Pharyngula

Well. There’s another paper out discussing science blogs, which is a good thing, I suppose. I just find the conclusion a bit disappointing. Bora has an exhaustive dissection, and both The Panda’s Thumb and Cosmic Variance have briefer (they’d have to be! Bora got loquacious) discussions of the topic.

Where the author loses me is with this summary.

To become a tool for non-scientist participation, science blogs need to stabilize as a genre or as a set of subgenres where smaller conversations may facilitate more meaningful participation from members of the public. Science bloggers need to become more aware of their audience, welcome non-scientists, and focus on explanatory, interpretative, and critical modes of communication rather than on reporting and opinionating.

We don’t need to ‘stabilize’ on anything: the virtue of this medium is unfettered diversity. Pharyngula is not to everybody’s taste (really!), but is just right for some others — the wonderful part of the science blogosphere is that we have so many different ideas bouncing around out here. Why, there are even people who disagree with me!

I also think I am pretty aware of my audience, and if you look at the comment threads here, they aren’t just scientists. This is the gladiatorial arena of the science blogosphere, and we don’t restrict attendance to the prissy ol’ patricians — everyone likes a good bloody rhetorical battle now and then. I know my readers like it when the bestiarii take on those animals, the creationists, and they also like the gladiatorial competitions between equals. And then we often break into homilies and tutorials. If that isn’t appealing to a wide audience, I don’t know what is.

I can’t help but think that the author had some preconceptions about how a science blog should be (which usually means antiseptic, pure, aloof, esoteric, and technical) and found that they are rarely that way at all. And was a bit disappointed.

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 9, 2010

    Why, there are even people who disagree with me!

    No there are not.

  2. #2 Mike Wagner
    March 9, 2010

    I’m not a scientist, and sometimes the subjects of the articles contain words that I haven’t seen before and can only guess at by their latin roots.

    Do I want them dumbed down or made more accessible? No.

    Why? Because for those who do have the understanding, they can distill the information they need from the current density. The author doesn’t need to waste time making sure the layman understands everything, and the readers with the knowledge don’t have to sit through a primer in every article.

    The internet is a vast resource in which to learn exactly what is meant by the original posts. I’ve occasionally lost three hours just tracking down the information on a single article. Along the way I amassed resources that I would want to address at a later time.

    It might not be what everyone wants, but then we have a fluid blogosphere. Some will post in Barney -speak, and others in Binary.

  3. #3 vanharris
    March 9, 2010

    Pharyngula is not to everybody’s taste…

    Yeah, but they’re only religious nutjobs, so they don’t count, eh.

  4. #4 dinkum
    March 9, 2010

    Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

    *spit*

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    March 9, 2010

    Yes, be nice and be informative. Good thing we know that now!

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  6. #6 michelr
    March 9, 2010

    “Why, there are even people who disagree with me!”
    Sorry to disagree, this is wrong :-)

  7. #7 Ye Olde Blacksmith
    March 9, 2010

    All I can say is that I have learned so much lurking this blog (and a few others like it). The rough and tumble dialog only makes it more enjoyable.

    PZ said:

    I can’t help but think that the author had some preconceptions about how a science blog should be (which usually means antiseptic, pure, aloof, esoteric, and technical) and found that they are rarely that way at all. And was a bit disappointed.

    I got the same impression.

  8. #8 Michelle R
    March 9, 2010

    That’s right. This is a gladiator arena. I’m wearing a slave Leia outfit with a gladiator helmet right now and I’m looking goooooood.

  9. #9 ernestotinajeroseo
    March 9, 2010

    It brings about an interesting question of what Science blogging is. Is Science Blogging about Science or Blogging by a Scientist? If it means science, then many of the blogs he mention, including this one fail to meet the criteria. Not a criticism, but the reality as many of the post here are of personal nature, (travels, movie reviews and such make their way into this electronic media). Also, would it be blogging without the personal voice?

    Blogging has more, as a medium, in common with an intellectual diary or memoir than does it mean “… a focus on explanatory, interpretative, and critical modes of communication.” His question seems begged. He defines a blog as: “Blog is a frequently updated webpage that facilitates informal communication between the author of
    the blog and its audience.” Then he calls for a change in the nature of the Blog, (informal communication between the author of
    the blog and its audience) to one more formal and non blog like. Boiled down he says a blog is better if it becomes less like a blog.

    It seems to me that if Science Blogging is a blog written by a scientist, a more interesting question is how a popular sciences blog effects attitudes toward science, rather than calling for a revision of how blogs are done. I don’t believe any blogger will change how they blog on the advice of an academic paper.

  10. #10 NewEnglandBob
    March 9, 2010

    Let the author of the paper start his/her own science blog with the desired tone and report back in 5 years on how it is going.

  11. #11 Moggie
    March 9, 2010

    #8:

    That’s right. This is a gladiator arena. I’m wearing a slave Leia outfit with a gladiator helmet right now and I’m looking goooooood.

    Coincidentally, I closely resemble Jabba the Hutt. We should get it on!

  12. #12 bpesta22#b99c7
    March 9, 2010

    I think you can’t reduce most fields of science to sound bites. It creates the illusion that one doesn’t need intense study in his/her field to figure what the best answers are to the field’s current questions.

    Without knowing anything about a field, one can’t even understand why the current questions are what they are. I remember Palin making fun of fruit fly research. I’m sure she has a soundbite understanding of most science, and that’s dangerous.

    Worse, it marginalizes true expertise and brings science into the realm of opinion, where yours is no better than the experts.

    A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

    Scienceblogs needs humility, in my humble opinion.

    Scienceblogs also needs as much academic integrity as required for science itself. Anything else demeans the brand (unfairly).

  13. #13 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 9, 2010

    Peace and love through anarchy and chaos!

  14. #14 RAMausII
    March 9, 2010

    At least the science here is legit. If one wants old boring science go read an old science textbook. Here I feel I’m at the frontier of science and at the front of the science/faith wars. Keep up the good work.

  15. #15 Newfie
    March 9, 2010

    Bora has an exhaustive dissection

    you think?
    Maybe that’s why he gets so few comments/readers, compared to other blogs.

    Keep
    It
    Simple
    Stupid

  16. #16 Pierce R. Butler
    March 9, 2010

    OT, except maybe for a etiolated link to preconceptions in general:

    Echoing the US civil rights movement, Muslim women in Washington, DC are refusing to stay in the “penalty box” rear section of their mosque for prayer services. Unable to enforce God’s Rules on their own, mullahs at the Islamic Center of Washington called the cops and are seeking a restraining order to keep these uppity women in their place.

  17. #17 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    Holy crap. 15 comments each from 11 different blogs? I would return a student paper in a class to redo for having such a small sample size, never mind actually trying to get something published with it. The blogosphere is BIG. It’s not that hard to get a lot of data.

  18. #18 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    Newfie, some people actually like to read posts that transmit information. Not everyone is stupid and needs things to be simple. And if you would go read his blog, you would find that his writing style is quite clear, crisp, and entertaining all while exhaustively taking down the article in question.

  19. #19 Stephen Wells
    March 9, 2010

    I’m sure the way the comments here instantly degenerated into some kind of bizarre Gladiator/Star Wars mashup* will confirm the author’s thesis, at least in their own mind.

    *I would totally watch that movie.

  20. #20 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 9, 2010

    Maybe that’s why he gets so few comments/readers, compared to other blogs.

    and?

  21. #21 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 9, 2010

    Newfie, some people actually like to read posts that transmit information. Not everyone is stupid and needs things to be simple. And if you would go read his blog, you would find that his writing style is quite clear, crisp, and entertaining all while exhaustively taking down the article in question.

    Exactly. Bora does a great job. Not sure what length of posts has to do with anything.

    Newfie have you ever read one of Orac’s posts?

  22. #22 arrakis
    March 9, 2010

    I personally love the diversity of Pharyngula. I am not scientifically-minded but have a fascination with science. As a history/music major, my understanding of complicated science is limited, but my biologist sister and her biochemist boyfriend are always willing to help me out. I think it’s great that some of the science here is easy to understand and other examples make my head hurt. It just helps me appreciate the complex, intricate work that scientists do. Some people seem to think that science is no more than mixing two beakers together and seeing what combinations blow up, and those people can’t grasp that science cannot and should not always be dumbed-down.

  23. #23 Gus Snarp
    March 9, 2010

    Looking at Bora’s post on this is a great education in the process of peer review. Basically he’s posted his peer review of the paper to his blog, so if you are a young academic looking to publish your first paper, this is what you should expect from a good reviewer.

    @Carlie – Well, it’s actually 1409 comments from 174 posts. The 11 blogs is certainly an inadequate sample, but I think that there is an adequate sample of posts and comments.

  24. #24 Larry
    March 9, 2010

    …science blogs need to stabilize as a genre or as a set of subgenres…

    Now there’s a fine idea. Let’s distill and homogenize the inter-tubes down to the lowest common denominator for a one-size-fits-all experience. That way, no one feels left out.

  25. #25 nejishiki
    March 9, 2010

    Great, another dumbass who has never set foot in a lab opining on science, and in an academic journal no less. (And, really – ‘The Journal of Science Communication’? – I think we need a moratorium on new journals.) Reminds me of Feyerabend’s remarks about how ‘Bastard subjects such as the philosophy of science, which have not a single discovery to their credit, profit from the boom of the sciences.’

    *flush*

  26. #26 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    Gus – sorry, I was focusing on the 15 comments per post and blurring that into total sample size. I agree with Bora, though, that 15 per post is incredibly inadequate. Sometimes it can take 30-50 posts of quickie observations just to gear up a substantial fight over the post material.

  27. #27 negentropyeater
    March 9, 2010

    Wrong methodology, worthless conclusions.

  28. #28 Gus Snarp
    March 9, 2010

    @Carlie – I agree on the 15 comments, but I also agree with Bora that the number of total blogs and the manner of their selection is a bigger problem. (Well, he doesn’t directly say bigger, but he mentions it more often.)

  29. #29 Richard Eis
    March 9, 2010

    As a non-scientist I think I already spend far too much time on these blogs. Making them more addictive would be a bad idea. Though his recomendations are incredibly obvious and would be dealt with through market forces anyway.

  30. #30 thomas.c.galvin
    March 9, 2010

    I just come here for the diemvoweling. And the bacon.

  31. #31 Louis
    March 9, 2010

    I find Pharyngula comment threads to be a generally poor place for me to pick up scientific information, the signal to noise ratio is all kinds of wrong. The posts are a different matter. However, the comment threads are also one of the few places on the web I genuinely learn something, scientific as well as personal. Interesting, no?

    If I want a specific piece of scientific information I have plenty of places to go. If I want a detailed (and there really is no other way in research) dissection of some piece of science in a sober and informed manner, then sorry, but these comment threads aren’t usually the place. Nor should they be, they serve a far better (and far rarer for me) purpose. A place to bang ideas about with people who are more than capable of banging them back.

    Incidentally, I don’t think this derives from a limitation of the people here, I think it’s a limitation of the format. We don’t get into images and equations a lot, whilst html and the text editor can cope with such things we generally agree not to, and the linear format can sometimes hinder following a subthread clearly/quickly.

    Again, I don’t see this as a problem. In fact, it’s an advantage, a feature. If I have an idea (quasi-scientific or otherwise) I know of no better place to voice it than the comment threads at Pharyngula. The ravening hoardes tear it to shreds (or ignore it!) in the appropriate manner. This is a Good Thing! It’s just not the best format for an in depth, technical discussion of detailed science.

    I think mistaking the comment threads for serious discussions of science (on average) is an error, and misses the point of what they are good at. The original posts are a different matter perhaps, being a mixture of science, news and comment.

    Like PZ said, many formats, many voices. It all goes to serve many needs. And that is good!

    Louis

  32. #32 https://me.yahoo.com/a/eJREANl71tBZaeOyZkJr9VcGGg4h#2f844
    March 9, 2010

    Eh. I sample a variety of science blogs and I wouldn’t much want them to resemble each other more than they do.

    However, anyone who used the wordoid “interpretative” gets the eyebrow from me. Ditto “orientated.” Just remember: Everything not prohibitated is compulsorary.

    Ron Sullivan, still plaginuated with a surfeit of letterittilies

  33. #33 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    March 9, 2010

    Except for a couple of physics courses in college 30 years ago, I’m entirely self-taught in the sciences, and I work as a journalist, not a scientist.
    However, I still enjoy your blog and find I can understand about 80-90% of the hard science. I don’t feel put off by the technical stuff, and I flunked high school algebra. Don’t change a thing!

  34. #34 Kobra
    March 9, 2010

    Rhetorical battles with creationists: Running an instance.
    Rhetorical battles with fellow atheists: Playing in a Battle Ground.
    Dealing with trolls: Defending a major city from a stray member of the opposing faction.

    We are all nerds. That’s your audience, PZ.

  35. #35 Kamaka
    March 9, 2010

    Just what science-blogging needs, another concern/tone troll.

    What is so hard to understand about “blogs are personal expression”? If someone wants to blog about monkey butts, all monkey butts all the time, so what? Read it or don’t read it, who cares?

    You want all science all the time? Go read Eruptions. I do. I like that blog.

    These trolls are just annoyed by which science blogs are the most widely read. Sorry, but popularity can’t be mandated.

  36. #36 Newfie
    March 9, 2010

    Carlie: Newfie, some people actually like to read posts that transmit information.

    Nothing wrong with that. He was talking about becoming a tool for non-scientist participation. Being technical and non-concise seems counterproductive to that aim, and after a quick look for comment counts, I was noting the irony.

    Rev BDC: Newfie have you ever read one of Orac’s posts?

    Yes.

  37. #37 circleh
    March 9, 2010

    I can’t help but think that the author had some preconceptions about how a science blog should be (which usually means antiseptic, pure, aloof, esoteric, and technical) and found that they are rarely that way at all. And was a bit disappointed.

    Some people need to just grow up and learn to deal with real people, I guess.

  38. #38 Kamaka
    March 9, 2010

    Oh, and if you want to increase the hits for your less-than-popular blog, just start shit with the Pharyngula horde.

    Though it only buys you a spike

  39. #39 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 9, 2010

    Yes.

    Ok, while he doesn’t get the PZ traffic he does pretty well as far as the SciBlogs go.

  40. #40 Les Lane
    March 9, 2010

    The beauty of the web is that novices have Google search and wikipedia fill in the blanks in their understanding. Modern technology continually improves permitting information to be presented at continually higher levels

  41. #41 Newfie
    March 9, 2010

    Ok, while he doesn’t get the PZ traffic he does pretty well as far as the SciBlogs go.

    There’s plenty to be learned from the comments, here, and on other blogs. They provide links, insight, maybe some clearer context/examples for the average reader, and a sense of community that keeps people around and brings them back.
    I realize that PZ gets a lot of traffic for Scienceblogs, but as an average reader, I don’t find his posts too technical to absorb, or too winded, and the comments keep it interesting.
    A good model, IMO, if reaching a wider audience is the goal.

  42. #42 abb3w
    March 9, 2010

    Science blogs may be a bit of a sociological platypus: “Neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, nor good red herring”. (Oh, and yes, with venomous claws along with all the other weirdness.)

  43. #43 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawl61Xz3jVOoXQLeonr0QlIml85KT81ad3U
    March 9, 2010

    Wow, such a debate over Bora’s (admittedly long-winded) article.

    I find it a bit amusing to see a journal analyzing blogs “scientifically”.

    What is the hypothesis being tested?

    What is the “problem” being solved?

    As another poster stated, the marketplace will work it out. I see the whole exercise as a bit pointless (i.e. the analysis of blogs – not blogging itself)

  44. #44 negentropyeater
    March 9, 2010

    Newfie,

    He was talking about becoming a tool for non-scientist participation. Being technical and non-concise seems counterproductive to that aim, and after a quick look for comment counts, I was noting the irony.

    The person talking about becoming a tool for non-scientist participation is the author of the paper, Inna Kouper, not the author of the blog, Bora.

    btw Bora’s post isn’t technical.

  45. #45 Peter G.
    March 9, 2010

    Welcome to the Monkey House. Who doesn’t enjoy a good scat flinging fest from time to time? On a meta level we are a scientific experiment in cultural anthropology.

  46. #46 chuckgoecke
    March 9, 2010

    I just love the bacon recipes, My heart doesn’t!

  47. #47 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 9, 2010

    I am a scientist, but only in a narrow sense; I have a field of expertise* and outside of that field I am a curious child/noob. I want to know more, and am poorly implemented to do so on my own**…and so I go on the interwebs. I suspect that this is true of most other scientists. Besides having a passion for science, I love profanity…not a big user myself, but when eloquence and profanity are combined…magnifique. I learn a lot here about things that I wouldn’t be pondering on my own, and during slow science weeks (eg..the fucking holidays when discovery comes to a grinding halt), I at least get to enjoy the rants. If I want to talk nice with the respectable members of my field, I use my real name and a telephone.

    *C’mon. Field of competence? Field of employment? Throw me a bone here.
    **Because of the employment thing. It eats a lot of time.

  48. #48 Anodyne
    March 9, 2010

    OT, but there’s a humorous piece in the Washington Post regarding the superiority of our tentacled friends…

  49. #49 Caine
    March 9, 2010

    I also think I am pretty aware of my audience, and if you look at the comment threads here, they aren’t just scientists.

    I’m certainly no scientist, I’m an artist and photographer. I learn a great deal here, and much of what I learn is in the comments – extended discussion and lots of clarification, for which this non-scientist is grateful. An antiseptic, pure, aloof, esoteric, and technical science blog wouldn’t teach me nearly as much. Nor would it be remotely as enjoyable.

  50. #50 Peter G.
    March 9, 2010

    @34 What remains to be determined: Who will be the alpha nerd?

  51. #51 statueofmike.myopenid.com
    March 9, 2010

    I think he’s saying that he wants space in scienceblogs for pseudoscientists to pontificate without having to deal with all of your “Scientist” words and theories getting in the way.

  52. #52 frog, Inc.
    March 9, 2010

    Krouper’s paper seems to me a perfect example of my hobby horse — the limits of scientific knowability.

    The original paper wants to take a scientific, sociological approach to studying “Science blogs”, and then extract some “lessons” — and Bora critiques from a scientific perspective.

    I find that besides the point. Science blogs are a form of literature (good, bad, irrelevant). They are only amenable to “sociological” research insofar as you’re extracting sociological networks and movements. But in terms of what they MEAN, what they really are, you’re not going to get much out of any scientific approach — any more than studying Shakespeare or the latest soft-porn novels “scientifically”.

    It’s silly — literature is only superficially analyzable from a scientific perspective. A completely different genre is needed to study basically opaque human artistic output — artistic criticism. It may be unuseful, bullshitting, etc — but that’s just the nature of the beast.

    And the beast here is our opacity to ourselves — that we simply can’t study “scientifically” certain very complex systems other than for a few, very limited issues (social networks, their evolution, etc). We have to accept the fact that they are under-determined, that we will be quite ignorant about them, and the best thing we can do is put them in perspective — which is the domain of the humanities.

    To relate this to something more important — Orwell is a better political analyst than 10,000 pseudo-scientific papers. Why? Because politics is opaque, and the best you can do is get perspective — you can’t get the important structure from “data”, but you’re better off with appropriately analyzed and contextualized “anecdotes”. There’s too much information, but too little data (selected and analyzed info) EVER for the complexity of the system.

  53. #53 https://openid.org/cujo359
    March 9, 2010

    The whole idea of a blog is that it’s about whatever its author(s) wants it to be about. There are plenty of formal publications in technical fields already.

  54. #54 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    frog, what’s your point? It doesn’t matter if you want to look at blogging from a sociological or scientific perspective (should there really be a difference there, which I don’t think there is); the sampling was inadequate and terribly done to meet their own stated goals of analysis.

  55. #55 frog, Inc.
    March 9, 2010

    Carlie: frog, what’s your point? It doesn’t matter if you want to look at blogging from a sociological or scientific perspective (should there really be a difference there, which I don’t think there is); the sampling was inadequate and terribly done to meet their own stated goals of analysis.

    My point is that even if they met their “stated goal”, it would have been pointless. What you can get from sociology would have been an analysis of class, race, occupation, etc. To find out what the science blogging “should be”, or “what it is” — you’re better off hiring an English Lit grad student than a Library Sciences grad student.

    Who would you hire for a PR campaign? Mostly sociologists, or mostly humanists? I’d hire a ratio of 10:1 latter to former, myself.

