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Monday, February 11, 2013

A portrait in epistemic closure

I found the Fowl Atheist's response to his sole dissenter to be more than a little amusing.  He genuinely doesn't see the irony in it.
PZ I ask you – given the footfall of Pharyngula; the contentious nature of the subjects in question; the substantial number of people who disagree with your position; the way in which you are regarded as a lead figure in many of these things; given all of this, is it really credible for you claim you don’t mind reasonable dissent when you appear, for all the world, to not have a single regular dissenter who has not been banned?

You may think I am a troll but please don’t mix up trolls with idiots. If you had a good couple of dozen REGULAR dissenting posters on these issues your arguments would look more convincing. In my couple of months before being banned I never encountered a single one. Not one. Nada. Zilch.

Why don’t I tolerate dissent, from a dissenter who posted here for over 4 months, making 168 comments. I have to say, this is a remarkably stupid question....  But all right, I’ll just assume that he’s not very bright and explain the obvious. There are a number of reasons why you aren’t ever going to see mobs of angry dissenters here.

This is a self-selected community. Look at the header on the blog: liberals, atheists, science-minded people will congregate here. It’s a successful center for that kind of person, and that means that people with different views — well, those that have a speck of self-awareness — will know that they are going to be a tiny minority in a swarm of opinionated, outspoken, ferocious liberals. Venturing here will be daunting. The mirror of community is that there will also be self-selected avoidance....

One last remark: sometimes there is no such thing as reasonable dissent on certain issues. Sometimes trolls are idiots. NoelPlum99 lasted as long as he did because he didn’t come right out and shout some intolerable stupidity; I will, for instance, ban racists on sight, because their arguments are not in any way scientifically or ethically defensible, and in fact are simply odious and evil. NoelPlum99 was smugly privileged and dense, but there was some faint hope that he might actually wake up and recognize his own blinkered view, a hope that faded fairly rapidly.

But otherwise, there are views that I find insufferably stupid, that only idiots would hold, and I’m happy to make this environment as hostile as possible to them. There are no rational grounds, no context for reasonable dissent, for being anti-feminist, for instance, or denying that our culture is deeply patriarchal and sexist. I can see reasonable argument about how we ought to deal with this fact of life, but denial (or worse, the kind of inane argument so many make that “why, calling someone a ‘cunt’ is not a reflection of de facto sexism!”) is going to be fired upon with all ferocity and anyone holding such a view is going to find interacting here intolerable and infuriating, leading to them lashing out and trying to turn the whole blog into a brawl over some really idiotic issues.

And then they get banhammered.

Because really, how do you express “reasonable dissent” from the view that women are people, and that our society institutionalizes discrimination of all sorts?
Wow, 168 comments in four months from one dissenter!  I think Tad and Asher, just to name two dissenters here, have it in them to beat that on a single post if they were given even the slightest encouragement.  What I find amusing here is that PZ drives a second nail in the coffin of dh's case concerning how the Left won't have any problem with realizing that there is an increasing amount of scientific evidence supporting what it considers "racism".  The fact that PZ is a professional biologist in denial of both genetics and the logic of natural selection only makes the situation all the funnier.

I'll draw your attention to these two statements:
  1. "[T]here is no such thing as reasonable dissent on certain issues."   
  2. "There are no rational grounds, no context for reasonable dissent, for being anti-feminist...."
This is why PZ twice ran away from the challenge of a debate with me.  It's not because he's too busy.  It's not because I'm a crackpot.  It's not because he has a reputation worth protecting.  It is, at least in part, because his ideology is his religion and he can't bear to have his faith questioned, much less risk seeing it demolished in public.  He has no dissenters because he lacks the confidence in his ability to defend his arguments against them.

But there is no reason to debate him any longer.  We can safely leave him to preach to his angry and anti-intellectual choir, secure in the knowledge that his moment has passed and he no longer even merits the attention of trolls.

As always, I welcome any dissenting opinions.  Make your case... if you can.  Unless you're Tad, in which case you'll have to make your case in five comments or less.  Being open to dissent does not mean that either monologues or monomania are welcome, however, and I advise that if someone demonstrates that you are wrong, you should have the good sense and the good grace to admit it.  Here's a little secret: the state of being incorrect does not hinge upon one's willingness to own up to it.

Labels:

104 Comments:

Anonymous Daniel February 11, 2013 5:14 PM  

Sheesh, man. You just encouraged them.

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 5:20 PM  

Self selecting community is the new eco chamber!

Anonymous Daniel February 11, 2013 5:24 PM  

Also: shut up, Tad.

Anonymous Tad February 11, 2013 5:25 PM  

@Vox Day

""There are no rational grounds, no context for reasonable dissent, for being anti-feminist...."

Did he really say this? That's absurd.

If you see to impose total male domination over the lives of women for the benefit of men alone, then of course there are rational grounds to be "anti-feminist".

Anonymous dh February 11, 2013 5:29 PM  

I detest PZ. But I tend to detest all those who wish to wage a credential war with nothing more than an associate professorship from a small regional community college as the weapon of choice.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch February 11, 2013 5:31 PM  

Vox says:

"...he lacks the confidence in his ability to defend his arguments against them.'

I, too, lack the confidence in my ability to be an apologist for my religion, or even to argue for my political beliefs.

No matter how hard I try, it seems that I can convince absolutely no one of anything.

However, I shall try my utmost, when called, to defend my faith and politics when the occasions arise.

One thing I will say though. Not everyone can be or is meant to be a lawyer for their faith. And not everyone who goes to Heaven will even know how to read.

