Posts Tagged ‘freethoughtblogs’

Things you C*N’T say! (transcript)

July 3, 2014

[0:00] Thunderf00t: Today’s message is brought to you by Jessica Valenti, feminist author who, under the banner of “MORE FEMINISM, LESS BULLSHIT”, Tweets: “I truly believe that American culture prefers girls chaste and dead over slutty and alive.”

[0:17]: Well, thanks for letting us know what MORE feminism will look like, Jessica.

[0:22]: So, there’s ALWAYS someone out there telling you what you CAN’T say. I mean, let’s start from the very top. Some people think that the word ‘nigger’ is so offensive that they ALWAYS, and in many ways, childishly substitute it by calling it “the N-word”.

[0:39] clip from YouTube, “Charles Barkley discusses the N-word on TNT”: “I’m a black man. I use the n-word. I’m going to continue to use the N-word with my black friends, with my white friends.”

[0:52] Thunderf00t: Even Seth McFarlane backs away from using the word.

[0:55] clip from Family Guy: “WHAT did you just call me?”
“I thought that was your name!”
“THAT IS OUR WORD! YOU’VE GOT NO RIGHT USIN’ IT!”
“Hey—hey—hey—I’m cool, I’m cool. No problem . . . Could—could you pass me the oar, N-word Jim?”
“THANK YOU”

[0:10] Thunderf00t: I mean, don’t these people realize that language is context-specific? The word ‘nigger’ is neither universally offensive-

[1:18] clip from Pulp Fiction (YouTube, “SHEEIT NEGRO!!”)

[1:30] clip from YouTube, “Chris Rock – Black People VS. Niggaz (Bring the Pain 1996)”
“Every time black people wanna have a good time, ign’nt ass niggas fuck it up . . . CAN’T DO SHIT . . . CAN’T DO SHIT! without some ign’nt ass niggas fuckin’ it up.”

[1:45] Thunderf00t: Nor does it make a lot of sense to always allude to it as the “N-word”.

[1:50—3:20] clips from YouTube, “Top Gear Presenter Jeremy Clarkson Apologises over N Word . . .” and from Life of Brian

[3:20] Thunderf00t: I mean seriously, what would be the point of having words that you CAN’T use?

[3:26]: And some people think that the word ‘cunt’ is so offensive that they always, and in many ways, childishly substitute it by calling it “the c-word”.

[3:36] clip from YouTube, “Paloma Faith On Meeting Diane Warren & The C Word”: “Her favorite word was the C-word.”
“OH NO, it’s not like that.”

[3:40] Thunderf00t: Well this video is about words like these, and the people who think that you shouldn’t be able to use them.

[3:48] clip from YouTube, “Ban Bossy—I’m not Bossy. I’m the Boss”: “Words matter.”
“Let’s just ban the word ‘bossy’.”

[3:51] Thunderf00t: Well, in the atheist community, it’s people like PZ Myers. Apparently, he thinks that every time someone uses the word ‘cunt’, every single woman on the planet is insulted, devalued, and demeaned.

[4:05] clip from YouTube, “Rebecca Watson – European Atheist Convention 2012”: “And when I point out that ‘bitch’ is a gendered insult that demeans all women—again—most people, get it.”

[4:13] Thunderf00t: In a recent article titled, “How to drive a Brit crazy” he states “It turns out to be really easy. All it takes is five little words. “’Cunt’ is a sexist slur”.

[4:24] Thunderf00t: So PZ tweeted this image here: which is meant to be a social-justice-warrior joke about what happens when the outraged-about-everything brigade want to point out that “‘cunt’ is a misogynistic slur”.

[4:38] clip from YouTube, Feminist Frequency, “Kanye West’s Monster Misogyny”: “’Misogyny, as defined by The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology, is a cultural attitude of hatred for females simply because they are female.”

[4:45] clip from Skepchick Video [?]: “-um, more that I think that there are a lot of things that are, uh, part of a misogynist culture or milieu that would go by unnoticed by most women. They went unnoticed by me for most of my twenties.”

[4:58] Thunderf00t: That is that it conveys HATRED for ALL women.

[5:05]: So PZ goes on: “I retweeted it, and then the replies came flooding in. The defenses are hilarious, irrational, and indignant. It’s incredibly common to see people protest that it’s a perfectly acceptable word; everyone says it in England; it doesn’t have any sexual connotations at all, because apparently, people in the UK are so stupid that they don’t remember that it’s a word that refers to the female genitalia.”

[5:34] Thunderf00t: Well actually, let me tackle that one. Not just as a Brit, you understand, but as someone who has travelled extensively in the wide world. Firstly, colorful language is rarely literal.

[5:47] clip from YouTube, “Trekkie Lingo! ;-)”: “Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It’s currently laced with—shall I say, more colorful metaphors.”

[5:54] Thunderf00t: When people are saying words like ‘dick’ or ‘cunt’, they are not literally referring to the genitalia of all men or women on the planet.