    There’s a reason why most cultural anthropology isn’t “scientific” — at the end of the day, measuring caloric intake gives you very loose constraints. An interpretation of a joke gives you a much better “interpretation” — even if you can’t get to “explanation”.

  56. #56 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 9, 2010

    Science is done here. Every so often PZ or another biology type will tell us biological stuff. In the early Everlasting Threads a couple of YEC were the objects of a geology seminar which didn’t do them any good but was educational for the rest of us.

    But I’m mainly here for the bacon, lesbians and…

    …oh look. Sniny!

  57. #57 menckensghost
    March 9, 2010

    When I was a lurker, I came here to read PZM, marvel at the lightning-fast exchanges, and hoot and holler whenever a halfwit was defenestrated.

    But now… now that I’m registered with *^&#@^% Moveable Type, I come here to be told that my password is incorrect. That’s what it’s all about for me now. Just me and MT, locked in a death-spiral…

    Be right back. Gotta go find a claw hammer.

  58. #58 Frank b
    March 9, 2010

    PZ can speak with authority because his blog is so successful. As previous posters have said, whether you know a little or a lot, this is the place. Tutorials are not particularly fun, but a little info and irreverent discussion is fun.

  59. #59 Kobra
    March 9, 2010

    @50: I nominate myself on account of my new sweet LARP sword.

    I have since put reflective duct tape on the “edge” to indicate the legal striking surfaces.

  60. #60 MAJeff, OM
    March 9, 2010

    From the snippet you provided, it sounds like the authors are operating in some kind of Habermasian ideal type of “the public sphere.” Always problematic in theitr assumptions about order and power, reasons for legitimacy being granted to speakers, and modes of communication.

  61. #61 Rorschach
    March 9, 2010

    Science bloggers need to become more aware of their audience, welcome non-scientists, and focus on explanatory, interpretative, and critical modes of communication rather than on reporting and opinionating.

    I wonder which blogs they’ve been looking at ? Which blogs are unwelcoming to non-scientists around here ?
    Aren’t plenty of the sciencebloggers happy to get any traffic at all ?

    And I agree with Louis on the observation that a lot of information and education will be picked up just by reading the comments here sort of accidentally, which is a great thing, and doesnt happen this way on many other blogs.

  62. #62 scooterKPFT
    March 9, 2010

    Stop using the lens of your preconceptions

    I think we all know what it’s like to be males in the preconception stage and what that can do to a lens.

    It’s like crashing your motorcycle into a Miracle Whip factory, coming up for air, and pretending to rational response.

  63. #63 Kel, OM
    March 9, 2010

    It’s blogs like this that are pushing my scientific understanding of reality. This is a precious resource, so many people here with different fields of expertise and understanding – not only to find out what to learn but how to find it too.

  64. #64 andrewblairesch
    March 9, 2010

    I only like science writing that are polite, respectful, and provide totally inane cocktail party anecdotes.

  65. #65 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    Okay, so I read. Then I think. And this is what I think.

    More science content in “science blogs”.

    Lets face it, this blog itself is usually a forum for theist/creationism/religion bashing. Amusing as it is, some time the science content is just not there.

    Now yes it is a blog and as such, PZs little kingdom, where what he says goes. But maybe not always, but only sometimes a science blog. Like the squidy pics and the Monday Metazoans, but how is Sunday Sacralidge science content?

    To bad these blogs dont do XML tags, I’d love to tag this whole thing to an opinion tag.

  66. #66 dnbarabash
    March 9, 2010

    Your concern is noted, Sandi.

  67. #67 claire-chan
    March 9, 2010

    @50: Alpha… nerd…? Do we have such a system?

  68. #68 Caine
    March 9, 2010

    Sandis @ 65:

    Okay, so I read. Then I think. And this is what I think.

    Which is, as usual, not much.

    Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal

    ^Pretty much gives a healthy fucking clue as to what the content might be. There is plenty of science here, search evo-devo. Thing is, you usually aren’t around to voice your concern then. So go clutch your pearls elsewhere – the intersection is waiting for you.

  69. #69 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 9, 2010

    So, Sandi, please provide the scientific backing for Deepak.

  70. #70 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    Sandi, please look at the categories and the number of posts in each category (conveniently found in the archive section), and then think for a few minutes.

  71. #71 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    Caine @ 68:

    I have seen the tagline. Nothing I said was untrue.

    As for how much I think, clearly a lot more than you did in your clearly reactionay comment.

    Furthermore, I don’t own any pearls, and “the intersection is waiting”? WTF?

  72. #72 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    SANDI,
    These totals are from a few days ago, but please explain your contention in the light of these data:

    Archive category posts on Pharyngula:
    Genetics 86
    Neurobiology 74
    Nutrition 1
    Science 830
    Cephalopods 457
    Development 213
    Environment 108
    Evolution 429
    Fossils 106
    Galapagos 12
    Molecular biology 137
    Reproduction 144
    Science Philosophy 4
    Communicating science 136

    That?s about 2737 posts in science categories.

    Religion 728
    Godlessness 975

    That?s 1703 posts. I guess you could include the ?stupidity? and ?kooks? category, but that?s if you assume that those terms accurately describe religion. Still only takes you to 2466, less than the science categories. Carnivals (239) and Creationism (1776) span both.

  73. #73 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 9, 2010

    Sandi isn’t blog savy. Mooney.

    Sandi, there is a lot of science involved especially when we bash creationist. We don’t do with nothing, like you seem to think we do. There is a lot of scientific data used into trumping them.

  74. #74 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    @73: could you point out to me where I said or gave the impression that I believe that the bashing done here is with a hollow rod?

  75. #75 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 9, 2010

    Sandi here:

    Lets face it, this blog itself is usually a forum for theist/creationism/religion bashing. Amusing as it is, some time the science content is just not there.

    Perhaps it wasn’t your intent, but it sure sounded like you trying to say we had no substance. Especially since the sentance were paired together.

  76. #76 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    sandi, can you please address the fact that your assertion “Lets face it, this blog itself is usually a forum for theist/creationism/religion bashing. Amusing as it is, some time the science content is just not there.” is incorrect?

  77. #77 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    Perhaps there should have been a linebreak there. Those are two seperate thoughts. But thats grammarnazi nitpicking. Lets not go there :-)

  78. #78 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    Sandi, would you care to own up to the fact that you were wrong in stating that science content is often not here?

  79. #79 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    Gyeong, thought of this as I clicked the submit button last.

    What definition would you give for “blog savy”?

    Just curious.

  80. #80 Carlie
    March 9, 2010

    I’m being ignored. *sniff*

  81. #81 The Pint
    March 9, 2010

    For the record: work in publishing, hold a BFA in Literature/Writing, am a hobby artist/cook/firedancer; in other words, not a scientist. And I love this blog. 90% of the time I have to work at following the more science-heavy posts and comments and content myself with learning something new, rather than being able to contribute to the fray (unless it’s to throw out/respond to a geek reference – you guys are awesome with those!). Which is the main reason I come here – to learn from some extremely knowledgeable people who don’t shy away from saying exactly what they think in no uncertain terms. And occasionally engage in dialog when I feel I can contribute to the discussion.

    And really, it’s rather easy to participate in discussion here – as far as I can tell, the basic rule of thumb is anyone’s welcome, as long as they refrain from saying anything patently stupid.

    I’m still surprised at how often that happens. Damned entertaining when it does, though.

    PS – all the bacon love and Cthulhu references don’t hurt the attraction, either.

  82. #82 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 9, 2010

    What definition would you give for “blog savy”?

    There is a search box in the upper left corner. If you are unsure of the meaning of something, you could always look it to see if it were mentioned before. That’s what I meant by blog savvy; the ability to navigate a blog. Even if you only frequent this blog every now and then, you should have learned from other blogs on how to use this one. It’s not like blogs are new things and all unique. They have similar structures.

  83. #83 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    Carlie, u wernt ignored, you made your argument, you win whether or not I acknowledge you or not.

  84. #84 jesusfetusfajitafishsticks
    March 9, 2010

    PZ,
    here is a poll that needs your help and an article that needs to be laughed at…

    http://www.gazette.com/opinion/atheists-95335-religion-good.html

    he didn’t leave many options on the poll though.

    http://jesusfetusfajitafishsticks.blogspot.com/

  85. #85 jenbphillips
    March 9, 2010

    Carlie, u wernt ignored, you made your argument, you win whether or not I acknowledge you or not.

    True, but failure to acknowledge it, in light of the scornful tone of your #71 and the like, makes you look like a colossal ass. If it were me, I’d cop to it and get it overwith.

    The Intersection is one of the Discover magazine blogs. As luck would have it, the blog master/mistress and the commentariat are all colossal asses. Y’all should get along beautifully.

  86. #86 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 9, 2010

    Kobra #59

    Is that anything like Pox Day’s vorpal blade?

  87. #87 John Morales
    March 9, 2010

    sandiseattle

    Lets face it, this blog itself is usually a forum for theist/creationism/religion bashing. Amusing as it is, some time the science content is just not there.

    No,it isn’t, and sometimes, it is (respectively).

    Overgeneralising is not wisdom.

  88. #88 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 9, 2010

    jesusfetusfajitafishsticks #84

    Your blog would be a lot more user friendly, i.e., possible to read, if it weren’t light gray letters on a dark blue background. If you make your blog difficult to read then people won’t read it.

  89. #89 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    John@87:

    Yes I was generalizing, but that is sometimes the nature of an opinion.

    Love the last line too. Very PHI 101, and a truism.

  90. #90 Caine
    March 9, 2010

    Sandi @ 71:

    I have seen the tagline. Nothing I said was untrue.

    Wrong. What you said is untrue. There is science here, a great deal of it. My comment regarding The Intersection was referring to another blog; one which has many of the same problems you do when it comes to Pharyngula. Your comments largely consist of “concerns” you have regarding style a/o tone, which don’t add anything of substance to a discussion.

  91. #91 Kel, OM
    March 9, 2010

    Lets face it, this blog itself is usually a forum for theist/creationism/religion bashing. Amusing as it is, some time the science content is just not there.

    Even if that were true (it isn’t), exploring those topics among a scientifically-minded audience brings scientific knowledge. People bringing up Noah’s flood? Geologists to the rescue. Creationists talking their nonsense? Biologists and palaeontologists come to play. Presuppositional apologists? Well then there are the philosophers who rip apart the logic. Biblical apologetics? Plenty of former Christians and those who have studied on the bible (including in Hebrew) put out their arguments.

    Lets face it, it’s not just “ha ha, you believe in magic sky daddy” – even if it is just religion bashing it is done by exploring the issues therein.

  92. #92 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    OMG, perusing The Intersection and guess who? John Kwok! I remember that idiot from his posts here. Gonna steer clear of The Intersection.

  93. #93 Truthmachineom
    March 9, 2010

    Coturnix says this blog is “carefully moderated”. I called him on his silliness and he simply redefined “moderated” (and ignored his “carefully” claim). That’s consistent with previous experiences with him. Good takedown of this crappy paper, though.

  94. #94 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 9, 2010

    sandi: Are you kidding me? The Intersection is a veritable clown car filled with rejects from any blog with standards of discourse.

    It is so much better there. There is NO SWEARING.

    Oh, and by the way, fuck their sorry, appeasing, milque-toast bullshit. Fuck them all sideways with a rusty fucking knife*.

    * This particular post to be whined about on the Colgate Twins blog around mid-2011.

  95. #95 Truthmachineom
    March 9, 2010

    Lets face it, this blog itself is usually a forum for theist/creationism/religion bashing.

    Is that what this post is about? No. How about the one before it? No. How about the one before that? No. Sorry, but you lose. Try looking up the word “usually” in the dictionary.

    some time the science content is just not there.

    Yes, sometimes. So what?

    maybe not always, but only sometimes a science blog

    Yes, not always, only sometimes. So what?

    Like the squidy pics and the Monday Metazoans, but how is Sunday Sacralidge science content?

    Who said it is? But if you read what PZ writes about scientific thinking being incompatible with religious thinking, you might figure out the connection.

  96. #96 sandiseattle
    March 9, 2010

    stuv@94: Nope, gonna stand by my guns on this one. If Kwok is there, I’m staying here.

    (BTW, will someone please pass the eyebleach?)

  97. #97 thebmcc
    March 9, 2010

    Yes! There are plenty of people who disagree with PZ who read this blog and I’m one. I can’t say that I agree with everything PZ does. Yeah, I was raised catholic and I don’t always love how PZ trashes them. I went to a catholic high school and some of the most influential people in my life were catholic priests. In fact, it was a priest who introduced me to the world of chemistry and another priest who introduced me to biology and I’ve loved them since. They didn’t do that whole “maybe God guided evolution” stuff. They taught real science and let us come to our own conclusions. I was taught by Jesuits and they’ve been criticized and banned by the catholic church in every European country in the past, so maybe they had it right and being criticized by the church counts as points in their favor.

    Anyway, I didn’t love PZ’s whole eucharist in the trash thing. I know as an educated and enlightened person it shouldn’t bother me but the image still struck a nerve with me. Its amazing how cognitive thought and emotional urges are so disconnected at times. That is why I love this blog. It is informative and challenging all at the same time.

    Not sure if the point of my post is clear so I’ll simplify. PZ… keep it up. I think you do a great service to the blogosphere and the world. Thank you. I’m very much in your debt. Reading this blog has educated me and helped me to understand the world I live in.

    thanks.

  98. #98 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    The Intersection is a veritable clown car filled with rejects from any blog with standards of discourse.

    Yep, that’s as good a description of that gaggle of pissant simpering ass-weasels as I’ve heard.

  99. #99 Kobra
    March 10, 2010

    @86: My sword is not vorpal, but it does have an equivalent +5 enhancement bonus. Also, because it’s only double-edged on the upper half of the blade, I can wield it in a wider variety of styles than normal nodachi or completely double-edged nodachi. :)

  100. #100 DLC
    March 10, 2010

    Concern troll is concerned.

    Kobra should have a sonic damage bonus on his sword.

    I want John Kwok’s camera.

  101. #101 MadScientist
    March 10, 2010

    I was lost at “To become a tool” – it sounds like the title of an instruction pamphlet for the religious.

  102. #102 MadScientist
    March 10, 2010

    @thebmcc:

    “I was taught by Jesuits and they’ve been criticized and banned by the catholic church in every European country in the past …”

    Apparently they didn’t do a terribly good job of teaching you Jesuit history. The Jesuit Order was officially disbanded twice; this was not a European thing, it was global. The order obviously simply ignored the popes and their minions – it certainly doesn’t seem to have done them any harm. The disbanded order was welcomed in Russia – who knows, perhaps it was a means to annoy the hell out of the pope.

    Now you musn’t confuse individual religious people, who may be very good people indeed, with the institution of the church which is an instrument and enabler of evil. As the folks of the Apostates of Islam put it, they reject Islam but they have no hatred of nor harbor malice toward any muslims.

  103. #103 MadScientist
    March 10, 2010

    Hmmm … then again, the interwebz seem to be consistent about the jesuits being disbanded only once. Perhaps I only want to replay such a happy thought twice – alors, I will write a Revised History of the Soldiers of Christ. I may even leave out that nasty bit about the (literal) war against the Reformists. Then again maybe I should embellish the tales of murder instead – it would make the story so much more compelling.

  104. #104 John Morales
    March 10, 2010

    Obscure reference time: Lettres provinciales.

    In these letters, Pascal humorously attacked casuistry, a rhetorical method often used by Jesuit theologians, and accused Jesuits of moral laxity.

  105. #105 Kobra
    March 10, 2010

    @100: Yeah, because in 3.5, there was almost nothing resistant to sonic damage but plenty of things weak to it.

    *Reads up on resonance.*

  106. #106 mick.long
    March 10, 2010

    For my part I’m an ESL teacher, I appreciate science on a professional level because it informs the study of language and pedagogy but I also appreciate it from the sense of wonder that scientists bring us.

    Creatures that live in boiling hot deep sea vents, a cosmos teeming with billions of galaxies, particles that seemingly pop in and out of existence. Reading and learning about these things is simply fun! I’m glad that there are people out there whose profession allows them to discover these wonders for the rest of us.

    I also appreciate the utility science has in dispelling harmful superstitions and myths. I don’t claim to understand much of the universe but I know a sucker play when I see one. Science is the dynamite that can blast through the snake oil salesman’s bullshit.

    Lastly, with specific reference to this blog, as a atheist I like hearing the perspective of other non – believers. I also like to stay informed about the dangers posed by superstition and have the odd belly laugh at it.

  107. #107 shonny
    March 10, 2010

    Who the hell needs a social life when there’s Pharyngula . . . and WEIT and Sandwalk and RDN and . . .

  108. #108 shonny
    March 10, 2010
  109. #109 llewelly
    March 10, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself, OM | March 9, 2010 8:59 PM:

    Kobra #59
    Is that anything like Pox Day’s vorpal blade?

    Vox Day’s sword is actually a blade of vorpal delusion. Instead of removing the target’s head, it deludes the wielder into thinking the target’s head has been removed, when in fact the sword missed entirely, and left the wielder dangerously vulnerable.

  110. #110 DLC
    March 10, 2010

    I’m too geeky by half.

  111. #111 CalGeorge
    March 10, 2010

    From article: “The findings suggest that science blogs are too heterogeneous to be understood as an emerging genre of science communication. The blogs employ a variety of writing and authoring models, and no signs of emerging or stabilizing genre conventions could be observed.”

    Three cheers for heterogeneity, variety, and destabilization! Those are the best thing about the blogosphere. Shake it up!

  112. #112 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    I just posted this over at Bora’s blog – reposted here in case he decides to delete it:

    Um, your assertion that Pharyngula is “carefully moderated” was incorrect,* and truth machine pointed this out and politely explained why.** Your suggesting that he corrected you because he doesn’t like PZ is simply bizarre. It should have been clear enough from his comment that he likes PZ’s hands-off approach and that it’s what makes the blog a place he enjoys commenting (for years now).

    e) Several bloggers I greatly admire for their ability to keep substantive commentary going on their blogs and sticking to the topic would have already deleted yours for being off-topic.

    Not PZ, notably.

    *I noticed this, too, but didn’t bring it up – I’m not argumentative like truth machine.

    :)

    **Even after your weird redefinition of moderation, it was still wrong.

  113. #113 Barrett808
    March 10, 2010

    Science fights back:

    Exclusive: Dr. George Woodwell sets the record straight

    The response to the [email] vandals is to bury them with the data and experience of a century of scholarly research and analysis. The information that is important in making the decisions as to how to manage our world is unequivocal and must be advanced, not as questions at the edge of scientific knowledge where scientist like to dwell, but as the facts that they are, facts as immutable as the law of gravity. The climatic disruption is not a theory open to a belief system any more than the solar system is a theory, or gravity, or the oceanic tides, or evolution. This approach is uncompromising, partisan in the sense of selected for the purpose. It is not a lecture to undergraduates; nor is it ecology 101. It is a clear statement of what is required for government to do its job in protecting the public welfare. The scientific community has a firm responsibility in this realm now. This is not the time to wring our hands over the challenges to hyper-scientific objectivity, the purity of scholars, and to tie ourselves in knots with apologies for alleged errors of trifling import.

  114. #114 drawingbusiness
    March 10, 2010

    I’m far from being a scientist (I’m a videogame concept artist), but I’m always interested in learning how things work. Anything will do; plants, animals, people, machines, velcro, the cosmos: I don’t really mind. Aside from the almost irresistible lure of PZ’s religion bashing, I find the science here fascinating. Much of it I don’t understand, but even if that’s the case, it’s often lead me to other posts and topics that have expanded my understanding and knowledge; if I don’t understand something, then the onus is on me to go away and learn more about it. I have a young son; as he gets older, then the more knowledge I can stuff into him, and the more I can develop his fascination with the workings of the universe, the better.

    I certainly don’t feel unwelcome here, though of course the very few comments I’ve posted have yet to attract the attention of the ravening hoards. I’m sure if I made more noise, I’d quickly be torn limb from limb and scattered over a wide area. But that’s as it should be; I consider myself bright enough to know when to say nothing.

    *tiptoes away quietly*

  115. #115 Celeste
    March 10, 2010

    Speaking as someone with only a little college experience and absolutely no scientific expertise, I love PZ’s blog. I also read Dispatches From the Culture Wars and occasionally read Not Exactly Rocket Science. I’ve learned so much from all of these blogs and have never felt they were over my head. As one of the commenters above pointed out, if I need a little extra background info on something, I Google it or check Wikipedia.