(Although, if one claims to be an expert on something, they should be expected to be held to account.)

Anonymous VD February 11, 2013 5:31 PM  

Did he really say this? That's absurd.

Tad, you know perfectly well that I don't think much of your arguments or your general approach to debate. That being said, I find it more than a little ironic that arguably the least convincing critic currently commenting here is nevertheless operating at a higher rhetorical and intellectual level than anyone at Pharyngula, including the host.

And yes, for once, I agree with you. It is absurd.

Anonymous Salt February 11, 2013 5:32 PM  

like another recently banned spammer who had the username “PZ MEYERS IS A FUCKING DOUCHEBAG”

I like him already.

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 5:33 PM  

When even tad thinks that pz is absurd...

Blogger The Bechtloff February 11, 2013 5:33 PM  

Sounds like PZ should commission his own cartoon frightened homosexual critter as a mascot.

Anonymous Tad February 11, 2013 5:37 PM  

@Vox Day

Tad, you know perfectly well that I don't think much of your arguments or your general approach to debate. That being said, I find it more than a little ironic that arguably the least convincing critic currently commenting here is nevertheless operating at a higher rhetorical and intellectual level than anyone at Pharyngula, including the host.

That's not a very nice thing to say about SHUT UP TAD.

Anonymous Daniel February 11, 2013 5:37 PM  

Sounds like PZ should commission his own cartoon frightened homosexual critter as a mascot.

I suggest a spermicidal ouroboros instead.

Anonymous Andy February 11, 2013 5:38 PM  

You should not be too cruel to PZ. I'm sure you already know this but the man is a mediocrity, a failure, not too bright and a fool. Deep down he knows this and he hates the idea that other people know this, he hates like all 'progressives' that people see them for the idiots they are.

Just imagine hating the sight of yourself in the mirror...being so uncomfortable in your own skin. We should have sympathy for him but he is a weapons grade cock end so fuck the fat fuck. I mean really imagine being a man who would spend time with fatty McCreight and that ugly sow Watson. Both I would have though more than rational reasons why one does not want to agree with feminism.

Yeah PZ I know you are reading this, science has all the answers.....so why are you so crap at it?

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo February 11, 2013 5:40 PM  

Well, at least he's not claiming to be a zone of open debate. His house, his rules -- can't object to that.

But then again, it tells me everything I need to know about progressives and their approach to intellectual matters: if the progressive doesn't like it, it must be punished. Not intelligently refuted, mind you; punished. This is why progressives are hostile to free speech in the larger society as well.

They are no different from the dogmatic religious people they claim to be against.

Anonymous Krul February 11, 2013 5:44 PM  

There are no rational grounds, no context for reasonable dissent, for being anti-feminist, for instance, or denying that our culture is deeply patriarchal and sexist.

Wait a minute. Isn't PZ Myers a SCIENCE blogger? Why do feminism and culture even come up on his blog?

Anonymous Andy February 11, 2013 5:44 PM  

One cannot have free speech for all, if there speech is free well they could say anything and then where would we be?

There is little more illiberal than a liberal.

Speaking personally I have often found religious people much kinder, nicer and tolerant than arseholes like Meyers. Strange that.

Anonymous kh123 February 11, 2013 5:45 PM  

"This is a self-selected community."

Tad had better herald the Castro Cavaliers and get on this right away; PZ's white, goy, and [presumably] straight and being exclusionary. Potential (read: inevitable) for redlining and racism right there.

Anonymous Daniel February 11, 2013 5:45 PM  

Let me guess, the dissenter wrote this in response to the Fowl Atheist's reasoned defense of: "It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again."

I sure hope that dissenter knows Agent Starling.

Anonymous GreyS February 11, 2013 5:47 PM  

He's been defrocked, de-pantsed, and de-cleated so many times he now does it to himself. He is what he is-- and he is over.

Blogger JDC February 11, 2013 5:53 PM  

No offense Tad, but the Shut up Tad moniker is funny. At least we have room in our little worlds for a bit of dissent. I also love how PZ immediately changed the question from not permitting dissent to not permitting dissent from a frequent commenter. He immediately throws out sexist, racist and anti-feminist.

So, dissent of PZ = anti-feminist, racist, sexist, not-homosexual lifestyle supporting and will receive PZ's full ferocity...by deleting you from the blog.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 5:57 PM  

Tad - welcome to the world of reason!

1. He really said that.
2. he doesn't even think to ask which is the more evolutionary successful form, patriarchy or matriarchy - yet if it is amoral, anti-feminism or feminism isn't a matter of rationality, it is merely a matter of what the evidence of what will be naturally selected or provide an advantage should be.
3. There, even asking #2 in the form of a question will get you instantly banned.

I cannot think of a case where I did not a priori consider the side that was open, willing to debate or discuss, to be the one more likely to have the truth. Truth is light. Darkness has to hide and impose shutters and ban even unlit candles for fear they might be lighted. For light is a curse to the darkness.

Under rare circumstances the truth can be on the side of the one acting pro-darkness, but so far it is only theoretical.

His microcosmic society is institutionalized discrimination.

Blogger IrishFarmer February 11, 2013 6:00 PM  

It was interesting watching the feminists make a power grab in the Atheist community after New Atheism died out and the movement was in a vulnerable state of transition.

Emphasis on "was".

Now, if they want to destroy the movement from the inside out, more power to them. The sooner the better.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 6:00 PM  

At least PZ didn't commission a purple octopus wearing an 8 sleeved pink t-shirt.

