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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Caricatures

It's rather funny reading the midwits at Popehat attempting to describe me for the benefit of each other. Even Clark himself doesn't grasp what all of the Ilk have with ease:
Clark, I appreciate your description of Vox as a performance artist; it gives me a bit better perspective on his schtick. Given the "anti" in many of his expressed views, I can see what attraction he has for you. Yes, he's brilliant; he has constructed an immense Vox-world, with its own social rules, heirarchy and mythos. He's positioned himself in a pseudo-intellectual gaping hole and become the god of the whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers that inhabit its nether-regions. He is so over-the-top that it must take an enormous, expansive intellect to keep all that crazy consistent in some sort of weird Vox-world logical way. He's also one of the nastiest narcissitic psychopaths to inhabit the planet Earth. The evil demons seem to dance at his command, as he draws the most vile thoughts out of his subjects to pour forth onto the internet – and he does it all with flair, making it seem effortless. Reading his posts and the comments is like looking beneath a rock and being blinded by the awful blackness of the anti-Christ. Some people say he's insecure, but I think he's doing pretty well at holding on to his Vox-world god-throne. I suspect much planning and deliberation go into his performance, because being Vox must be exhausting. I don't know how he sleeps at night.
Count the obvious flaws:
  1. I'm not a performance artist. What you see is pretty much who and what I am. It's an incomplete picture, of necessity, but what is visible is accurate enough. There is a reason you never see any contradicting exposes by people who know me; I don't contradict myself.
  2. The readers here are not "whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers" and I am no one's god.
  3. Occam's Razor suggests that I am able to maintain consistency because I hew closely to truth and logic. Vox's 1st Law: Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from insanity.
  4. I'm neither nasty nor psychopathic. I am, admittedly, narcissistic and Machiavellian. I'm also highly empathetic. The psychologist commented that my profile was unusual in that I'm equally comfortable with direct or indirect conflict.
  5. It's not exhausting being me at all. For better or for worse, I know who I am. When I sleep, I sleep soundly.
She certainly does better than Gunnar:
My attack on Vox Day's anti-scientific nonsense is from the perspective of a biologist btw. I've seen a lot of anti-scientific nonsense over the years and I'm somewhat familiar with Vox Day's creationist arguments, and I have dismissed them as completely nonsensical and generally awful. Now this Clark dude is telling me that I'm either being dishonest or illogical because I think Vox Day is peddling anti-scientific nonsense and I dismiss the idea of him as a serious thinker. Clark probably doesn't even realize that by his argument he's dismissing most of the biologists (and probably most scientists) on this planet as either being dishonest or illogical, but that is what he's doing by claiming those are the two options if you think Vox Day is bad at logic.
This is amusing. What Gunnar doesn't understand is that I am considerably more intelligent than most of the biologists and most of the scientists on the planet. One of the things we discussed in the May Brainstorm was directly related to this: the importance of NOT blithely trusting the experts for the highly intelligent. TL;DR: if you have a 135+ IQ and an expert is pinging your sense of wrongness, trust your instincts, put on the brakes, and dig into what he's advising before proceeding no matter what the subject. Most of the time that happens, the expert is either unaware of better options, has got something wrong, or is misapplying a standard protocol. My philosophy with experts is this: respect, but verify.

And I always enjoy this idiotic midwit heuristic:
Christ what an insecure little shit. One of the things I've learned in life is that those who pound their chest and boast about what a badass they are and the havoc they'll dispense if you cross them, aren't and effectively can't. They're laughable. I have no idea what personal demon haunts him, but he's definitely overcompensating for some perceived inadequacy. What a silly little shit.
Meanwhile, half the media organizations from the UK to New Zealand are writing furious stories about the ongoing havoc in the science fiction field. And all that havoc was triggered by a single blog post. Imagine what could happen if I actually put any thought or effort into it.

And all these Popehat dramatics stem from one tweet and one post that revealed nothing new about anyone. It's nothing more than rabbits hopping about in alarm and attempting to DISQUALIFY for fear that members of their warren will defect and join the big bad wolf pack.

Labels:

204 Comments:

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Anonymous MrGreenMan May 24, 2015 12:11 PM  

I prefer the David Lee Roth rendition of the Mark Twain standby - but, if we go to an old standby from Spock or Sherlock Holmes, that it would be impossible to remember all of the things and positions in establishing this separate persona, and the volume of output would show inconsistency - the improbably answer they must accept is that you don't remember, you just tell the truth.

They say that social media plays to a mental disorder that causes people to live life as if performing for others. I've had more than one person who had divergent views than me admit they really agreed but they had to publicly hold certain views or they would lose out on promotions, or grants, or tenure, etc.

It's part of God's great sense of humor that not only does the truth of Jesus Christ set you free, but telling the truth and letting things fall where they may does as well. No wonder so many of leftists must medicate.

Blogger JDC May 24, 2015 12:19 PM  

My attack on Vox Day's anti-scientific nonsense is from the perspective of a biologist btw

I will borrow from the SJW playbook and dismiss outright. It's self-evident that the center for biological accreditation will not permit those having an IQ above 120 into their club. It's science.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales May 24, 2015 12:23 PM  

Speaking of attempts to disqualify, when a rabbit tries to disqualify my position on the second amendment as extremist by pointing out that the founding father let a privately armed ship with cannons permission to attack enemy vessels and were aware of various 'assault weapons' already in existence and were fans of them, and the rabbit tries to paint a strawman of Tea Partiers not voting for Obama solely because he won't let them own portable rocket or missile launchers, what would be the best response?

I'm quite partial to asking, rhetorically of course, "Do you trannies need tax payer subsidized assistance so that doctors can mutilate their genitals and they can falsely say they're now male or female?" or "Do you need a computer to communicate with me right now?" or "Do you need to watch My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic when you're a grown ass man and the only reason grown ass men like that show is because it's mediocre where the previous series made you want to kill yourself or because you have seriously twisted sexual fetishes or both?"

But what would the more dialectic response be that undercuts the logic of his argument? Something like, "Dude, I don't fucking need the President's or anyone else's permission to defend myself and with the best possible means I can get my hands on, whether the US government or anyone else agrees or not. In fact, it's the President's and US Governments duties to DEFEND the rights of its citizenry and not restrict them in any fashion. That's kind of what makes the US Government unique and is supposed to keep the US from devolving into a European style system of government which is all about power struggles and those in power imposing their will with a bunch of do's and do nots. If you hate this factoid about American so much and want American to further be Europianized in this fashion, don't be surprised if once Conservatives get into office, they make a law where all Bronies are rounded up on the suspicion of being child molesters, fag supporters, and just downright sexual deviants without due process as a way of getting even and please, move to Europe so you can experience what you want in the here and now, along with Muslim invaders who are going to do much worse things to you than a second amendment proponent would ever dream of once they reach a critical mass of bodies."

Anonymous MrGreenMan May 24, 2015 12:32 PM  

@Emmanuel Mateo-Morales

They surely have something that they have hyper-personalized as a symbol - whether it's the nice car, the nice house, or, even for an ascetic, the symbolic demands of having to have the pedigree on whether the cows were consulted and consented freely by hoof print on the giving of the milk. So many things leftists do - like driving a Prius - is an in-group symbol.

When they found the body in the British peat bog with a steel collar on its neck, unarmed, they knew it was a slave. When they found the ice man in the alps with a nice array of weapons, they knew he was a free man. Having the best weapons you can afford is an in-group symbol to the group of free men.

Anonymous Roundtine May 24, 2015 12:33 PM  

They only wish that this was the place under a rock. It's more that they are fish in the ocean, flopping up into a boat or on to land, immediately being triggered, unable to breathe, near blackout, back down into the water they go.

Anonymous MrGreenMan May 24, 2015 12:33 PM  

(And, of course, I mean our modern eco-warrior, locavore pretending to be an ascetic, driving the fixed-gear bike, etc.)

Anonymous Susan May 24, 2015 12:41 PM  

I love how the worm is turning on the SJW's. Keep it up Vox, I learn so much valuable information about what exactly is going on with these people from reading your blog.

Now I see Breitbart has an article posted this weekend about a prosecutor for Ohio calling out Brianna Wu on wasting legal resources regarding supposed death threats.

They are claiming that Wu never filed any reports or complaints regarding threats made against it before going to Mary Sue and publishing an article about it all. Your efforts are being felt, even if the MSM is still refusing to acknowledge most of the efforts.

Speaking of Wu, that is one fugly tranny. It was a shock to my sensibilities to see that photo if the tranny before having my coffee this morning.

Anonymous Anonimo May 24, 2015 12:43 PM  

2.The readers here are not "whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers" and I am no one's god.

Awww, are Josh and Daniel no longer posting here?

Anonymous BigGaySteve May 24, 2015 12:54 PM  

I often tell people that its easier to remember just one version of events especially if that version is based on reality.

And all that havoc was triggered by a single blog post. Imagine what might happen if I actually put any effort into it.

Concepts leftists never understand are cause/effect, consequences, & diminishing returns. Not understanding diminishing returns leads them to overreact to posts like this and think throwing money at black/Hispanic majority schools will work better than it did in Kansas City.

not voting for Obama solely because he won't let them own portable rocket or missile launchers, what would be the best response?
Tell him the only people you know still willing to admit they voted for bath house Barry are racists who knew Barry would kill the race card by overusing it. What really gets leftists upset is when they cry about him being called bath house Barry and I show them the gay ring I have on. This gay Chicongo reporter has covered political deals made in the bath houses: http://hillbuzz.org/extreme-black-anger-in-chicago-at-obama-he-done-did-it-he-ruined-it-for-us-white-people-dont-feel-guilty-no-more-and-wont-do-stuff-for-us-now-64493
Remember you are not going to convince them but making them freak out while you are calm will convince others. Anonymous Conservative blog tells you how to push the leftists buttons. http://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/

Speaking of Wu, that is one fugly tranny There are not many pretty ones I was in San Antonio the same time as Ru Paul and Dennis Rodman

Anonymous Rolf May 24, 2015 12:55 PM  

Emanual - simply call it a strawman argument and dismiss it. More specifically, he's assigning a small minority radical fringe belief to a much larger group generally. Ask if he'd like to be lumped in with the pro-abortionists that would like to allow infanticide (post-birth abortions), or limit the discussion to "reasonableness" of abortions in the first trimester. Or, if you know any other hot-button issues for them, pisk any other issue's extreme position and ask if he'd like being publicly assigned to being an active supporter. Then bring the discussion back around to easily single-man/woman-portable weapons suitable for self defense, fending off an invading army as a part of the militia (you know, that pesky first part of Amendment II), hunting, recreation, or overthrowing an oppressive government.

Alternately, ask them to define terms: what specific aspect of a gun makes it "unreasonable?" High accuracy? (sniper/hunting) Low accuracy? (most handguns) etc. Then point out all the obvious contradictions and problems that flow from them. AR-15s are great for home defense, especially for women, smaller people, and the handicapped. Why doesn't he like those people? If guns are evil, why do cops have them, when they are clearly NOT angles?

Blogger Josh May 24, 2015 12:56 PM  

Awww, are Josh and Daniel no longer posting here?

I'll be your huckleberry...

Blogger Josh May 24, 2015 12:57 PM  

If guns are evil, why do cops have them, when they are clearly NOT angles?

Point of order, most cops are obtuse.

Blogger Dexter May 24, 2015 12:58 PM  

Vox Day -- simultaneously the evil mastermind who rigs elections and controls a horde of right-wing neanderthals, and a stupid, insecure little shit whose few idiotic followers are in total disarray.

He's the man the Left loves to hate.

In short, he is the Dubya Bush of science fiction...