    While I’m less likely to take on a creationist in an argument since I don’t have the scientific background, I find myself jumping into political and social discussions far more readily these days. Thank goodness for ScienceBlogs!

  116. #116 Celeste
    March 10, 2010

    Wow. My post should have just said “Ditto Mick.Long #106″. You were far more eloquent than I was. :-)

  117. #117 Bastion Of Sass
    March 10, 2010

    If I wanted to read a purely stick-to-the-facts-and-keep-it-simple science website*, I would. But that kind of site just doesn’t appeal to me enough for me to spend my limited time reading regularly, and I doubt if I’d ever comment on one.

    I come to Pharyngula primarily for the snark, the atheism, and the community of commenters. The science is merely a nice bonus.

    *Site, not blog, because it doesn’t sound very bloggy to me.

  118. #118 kiki
    March 10, 2010

    #114: Heh. You said ‘onus’.

  119. #119 drawingbusiness
    March 10, 2010

    #118: Uh-oh. Have I sprung sort of trap? Should I expect the ravening hordes at any moment? Oh Jebus, what have I done?! I feel like those guys running through the long grass in Jurassic Park 2 (specifically one of the ones at the back). I knew I shouldn’t have broken cover.

  120. #120 MosesZD
    March 10, 2010

    To become a tool for non-scientist participation, science blogs need to stabilize as a genre or as a set of subgenres where smaller conversations may facilitate more meaningful participation from members of the public. Science bloggers need to become more aware of their audience, welcome non-scientists, and focus on explanatory, interpretative, and critical modes of communication rather than on reporting and opinionating.

    Christ, another pretentious corporate communications director wannabe with a stupid opinion and a thesaurus…

  121. #121 markabbott50
    March 10, 2010

    I’m not a scientist, and I like coming here to be educated, even if many of things I read here and don’t interest me, or is beyond my understanding. I actually learn a lot from the propeller head scientists making comments on the posts. It can also be very entertaining.

    There are plenty of dumbed down places I can get information. I come here for a reason.

  122. #122 Paul
    March 10, 2010

    Oh, and by the way, fuck their sorry, appeasing, milque-toast bullshit. Fuck them all sideways with a rusty fucking knife*.

    * This particular post to be whined about on the Colgate Twins blog around mid-2011.< ?blockquote>

    Whined about in 2011? It’s being whined about right now. They did at least provide a link this time. And also, you’re a horrible person for suggesting Ms. Kirshenbaum be raped with a knife. They’re literally wetting themselves hoping she makes a big deal out of it. And of course, it’s evidence that PZ Myers likes sexual assault.

    They’re truly disgusting. I need to stop reading there again for my own health.

  123. #123 Paul
    March 10, 2010

    OK, fuck it, I’m not using any html tags for a couple days. I’m messing up every single time somehow. Anyway, what I meant to say in 122 is it’s being complained about right now. Screw 2011. The commenters are basically wetting themselves hoping Kirshenbaum comes down hard because people are saying she should be raped with a rusty knife, and Myers “likes it that way”.

    At least they provided a link this time, I suppose. I need to stop reading there again, for the sake of my health.

  124. #124 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 10, 2010

    SC,
    What fascinates me about Pharyngula is that it mostly functions as an anarchy–under the benevolent tentacles of our overlord, of course. There are a core group of values that most participants agree on, although dissent is tolerated even on these if
    1)it is fairly well thought out
    2)the dissenter is willing to accept a degree of criticism with good humor
    3)the dissenter isn’t a boring pissant

    The dungeon is there for as a disincentive for the incorrigibly stupid/boring/pretentious/nasty…, but it isn’t used all that often. Beyond that, few subjects are off limits. A variety of opinions are tolerated and one is free to enjoy the eloquence and/or rants of all the oddball participants or even to add to the strangeness should one so desire.

    When you compare that to all of the nastiness that pervades so much of the anonymous corners of the intertubes, the society functions amazingly well. I’d think bloggers would be interested in understanding how it works.

  125. #125 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Well said, a_ray. I agree. I’ve always thought it a great example of a community that functions without heavy-handed control or strict rules of interaction, and doesn’t (OK, rarely) descend into chaos and ‘violence’. It doesn’t appear that many of the people presenting their so-called observations have any real interest in understanding how or why it works as it does.

    OK, so I saw that the sidekick sniped at me over at A Blog around the Clock. Here was my response (the only one I’ll be making to her), in case it disappears from there:

    There are two generally recognized definitions of the verb, “to moderate.” The first is to restrict or repress. The second is to oversee and direct. Both are applicable to comment sections of blogs. It isn’t “silly” or “dishonest” or “weird” or “wrong” or even particularly unusual to use the definition Bora uses here.

    These are not separate, but overlapping. The sense of restriction and active direction is generally used, and that meaning was implied in the subsequent elaboration to which truth machine responded. None of it was applicable to how PZ or the commenters at Pharyngula operate. The reason the blog works is not “careful moderation,” if this term has any beyond the most idiosyncratic meaning, and some of the things Bora asserts that PZ does in support of his characterization (e.g., deleting comments) are done virtually never if at all. “Moderation means that the blog owner sets and controls the tone of the comments, sets the criteria for what is ‘over the line’ and builds a commentariat community that enforces his rules.” He does not set or control the tone of the comments, his criteria for what is over the line are remarkably narrow, and the community does not “enforce his rules.” It is wrong. What people imagine when they hear “carefully moderated” is what is being done here: controlling the direction of the comments, threatening commenters, emphasizing blog ownership,… That is very distinct from what PZ does.

    Of course, you’re about as unfit to judge clarity or intellectual honesty as a person could possibly be, so I expect no better from you, and won’t be responding to you further.

    Anyway, I enjoyed and agreed with the dissection of the article, as I said at the time I linked to it in a comment thread at Pharyngula. It’s a shame more people can’t simply acknowledge that they said something incorrect or presented their case in a way that is likely to be read as contrary to its intended meaning. Oh, well.

  126. #126 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 10, 2010

    Most of the regulars here respect each other. We may disagree loudly and at length but for the most part we recognize the intelligence, wit and sagacity of the others. There are exceptions. For several months I had another OM killfiled.

    Our tentacled overload rules more or less by benign neglect. As I’ve told the Colgate Twins et al several times, one has to work hard to be put in the dungeon. That’s not what they want to hear so they ignore this point, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

  127. #127 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 10, 2010

    Who are the Colgate Twins?

  128. #128 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 10, 2010

    Who are the Colgate Twins?


    them

  129. #129 drawingbusiness
    March 10, 2010

    Who are the Colgate Twins?

    them

    Good grief, I never realised how apposite their nickname was until I just looked at that photo. They are indeed the inane, grinning buffoons I imagined them to be.

  130. #130 drawingbusiness
    March 10, 2010

    Ah, I see that the Science Blogs comment gremlins remove “title” attributes from the HTML tags. Well, that will save me some typing if I am brave enough to comment on a more regular basis.

    I was trying to be helpful and include the commenter in the “title” attribute.

  131. #131 Walton
    March 10, 2010

    Good grief, I never realised how apposite their nickname was until I just looked at that photo. They are indeed the inane, grinning buffoons I imagined them to be.

    Really? I think they’re both quite attractive. :-)

  132. #132 sandiseattle
    March 10, 2010

    The girl is attractive, but the guy is average.

  133. #133 Paul
    March 10, 2010

    Don’t say she’s attractive, or we’ll have another blog war on how it’s unacceptable to mention a woman’s looks.

    Also, while you’re looking at the Colgate ad note how Mooney’s still not being up-front about having taken Templeton money (apparently Knight Science Journalism Fellow sounds better than Templeton Fellow).

  134. #134 sandiseattle
    March 10, 2010

    my last blog war was a stalemate, don’t care to bother with another. :-)

  135. #135 jenbphillips
    March 10, 2010

    my last blog war was a stalemate, don’t care to bother with another. :-)

    [joshua]The only winning move is not to play.
    How about a nice game of chess? [/joshua]

  136. #136 Walton
    March 10, 2010

    Don’t say she’s attractive, or we’ll have another blog war on how it’s unacceptable to mention a woman’s looks.

    Well, I think Chris Mooney is attractive too.

    (Draw from this what inferences you will…)

  137. #137 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    It…would…not…be…a…battle. It…would…be…a…massacre.

    [This attempted quotation brought to you by my suretobe faulty recollection of an episode of Kung Fu, the TV series.]

  138. #138 Paul
    March 10, 2010

    Well, I think Chris Mooney is attractive too.

    (Draw from this what inferences you will…)

    You’re not an out and out homophobe afraid to admit that other men can be attractive. Good on you. I don’t think much of your taste, but mine isn’t exactly normal either.

  139. #139 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    Walton, one can be physically attractive and an inane, grinning buffoon – since all three relate to behaviour not appearance.

    Conversely, I’m frequently an inane, grinning buffoon – but I ain’t as pretty as either of them…

  140. #140 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Walton, what is your sexual orientation?

  141. #141 Walton
    March 10, 2010

    Walton, what is your sexual orientation?

    With all due respect, SC, that’s hardly any of your business.

  142. #142 Walton
    March 10, 2010

    SC, I apologise for my post at #141. It was needlessly rude.

  143. #143 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    With all due respect, SC, that’s hardly any of your business.

    With all due respect, Walton, this isn’t the first comment you’ve made with a hint that you’re gay or bi. Far from it. If it’s so private, I don’t understand why you keep doing this. And frankly, since I don’t see being gay or bi as anything remotely to be ashamed of or to hide, I don’t understand why you’d be coy about it if you are. You don’t live in Iran.

  144. #144 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    You’re not an out and out homophobe afraid to admit that other men can be attractive. Good on you. I don’t think much of your taste, but mine isn’t exactly normal either.

    Two words: John Barrowman. There’s something almost disturbingly good looking about that man – and I’m (otherwise) straight.

  145. #145 MAJeff, OM
    March 10, 2010

    With all due respect, SC, stating a man is attractive isn’t necessarily a sign that another man is gay. Just like me looking at Iman and saying, “Dayum!” doesn’t make me straight.

    We’ve made the ability to say someone of the same sex is attractive a marker of homosexuality. I’m reminded of a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and George were telling Elaine that they were incapable of telling when a man was attractive because they were heterosexual (and in which Kramer called George Will attractive but not terribly bright…he got part right)

  146. #146 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Two words: John Barrowman.

    :)

    Barrowman met his partner Scott Gill during a production of Rope at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1993,

    Hitchcock’s version of Rope was fantastic. Never seen the play.

  147. #147 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 10, 2010

    I like to be mysterious. :-)

  148. #148 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    With all due respect, SC, stating a man is attractive isn’t necessarily a sign that another man is gay.

    Of course not. But again, this isn’t this first such coy comment on his part. I’m not trying to put any pressure on Walton, but it has seemed that some of his angst might be related to his being conflicted about his orientation. I don’t know how to provide a welcoming home without appearing to demand an “outing,” but I want to do this. Sigh.

  149. #149 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    Chimes in

    Well, I think Chris Mooney is attractive too.

    (Draw from this what inferences you will…)

    Mooney is okay, I guess. I think Brian Switek is cuter. (because he’s got more muscle.)

    SC, if I say Taylor Swift is hot, does that make me straight? In my opinion she is hot, but I’ve no attraction to her.

  150. #150 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    I like to be mysterious. :-)

    Very well. :)

  151. #151 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    Ahem,
    I caught the failed blockquote in the process of being submitted.

    Well, I think Chris Mooney is attractive too.
    (Draw from this what inferences you will…)

    was Walton’s quote.

    Though to be fair to SC, you did permit us to make inferences Walton.

  152. #152 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 10, 2010

    Though to be fair to SC, you did permit us to make inferences Walton.

    True. It was unfair of me to snap at SC, and I apologise.

  153. #153 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Commenting that another man is attractive indicates Teh Gaynezz now does it? Well paint me pink and stick me in a fucking parade!

    I’ve been in a variety of sketchy sexual situations throughout my life (and I’m hoping for more!) but never have I engaged in anything as unsketchy (or as sketchy) as proper sexual activity with another chap, even using a cigar. Well apart from that one time I wanted an A for my Latin exam back in prep school….

    I’d possibly break years of quasi-heterosexuality for Dr No era Connery or Raiders era Harrison Ford. Does that make me gay or even bi? Or does it mean I recognise the greyness of human sexuality and realise that even an ostensibly hetero chap like me has limits when it comes to hot men? As Wowbagger mentioned John Barrowman, I have to agree. Gay or not, he’d learn a chap a thing or two!

    Why do we have to fit in boxes? Gay, straight or bi?* Can’t we just be fluid and situational? Maybe I’m just a pervert. Scratch the maybe! LOL

    Louis

    *I’m not gay you understand. But my boyfriend. Oy vey he sucks a mean cock.

  154. #154 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    SC, if I say Taylor Swift is hot, does that make me straight?

    First, I asserted nothing – simply asked a question. Second, again, there’s a historical-commenting context. Third, if you said “Draw from this what inferences you will…,” yes, I would draw an inference.

    (It’s a little odd that people seem to be approaching this as though I’m “accusing” him of something. *grimace*)

  155. #155 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Well paint me pink and stick me in a fucking parade!

    While we’re on the subject, I’m a bit annoyed with Jon Stewart’s recent “so gay” bits.

  156. #157 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    (It’s a little odd that people seem to be approaching this as though I’m “accusing” him of something. *grimace*)

    Tone is hard to read without using pinyin, SC

    And what does a purple chicken mcnugget has to do with anything

  157. #158 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Tone is hard to read without using pinyin, SC

    ?

  158. #159 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    The joke is that Chinese is a tonal language, and pinyin incorporates tones into writing.

    And now I have spoiled Gyeong Hwa Pak’s chance to explain it!

  159. #160 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010
    Tone is hard to read without using pinyin, SC

    ?

    Play on word. The problem was that your tone sounded like you were accusing Walton. Tone is also an aspect of a language which can indicate shift in context or in some languages a indicate seperate words (like Mandarin which is romanized in pinyin.) Get it? lol
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Okay whatever, a linguist would find it funny. humpf.

  160. #161 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    Perfect timing.

  161. #162 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    Okay whatever, a linguist would find it funny.

    I was just thinking how much I wish I’d gone on and honours and a PhD in linguistics. Sadly, by the time I got to the end of my BA (my second undergrad degree with only a little time in between) I was tired of poverty and share-housing so I chose to enter the workforce and buy myself a flat instead.

    Now I’m its slave for the next dozen or so years and can only dream…

  162. #163 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Play on word.

    Oh! *claps*

    The problem was that your tone sounded like you were accusing Walton.

    Of course not!

    Tone is also an aspect of a language which can indicate shift in context or in some languages a indicate seperate words (like Mandarin which is romanized in pinyin.) Get it? lol

    Yes, now. Cool.

  163. #164 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    The problem was that your tone sounded like you were accusing Walton.

    How so, though?

  164. #165 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    And now I have spoiled Gyeong Hwa Pak’s chance to explain it!

    It’s almost as if you’ve read my mind. (either that, or you were able to deduce that I would clarify things as soon as SC showed a hint of confusion. The former sounds more fun.)

  165. #166 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 10, 2010

    SC, if you want to email me, my email address is walton_m AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk.

  166. #167 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    as soon as SC showed a hint of confusion

    Please answer my question @ #164.

  167. #168 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Dearest Darling SC #155:

    a) I’m not Jon Stewart (clearly!) I don’t have to defend him. I also haven’t seen these “so gay” bits of his, so I have no idea how relevant or not they might be to me.

    b) “By calling him humourless I mean to impugn his seriousness, categorically: such a man must rig up his probity ex nihilo.”

    Martin Amis, Experience (2000), Part I: “Failures of Tolerance”

    I suspect this has as much to do with your comment as Jon Stewart does with mine.

    c) If I have to telegraph my entirely humorous bits any further I’m putting in three page disclaimers. You see if I don’t.

    ;-)

    d) You are not accusing Walton of anything IMO. Do we have to have a multi page war over your interpretations of a remote someone else’s intent and specific motivations versus their (likely soon to be) stated intent etc?

    e) Anyone got any?

    f) Gyeong’s “tone” joke was hilarious even to a non-linguist (but someone who is trying to learn Mandarin for fun and profit).

    g) There is no such spot, allegedly. Or is there?

    h) Big kiss.

    Louis

    P.S. I’m not remotely serious. I’d be holding up my “serious” card if I were. This, like your hair, is a joke.

    P.P.S. I have no idea about your hair. That too was not serious.

    P.P.P.S. Is this the point where Walton gets naked and sweaty? If so…..worried.

  168. #169 Brownian, OM
    March 10, 2010

    I was just thinking how much I wish I’d gone on and honours and a PhD in linguistics.

    Sure, if you like wading through giles (er, piles) of orthographies.

  169. #170 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 10, 2010

    I looked up and saw that whole exchange fly far over my head.

  170. #171 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    Takes SC to my convoluted reasoning:

    Well at 140, your question is short and offered me multiple levels of interpretations as to your tone.
    Walton’s first statement at 136 opened him to be question immediately. While you were not the first response you were to first to ask.

    Asking question can be seen as a confrontation sometimes.

    It did not help that Walton’s response highlighted 140 as a threat, but keep in mind that Walton and I both admit that 136 was opened to inferences.

    And that’s how I deduced your tone. And remember tone is not always apparent in text, so it was wrong of me to assume.

    If it makes you feel any better SC, I found you a stripper.

  171. #172 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    I’m not argumentative like truth machine.

    Mu.

  172. #173 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    e) Anyone got any?

    Not if you’re going to stop at a backrub.

  173. #174 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    @ That Nice Young SGBM #173:

    Sorry, but are you calling me frigid?

    Right! I won’t stand for that sort of nonsense. Everyone, kit off, NOW!

    Louis

    P.S. I’ve never stopped at a backrub in my life. Except for all those times I was told to. Women tell me I have “go to bed” eyes. They look at me and say “Go to bed”. Waitress….Veal…here all week. Is this thing on?

  174. #175 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    Mu.

    Nu, Xi, Omicron, Pi, Rho, Sigma, Tau, Upsilon, Phi, Chi, Psi, Omega.

  175. #176 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    SC, if you want to email me, my email address is walton_m AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk.

    I will! Josh, OSG, I will, also! And ‘Tis and strange gods, I’ll be back to you soon!

    a) I’m not Jon Stewart (clearly!) I don’t have to defend him. I also haven’t seen these “so gay” bits of his, so I have no idea how relevant or not they might be to me.

    Yes, Louis, it’s all about you.

    I suspect this has as much to do with your comment as Jon Stewart does with mine.

    About Stewart, not you.

    d) You are not accusing Walton of anything IMO. Do we have to have a multi page war over your interpretations of a remote someone else’s intent and specific motivations versus their (likely soon to be) stated intent etc?

    ?

  176. #177 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    Asking question can be seen as a confrontation sometimes.

    It’s an especially sensitive topic when a guy feels he has reason to stay closeted.

  177. #178 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    Sure, if you like wading through giles (er, piles) of orthographies.

    Actually, I kind of do. There aren’t many aspects of language and writing that I don’t enjoy. But at the time I decided I wouldn’t be happy being a poor student any more, and that – even if I did and got through it all – at the end of my PhD there may not be much in the way of gainful employment.

  178. #179 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    Sorry, but are you calling me frigid?

    Merely inquiring as to the cost of entry.

  179. #180 MAJeff, OM
    March 10, 2010

    I will! Josh, OSG, I will, also! And ‘Tis and strange gods, I’ll be back to you soon!

    But I get to eat with SC!

  180. #181 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    SC #176:

    All about me? Hardly, but you did quote *me* in that post at #155, I thought it a reasonable inference that your post might in some way be referring to, well, me.

    As for the rest, chalk it up to *my* misreading of your intent and leave it at that.

    Louis

  181. #182 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    SGBM #179;

    Entry? ENTRY? ENNNTRY?????

    I will have you know, sirrah, that a gentleman such as I cannot be had for the price of an ecstasy tablet!

    A handshake and cheeky Rohypnol and tonic usually suffice.