I never associated the terms "epistemic closure" and "closed head injury" before. Swell, his brain became too big for his skull.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo February 11, 2013 6:03 PM  

There are no rational grounds, no context for reasonable dissent, for being anti-feminist, for instance, or denying that our culture is deeply patriarchal and sexist.

In other words, "reasonable dissent" is defined as anything that doesn't challenge his deeply-held, dogmatic beliefs.

Also, there are plenty of rational reasons for "being anti-feminist, for instance, or denying that our culture is deeply patriarchal":

1) Family courts favor wives. Combined with no-fault divorce, this gives wives unlimited power over their husbands. If she wants to ruin him financially, she can do so at any time, for any reason.

2) Men and women, on average, have different mating strategies and different attraction triggers, none of which are random or equal.

3) Male sexuality is routinely denounced as predatory. College orientations and sexual harassment laws reinforce the idea that male sexuality is a persistent danger to women. Also, a man publicly stating what sexually pleases him is often met with derision at his so-called "shallowness."

4) Men are told to respect women, but women are told to distrust men.

Blogger Nate February 11, 2013 6:04 PM  

Nate's advice:
Everyone types stupid things sometimes. Not long ago I boldly asserted that aristotle was a moron because of something Plato wrote.

These things happen... laugh at yourself... and remember that you're just a dumb human.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 6:06 PM  

Religious people are often more tolerant, though it is not universal, because tolerance is allowing or permitting evil because it would require a greater evil to do anything, much less anything effective, as well as the fact that we all sin, so we would ban ourselves if we applied a strict standard.

We used to tolerate addicts. Now we have the war on drugs.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 6:14 PM  

Clarification: PZ is NOT a professional biologist. He is a Professional university professor in the biology department. So the denial of genetics and natural selection is hardly ironic, nor any less ironic is his tenure so he can spout any nonsense without losing his position.

Actual biologists can do real and useful science.

Anonymous Daniel February 11, 2013 6:18 PM  

Actual biologists can do real and useful science.

I know! I saw The Lost Skeleton of Cadvra!

Anonymous Aeoli Pera February 11, 2013 6:20 PM  

If you see to impose total male domination over the lives of women for the benefit of men alone, then of course there are rational grounds to be "anti-feminist".

Parroted reframe. Everybody goes on autopilot sometimes (note uncharacteristic misspelling in a brief comment), so no conclusion to draw here. Close quote before period - possible programming/typesetting habit.

Hyphen misuse in "anti-feminist". No conclusion.

That's not a very nice thing to say about SHUT UP TAD.

Childlike regression in response to Vox's backhanded compliment. Daddy issues for sure (who'd have guessed)?

Anonymous Aeoli Pera February 11, 2013 6:21 PM  

By which I conclude that Tad really is gay, and not a sockpuppet and probably not a mere troll.

Blogger Nate February 11, 2013 6:30 PM  

"Actual biologists can do real and useful science."

really?

Do you have peer reviewed examples of this?

Anonymous Stickwick February 11, 2013 6:34 PM  

Careful, Vox, or PZ is going to renew his subscription to Ms. Magazine each time you mention his name.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 11, 2013 6:35 PM  

GirlWritesWhat on the religious aspects of Left Progressivism and defending Atheism from progressive Leftists. because, no-true-Atheist, amirite?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUPxRYWpglQ

Anonymous kh123 February 11, 2013 6:35 PM  

"2. [PZ] doesn't even think to ask which is the more evolutionary successful form, patriarchy or matriarchy... the evidence of what will be naturally selected or provide an advantage should be.

3. There, even asking #2 in the form of a question will get you instantly banned."



As someone else pointed out above: Ouroboros gagged.*


*Consider this the science fetishist's version of "Jesus wept."

Anonymous Stickwick February 11, 2013 6:39 PM  

Actual biologists can do real and useful science.

This is true, actually. But what's really interesting about the high-quality research going on in biology is that biologists often fail to realize when their own work is jackhammering away at the Darwinian foundation of biology. See: the latest developments in Evo Devo.

Anonymous rho February 11, 2013 6:57 PM  

denying that our culture is deeply patriarchal and sexist

I'll just wait here for the positive counter-examples of cultures that are not patriarchal and perfectly egalitarian for all sexes.

I'm sure there are many.

Anonymous The Next to Last Samurai February 11, 2013 7:02 PM  

I've been saying for years--hell, decades--that feminism qualifies as a religion, and this Myers bozo just helped to prove the point.

Blogger Nate February 11, 2013 7:18 PM  

"I detest PZ. But I tend to detest all those who wish to wage a credential war with nothing more than an associate professorship from a small regional community college as the weapon of choice."

Its moments like these when I almost feel sorry for ya DH. I know you're reading this crap from PZ and facepalming... ya have to be thinking... "Not helping! NOT HELPING!!!"

Anonymous DrRansom February 11, 2013 7:22 PM  

VD: "But there is no reason to debate him any longer. "

One of the rare times I disagree with you, Vox. I think there's plenty of fantastic reasons for you to debate him. First and foremost, because it would be incredibly entertaining. But moreso, because of the hurt it would cause so many people to stretch their brains into funny shapes making it all make sense.

Alas, though, he's too much of a pussy for it to ever happen.

