup, it’s going to be a busy year!

 

-=Support via Paypal=-

 

Eric Hovind Confesses to being an Atheist!!!!

April 5, 2012

I greeted the materialization of pre-suppositional apologetics with glee. Creationists might as well have shouted it from the roof tops that they have been routed on every argument they have put forward to date, and so they are now reduced to this grotesquely unconvincing and childish argument that if they start with the presumption that god exists, then god exists.

Yup, pre-suppositional apologetics is an ‘argument’ that whatever you suppose exists, exists! I mean damn, it’s not like we can test those suppositions for validity against anything, like their value in reality or some shit.

So I had this PAINFUL discussion with Eric Hovind, in which I told him I assumed the universe exists. Why assume this? well how would you distinguish a ‘matrix style reality’ from reality? Well Eric, how would you?

After you have assumed the universe to exist, you then need to assume that you can create models about it, and that models with predictive capability are better than those that are not. These are self selecting criteria for beings that want to survive in such a universe, that is organisms that don’t assume they can learn something about the universe don’t survive long in an environment with those that do! (Yup, evolution FTW!)

One of the first models you establish is logic, and the utility of boolean operators like ‘true’ and ‘false’. These are all things Eric MUST have done to even pose his ‘killer’ question ‘is there such a thing as absolute truth?’

Merely asking the question implies a model forming approach to reality (implicit assumption), and indeed the very inclusion of the word true means that he has accepted models such as logic are an adequate way of describing the universe.

I guess it’s to be expected of the dogmatic that they will behave dogmatically, but Eric simply couldn’t handle the fact that this is how his brain worked, and how he models reality and thus his response to everything became ‘but you can’t be sure about it’, even after this has been explained to him a dozen time. In the end he made it up to FORTY EIGHT TIMES. Compulsive obsessives, this man is your GOD!

Even better, is if I adopt Erics ‘pre-suppositional’ position, that is whatever I presume is true, then I come to the startling knowledge that ERIC HOVIND IS AN ATHEIST.  Indeed if I start with the pre-supposition that Eric has confessed to being an atheist, then you KNOW that Eric Hovind has confessed to being an atheist! I know this is absolutely true because the Ghost that never lies told me it was absolutely true, further this was confirmed by title that is always accurate! hmmmm, yup, that’s Check-mate Eric!


Serial Blasphemy!

September 20, 2011

Wow.. what a few days.  First had a blast with Ashley (aka Healthyaddict) in Seattle.  We did our best to get into the Discovery Institute to discuss their opinions on ‘academic freedom’ (creationist code for freedom to teach any unsubstantiated BS in the classroom), only to be denied at the door.  Yup, the folks who support the most ‘academic freedom’ bills anywhere apparently have a closed door policy on discussing academic freedom.

Then after a fun meeting with the ‘Ask an Atheist‘ crew in Seattle (interview with me n Ashley to be uploaded) we parted company and I headed over to Boise ID.

In Boise I met up with religiousantagonist (guess what he does!).  An hour or two of scheming and a Jesus outfit later we had a plan.  We went down the local Home Depot with me /Jesus shopping for a cross! (video to follow), followed by ‘Jesus’ applying for a job in a Christian bookstore.  Was quite buzzed after all that.

Then had a fun time hanging around with Jack (togetherforpeace).  The guys a Christian, but someone eavesdropping on our conversation would have had a hard time drawing a line around any fundamental disagreements.  We actually got on really well, and even rang the ‘Liberty Bell’ together!

That night I was back with  religiousantagonist in full ‘Jesus’ garb.  We headed downtown and had ONE HELL OF A TIME!  Boises a kickin town!   I luved it, and everyone (well almost everyone) luved ‘Jesus’ luvin it!!!

Got loads of pictures of Jesus doing everything from pole dancing, to riding the mechanical bull, to visiting a ‘gay’ nightclub. *ONE* *HELL* *OF* *AN* *NIGHT*!

Loads of pictures, I just havent got my hands on any of them yet.

We then went back to do the MSF charity thing for DPRJones, during which we hit on the ‘really good’ idea of microwaving Jesus.  Well actually some communion wafers I had.  We stopped before they caught fire, but not by much.  Thick evil smelling smoke oozed from the microwave, however, it turns out Ashley, having a blonde moment forgot to hit record on blogtv. 😦

Thursday July 14th (Well paint me red and call me tickled pink!)

July 14, 2011

For the large part when I’m on the road I like to fly ‘under the radar’, keeping myself to myself.  Where travel’s involved, that mostly involves sleeping in the car: it’s just you just spend minimum downtime between getting to places that way.  You can find somewhere quiet before it’s fully dark, and be on the road in the grey dawn, well before sunrise.  Sure it’s SMALL, cramped and uncomfortable, I mean the car is so full of stuff that there is zero chance of putting the seats back or anything. But it also comes with some wonderful gems of moments that otherwise you just wouldn’t experience.  Really wholesome, beautiful moments, like putting your feet up with a near panoramic view of dusk moodily creeping over the San Juans in the Rockies,

Or waking up to the pregnant imminence of the oncoming sunrise on the high plains.

In that sense Vegas is somewhere I would normally drive through.  No one knows I came, no one knows I left.  However I put out a tweet earlier this week saying I was hoping to make it to TAM (still going to be a hard days drive though (~11 hrs)).  Wasn’t even sure what was going to happen when I got there.  So I got in touch with Ashley the other day, just to keep he up to speed that it was now likely that I would actually make it, only to be told that I was expected to the level where accommodation had been arranged!

That blew my little cotton socks off!  My plans had merely gotten as far as ‘get to Vegas!’, with everything after that falling into the ‘improvise and adapt’ category and it was just really nice to find out that someone had heard that I was incoming and was looking out for me.

HAPPY BUNNY!!!!

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