    Louis

  182. #183 windy
    March 10, 2010

    1. Make multiple references to the commenting culture at Pharyngula or a thinly veiled version thereof.
    2. When someone thinks you have got the wrong impression and tries to correct it, complain that people are hijacking the discussion to talk about Pharyngula.
    3. Profit!

  183. #184 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    It did not help that Walton’s response highlighted 140 as a threat, but keep in mind that Walton and I both admit that 136 was opened to inferences.

    And that’s how I deduced your tone. And remember tone is not always apparent in text, so it was wrong of me to assume.

    If it makes you feel any better SC, I found you a stripper.

    Seriously cute. Thanks.

    I’m not argumentative like truth machine.

    Mu.

    ? Perhaps you noticed the emoticon?

  184. #185 Brownian, OM
    March 10, 2010

    Actually, I kind of do.

    Hmph. It appears my linguistics joke wasn’t as funny as GHP’s.

    I nicked a copy of Inuktitut Magazine from my eighth grade art class because it had a guide to the syllabary and its pronunciation on the back and spent a month translating the names of everyone I knew. I can still spend hours at Omniglot.com.

    I tried to invent a system of numerals for writing in base 3 using triangles and lines, but couldn’t ever get it to work. One day, when the aliens from War of the Worlds attack, I’ll be ready to crack their codes, though dammit!

  185. #186 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    I finally got around to reading Coturnix’s response to me. It’s a pity that he undercuts his intellect and credibility with such immaturity. I posted once more there; I wonder whether he will delete it:

    It’s rather sad that the claim is made that it is not appropriate to discuss here a claim made here. SC’s #28 is correct on all points, including the excellence of the dissection of the JCOM article.

  186. #187 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    Hmph. It appears my linguistics joke wasn’t as funny as GHP’s.

    It might have been…had I got it.

    My interest in such things came much later in life; I was in my mid-twenties before I found any of it interesting.

  187. #188 aratina cage
    March 10, 2010

    Hmph. It appears my linguistics joke wasn’t as funny as GHP’s.

    No, it was funny. I wondered how long you had to wait to use that line, though. :)

  188. #189 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    It’s an especially sensitive topic when a guy feels he [or a woman feels she] has reason to stay closeted.

    Yes, I see this. I also feel the desire to encourage people to break out of the closet. But I don’t want to get anyone hurt. I’ve lived in some of the most gay places in the world for most of my adult life, so that may have rendered me less aware of the dangers. On the other hand, I’m an anarchist, so…

    But I get to eat with SC!

    I. Am. So. Psyched.

  189. #190 Paul
    March 10, 2010

    I finally got around to reading Coturnix’s response to me. It’s a pity that he undercuts his intellect and credibility with such immaturity.

    It seems oddly common among some bloggers, though. For instance, during the whole Laden dust-up, he said like it was the most obvious thing in the world that his blog is not the place to disagree with him (even when you are simply posting on topic to take a contradictory position), and if you wanted to disagree that you should open your own blog. It seems Coturnix follows the same underlying assumption.

  190. #191 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    ? Perhaps you noticed the emoticon?

    In all honesty, I did not. (Having it in between ‘*’ and ‘**’ may have caused my poor brain to skip over it as being semantically insignificant.) But I of course should have realized that you would not be so unintentionally ironic — I apologize for that.

    I’m always impressed (but not surprised) by your ability to grasp the meaning of even the most cursory comments, such as my “Mu” here. A pity that what I considered at the time to be a clever response was such a misfire.

  191. #192 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    (Having it in between ‘*’ and ‘**’ may have caused my poor brain to skip over it as being semantically insignificant.)

    The root problem, I think, is that I have no idea where a line ends and so won’t take a chance – a smile goes on the next line.

    You (like others who shall not be named) are adorable.

    :)

  192. #193 Greg Laden
    March 10, 2010

    if you wanted to disagree that you should open your own blog. It seems Coturnix follows the same underlying assumption.

    Ah … no.

    People disagree with me on my blog all the time and are generally welcome to do THAT.

    But once commenters start to act like unmitigated shits who are utterly compulsive about their own message and have too little respect for their fellow human, ANYTHING can happen to them. On any blog, including Pharyngula, my blog, anywhere. If I get sufficiently annoyed I may well suggest that you go away and if you need to keep screaming I may suggest that you get your own blog. I’m not quite sure why you feel it necessary to tell me that I can’t make that suggestion.

    Although a lot of people (many being anonymous commenters) believe that they have a right to say and do whatever they like without consequences, that simply isn’t true. If you are an asshole, you must expect people to treat you like one. Why people don’t get that is rather astonishing. Having the suggestion made in strong words to take your ball and find a different corner to play on terribly upsets some people … generally those who prefer a world in which they tell others what to do … it is not actually the worst thing that can happen to you.

  193. #194 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Pathetic.

    Horrific accusations, altering comments, revealing personal information,….

    You’re ridiculous, Laden.

  194. #195 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 10, 2010

    And ‘Tis and strange gods, I’ll be back to you soon!

    I wait with breathless anticipation.

  195. #196 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Laden:

    If you are an asshole, you must expect people to treat you like one.

    Ya don’t say. You’re an obnoxious asshole, acted like one then; acting like one now. Thankfully, there’s a nifty little solution when it comes to your assholism here: [unkill]?[show comment]

  196. #197 John Morales
    March 10, 2010

    Greg Laden,

    If you are an asshole, you must expect people to treat you like one.

    Yeah. Apparently, I made you sufficiently annoyed.

  197. #198 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    These are the good old days.

  198. #199 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    You (like others who shall not be named) are adorable.

    It has seemed that you are not as angry at me as you once were, but I really wasn’t expecting anything like that. Thank you.

    :)

    Assuming of course that that one doesn’t have the same meaning as the other one. :-)

  199. #200 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 10, 2010

    If you are an asshole, you must expect people to treat you like one. Why people don’t get that is rather astonishing.

    Damn, Laden, if you can say this then why don’t you realize it on your own fucking blog. You acted like an asshole and seemed surprised when I pointed this out to you.

    Let me put this to you simply, easily and straight-forwardly. Greg Laden, you’re a fucking asshole! Now crawl back under your rock and don’t come out until you can stop being an asshole.

  200. #201 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    What is wrong with you Greg? Your hostility is just so over the top. You outed the identity of some commenters, and changed a commenter’s text (mine) without indicating that it was an edit. That’s just unethical behavior and there’s no justification for it, no matter how much you disagree with what a commenter says.

    If you don’t like a commenter, delete the post or ban him/her. Abusing your ability to out people or edit their comments is appalling.

  201. #202 bpesta22#b99c7
    March 10, 2010

    GL– problem is you define asshole as anyone who disagrees with you or doesn’t immediately see the brilliance of your scientific worldview.

  202. #203 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    OTOH, #193 does appear to be full of unintentional irony.

  203. #204 tyrannogenius
    March 10, 2010

    I think blogs are a good place to bring up scientific ideas and issues. It gives the proposer a chance to see the idea hashed out, get advice and critique in advance of writing it up, etc.

  204. #205 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    Yeah. Apparently, I made you sufficiently annoyed.

    Blastual [sic] is a fiction, it looks like Pharyngula, it is not a thinly disguised Pharyngula.

    Yegads. It was exactly Pharyngula with straightforward text substitution of names.

  205. #206 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    Sweet plastic Jesus on my dashboard, Laden.

    LET IT THE FUCK GO ALREADY.

    I highly suggest you take a break from blogging and get your head screwed on straight again.

    I see NO-ONE involved in any of this fracas that is more obsessed about it than… YOU.

  206. #207 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    It has seemed that you are not as angry at me as you once were, but I really wasn’t expecting anything like that. Thank you.

    I blocked your emails? I think not.

  207. #208 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Whatever else went on, editting other people’s posts/comments (even if when called on it post fact and marking edits/apologising) is a massive no-no. It appears to be the very height of dishonesty, whether or not that was the intent or result. That was an error.

    Louis

  208. #209 Rorschach
    March 10, 2010

    Bit late to the lovefest ….

    OTOH, #193 does appear to be full of unintentional irony.

    Problem with Greg is, most of his remarks and posts can somehow be interpreted as ironic or carrying some obscure subtle message that we just don’t get, he’s used that excuse lots in the “firing squad” fiasco.
    Unfortunately the editing of posts remains inexcusable.

  209. #210 Truthmachineom
    March 10, 2010

    I blocked your emails? I think not.

    Ok, nevermind, I remember why I did. I admire a lot about you, S., but I’m glad I never got involved with you.

  210. #211 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    I’d possibly break years of quasi-heterosexuality for Dr No era Connery or Raiders era Harrison Ford.

    I gotta go with Daniel Craig as the new Bond.

    that piercing blue eyed stare…

    …and I think he actually did practice it for quite a while, too!

  211. #212 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    Ok, nevermind, I remember why I did. I admire a lot about you, S., but I’m glad I never got involved with you.

    Wow. Go to hell.

  212. #213 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    Ok, nevermind, I remember why I did. I admire a lot about you, S., but I’m glad I never got involved with you.

    what a strange thing to say on a blog.

  213. #214 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Ichthyic @ 206:

    I see NO-ONE involved in any of this fracas that is more obsessed about it than… YOU.

    I suspect he liked all the attention, along with the power trip. He can’t get that back, so he tries to stir things up here.

  214. #215 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    Problem with Greg is, most of his remarks and posts can somehow be interpreted as ironic or carrying some obscure subtle message that we just don’t get, he’s used that excuse lots in the “firing squad” fiasco.

    That’s his excuse for his terrible writing. Yes, yes, I know, other commenters – you don’t need to tell me he’s written lucidly on the Congo, etc. Not disputing that.

    But much of his writing is just objectively bad. Meandering train of thought with ideas not connected throughout. Clumsy word choice that leaves ideas, at a minimum, vague, and often impossible to understand. Irregular syntax that forces you to go back and read each sentence, word by word, to try to parse the meaning.

    We all have off days, and it shows up in our writing (at least it does for me). But then to get so irate and frothingly hostile when people don’t understand your clumsy prose, and don’t immediately intuit the meaning you want them to – what gives?

  215. #216 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    I gotta go with Daniel Craig as the new Bond.

    I’ll second Wowbagger about John Barrowman. It’s not fair for a man to be that good-looking, and me not gay.

  216. #217 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    But once commenters start to act like unmitigated shits who are utterly compulsive about their own message and have too little respect for their fellow human, ANYTHING can happen to them.

    And if revealing your private information doesn’t make you get the picture, Greg Laden will send somebody to break your arm.

  217. #218 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    Wow, Barrowman really is unusually attractive. Dead fucking sexy.

    One thing I really appreciate about the straight guys here on Pharyngula is that none of you plays that stupid “I can’t tell if a man’s attractive” game. That drives up the wall. It’s so middle school.

  218. #219 SC OM
    March 10, 2010

    you don’t need to tell me he’s written lucidly on the Congo, etc.

    Band camp.

  219. #220 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    I’ll second Wowbagger about John Barrowman. It’s not fair for a man to be that good-looking, and me not gay.

    It’s not fair he’s not the same age, or in the same geographic location. See, gay men are just as unlucky as you. ;-)

  220. #221 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Icthyic #211:

    I grew lady parts when Daniel Craig walked out of the sea.

    Mind you I regrew gentleman parts when Eva Green….well…when Eva Green did anything. Mind you I have strange urges about Dame Judi Dench. There’s a compellingly interesting woman.

    One must have conversation after sex after all.*

    Louis

    *For given definitions of “must” and “conversation”.

  221. #222 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    Band camp.

    This. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  222. #223 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    It’s not fair he’s not the same age,

    Gyeong, you’re not seriously going to tell me you’d turn him down because he’s not in his early 20s like you?

  223. #224 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    “I can’t tell if a man’s attractive” game.

    well, it’s quite different to the way I judge “attractiveness” in females.

    In fact, I find most females sexually attractive, but could count on one hand the number of males I find sexually attractive.

    I suppose you could separate that out to “yeah, i can tell the ladies would like how that guy looks”, but is that the same thing?

    because sure, it’s easy enough for most guys to tell that Ford or Connery are “good looking guys”, while thinking that perhaps this gentleman:

    http://www.grimmemennesker.dk/ugly-people-551.htm

    might need some work.

    it’s a different thing in my mind to say that one is attracted to someone, as opposed to just saying they look good.

    make sense?

  224. #225 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Gyeing Hwa Pak #220:

    To be fair though, rearranging one’s sexual preferences is a lot trickier than obtaining a plane ticket, some natty clothes and a drink or two.

    Damn you lucky, lucky gay people. DAMN YOU!!!!!

    ;-)

    Louis

  225. #226 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    Wow, Barrowman really is unusually attractive. Dead fucking sexy.

    And yet, he didn’t have the sense not to star in Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.

    One thing I really appreciate about the straight guys here on Pharyngula is that none of you plays that stupid “I can’t tell if a man’s attractive” game. That drives up the wall. It’s so middle school.

    I think where John Barrowman is concerned there’s a continuum between “I want to sleep with him” and “I wish I was him.”

    It’s not fair he’s not the same age, or in the same geographic location. See, gay men are just as unlucky as you. ;-)

    Touché!

  226. #227 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Bobber @ 216:

    I’ll second Wowbagger about John Barrowman.

    That man breaks the attraction barrier. ;) Even if I hadn’t liked Torchwood (and I did), Barrowman would have kept me glued to the screen.

    Oh, and he looks great in a kilt.

  227. #228 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    Mind you I have strange urges about Dame Judi Dench. There’s a compellingly interesting woman.

    Just so.

    she exudes a certain confidence that one can’t help but find attractive.

    I think you would find many agreeing, which, I think, is one of the reasons they chose her for that part.

  228. #229 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    I suppose you could separate that out to “yeah, i can tell the ladies would like how that guy looks”, but is that the same thing?

    Okay, maybe I have to take back my unqualified praise for Pharyngula straight guys (just kidding, Ich):) Respectfully, though, I think you have a tinge of the problem I was talking about. You seem to need to hedge the phrase “that guy is attractive” with the qualifier “I bet ladies would find him attractive.”

    Don’t conflate the thoughts “That person is attractive” and “I am sexually attracted to that person.” That’s another common straight guy thing that seems to spring from a fear that other people will think you mean to say you want to sleep with the guy. I admit there is some danger of that, since male heterosexual culture is, in the main, obsessed with not being seen to be gay or feminine.

    It’s no different from when I remark on a beautiful woman. There are some women who are just objectively ravishing, and leave me slackjawed. Yes, I enjoy looking at their luscious faces and curves – it’s an aesthetic delight. But I’m not sexually aroused by them. And I don’t feel compelled to say, “Oh, I bet straight guys would find her attractive,” when a simple, truthful, “Wow, she’s beautiful” will do.

  229. #230 aratina cage
    March 10, 2010

    In fact, I find most females sexually attractive, but could count on one hand the number of males I find sexually attractive.

    I suppose you could separate that out to “yeah, i can tell the ladies would like how that guy looks”, but is that the same thing?…

    it’s a different thing in my mind to say that one is attracted to someone, as opposed to just saying they look good.

    make sense?

    Yes, it makes lots of sense. There are probably some people who don’t fit your sexual orientation who would catch your eye, maybe even turn you on, and on the other hand there will be many people who fit your sexual orientation who do not turn you on. But I think we can all appreciate the special qualities in the physical features of others no matter what their gender.

  230. #231 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    Caine:

    Did they cast him perfectly in Doctor Who or what? No matter where he went, men and women fell for the guy. Would love to know if that actually happens to him in his real life.

  231. #232 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    Oh, and he [John Barrowman] looks great in a kilt.

    Oh, jeez. It’s going to take me a while to get that out of my head. Where’s that link to the pictures of Anne Hathaway?

    On the other hand, I’ve always been fascinated by people (men or women) who find Jude Law attractive. For me he’s always been kind of weasel-like and oily-looking and certainly nothing to get excited about.

  232. #233 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    Gyeong, you’re not seriously going to tell me you’d turn him down because he’s not in his early 20s like you?

    I just think it might be complicated. (And perhaps I’ve just expressed a culturally imbeded taboo on age. I can’t tell anymore.)

    To be fair though, rearranging one’s sexual preferences is a lot trickier than obtaining a plane ticket, some natty clothes and a drink or two.

    Some religion based pseudoscience will disagree with you. Otherwise, you’re right. ;-)

  233. #234 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Bobber, oh yes. And aliens…he did well with the aliens too. :) I imagine there are plenty of people who would be happy to spend some personal time with him; he is a happily married man though.

  234. #235 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    Ichthyic – I want to soften something I said, because I realize it sounds insulting (and I didn’t mean to insult you):

    I admit there is some danger of that, since male heterosexual culture is, in the main, obsessed with not being seen to be gay or feminine.

    I didn’t intend to characterize you, personally, in that sentence. What I meant by that is that many straight guys are justifiably anxious about how they’re perceived, because other straight guys will often subtly, or not-so-subtly, exert pressure on them. It’s an unfortunate feature of the culture, though it seems a little less intense than it used to be.

  235. #236 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    It’s no different from when I remark on a beautiful woman.

    well, that’s what I’m saying too.

    I think you’re overharping the point a bit.

  236. #237 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    I think you’re overharping the point a bit.

    I probably am – sorry about that:)

  237. #238 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 10, 2010

    Wowbagger:

    On the other hand, I’ve always been fascinated by people (men or women) who find Jude Law attractive. For me he’s always been kind of weasel-like and oily-looking and certainly nothing to get excited about.

    Goes to show how subjective taste is – I find Jude Law’s face one of the most handsome I’ve ever seen. He was a pretty, pretty boy back in the day, and has matured into handsome (to my eyes, anyway).

  238. #239 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Josh #229:

    As an Ostensibly Heterosexual Married Man (TM, Patent Pending)*, there are definitely men who blur the line between being “attractive” in the sense I can see what a woman/gay man might find attractive about them, and “attractive” in the sense that I might wistfully wish myself at least bi.

    Does that mean I get boners at beautiful blokes? Nope. But it’s far more than merely appreciation of beauty.

    Kidding oneself that one’s appreciation of a man’s beauty is merely the same intellectual appreciation that one might give Michelangelo’s David is tanatmount to denial, IMO. I might be wrong. But I reckon there are a few “unorthodox” desires lurking in the straightest (or gayest for that matter) soul.

    Louis

    *Is there really such a hard and fast category? No hint of a shade of grey? I doubt it very severely. See previous comments.

  239. #240 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    isn’t this the kind of discussion that usually ends up happening in one of the neverending threads?

  240. #241 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Sure, but it fits into the lose concept of “preconceptions” so I’ve given my permission for the derail. ;-)

    {Runs off giggling}

    Louis

  241. #242 WowbaggerOM
    March 10, 2010

    isn’t this the kind of discussion that usually ends up happening in one of the neverending threads?

    It’s getting too big and slow. PZ’s probably too busy checking trees for drop bears and eating Vegemite sandwiches to close this one off and start up a fresh new one.

  242. #243 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Wowbagger OM @ 232:

    Oh, jeez. It’s going to take me a while to get that out of my head.

    :D He also happily showed some people a flash of what one traditionally wears under a kilt.

  243. #244 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    Uh oh. What does it mean that Wowbagger and I find John Barrowman attractive, but Jude Law not-so-much? Should I be afraid? Should he?

  244. #245 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Wowbagger OM:

    On the other hand, I’ve always been fascinated by people (men or women) who find Jude Law attractive. For me he’s always been kind of weasel-like and oily-looking and certainly nothing to get excited about.

    Josh, OSG:

    I find Jude Law’s face one of the most handsome I’ve ever seen. He was a pretty, pretty boy back in the day, and has matured into handsome (to my eyes, anyway).

    Geez, I had to go search for a photo…meh, doesn’t do anything for me. I’d much rather look at Alan Cumming all day.

  245. #246 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    PZ’s probably too busy checking trees for drop bears

    I’d be more worried about the bunyip if I were him.

  246. #247 strange gods before me ?
    March 10, 2010

    Cumming all day.

    Folks pay good money to see that sort of thing.

  247. #248 Feynmaniac
    March 10, 2010

    Uh oh. What does it mean that Wowbagger and I find John Barrowman attractive, but Jude Law not-so-much? Should I be afraid? Should he?

    I agree with the two of you. Be VERY afraid!

  248. #249 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    Caine:

    Alan Cumming. Awesome in Plunkett & Macleane and Titus. Solid actor. Thought he was a good choice for Nightcrawler, too.