Anonymous clk May 24, 2015 12:58 PM  

How about Cruelity Satirist....

Blogger tihald May 24, 2015 1:03 PM  

Vox isn't hard to understand. He does not take shit, nor does he give a shit. He is not in the shit business. His hobby is the bitch slap business. He loves his hobby and is quiet proficient at it. And we "whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers" enjoy watching a master at work.

Anonymous koan May 24, 2015 1:06 PM  

For the record, was it Ken or Patrick or the anti-depressents who were talking shit about John C. Wright over at Popehat?

It was a cunt move either way, but par for the course over at Popehat.

Blogger Jim May 24, 2015 1:10 PM  

@Emmanuel Mateo-Morales

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in the fight against SJWism, Bronies are on our side. As is the show.

Anonymous Dr. J May 24, 2015 1:14 PM  

I commend you for wading into the sewage-filled quagmire of SJWs in Sci-Fi. You're showing the right how to begin cleaning the mountains of rabbit pellets that have accumulated in every corner of the culture wars. One can hope that the SJW high water mark has come and gone - peaking with the gay mafia triumphs.

Blogger David-093 May 24, 2015 1:15 PM  

"Imagine what might happen if I actually put any effort into it."

This isnt even my final form!

Blogger tihald May 24, 2015 1:19 PM  

Jim if ... in the fight against SJWism, Bronies are on our side is true then the SJW's must be ready to paraphrase LBJ "If we've lost the Bronies, we've lost Fandom."

Blogger Nate May 24, 2015 1:19 PM  

its hilarious that they cannot fathom that sane happy people would disagree with them. In order to account for disagreement they must project all manner of sadness and brokeness upon us.

Because... after all... they equate happiness with acceptance.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 24, 2015 1:20 PM  

I come to this blog because it offers a glimpse at the leading edge of a wave that constitutes a natural reversal of the collectivist nonsense that dominated the trend of the past 100-150 years.

Are some of the people who like this blog angry? Yes, of course. Who would not be angry when living through the apogee of being told that they are bad, their very thoughts evil, simply for being able, productive and restrained?

This blog and a few others reflect a rising tide of conscience finally coming out of the dark to where it was driven by collectivist hive-minds. The last time something like this occurred it became known as The Enlightenment, and that light was driven into darkness by those who enjoyed its fruits without knowing from where they arose.

It's exciting to see this sort of thing occur in real time instead of reading about what some leftist scholar edited about the last one.

Anonymous Rolf May 24, 2015 1:24 PM  

Josh - awww... What acute joke you made...

(Dang lesdyxia)

Blogger HickoryHammer #0211 May 24, 2015 1:31 PM  

Clark, I appreciate your description of Vox as a performance artist; it gives me a bit better perspective on his schtick.

Wrong, Vox is committed to his beliefs, which were constructed through rigorous applications of logic and observed truth. If they think it's all delivered with too much flair, they can just go be jealous about in private.

the god of the whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers that inhabit its nether-regions

The language of Zero T Eunuchs and unloved feminist shrikes.

Anonymous fish May 24, 2015 1:33 PM  

Oh look.....poor troubled Andrew is back!

alauda May 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm
To be honest, though, his wring is inept and Psykosonik is bland.


I thought they had put Andrew in "Chastity Gloves" to prevent further internet related unpleasantness.

Blogger Dexter May 24, 2015 1:33 PM  

its hilarious that they cannot fathom that sane happy people would disagree with them.

Anyone who opposes Goodthink must be unhappy, crazy, stupid, and evil! Everyone knows that.

Anonymous Peter #0231 May 24, 2015 1:40 PM  

Instapundit has linked to this, and here is one of the comments there:

"Popehat is a really good blog with really bad commenters."

One might have an issue with the first part, but the last part is clearly true.

Blogger Jim May 24, 2015 1:40 PM  

tihald: Don't know if that's true. Bronies are defined as men who like a little girl's show. If you think about it, the fact that a woman cannot be a Brony by definition means that SJWs are the natural enemies of Bronies. I think the conflict between the two predates even the first SP campaign, let alone #Gamergate. But from the current state of the show (that link is from the opening of the newest season), the Bronies have been winning.

Blogger JACIII May 24, 2015 2:17 PM  

The very idea that anyone would hold to put group opinions after being shown what the in group opinion is indicates to them a problematic personality. The Freudian bullshit flows from there.

Blogger JACIII May 24, 2015 2:18 PM  

Out group.

Anonymous Dan May 24, 2015 2:19 PM  

"My attack on Vox Day's anti-scientific nonsense is from the perspective of a biologist btw. I've seen a lot of anti-scientific nonsense over the years and I'm somewhat familiar with Vox Day's creationist arguments"

This intellectual halfwits are ferocious enforcers of liberal creationism. If that means excommunicating the discoverer of DNA and greatest living biologist, no problem.

Here's a liberal explaining liberal creationism.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/features/2007/created_equal/liberalcreationism.html

Anonymous Erik May 24, 2015 2:20 PM  

FWIW, the female counterparts/equivalents of bronies are "pegasisters".

Anonymous dr. rational May 24, 2015 2:22 PM  

speaking of shit-for-brains cathlolics....
CATHOLICS ORGANIZE TO PROMOTE POPE'S 'CLIMATE CHANGE' MESSAGE... drudge.tw/1PFP6ff

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 2:28 PM  

He's positioned himself in a pseudo-intellectual gaping hole and become the god of the whiny, sniveling mysogynistic mouth-breathers that inhabit its nether-regions.

I'd like to point out that I am a misanthrope, not a misogynist.

Blogger Jack Ward May 24, 2015 2:34 PM  

tihald May 24, 2015 1:03 PM

second everything you said.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 24, 2015 2:43 PM  

FWIW, the female counterparts/equivalents of bronies are "pegasisters".

That has... unfortunate... implications for the bronies.

Blogger Feather Blade May 24, 2015 3:01 PM  

I'd like to point out that I am a misanthrope, not a misogynist.

It's all Greek to them ^_^

Blogger guest May 24, 2015 3:29 PM  

Gunnar cannot prove evolution by way of the scientific method. That's just silly nonsense. Maybe she is just young, and hasn't been taught how to think. Hopefully, she will develop that skill. She can develop it very quickly, if she is willing to debate facts herself, rather than just link people to other websites who state her beliefs.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 3:43 PM  

It is strange to me how bad people are at recognizing when they are dealing with someone who is working under a completely different epistemology and set of premises than they are. Inconsistency is in no way the problem with Vox; the problem is that he has an entirely self-consistent worldview that's based on monstrous premises.

Notably, I suspect that one need only change the word "Vox" to "Phil" in that paragraph to get something that he would consider a true statement.

(That said, and in a pragmatic sense that is, I suspect, independent from our generally incompatible epistemologies, I think Vox is wildly overstating the predictive capacity of IQ tests.)

Blogger Daniel May 24, 2015 3:45 PM  

It is increasingly difficult to respect the expertise in general. You will get more direct hits by assuming error and letting them prove otherwise.

With the abandonment of cultural humility comes an increase in error.

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 3:50 PM  

VD,

From one sigma to another...

Clark's courage in standing up to his own readers and his fellow Popehatters merits some recognition on your part.

Good men are hard to find.

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 3:51 PM  

Daniel,

"With the abandonment of cultural humility comes an increase in error."

Exactly so.

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 3:54 PM  

"he has an entirely self-consistent worldview that's based on monstrous premises"

Truth is never monstrous, however beastly.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 3:57 PM  

Perhaps the rhetorical flourish of "monstrous" obscured my point. Let me be clearer.

I think his premises are wrong, but recognize that arguments over axioms are ultimately pointless. As Richard Rorty memorably put it, "time will tell, but epistemology won't."

Anonymous Peter May 24, 2015 3:59 PM  

"he has an entirely self-consistent worldview that's based on monstrous premises"

trans: "I have no idea what he's talking about, but others say he's bad, so I do, too."

Blogger Danby May 24, 2015 4:06 PM  

@Phillip
I think his premises are wrong, but recognize that arguments over axioms are ultimately pointless. As Richard Rorty memorably put it, "time will tell, but epistemology won't."

Please specify; what are those wrong premises?
You've said it twice, but I doubt you can actually explicate any of Vox' premises, especially any that are wrong or "monstrous."

Blogger Dexter May 24, 2015 4:06 PM  

the problem is that he has an entirely self-consistent worldview that's based on monstrous premises.

Notably, I suspect that one need only change the word "Vox" to "Phil" in that paragraph to get something that he would consider a true statement.


No. The SJW worldview is certainly monstrous, but it is not internally consistent.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:08 PM  

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find an instance where I've failed to understand what Vox is talking about, Peter.

Blogger Daniel May 24, 2015 4:13 PM  

It is increasingly difficult to respect the expertise in general. You will get more direct hits by assuming error and letting them prove otherwise.

With the abandonment of cultural humility comes an increase in error.

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 4:16 PM  

Inconsistency is in no way the problem with Vox; the problem is that he has an entirely self-consistent worldview that's based on monstrous premises.

My socialist economics professors and I always got along very well, because we mutually recognized that our differences were axiomatic in nature. Their reasoning from those premises was generally correct, as was mine. Of course, I was right and they were wrong, as most of them would readily admit now.

trans: "I have no idea what he's talking about, but others say he's bad, so I do, too."

No, Phil understands that my arguments are not flawed. And he's appealing to the proper method of adjudication of axiomatic differences: time. Where he is clearly wrong is that he fails to recognize that time is already demonstrating my axioms to be correct and his to be false. But that's merely a failure of observation, and most people are not in my league when it comes to pattern recognition.

I think Vox is wildly overstating the predictive capacity of IQ tests.

I have never met a highly intelligent person who didn't do well on them, although I have met a few functionally stupid people who scored highly. I think they are more likely to overrate a good test taker than fail to indicate someone with high intelligence. That being said, I have always said that the proof of genius is accomplishment, not test scores.

I'm no genius and I can explain why I'm not. I've missed too many things that, in retrospect, should have been obvious.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:17 PM  

Dexter - I can't speak for other SJWs, but I'm confident in my own internal consistency. Feel free to interrogate it at your leisure.

Danby - The premise of Vox's that I'd most emphatically reject is the his belief in the supremacy, moral and otherwise, of his god. Which also illustrates the pointlessness of trying to slug it out over axioms: my rejection of his god is based on a notion of faith and spiritual experience every bit as certain to me as I expect his faith is to him. (I am, to be clear, in no way an atheist. I absolutely believe in god, or, more accurately, in gods. I even believe in his god. I just think his god is a petty tyrant who should be overthrown.)

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 4:20 PM  

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find an instance where I've failed to understand what Vox is talking about, Peter.

No, but in your extensive paper on me, you made a number of rather spectacular blunders that indicate you don't understand my motivations, objectives, purposes, and insights. I think you can follow along well enough, which is great, but you quite clearly can't see a number of the things that I do.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:20 PM  

No, Phil understands that my arguments are not flawed. And he's appealing to the proper method of adjudication of axiomatic differences: time. Where he is clearly wrong is that he fails to recognize that time is already demonstrating my axioms to be correct and his to be false. But that's merely a failure of observation, and most people are not in my league when it comes to pattern recognition. (Hopefully that's how you do bold text in this comment form...)

Less, I think, a failure of observation and skill at pattern recognition and more that I'm not a logical positivist in the first place, and thus wary of pattern recognition due to its susceptibility to confirmation bias.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:21 PM  

No, but in your extensive paper on me, you made a number of rather spectacular blunders that indicate you don't understand my motivations, objectives, purposes, and insights. I think you can follow along well enough, which is great, but you quite clearly can't see a number of the things that I do.