[6:03]: Secondly, no it doesn’t drive Brits crazy. Indeed, quite the contrary, it just shows that you are perfectly fitting into the stereotype of the archetypal American, as the culturally narrow-brained moron.

[6:16] clip from The Simpsons, (YouTube “It’s Chowder!”)

[6:24] Thunderf00t: -arrogantly thinking that your use of the language in YOUR culture is how ALL other cultures around the world must use their language. Sorry, but language just isn’t like that. It’s very plastic in its meaning.

[6:40]: So, for instance, in America, ‘fanny’ means ‘bottom’. It’s a nice way of saying ‘ass’, and it’s a term that you can quite happily use in polite conversation. Not quite so much in England. No, in England, ‘fanny’ means what ‘cunt’ means in America.

[6:58]: Indeed, when I was a kid in England, the terms were perfectly interchangeable. Yeah, there’s one hell of a learning curve on that one. So yeah, news flash social-justice-warriors, the whole planet does not revolve around YOUR use of language. Just because YOU swoon at the mere mention of the word ‘cunt’ does NOT mean that the rest of the world does too. Yes, words have very different associations in different places.

[7:29]: So for instance, in England what you call ‘pants’ in America, are called ‘trousers’. And what they call ‘pants’ in England, are called ‘underpants’ in America. Indeed in England, the term ‘pants’ can even be used as sort of polite and comical swear word in that if something is ‘rubbish’—ah—sorry, something is ‘garbage’, then you would say that it’s ‘pants’.

[7:52]: Well, when I was a kid in England, the word ‘nigger’ was nowhere near as offensive as it is deemed in America. And this is because we didn’t have the Deep South in England; which is where the name acquired most of its social connotations.

[8:08] clip from YouTube, “Where did the N-word come from?”

[8:19] Thunderf00t: There really weren’t that many African sorts in England. But if there were, the offensive term used in England dated back to the colonial days, which was to refer to black folks as ‘Wogs’.

[8:30] clip from YouTube, “Niggers & Wogs”

[8:41] Thunderf00t: But like I say, the term wasn’t that widely used, because there weren’t that many African folks in England. However, after WWII there was a fierce labor shortage in England. And lots of people came over from both India and Pakistan. And so it was that the name ‘Paki’, short for ‘Pakistani’ became a very offensive way of referring to people with brown skin.

[9:05]: Now for people who didn’t live in that culture, it’s probably difficult to see why it should. I mean, surely ‘Paki’ is just a contraction of ‘Pakistani’, right? Why should that be offensive?

[9:17]: But like I was saying, language is rarely that logical. And it carries a lot of the social baggage of its civilization. I mean you could claim that ‘nigger’ is just a phonetically contracted way of referring to someone from Nigeria.

[9:32]: Or maybe another more pertinent example, would be ‘Jap’, which could simply be viewed as a contraction of ‘Japanese’. But it picked up most of its negative connotations during WWII where it was widely used, especially in America, as a pejorative. And yeah, the term has much more offensive connotations in America, than elsewhere in the world. I mean, this is just the plasticity of language.

[9:58]: And, likewise, other contractions of nationalities or nicknames for cultures are not seen as offensive. So for instance, referring to people from Britain as ‘Brits’, or referring to Australians as ‘Aussies’, or Americans as ‘Yanks’, just isn’t offensive. Language can just be infuriatingly illogical like that.

[10:17]: However, yeah, in England, the term ‘Paki’ is seen as a very strong term. It’s almost like ‘nigger’ in America and is a derogatory way to refer to dark skinned people, along with other terms, like ‘coon’ or ‘the brown people’.

[10:32]: However, if you’re over to Germany, the ‘brown people’ refers to something entirely different. It refers to the modern incarnation of the nationalists—you know, after Hitler’s “brown shirts”. They are “the brown people”. And while we’re talking about things that can be UNfortunately offensive in German, ‘schwarze’ means ‘black’ in German. Whiiich, phonetically speaking, makes this one the most unfortunate names EVER.

[10:59]: And in parts of Germany, cats have seven lives, not nine. And you go a little east to the Slovak ones, and you find that dogs don’t go ‘woof’, but ‘haf’. And cows don’t go ‘moo’, but ‘boo’. And in Easter, they chase girls, and whip them, to make them strong and beautiful for the next year. And the girls have to give them candy in return. EEh, it’s kind of like trick-or-treating; which in itself is a pretty weird thing to do if you think about it.

[11:26]: And in places in Spain they throw tomatoes at each other. And one day a year in Germany, women are allowed to go and cut the ties off men.

[11:35] clip about weiberfastnacht

[11:45]: Or in England, once a year, we celebrate a guy failing to blow up the government, by making an effigy of that man and burning it on a fire. Seriously, that’s “family fun” in England—is burning an effigy of a man who’s been dead for a couple hundred years—on a fire!