Anonymous Anonagain February 11, 2013 7:23 PM  

Gynophiles are phallusphobes. One wonders how feminists like Meyers and Scalzi can stand to walk around with those nasty testosterone-producing organs with that most vile symbol of patriarchy in between. I wouldn't know and don't want to know, but certainly one imagines a shriveled and banhammered remnant of their manhood is all that could remain.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 7:27 PM  

Careful, Vox, or PZ is going to renew his subscription to Ms. Magazine each time you mention his name.

PZ's passive aggression takes on a different form. Perhaps he will burn a Koran (something about burning books seems to fit) or some other pointless desecration each time.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother February 11, 2013 7:35 PM  

Experiment: be a man. Get a job at Ms. Magazine. Using the principles of Game, see how many women you can bed before being shown the door.

Anonymous bw February 11, 2013 7:38 PM  

"It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again." Daniel

Perfect Example.

Repressed Rabbit

Put the fuckin' lotion in the basket!!

Oh, the pent up feelings of hatred and resentment and rejection.

Anonymous totalesturns February 11, 2013 7:38 PM  

Off-topic, but Vox, you've gotta see (and blog about) this. A jilted lover and her hamster have yowled out an anguished screed accusing China Mieville, Marxist-feminist poster boy, of being a ruthless and notorious womanizer. His techniques should be instantly recognizable to anyone with a cursory understanding of Game:

I told my mother about you and showed her the thousands of words of sly texts, endless coercive lie-filled emails and even carefully crafted and crafty handwritten letters you tried to coerce me with (and many other women at the same time - do you use a template for your letters? Or does it give you a bigger abuse-kick to tailor each one?), including the classic line, "You ask if I am playing you. No defensiveness intended, but how would that work exactly?"

Here's Mieville's response. And here's what "Bidisha" looks like in real life

Anonymous Desiderius February 11, 2013 7:48 PM  

Crisis,

"it tells me everything I need to know about progressives"

How is this different than Myers' error?

"and their approach to intellectual matters: if the progressive doesn't like it, it must be punished. Not intelligently refuted, mind you; punished. This is why progressives are hostile to free speech in the larger society as well."

Some, probably the controlling majority. But defeating will require dividing them. Some are not, and would be interested in wresting control from those who are.

"They are no different from the dogmatic religious people they claim to be against."

There is a definite resemblance, but the religious dogma has the advantage of centuries of testing and trial. There are chinks in the armor.

Blogger Bogey February 11, 2013 7:48 PM  

(or worse, the kind of inane argument so many make that “why, calling someone a ‘cunt’ is not a reflection of de facto sexism!”)

What a cunt.

Anonymous Daniel February 11, 2013 7:55 PM  

One door closes. Another opens...

Anonymous Mudz February 11, 2013 7:55 PM  

I wonder if he gets upset about people using the word 'dickhead'.

-

@ OP

I think you're right about PZ. I posted there once, challenging him about a fob-off excuse he made about Douglas Wilson, and he never replied to me. He let his legions jump all over me for about 160 comments (which I single-handedly fought off with my Sword of Wall Textin' like the Barbarian Nerds of Old), and disabled the thread, without ever commenting himself.

I think it would be way better to see you giving PZ a hard time than Scalzi. Scalzi's like a library kid who wants to hang out with his book friends and mutter insults about jocks and the like (or whatever trope you're familiar with). I actually feel kind of sorry for him, since I don't think he has the emotional strength to deal with the basketball team coming up to his table and deliberately making an ass out of him. His whole RSHD thing that's he's gone on lately, may simply be because someone's embarrassed him in front of his friends, and he doesn't know how to back down gracefully.

All Scalzi needs to do is stop making those particular posts, and all's forgiven (well, I will).

PZ seems more proactive in a Campaign for Atheism, and so far that I've seen, makes a bunch of douchey and dishonest posts that deserve to blow up in his face in a devastating way. Debating with him is probably more effective, since he's not about fiction writing, he is entirely dedicated to the arena of Religion and Science, etc. I think it would be a better use of your time, assuming I didn't miss your whole PZ phase.

(Most effective of all would be challenging Dawkins though, if you can manage it. I think he has the highest media profile.)

Anonymous the observer February 11, 2013 7:56 PM  

As a rule, anyone who responds to Tad across multiple posts more than once without him acknowloging you, is an idiot.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 8:09 PM  

@ totalesturns - interesting.

The one thing to be cautious about when seeking liberty is sometimes the purpose of a particular fence is not to keep you in but to keep things out.

The Patriarchy was formed by men to among other things protect their daughters, because fathers are men and know what men are like. As were husbands.

In a paradigm where the Father protected this daughter, this wouldn't have happened. Women wanted rights, but forgot that with each right comes a corresponding responsibility - if you are given control, you are culpable.

In this vein I think it would be interesting to hear how Vox would handle it if he had a daughter ready to go off to college in terms of Game.

Anonymous Stephen J. February 11, 2013 8:10 PM  

A self-selecting community neither needs nor can incorporate a banhammer.

Anonymous Anonagain February 11, 2013 8:14 PM  

Speaking of delusional Leftist twats, every great once in a while I'll drop by Bakker's blog just to see the latest developments of that train wreck, and find, to my total lack of surprise, that it continues to smoulder with the endless effusions from Bakker's monomania.

One need ever only scan his most recent pile of blather to get the clear impression that Bakker is stuck in an infinite loop, intent on proving that it's impossible to prove anything. It's actually quite funny to see Bakker still at his absurd crusade dissecting the inners workings of a reality that only a few very smarmy and atheist intellectuals like himself can discern.