The one where I openly admitted to sketching a caricature of you? :)

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 4:27 PM  

The one where I openly admitted to sketching a caricature of you? :)

Yes, exactly. But it's all I have to go on, and a fair number of SJWs took it quite literally. Or at least pretended to.

Blogger D. Lane (#0067) May 24, 2015 4:33 PM  

I am, to be clear, in no way an atheist. I absolutely believe in god, or, more accurately, in gods. I even believe in his god. I just think his god is a petty tyrant who should be overthrown.

How exactly does one believe in something one disbelieves:

"The premise of Vox's that I'd most emphatically reject is the his belief in the supremacy, moral and otherwise, of his god."

I've always found it fascinating how polytheists can sincerely acknowledge the existence of multiple gods while simultaneously rejecting the fundamental characteristics that define them. It's like professing a belief in Santa and immediately identifying him as a scrooge.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:36 PM  

I no more take blame for any of my readers who take a self-professed caricature literally than you do for any of yours who can't recognize an epistemological argument when they see one.

(That said, prepping for our interview and reading your work further has made it so that there are a handful of things I'd do slightly differently were I writing the piece again. Most notably, I think I assumed the Hugos themselves were a bigger priority for you than they were. And I suspect a more careful tracing of the history of the Puppies movement that was precise about exactly where and how you entered the story would have improved the piece, inasmuch as the piece could possibly have been improved by being even longer.)

Anonymous Steve May 24, 2015 4:37 PM  

Philip, are you a professional quote maker? Because that was euphoric as fuck.

Blogger Danby May 24, 2015 4:40 PM  

@D. Lane
I think that he is using a different definition of "believe in" than you or I would.

@Phillip
So, the Christian God is a monstrous tyrant.
Now we get down to it. You hate Christ. That's all this petty acting out is about. You hate Christ.

Paul had your type down to rights.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:41 PM  

How exactly does one believe in something one disbelieves:

"The premise of Vox's that I'd most emphatically reject is the his belief in the supremacy, moral and otherwise, of his god."

I've always found it fascinating how polytheists can sincerely acknowledge the existence of multiple gods while simultaneously rejecting the fundamental characteristics that define them. It's like professing a belief in Santa and immediately identifying him as a scrooge.


Noting explicitly that I'm working in analogy here, and that the analogy has limits that can be exposed by stretching it further than it's useful...

My thoughts on gods is that they are not unlike heads of state. They exist. They have, in a real sense, power. They have various stories they tell to explain and legitimize their power.

In this analogy, Vox's god rather reminds me of Kim Jong-un.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 4:48 PM  

I recognize that it's a distinction without difference to many people here, but I would nevertheless distinguish between "you hate Christ" or "the Christian God is a monstrous tyrant" and "Vox's god is a monstrous tyrant," simply on the grounds that there are numerous people who describe themselves as Christian and who worship gods I do not think are monstrous, petty tyrants.

I, for instance, do not think the god worshiped by Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, to be monstrous. Nor the one believed in by William Blake. And so the general case statement that I hate Christ or the Christian god is, I think, misleading.

As I said, I recognize it's a distinction without difference for many. Nevertheless, the lack of precision involved seems to me likely to engender misunderstandings.

Anonymous fast forward May 24, 2015 4:50 PM  

so... Phil is a faggot, correct?

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 4:59 PM  

I no more take blame for any of my readers who take a self-professed caricature literally than you do for any of yours who can't recognize an epistemological argument when they see one.

Granted. As I expect you've noted, I took no offense at it nor saw any need to respond to it.

Blogger Danby May 24, 2015 4:59 PM  

@Phillip
I, for instance, do not think the god worshiped by Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, to be monstrous.

I for instance do not consider the god worshiped by Rowan Williams to have anything in particular to do with Christianity. No the one believed in by William Blake.

Yes, you hate Christ. You hate Him because he is calling you out.

@fast forward
Probably not, but he does have an Encylcopaedia Dramatica article.

Blogger Cail Corishev May 24, 2015 5:00 PM  

Now we get down to it. You hate Christ.

Combine that with his overly cutesy, self-satisfied way of dancing around things, and is there anyone more boring? I'll pass on any interview. Obviously Vox will take him apart, but I can beat up my dog -- that doesn't mean it will be interesting or entertaining.

Anonymous Steve May 24, 2015 5:01 PM  

Fast Forward - Phil is a faggot, correct?

Eh... He's a Wikipedia editor, male feminist, self-admitted SJW, and has a Patreon (lol)...

So I'm guessing Philip's sexual orientation may be academic.

Blogger D. Lane (#0067) May 24, 2015 5:05 PM  

My thoughts on gods is that they are not unlike heads of state. They exist. They have, in a real sense, power. They have various stories they tell to explain and legitimize their power.

Hence my fascination with the viewpoint. It seems to me that you do not believe in gods as many here would be inclined to define them (as actual beings), but rather as cultural deities (useful fictions) that, while imaginary, exert influence on real world through their narratives.

Is this correct?

Blogger Eric May 24, 2015 5:05 PM  

This is not a fair fight. Didn't Popehat ever hear, "don't tug on Superman's cape?"

Anonymous MendoScot May 24, 2015 5:05 PM  

"time will tell, but epistemology won't."

Very good Phlipa, now have a sardine.

Enjoy.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 5:14 PM  

D. Lane - I think there are a lot of assumptions behind your question that I would reject, most particularly the phrasing "exert influence on real world through their narratives."

But if you're trying to describe something like Alan Moore's claim that "the one place gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity," then yes, you are accurately characterizing my position. But again, there's a bunch of other premises that go along with that, many of them, I am quite sure, distasteful to you.

Anonymous Tom May 24, 2015 5:16 PM  

For the purposes of a novel I'm writing, I was wondering if a certain change to the world would result in people who hold beliefs like Philip's. I didn't know anyone in this world actually already held those beliefs. Thanks Phil!

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't say, Phil, you should repent because the end is neigh. That "tyrant" isn't petty and He's coming like a thief in the night to separate the wheat from the chaff.

(Can you imagine someone breaking into a barn to actually thresh the grain inside in the middle of the night? Great mix metaphor I think.)

Anonymous Max May 24, 2015 5:28 PM  

"My attack on Vox Day's anti-scientific nonsense is from the perspective of a biologist btw."

Biology is racist.

DISQUALIFIED

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 5:28 PM  

For what it's worth, I am at peace with the possibility. If the all-powerful god that you describe exists, I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

Blogger D. Lane (#0067) May 24, 2015 5:29 PM  

I think there are a lot of assumptions behind your question that I would reject, most particularly the phrasing "exert influence on real world through their narratives."

Let's do away with all assumptions on my end.

You have expressed a polytheistic worldview. According to that view, what is a god? Define it -- that's all I'm after.

Blogger Danby May 24, 2015 5:31 PM  

I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

I'll bet you think that sounds brave and adult and principled.
It sounds like a 4-year-old shrieking "It Ain't Fair!!!"

Blogger Dexter May 24, 2015 5:34 PM  

I, for instance, do not think the god worshiped by Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, to be monstrous.

Like you, he does not worship the Christian God.

What he worships, if anything, is Leftism wrapped in the trappings of Christianity.

So you both worship something that in your opinion, is not monstrous (though the actual practice of Leftism strongly argues otherwise), but is nevertheless false.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 5:38 PM  

Danby - To be honest, I hadn't really thought about how it would sound to you beyond "he probably won't much like it."

D. Lane - Must dash for the moment, but will wander back with a definition as best I can... although I admit, it's the sort of question one spends one's life on the nuances of.

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 5:39 PM  

If the all-powerful god that you describe exists, I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

How does that make any sense at all? Would you walk onto a football field and deny the referee's right to penalize you, or the commissioner's right to punish you?

Do you reject your own moral authority in the fiction you write?

Blogger kh123 May 24, 2015 5:42 PM  

Tom gets it. Commentators have been asking for a more interesting troll for awhile now since Hotwheels Marston was forced into kid gloves. For whatever intellectual snakery, Phil seems to be able to turn a phrase better than most all of the drive-bys or dedicated stalkers, at least for the past few posts.

Blogger Danby May 24, 2015 5:46 PM  

@Phillip.
I wish I could say that it bothers me that you're damning yourself. One of my besetting sins is a lack of charity. I cannot, at an emotional level, give two tenths of a damn about you.
i do find you sneering smugness annoying, as well as your refusal to think. I was going to say "inability to think" but that has not been demonstrated. You seem a fairly intelligent fellow, yet you let monstrosities of sheer stupid narcissism fall from your lips as though they were some sort of demonstration of your goodness, or morality, or wisdom.

Well, with your wit, I'm sure you'll find your niche somewhere in this world. Maybe writing about television shows or something equallyvapid.

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 5:46 PM  

I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

That seems like you're denying reality.

Blogger kh123 May 24, 2015 5:50 PM  

" 'My attack on Vox Day's anti-scientific nonsense is from the perspective of a biologist btw.'...

[Gunnar] can develop [the ability to think] very quickly, if she is willing to debate facts herself, rather than just link people to other websites who state her beliefs."


Absolutely blindsided by that, an online bio undergrad's linking to talkorigins or palaeos. Never saw that coming.

You'd think folks who immerse themselves in the concept of adaptive responses to environment would at least think of practicing the same, even if a decade's simply the blink of an eye in their world view. Maybe they take the whole concept of "random" a bit too literally in this case.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 6:04 PM  

How does that make any sense at all? Would you walk onto a football field and deny the referee's right to penalize you, or the commissioner's right to punish you?

Do you reject your own moral authority in the fiction you write?


(Answering this as I apparently have ten more minutes than I thought I did - will still come back to "define god.")

Where the analogy falls down for me is that by walking onto a football field I am consciously consenting to the rules of football, whereas I made no such decision when it came to being a consciousness in this universe.

Which is, for me, the crux of it. I refuse to compromise the autonomy of my own consciousness. Whether that consciousness is an illusion constructed out of mere chemicals and electrical impulses or a soul crafted by a singular deity, it is mine now, and I will yield it to nobody.

In another thread, you said:

That's part of the idea. Granted, mistakes will be made. Battles will be lost. But you know what? WE DON'T CARE.

My hero has always been the mouse on the post I saw at Spencer's when I was a kid. A huge hawk is swooping down on him, talons outstretched, but the mouse is standing tall and unafraid, holding up one arm as he brandishes one finger at the bird. The caption is: "The Last Great Act of Defiance".

We may or may not win, we may or may not lose, but we will never submit or surrender.


I feel exactly the same.

Blogger Salt May 24, 2015 6:06 PM  

If the all-powerful god that you describe exists, I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

How does that make any sense at all? Would you walk onto a football field and deny the referee's right to penalize you, or the commissioner's right to punish you?


One can accept the right of the ref to penalize or the commissioner to punish and still spit in their eye. It's an over-blown sense of self; haughty and prideful.

Blogger kh123 May 24, 2015 6:08 PM  

...F*cking hell, it's even worse than talkorigins.

Rational Wiki.

She should've just linked to Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Blogger Danby May 24, 2015 6:09 PM  

"I didn't ask to be born It's NOT FAIR!!!!!"

Blogger D. Lane (#0067) May 24, 2015 6:12 PM  

How does that make any sense at all? Would you walk onto a football field and deny the referee's right to penalize you, or the commissioner's right to punish you?

It makes sense when you change the values. On its own, the statement is as ridiculous as denying physics before attempting to bound the Grand Canyon: "Flying is a matter of will power overcoming gravity. If it is not so, I will humbly eat rocks for the next 4,000ft."