[12:03]: Oh, and don’t get me started on all the different ways that cultures celebrate Christmas. It’s like they say: travel broadens the mind—it really does. And you know you’ve travelled enough, when you come back to your native country, and it feels like just another foreign land, with its own set of peculiar customs. And you just come to the conclusion that when in Rome, do like the Romans.

[12:28]: And it takes a special level of arrogance to expect every culture on earth to conform in every detail to what YOU find offensive in Minnesota.

[12:40]: As for the word ‘cunt’ demeaning all women, well like I was saying: language is rarely that literal. When people refer to someone as a ‘cunt’, they’re no more making a reference to the genitalia of women, than calling someone a ‘dick’ is a reference to male genitalia.

[12:56] clip from YouTube, “Trekkie Lingo!”: “Are you sure it isn’t time for a colorful metaphor?”

[12:58] Thunderf00t: Or that calling someone an ‘unclefucker’ is referencing someone who actually fucks their uncle.

[13:03] clip from South Park

[13:06] Thunderf00t: These are just colorful metaphors of our time. So no, around the world the word ‘cunt’ or ‘fanny’ means different things in different cultures, like in Australia, where the word ‘cunt’ can almost be used as a term of endearment.

[13:24] clip from The Sound of Music “what is it you can’t face”

[13:34] clip from YouTube, “Australia, Yeah, C**t – Australia’s new National Anthem”

[13:46] Thunderf00t: So what’s the point of all this, I hear you ask. It’s to let people like PZ Myers and the “I-find-that-offensive!” brigade, claiming that because the word ‘cunt’ is really offensive in America, that everyone in the entire world should find it as offensive as they do.

[14:05]: And the strange thing is these folks think that this is showing how wonderfully thoughtful, egalitarian and progressive they are. When actually, it shows the exact opposite—of just how arrogant, narrow-minded, and ethnocentric they are, to expect the entire English-speaking world to fall in line with their use of language in, say, Cowpoke [?], Minnesota.

Many thanks to Linda for supplying the transcript 🙂

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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!

A+ (atheism plus), For A Third Glorious Age of Total Agreement

August 26, 2012

New Atheism” was built on the backs of heavyweights who had all written hard hitting best sellers. The social fabric was shaken by the approach of Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins and Dennet, appropriately dubbed no less than ‘the four horsemen’.

Now a series of bloggers, with conspicuously few achievements between all of them have decided that the community needs to be cleansed of subversive thought by expelling everyone who disagrees with them, and they are the ones to do it with a new movement called ‘Atheism Plus‘. The properties they most associate with folk like the horsemen are ‘old’ ‘white’ ‘male’ and ‘privileged’ (see below). Indeed a New Statesman article frequently quoted by the Freethoughtbloggers who started this, states quite clearly that:

“Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins”.

However they somehow manage to completely overlook the fact that the horsemen achieved their level of notoriety and recognition through ability and hard work, culminating in a series of best selling, ground shifting books: The God Delusion, God is NOT Great, Letter to a Christian Nation and Darwins Dangerous Idea to name but a FEW. The results of this can be seen when looking through the adword statistics where it actually turns out that Richard Dawkins alone is bigger than Atheism!

The Beatles may have been more popular than Jesus, but looks like Dawkins is now more popular than Atheism!

Dawkins, just so we are clear, has the prestigious academic title of Fellow of the Royal Society. That might not mean much to many, but it’s one of the higher awards given out by the Royal Society to people who made ‘ a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science”.
Seriously is there anything in the entirety of the ‘Atheism Plus’ movement that can even approach this level of accomplishment?

So the founders of ‘Atheism plus’ have decided that, despite their lack of any real achievement, that the real thing atheism needs right now is to throw the likes of the horsemen under the bus and to form a splinter movement (click, its sooo appropriate).  That’s right the ‘Atheism plus’ will be gloriously free of older white men, irrespective of their actual contributions or achievements.

Jennifer McCreight, the founder of ‘Atheism Plus’ says what she thinks about old white men. Oddly enough ability and achievement don’t seem to factor into this equation at all!

So what are the founding principals of ‘Atheism plus’?

We are…
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.

So ‘Atheism Plus’ gets off to this incredibly bad start where of their guiding principals, 2-4 are subsets of 1. Why that is becomes obvious when you see what’s bottom of the list of the ‘Atheism Plus’ manifesto. Bottom of the heap, no. 5 of 5 is ‘the use of critical thinking’. Yup critical thinking is bottom of the pile for ‘Atheism Plus’. I find it even more amusing as I am an atheist because of critical thinking (1. methodology, then 2. conclusion, y’know the logical way of doing it), whereas they start with the assertion that they are ‘Atheists Plus’, then later decide that critical thinking is a good thing. Conclusion before the methodology? very ass backwards!