Anonymous Lulabelle February 11, 2013 8:20 PM  

" (which I single-handedly fought off with my Sword of Wall Textin' like the Barbarian Nerds of Old), "

Mudz, I laughed so hard my eyes watered.

Anonymous kh123 February 11, 2013 8:20 PM  

"...acknowloging you..."

You can typing.

Anonymous VD February 11, 2013 8:25 PM  

I think it would be way better to see you giving PZ a hard time than Scalzi.

Been there, done that. You must be new in the last two years or so.

Scalzi's like a library kid who wants to hang out with his book friends and mutter insults about jocks and the like (or whatever trope you're familiar with). I actually feel kind of sorry for him, since I don't think he has the emotional strength to deal with the basketball team coming up to his table and deliberately making an ass out of him. His whole RSHD thing that's he's gone on lately, may simply be because someone's embarrassed him in front of his friends, and he doesn't know how to back down gracefully.

(sob) You don't know me at ALL! Anyhow, who can say? Perhaps he is spending the next ten days preparing his massive global RSHD media blitz. Perhaps he is curled up in a fetal position after reading an article on Canadian libel law. Who knows? Regardless, I haven't even finished the pre-game warmups.

Blogger Nate February 11, 2013 8:28 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Steveo February 11, 2013 8:35 PM  

Holy crap I was lost, I thought PZ said self-molesting community. My bad.

Anonymous Difster February 11, 2013 8:43 PM  

Am I the only one here that thinks ManBoobs and PZ should get together and make out?

Anonymous Lulabelle February 11, 2013 8:46 PM  

"Am I the only one here that thinks ManBoobs and PZ should get together and make out?"

Ewwwwwww.

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 8:47 PM  

(Most effective of all would be challenging Dawkins though, if you can manage it. I think he has the highest media profile.)

You have heard of "The Irrational Atheist" haven't you?

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 8:48 PM  

Am I the only one here that thinks ManBoobs and PZ should get together and make out?

Dude, seriously?

Anonymous Difster February 11, 2013 8:51 PM  

I didn't say I wanted to SEE them make out. Just that I think they should.

Blogger Nate February 11, 2013 8:52 PM  

"Am I the only one here that thinks ManBoobs and PZ should get together and make out?"

This is worse than the Go Daddy commercial

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 11, 2013 8:57 PM  

Vox, here is a real portrait in epistemic closure.

Disability Hate Crimes:
Does Anyone Really Hate Disabled People?


I found this by accident. Bane ended up in a book, on disability hate crimes.

"What an amazing, eye opening read. Was investigating for a Criminology essay. I was so unaware of the issues disabled people can face. This book made me cry but I didn't want to put it down. Very moving. Really makes you think. Highly recommend." - User review


He would be so proud of himself.

Anonymous Lulabelle February 11, 2013 9:05 PM  

That's awesome!

Anonymous Mudz February 11, 2013 9:10 PM  

@ Lullabelle

I have a gift for making the girls cry. I am sorry about that.

@ VD

Ha ha, I don't think I was even involved in this whole Christian/Atheist internet arena two years ago. I was too busy getting drunk and other 'university'-related activities (if film school counts).
I posted here as soon as I found your site, (I think) following reading your book 'The Irrational Atheist'. I think you had cleverly included your website in the cover. A book, by the way, which I thoroughly appreciate. It is totally fun to see a 'fire with fire' routine. It does seem necessary sometimes, as Jesus seemed to evidence.
Must have been a few months ago.

And I have to object, amusing as the thought is. You've proved that Scalzi is essentially defenseless, which I've found out myself as well. Posting there feels like slapping around six-year olds. It'd be funny in a movie, but feels cruel in real life.

For the love of Christ, have some compassion for the weak. He's not strong enough to be denounced as the offspring of vipers and have productive results. Try doing an Apostle Paul, or Peter, at least for him, even if just to break the trend for a while. (Yes, I can read your header. But still. Maybe hang up the AWCA hat for just a little while.)

I would actually like to see you two come to sort of friendly terms. I would actually respect you more, not less, for it. Washing other people's feet first, and all that.

I'm sure you will continue to do as you choose. But consider this a sort of brotherly exhortation.

Anonymous 11B February 11, 2013 9:10 PM  

I have not read PZ's blog, but he seems to run his blog like the guy at Little Green Footballs.

Anonymous kh123 February 11, 2013 9:16 PM  

"Once again, there seems to be an attempt at humor, but this cannot disguise the mix of antidisability, racist, and Anti-Islamic religious hatred it contains. The rant clearly positions 'blind ass fuck', 'retards', 'nigger retards', midget retards' as having unfair advantages over others."

I can't go on, cannot see past the tears.

Holy sh*t.

Are we sure this isn't Nate or Josh taking the piss out of some publisher. I'm more wary now since Christina's contributions from Whatever.

Anonymous Anonagain February 11, 2013 9:17 PM  

That's got to be some kind of copyright infringement there. Someone from Bane's family should be notified. I wouldn't want some asshole taking excerpts from my deceased family member's blog and using to make money off it.

I can't imagine that one could publish a book consisting of nothing but other people's blog posts. The theft of intellectual property for commercial use, not for personal use, would seem to be the mitigating factor. The author, Mark Sherry, is asking $47.36 a pop - using material he was not given permission to use.

Anonymous dh February 11, 2013 9:19 PM  

Its moments like these when I almost feel sorry for ya DH. I know you're reading this crap from PZ and facepalming... ya have to be thinking... "Not helping! NOT HELPING!!!"