    [/unsolicited opinion]

  249. #250 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 10, 2010

    There are men I find attractive, some of them are even sexually attractive. All that tells me is I’m not at one or other limit of the Kinsey Scale.

  250. #251 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 10, 2010

    Bobber, agreed. There was a lot of good in Plunkett & Macleane (mmm, Robert Carlyle), but Alan Cumming was the jewel. I thought he was terrific as Nightcrawler, one of the bright points in a movie I found on the disappointing side.

  251. #252 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    This thread has taken an unusual turn, for certain.

  252. #253 Louis
    March 10, 2010

    Bobber #252:

    It’s ok as along as Icthyic, who moved to New Zealand a while back, doesn’t start telling us about all the sheep he finds attractive.

    After all his recent bout of ill health (from which we all hope he recovers swiftly and without any long term damage) coincides* with him moving to a sheep infested area. And we all know about those sheep now don’t we. With their coquettish winks and well proportioned hindquarters and woolly coats for better purchase and sly come-hither legs and…

    Erm. Well you see my point of course. Icthyic is clearly embroiled in some tawdry sheep shennanigans and has caught something. Obviously.

    Louis

    *I didn’t say it coincided well.

  253. #254 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    Well you see my point of course. Icthyic is clearly embroiled in some tawdry sheep shennanigans and has caught something. Obviously.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCRE9qOgbug

    “don’t ring: 976-baaa… that kind of love’s a crime!”

  254. #255 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    I have two sheep on my farm.

    There is nothing remotely attractive about them. Especially after they have been sheared, as sheep without wool resemble nothing more than really big, really ugly dogs.

    What, you want I should end up like these guys?

  255. #256 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    What, you want I should end up like these guys?

    or this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azm_uIUPyfw&feature=related

  256. #257 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 10, 2010

    Folks pay good money to see that sort of thing.

    It’s jokes like these that makes me afraid to say “I’m comming” out loud in public. ;-)

  257. #258 Bastion Of Sass
    March 10, 2010

    If we’re going to discuss guy’s opining on the looks of other guys: Handsome Men’s Club. IMO, it stretches the joke too thin after a while, but watch to the end for the surprise ending.

  258. #259 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    heh, that content is blocked in my country.

    evidently, Jimmy doesn’t like NZ much.

  259. #260 otrame
    March 10, 2010

    First, I’d like to say that John Barrowman goes so far beyond hot that we need a new category.

    Second, he sings nice too.

    Third, I suspect that the vast majority of people are fundamentally bisexual and there are outliers of homo and heterosexuality, like any bell curve. Social pressures interfere with the expression of this, of course.

  260. #261 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    Social pressures interfere with the expression of this, of course.

    …and opportunity.

    Daniel Craig still hasn’t returned any of my emails requesting we go on a trip to the Caribbean together for 2 weeks.

    bastard.

    ;)

  261. #262 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    “I’m comming” out loud

    good thing you didn’t just say it then.

    oh, wait.

    :)

  262. #263 Bobber
    March 10, 2010

    Daniel Craig still hasn’t returned any of my emails requesting we go on a trip to the Caribbean together for 2 weeks.

    Perhaps it’s because you’re stirred, not shaken – and he just doesn’t go for that.

  263. #264 Bastion Of Sass
    March 10, 2010

    heh, that content is blocked in my country.>br>
    evidently, Jimmy doesn’t like NZ much.

    Aw, darn. I hate when linked videos get impounded at the border. :-(

    What about a Chinese Youku link?

    The audio is still in ‘Merican.

  264. #265 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    heyo!

    that actually worked!

  265. #266 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2010

    oh, that was a keeper…

    “He’s got the breasts…

    of a 14 year old girrrrllll…”

  266. #267 Sven DiMilo
    March 10, 2010

    he’s written lucidly on the Congo

    Why doesn’t anyone listen to me? That’s the “other context” in which Sgt. Sidekick is his editor!

  267. #268 The Laughing Man
    March 11, 2010

    Well, it appears that the Creotards Have tried to submit papers but were laughed out of actually being able to publish… such a shame.

    http://www.setterfield.org/index.html, in particular “Is The Universe Static Or Expanding?” by Barry Setterfield (4th August 2002)

    Sorry, i am not familiar enough with blockquote procedure, but ah well…

    ————————————————–

    The first problem he stated was that there was, to use his words, “significant new material [that] has appeared at the end of the paper, which had not been in the version that the reviewers saw.” That new material was in response to requests made by the reviewers and by Chaffin himself in the original letter when the reviewers’ reports were returned to me. The material involved a requested further explanation of Gentry’s material as I referenced it. It also involved a requested explanation of why there is no blue shift if the universe is not expanding, as that reviewer felt that then there must be gravitational collapse instead. That reviewer also requested an explanation for the cause of the redshift if it did not have a Doppler or cosmological cause. This is exactly what I responded to in the new version.

    Chaffin’s second reason for rejecting the paper was because he thought that maybe he had found a “mistake in logic” in the paper and was therefore obliged, as he put it, to reject it in order to save both myself and CRSQ “embarrassment.”

    ————————————————–

  268. #269 John Morales
    March 11, 2010

    [meta]

    The Laughing Man,

    Use this:
    <blockquote>Sorry, i am not familiar enough with blockquote procedure, but ah well…</blockquote>

    to get this:

    Sorry, i am not familiar enough with blockquote procedure, but ah well…

  269. #270 The Laughing Man
    March 11, 2010

    ah so

    Sorry

    again

    I’m a dumbass, but i’m not going to re-post

    Perhaps in the future?

  270. #271 John Morales
    March 11, 2010

    Laughing Man, no worries.

  271. #272 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    Ok, nevermind, I remember why I did. I admire a lot about you, S., but I’m glad I never got involved with you.

    what a strange thing to say on a blog.

    Especially in that he neglects to mention that the reason he “never got involved” with me is that I told him I didn’t want to meet him when he came to Boston. About which he was quite upset at the time. It’s all in the Pharyngula archives.

  272. #273 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 11, 2010

    Greg Laden, you crossed the line by editing other people’s comments. You have the right to have whatever rules you want on your own blog, but you don’t have the right to impersonate other people or ascribe words to them they didn’t say. To do so is nothing short of fraudulent and grossly dishonest.

    I don’t normally get involved in arguments on other blogs that have nothing to do with me. But in this case, what you did was absolutely inexcusable.

  273. #274 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 11, 2010

    SC, please email me. walton_m AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk.

  274. #275 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 11, 2010

    Third, I suspect that the vast majority of people are fundamentally bisexual and there are outliers of homo and heterosexuality, like any bell curve. Social pressures interfere with the expression of this, of course.

    Quoted for truth.

  275. #276 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    I don’t have a dog in the Greg Laden hunt (despite my disapproval over his editting other’s posts as mentioned) but the “He’s written lucidly on the Congo” thing just made me laugh. It made me think of something…

    I wonder if there is some way we can use “He’s written lucidly on the Congo” as some kind of comedy crypto-insult. Sort of how a racist uses “he speaks so well” as being code for “he’s black, but not in an objectionable way”, or how nice Southern US ladies use “bless his heart”.

    How about “Sure he’s a clueless moron, but he’s written lucidly on the Congo”? Or perhaps “Well I know he’s a donkey raping, shit eater, but he has written lucidly on the Congo”? It’s a combo of damning with faint praise and a nice little in joke.

    I don’t want to use this to reflect poorly on Greg, who I don’t know, but I suppose it’s an inevitable casualty of usage. I’ll allow other’s to plumb the depths of their consciences if this comes into more general use! ;-)

    Louis

  276. #277 RickR
    March 11, 2010

    Well, I’m so far on the edge of the curve, I’m ringin’ that bell! (Or something. It’s really late here…)

    About Jude Law, I’ve never found him sexy, or handsome really. He has a distinctive (and to my eyes, rather strange) look. You either gor for it, or you don’t.

    Now Chris Meloni (“Oz” and “Law & Order: SVU”), THAT’S sexy! Not at all “pretty”, but with so much animal magnetism, he seems like he could talk absolutely anyone into the sack with just the force of his personality.

    Oi vey, is that man sexy.

  277. #278 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    My apologies to Walton. My motives were good, but people should be able to make all the coy comments or jokes like that they want without some jerk demanding clarification or seriousness. Sorry, Walton.

  278. #279 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 11, 2010

    It’s fine, SC. You did nothing wrong. But please do feel free to email me.

  279. #280 MAJeff, OM
    March 11, 2010

    I had to go look up John Barrowman. I kept thinking of the “PC” guy on the Mac commercials. Then I remembered Barrowman was that yummy flaming Brit I saw on Jonathan Ross a few weeks ago.

    And, why would anyone want to choose between Barrowman and Law. I’ll take both, thank you.

  280. #281 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    people should be able to make all the coy comments or jokes like that they want without some jerk demanding clarification or seriousness.

    I would be so fucked.

  281. #282 Loud
    March 11, 2010

    Hi all, I’ve been reading this excellent blog for a few weeks now, and thought this was a good thread to say hi. I personally really like the content, community spirit and the intelligent debate, so keep up the good work :)

  282. #283 RickR
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, and David Boreanaz. Of course.

  283. #284 negentropyeater
    March 11, 2010

    John Barrowman ? Nah, too clean cut. I like my men a bit more ruffneck.

    Tattoos, facial hear, sensuous lips, cheeky looking…

    Something like this Marco Dasilva

  284. #285 Greg Laden
    March 11, 2010

    Is there somewhere that I made the claim that I am not an asshole? I think rather the opposite.

    Neurons, people. Find them, use them, love them, connect them.

  285. #286 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 11, 2010

    Greg Laden says, “Is there somewhere that I made the claim that I am not an asshole? I think rather the opposite.”

    Nah, Greg, you’re not an asshole. Assholes serve a useful purpose for waste disposal. I’ve yet to find a use for you…

    other than “writing lucidly about the Congo.”

  286. #287 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    Neurons, people. Find them, use them, love them, connect them.

    wishfull thinking for yourself?

    something tells me you’ve fried a few too many connections of your own.

  287. #288 Greg Laden
    March 11, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space: How dare you speak to me. You are not a member of the OM. Do you have a permission note?

  288. #289 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    you’ve lost it Laden.

    seek assistance.

  289. #290 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    other than “writing lucidly about the Congo.”

    Hee.

    (Louis’s #276 was hilarious, by the way.)

    I suspect he liked all the attention, along with the power trip. He can’t get that back, so he tries to stir things up here.

    This seems to be the case. Sad.

  290. #291 Greg Laden
    March 11, 2010

    No, actually. I merely made a bet with a friend. Now, what am I going to do with this extra five dollars?

    Oh, I know. I’ll make another bet.

  291. #292 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    So sad.

  292. #293 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    Now, what am I going to do with this extra five dollars?

    I would suggest putting it towards a downpayment on all that mental health care you appear to need.

  293. #294 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Greg, I have an OM.

    Shut up.

  294. #295 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 11, 2010

    Greg Laden, You can floss your teeth with the fiber from my shit.

  295. #296 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 11, 2010

    Tattoos, facial hear, sensuous lips, cheeky looking…

    Something like this Marco Dasilva

    You mean like Brazilian model Mateus Verdelho?

  296. #297 Bernard Bumner
    March 11, 2010

    Greg, you’re just being very, very strange. It isn’t even entertaining (maybe to yourself, I don’t know?). Honestly, you are behaving like a rather bitter and dull, low-level sociopath.

    Is “Yeah, I am, but what are you…?” really the best you have to offer?

    I’d like to think that this is episode is some sort of misguided experiment in the use of online personas, rather than strange and misplaced spite. But if this behaviour is real, then it is actually quite disturbing, because it is very similar to that of those obsessive web stalkers who’ve lost perspective/their sense of reality. This is real Heart of Darkness stuff.

    I’m very sorry that you’ve resorted to these kind of comments, and in particular your recent pattern of possting oddly personal invective. It is an ugly thing to see someone acting so deranged.

    I hope you’re currently happier/more sane/coping well with adversity in the real world.

    (None of this post is intended to be an insult, bu the way, although you may find it patronising and/or banal.)

  297. #298 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    Wow, and I thought that other thread was the weirdest thread ever.

    Jude Law: I don’t get it.
    John Barrowman: makes me want to turn into a gay man just so I’d have some semblance of a chance with him.

    But I get to eat with SC!

    I. Am. So. Psyched.

    I am so jealous of both of you. Hmpf.

  298. #299 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    I am home early from work today. Sadly, nurseries don’t mind coughs and colds, but when your child has decided to shit itself with wild abandon they tend to draw the line. Wimps.

    So as I sit here dandling a 9 month old lad who is determined to spray ordure across the room I am thinking to myself “Well, he’s pre-literate and covered in his own faeces*, but he has written lucidly on the Congo”.

    Louis

    *Obviously this is hyperbole. I am taking spectacular care of the little lad. Cleanliness and suitably nutritious/non-nutritious fluids are being administered as and when appropriate. He’s actually sleeping off a particularly spectacular shitting/squawking episode at the moment. I’m tempted to enter him for the next Olympics. He is a prodigious turd producer. Just thought I’d share. ;-)

    P.S. Can we stop with the hot men now? I am finding myself agreeing with so many people I am tempted to just scrap the whole thing, move to San Francisco and rent my arse out as a ballroom. This would be a bad thing seeing as I have no desire to do so, however my personal honour demands no less. (For the more adult comic reader look up http://www.oglaf.com and search the archives for honour. Very funny)

    P.P.S. Brad Pitt in Fight Club. Sorry. But DAMN!

  299. #300 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    suitably nutritious/non-nutritious fluids are being administered as and when appropriate.

    ahhh, giving the lad an early exposure to Guinness?

  300. #301 David Marjanovi?
    March 11, 2010

    Greg Laden, stop drinking and go (back?) to bed. I’m completely serious. You’re in a hole and keep digging; please stop.

    Walton: Kinsey scale. You’re not 6, and you’re not 0.

    But I reckon there are a few “unorthodox” desires lurking in the straightest (or gayest for that matter) soul.

    You simply aren’t the straightest soul. :-)

    One thing I really appreciate about the straight guys here on Pharyngula is that none of you plays that stupid “I can’t tell if a man’s attractive” game. That drives up the wall. It’s so middle school.

    There may be few who really are 0 on the Kinsey scale, perhaps a lot fewer than many cultures assume, but what makes you think there aren’t any at all?

    For the record, the photos on the Wikipedia article about John Barrowman leave me stone-cold. :-|

  301. #302 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    So, Louis, I shouldn’t bring up Neil Patrick Harris or Alan Rickman?

  302. #303 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Dear Greg Laden,

    I don’t have an OM, and don’t need to be granted permission to speak. I have a special chitty.

    I couldn’t care less about all the DRAMA, but even you’ve got to admit that the editting of other people’s posts is beyond the pale. In fact, and I can’t be bothered to check this you can confirm it if you like, I think you did admit this.

    Anyway, I suspect you are rather enjoying stirring the pot over here. Naughty, naughty. Aren’t you a little grown up for this sort of lark?

    I suggest a beer and a quick wank. The world will seem a better place after that.

    Louis

  303. #304 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    There may be few who really are 0 on the Kinsey scale, perhaps a lot fewer than many cultures assume, but what makes you think there aren’t any at all?

    David, he didn’t say “don’t find a man attractive”, he said “can’t tell if a man is attractive”. And people do really say the latter as a sort of super-hetero posturing. The fact is there are certain objective measures that tend to be taken as “attractiveness”. This has nothing to do with the Kinsey scale, really (that would be more relating to whether you find a person attractive, not whether by some objective measure they are an attractive person.

  304. #305 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    David:

    There may be few who really are 0 on the Kinsey scale, perhaps a lot fewer than many cultures assume, but what makes you think there aren’t any at all?

    I think you misunderstand me. I said nothing to indicate I thought there were no men who are “0” on the Kinsey scale – where did you get that? Having zero sexual attraction to members of the same sex is not equal to being unable to recognize when members of the same sex are attractive.

    Try reading some of my follow-up posts before you flippantly “correct” me for something I didn’t say.

  305. #306 Greg Laden
    March 11, 2010

    No, actually. I merely made a bet with a friend. Now, what am I going to do with this extra five dollars?

    Oh, I know. I’ll make another bet.

  306. #307 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    I couldn’t care less about all the DRAMA, but even you’ve got to admit that the editting of other people’s posts is beyond the pale. In fact, and I can’t be bothered to check this you can confirm it if you like, I think you did admit this.

    Don’t forget outing a person’s pseudonym to their actual email address that contains their IRL identity. I actually saw that one happen. I find that to be an even worse abuse of power.

  307. #308 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    Having zero sexual attraction to members of the same sex is not equal to being unable to recognize when members of the same sex are attractive.

    Bingo. I’ve got an unwavering record of heterosexuality but I’m pretty sure I can pick out the attractive guy over the not attractive guy.

    And frankly I think people who claim they can’t are only saying so to uphold some misguided appearance of masculinity based on their peer group / family’s cultural taboos and fear pressure.

    I mean it’s really not that big of a deal to recognize that someone is attractive.

  308. #309 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    Pikachu, you have excellent taste. ^_^

  309. #310 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    Laden,

    Tell me, did you have another kid just to have access to a supply of soiled nappies with even more shit for you to fling ?

  310. #311 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Don’t forget outing a person’s pseudonym to their actual email address that contains their IRL identity. I actually saw that one happen. I find that to be an even worse abuse of power.

    And Greg’s “if you’re an asshole you deserve what you get” posturing doesn’t change the fact that he outed a person simply for pointing out that he altered someone else’s post without properly attributing the added text as an edit. It wasn’t the case of him “punishing a troll” like he keeps pretending. It was the case of him being a raving lunatic trying to cover his dickery using even more dickery.

  311. #312 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Icthyic #300,

    Guiness with whiskey chasers. I’m not a negligent parent you know.

    ———–

    David #301,

    Never claimed I was. ;-)

    I’m bent in ways most people haven’t bothered to try yet. Try everything in life except incest and Morris Dancing sayeth I (and a few other people apparently).

    ———–

    Carlie #302,

    Alan, interesting, more conversational interest for me! NPH, no thanks. Doesn’t float any boats. I’m sure he’d be interesting to have a beer with though.

    I’m finding this very amusing because I am secure in my greyish sexuality, but I find myself mildly wanting to mention WOMEN!!! with BIG TITS!!! and NICE BUMS!!! and stuff. Perhaps I could discuss cars and guns and war and manly things like scratching one’s balls and sniffing one’s fingers, just to prove my heterosexuality. Luckily, the urge is not strong! ;-)

    Louis

  312. #313 strange gods before me ?
    March 11, 2010

    So as I sit here dandling a 9 month old lad who is determined to spray ordure across the room I am thinking to myself “Well, he’s pre-literate and covered in his own faeces*, but he has written lucidly on the Congo”.

    Ha! One of your better days, Louis.

  313. #314 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Carlie #307,

    Thanks, I’d forgotten that. That is a spectacular wanker move. Dishonest (editting other people’s posts), a drama queen (extending the blog DRAMA), and a wanker (outting deliberately anonymous people). Things look bad for Greg.

    Louis

    P.S. I spent some time, when this all originally kicked off, and I left scratching my head and wondering if I was part of the same species.

  314. #315 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Greg, I think you are being disingenuous. You dismissed a_ray_in_dilbert_space because he does not have an OM (Though he should have had one by now. {Yes, I know I have not voted for him. That is not the point.}) I have one and told you that you should shut up. But by commenting, you have disregarded my rank. The rank that you brought up.

    So I repeat myself.

    SHUT UP!

  315. #316 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Glad to be of service SGBM. {doffs hat}

    Louis

  316. #317 strange gods before me ?
    March 11, 2010

    I have one and told you that you should shut up. But by commenting, you have disregarded my rank. The rank that you brought up.

    Thump!

    Go troll the Intersection, Greg.

  317. #318 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Arsing bum grabbing pig’s knackers. Last paragraph of #314 should have “reading Greg’s blog” after the word “time”.

    I am now off to punish myself with 3 Hail Marys and a crappy nappy.

    Louis

  318. #319 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Louis – you’re cracking me up today. You need to hang around here more.

    Laden – You’re, unethical, you’re mean-spirited, and you’re unable to admit you’re wrong. Editing my post was bad enough. Outing Sven de Milo’s personal email address (which linked to his real name) was appalling.