Now enter the fray another Freethoughtblogger, held to be one of the more sane and rational FTBers (apparently), one ‘Richard Carrier’. Richard sets the standards high by asserting:

” And Greta Christina and others have taken up the banner: Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism. I am fully on board. I will provide any intellectual artillery they need to expand this cause and make it successful.”

..and that would be all very fine and well if the rest of Carriers blog wasn’t so ridden with wildly over the top polarizing rhetoric of eradicating and purging dark evil impurities that threaten our purity of essence (as someone has noted, it sounds more like Mccarthyism and Ayn Rands hate child). Indeed, I can say without a hint of hyperbole or exaggeration that is more Third Reich like than ‘Third Wave of atheism’ like. Whats that? Godwins law I hear you say? Well judge for yourself! You really have see it to believe it…..here’s some highlights!

“Don’t assume that because someone else did that, that it’s covered and you can give it a miss. No, we need to show numbers. So speak out wherever you see these two sides at loggerheads, and voice your affiliation, so it’s clear how many of us there are, against them. And this very much is an us vs. them situation. The compassionate vs. the vile. You can’t sit on the fence on this one. In a free society, apathy is an endorsement of villainy.”

and

“Those who don’t, those who aren’t shamed by being exposed as liars or hypocrits, those who persist in being dishonest or inconsistent even when their dishonesty or inconsistency has been soundly proven, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.”

(yeah thats the way to win hearts and minds with your intellectual artillery!)

and

“I call everyone now to pick sides (not in comments here, but publicly, via Facebook or other social media): are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or are you going to stick with Atheism Less? Then at least we’ll know who to work with. And who to avoid.”

and

Yes, it does. Atheism+ is our movement. We will not consider you a part of it, we will not work with you, we will not befriend you. We will heretofore denounce you as the irrational or immoral scum you are (if such you are). If you reject these values, then you are no longer one of us. And we will now say so, publicly and repeatedly. You are hereby disowned.

Yup, it’s real unashamedly divisive, brazenly polarizing totalitarian ‘you’re either with us or against us’ type stuff. But the really disturbing thing here is that if you do not entirely back ‘Atheism Plus’s dogmatically stated priorities, you are to be marginalized, excluded and attacked. To many of those who have escaped cults such as Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism this is the sort of viciously vindictive talk of retributional tactics that would likely give you flashbacks! It is this stated desire that people rather than ideas should be targeted that I find most disconcerting. OBEY OUR DOGMA OR BE DECRLARED A SUPRESSIVE PERSON! (you really should read this article, it is frighteningly similar to Carrier vision for ‘Atheism plus’).

But Carrier with his ‘intellectual artillery’ really doesn’t seemed to have thought this one through. So lets see, if American Atheists do not rename themselves ‘American Atheists Plus’, and identify themselves as ‘Atheists Plus’, Carrier will ‘know who to avoid’?
Well that’s an interesting proposition because it turns out that Richard Carrier and Greta Cristina are both scheduled to speak at the 2013 American Atheist convention in Houston.

Oh yes, it’s time for very red faces to take their list of world class achievements (/sarcasm) and ‘intellectual artillery’ and eat a very very VERY juicy slice of humble pie.

Given that American Atheists are NOT going to rename themselves as ‘American Atheist Plus’, or identify with this splinter group, this puts Richard Carrier and Greta Christian in a very difficult situation. Personally I think Carrier should write to David Silverman (a good guy!), the head of American Atheists in exactly the same terms he wrote to someone on his blog who said that they would remain, ‘just an atheist’

‘Atheism Plus’  should really stick with his guns here and tell these inferior ‘American Atheists’ what they think about them.

If they had any dignity or commitment to their ‘third glorious age’ of ‘Atheism Plus’, they would lead by example and write to David Silverman telling him that he, and his organization, is to be marginalized and excluded as there is no room for fence sitter in their new empire of pure ‘Atheism Plus’ and they will no longer be attending any conferences run by these mere inferior ‘atheists’. Indeed, personally I would encourage them to hold with their beliefs and splinter off with their pious, self-righteous, holier-than-thou ‘witch hunting’ sect.

But I’ll wager their commitment to ‘Atheism plus’, despite all their pompous rhetoric, is paper thin, and that we will not rid ourselves of these Mccarthyism type atheists so easily. I’ll wager the parasites will realize that without ‘New Atheism’, which let us not forget was born from the achievements of people with actual ability, y’know hard hitting heavyweights types, they cannot survive.  I expect that they will now start trying to weasel their way out of this by any and all means necessary as long as the conclusion is ‘no, it’s okay for ME to attend mere atheist conferences, its just everyone else who should shun and marginalize these mere inferior atheists’

I guess we will have our answer soon enough about Richard Carrier and Greta Christinas commitment to ‘Atheism Plus’ by whether they pull out of the American Atheist convention or not.

FTB and the conspiracy to defraud/ Drawing a line under this pointless crap

August 12, 2012

Chuckle, so my evil HAXOR skills have earned me the honor of a dozen or so blog posts telling me what an evil, evil man I am.