This goes to my statement that uniformly, the nicest and most pleasant people to be around are Christians. The converse is also true - the meanest, least pleasant people to be around in my real life are all militant atheists, and not a few of them are academic types.

Unfortunately "we" have to own the dregs of our respective ideologies. I would much much rather "own" the dregs of the right wing then the dregs of the left-wing. Please, oh please, are you interested in a trade? I'll trade you a Dugger family, the Rubio's, and Michele Bachman if you just take PZ Meyers off my hands...

Anonymous Porky? February 11, 2013 9:29 PM  

What's wrong with the Duggar family?

Anonymous Josh February 11, 2013 9:32 PM  

Are we sure this isn't Nate or Josh taking the piss out of some publisher

Wasn't me...

Anonymous Matt February 11, 2013 9:38 PM  

What's wrong with the Duggar family?

Ironically, extreme levels of evolutionary fitness.

Anonymous Idle Spectator February 11, 2013 9:58 PM  

That's got to be some kind of copyright infringement there. Someone from Bane's family should be notified. I wouldn't want some asshole taking excerpts from my deceased family member's blog and using to make money off it.

I don't think there is a case here. The author is only quoting a few paragraphs. He is citing his sources properly too. That is probably under "fair use."

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/02/fair-use-vs-copyright-infringement-quoting-material-on-the-internet/
"Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship." This is under scholarship, research, criticism, and commentary.


I can't imagine that one could publish a book consisting of nothing but other people's blog posts.

He's not. That is just one chapter where he is giving examples of "haters." 95% of the book is his own writing.

Anonymous Anonagain February 11, 2013 10:03 PM  

He's not. That is just one chapter where he is giving examples of "haters." 95% of the book is his own writing.

I didn't mean to imply he was. I was making the case in the extreme.

Blogger tz February 11, 2013 10:15 PM  

@Mudz:

It is proper to have mercy and compassion for those who are weak through no fault of their own.

However there ought to be no more sympathy for someone who emmasculates himself and crys "don't hurt me, I'm a poor eunuch!" than for an orphan who murdered both parents.

Like an addict that prefers slow stupor suicide to life. They don't want to be redeemed. They have given themselves over. But it isn't as ugly as heroin, crack, or even obesity. They are nice - but the opposite of holy. The pity is their trick for you to be nice to them, like a beggar asking for food but will really just buy alcohol. They are affirmation-esteem vampires (bunniculae?). They are undead and wish to suck the life out of everyone.

Anonymous Lulabelle February 11, 2013 10:22 PM  

"Bunniculae".
lol

Anonymous dh February 11, 2013 10:44 PM  

What's wrong with the Duggar family?

Nothing, but they are routinely mocked by some on the right. I think the Dad endorsed Rick Santorum for President and that drew the ire of some right-wing bloggers.

Anonymous Mudz February 11, 2013 10:47 PM  

@ Anonagain

And Christ is the source of life. Scalzi is sick, but he needs to be healed, not destroyed.

I do think it's through no fault of his own that he is the way he is, he's been drastically misinformed by feminism as youngster, and has never shaken off his religion. Isn't that what the 'Red Pill' is all about?

He is responsible for himself and his follies, but he is also blind and crippled. He can be redeemed, just like we can. I was an unintentional passive semi-feminist as a young feller, having had no context where I lived (NZ. It's an atheist, feminist nesting ground), but I grew out of it. He can do the same.

I have no problem with excoriating his opinions in public, because more is at stake than his personal esteem, and it's impersonal. But the unrelenting abuse of his personal follies on this blog, is overly cruel, I think. It think it indicates Blog Politics, more than Discourse.

I don't think they, or at least he, really wants to suck the life out of everybody. They just honestly think they're the good guys. Decent minded, tolerant, loving folks who don't judge people by their outsides. Like Feminist Jesus.

Should we want to taunt him, or save him? (Not that I'm going go across the Pacific Ocean to deliver bible tracts to his door, but still.)

Anonymous Mudz February 11, 2013 10:47 PM  

Crap, I mean @ tz. Thought I fixed that.

Blogger Desert Cat February 11, 2013 10:58 PM  

That book is nonsense. Bane was very much an equal-opportunity hater.

Blogger Nate February 11, 2013 10:58 PM  

DH
I'll trade you Micheal Medved or Sean Hannity for PZ Meyers.

Great American my ass.

Anonymous Mudz February 11, 2013 11:07 PM  

Also I have to correct something I said earlier. It was Douglas Axe, not Douglas Wilson, that PZ wouldn't debate.

Anonymous dh February 11, 2013 11:21 PM  

I'll trade you Micheal Medved or Sean Hannity for PZ Meyers.

Ugh. Now that's a tough choice. Sean Hannity is perhaps the worst of the worst of television personalities. At least on Oprah they sometimes give cool gadgets away. On Hannity's show the only thing you win is free advice on how to buy gold at 3x retail.

Anonymous Sawyer February 11, 2013 11:50 PM  

There's a great little IAMA at reddit tonight. Bill Gates keeps going on about how well Nordic countries are doing with stuff:
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/18bhme/im_bill_gates_cochair_of_the_bill_melinda_gates/

Anonymous Porky? February 11, 2013 11:50 PM  

Nothing, but they are routinely mocked by some on the right. I think the Dad endorsed Rick Santorum for President and that drew the ire of some right-wing bloggers.

You still think the Ilk give a damn about all your "right vs. left" crap.

You obviously haven't learned much.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 12:22 AM  

You still think the Ilk give a damn about all your "right vs. left" crap.

You obviously haven't learned much.


