skepticism


“Politics have no relation to morals”

— Niccolo Machiavelli

“There is nothing more fearful than a barbaric slave-class which
has learnt to regard its existence as an injustice and is preparing to take revenge not just for itself but for all generations.”

— Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

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The more they carry on, the more they sound like white puritans a century ago whining about those filthy blacks. It’s just “socially redeeming” hatred. And nothing more.

It is nice that when you are on the verge of abandoning all hope in what now passes for the “rationalist” internet, something new pops up out of the blue to restore it.

That’s the kind of feeling I got when I stumbled into Science 2.0 recently – yes there are kindred spirits still out there that still do place value on reality, have a healthy, unashamed contempt for typhos, and don’t allow themselves to be held hostage by ideological maniacs. Just as a quick thumbnail example of civilisation, compare Pharyngula’s self-proclaimed style of notoriously ruthless commentariat to what is fairly typical at Science 2.0. It’s really the difference between cannibal tribesmen that throw virgins into volcanoes and the modern cosmopolite in his or her library with a snifter of cognac. (more…)

Transcript of the Rebecca Watson talk at the CFI Leadership Conference 2011

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[…] But in this case, what we’re talking about is the difference between sexual interest, sexual attraction, versus sexual objectification.  Objectification has a few things about it that separate it from interest.  For instance, focusing on the physical aspects of a person; ignoring their individuality, and their stated desires (for instance, my desire to go to sleep, my desire to not be hit on, which is all I had been talking about all day); and also a disinterest in how your actions will impact the “object” in question. And that’s a really serious point, that I think you all should consider, especially if you want to encourage more women to join your groups. (more…)

The irony of The Naked Emperor starting something with freethought in its name, after all his recent shenanigans, is mind boggling. It’s like Jeffrey Dahmer wanting to claim he was a vegan.

Ostensibly, the move is presented as having something to do with a change in governance of ScienceBlogs – with National Geographic taking over the helm. With a very straight face, PZ also burbles about free speech, remaining uncompromising, and avoiding possible culture clashes as the reasons for deciding to relocate. What a funny thought – PZ compromising himself… technically, that’s not quite the same as capitulating is it?

The riot act read out in the site’s grand opening is something to behold – (more…)

We are Watsonista. You will be assimilated.

I should know better than to have optimism. There was a brief window, that spanned the transition from the last millenium to our new one, where I entertained the foolish hope that perhaps we had actually left the politics of division behind us as a relic of a stupider age. Haha. Do I have egg on my face or what?

Yes I was premature in my hopes, and had suspended my Cynical reason. As Sidney J. Harris once timelessly quipped –

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.

True, he was referring to small “c” cynics, but it’s nevertheless a sensible attitude to have. Overestimating your fellow (wo)man rarely ends in anything other than tears.

Fairly early in the piece1 I was noting the eerie parallels between the Watson circus, it’s distinctly neo-puritan overtones, and various fundamentalist ideologies. Specifically, it’s self-hating flagellant mindset, paranoid persecution and martyr fantasy (a la islamism) and delight in scapegoating and denunciation. I was far from alone in these observations. (more…)

The more you keep rummaging around in this moral panic morass that the Gruesome Twosome tag-team of Becky Watson and The Naked Emperor have drowned us in, the more you come to realise that you are not even getting close to hitting the bottom of the barrel as far as sheer human decrepitude goes.

Myers, to some extent, can perhaps be excused for being a patsy, a dupe, a shmuck, a conscious man / toilet slave, a naive simpleton, or perhaps even having Stockholm Syndrome from a lifetime of being cuckolded and forced to eat doo-doo. (more…)

The Naked Emperor according to B. Bunny –

Have a chicken –

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(not a very honest or articulate Plato either, but nevertheless, just as confused)

The Skepchick Posse

The dust may be settling, opinion may be indicating less than overwhelming support (especially from women, ouch!), Watson may be in her new cave, with her new hairdo1, licking her wounds – if the new heights (or lows) of derisive, malicious sourness in her new “dating advice” video are any indicator – and at this point, I think there is only one unanswered question yet to be settled –

Was PZ Myers the elevator guy?

It was a question posed in jest in several places, even here, and it is one of those rare, ridiculous ideas that stops seeming so outrageous the more you think about it. It would certainly not even come close to being weirdest thing that reality has ever thrown at us, and there has to be some other kind motivator for The Naked Emperor’s kowtowing other than just raw stupidity. Because, even at this point, most of us still don’t want to believe he is a stupid guy. Amusing distraction no2?

But back to the matter at hand – the sheer pants shitting terror that the Skepchick posse appear to be able to evoke at will in those that they deign to frown upon. Is it at all in proportion to reality? It’s high time we had a look. (more…)

Yeesh. This one landed in my spam bin – it would be nice to think it was because Akismet is hyper-intelligent enough to detect substance free nonsense, but I am not that optimistic. It is however the first false positive I’ve found. Quantum sardonics again.

Suffice it to say, it took a while to pick my jaw up off the ground. It’s the sort of thing you want to dismiss as a troll, but to my eye, looking at the pointers, logs and links, it’s the real thing. And that is what is so disturbing. I wanted to reply in the comment thread, but for space considerations it’s here. In any case, it really does need to be filed in its own compartment so it’s not lost in the other noise. It’s just too staggering, in an abandon-all-hope kind of way. Here we go –

PZ Myers Says:
July 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm e

I read the blog post in question. I also read this one. Recall that my criticism was this: (more…)

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