Jacobins


150px-Thought_Reform_Lifton

Cesspit of lies link

I’m going to pull an Ophelia Benson and just do a block text dump, add a line or two and pretend I’m a huge intellectual.

Loading the Language

The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliche. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis. In thought reform, for instance, the phrase “bourgeois mentality” is used to encompass and critically dismiss ordinarily troublesome concerns like the quest for individual expression, the exploration of alternative ideas, and the search for perspective and balance in political judgments. And in addition to their function as interpretive shortcuts, these cliches become what Richard Weaver has called “ultimate terms”: either “god terms,” representative of ultimate good; or “devil terms,” representative of ultimate evil. In thought reform, “progress,” “progressive,” “liberation,” “proletarian standpoints” and “the dialectic of history” fall into the former category; “capitalist,” “imperialist,” “exploiting classes,” and “bourgeois” (mentality, liberalism, morality, superstition, greed) of course fall into the latter. Totalist language, then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull: in Lionel Trilling’s phrase, “the language of nonthought.” (more…)

Ophelia Benson: "THIS is all YOUR fault!"

Ophelia Benson learns a new big word – stochastic

Blood libel (also blood accusation[1][2]) is a false accusation or claim[3][4][5] that religious minorities, usually Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—have been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]

Blood libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover, although this element was absent in the earliest cases that claimed (the contemporary) Jews reenacted the crucifixion. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and, historically, blood libel claims have been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr, a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise. Four of these have been previously canonized as saints, namely William of Norwich, Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Simon of Trent (Simon was decanonized[7] in the 20th century), and Gavriil Belostoksky who remains canonized in the Russian Orthodox Church.the Cesspit of Lies (more…)

cfi_blocked

How CFI deals with criticism under CEO Ronald A. Lindsay

There was I time when I would be surprised by this. That time is long gone. (more…)

CfI-Logo

The Center for Ideology

Let me paint a landscape for you as 2012 ceased to be…

On November 12 2012, Russel Blackford, in a rare moment of absolute exasperation, tweeted what most folks actually feel, but restrain themselves from articulating –

I will NOT be attending any convention / conference that features Rebecca Watson as a speaker. What were the Australian Skeptics thinking? smh

— Russell Blackford (@Metamagician) November 12, 2012

dilbert_ignorance

dilbert.com

On November 10, Rebecca Watson took her very own brand of air-headed cluelessness to new heights in a talk at Skepticon 5, dragging evolutionary psychology through the mud as some kind of tool of patriarchal oppression. Whether Blackford’s tweet was a direct result of this exhibit of buffoonery or not is not known, but doesn’t seem likely given the video was not posted until November 20. If by some chance it did, it only vindicates Blackford’s outburst as Watson now consistently paints a picture of skeptics and atheists to the outside world as a bunch of ill-educated, poorly read, perpetually squabbling clowns. Remember Galileo Becky? No, that was not an excusable “slip up” – it’s basic junior high school level history/science knowledge. It reeked of the pig ignorance of a stupid girl-child that fills her vast expanses of idle time between booze ups playing video games and tweeting snark instead self-education – the latter being what many folks would assume came as a minimum responsibility for someone that feeds at the teat of the community and claims to represent it. (more…)

wormtongue

Wormtongue – what Adam Lee hates seeing in the mirror

When you look at the whole menagerie of A+, freefromthoughtblogs and Skepchick and the various toilet slaves, snake oil peddlers, shills, frauds and confidence tricksters that squirm around it like maggots in carrion, it is a daunting task to try and determine which is the most obsequious toady of the lot.

I think that title has to belong to Adam Lee / DaylightAtheism though. He’s come from nowhere in the last few months, but with sheer bloody minded determination has made even yay-yap slugs like oolon look like ethical pillars of independent thinking, dignity and self-respect.

Adam’s first claim to fame was the glossy, clinically fact-free, propaganda advertorial he managed to inject into Salon – and leave a sour taste in many people’s mouths that Salon too can be consigned to the pile of online media portals that have “editorial integrity” as a marketing buzzword and not something that they actually waste any time on practising. (more…)

SamizdatI myself create it,
edit it,
censor it,
publish it,
distribute it, and …
get imprisoned for it.

Vladimir Bukovsky

samizdat – System whereby literature suppressed by the Soviet government was clandestinely written, printed, and distributed; also, the literature itself. Samizdat began appearing in the 1950s, first in Moscow and Leningrad, then throughout the Soviet Union. It typically took the form of carbon copies of typewritten sheets that were passed from reader to reader. The subjects included dissident activities, protests addressed to the regime, transcripts of political trials, analyses of socioeconomic and cultural themes, and even pornography. Samizdat disappeared when media outlets independent of the government emerged in the early 1990s.Merriam-Webster Concise Encyclopedia (more…)

Quantifying the incidence of gratuitous snarl and fear/pity language on Butterflies & Wheels

Dr. Franc Hoggle

Department of Gyno-Podiatry, Universidad El Toro Caca Grande
La Habana Vieja, Cuba 10100

-= ABSTRACT =-

Westernised professional wailing (唱板板, or “singing the banban”1) as a career and lifestyle choice is one of the most challenging, yet least known, branches of the classical performing arts. It distinguishes itself from its eastern roots – that of professional mourners hired for funerals as public showing of the social status of the deceased – by being far more entrepre’neurial and a business model in its own right. It is a complex, multidisciplinary form of expression that distills the finer subtleties from Munchausen Syndrome and certain aspects of HPD into its own unique brand psychodramatic theatre. Notable laureates of this school have been Glenn Beck, Anita Bryant, Joseph McCarthy, Jenny McCarthy (no relation), Catharine MacKinnon and Fred Phelps – those that have taken the mundane, the nonsensical and the nonexistant and, through applied hyperbole, hysteria and robotic repetition of fear-mongering and artificial “us and them” division, have escalated non-problems to the status of cancers that threaten to undermine society itself, thus ensnaring and captivating an audience of the feeble and the powerless that are incapable of articulating their bottled up angst unassisted. As with all styles of thespian expression, language is the primary tool and here the language of demonisation and persecution is the key to establishing a stage presence and an unforgettable persona in the eyes of the target audience. Yet this language is too seldom analysed, let alone quantified. This paper attempts to enumerate the frequency with which the language of demonisation and persecution occurs in one particular contemporary ideological ghetto – that of the collective that has formed around freefromthoughtblogs, Skepchick and it’s mutant offspring Atheism+.

© 2112 UNESCO Social and Human Sciences (more…)

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