Ohh come now. Are we going to pretend that much of whats discussed here isn't just politics? Surely, it's broader than that, but not always.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 12, 2013 12:50 AM  

"Am I the only one here that thinks ManBoobs and PZ should get together and make out?"

I sure hope you are.

Would you settle for a calendar of parody book covers with them in drag?

Anonymous Jack Amok February 12, 2013 12:55 AM  

Look at the header on the blog: liberals, atheists, science-minded people will congregate here.

Hmmm, one of these things is not like the others...

Oh, wait. He doesn't mean science, as in Newton, Maxwell, et al. He means consensus management like the AGW crowd does. Yet another important word liberals have corrupted. If liberals called something Chocolate Ice Cream, I'd guess it would taste like steamed broccoli.

Anonymous rho February 12, 2013 1:46 AM  

Ohh come now. Are we going to pretend that much of whats discussed here isn't just politics? Surely, it's broader than that, but not always.

I smell what you're stepping in, but you contradicted yourself inside two sentences.

But for your future edification, comments are supposed to stay on-topic, and VD chooses the topic. You may infer a lot of intent from commenters' posts, but that doesn't mean it was intentionally implied. What you take away from it tells more about you than about the poster.

Anonymous Stickwick February 12, 2013 1:49 AM  

When Atheists are A+holes:

While the A+holes do not constitute all of public atheism, the remainder is no better. Alpha atheist Dawkins thinks telling children about Jesus is worse than sexually molesting them. In the second tier you have attention-seeking primates such as PZ Myers desecrating a communion wafer and a Koran, and, to be fair, one of Dawkins’s books. It’s a performance about as edifying as flinging poo from the monkey cage. Myers is probably physiologically incapable of breaking actual atheist taboos, such as saying something which might be remotely construed as sexist or racist, no matter how true it might be. In the third tier of public atheists are idiots who sue the local city council for saying a prayer before meetings. I’d wish a plague on their houses, but all their houses are already asylums for the emotionally challenged.

Anonymous Porky February 12, 2013 2:29 AM  

Ohh come now. Are we going to pretend that much of whats discussed here isn't just politics?

It's that you think politics is left v. right. The left and right are pretty much partners in crime.

It's freedom v. authoritarians.

We'll keep the Duggars and you can keep Octomom.



Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 2:45 AM  

I have no problem with excoriating his opinions in public, because more is at stake than his personal esteem, and it's impersonal. But the unrelenting abuse of his personal follies on this blog, is overly cruel, I think. It think it indicates Blog Politics, more than Discourse.

It's not blog politics. He had the opportunity for discourse. He still has it. But he chose this conflict, he took this conflict to the public stage, and he and his supporters claim he is winning it. So, it will continue until he completely and publicly submits or I get completely bored with it.

Even God doesn't forgive the unrepentant. And as for cruelty, you haven't seen ANYTHING yet.

Blogger ray February 12, 2013 3:40 AM  

"It is, at least in part, because his ideology is his religion and he can't bear to have his faith questioned, much less risk seeing it demolished in public"



yep like the old USSR, these people can only "compete" when everyone else is silenced, and the entire university (or government, or workplace) has been coerced into joining their nasty little cult

these cowards prance around pretending theyre ever so evolved, far too enlightened to accept the stupid superstitions of mere religion

... yet they are the trooest of the Troo Believers, clinging desperately to their third-rater Victimocracy, and to their insistence that women make better men than men

these leftie guys dont have the groceries to stand up to their own women, and so the rest of us have to pay the price, in their pathetic Diversifem Dystopia

these people havent allowed a "debate" ANYWHERE in forty years, ptooey

Anonymous The Great Martini February 12, 2013 4:10 AM  

Probably not going to get much sympathy for the travails of the atheist movement on this blog, but... If I didn't know better, I'd think PZ is some kind of plant, a manchurian candidate, intent on taking down the atheist movement. So far he's either directly or indirectly attacked: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Edwin Kagin, Thunderfoot (a popular atheist vlogger), and several others. Every McCarthyite dreams of taking down the big names; I'm not sure why, but that always seems to be the pattern. It's classic McCarthyism, and Myers won't be stopped until he meets his "army hearings," and there is some indication that the atheist community is gearing up to give it to him.

There were early indications that something was up with Myers. Some of you may recall a few years ago when Luke Muehlhauser put up a list of "hot" atheist women, and Myers claimed he was objectifying women, typical radfem language. I can remember having a "wtf?" reaction at the time. Since then, FtB has been a slo-mo train wreck.

Anonymous The Great Martini February 12, 2013 4:19 AM  


Gynophiles are phallusphobes. One wonders how feminists like Meyers and Scalzi can stand to walk around with those nasty testosterone-producing organs with that most vile symbol of patriarchy in between. I wouldn't know and don't want to know, but certainly one imagines a shriveled and banhammered remnant of their manhood is all that could remain.


Oh hell, that's nothing. Read up on Greg Laden, who believes men equal testosterone damaged women. There is an air of man hatred about all these guys. I mean, I'm a lefty, okay? There's no way I'm going to deny that rape is a huge problem in our society. But these guys take that ball and run all the way to Jupiter and back with it.

Anonymous Mudz February 12, 2013 4:26 AM  

@ VD

It's not blog politics. He had the opportunity for discourse. He still has it. But he chose this conflict, he took this conflict to the public stage, and he and his supporters claim he is winning it. So, it will continue until he completely and publicly submits or I get completely bored with it.