Pah, N00b, Neo would have just re-clicked the subscribe button!

The bizarre thing is the principal horror seems to be over something I did NOT actually do.  Namely that I DID NOT drop anyones docs!, and what’s more docs they had already ‘officially’ sent me on their mailing list.

-So how to turn something I did NOT do into an evil act of malice?

Why by speculating of course!  The argument continues like this, ‘but you are an evil haxor, therefore why should I trust you when you say u wont drop docs’.  That’s right, in the absence of any actual doc dropping, speculate that they MIGHT doc drop!  Oddly enough the one question such folk will never directly answer, because they know the answer as well as you, is ‘do you think I would drop anyones docs?’

Thankfully FTBers don’t apply this reasoning to their own, such as the good man PZ.  He was clearly dishonest to me about the deal when I came on board at FTB (freedom to blog about what I wanted my ass! ‘rip into anyone you want’ my ass!)…..  He ‘HACKED’ a phone system by ‘stealing’ a passcode and using it to ‘break in’!! ‘He’s dishonest! Unspeakable, it’s a unconscionably horrific breach of trust… he should be drummed out of the community as a pariah etc etc’ /sarcasm

Why shouldn’t he drop someones docs too?  After all, on paper he officially has access to all the personal details I do!

‘Indeed, given his hatred of me, why shouldn’t he leak docs himself, then blame me for it?  I mean if you read his posts, is there any level the bilious odious man wouldn’t go to fulfill his vindictive vendetta of hatred of….. etc etc.’

-Wow, I can engage in inventive filled paranoid rambling about crimes people MIGHT commit as much as FTB!

However all this time I had been working on the basis that FTB had a significant media footprint, which I now think is wrong.  Put simply, even though FTB have a LOT of skeletons in the closet, and engage in some pretty cheap and vindictive scheming (I wouldn’t have stayed long associated to such a group, even if they hadn’t expelled me first), the bottom line is they are a small group, they are kings of a small hill of beans (I’m still getting more hits than 10 of their bloggers having been gone for a month! see below): they simply are not worth the time when there are bigger fish to fry!  So let me take this opportunity to draw some sort of line under this (I know that sentence alone will have bought rapturous applause from many sectors!).

Bear with me on this…. this is going somewhere!

From my evil haxor skills, FTBer were saying the following on their secret mailing list about a month after I was thrown off.

“Plus, TF had more hits than ten of our bloggers today.  Please tell me he is not getting paid for them.  And that we are divvying up his spoils.”

Firstly FTBers are actually suggesting, not only an intention of stealing, but to do it as a group and to share their ill gotten gains from this fiscal theft.

Secondly, I laughed my ass off when I read that.  Even after being gone from FTB for over a month, I’m still one of their prize bloggers!  If they were the significant organization I initially thought they were, their petit conspiracies would have been a bigger burden on the community, and my whistle blowing more pertinent.  However that’s simply not the organization FTBs is.

Anyways, Ed Brayton, the guy who holds the purse strings responds thusly.

“I haven’t even given any thought to the point at which I would stop paying him. The blog was killed on July 1. I could call that the end or pay him for hits in July, which were not unsubstantial. Or at this point I could just tell him to go fuck himself.”

Lets try to draw a line under this Ed.  DPRJones has a charity event coming up for Medicine Sans Frontier. You can donate ALL my ‘not unsubstantial’ earnings to this charity event (try to keep it dignified Ed, make sure you let people know where the money came from), and then you can delete my blogs hosted on FTB.

To be honest, I wouldn’t want to be seen to profit off petit drama like this (I never monetize videos that deal with this sort of thing), and I’m sure FTB would likewise agree.  Indeed it would be nice to see FTB follow my lead on this and donate all the revenue generated from this pointless drama to the same charity.

From my chair, that pretty much draws a line under this.

This request has been personally sent to Ed Brayton.  Balls in his court now.

Skepchick go approval seeking from ‘White Male Privilege’

August 1, 2012

So having gotten roundly called for her shameful behavior at TAM (The Amazing Meeting), Amy ‘crying over a T-shirt’ Roth from Skepchick has gone approval seeking! Not from female bastions of the secular community like Harriet Hall (who clearly was distancing herself from folks like the evermore erratic and fringe Skepchicks), but ironically from what under almost any other circumstances the Skepchicks would call the ’white male privilege’ of the secular community.  However in reality she has not actual got any! NONE!

Ronald Lindsey, Dave Silverman and Nick Lee have all ‘spoken out against hate directed against women’ on Skepchick.


Y’see this is one of those ‘dissent from Darwin’ type stunts that the Discovery institute would pull.  For those who don’t know the dissent from Darwin thing was done to create the appearance of dissent when in fact essentially none existed, just like skepchick are suggesting that there is all this ‘hate against women’ when in fact essentially none exists (beyond criticism and/or trolling).  So how did the Discovery Institute and Skepchick achieve such a remarkable feat? Why by using language so broad that anyone and everyone, including myself, could agree with it.