This is insane to anyone who believes objective reality (R) > belief (B). But it is perfectly virtuous if B > R. For us, beliefs must be evaluated and deemed right or wrong as they agree with observable reality. For philosophical canyon bounders, submission to an undesirable reality is far worse than subscription to a well-intentioned but ultimately erroneous belief. Survival, or being objectively correct, isn't important. What's important is embracing an accommodating belief system.

TL;DR - Feels, bro.

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 6:16 PM  

Where the analogy falls down for me is that by walking onto a football field I am consciously consenting to the rules of football, whereas I made no such decision when it came to being a consciousness in this universe.

Doesn't matter. You're bound by the rules of the game you find yourself in, consent or no. You may say that you didn't consent to the rules of the socio-sexual hierarchy but your success with the opposite sex is determined by those rules. Likewise, you can claim you did not consent to be born but you're bound by the rules of the universe, physical, spiritual, and other.

Denying reality and insisting that your lies are more important than the truth is a symptom a particular type of person we're all acquainted with.

Anonymous Anon1 May 24, 2015 6:16 PM  

SPOILER ALERT.... Phil moves the goalposts, attempts to disqualify, declares victory and blocks on Twitter. I saw this movie already, boring shit.

Anonymous droppedwithoutaparachute May 24, 2015 6:19 PM  

NOT FAIR I DIDN'T CONSENT TO GRAVITY!

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 6:20 PM  

Where the analogy falls down for me is that by walking onto a football field I am consciously consenting to the rules of football, whereas I made no such decision when it came to being a consciousness in this universe.

But that's irrelevant. It's not about you. It's about the moral authority of the creator. Whether you walk onto the field or not, the moral authority of the referee or the league commissioner remains the same.

Whether you were born or not, the Creator God's moral authority remains the same. Reality does not require consent. Your position, as expressed so far, is solipsistic and illogical.

Anonymous Darth Vader May 24, 2015 6:22 PM  

I deny George Lucas' authority to kill me off in Return of the Jedi.

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 6:24 PM  

I deny George Lucas' authority to kill me off in Return of the Jedi.

I'm sure you'll be back in the reboot films.

Blogger Jim May 24, 2015 6:27 PM  

I deny George Lucas' authority to kill me off in Return of the Jedi.

Disney owns the rights to you now, bub. Be happy you're dead and pray they do not alter the deal.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 6:30 PM  

But that's irrelevant. It's not about you. It's about the moral authority of the creator. Whether you walk onto the field or not, the moral authority of the referee or the league commissioner remains the same.

Whether you were born or not, the Creator God's moral authority remains the same. Reality does not require consent. Your position, as expressed so far, is solipsistic and illogical.


My best guess as to the premise we differ on is whether or not being the creator is a claim to absolute moral authority. I don't think that it is.

I'll cop to solipsism though.

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 6:31 PM  


My best guess as to the premise we differ on is whether or not being the creator is a claim to absolute moral authority. I don't think that it is.


Let's back it up then. Do you believe in the existence of absolute moral authority?

Blogger Salt May 24, 2015 6:32 PM  

1) I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

2) I refuse to compromise the autonomy of my own consciousness


Many call autonomy of consciousness free will, and you're free to deny his moral authority, but autonomy of consciousness has zero to do with what constitutes his moral authority.

Anonymous Darth Vader May 24, 2015 6:34 PM  

I deny George Lucas' authority to make me not gay. I want to be gay and loved, by everyone!!

Anonymous Steve May 24, 2015 6:36 PM  

BTW, fish mentioned Psykosonik.

Had a listen on Youtube. I'm not really into techno, but I'm at the age where early 90's Orbital / Chemical Brothers type stuff triggers muh nostalgia of blagging my way into nightclubs and tonguing slutty nursing students and girls with eyebrow piercings.

Love the electronic sound and trippy computer generated graphics, it's very reminiscent of the Amiga demo scene. Hard to believe they were an American band, the sound and aesthetic is very Euro.

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 6:40 PM  

I deny George Lucas' authority to make me not gay. I want to be gay and loved, by everyone!!

I thought you were! Padme isn't a dude? Rip-off!

Anonymous Darth Vader May 24, 2015 6:44 PM  

If George Lucas was real, I'd have a white wedding at the end of ROTJ. I'd marry Lando and Luke would bake me a wedding cake. And Han would be dead.

Blogger Hermit May 24, 2015 6:45 PM  

What these people fail to realize is that THEY are the crazy extremists.
On our side it's just normal people supporting the old values and wisdom that supported our civilization for centuries.
They are so far away from truth that their mind can't even understand anymore how we think and what our motivation are: they can only see us as illogical monster.

As Saint Antony the Great said: “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, 'You are mad; you are not like us.”
It took a bit but we are probably living in that time.

Blogger Jim May 24, 2015 6:46 PM  

I thought you were! Padme isn't a dude? Rip-off!

Padme's a beard. Palpatine, meanwhile...

Anonymous Steve May 24, 2015 6:51 PM  

Harsh - You've got to hand it to Lucas. It took a certain evil genius to make 20 year old Natalie Portman look unattractive, but then George had the brilliant idea of smearing her pretty face in clown makeup, like she was a transsexual space geisha.

Also, finding out that young Darth Vader was a whiny little bitch. Thanks, Lucas!

The only bright spot in the prequels was seeing octogenarian Christopher Lee - the coolest old man of all time - fight a muppet with a laser-sword.

I can't wait to see 72 year old Harrison Ford getting frozen into a block of geritol-ite. Or forgetting what film he's in and telling some Imperial Stormtroopers that a one-armed man did it.

Blogger V May 24, 2015 7:06 PM  

Little late to the party on this one. I've been a minor ilk for quite awhile and have been a contented reader of Popehat. Hadn't really noticed any of rabbitness till now and I find it weird and off putting. Just don't see why their panties need to be in a twist. FWIW, I got my degree in chemistry but am certainly no super genius. But I can can "pick up" what Vox is "laying down" and it doesn't freak me out. I can only guess that Hard Scientist > Lawyers and Biologists. FWIW.

Blogger VD May 24, 2015 7:16 PM  

Hadn't really noticed any of rabbitness till now and I find it weird and off putting. Just don't see why their panties need to be in a twist.

Those who believe in DISQUALIFY are freaked out because they found out how easily one of their leaders can be disqualified. The fact that I said I wouldn't hesitate to use that fact - not to disqualify, of course, but simply for conventional rhetoric - was very disturbing to them.

Ergo, the panties, they are twisted.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 7:38 PM  

Let's back it up then. Do you believe in the existence of absolute moral authority?

Yes. I consider it a necessary and logical consequence of consciousness, much like absolute aesthetic authority.

Anonymous Nathan May 24, 2015 7:49 PM  

Philip, since authority must reside in a being to be exercised, what disqualifies a person from using that moral authority?

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 7:57 PM  

As for defining god, as I said, it's the sort of question one spends a lifetime working the nuances of. But some broad strokes, a consciousness existing outside of linear time with the ability to affect the material world.

Blogger aut0x3ematthew May 24, 2015 8:02 PM  

"As for defining god, as I said, it's the sort of question one spends a lifetime working the nuances of."

Sloth.

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 8:05 PM  

As for defining god, as I said, it's the sort of question one spends a lifetime working the nuances of. But some broad strokes, a consciousness existing outside of linear time with the ability to affect the material world.

Now you're just descending into simple sophistry.

Anonymous Nathan May 24, 2015 8:15 PM  

"As for defining god, as I said, it's the sort of question one spends a lifetime working the nuances of. But some broad strokes, a consciousness existing outside of linear time with the ability to affect the material world."

Assuming you were responding to me, that's not what I asked. Earlier, you said "I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority." I'm asking, in your view, what actions or standard would forfeit a being's claims to moral authority.

Blogger aut0x3ematthew May 24, 2015 8:16 PM  

Harsh: "Now you're just descending into simple sophistry."

He spells his name WOL.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 8:23 PM  

Nathan - No, I was answering a much earlier question.

The answer to your question is that I view moral authority in terms of absolute principles, not as something possessed by individual entities.

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 8:23 PM  

"I, for instance, do not think the god worshiped by Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, to be monstrous. Nor the one believed in by William Blake."

Blake himself would take issue with that.

Blogger Philip Sandifer May 24, 2015 8:27 PM  

Fair enough. Add the caveat "at least in any pejorative sense" to the phrase as applied to Blake.

Anonymous Nathan May 24, 2015 8:30 PM  

"The answer to your question is that I view moral authority in terms of absolute principles, not as something possessed by individual entities."

Then how is that authority exercised?

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 8:38 PM  

"The premise of Vox's that I'd most emphatically reject is the his belief in the supremacy, moral and otherwise, of his god."

"As I said, I recognize it's a distinction without difference for many."

It is, however, a distinction that leads you to misstate, and one can fairly assume, to misunderstand, Vox's premise. God is not Vox's; Vox, and you and I, are God's. The gods of which you speak are conceptually distinct from the God of Vox's premise.

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 8:39 PM  

"Add the caveat 'at least in any pejorative sense' to the phrase as applied to Blake."

One might as well drink non-alcoholic whiskey.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales May 24, 2015 8:40 PM  

@Jim

Ummm... no, they aren't. That 'hypothetical' was actually from a brony and his buddy on fimfiction on a thread discussing the Hadjis attack in Garland, which I used to go to back when I was Brony and couldn't see that, at best, the show was medicore in general, though by the standards of little girls tv shows, only slightly above average, and LIGHTYEARS ahead of the last MLP series.

Blogger aut0x3ematthew May 24, 2015 8:52 PM  

"back when I was Brony"

Noted.

Blogger Harsh May 24, 2015 8:58 PM  

God is not Vox's; Vox, and you and I, are God's.

A point our friend Phil will no doubt avoid to answer. What happens when he's faced with the reality of a moral authority that he can't avoid?

Anonymous tiarosa May 24, 2015 9:02 PM  

No doubt I'm repeating, but . .

Projection. That's most of what they do.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales May 24, 2015 9:04 PM  

@aut0x3ematthew

Was that supposed to mean something?

Blogger Cail Corishev May 24, 2015 9:06 PM  

Then how is that authority exercised?

Don'tcha know, the best kind of moral authority is the one that's never exercised.

Anonymous zen0 May 24, 2015 9:19 PM  

@ Philip Sandifer

The answer to your question is that I view moral authority in terms of absolute principles, not as something possessed by individual entities.

Therefore, you are, by your own admission, unqualified to judge what those absolute principles are, and therefore have no ability to wield them, without causing untold damage through your ignorant incompetence.

Blogger wrf3 May 24, 2015 9:21 PM  

Philip Sandifer wrote: I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

This seems to be very inconsistent. If you accept your damnation it is because you accept His moral authority to damn you. If you really deny His moral authority, it seems that you would complain about His judgement for all time.

My best guess as to the premise we differ on is whether or not being the creator is a claim to absolute moral authority. I don't think that it is.

Does absolute moral authority exist? If so, where does it reside? If it resides in the individual, thenI will argue that my moral authority supersedes your moral authority, You will argue that your moral authority supersedes my moral authority, That way lies madness. So, since you deny that absolute moral authority resides in the ultimate Creator, then it seems you have to hold that there is a moral authority that exists apart from God and man, to which both God and man must submit. But how can that be, if nothing exists apart from the Christian God?

Blogger Desiderius May 24, 2015 9:52 PM  

zen0,

"The answer to your question is that I view moral authority in terms of absolute principles, not as something possessed by individual entities.

Therefore, you are, by your own admission, unqualified to judge what those absolute principles are, and therefore have no ability to wield them, without causing untold damage through your ignorant incompetence."