Even God doesn't forgive the unrepentant. And as for cruelty, you haven't seen ANYTHING yet.


I'm sure you can do much worse. I just don't want you to.

I understand that he's asked for it. He was foolish. We can all see that. And yes, they are still at least giving the appearance of fooling themselves. They kind of have to don't they? But a wolf can't be threatened by a rabbit, so self-defense or retaliation is small justification in itself. (I would have gone with 'the Vox Fox' myself.)

And what I mean is that I have no problem with you doing what you have been doing so far as the public is concerned, newspaper interviews and the like. Even mocking Scalzi for his book cover posing doo-hickey. That's relevant. That's topical. And if he makes a public statement against you, then rip it in half, go for gold. I don't hold it against you to respond against retardism, or even to mock his politics. Just not with the ad hominem.

I think that you're giving him shit, because it's fun, and easy, to give him shit, and you know it'll entertain the blog readers. That's what I mean by blog politics. I don't have a problem with it in general, because, well, this is a blog, that's what you're supposed to do, I'd just consider it a kindness to the man if you threw him a little understanding here and there. Give him something to hang onto. Or else he'll just sink straight to the bottom of the ocean clutching all his feminist gold trophies. Provide him an escape exit from the Matrix if you can manage it.

A little love for the enemy would be a decent act.

And you have to give him an opportunity to repent. You know it's not going to happen like this. He's needs time and safety to rethink. (His ten day strike is perhaps the perfect time for this.)

But I think his follies are such a perfect opportunity for your weaponry that you can't resist hitting all the buttons.

Honestly, I find it entertaining too, but professionally speaking, I think it must be wrong. So please, take one for the team, and restrain yourself to a limited war, rather than nuclear holocaust. I know he's probably bothered you, and he's directly insulted or attempted to offend you, and he's in fact 'libelled' you, and he's conducting a campaign against you. You are 'legally' justified. But on those particular posts it's like watching a trained marine retaliating against an annoying 13-year old with poor self control.

Don't extend my argument too far. I only ask you to restrain yourself in the ad hominem department. Not an actual ceasefire. You are perfectly entitled to make him regret using disastrously dishonest tactics. You are perfectly entitled to rise to the challenge he has laid down. Just fight it like a God-Fearing Damn Proper Englishman. (Even if you're an American. Drink your tea like a man, dammit.)

You don't need to reply. I know you get my arguments, so I just ask that you think it over, VD. Perhaps the answer's in the median. In any case, it's all yours.

Blogger Markku February 12, 2013 6:18 AM  

Yeah and besides, I'm starting to fear that the Gamma Rabbit's bite can give you rapies.

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 7:13 AM  

I think that you're giving him shit, because it's fun, and easy, to give him shit, and you know it'll entertain the blog readers. That's what I mean by blog politics.

Ah, I see. I misunderstood and thought you were referring to actual political differences. But you're correct and the entertainment factor, both my own amusement and of others, is not an insignificant one.

Provide him an escape exit from the Matrix if you can manage it.

You know perfectly well that I am reasonable and always open to discussion, even with those who have appointed themselves my enemies. However, the fact that I am entirely open to discussion consequently means that I have absolutely no remorse when people do not avail themselves of it. I have, as you will note, done nothing throughout except take Mr. Scalzi at his word. He has repeatedly expressed delight at the attention that he is receiving. I shall, out of the boundless kindness of my heart, endeavor to make him even happier in that regard.

TL;DR: if you don't tap out, you're going to get hit again. And again. And again.

I know he's probably bothered you, and he's directly insulted or attempted to offend you, and he's in fact 'libelled' you, and he's conducting a campaign against you.

No, he hasn't bothered me. Not in the slightest. This is a game and I am a gamer. I'm also not sure he has libeled me, since I haven't heard from the Canadian expert yet, but other parties indubitably have. That little hit piece was just insanely stupid. As for his campaign, since it continues, I will, of course, continue conducting my own.

I appreciate your advice, but my philosophy remains, as ever, to start nothing and finish everything.

Anonymous FreshStep February 12, 2013 8:17 AM  

"Even God doesn't forgive the unrepentant. And as for cruelty, you haven't seen ANYTHING yet." - VD

Sweeeeet.

Anonymous DrRansom February 12, 2013 8:50 AM  

Lulz @ "rapies", good one Markku. ;)

Blogger ray February 12, 2013 1:27 PM  

The Great Martini -- I mean, I'm a lefty, okay? There's no way I'm going to deny that rape is a huge problem in our society."


ok well, i'll deny this 40-year-running feminist trope, then

rape is NOT a "huge problem" in this country, unless we're talking about the rape of men and boys in cages . . . which actually IS a huge problem in the Fempire

as for the "rape culture" constantly skreeched about by US women -- and their enabling man-cheerleaders of the left -- it does not exist (except in their fevered little minds, to be trotted our as an ideopolitical tool for use against any western male who might be stirring in his chains just a little too loudly)

there are more rapes of men in the current u.s. than rapes of women, and i'd venture there were more false accusations of males than actual rapes of females in the United Sisterhood, as well

additionally, in amerika there are MANY more female teachers molesting boys, than male teachers molesting girls

i'll be waiting for your leftist president and leftist Medea to start highlighting THAT problem, and demanding accountability from the Perpetrators lol

Anonymous Jabari February 12, 2013 2:09 PM  

That little hit piece was just insanely stupid.

This referring to the Guardian piece? Or something else?

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 4:25 PM  

This referring to the Guardian piece? Or something else?

Yep.

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