    Why don’t you get the fuck out of here and confine your assholism to your own blog.

  319. #320 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    This is real Heart of Darkness stuff.

    Now there‘s some lucid writing about the Congo. (I recommend reading Said’s Culture and Imperialism and Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost alongside it.)

  320. #321 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Dear all,

    I would like to apologise. I have, in all seriousness, made a grave error and need to correct it.

    In several posts I have made mention of Greg Laden as being at least potentially dishonest (if not actually dishonest), a drama queen/troll and a wanker.

    I am completely wrong to have done this and I would like to apologise unreservedly to Greg Laden. I was wrong and should not have made those accusations.

    What I should have said is that the things Greg Laden is doing, has done and has written could make some people think he is a dishonest, drama creating wanker. I, of course, am not saying that Greg is a dishonest, drama creating wanker, you understand. Just that some uncharitable folk could read his comments (and the comments of others he editted) and get that impression.

    That is all. Thank you.

    Louis

  321. #322 KOPD
    March 11, 2010

    Go troll the Intersection, Greg.

    How exactly does one “troll” a blog where bilbo is a valued member? By posting rational cogent arguments?

  322. #323 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Louis, there is already one Greg Laden in this thread. We don’t need a second.

  323. #324 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    I guess The Intersection couldn’t resist all the traffic it was getting. Disgusting. The assclown over there who began the whining still has not provided links to any of the quotes he initially rattled off in two separate comments. This has truly been an Academy Award Winning moment in trollery. Where is Dave Letterman when we need him: “bilbo, Sheril. Sheril, bilbo.”

  324. #325 strange gods before me ?
    March 11, 2010

    How exactly does one “troll” a blog where bilbo is a valued member? By posting rational cogent arguments?

    Sure, and Greg could use the exercise.

  325. #326 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Paul #323,

    Erm that was the point of the joke in #321. I am parodying Laden’s accusation of SC. I thought that would be obvious.

    See, when I try to be subtle (ish) people miss it. I’m going back to dick jokes. ;-)

    Louis

  326. #327 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    Am seriously thinking of filing a complaint with SEED Media over the comments listed at that Pharyngula thread and would strongly encourage others to do the same.

    Respectfully yours,

    John Kwok

    Oh, please let him post it in the comment thread there. Oh, please let him post it in the comment thread there. Oh, please let him post it in the comment thread there.

  327. #328 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    Louis,

    I think Paul kind of knew that.

    See, this is what happens when people start saying really stupid things, be they creationists, Chris Mooney or Sheril Kirshenbaum, or Greg Laden. There is a degree of silliness that renders parody superfluous, since no one could do a better parody than the original. And people end up with broken irony meters.

  328. #329 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, please let him post it in the comment thread there. Oh, please let him post it in the comment thread there. Oh, please let him post it in the comment thread there.

    Evens: Mentioning where he went to school.
    2-1: Mentioning he is best friends with Ken Miller
    3-1: Mentioning he was taught by Frank McCourt.
    100-1 On: Failing to mention when complaining to Seed that he once tried to blackmail PZ.

  329. #330 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Erm that was the point of the joke in #321. I am parodying Laden’s accusation of SC. I thought that would be obvious.

    That’s why I made it clear we don’t need another Laden. Obviously I recognized the similarity :-). I wasted a lot of time and keyboard wear-and-tear on that train wreck. I suppose I should have added an emoticon.

    Just making sure you’re content with a 1-shot Laden instead of an ongoing impersonation. We don’t like that kind around here :-).

  330. #331 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, sweet frakkin’ Christ on toast, Teh Kw*K has shown up on the Intersection to threaten filing a complaint against PZ with Seed. No mention of which camera will buy his silence. Yet.

  331. #332 Bastion Of Sass
    March 11, 2010

    Alan Rickman

    Ooooo, Alan Richman. Almost all of the other men mentioned, as handsome as they may be, don’t do a thing for me, but Alan Richman. *Swoon*

    OK, Sean Connery isn’t bad either.

  332. #333 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    3-1: Mentioning he was taught by Frank McCourt.

    Does it count if he’s coy about it and just mentions “a renowned Irish author”?

    100-1 On: Failing to mention when complaining to Seed that he once tried to blackmail PZ.

    That was obviously a joke. He showed the message to a friend of his, who recognized it as obviously a joke.

  333. #334 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Matt,

    I have my irony meter heavily shielded, I went to UD last week and blew my last one to smithereens.

    The remaining ironic flux in the area means I cannot detect anything under a teraGastrich.

    Louis

  334. #335 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    Note to Ichthyic and Lynna: You are my paypals today. Hope it helps.

    :)

  335. #336 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Odds that Kw*k will accuse PZ of being a Mendacious Intellectual Pornographer (TM), or some twee variation of the phrase?

  336. #337 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Paul #330,

    Ah! My bad, my bad!

    I will be doing no more Ladens, although since I need a new camera therefore I will be doing a Kw*k at some point.

    See #334 for my {ahem} “excuse”.

    Louis

  337. #338 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    Odds that Kw*k will accuse PZ of being a Mendacious Intellectual Pornographer (TM), or some twee variation of the phrase?

    I think that would have to be 5-1 On.

  338. #339 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    I will be doing no more Ladens, although since I need a new camera therefore I will be doing a Kw*k at some point.

    Don’t you fucking dare!

  339. #340 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    That was obviously a joke. He showed the message to a friend of his, who recognized it as obviously a joke.

    Paul, I can’t tell if you are being serious or not. It’s impossible to tell if he was joking after a rereading the demand letter. If it was a joke, it was probably too deranged to be funny. If you were being sarcastic in #333, then nevermind.

  340. #341 IaMoL
    March 11, 2010

    I’m getting that stomach churning feeling you get in grade school when the class starts misbehaving after the teacher has left the room. This thread is a freaky train wreck.
    Wait… it was just the mention of Qwox’ pitiful cries for attention & validation. False alarm.
    BUT (Seriously, WTF Greg Laden?)

  341. #342 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    Paul, I can’t tell if you are being serious or not. It’s impossible to tell if he was joking after a rereading the demand letter. If it was a joke, it was probably too deranged to be funny. If you were being sarcastic in #333, then nevermind.

    The claim it was joke could have worked had Kwak not sent emails to colleagues of PZ asking for their help in getting him to pay up. There is also the fact that never before or since has Kwak said anything that indicates he has a sense of humour.

  342. #343 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Paul, I can’t tell if you are being serious or not. It’s impossible to tell if he was joking after a rereading the demand letter. If it was a joke, it was probably too deranged to be funny. If you were being sarcastic in #333, then nevermind.

    It isn’t exactly sarcasm. Kwok has made that exact defense on The Intersection in the past, and demanded an apology from PZ Myers for accusing him of blackmail instead of recognizing the obvious joke.

    Nobody believes him. But he insists it was a joke, and as proof he notes that “a friend” after reading it for the first time saw that it was “obviously a joke” (note: I didn’t search for citations for those quotes, so they might not be an exact hit, but they accurately portray the argument).

  343. #344 jenbphillips
    March 11, 2010

    Holy fucking shit, those fey, grinning people are unbelievable. It hurts my brain to spend five minutes at the Intersection–I can’t imagine how excruciating it must be to think that way 24/7.

    Sheril playing the ‘rape is not a joke’ card is a sickening overreaction, and the sycophantic humping going on in the comments is more obscene than anything I’ve ever, ever read on Pharyngula. What a pile of festering toe rags.

  344. #345 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 11, 2010

    Louis says: “I will be doing no more Ladens, although since I need a new camera therefore I will be doing a Kw*k at some point.”

    Don’t do that–you know your brain can get stuck that way!!!

  345. #346 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    For fuck’s sake.

    39. John Kwok Says:
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    @ Bernard –

    Obviously you don?t get it. It is inexcusable to make any jokes about rape. Indeed, Sheril may remember what happened about twenty or so years ago when a male weather forecaster at a New York City television station was forced to resign after he made an on-air joke about a woman who was in the midst of being raped should just ?relax and enjoy? it.

    On the other hand, Thomas H. (@ 27) does. Sadly, in spite of the good commentary that PZ does provide, especially when commenting on science, maybe it?s time to ask Seed Media to pull the plug on Pharyngula. If PZ can?t police his own blog, then why should he allowed to run it?

  346. #347 Paul W., OM
    March 11, 2010

    Greg Laden,

    But once commenters start to act like unmitigated shits who are utterly compulsive about their own message and have too little respect for their fellow human,

    According to you, when other people think you’re the one being an unmitigated shit

    ANYTHING can happen to them.

    Watch it, Greg. It’s fine with me if you censor or ban people on your own blog.

    But if you start revealing pseudonymous posters’ identities—possibly damaging their family relations, wrecking their careers, etc.—then you have crossed a great big line.

    Your judgment is just not that good, that you have the right to out pseudonymous posters.

    And if you think you do, you should not be allowed to blog on ScienceBlogs, IMHO.

    And if you actually do it, ANYTHING could happen to YOU.

    ANYTHING. If you wreck somebody’s career, or their meatspace relationships, or whatever, do not be surprised if they make a point of making you regret it for the rest of your life.

    Seriously.

    Greg, you are being a clueless authoritarian doofus.

    Over and over again, you have been told that people don’t think you have any business outing anybody for what they say on your blog, when you could simply censor them. (Or a least try; if they morph, and you warn them, that might be different.)

    Consider this. If you out somebody, you’re not just outing them—even if your judgment is exquisite and the person you’re intentionally outing deserves it, you are also outing anybody they’ve talked about on the assumption of pseudonymity. Somebody could go through their posts, find information about, say, their best friend, or boss, or wife, or child, and then connect it up to specific people with those relations to the specific person.

    For example, suppose some guy has posted about people his bisexual ex-wife slept with in an open marriage.

    Do you have the right to out the ex-wife?

    I really, really, really don’t think so. Do you?

    And if you haven’t thought about this sort of thing, and don’t think that’s significant, you are not somebody who ought to be pontificating about proper behavior on blogs. You should take a break from blogging and get a clue about privacy and responsibility.

    DO NOT OUT PEOPLE, GREG LADEN.

  347. #348 IaMoL
    March 11, 2010

    I would bet a week’s salary that Cwock has a diagnosable personality disorder. I’ll make that same bet on Dildo as well, just a differet disorder.

  348. #349 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    I’m having a hard time coming up with any ability to grasp the mental gymnastics that are required to continue to post the pearl clutching,, myopic lack of context grasping comments that continue to appear from the Milquetoast crowd over there.

  349. #350 Brownian, OM
    March 11, 2010

    What frosts my fucking balls* about those two fucking twits at The Intersection is that these ploys are such obviously shameless attempts to position themselves at the expense of others. It’s no better than Matt Nisbet’s cute little intro: “I’m an atheist…but don’t worry: I’m a friendly atheist.” (Compare with “I’m Irish…but don’t worry, I’m a sober Irishman,” or any other similarly disgusting attempt to curry favour by perpetuating a stereotype.)

    Fucking dishonest assholes.

    *Watch for a new influx of hand-wringing comments at The Intersection that “genital hypothermia is not a joke”.

  350. #351 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    It isn’t exactly sarcasm…he insists it was a joke, and as proof he notes that “a friend” after reading it for the first time saw that it was “obviously a joke”

    How sad, even in its humor as a farcical explanation. But I should have guessed—typical Kw*k.

  351. #352 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Jenbphillips:

    Sheril playing the ‘rape is not a joke’ card is a sickening overreaction

    Yep. I just commented about that in the endless thread. Sheril has her pearls jammed so far up her ass they’re interfering with her ability to think.

  352. #353 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    I’m having a hard time coming up with any ability to grasp the mental gymnastics that are required to continue to post the pearl clutching,, myopic lack of context grasping comments that continue to appear from the Milquetoast crowd over there.

    The fact you find it so difficult is to your credit. I would be worried if you found it easy.

  353. #354 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Sheril has her pearls jammed so far up her ass they’re interfering with her ability to think.

    How dare you, madam? Anal violation by nuggets of calcium carbonate surrounding a crispety, crunchety sand core is no joke. Won’t someone think of the molluscs?

  354. #355 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Josh, OSG:

    How dare you, madam? Anal violation by nuggets of calcium carbonate surrounding a crispety, crunchety sand core is no joke. Won’t someone think of the molluscs?

    The oysters can fend for themselves. However, I agree, they should not be the subject of jokes. Lady Pucker, on the other hand…perhaps if someone yanked those pearls out, she’d relax a little.

  355. #356 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    What pisses me off is that had someone made an out of order “joke” about rape there are plenty here who would have been all over the person making the comment.

    The fact the comment that has so shocked the Peal Clutcher did not attract such attention here suggests that in the context it was made it was not seen as condoning rape. I guess context is an idea beyond Kirshenbaum’s ken. She has a track record of taking comments out of context and getting all upset. Anyone remember how when PZ said “Fuck you very much” to Nisbett in reply to Nisbett’s idiocy about the Expelled expulsion she got all upset and claimed no one should ever say fuck ?

  356. #357 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    perhaps if someone yanked those pearls out, she’d relax a little.

    Purely consensual yanking, right? We don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here.

  357. #358 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    Won’t someone think of the molluscs?

    Lady Pucker, on the other hand…

    Uhm, one thing’s for sure: those are not oysters in her bed.

  358. #359 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Flower of Evil, I’m so glad you used the term “Lady Pucker” here, because I was just about to pull it over from the other thread. Dying. Laughing. Right. At. My. Desk.

    Let me add to your genius. I hereby rechristen the Toothpaste Twins, “Lady Pucker and Lord Turtlehead.”

  359. #360 Sven DiMilo
    March 11, 2010

    Now there‘s some lucid writing about the Congo.

    I am L’ing OL at that one.

    Just a half-hour before another lab section, so I guess I’ll go check out the latest vehicular collision* at the Intersuxn. Kw*k is back?

    Excellent.

    *Did you ever look at the Discover Blogs front page? The clever description of the Twins’ joint is explicit that’s it’s a place where “science…gets totaled.”

  360. #361 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    perhaps if someone yanked those pearls out, she’d relax a little.

    I ain’t going to volunteer for that job. Who knows what kind of effluent will be discharged along with them. Enough to keep The Intersection in posts for a year I expect.

  361. #362 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    @Matt, 356

    People ignored the post because they saw it purely as mocking the idea of civility as trumpeted by The Intersection crowd, and if anything just troll bait trying to get the Intersection to complain about it (they were even explicit about the troll bait motivation in the post itself).

    But yea, I’m in the club of Pharyngula commenters cited on the front page of The Intersection! Aquaria, is there a welcome basket or anything? I wish I had said some bad words.

  362. #363 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Sorry. I know I’m going to get into trouble for this, but can we PLEASE stop talking about Sheril with pearls up her bottle*, it’s causing unfortunate mental imagery.

    And for this thread it is far more appropriate to be talking about Chris with leather chaps and a beaded love wand up his khyber**.

    If we continue to talk about Sheril in this manner then the derail will have to be the lady Pharynguloids telling us chaps about the ladies they quite fancy. Which, and I want to make this absolutely clear, none of us will enjoy at all.

    Next thing you know we’ll be talking about bacon, and then all heck*** will break lose.

    Louis

    * I am using Cockney Rhyming Slang to avoid causing unrest at the Intersection. Bottle = Bottle and Glass = Arse.

    ** Khyber = Khyber Pass = Arse.

    *** Like Hell, but much more polite.

  363. #364 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    Color me ignorant, but I never read Heart of Darkness and therefor never knew that it was based in the Congo. I always assumed it was a book closely tied to the story portrayed in the movie we all know about.

    /shrug

  364. #365 Sven DiMilo
    March 11, 2010

    I think that consistent use of Cockney rhyming slang is an excellent strategy for increasing the civility around here.

  365. #366 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    BDC,

    You really should read it. It is far far better than the film that took the story and transplanted it to another continent.

  366. #367 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Can we retitle the Intersection “Two Prudes, One Kwok”?

    I think we then need a series of YouTube reaction videos where various Pharynguloids are just pissing themselves laughing at Two Prudes’ posts.

    Louis

  367. #368 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Paul:

    Purely consensual yanking, right? We don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here.

    Oh, of course! Then again, I might feel like telling Lady Pucker to go yank herself.

    Josh OSG:

    Let me add to your genius. I hereby rechristen the Toothpaste Twins, “Lady Pucker and Lord Turtlehead.”

    Hahahahahaha. Perfection!

  368. #369 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    BDC,

    You really should read it. It is far far better than the film that took the story and transplanted it to another continent.

    Yeah I might have to hit the library this weekend.

  369. #370 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 11, 2010

    If you guys are afraid of writing Kwok, why don’t use use ? every time you want to mention him.

    Thank you, aratina cage. Hot obscure models are my specialty (after southeast asian culture and human evolution that is.)

    Rev BDC, You should read Heart of Darkness after reading Lord of the Flies. Then read Chinua Achebe’s commentary followed by Things Fall Apart. ;-)

  370. #371 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    Can we retitle the Intersection “Two Prudes, One Kwok”?

    Can I suggest a slight re-wording to “Two Prudes, One Kwak”

  371. #372 IaMoL
    March 11, 2010

    Can we retitle the Intersection “Two Prudes, One Kwok”?

    Oh fuckmewitharustyknife, it’s like a PETA meeting over there and some Pharynguloid made an offhand joke about wearing fur. Get a grip people.

    I figured Cwock has been been so far up Eugenie’s ass on facebook, he would have suffocated by now- Dildo too, by the shear gusto with which he self-fellates. Perhaps he’s lucky his apparatus doesn’t offer any danger of asphyxiation.
    Note to self: Must stop reading The Rude Pundit before commenting on Pharyngula.

  372. #373 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    Anyone remember how when PZ said “Fuck you very much” to Nisbett in reply to Nisbett’s idiocy about the Expelled expulsion she got all upset and claimed no one should ever say fuck ?

    Title of that post: “PZ Myers, Mind Your Manners.”

    Seriously.

  373. #374 Razib Khan
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, and by the way, fuck their sorry, appeasing, milque-toast bullshit. Fuck them all sideways with a rusty fucking knife*.

    * This particular post to be whined about on the Colgate Twins blog around mid-2011.

    i know that a lot of people here have some major disagreements with sheril & chris, but wtf is up with this? someone leaves an offhand comment about physically & sexually abusing someone and the conversation goes on. am i missing the context? if i am, that’s one sick context.

    seems like some people have forgotten that the “colgate twins” aren’t some abstract concept, or evil nemeses. they’re people. and so are you. act like it.

  374. #375 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Matt Penfold,

    Alteration accepted, motion passed (but that’s more of a personal thing), so mote it be.

    Henceforth the den of lucid writing on the Congo known formerly as “The Intersection” is now “Two Prudes, One Kwak”.

    Louis

  375. #376 Bernard Bumner
    March 11, 2010

    Now there’s some lucid writing about the Congo.

    Absolutely!

    (Although I would like to reiterate, for the uninitiated, that Greg’s writing on his experience of the Congo is of a different class to recent offerings.)

    (I recommend reading Said’s Culture and Imperialism and Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost alongside it.)

    I will look them up, thanks. I read Heart of Darkness on the basis of the connection to Apocalypse Now, and failed to explore the history much beyond that presented in the introduction of my copy of the book. (I would add that the Redux cut of the film probably has a closer relationship to the book than the vanilla version of the movie.)

  376. #377 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, and by the way, fuck their sorry, appeasing, milque-toast bullshit. Fuck them all sideways with a rusty fucking knife*.

    Actually… I may be late to the party on this one, but I really don’t think this comment was acceptable.

    There are insults, and there are insults. This one was over the line. It trivialises the experience of people who have actually suffered serious violent sexual assaults (of which there are several among the regular readers here). There are plenty of good reasons to criticise Mooney and Kirshenbaum, and in no way am I defending them. But this post was not OK.

  377. #378 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Razib,

    I don’t think the post in question is in good taste, but it was specifically referring to a very similar quote being taken very out of context for a very long time on the Intersection post “The Value of Science Blogs”. Over the span of 300 comments or so they consistently held that Pharyngulans supported advocating “fuck[ing] them sideways with a rusty knife”, even though the post they were referring to said nothing of the sort. So one person decided to say it anyway, ostensibly because they were already being accused (by association, no less) of advocating similar acts. And see the asterisk. They were open with the motivation of trolling for tone/concern trolls, and it’s obvious they are not actually advocating violence.