He could conceivably understand them (to the best of his abilities) without possessing them (to wield over others, say) himself.

If things go poorly for him here, he can always fall back on Tillich's "God is not a being, God is being itself," which is at least consistent with his distaste for individual entities getting all uppity. But then he's left trying to make sense of Tillich, at which point giving up and joining the ilk begins to look appealing.

Anonymous BigGaySteve May 24, 2015 9:55 PM  

I saw somewhere that my little pony is like crack for the autistic. That the show is basically everything that they don't understand about socializing.

I think Vox is wildly overstating the predictive capacity of IQ tests.

Life is an IQ test. That's why affirmative action token government workers who earn over 6 figures are still too stupid to not screw up mortgages, as seen in the DC suburb, but a white garbage man is not.

Desiderius .- Good men are hard to find.

I can verify that when I was in Miami and DC I couldn't find a single gay guy that didn't do drugs.

I will accept my damnation and go to hell still denying his moral authority.

He thinks hell will be one big party with all the gays that died before HIV was manageable. Phil there are churches that accept gays. MCC is like brunch with lots of signing. hardly any message and there is the Temple of the bacon eating GRINDR Rabbi.

Darth Vader 6:34 PM I deny George Lucas' authority to make me not gay. I want to be gay and loved, by everyone!!

You can be a slut but not actually loved. My people can be catty.

Blogger cavalier973 May 24, 2015 10:41 PM  

What will be interesting (though sad) will be watching those who now claim they're going to flip God the bird when they meet Him instead find themselves willingly and joyously give God the full-throated praise of which He is worthy. Just before they are eternally cast from His presence to wallow in the torment of their own shame over their unbelief.

Blogger Jim May 24, 2015 11:05 PM  

@ Emmanuel Mateo-Morales

And? Your hypothetical doesn't show what you think it does. Those two may be leftists. They may have an irrational fear of conservatives. "Conservaphobia," if you will. That's still different than being an SJW. There's a chart out there somewhere of the political leanings of the major #Gamergate personalities; it skews heavily towards the left despite the fact that it's constantly labeled "conservative." I expect quite a few of them would think my politics were of the devil. That doesn't make them SJWs.

Internet Aristocrat called my attention to the Brony vs SJW conflict. Yes, for anyone thinking of clicking on it, the case does conform to the Brony stereotype of being creepy sexual deviants. But it also shows that SJWs have it out for them. The idea that "rape culture follows wherever bronies go" is classic SJW. Just swap "bronies" for "men."

That's just the beginning. You can look at the controversy over Derpy, which is an innocent case of fans latching onto an animation error and constructing a character out of that which the show's creators later adopted. SJWs whined and complained over "abelism" and won round one, but pushback brought the character back. Or look at what happened to Ted Anderson, an SJW comic artist who the Brony community got fired for slipping in shots against them in the artwork (by inclusion of OCs of the misandrist SJW-side of the fandom). And as I said, this all culminated in the season 5 premier where the show basically told SJWs to go #$%& themselves. As strange as it is, MLP:FiM is a front in the cultural battlefield just as gaming and science fiction are, and it's a place where anti-SJW forces are winning. Because of Bronies. Politics and bedfellows and all that.

Anonymous PopehatFan May 24, 2015 11:28 PM  

You lose, Theo.

John Scalzi, Science Fiction Writer, Signs $3.4 Million Deal for 13 Books

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
MAY 24, 2015
John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.

Anonymous Nathan May 24, 2015 11:33 PM  

Good for Scalzi. Hope the sales are better than Lock-In. Although 10 books? Larry Correia has 16 under contract...

So which ten writers/franchises do you think he's ripping off now?

Blogger Daniel May 25, 2015 12:14 AM  

Yeah, that is not the contract of a publisher or a writer anticipating growth. That is a longterm midlister compromise, one that is being used as PR to beat the bushes for better selling up and comers.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 12:18 AM  

Perfect example of the drive-by schleps that need to be replaced with a better class.

Anonymous MendoScot May 25, 2015 12:21 AM  

Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the executive editor for Tor, said the decision was an easy one. While Mr. Scalzi has never had a “No. 1 best seller,” he said, “he backlists like crazy.”

“One of the reactions of people reading a John Scalzi novel is that people go out and buy all the other Scalzi novels,” Mr. Nielsen Hayden said.

He said Mr. Scalzi sells “a healthy five-figure number of his books every month,” and that he “hasn’t even begun to reach his full potential audience.”

Science fiction films like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Star Wars” have been considered popular classics for decades, “but there’s a lot of work to be done,” Mr. Scalzi said, in bringing readers to the genre. He said the long-term contract would allow him to continue experimenting with different forms of publishing, including online serialization, a technique he has tried with some success.


Heh. Heh, heh, heh. His full potential audience.

I scent despair in the air.

Blogger Longstreet May 25, 2015 12:24 AM  

You lose, Theo.

John Scalzi, Science Fiction Writer, Signs $3.4 Million Deal for 13 Books

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
MAY 24, 2015
John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.

C'mon, fess up. You were touching yourself as you wrote that weren't you.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 12:26 AM  

"he backdoors like crazy."

Something for the drive-by to enjoy upon their return.

Blogger Longstreet May 25, 2015 12:26 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit May 25, 2015 12:30 AM  

You can be a slut and still not be loved. My people can be catty.

Yep. It's definitely a guy thin. They love the free milk and spit on the poor stud cow.


Reading Mr. Sandifer reminds me again what a skilled charicaturist C. S. Lewis was. I had thought that the academics portrayed in his Space Trilogy were unkind parodies. The lifetime's worth of nuances-! It seems Lewis truly was drawing from life.


You're in a befouled and burning jail, Mr. Sandifer. You set the fire yourself and the fireman is literally killing himself to save you. Please take his hand. No amount of intellectual pride, no sweet "we're all the Right Sort here" blandishments will compensate for the fresh air and sunlight and green hills outside. Joy is waiting for you just outside the prison doors.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit May 25, 2015 12:30 AM  

Gah. Darn autocorrect. "poor stupid cow"

Blogger Longstreet May 25, 2015 12:31 AM  

"he backdoors like crazy."

Something for the drive-by to enjoy upon their return.


Well that explains the dress. Easier access.

Anonymous MendoScot May 25, 2015 12:43 AM  

Reading Mr. Sandifer reminds me again what a skilled charicaturist C. S. Lewis was. I had thought that the academics portrayed in his Space Trilogy were unkind parodies

Phlipa isn't an academic - he doesn't have the capacity.

Vox's beatdown is merely the grinding of a horse fly into the dirt. You have to do it because they just get back up if you don't. Remember that they feed off you; give them nothing and their buzzing becomes desperate as they realize, finally, that they have committed to a fight they can't win.

Blogger V May 25, 2015 12:51 AM  

It's Scalzi's only job, so he better be on top of it. Vox is a fellow with a shit load (metric) of irons in the fire. So to say "you lose" and pretend book contracts is an actual valid yardstick is at best, weird. Scalzi's really not gonna look to good if you compare across all professional activities.

Rabbit behavior really is weird. The panties, they must twist. Which explains my penchant for going commando.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 25, 2015 1:39 AM  

"Vox's 1st Law: Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from insanity."

UpROARious laughter at this.  I'm sure some people thought Nicola Tesla was insane, but his work is the indispensible foundation of our current civilization.  The proof is in the pudding.

But then we fall back to the mundane:

"What Gunnar doesn't understand is that I am considerably more intelligent than most of the biologists and most of the scientists on the planet."

Intelligence without knowledge is useless.  Aristotle was wrong about essentially everything regarding physics, cosmology, chemistry, you-name-it.  He lacked knowledge.  Beale, you admit that you immediately retreat to rhetoric when confronted with dialectic in any of the fields in which you are ignorant:  cosmology, biology, evolution, climatology.  Yes, the people doing the bulk of the work in those fields are probably IQ-130 midwits.  They are also smart enough to have worked out the possible flaws in the theoretical framework and addressed them... likely 75 to 100 years ago, based on the sorts of objections you raise.  When you had the time to absorb the knowledge of those fields required to address them, you were otherwise engaged.  Today, your deflections are only of interest to those who haven't done in-depth study.  Everyone else just shakes their head and moves on to something not utterly pathetic.

This doesn't mean that others aren't also pathetic.  Evolutionary biologists who are placed in an ideological straitjacket by their institutional culture and forced to deny human biodiversity are in a very unenviable situation.  Nobody wants to be the next Phillipe Rushton; you would have to be a "demented fuckwit" to aspire to his condition.  So, until the Overton window shifts far enough, even people with knowledge are stuck in a position of being unable to acknowledge it without paying a cost they cannot bear.

This is a fucked-up time.  Don't judge those trapped in it too harshly.

Blogger Desiderius May 25, 2015 2:42 AM  

"Beale, you admit that you immediately retreat to rhetoric when confronted with dialectic"

SJWs always lie.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 3:01 AM  

That's a bit better, not bad. A little more to the left... There. Hold still, please.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 3:11 AM  

"So, until the Overton window shifts far enough, even people with knowledge are stuck in a position of being unable to acknowledge it without paying a cost they cannot bear."

So, this is a case of, what, "Knowledge without use is an axiom"? Since everything's been worked out 75-100 years ago and biologists are simply in the throws of academic cabin fever for want of anything new to divine.

Blogger Michael Maier May 25, 2015 3:28 AM  

Tor is ante-ing up that much dough on someone they have to pay to put on the NYT Best Seller list?

That's... brave?

Anonymous Jon May 25, 2015 3:36 AM  

"What Gunnar doesn't understand is that I am considerably more intelligent than most of the biologists and most of the scientists on the planet."

Cause your felon daddy told you so?

Anonymous Jon May 25, 2015 3:40 AM  

"Vox is a fellow with a shit load (metric) of irons in the fire"

Vox's irons in the fire are of zero importance. His little Scandinavian vanity press is of no importance. His ridiculous mouse, well, that speaks for itself. Is he living off his father's unpaid taxes or something? Because he doesn't seem to have any other means of support.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 25, 2015 3:52 AM  

John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.

His lawn will be immense!

So is this contract more like an NFL contract, or an MLB contract?

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 3:53 AM  

And... we're right back to amateur hour. I mean, this isn't even Andrew Marston levels of Goldstein Fap. With that at least you knew that somewhere in that low lit room a flightless bird was cowering in the corner from being over stroked. Silence of the Lambs ambiance - albeit retarded. And a bit funnier.

This. Nothing.

Anonymous Mrs. Wif May 25, 2015 4:10 AM  

More like an NFL contract. It's not guaranteed annual income. It's a projection based on a bunch of factors we aren't privy to, but it's not x amount per year guaranteed. There are several indie-to-tradpub writers who got much bigger deals (seven figures for fewer books). The more books in the deal, the less connected the total dollar amount is to reality. So a 13 book deal of seven figures is quite good, but if he was as popular as he presents, he should have been able to get a 3-5 book deal for the same dollar amount or pretty close to it.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 25, 2015 4:49 AM  

BigGaySteve,

How do you stay in your lifestyle with such contempt for those in it?

Blogger Brad Andrews May 25, 2015 4:51 AM  

How much money is Scalzi guaranteed out of this deal?

Not that it would matter to this point. His success is irrelevant to the points Vox has been making.

It sounds like another appeal to authority, though that may not be the best term for it.

Anonymous Steve May 25, 2015 4:51 AM  

John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.

Holy midlist, Batperson! I best get cracking on my novel. If John Scalzi can do it... :)

Does this mean Tor will be even more desperate than usual to "lock in" Hugo awards for their authors?

