… can be found by following the links this way…..

Thank you Science Woman for your comments. I’ll respond in due course.

My response.

Comments

  1. #1 MattK
    March 17, 2009

    I lurk around a fair bit but not so much that I can pretend that I am up on all the Greg Laden bashing that goes on. However, I have read enough of it to be flabbergasted that supposedly intelligent people can so willfully misconstrue the meaning of your posts and comments. The obtuseness of these people is pretty shocking actually. I don’t know how they expect their social analyses to have any credibility at all when they can’t decipher a paragraph written in what I assume is their native language. Sometimes these things are so ridiculous and over the top that I am tempted to believe that these things are staged to increase ‘ratings’.

  2. #2 KittysBitch
    March 17, 2009

    Greg
    There are a couple of us over there defending you.
    My lack of patience won’t allow me to fight for too long, but at least now, when others stumble on the post, it won’t be so one-sided.
    Is the defense mechanism so deeply embedded in their psyche that they really don’t see what they’re doing with their ridiculous little “translations” of your posts?

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2009

    Kitty: Thanks, I do appreciate that. Although one could just ignore some things, sometimes that feels bad.

    Anyway, I’ve rewritten some of the post, and perhaps now the criticisms that may have been founded on some combination of lack of clarity and insufficient care in reading (and as you point out, reading only the mined quotes in the case of some commenters) are now unfounded. Whereas before they were merely … poorly founded.

  4. #4 Propter Doc
    March 17, 2009

    Well, I’ve read your post, Sciencewoman’s post and your revised post and I cannot figure out what all the fuss is about. Your comments regarding scholars needing a wife seem spot on to me, where the term wife is used as the stereotypical symbol of domestic help. We could argue that its an outdated attitude, but I see no reason to attribute it to ulterior motives.
    I have to say, I’m getting a bit sick of these anti-Greg threads on ScienceBlogs.com – genuine issues such as how field work is particularly difficult for scientists with family commitments get lost in semantic arguments and squabbles about who has the right view point in perceiving sexism, and the usual suspects continue their hysterics.

    I think rewriting the post was a good move – if people miss the point so badly then as a writer, we’re doing something wrong!

  5. #5 KittysBitch
    March 17, 2009

    “if people miss the point so badly then as a writer, we’re doing something wrong!”

    I don’t know if that will help much if the reader is approaching the post intending to be offended.
    That’s what I think Greg is up against here.

  6. #6 Propter Doc
    March 17, 2009

    Yes, I’d agree totally with that KittysBitch. Unfortunately it does seem that a number of folks around these parts try to read the absolute worse in what Greg writes.

    I’ve never understood people who ‘looked for sexism or prejudice’ because you can find anything when you look for it. I’d prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and read with a more open mind.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2009

    I appreciate the support.

    There probably is a reason that certain individuals seem to have a need to do this. In this case, the reason that ScienceWoman took my post out of context is utterly obvious to me, but I shall keep my thoughts to myself until after the upcoming diversity carnival is out. The diversity carnival is important and I want it to not have this distraction during its second round. (Even though it is not actually moi who is causing the distraction.)

    When it comes down to it, I simply refuse to have my voice stolen by sour grapes. If a fruit metaphor can actually do such a thing to a criminality metaphor.

  8. #8 Propter Doc
    March 17, 2009

    You can’t mix a fruity and a criminal metaphor! That’s just not on. You’ve overstepped big time now :)

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2009

    Goodness, the vegan criminals will be after me now….

  10. #10 KittysBitch
    March 17, 2009

    “Goodness, the vegan criminals will be after me now….”

    That’s okay, their protein deficiency leaves them without the strength to do any real damage.

  11. #11 Jeremy
    March 17, 2009

    I think the best response is to not respond and let them bitch amongst themselves.

  12. #12 José
    March 17, 2009

    I’ve never understood people who ‘looked for sexism or prejudice’ because you can find anything when you look for it.

    No. I was looking for anti-squirrel sentiment, but couldn’t find any.

  13. #13 KittysBitch
    March 17, 2009

    The reality is that these people have every right to be angry because the overall themes that they protest are, or have been, correct.
    They should absolutely be vigilant in their search for the sexism and misogyny in their field.
    The problem seems to me to be that their anger has begun to burst through and warp their perspective. They believe that they see the seeds of the enemy in a few words and then suddenly run an entire post through a filter for key words. They take a certain perspective on a post, and no matter how hard you try to get them to see it from a different perspective, the filters are already there.
    They’ve picked Greg as their victim, and at this point it’s like trying to pull a pitbull off a childs throat (nice image there eh?).
    The strangest part for me is that my readings never come close to what they see in these posts. If you come into one of these dust-ups without any preconceived notions about the bloggers involved, it seems brutally obvious that they’re distorting his views, but I honestly believe that they can’t see it that way.
    It’s like trying to explain evolution to a diehard creationist. You know that what you’re saying makes sense and you can’t figure out why they can’t see it.

    That’s just my opinion of course. I wonder if I’ll be torn a new one over it?