    But as I said, it was in bad taste and I’m not defending the statement. But ignoring the context (which liars on The Intersection spawned in the first place) is also in bad taste, and reprehensible, as they are using it to tar all of Pharyngula with a “sex offense advocate” brush.

  378. #379 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    seems like some people have forgotten that the “colgate twins” aren’t some abstract concept, or evil nemeses. they’re people. and so are you. act like it.

    bilbo, is that you?

  379. #380 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Razib Khan @ 374:

    i know that a lot of people here have some major disagreements with sheril & chris, but wtf is up with this? someone leaves an offhand comment about physically & sexually abusing someone and the conversation goes on. am i missing the context?

    Use your fucking shift key. WTF is up with this? A lot of history involving people with too many pearls and too little integrity. You’re missing boatloads of context. Thanks for the little chastisement though, it was special.

    seems like some people have forgotten that the “colgate twins” aren’t some abstract concept, or evil nemeses. they’re people. and so are you. act like it.

    Goodness mercy me, everyone here is a person too. Imagine that! Having our words consistently being taken out of context, twisted beyond belief even when explanations have been given and proof of context has been provided.

  380. #381 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    But as I said, it was in bad taste and I’m not defending the statement. But ignoring the context

    Something that could explain the vast majority of idiocy being displayed at the Intersection currently.

  381. #382 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    (Although I would like to reiterate, for the uninitiated, that Greg’s writing on his experience of the Congo is of a different class to recent offerings.)

    Sven insists that this is because Thread Cop Stephanie was actually editing that series, instead of letting Greg go half-cocked with poorly thought out metaphors and sheer vaguery. I am not sure if there is actual evidence of this, though (I have not seen it). There was mention of her serving as his editor in some context, but I admit I assumed she was referring to his work at Quiche Moiraine.

  382. #383 David Marjanovi?
    March 11, 2010

    David, he didn’t say “don’t find a man attractive”, he said “can’t tell if a man is attractive”.

    But I can’t tell if John Barrowman is attractive.

    He lacks features of outright ugliness, as far as I can tell, so I could have made a hypothesis that someone would find him attractive (simply based on statistics), but? I? can’t think of any men I find handsome, and have trouble imagining even their hypothetical existence. It just doesn’t click.

    It’s true that I forgot about the existence of people who are heterosexual but biromantic. That may well be the source of some confusion here.

    It always weirds me out when one of several female relatives claims a woman is pretty. How can they tell!?! ~:-| I used to think it’s some sort of patriarchal cultural expectation, so they pay attention to what men tend to find attractive and draw inferences so they can fulfill that expectation. Maybe I’m just the odd one instead.

    And people do really say the latter as a sort of super-hetero posturing.

    Sure. I’m just saying not all of them are lying (even if only to themselves).

    I’ve got an unwavering record of heterosexuality but I’m pretty sure I can pick out the attractive guy over the not attractive guy.

    How much of that originates in your own head, and how much is a rational inference based on what other people say?

    Sheril has her pearls jammed so far up her ass they’re interfering with her ability to think.

    Perhaps her canalis neurentericus has remained open??

    (If anyone at the Intersucktion understands this, I might get quoted there :-þ )

    Anyone remember how when PZ said “Fuck you very much” to Nisbett in reply to Nisbett’s idiocy about the Expelled expulsion she got all upset and claimed no one should ever say fuck ?

    ROTFLMAO! I missed that, thanks for telling me! :-D

  383. #384 Walton, Janine's Hero
    March 11, 2010

    As an addendum to my previous post, I certainly don’t endorse anything else Mooney and Kirshenbaum, or the Intersection commenters, have
    said on the subject of Pharyngula. There seems to have been a lot of dishonest quote-mining. And it is rather offensive, to those of us who spend a lot of time here, for M&K to suggest that we would ever tolerate a situation in which advocating rape or violent assault was permitted.

  384. #385 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010
  385. #386 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    Seriously, if the vast majority of the crowd at the intersection displayed just a shred of intellectual honesty with a bit of grade school detective skills then I think we could have bypassed this giant non-issue. Seriously. It’s insane how they are handling this.

    But asking for intellectual honesty from a crowd with Bilbo as on of their loudest members is probably asking too much.

  386. #387 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    If that was too difficult to follow, perhaps my re-enactment of the situation (with a little artistic license to clarify) that I posted at the intersection will help:

    Intersection:?You said f* me with a rusty knife!?

    Pharyngula:?No I didn?t.?

    Intersection:?Yes you did! You totally said it!?

    Pharyngula:?No, I used it as an example of something a terrible person would say, as part of a larger conceptualization of a particular type of awful person who I disagreed with, which you would know had you read the entire comment in question.?

    Intersection:?No, you said f* me with a rusty knife! You did you did you did!?

    Pharyngula:?Oh for pete?s sake. If you?re going to argue like that, then fine, go f* yourself with a rusty knife.?

    Intersection:?SEE YOU SAID IT!?

  387. #388 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    WTF? I got “your session has timed out”? And then half my post disappeared? Will try again, apologies if the lost debris shows up.

    i know that a lot of people here have some major disagreements with sheril & chris, but wtf is up with this? someone leaves an offhand comment about physically & sexually abusing someone and the conversation goes on. am i missing the context?

    Um, YES. You’re missing the part about how that exact comment was held up as a prime example of how terrible Pharyngula commenters are at the “Value of science blogs” posts at the Intersection, which was then explained by a Pharyngula commenter in that thread to have been a hypothetical statement used as part of the characterization of a BAD PERSON, and then all the commenters there ignored it and kept using it as a prime example of how bad Pharyngula commenters are, and then it became a meme to indicate the intellectually dishonest way that the intersection cohort warps comments.

    If that was too difficult to follow, perhaps my re-enactment of the situation (with a little artistic license to clarify) that I posted at the intersection will help:

    Intersection:?You said f* me with a rusty knife!?

    Pharyngula:?No I didn?t.?

    Intersection:?Yes you did! You totally said it!?

    Pharyngula:?No, I used it as an example of something a terrible person would say, as part of a larger conceptualization of a particular type of awful person who I disagreed with, which you would know had you read the entire comment in question.?

    Intersection:?No, you said f* me with a rusty knife! You did you did you did!?

    Pharyngula:?Oh for pete?s sake. If you?re going to argue like that, then fine, go f* yourself with a rusty knife.?

    Intersection:?SEE YOU SAID IT!?

  388. #389 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    In case it doesn’t get posted to the Intersection, mirroring my most recent (hopefully last, I really need to stop) post here.

    The pharyngula commmenter, Paul, seems to be stating that he thinks the motivation behind making it seem like Myers was saying something he didn?t say was simply to get a rise from Sheril?to fan the flames. It worked!

    I don’t “think”, it’s bloody obvious as a matter of record. Here’s the entire post they linked to:

    sandi: Are you kidding me? The Intersection is a veritable clown car filled with rejects from any blog with standards of discourse.

    It is so much better there. There is NO SWEARING.

    Oh, and by the way, fuck their sorry, appeasing, milque-toast bullshit. Fuck them all sideways with a rusty fucking knife*.

    * This particular post to be whined about on the Colgate Twins blog around mid-2011.

    Any context for my comment in the original post is available in the “Value of Science Blogs?” post. The short version is that bilbo both admitted he trolls on The Intersection, and provided a list of “quotes” from Pharyngula showing how terrible it is. Not only did nobody in that thread actually check if the quotes were legitimate (if they had tried replacing asterisks with the proper words, several would not show up in Pharyngula search history because they were deliberately altered), people even started making up stories about poor treatment (one person went from “I have never posted on Pharyngula” to “I posted once and they told me to get raped”. The commenters were thoroughly dishonest with how they treated both real and fabricated quotes, and as far as I can tell it was merely because they wanted to make Myers look bad. They consistently accused people of making light of telling people to be raped, when the only comments really being defended were of the “go f*** yourself” variety.

    In short, I think my characterization was apt, but it was not meant in any way to reflect badly on Kirshenbaum. It was solely directed at the commenters and their poor, dishonest behavior. I have issues with Kirshenbaum’s behavior, but mostly in the realm of omission. Bad words are verboten, but intellectual dishonesty is par for the course here. That’s something I disagree with. But arguing against bad faith representations or quote-mining is not rape apologetics, and that’s all I’ve done on The Intersection in the past couple days. And it is horribly deceptive of her to frame Pharyngula as “treating rape as a joke or game”. If anything, the people who have been making a game out of it through posturing, lies, and deception are her loyal Intersection commenters.

  389. #390 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 11, 2010

    Louis #299

    I am home early from work today. Sadly, nurseries don’t mind coughs and colds, but when your child has decided to shit itself with wild abandon they tend to draw the line. Wimps.

    Ha! One afternoon about two years ago, after having lectured for two hours and served on a Master’s comprehensive exam, I discovered that baby-shit was smeared on my knee. It had been there since ~6:30 am.

    I just finished the day with shit on me. While I do this metaphorically all the time, I would never have guessed that it would become a literal reality.

  390. #391 negentropyeater
    March 11, 2010

    Paul,

    So one person decided to say it anyway, ostensibly because they were already being accused (by association, no less) of advocating similar acts. And see the asterisk.

    That was a bit silly, wasn’t it ? It was… provocative ?

    They were open with the motivation of trolling for tone/concern trolls, and it’s obvious they are not actually advocating violence.

    But that’s only obvious to someone who would have bothered to read the whole thing.

  391. #392 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Janine, you explained the whole thing simply and clearly; there’s absolutely no way the context could not be grasped. Those who are insisting on taking that out of context have a vested interest in moaning and fainting over Pharyngula; several names come to mind easily.

  392. #393 Bobber
    March 11, 2010

    Janine, #385, and thus Walton, #377:

    Within the full context wherein the controversial quote is taken, to me it really is an emotional, over-the-top reaction that has no real bearing on reality – that I do not believe Cath would, under the circumstances, actually promote the taking of a rusty knife and using said knife to rape anyone. Nor do I think it was making light of actual sexual assault.

    You can find the line distasteful, yes; if you find it offensive, that’s understandable. But within the context, and with Cath’s own disclaimer at the end, I personally don’t see the justification for what I consider an overblown reaction – hysterics and “tut-tuts” that themselves conflate hyperbolic words with actual physical (and subsequently psychological) harm.

    If there was ever a “mountain out of a molehill” moment in the blogosphere, this is it.

    Are we now to respond with calls for censorship* when outrageous actions are denounced with words that express more in the way of frustration than they do a desire for an outcome?

    *(Not that I believe Walton is among the pro-censorship types at all.)

  393. #394 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, my bad – not only did I bork the posting, but also the context a bit – I was thinking of the “fuck yourself with a splintery broom” example, not the “fuck yourself sideways with a rusty knife example”. Similar point stands, though, if not quite exactly congruent; Cath was saying that as an example of something she would rather not say because she does not want to be that kind of person, so it’s still a hypothetical statement of “here’s something bad that is not something I myself would be saying”.

  394. #395 jenbphillips
    March 11, 2010

    Janine and Carlie, your attempts at placing Fucking Rusty Knife references in context are admirably lucid and bespeak a patience and clarity of thought that I cannot seem to muster, due to my roiling, seething anger. Thank you!!!!

    Brownian:

    What frosts my fucking balls*…[snip righteous rant].
    *Watch for a new influx of hand-wringing comments at The Intersection that “genital hypothermia is not a joke”.

    Ah, see, before I got to that endnote I read your opening salvo as referring to cake frosting. It makes way more sense your way, but I had fun with the imagery while it lasted :)

    I think that consistent use of Cockney rhyming slang is an excellent strategy for increasing the civility around here.

    Seconded! The load of old Pony over at the Intersection really frosts my Alberts*

    *well, technically my Morris, I suppose.

  395. #396 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Thank you for your kind words, jenbphillips, but for me, it is not a case of being lucid. All I did was quote and provide links. I am so fucking pissed off, if I were to try to speak, I would be tripping over my tongue.

  396. #397 windy
    March 11, 2010

    A commenter at the Intersection:
    “The nature of some of these attacks make women feel particularly unwelcome. Science has historically been a profession that frequently worked to exclude women. Some of this exclusion has been by overt acts of discrimination, some in forms of being made to feel as if one doesn?t belong.”

    Isn’t it terrible how we are made to feel unwelcome here, jenbphillips, Carlie, Caine, SC, Janine, Bastion of Sass, et cetera?

  397. #398 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Windy, not to be too much of an ass but the next time you quote, can you also provide a link. It is not that I doubt you, it sounds like the type of argument from stupidity that many there have been engaging in.

  398. #399 windy
    March 11, 2010

    here.

  399. #400 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Thank you.

  400. #401 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Windy @ 397:

    Isn’t it terrible how we are made to feel unwelcome here, jenbphillips, Carlie, Caine, SC, Janine, Bastion of Sass, et cetera?

    Oh yeeaahh, so unwelcome! People are telling me I’m unwelcome all the time! /sarcasm*

    *I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find this, completely out of context at a certain crossroads.

    Gaythia” goes on to say:

    Feeling that one?s comments may leave one subject to threats of violent attack is not conducive to free speech or active participation. It certainly creates an atmosphere that does not lend itself to ?strengthening public interest in science and improving public understanding of science around the world.?

    FFS, these people need a hyperbole-ectomy and a healthy injection of reality. I have never once felt that my comments have left me “subject to threats of violent attack” I didn’t even feel that way when a certain goats on fire guy invaded my photo gallery.

    If someone here tells me “oh, go fuck yourself with a pineapple” frinst., I take that to mean they have an issue with something I said, not that I need to call the cops and barricade myself because someone is going to show up at my door with a pineapple and bad intent. These folks embody prudish pearliness.

  401. #402 Brownian, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Ah, see, before I got to that endnote I read your opening salvo as referring to cake frosting. It makes way more sense your way, but I had fun with the imagery while it lasted :)

    Really? Perhaps it is supposed to be a reference to cake balls, jenbphillips. Imagine: all these years I’ve been using the phrase I’ve been leading people to think I’ve been the victim of sugar sculpture vigilantism rather than merely someone who makes poor trouser choices in cold weather.

  402. #403 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    Thanks jen, although I did get two of them confused a bit. windy, good point. It makes me mad particularly in a personal way – I do speak up every time I see a comment I think is abusive towards either specific people or contributes to an abusive society. And even though a lot of other people do too, every time I go through an internal fight of “should I or shouldn’t I”, wondering if I’m just overreacting and if it’s going to cause a huge topic derail and if I have the energy to go through with it and what will people think of me. But at least 90% of the time, I do it anyway. So to see them bashing this place by saying that any manner of abusive comments run wild and free on the commenting plains is a [virtual symbolic allegorical] slap in the face, knowing how often I (along with so many others) do spend the energy corralling what we see as bum steers (oh no here goes the metaphor running away from me…).

  403. #404 otrame
    March 11, 2010

    Yeah, I’ve always been made to feel unwelcome here.

    [/lying through my teeth]

    Nothing makes me madder than statements like that one quoted by Windy at 397. It belittles the real troubles real people have had to deal with. My personal feeling is if some bad language makes you that uncomfortable, you need to go work in a nice Christian book store or something.

    Have I occasionally been made to feel unwelcome someplace because I am a girl? Sure, though my profession has always had a bunch of uppity women running around doing great work that everyone admires. When I have been made to feel unwelcome because I am a girl (usually by guys outside my profession who are not used to having women on a job site) I ignore it and get on with the job. People either get used to me being a girl they can work with or they don’t. If they don’t, fuck ‘em.

  404. #405 Louis
    March 11, 2010

    Just an anecdotal observation, but I’ve noticed that those people who tend to like to take things out of context and scream about the vulgarity or violent commentary of people they don’t like/disagree with, also tend to be the sort of people who are most likely to stab people in the back or go crying to “authorities”.

    Usually it’s the whiny wankers who create trouble who then get a case of the vapours when the consequences of their troublemaking comes home to roost.

    Louis

  405. #406 Brownian, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Carlie, you more than anyone else here (although by no means you alone) have been instrumental in raising my awareness about the language I use. There have been many times when I’ve thought you were overreacting at first read through, but when all is said and done I’m glad you make the argument because you’ve helped curb my unintentional use of sexist, racist, er LGBT-ist, terms. I know I’m still not as conscientious as I should be, but isn’t that the point of awareness raising?

  406. #407 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    My personal feeling is if some bad language makes you that uncomfortable, you need to go work in a nice Christian book store or something.

    You’ve obviously never worked in a Christian book store. People treat you like garbage, from the employers to the little old ladies (and most other types in between). But then, the one I worked at was on the premises of a mega church, perhaps that makes a difference.

  407. #408 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    Thanks Brownian, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. :)
    (and in my own strange self-absorbed way like I was fishing for compliments, but I wasn’t, I swear!)

  408. #409 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Wow. People with seemingly no horse in the current argument are now coming to The Intersection and saying things like this now:

    The truth of the matter is that yes, there is a disturbing track record on the Pharyngula comment threads of trivializing rape, sexual assault, and death as ?jokes?

    Solely based on them repeating it over and over again. With no citations. No analysis. No real substance at all. Simply repetition of lies.

    It’s the same as when Laden Becked SC on the topic of anti-semitism. Their blogs seem to attract people who take authority figures at their word, instead of checking sources and paying attention to context. It’s pathetic.

  409. #410 Brownian, OM
    March 11, 2010

    I know you weren’t fishing Carlie. I just wanted to say your speaking up is appreciated.

  410. #411 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    I would like to echo Brownian’s comment to Carlie.

    I know her comments about the use of language, and comments from others, have made me change some of the words I use.

  411. #412 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    Did Petra ever link to or offer the name of the thread she was talking about? If not, could someone remind her that she hasn’t? And ask her if she’s received a response from SEED to her alleged complaint?

  412. #413 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    From Paul’s link @ 409:

    1.) The ?context? of the reference to Sheril and friends getting raped with a knife doesn?t excuse the content of the comment. ?I?m kidding? is not an excusable context for an equivalent of ?someone take a rusty knife and simulate sex with it by stabbing these people repeatedly in the vagina.? I?m sorry, guys. Try as you might, using such rhetoric as a ?joke? is no excuse.

    Wow. Flat out, context doesn’t matter, not one whit. That’s a hell of a thing. And “simulate sex”? Yeesh.

    Pharyngula has some great content in what PZ posts, but the comments are often a cesspool of such trivialized violence. If people want to write Seed Media about this and get some action going, I think they have a very solid case.

    *facepalm* Yeah, there’s never anything except “trivialized violence” in the comments. Uh huh.

    In fact, if you?re a commenter at Pharyngula, you should probably be pretty ashamed that someone has trivialized rape to the point where it?s a ?joke,? to use how several of you have put it in defense.

    As a commenter at Pharyngula, I’m ashamed of all the people at the intersuction who are being actively dishonest and don’t have the slightest ability to grasp the importance of context, among other things. Damn, these people make me cringe.

  413. #414 MrFire
    March 11, 2010

    I know her comments about the use of language, and comments from others, have made me change some of the words I use.

    Same goes for me, and I’m guessing for many like me who comment infrequently, or even not at all.

  414. #415 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Did Petra ever link to or offer the name of the thread she was talking about? If not, could someone remind her that she hasn’t? And ask her if she’s received a response from SEED to her alleged complaint?

    I did that a couple times last thread. It has not occurred the current thread. I did use her (anon.) in an example of how people were dishonestly attacking Myers and Pharyngula (she is the person who said, unambiguously, that she had never posted on Pharyngula, then 50 posts or so later claimed she had posted once in the past and was told to go get raped). I also asked her in the previous thread to link the thread she was discussing, since she obviously would have it to hand if she was sending a complaint to SEED. She ignored my request, said the complaint to SEED was off, and that was that. I’d forward your request, but I’m trying really hard not to get into this again.

    Kirshenbaum isn’t even reading the comments, anyway (which should have been obvious before when she said people were interested in the subject of “The Value of Science Blogs” because it had over 400 comments, ignoring or not realizing that most of the comments were people dissembling or actively lying about content on another blog). I was hoping she’d be a bit different than Mooney and willing to follow up on her sweeping accusations (this post was more direct than the previous), but they are just two peas in a pod. They also like to make accusatory traffic-driving posts right before extended afk events. Decide for yourself if it’s coincidence or plausible deniability for holding up posts arguing the side of reason (which oddly seem to get held up more than the three line slanders most of the resident trolls engage in).