They'll need all the good publicity they can get. $340k a year, even though it'll likely be dependent on hitting sales targets and other caveats, is still a substantial outlay to an imprint that makes... what? Less than $1m profit a year? (I'm assuming they turn a profit, it's not easy to tell if that is indeed the case). And they're still trying to promote unpopular bijou authors like Daniel Jose Older on their website. Best chuck him overboard post haste and make their homepage the John Scalzi portal.

Nathan - So which ten writers/franchises do you think he's ripping off now?

"The Peckish Games" - Catnip is a super-strong teenage girl who can lift more than her dad. But can she out-benchpress the evil dystopian Republican regime?

"Half-light" - Edwin is a sexy, sparkly-chested 90-year old minotaur who chases after teenage girls. But can he find love in a world where minotaur isn't the easiest setting?

"Monster Trappers International" - Olaf Zelaney Pratt is a sensitive, gun-hating male feminist who must battle monsters using the power of snark. Can he fight the evil power *and* convince the sexy, much-taller-than-him heroine into giving him sweet, sweet pity sex?

The Pedo Files - Barry Bespin is a wizard who finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse when he discovers that the Super Friends Wizard Association has been covering up for kiddy fiddlers like its evil Grandmaster Manuel R Defeely. Will Barry heroically turn a blind eye so as to boost his wizarding career?

50 Shades of Jim - Jim C. Pines is a shy young secretary who becomes ensnared in the erotic schemes of a sexy alpha-male billionaire...

Blogger VD May 25, 2015 5:39 AM  

John Scalzi, Science Fiction Writer, Signs $3.4 Million Deal for 13 Books

That's $260k per book. That's not at all bad, but neither is it impressive. $3 million for one book would be impressive. Scalzi is playing for retirement security, which is a reasonable thing to do in his position. I doubt the security will make his books any better, though.

Cause your felon daddy told you so?

No, Mensa and National Merit did.

Beale, you admit that you immediately retreat to rhetoric when confronted with dialectic in any of the fields in which you are ignorant: cosmology, biology, evolution, climatology.

I don't admit anything of the kind. You have it completely backward. I meet dialectic with dialectic, and I immediately switch to rhetoric when confronted with rhetoric.

Blogger VD May 25, 2015 5:42 AM  

Vox's irons in the fire are of zero importance. His little Scandinavian vanity press is of no importance.

I'm sorry to hear that. And here we just acquired new books from Martin Van Creveld and Jerry Pournelle. Of course, they're not Big Important Authors like Dr. John Scalzi, PhD, Award Pimpage.

Blogger HickoryHammer #0211 May 25, 2015 7:20 AM  

I like the fact that Torlets and SJWs equate throwing money at someone with solving a problem. I watched US politicians do that for too many years, I know it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Scalzi can't stop the revolution any more than his left wing media masters can. All the money in the world won't make his books popular science fiction, in the same way that backing up the Brinks truck for Anita Sarkeesian didn't change the types of video games men like to play.

Blogger HickoryHammer #0211 May 25, 2015 7:28 AM  

PopehatFan May 24, 2015 11:28 PM
You lose, Theo.
John Scalzi, Science Fiction Writer, Signs $3.4 Million Deal for 13 Books


Not big strategy fans, eh PopehatFan and Jon? In twenty years, Castilla house will be bigger than Tor is now and Tor will have been liquidated on the auction blocks after chapter bankruptcy.

Blogger Harsh May 25, 2015 8:18 AM  

You lose, Theo.

John Scalzi, Science Fiction Writer, Signs $3.4 Million Deal for 13 Books


Good for Scalzi. I hope his diminishing sales cover his advance.

Blogger Harsh May 25, 2015 8:25 AM  

So a 13 book deal of seven figures is quite good, but if he was as popular as he presents, he should have been able to get a 3-5 book deal for the same dollar amount or pretty close to it.

With the way Scalzi crows about his popularity you would think that he's doing Rowling numbers. Her last HP book sold $44 million in its first year. One book.

But $3.4 million for 13 books is nice.

Blogger Tupla-J May 25, 2015 8:58 AM  

Not to mention that Castalia House isn't scandinavian.

Blogger V May 25, 2015 10:34 AM  

I was really hoping to get a collective shudder for my "going commando" line. I'll try harder in the future.

Anonymous Clark May 25, 2015 10:56 AM  

VD:

> [ re calling Vox a performance artist ] Even Clark himself doesn't grasp what all of the Ilk have with ease
> ... I'm not a performance artist.

I disagree, Vox, and I think the issue is that you and I have different connotations for the noun "performance artist".

I'm not saying that you're fake, that you engineer outrage for the lulz (e.g. Weev), or anything else.

I'm saying merely that you're clever and aware of human modes of interaction, and that you realize that rhetoric and argumentation are skills and choose to develop your ability in these areas. Thus, you present your points in certain ways, almost always thinking at least one or two moves ahead. Unlike most SJWs who lash out angrilly and emotionally, you calculate and build traps into your arguments. For example, you engaged with N K Jesmin, and - unless I miss my guess - carefully chose the word "savage" because it was literally a valid representation of her behavior AND was calculated as maximally likely to get the SJWs to lose their shit because they'd leap to the racist interpretation of the phrase.

That's art, i.e. the application of skill.

While I dislike your enjoyment of cruelty (and dislike it in myself - this is not a sin I speak of only academically), I quite admire your mode of debate, and I think it's quite similar to my own (not that it is much in display at Popehat, but I use it elsewhere).

Conclusion: we seem to disagree on the conotations of the term "performance art", but I'd be surprised if we actually disagree on the facts that lead me to use it.

@Desiderius:

> VD,
>
> Clark's courage in standing up to his own readers and his fellow Popehatters merits some recognition on your part.
>
> Good men are hard to find.

Thank you, Desiderius.

@VD

> > Inconsistency is in no way the problem with Vox; the problem is that he has an entirely
> > self-consistent worldview that's based on monstrous premises.
>
> My socialist economics professors and I always got along very well,
> because we mutually recognized that our differences were axiomatic
> in nature. Their reasoning from those premises was generally
> correct, as was mine. Of course, I was right and they were wrong, as
> most of them would readily admit now.

This is exactly how I can get along decently with intelligent radicals of many stripes: smart people on the fringes often differ deeply with each other on axioms, but often are crisp thinkers. The Core Worlds let one be fat dumb and happy, but the rugged frontier either refines or destroys.

The Popehat commenters - most of whom are muddy thinkers are best - miss this, and are entirely befuddled that I can simultaneously respect both Ken and Vox.

Say La Vee, as the man from Paris, Texas said.

Blogger IM2L844 May 25, 2015 1:41 PM  

Clark, many of the regulars here, myself included, have pointed out that we think Vox sometimes intentionally uses unnecessarily abrasive language to make essentially factual points. He doesn't care. Reality bites sometimes. Candy coating it isn't always helpful or useful and can often be counterproductive.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 25, 2015 3:34 PM  

"Since everything's been worked out 75-100 years ago"

Straw man.  The assertions that creationists are making today were largely refuted back then.  Biology has since amassed far more data and moved on to things that creationists are unable to understand even far enough to make sound-bite arguments about.  It's the little detail that knowledge of the referents is required for comprehension of what you read/hear.

I also find it very revealing that someone can cite the example of Philippe Ruston here as an example of PC/SJW demonization and still get immediately slapped with the SJW label.  That's not a thought process at work, it's the reflexive jerk of a knee.  Or is it in-group/out-group signalling, or just "DISQUALIFY"?  I have trouble keeping these things straight.

Reality definitely bites.  I watch it biting SJ types, Greens, and religious fundamentalists (but I repeat myself) in their denial.  I don't have such luxuries in my work.  If I mis-specify a part or goof a line of code, all my good intentions won't fix things.

Blogger Danby May 25, 2015 3:43 PM  

The assertions that creationists are making today were largely refuted back then. Biology has since amassed far more data and moved on to things that creationists are unable to understand even far enough to make sound-bite arguments about.

That's a straight-up lie.
You are lying, you dishonest scumbag. It's not even an appeal to authority. It's an appeal to innate superiority, on the part of people who are generally my inferiors.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 25, 2015 4:53 PM  

"That's a straight-up lie."

When someone doesn't know what a centromere or telomere is, they won't be able to respond to the fact that human chromosome 2 has 2 centromeres and telomere sequences near its center.  It simply doesn't compute, and neither do the logical implications.  Of course, the audience for creationism has a large contingent which views biology as satanic (because it calls creationism into question) so that seldom affects their credibility with other creationists.  Many appear to have their identity tied up in such beliefs, and remaining ignorant isn't usually a costly response.

This is not unlike the Marxists/SJWs denying that different races have different distributions of both physical and mental traits.  Their world-view relies on such differences not existing and their identity and sense of "self-good" is often based on it, so they shy away from knowledge of anything that challenges it.  Oh, they'll move to "safe neighborhoods" and "good schools" at the drop of a hat, but then bemoan the lack of "diversity" in order to not be labelled something nasty.

Are you a creationist?  How do you explain the fact that human chromosome 2 has exactly the configuration (including arrangement of genes) that you'd expect from fusing the corresponding 2 chromosomes in great apes together end to end?

"It's an appeal to innate superiority"

People who won't even try to understand something that they nonetheless have strong opinions about are what, if not inferior in knowledge and reason by their own initiative?  Isn't that what I've just read a bunch of posts mocking the SJW/Pink SF contingent for doing?  I recently wrote a scathing review of a book co-authored by Orson Scott Card because of the blatant scientific ignorance (or editorial laxity) of everyone involved in publishing it.  Card is usually better than that, so I'm assuming that his co-author and all the editors simply couldn't be bothered to so much as look a few things up.

"on the part of people who are generally my inferiors."

Uh, yeah.  Right.

Blogger VD May 25, 2015 5:31 PM  

Conclusion: we seem to disagree on the conotations of the term "performance art", but I'd be surprised if we actually disagree on the facts that lead me to use it.

Fair enough. I can accept that. I could certainly couch my language more carefully at times.

Blogger Desiderius May 25, 2015 5:35 PM  

IM2L844,

"unnecessarily abrasive language"

I believe Vox would say it is entirely necessary, and I've come to agree there. Jesus himself found it necessary, in dealing with the Pharisees and Sadducees for instance. We have our own of those, especially the latter, today.

The same reasoning does not extend to cruelty.

Blogger Desiderius May 25, 2015 5:40 PM  

"immediately slapped with the SJW label"

My apologies. SJWs all lie, but not all liars are SJWs. You're a non-SJW liar then, and a particularly off-putting one.

Congratulations.

Blogger Danby May 25, 2015 5:48 PM  

Many appear to have their identity tied up in such beliefs, and remaining ignorant isn't usually a costly response.

And many in the anti-creationist side have their identity tied up in a sneering, unearned and undeserved sense of intellectual superiority, and calling names rather than engaging arguments is not only not a costly response, it's rewarded by one's fellows.

Blogger Desiderius May 25, 2015 5:53 PM  

Clark,

"Thank you, Desiderius."

You're welcome, Kal-El.

Your commenters remind me of the first wave of progressives that discovered Volokh in its early days. Catching flak over the target, etc...

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 25, 2015 6:12 PM  

"You're a non-SJW liar then"

You've gone from totally wrong to half-right.  Now spell out the specifics of what you believe I lied about, and prove that it was a deliberate falsehood rather than an error or a reasonable generalization.

"And many in the anti-creationist side have their identity tied up in a sneering, unearned and undeserved sense of intellectual superiority"

Way to not engage the facts.  I asked you a direct question about the science.  If that is your best response, you've effectively proven the stereotype about creationists.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 6:21 PM  

" "Since everything's been worked out 75-100 years ago"

Straw man."