  14. #14 Anne Gilbert
    March 17, 2009

    Greg:

    I hope this cheers you up: I read the original article(couldn’t really find the Science Woman critique), and I, personally, thought it was so impressive, and something I hadn’t much thought about, that I posted a link to the article, at my Palanthsci e-mail list.
    Anne G

  15. #15 Anne Gilbert
    March 17, 2009

    BTW, I also have decided to post a link to this on my blog.
    Anne G

  16. #16 José
    March 17, 2009

    @KittysBitch
    I think it’s a good point. As someone who’s occasionally accused of seeing racism where it doesn’t exist (of course, I think wrongly so), it’s important to remember there’s an underlying reason. I’m often willing to cut overly sensitive people a little more slack than most people.

  17. #17 Jason Thibeault
    March 17, 2009

    Obviously since you couldn’t find any overt anti-squirrel references, José, Greg’s slight to the squirrel masses is a slight of omission. Surely he is insulting them by leaving them out entirely!

  18. #18 pixelsnake
    March 17, 2009

    The strangest part for me is that my readings never come close to what they see in these posts. If you come into one of these dust-ups without any preconceived notions about the bloggers involved, it seems brutally obvious that they’re distorting his views, but I honestly believe that they can’t see it that way.

    This is EXACTLY what I’ve thought to myself any time I see one of these ‘dust-ups’ as you called it. I always think ‘wait, what?’ and go back and read Greg’s post again to see if I’ve missed something that so obviously made them angry, but I can never find it…

  19. #19 Stephanie Z
    March 17, 2009

    I think the question I’m starting to come to is how many times do you read a person in a way that doesn’t match the author’s intent and isn’t how a large number of others read the author and still decide you know what the author is saying when you read them? At what point do you start to ask instead?

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2009

    Stephanie: Sadly, and obviously, the answer to your question is zero.

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    March 17, 2009

    Hmm. I think you have that backward. I think the answer you’re going for is, “All of them.”

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    March 17, 2009

    Nope. I’m saying that the premise is incorrect. No one is reading anything for comprehension (or not). ScienceWoman is not the sort of dummy she would have to be to have read my post as she critiqued it. Everyone is focusing on the “wife” statement … and she got that way wrong of course … but much of her critique is pure sophistry, and she is not a competent sophist.

    Isis could not possibly be dumb enough to have actually glossed Becca’s YouTube reference and to have conflated my remark about Becca’s with Becca’s (cynical) intent. Janet could not possibly actually believe that the onus of meaning production is entirely on the writer. People around here (the blogosphere) play fast and loose with the concept of PhD and Authority, but Dr. Janet is no dummy and she did not earn her PhD on incredibly weak arguments such as the one she made. And so on and so forth.

    This is not about understanding or not understanding anything. So the number of times one does this is zero. There are other motivations, clearly.

    But I’m not going to go any further with this now. I consider this episode to be ended. Until next time …

  23. #23 Dan J
    March 17, 2009

    This is not about understanding or not understanding anything. So the number of times one does this is zero. There are other motivations, clearly.

    I keep seeing this issue come up, and am always unable to fully comprehend it. I enjoy reading Greg’s blog, and never find it offensive (either personally or empathetically). I don’t think I’ve ever before seen someone’s intended meaning being misconstrued by the same people over and over again (excepting political advertisements). So what are the “other motivations”?? Please: Janet? Isis? Becca? Clue the rest of us in.

  24. #24 Stephanie Z
    March 18, 2009

    Greg, I’ll leave it for now with just a quick note that it’s amazing what our brains can present us with if we don’t keep a very close watch on what they’re doing (not dualism, just a recognition that there are several types of processing going on). It can take remarkably little work.

    Dan, if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, you might try reading this. A friend who’s dealing with some other interesting group dynamics posted it on his blog yesterday. I saw at least some applicability to this situation. Of course, that’s what I do, see connections.

  25. #25 Greg Laden
    March 18, 2009

    Stephanie, that’s a good point. The psychology of reading or understanding any kind of dialog is interesting. Especially to those in the critical thinking biz. I wonder if this plays out in the blogosphere differently than in other contexts.

    Dan: (excepting political advertisements)

    Indeed.

  26. #26 D. C. Sessions
    March 18, 2009

    To those wondering, two words:

    Confirmation bias.

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    March 18, 2009

    Well yes, but not just conservation bias. Conservation bias is a form of ‘logic’ (nor not-logic). Independently of that, it is also possible to expect other psychological factors that actually shape perception, and not just the conclusion one comes up with.

  28. #28 Nathan Myers
    March 18, 2009

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that your words are twisted in this way by internet kooks. What astonishes me is that you pay any attention to these caricatures of people.

    The actual people writing can’t possibly think and behave this way in real life. I understand the pseudonyms to confirm they are treating the whole blog-world experience as a sort of role-playing game, or as my brother put it in the ’70s, “my-guy-does-this”. Straw men — and women — indeed.

  29. #29 Stephanie Z
    March 18, 2009

    Actually, Nathan, for the few people who have made these assertions whom I’ve met in real life, there’s not a lot of role playing going on. Or if there is, it was carried over for the occasion.