In the case of the dissent from Darwin the statement was basically that all theories including evolution should be subject to critical scrutiny (well of course! who could disagree?), and in the case of Skepchick it’s ‘speak out against hate against women’ (well of course! who could disagree?).  Now firstly, if someone had asked me this question, my immediate response would be ‘why is Skepchick embracing sexism on this issue? Shouldn’t we be against all hate, irrespective of gender?’  Indeed at least two of the respondents actually elucidated to this. Kudos to:

Dave “American Atheists stands by all its members, supporters, and allies, and we will not tolerate hate directed at any of us. Period” Silverman, and Ronald “Hate-filled invective has been directed at many different people, male and female” Lindsey.

Then of course my second question could be, ‘why are you asking me such loaded questions?’  Really what do you expect me to say? is there ANYONE who would disagree with that position?  I mean if these people had been asked to speak out against hatred against males? or blacks? or puppies? how would they have responded? “No hatred against all of the above is obviously okay”?, of course they wouldn’t.  It’s such an obviously manipulative question.  Thankfully most of the respondent gave measured answers not far off where I would have planted my banner.

I would have started with the obvious and fair first question.

“do you think there is a real problem with ‘hate against women’ in this community? “

I’ve got to say I’ve seen essentially NONE.

I’ll tell you what I have seen, I’ve seen people get called idiots for saying and doing stupid things, y’know stuff about elevators (Rebecca Watson) and T-shirts (Amy Roth), although it is very conspicuous to those who can read what is obviously not said, that NONE of those who speak out against ‘hate against women’ actually specify that they think either Amy Roth or Rebecca Watson had a valid grievance in either case.

Indeed, while Amy Roths introduction to Nick Lee was glowing, if she had actually bothered to read what he wrote, she might have found precious little support for either her or Rebecca Watson.

“Not every flirtation is unwelcome attention, until one side announces it is, and then it should stop.”

So according to Nick there was nothing wrong with what happened to Rebecca Watson in the elevator. NOTHING.

“It is also complicated by the right of people to say what is on their minds even if it makes us feel uncomfortable.”

And there’s Amy ‘crying over the T-shirt’ Roth CLEARLY rebutted in the very next sentence.

Calling someone an idiot for acting like an idiot does not become ‘hate against women’ simply because the person in question was a woman.  This is one of the two general categories of the ‘hate against women’ that Skepchick encounters.  Look it’s obvious, how would people respond if I ‘embraced victim-hood’ like the Skepchicks.  That is any time anyone said anything ‘nasty’ against me I simply claimed that this was just sexism and misandry?  Yup, I would expect exactly the mockery that the Skepchicks get.  Far from sexism, this treatment represents equality in the secular community in that these people (the Skepchicks) are being judged on what they say and do, rather than on their gender.

The second general category of ‘hate against women’ Skepchick encounters is people trolling them.  Now it’s my reckoning that of the three ‘leaders’ Skepchick have thus far got to ‘speak out’ on this, two probably have no idea what trolling is.  Trolls do not hate anyone; they just get off on how easy it is to control people, particularly people who are hypersensitive on an issue (e.g. feminism) by pushing the right psychological buttons.  Skepchick is grade A trolling material and are seen to be some of the most easily puppeteered people on the webs.  What trolls will do is type some manipulative reactionary shit into a comment box and then laugh as those being trolled dance like puppets on strings.  With experience it’s easy to spot most trolls.  To be honest it is shameful that the Skepchick are so easily trolled as it shows their grotesque naivety to the interwebs.  So how can I be so sure that the Skepchick is just getting trolled?  Well it’s very easy, unless you actually think that there are really hundreds of atheists who are looking to rape Rebecca Watson (in which case the atheist community would have a huge fractional population of folks intending to be rapists and the ‘leaders’ response would be ENTIRELY inadequate), SHE’S BEING TROLLED!  Her ‘rape threats’ are exactly as valid as the ones I got on my first video that addressed this,

I’d just like to say thunderf00t should be raped, and I want to rape thunderf00t so he loosens up a little bit, and also thunderf00t is too ugly to rape.
Oh Noes, I’ve got multiple rape threats.  Where are all the atheist leaders speaking out against hate directed against men in the secular community?

and to be honest her parading these around like a ‘trophy proof’ of misogyny in the atheist community at conference after conference makes her, and anyone else who is taken in by it look as stupid to the new internet savvy generation of atheists as Oprah and the 9000 penises that she was worried a pedophile syndicate had ready to rape children.

Really leaders, you are showing your age in the internet generation to be taken in by this sort of thing.  There is only one way to win against a troll.  DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

Skepchick do not only openly violate this law, they put up glowing neon signs saying ‘we seek out and feed any and all trolls’.  On the internet this is almost as bad as feeding the gremlins after dark then throwing them in a lake Superior, then complaining about the gremlin infestation, it’s the equivalent of putting a big sign on your own back saying ‘kick me’ then crying about the ‘sexism’ of those who kick you.