You then go on to say:

"Biology has since amassed far more data and moved on to things that creationists are unable to understand even far enough to make sound-bite arguments about. It's the little detail that knowledge of the referents is required for comprehension of what you read/hear."

As I said, thy knowledge runneth over, to the point that it's axiomatic. Or so the sales pitch goes.

And if it's a strawman to say that the current ruling paradigm's literally keeping themselves from taking the next scientific step because they've already gone so far already - cabin fever in the cockpit, then why your own gloating over their seeming refusal, continual vapors, and forecasted cannibalism due to their refusing to look over the edge of evolution and facing the thing that should not be, i.e., human biodiversity.

If it was a strawman, it's merely following the trail of snake oil already poured before us.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 6:26 PM  

"Are you a creationist? How do you explain the fact that human chromosome 2 has exactly the configuration (including arrangement of genes) that you'd expect from fusing the corresponding 2 chromosomes in great apes together end to end?"

And thus, the old Victorian canard is recycled: How can you explain why humans have hair if they're not descended from mammals?

You might as well ask why prognathism is more prominent in Africans and Aboriginal Australians than other continental groups.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 6:30 PM  

"Way to not engage the facts."

Unfortunately, we're not as engaged in butterfly collecting to be able to myopically focus on isolated features in order to unravel a man-made Gordian Knot.

Blogger kh123 May 25, 2015 6:35 PM  

"How do you explain the fact that..."

Not only a fairly good example of begging the question, but notice how the idea of convergence never seems to occur to him. One of the greatest - and oft used - concepts in evolution.

Or is it just not convenience to employ it when it's a "gotcha" evidence moment.

Blogger Danby May 25, 2015 8:19 PM  

Actually, I'm not a creationist. But I don't sneer at people who disagree with me and proclaim that my opponents are unable to understand the data that I understand so well.

My point about you is that you've read some points of argumentation (the anti-Christian equivalent of pull-quotes) on a website. You fling them about willy-nilly and then proclaim that they are unanswerable, and that you are therefore smarter than anyone who could possibly disagree with you, because they are incapable of understanding the argument.

Around here, you are a rider of the short bus, so stop flouncing.

Blogger Desiderius May 25, 2015 8:55 PM  

"Now spell out the specifics of what you believe I lied about, and prove that it was a deliberate falsehood rather than an error or a reasonable generalization."

(a) Our host already has.

(b) You're in no position to be issuing commands. AMOGing that weak suggests that maybe you could benefit from finding some good male role models and spending time studying their ways rather than ankle-biting online. Couldn't hurt.

Blogger IM2L844 May 25, 2015 10:58 PM  

Desiderius,

I believe Vox would say it is entirely necessary, and I've come to agree there.

I would agree much of the time as well. I would even go further and say that more often than not people are reading into what Vox says with preconceived notions.

Consider the often referenced half-savage comment, for example. I think that was sufficiently ambiguous to be taken any number of ways and the ongoing knee jerk reactions, as if it is tantamount to code for "nigger", are just idiotic. However, I think Vox realized before hand it would act as a trigger for the idiocracy and for that purpose it was a useful delineative. Time will tell if it was worth it, in the long run. I'm dubious.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 25, 2015 11:24 PM  

"Are you a creationist? How do you explain the fact that human chromosome 2 has exactly the configuration (including arrangement of genes) that you'd expect from fusing the corresponding 2 chromosomes in great apes together end to end?"

Furrfu.

You're talking to people who have been programmers since before C++ was working its way past the bad idea stage.... DNA (when inside the cell) is a Turing-complete language. The concept that God the ultimate programmer who reuses code, including whole libraries, isn't going to shock anyone here.

The danger of saying "you're too dumb to understand X" is that you have to be right. You've definitely found the worst place to claim that particular charge. Our host happens to not be a young-Earth creationist, but there are many here (like myself) who DO know these items, and still aren't impressed.

Blogger wrf3 May 26, 2015 12:12 AM  

Kentucky Packrat wrote: You're talking to people who have been programmers since before C++ was working its way past the bad idea stage...

C++ has never worked its way past the bad idea stage. I believe it was Alan Kay who said, "I invented object oriented programming. C++ is not what I had in mind."

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 26, 2015 7:28 AM  

C++ has never worked its way past the bad idea stage.

It has made it past the bad idea stage, blown straight through bad startup implementation, and flown through to bad standards and bad institution.

(OK, the joke failed. Mea culpa.)

As an occasional programmer and a system administrator, I cannot buy Natural Selection through Random Mutations. I was the admin for a UNIX server that had a bad memory chip (that error-correcting wasn't catching); it effectively executed random mutations on programs running on the system. We didn't create Skynet; all we ended up with was a $400k machine in pieces on the floor.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 26, 2015 2:03 PM  

Hey, I liked C++. Though it was quite good to me for the part of my career when I was writing code.

But I am a YEC too, so perhaps that is the flaw....

KP, you correctly identify the root problem with the idea that randomness produced all we have now. It doesn't fit the reality test. I never cease to be amazed that many who would not accept that explanation anywhere else accept it for the creation around us.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 26, 2015 2:36 PM  

KP, you correctly identify the root problem with the idea that randomness produced all we have now. It doesn't fit the reality test.

Number One Son has noticed it as his college, just as others have noted it here: the mathematicians and Computer Science people are theists. We understand math and probability, and we know that TENS by Random Mutation is crap. Every time a biologist or an atheist supporter of TENS attempts to talk probability, it pretty much boils down to:

* "It'd take longer than the Earth and Sun has existed or will exist for this to have occurred randomly."
* Either "You don't know that" (yes, I can do the math, or at least a lot closer than you can) or "there's a chance, so it could have happened" (yes, that's called faith....).

It's enough to make me want to be as much of an MPAI as our esteemed host....

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 26, 2015 6:48 PM  

Before going any further, spend 8 minutes to watch this video about the Backwards Brain Bicycle and the difference between knowledge and understanding.

====

No, really.  Click through and watch it before going on.

====

"As an occasional programmer and a system administrator, I cannot buy Natural Selection through Random Mutations."

This is because your brain is in a rut which prevents you from understanding the question.  Even the phrase you used—"Natural Selection through Random Mutations"—is, assuming you're serious and not sarcastic, a crystallized dis-understanding of the issue.  Your previous education/indoctrination has you in the habit of "turning the handlebars the wrong way".

"I was the admin for a UNIX server that had a bad memory chip (that error-correcting wasn't catching); it effectively executed random mutations on programs running on the system."

Not the least bit analogous, and ignorant of history to boot.  Agronomists have been using mutagens on crop plants to create novel traits and then selecting the desirable ones for over a century.  When you say you can't "buy" something that's been established practice since before your grandfather was born, it's proof that you've got a personal failing, not a scientific issue.

Does this mean you're dumb?  No.  It means you have to un-learn prejudices before this will start making sense, but that can be awfully hard.  It's harder when your personal identity is tied up with it.  If you think you have to insist "I didn't come from no monkey" or you become one of the damned, changing your position is very, very costly.  I have a cousin who believes this.

"The concept that God the ultimate programmer who reuses code, including whole libraries, isn't going to shock anyone here."

So the argument is "goddidit", and every indicator of common descent, even shared endogenous retroviruses, was just divine whim?

If that's your position, it's the end of discussion.  "Goddidit" fits anything, so it explains nothing.  It offers no explanation for why we see what we see and not something else.  An anti-explanation is beyond debate (but a great way to close off discussion, and thought).

This is not to say that there aren't things for which "God did it" is the most parsimonious explanation.  If a mile-thick glacier appeared in the middle of the Sahara overnight, I would be among the first to say it.  But we don't see things like this happening.  Go much further down the road of divine whim that you're on, and you wind up at the Taliban who outlawed weather forecasting because it encroached on Allah's absolute power.

"You're talking to people who have been programmers since before C++ was working its way past the bad idea stage...."

You're talking to a guy who first wrote FORTRAN by punching his hand-written code onto 80-column cards, and still has paper tape of a couple early programs floating around somewhere.  I learned C from K&R, first edition, and vi on V7 Unix.  I wrote lower-case text on ASR33's by backing up the tape punch and spacing over it, to set the 0x20 bit.

The relevance to biology is that I am likely older and more decrepit than you, and you may well be disrespecting the wisdom of your elders.  <shakes his cane at the whippersnappers>

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 26, 2015 9:44 PM  

Not the least bit analogous, and ignorant of history to boot. Agronomists have been using mutagens on crop plants to create novel traits and then selecting the desirable ones for over a century

Translation: you're using Intelligent Design to argue for Natural Selection via Random Mutation. Next you'll be telling me that my Boston Terror, err, Terrier with its man-selected pug nose is proof that all horse-like animals are descended from a single ancestor.

Neo-Darwinian evolution as currently presented relies on random genetic mutations to provide the bulk of mutations that are then selected against by Natural Selection (i.e. Survival of the More Fit). If you want to pose some other method for the large bulk of changes, go ahead. Gould tried, and failed miserably.

Now you're into the biologists' favorite fallacy, "can"/"does" equivalence. The biologist says "X could possibly have happened via natural process Y. X happened. Therefore, it happened via natural process Y." The problem: Y can be theoretically possible, but so insanely improbable that it's practically impossible. The odds of a fully functioning DNA molecule popping up via random combinations is higher the number of seconds or number of molecules available in an old universe scenario (translation: if you turn the entire solar system into a machine solely dedicated to randomly making DNA molecules, you don't have enough time from T-0 (even if T is the Big Bang) to now to have created a functioning DNA molecule). You would have a better chance of exploding a Campbell's soup plant, and then compiling the alphabet soup into a working OS. (DNA creation ex nihilo is the ultimate bogosort, for the true nerds.)

I will fully agree that there might be a way for DNA to be created by a less than random process, but I don't believe it exists. Moreover, it's not my burden of proof to show it exists; it is the TENS believer. You're asking me to believe that a process started in some unknown, unexplainable, and practically impossible way, and has continued over a long period of time while producing very little evidence of its own existence. Sorry, I don't have that much faith.

(continued)

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 26, 2015 9:45 PM  

So the argument is "goddidit", and every indicator of common descent, even shared endogenous retroviruses, was just divine whim?

I personally offered no proof; I offered rebuttal. You provided a slowball over the plate, and I didn't even have to swing that hard. You provided a piece of evidence that you were absolutely certain couldn't be explained by my philosophy, and I pointed out that not only was it explained, we considere it a point of evidence FOR our side.

I am not even impressed by your retroviruses example. Of course there are viruses that have infested both humans and primates. This isn't even axiomatic; AIDS probably made the jump in the 60s, and ebola in the 80s or 90s.

The problem here is that the problem proving long ages ASSUMES long ages. This same situation can be equally explained that the populations with the code were simply all susceptible to the same virus, and prone to virus insertion at a given spot. I've even heard some reasonable arguments that current retroviruses are deteriorated parts of a creation system that were intended to help organisms via genetic injection.

Also, I am a believer in kinds, rather than hard species creations. I have no problem with God having created one cat kind, one primate kind, etc. Those kinds could easily have evolved into our species in a significantly shorter timeframe than you, carrying retroviruses along with them.

Strong rebuttals? No, not really, but it's not my burden of proof.

Want me to prove YEC? No thanks. I believe that it's falsifiable (as is Christianity), but I completely agree that it's not scientifically provable. That's OK though; TENS isn't either.

The relevance to biology is that I am likely older and more decrepit than you, and you may well be disrespecting the wisdom of your elders.

You've obviously missed the anti-Boomer bias here. It's not really your fault; any person stuck in FORTRAN world that long can't help but be a little touched.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit May 27, 2015 3:39 AM  

Mr. Engineer-poet (what a lovely 'net handle) is foolishly making an argument from authority. My nuclear engineer papa is a YEC and I (degree in bio & minor in chem) am a creationist. Oops.

Back to square one. Since the question is philosophical, biology is a dead end.


However, not all religions are created equal: bad axioms yield poor real world results. For the intellectual skeptic: which philosophical/theological model of the world (I.e. which religious belief) has yielded the most accurate and functionally sucessful model of the world?

:::wanders off whistling innocently:::


Pace Mr. Clark. I grew up with my Daddy telling me "Anny-Roonie, your arguments are sound but your premises are weak." good on you. I'll take another look at popehat

Blogger IM2L844 May 27, 2015 6:23 AM  

"Your previous education/indoctrination has you in the habit of "turning the handlebars the wrong way"."

Your previous education/indoctrination has you in the habit of "turning the handlebars the wrong way".

Blogger IM2L844 May 27, 2015 7:45 AM  

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 27, 2015 10:34 AM  

(part 1/3)

"Translation: you're using Intelligent Design"

There you go again with your prejudices.  There is NOTHING "designed" about the effects of mutagens.  The effects are stochastic, yet enough of the changes are beneficial to have created the traits which turned Indian corn (itself the product of selection on teosinte) into modern maize in just a few hundred years.  Humans picked plants with changes which they liked, and spread them by planting their seeds.

"to argue for Natural Selection via Random Mutation."

The mutations are random in any event.  The only difference is if the selection is natural or human.  Nature and humans select for different things; to list one, nature would never select for maize kernels to stay tightly bound to the cob because the plant cannot self-seed.  Humans select for this so that the grain winds up in the granary and not all over the field.

Can you actually write the correct form of that phrase, "evolution by natural selection"?  Or is the dis-understanding essential to you?

"Neo-Darwinian evolution as currently presented relies on random genetic mutations to provide the bulk of mutations that are then selected against by Natural Selection"

Actually, no.  A great deal of it appears to be from DNA copying errors which do things like changing the number of copies of gene promotors, and thus the gene activity.  This is very different from random point mutations altering protein sequences.

"Gould tried, and failed miserably."

Stephen Jay Gould denied the (measured, and re-measured) differences in skull volume by race, among other things.  He was a Marxist ideologue, not a fit example of anything scientific.

"The biologist says "X could possibly have happened via natural process Y. X happened. Therefore, it happened via natural process Y.""

Who are you to say it didn't?  Were you there?  </snark>

"The problem: Y can be theoretically possible, but so insanely improbable that it's practically impossible."

This is another part of your dis-understanding.  If it is statistically impossible for something to occur completely at random, yet it has obviously occurred, the obvious conclusion is that it came about by a much more likely set of probabilities.  For instance, things that are much less random.

The Miller-Urey experiment proved that nucleotides come naturally out of ordinary chemistry.  With no life to eat them for food, they'll build up until they reach balance with natural degradation.  All it takes is one self-reproducing RNA string and life is off and running.

"The odds of a fully functioning DNA molecule popping up via random combinations"

DNA looks like it came well after RNA.  Many RNAs are catalytic, some auto-catalytic.  In the absence of other life, even a very inefficient self-reproducer only needs to keep up with inorganic degradation to take over the world.  If it reproduces itself inaccurately, some of the errors are bound to improve it.  Those versions will take over.

"if you turn the entire solar system into a machine solely dedicated to randomly making DNA molecules"

Dis-understanding again.  Nobody is proposing anything that makes random DNA molecules.  That's the strawman argument used to shut off thought and end any real discussion.

"I will fully agree that there might be a way for DNA to be created by a less than random process, but I don't believe it exists."

DNA itself is just a way of creating RNA, which is what goes to ribosomes to make proteins.  Ribosomes themselves have RNA components, and shorter RNA strings shuttle amino acids to the ribosomes.  RNA is pretty important to life.  The advantage of DNA is that it's relatively stable, but that's not essential in the first steps.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 27, 2015 10:36 AM  

(part 2/3)

"You're asking me to believe that a process started in some unknown(1), unexplainable(2), and practically impossible(3) way"

1.  Unknown, yes; nobody was there to see.
2.  Inexplicable, no; work is on-going and many likely steps have already been explained.
3.  Practically impossible, no; postulating a pathway with fantastically low probability does not rule out the existence of far more likely pathways.  Your insistence otherwise is part of dis-understanding.

"Sorry, I don't have that much faith."

But you have faith in an omniscient and omnipotent creator which has nevertheless given us a world full of life that looks suspiciously like it all came from one or a few primordial organisms, all of which were quite similar (there are small differences in the DNA coding used by eukaryotes and eubacteria and archaebacteria/mitochondria).  There's something funny about that.

"You provided a piece of evidence that you were absolutely certain couldn't be explained by my philosophy, and I pointed out that not only was it explained, we considere it a point of evidence FOR our side."

Yes, about that.  Your "reasoning", if I can call it that, results in literally any possible observation being counted as a point of evidence for your side.  If we see X, you say it supports you, and if we saw not-X instead, you'd say it supports you.  We don't see any organisms based on silicon, sulfur and chlorine, but if we did "goddidit" would "explain" them.

I'm no psychologist, but the uncritical acceptance of such a notion looks much more like it satisfies a personal need to have a narrative than anything else.  It's certainly not scientific.

"I am not even impressed by your retroviruses example. Of course there are viruses that have infested both humans and primates."

If the shared endogenous retroviruses came from independent infection events, why are they found at the exact same places in the various genomes EVERY TIME?  You talk about impossibly steep improbabilities, try that one.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 27, 2015 10:39 AM  

(part 3/4)

"This isn't even axiomatic; AIDS probably made the jump in the 60s, and ebola in the 80s or 90s. "

Neither HIV nor Ebola are endogenous to humans.  HIV's history in humans goes back to probably a bit before 1931.  Ebola has an animal reservoir.

"The problem here is that the problem proving long ages ASSUMES long ages."

We have independent confirmation of long ages.  Multiple independent dating methods all back each other up, starting with simple stratigraphy and going on to radiological techniques.  "Theories" which assume all those methods are wrong (and all wrong in the same way by similar amounts) run afoul of details like acceleration of energy release re-melting minerals which had to have been stable since their formation to be dated in the first place.

I haven't seen such a theological "explanation" which didn't require the deity involved to be a pathological liar.  In Christianity it would have to be the deity, because the evidence is in all extant life and the devil isn't supposed to have any powers of creation.  Having a deity which appears to be trying to trip you up and send you to hell would make one paranoid, which is how quite a few fundamentalist-types have impressed me.  They really think the whole world is out to get them.  I know the world just doesn't give a damn, which makes life much less worrisome.

"This same situation can be equally explained that the populations with the code were simply all susceptible to the same virus, and prone to virus insertion at a given spot."

This is testable.  Do retrovirus-infected cells always have the retrovirus sequences in the same spot in the genome?  If not, your "theory" just got blasted to bits.  But you're not interested in tests; you say you don't have any burden of proof.

"I've even heard some reasonable arguments that current retroviruses are deteriorated parts of a creation system that were intended to help organisms via genetic injection."

In other words, your "omnipotent programmer" who "re-uses code libraries" never does code reviews.  He seldom does re-factoring.  He's so bored with the act of creation, his output looks like the sorted-through results of random tweaks and copy-paste errors, repeated countless times.  Commented-out blocks slowly deteriorating by randomness dominate the code base of all but the simplest projects.

This is why I cannot take that idea seriously.  Tiny, fallible me is far more conscientious and uses much better practices.

"I am a believer in kinds, rather than hard species creations."

An honest-to-goodness believer in baraminology?  I've hit the jackpot.  I've always wanted to know how people actually take such beliefs in practice.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 27, 2015 10:41 AM  

(part 4/4)

"I completely agree that it's not scientifically provable. That's OK though; TENS isn't either."

"Outside of mathematics, nothing is proven."  Science advances by finding something wrong in the current model and fixing it.  Then science tries to break the fixed model.  Sometimes even the broken model is good enough, like Newtonian physics for calculating planetary orbits beyond Mercury.

"Goddidit" is useless.  It gives you no idea of what might happen or where to look for things of interest, because divine whim is just that.  It's destroying your weather forecasting office.

"You've obviously missed the anti-Boomer bias here."

It's refreshing to see you admit to an ad-hominem prejudice.  It's the left that's taken judging of words by their speaker to an extreme, but all sides are doing it.

"It's not really your fault; any person stuck in FORTRAN world that long can't help but be a little touched."

I think I might have used it in a class or two after placing out of the intro engineering programming course.  All of my real work was in assembler or other HLLs.  C was love at first sight.

"Those whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC" is a truism, of course.

Blogger Engineer-Poet May 27, 2015 10:43 AM  

"Mr. Engineer-poet (what a lovely 'net handle) is foolishly making an argument from authority."

Interesting knee-jerk there.  I asked the people here how they explain the patterns of shared endogenous retroviruses in primates.  What "authority" is that arguing from?

Of course, I was doing nothing of the sort.  This is just DISQUALIFY.

"However, not all religions are created equal: bad axioms yield poor real world results."

s/religions/systems of thought/ and you have my full agreement.  This is why science has been so successful; it works to weed out erroneous bits and replace them with ones not (yet known to be) erroneous.  Religions tend to double down on error, like SJWs do with their rape and racism hoaxes.  Medicine didn't get very far until the notions of demons and curses were abandoned.

"Since the question is philosophical, biology is a dead end."

Declare victory and go home.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 27, 2015 5:19 PM  

Dis-understanding again. Nobody is proposing anything that makes random DNA molecules.

That's interesting, because I've ALWAYS been told that the first DNA-like molecule came into existence by an unknown but random process. If you don't believe that, then that's wonderful; you have the answer to the $64k question I've been looking for from a TENS true believer:

How did the first self-replicating DNA (or DNA ancestor) molecule come into existence? How did it then copy itself? You must be specific: give me a scientific explanation for this process. Make it something more than "A miracle occurs here".

I'll even invoke the rules of the blog here: Answer this or go home. (Feel free to promote any previous question you've posed to me and I haven't answered as well; you'll just have to repeat the question because I don't know of anything important I've missed.)

The Miller-Urey experiment proved that nucleotides come naturally out of ordinary chemistry.

No, Miller and Urey proved that amino acids could be created abiotically if, and only if, their assumptions about the Earth's pre-history chemistry are correct. They don't provide any mechanism for amino acids to then combine to RNA or DNA, or for said RNA or DNA to self-replicate.

To bring the analogies out, you're trying to tell me that a shredder magically popped a paper tape copy of UNIX v1 out, and then that tape magically made another, and then another, and several thousand generations later a paper tape reader and writer was evolved and made working by said paper tape.

This is why I have emphasized that DNA is only Turing complete inside the cell. The only known or theorized methods for RNA or DNA to replicate are cells (either its own or ones stolen from others). Not only do you have to explain how the computer program came to exist, you have to explain how the computer existed before the program that made the computer existed.

Much of the problem is you are moving the goal posts from standard neo-Darwinian TENS as posed by "the scientific community". (TENS - Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection). Standard theory provides that random genetic mutations (shuffling, rearranging, etc.) is the source of new genetic material driving the creation of new biological features. Said features are then selected upon by natural selection.

If you want to propose a less random process than random genetic mutations, feel free. You have to account for original source, so you can't use viral transfer, or intact genetic copies, etc., that's just shuffling the deck. But, if you want it to be science and not a religion, you have to come up with something better than "the miracle occurred here" at the important parts.

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