Ana from the Young Turks pretty much calls it like it is on this segment.

Other than that, where are these people who ‘hate women’?  Does anyone actually have any evidence for this ‘hate against women’ that is NOT someone being calling out someone for saying or doing something outrageously stupid, or being trolled, or some mixture of the two?

In which case I have to ask these Leaders, who exactly are these people that they talking out against?  Where are they?  If no one actually knows, then why are they speaking out against a problem that doesn’t exist?  Inquiring minds need to know!

Feminist reduced to tears by T-shirt

July 19, 2012

Good God, your know someone is on the fringe when you cannot tell the difference between someone pretending to be a crazy feminist, and a skepchick-type feminist expressing their opinion.  That’s right, feminism in the secular movement has reached poe-tastic proportions!

So lets see if you can tell me which one of the following is someone pretending to be crazy, and which is a serious feminist (being supported by who else but ‘Freethoughtbloggers’ and skepchick).

Is it a)

There has been a lot of sexually harassing by text (textual harassment) at TAM, and therefore the skeptichicks are planning to implement a policy banning such harassment at their conferences.  To ensure that women feel safe at conferences this policy will strictly prohibit people sending unwanted text messages, specifically including the following:

( . ) ( . )

8====)
😉
=P

or is it b),

…that wearing a T-shirt at TAM saying that says ‘I’m a skeptic, not a skepchick, not a woman skeptic, just a skeptic’ constituted such powerful and dehumanizing harassment, that it reduced a grown feminist to tears, forcing her to spend the rest of the conference with her mother.  Then eventually when she simply couldn’t take the devastating harassment of the T-shirt anymore, she had to change her flight and leave early.

Well if you answered a), sorry to say you are wrong.  Textual harassment was from a parody site of ‘freethoughblogs’.  In reality it was one of those fearless feminist types, Amy Roth, who ended up crying because she didn’t like someones T-shirt at a conference (TAM).  What’s more is the absolute vanilla level of meek criticism that was required to turn this steely eyed feminist into blubbing girl.  I kid you not, it was no more than this T-shirt.  Seriously, this is not being mean, this is just like one of those “WTF is she going on about? there is no way she can possibly be that fragile and thin skinned”, type things.

Here’s the actual text of her describing the event, but if you can’t be bothered to read it, here is the video form (see 46s onwards):

This takes being thin skinned to a whole new level.  I mean really this level of offendability makes the ‘war on christmas’ people look positively sane, rational and thickskinned!  Really, did you ever see any of them in tears because someone wore a T-shirt slightly disparaging to xmas?  If they had would they not be laughed off the planet?  Then why should a feminist get any more slack than the craziest of the fundamentalists simply because shes calls herself a skeptic of sorts? And no surprises this horrible ‘harassment’ suffered by Amy was promoted by freethoughtblogs.

However deep at the bottom of this I can’t but help feel the skepchick-types REALLY needed something to be offended about, and they defiantly need to be the victims of something!  There clearly wasn’t any sexual harassment at TAM, without even a single instance of someone being asked for coffee in an elevator.  Then of course TAM had a sexual harassment policy in place.  Really what is left for the skepchick-types to get hysterical about?  Well, by a T-shirt saying they are “not a skepchick” of course- oh the horror… the horror.

Remember, if you oppose the T-shirt harassment policy at future conferences then you must be a bigoted, rape enabling, misogynistic radical woman hating MRA and you will get called an asshole before getting blocked for being a ‘troll’! It’s part of the inclusive forward thinking policy of this blog to promote equality. -jk or skepchick-style-feminism logic?

Freethoughtblogs and PC Lyers

July 13, 2012

So PZ Myers is the man who gave me his personal assurances that Freethougthblogs really didn’t have any interest in controlling the content.

This was evidently a verbal assurance made in bad faith.

The rough time-line is one week before I was banned, PZ sent this to some mailing list Freethoughtblogs has:

Pretty much speak for itself!

Well that’s basically what I did, and what’s more I even told them on their mailing list.  Then ~1 week later, PZ kicks me.  Maybe he wasn’t joking about that ‘Except me. I’m perfect, don’t you dare say otherwise‘ bit, or maybe this was one of those ‘many a true word spoken in jest’ type things.  Indeed how quickly opinions can change when it’s him who is getting ‘ripped into’

There was no open consultation in this group about what anyone else thought of my ideas prior to my expulsion, giving this a very totalitarian ‘execution by fiat’ type feel.  Everyone else on the groups was told of my ‘expulsion’ AFTER it happened, I mean hell, they wouldn’t have wanted an actual discussion or to give anyone the possibility to dissent about what is permissible ‘freethought’ on ‘freethoughtblogs’ now would they!

Now I really didn’t care about offending these people at this point as on their mailing list I had already been accused of being a ‘rape culture apologist’ (FFS, I don’t think I’ve even touched on the subject), guilty of ablism, devaluing addicts, an not being careful between challenging islam and outright racism.  All of this based on NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER (well that’s unless you are happy to count rumors as evidence).

Heard a rumor? Not a problem on FTB where rumor are fact until proven otherwise. Napoleonic Justice reigns, Guilty till proven innocent!

To be honest, I was hoping that there would be a higher standard of conduct than that, but the chatter made it clear that FTB really was somewhere between a bitching slimepit, and StrawmanCentral.  It was also plain to me from just watching the chatter on this mailing list that there was a significant amount of bullying of weaker members/ opposing viewpoint.  If this was an academic environment I would have called bullshit on them in an instant, however by this time it was clear the standard of people that I was dealing and that as a group they were essentially a lost cause.  I was happy to write a blog there, but I certainly wasn’t going to waste my time ingratiating myself with such people.

Incidentally FTB claims that it can deliver ~150 k ad impressions per day, which could mean as little as ~15k hits per day (~10 ads per page).  I was pulling in ~ 10-15k hits per day on my blog until I was blocked. FTB never paid me a penny **EDIT Ed Brayton contests this point, see comment below** (again something that PZ said they would), but to be honest I have little interest in such things.  Integrity is MUCH more important than money on such issues.

So I blogged about something which, I thought they were way off base on, namely the disproportionate amount of time they gave sexism compared to other subjects, and the way they attacked, strawmanned and demonized people who bought up sensible concerns.

I had expected that PZ Myers (an university lecturer) would at least keep his word on the academic integrity thing, but to be honest, after about the 3rd day after posting my second article, it was clear that wasn’t worth spit.  When a man is willing to jettison the value of his word so readily, I was under no illusions ‘ If you see something you don’t like, rip into it. ‘ in reality meant that you should only rip into it as long as PZ thought it was okay.

However, I was not going to be bullied into submission by a bunch of second raters, and so despite a series of threats, and Ed Brayton making it clear that if I felt PZ hadn’t kept his word I was free to leave ‘and not let the door hit your ass on the way out’, and that ‘no one would miss me’.  That’s right, the fact that PZ was lying to people faces to get people into the blog really didn’t phase anyone at freethoughtblogs at all!  Nor did such explicit threats on the mailing list seem to phase anyone else (no one stepped forward to question such action), which I think shows that bullying is just so widespread on FTB that it is just the socially accepted norm (that’s unless like me, any of the competent people there simply regarded FTB as a lost cause, or at least a cause not worth fighting for, and just got on with their own thing).

Y’see this is the slippery slope of becoming intolerant to criticism, eventually it will consume you to the point where you cannot take any criticism…. where you become intellectually soft and are happy to strawman people en mass for simplicity, then ban them when they call you on your bulk strawmanning!

Strawmanning: it’s easier than addressing the actual arguments.
Banhammering: a great way of getting rid of those who call you on your strawmanning!

Anyways, it turns out the ‘cover story‘ for PC Myers banning me was that I made an argument that existed nowhere outside of his head.

Look, I wanted to present a ‘first inspection’ case with some real data, that FTB really wasn’t representative of the wider community that I had experienced.  To me it was obvious that the community I was aware of at conferences, and on youtube was widely different from FTB on the issue of feminism.  People like Rebecca ‘Rape Threat’ Watson were widely regarded at conferences as a toxic asset (no matter if she had been an asset previously) who left a bad taste in the mouths of most people.  This is certainly true on youtube, where ZOMGitscriss can put up a video with her in, and her ratings go from something along the lines of 95 % positive to something along the lines of Venomfangx.

Association with the likes of Freethoughblogs or Skepchick is about as toxic to a videos reception as some of VFXs less savory opinions.

Unremarkable claims require unremarkable evidence, and so I did what was sensible, I simply put up a spoken word version of my blog, and PZs reply (who views really are seen as vanilla on freethoughtblogs) and asked people who watched to the end who they thought was nearer the mark, my views or the views that could pass as the plurality on freethoughtblogs.  Sure there will be some bias in the data, but not enough to nullify the point that FTB are widely seen as off base on this point.  I mean it could be easily examined.  PZ could read both my post, and his reply on his YT channel and see what the voting would be like, I would guess that he might make 60:40 in his favor (not far off his post-hoc justification for banning me video).  But of course, PZ was mostly interested in challenging the methods, rather than the conclusion.  Personally I think this is an unremarkable claim, and as such requires unremarkable data, which it has is scads!

Anyways, that’s pretty much my experience of the slimepit of ‘Freethoughblogs’ the PC Lyars.  It’s not the whole story yet though.  It turns out that freethoughtblogs are not only happy to ban people as a typical creationist would (for something that they never actually said), but are perfectly happy to actively support the abuse of copyright specifically used to stifle active debate.   More on that later.