  415. #416 Jadehawk, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Carlie, you more than anyone else here (although by no means you alone) have been instrumental in raising my awareness about the language I use. There have been many times when I’ve thought you were overreacting at first read through, but when all is said and done I’m glad you make the argument because you’ve helped curb my unintentional use of sexist, racist, er LGBT-ist, terms. I know I’m still not as conscientious as I should be, but isn’t that the point of awareness raising?

    seconded.

  416. #417 Sven DiMilo
    March 11, 2010

    Suppose the Seed Overloads receive some of these complaints and decide that the Pharynguhorde really are violating the Terms of Use and that this is serious business. Just suppose they try to crack down on tastelessness. “Dr. Myers,” sez the Overloads,”your commentariate is too crude; we are receiving complaints from various milquetoasts who are Offended. Please enforce more civility and no more cuss-words. Kthx.”

    My guess is that PZ would find another server host (and therefore Pharyngula might no longer be an Official Science Blag).

    My guess also is that it will never happen, because Pharyngula accounts for at least half of the clicks that bring in ad revenue. It is ‘scienceblogs.com‘, after all.

  417. #418 aratina cage
    March 11, 2010

    Did Petra ever link to or offer the name of the thread she was talking about?

    No. She has not ever linked to it AFAIK and has not clarified which parts of her story were true (as dissected here by negentropyeater, who also surmised that Petra is Julie).Frankly, I think she is a troll, probably Charlie Wagner or someone like that and bilbo and his gang fell for it, or more like dove for it, to use as a weapon against PZ.

  418. #419 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    I just took a look over at The Intersection.

    McCarthy has now driven his loco into the already quite impressive train wreck.

    One thing that had escaped me was that Kirshenbaum decided to wait until PZ was busy at an Atheist Convention in Australia before posting. It would also be interesting to hear if she has tried to contact PZ before posting.

  419. #420 Paul W., OM
    March 11, 2010

    Just suppose they try to crack down on tastelessness.

    I assume that if SEED really cares about whether PZ’s horde is technically in violation of the terms of use, they’ll do the reasonable thing—change the terms of use.

    One thing that I want to call PZ out on…

    PZ has repeatedly talked about how we engage in incivility, and that we like it that way.

    I think that’s just false. We do have some pretty strong norms of civility around here, and they’re obviously better in “our” view than the norms of civility that Mooney and Kirshenbaum and their bag of weasels try to beat us up with.

    We should not accept their framing that civility is about naughty words. It isn’t, except for prudes and prigs. (BTW, I think the word “prig” captures something about Chris and Sheril that “prude” misses. I hope people will use it more.)

    In my view, and I think the view of most people here, the most important norms of civility are about honesty.

    It’s one thing to be cussed at in a heated argument, while the argument proceeds and actually discusses important issues.

    It’s another to be shouted down by people who systematically misrepresent you and evade the real issues.

    IMHO, the latter sucks hugely whether people are cussing or not.

    The worst incivility that I’ve experienced in decades was when I spent too much time at The Intersection for a couple of months, a few months ago—partly out of morbid curiosity as to just how systematically they would deceive and evade.

    I got called a troll a lot. A whole fuck of a lot, when I was not simply trolling—I was quite seriously raising important points of disagreement, which they never, ever addressed, preferring instead to abuse me in every way they could think of, except cussing.

    It was amazing, and it was the kind of thing that couldn’t happen here, because we are, on the whole, basically civil. We don’t just call people trolls because they disagree with the blogger(s) and/or the dominant view within the group. Or if we do, somebody will usually correct us, as happened to me when I once called Walton a troll.

    Even if we think somebody is basically a troll, they generally get answers to serious questions and serious rebuttals of their serious points and arguments.

    In contrast, at the Intersection I asked the same two basic clarifying questions about accommodationism several dozens of times over a period of two months, and never once got a straight answer.

    I found that amazing. I’ve been on the intertoobz for several decades since before they were the Internet, and long before the Web, and I have never seen such systematic evasiveness by any group of people. There’s generally somebody in the group who will rise to the bait, and answer a fucking question, rather than spending weeks on end collectively stonewalling, while doing nothing but heaping abuse on the questioner.

    I am still amazed. I’ve never seen that before, and hope never to again, although now I guess I know where to look—the least civil blog I know of, in terms of important norms of civil discourse, and it ain’t Pharyngula.

    I’d much prefer to be cussed at, but still shown the basic civility of having my serious points and arguments seriously addressed.

    I really think that’s much more civil. Does anybody here disagree?

    If not, I suggest that we send a message to PZ:

    PZ, please stop accepting the framing that we are simply uncivil, and that cussing per se is a major form of incivility.

    It’s bad enough that M&K frame us that way; it’s basically a lie. It’s worse when PZ plays into it, and gives away the store.

  420. #421 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    In contrast, at the Intersection I asked the same two basic clarifying questions about accommodationism several dozens of times over a period of two months, and never once got a straight answer.

    You wouldn’t.

    I once asked Mooney how, if religion and science were compatible, he could explain how belief in miracles such as the virgin birth were compatible with a scientific worldview.

    He said it was an interesting question and did not answer it. That was about a year ago and I am still waiting for a reply. I long ago came to conclusion he did not answer the question because he cannot answer the question.

  421. #422 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    In contrast, at the Intersection I asked the same two basic clarifying questions about accommodationism several dozens of times over a period of two months, and never once got a straight answer.

    At least they didn’t ban you for asking questions, like they did Ophelia Benson. Were your questions perhaps aimed only at the commenters, and not the hosts (or Mooney, at least)?

  422. #423 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Paul W., OM:

    In my view, and I think the view of most people here, the most important norms of civility are about honesty.

    Yep. The blatant dishonesty going on at the crossroads is despicable. I don’t care if people cuss, whether that cussing is directed at me or not. If I comment on something, and I’m wrong, it’s of value it I’m corrected, cussing notwithstanding. Of course, only those who are honest themselves will find any value in having a point of view corrected or challenged.

  423. #424 Matt Penfold
    March 11, 2010

    It is not surprising that The Intersection has a problem with honesty amongst the commentators. The blog’s authors are committed to dishonesty by virtue of the position they have taken on accommodationism and framing.

  424. #425 Brownian, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Okay, I’ve had about all I can stomach there.

    Anybody want to give Wowbagger a hand and take up where I’m leaving off?

  425. #426 Paul W., OM
    March 11, 2010

    (other) Paul:

    At least they didn’t ban you for asking questions, like they did Ophelia Benson. Were your questions perhaps aimed only at the commenters, and not the hosts (or Mooney, at least)?

    My questions were very basic ones about M&K’s framing of the accommodationism vs. New Atheist thing, and they were aimed at M&K and/or any commenter.

    After a while, I started asking individual commenters—I probably asked about a dozen.

    Absolutely none of their loyalist supporters would seriously answer either of the questions.

    (There were a couple of bystanders who weighed in.)

    Interestingly, I was pretty hard on Mooney and Kirshenbaum, including repeatedly accusing them of dishonesty, giving detailed arguments that what they were saying was false, and that they must know it was false, and that they were therefore dishonest. (And I used that word—“dishonest.”)

    It amazed me that I wasn’t banned.

    Ophelia was following that, I found out later, and said that I rocked—I think I was saying the kind of thing she’s not allowed to say there anymore. She even said I should get the (imaginary) “Secular Templeton Award.” (Thanks to Sven for pointing that out.)

    If anybody else wants to do that sort of very unpleasant thing at The Intersection, be sure not to ever cuss, and if you’re going to call people dishonest, make sure that it’s not an ad hominem argument—demonstrate the falsity of the claim first, then argue that it much be a knowing falsehood, and conclude that it’s dishonest. (I generally avoided the hot-button word “lie.”) Don’t do it in a way that could be mistaken for an ad hominem, i.e., using the accusation to cast down on the claim, and make it explicit that that’s not what you’re doing.

    Of course, don’t expect that kind of civility in return, from their commenters. Expect to be called a troll and liar a lot, and expect a whole shitload of ad hominems, arguments from authority, and hypocrisy about those kinds of arguments.

    I have to give Mooney and Kirshenbaum some credit for letting me point out their dishonesty over and over again at their blog. I really didn’t expect that.

  426. #427 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Brownian, Wowbagger and the rest of you brave and patient folks – I applaud your efforts, but I cannot see wading in there to make a coherent point (which has already been made countless times), just to have it utterly ignored. Looking at this reply alone (emphasis mine):

    Bob S. @ the crossroads:

    ?f*** them all sideways with a rusty f***ing knife? is an imperative. It is read as ?(You) f*** them all sideways with a rusty f***ing knife.? Without any other context revealing otherwise, this is how such statements are taken in basic English.

    makes me want to slam my head into a wall. The fucking context has been provided, over and over and over and over. Aarrgghh. Hitting submit quickly, else there will be cussing…

  427. #428 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    D’oh! I have been thrown into moderation at the intersection. This was my comment:

    Sheril acknowledged that this is using rape as a joke.

    First, she didn?t ?acknowledge? anything. Acknowledging means admitting to something you know to be true, generally something that one is personally responsible for. What she did was to make an assertion, and an incorrect one at that.

    Second, this isn?t using rape as a joke. It?s using a bizarrely misconstrued interpretation of a comment as a joke.

  428. #429 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    I think I was saying the kind of thing she’s not allowed to say there anymore.

    Well, she’s not allowed to say anything there anymore. All her posts get blackholed. She was literally banned, it’s not like she stopped posting there on principle, or was just not allowed to post on certain issues. Just making sure you’re clear on that.

    But yeah, from what I recall you pretty much picked up the torch where she had left off. You just came on the scene about the time I got sick enough to stop following The Intersection, so I couldn’t quite remember which tack you took in engaging.

  429. #430 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    And thanks for all the comments – this debacle has at least made me notice that sometimes I am a little too quick on the trigger finger, so I’ll try to be a little more judicious in bringing down the linguihammer (I bet THAT’S an unintended consequence for them!)

  430. #431 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    In case it gets axed over there:

    Okidoki, as the person who wrote the damned thing, let me clear a few things up here.

    – At the base, the statement is “f*** them”. This term is universally understood not to be an imperative (I am simply flabbergasted that someone actually tried to make that point). It is a simple, crude derogatory expression.

    – The comment I responded to was discussing the pearl-clutching here. Anyone following the discussion and interested in what it was about (rather than just clicking the link provided by the fainting-couch brigade, reading three sentences and getting the vapors) would know that it was a direct reference to the the earlier comment using the same imagery, which was such a source of hand-wringing in the earlier thread here. Most of the regular commenters here PARTICIPATED IN THAT VERY THREAD. To all of a sudden pretend to be unaware of that context is pathetic. Pathetic. You should all be ashamed of yourself.

    – Knowing how much out-of-context quoting goes on here, I threw in a bonus hint that my comment would be whined about on this blog (I was wrong about when, though). How on Earth can a sentient being read that and not realize, between it and the comment I responded to, heck, half the damned thread even, the context?

    – Rape and sexual abuse might be theoretically possible with a rusty knife, but sideways? Can someone draw me a picture? Getting offended at something that’s physically impossible? Seriously?

    Sheril: this post, this thread, and as of late this blog can now be directly linked as a shining example of intellectual dishonesty. But of course, nobody cares — the only way to get a decent number of hits is to stir up Pharyngula-related controversy, and it is obvious that you will ride this pony until it drops. Understandable, but don’t be surprised when you become an even bigger laughing stock than you are already along the way.

  431. #432 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 11, 2010

    I stopped posting on the Insuction when I made a statement, provided a link as evidence in support, and still got called a liar.

    In my view, and I think the view of most people here, the most important norms of civility are about honesty.

    The Pharynguloid regulars do treasure honesty. Most of us are honest with each other, with the irregulars, and even with the drive-bys. We may not be polite but we are fucking honest.

  432. #433 Paul
    March 11, 2010

    Gotta love McCarthy. As always, insisting on arguing with facts and evidence equates to “…contortions [Myers’] fan base go through, making the most absurd and irrational excuses for a straightforward instance of intentional offensiveness…”. On a happy note, the main reason I was able to stick with the previous thread was the lack of McCarthy (wasted far too much time with him during the UA fiasco, and refuse to do it again). If he’s wrecking this thread, I’m done.

  433. #434 jenbphillips
    March 11, 2010

    Isn’t it terrible how we are made to feel unwelcome here, jenbphillips, Carlie, Caine, SC, Janine, Bastion of Sass, et cetera?

    Riiiight. This (the whacked out sentiment windy is referring to with the above) is getting close to the reason for my nearly unbearable anger at Sheril & Co. The first layer of fury is borne of the consistent inability/unwillingness of Chris, Sheril and their followers to acknowledge that context matters. Quote mining used to be the exclusive province of creationists and other whacked out breeds of denialists, almost always worth pointing and laughing at because it instantly revealed how bankrupt their actual arguments were. It is astonishing, therefore, to find Chris and Sheril–those who purport to be on the side of science, reason, and evidence-based worldviews–not only tolerating these tactics in their followers but using them to undergird their campaign against the New Atheist Noise Machine. Accurate reporting be damned, as long as it makes us look bad to the public.

    As if that weren’t repugnant enough, there is now a thick feculent layer of bleating accusations of threatening references to sexual violence slathered over the preexisting morass. Historically, I find that Sheril and her cohort of female bloggers are a bit heavy-handed with the application of the “Misogyneeeeee!” label. I dissent from their point of view because I feel it trivializes genuine misogyny and makes it harder for the uninitiated to identify. These new, trumped up charges of sexual aggression, and the implication that women ‘don’t feel comfortable posting here’ are infuriating for the same reason. They distort reality to a disturbing degree, and they are a grave insult to the victims of real sexual assault–or threats thereof.

    Further, insinuating that PZ Myers, staunch defender of women’s rights, equality, and dignity, is providing fertile ground for propagating these threats is the ultimate absurdity. It would be laughable if it weren’t so stomach-churningly vile.

    And Carlie, I must add my voice to the chorus of admiration for your efforts to raise awareness of these issues on Pharyngula. You almost always get there before I do, and say it so much better than I ever could.

  434. #435 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    I just took a look at the new train wreck. The only people who are commenting on what I linked to are the regulars from here. The same cast of clowns as before. And, yes, I resent being painted as if I am part of a mob that makes light of being raped.

    I know it is only lies but as I said before, it fucking bothers me. And it bothers me that people that I have come to like and respect are being painted the same way.

    I did what I could. It just was not enough.

  435. #436 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    My God, the dishonesty, even by the standards of the intersection, is astounding. I’m really, genuinely angry and offended by it.

    Make no mistake – Lady Pucker and Lord Turtlehead, along with their sycophants (and they call us minions?) are quite consciously fomenting hysteria aimed at putting Pharyngula in danger of being kicked off SB. I’m sorry, but this looks deliberate and planned.

  436. #437 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    Janine, for some of them it will never be enough. But what you’ve put there will let any bystander reading it know what’s really going on.

  437. #438 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Jesus fucking Christ – they’re repeatedly claiming that commenters here were suggesting “the rape of Sheril.” (Close your ears) – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHH. Damn it, I fucking hate this dishonesty masquerading as moral righteousness!

  438. #439 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    I’m really starting to wonder (FOOLED AGAIN) whether it’s not just 3 or 4 loons from the Pharyngula dungeon feverishly sockpuppeting.

  439. #440 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    jenbphillips:

    Historically, I find that Sheril and her cohort of female bloggers are a bit heavy-handed with the application of the “Misogyneeeeee!” label. I dissent from their point of view because I feel it trivializes genuine misogyny and makes it harder for the uninitiated to identify. These new, trumped up charges of sexual aggression, and the implication that women ‘don’t feel comfortable posting here’ are infuriating for the same reason. They distort reality to a disturbing degree, and they are a grave insult to the victims of real sexual assault–or threats thereof.

    Agreed 100%. For all the accusatory whining they indulge in, they do not get at all that they are the ones trivializing matters.

    I’ve been raped. At knife-point no less. No colourful expression by a Pharyngulite has ever traumatized me or trivialized my experience. The blatant dishonesty of those at the crossroads angers me and I do feel as though they actually trivialize my experience (and the experience of others) by acting as though words alone are equivalent to an act such as rape.

  440. #441 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    The blatant dishonesty of those at the crossroads angers me and I do feel as though they actually trivialize my experience (and the experience of others) by acting as though words alone are equivalent to an act such as rape.

    QFT. I am mad enough to spit.

  441. #442 jenbphillips
    March 11, 2010

    The blatant dishonesty of those at the crossroads angers me and I do feel as though they actually trivialize my experience (and the experience of others) by acting as though words alone are equivalent to an act such as rape.

    Indeed–my opinion on this mess is informed not only by intellectual integrity, but by a personal experience similar to your own. My rage at those who pose as our champions while belittling our experiences is thermonuclear.

    To me, this travesty is in the ballpark with the inappropriate hyperbolic use of ‘Holocaust’ as a blanket description for various and sundry unpleasant situations.

  442. #443 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Caine, I am not sure if you mentioned that before on this blog. But I am happy that you recovered enough and have enough strength of character to bring it up.

    And I am damned sure that you and the women here who have gone through the same stimulation would let me know if they ever thought I was belittling that event.

  443. #444 Kagato
    March 11, 2010

    Oh good, they’ve dragged the whole cesspit into yet another thread. I guess there wasn’t much point replying in the old one then, as the same old shit will get dredged up in the new one.

    It’s kind of like the Gish Gallop in blog form. It doesn’t matter if you’ve refuted a topic previously, nobody can see it this time; so the same baseless accusation can be raised all over again.

  444. #445 Sven DiMilo
    March 11, 2010

    McCarthy is quite a guy; just ask him. He has never once complained about being banned.

    (Which, of course, he wasn’t. He wants a gold star for not complaining about something that never happened. What’s that Steely Dan tune? “Pretzel Logic”.)

  445. #446 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Hats off to all the women here who’ve objected to this trivialization of rape going on at the Intersection, especially those having the guts to come out as someone who’s been raped. You have my admiration.

  446. #447 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Janine, I don’t talk about it much, it was a long time ago and thank you. You can be sure I would say something if I thought you or anyone else was belittling such experiences. You haven’t and I can’t imagine you doing that in the first place.

    That is what the ignominious dunces at the crossroads don’t understand – for all the raucous discussion here, for all the cussing, colourful expressions, disagreements and other wonders, honesty, integrity and compassion are hallmarks of the regulars here. Anyone who came in here actually trivializing an act such as rape would be pounced on and shredded in about a second flat.

    jenbphillips:

    To me, this travesty is in the ballpark with the inappropriate hyperbolic use of ‘Holocaust’ as a blanket description for various and sundry unpleasant situations.

    In.A.Nutshell. I’m sorry you’ve had a similar experience, it happens too often.

  447. #448 jenbphillips
    March 11, 2010

    Those days are gone forever
    Over a long time ago, oh yeah

  448. #449 jenbphillips
    March 11, 2010

    Oops, #448 was for Sven–coming after Caine’s recent comment it sounds hideously inappropriate. Sorry!

    Anyone who came in here actually trivializing an act such as rape would be pounced on and shredded in about a second flat.

    Exactly. Anyone who comes in here and says anything approaching an actual threat or incitement to violence is summarily smacked down. Even the angry atheists who don’t appear to have come by their atheism through rational skepticism don’t last long, because the dialogue here goes so much deeper than faith-bashing and idle talk of cannibalizing our young. This is what makes Pharyngula so great, and what makes the necessity of this conversation so preposterous.

  449. #450 SC OM
    March 11, 2010

    Anyone who came in here actually trivializing an act such as rape would be pounced on and shredded in about a second flat.

    Nuh uh! Hyperon and SEF both did recently, and everyone totally cheered them on. Totally. Their comments are completely representative of the culture of casual sexual violence here. Yes, they are! Yes, they are! Lalalalalalalala

  450. #451 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    SC, oh yes, I forgot about that! Silly me.

    *ouch. That eyeroll hurt.

  451. #452 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    @Caine:

    That is what the ignominious dunces at the crossroads don’t understand – for all the raucous discussion here, for all the cussing, colourful expressions, disagreements and other wonders, honesty, integrity and compassion are hallmarks of the regulars here. Anyone who came in here actually trivializing an act such as rape would be pounced on and shredded in about a second flat.

    Too true. The hallmark of the intersection crowd is style over substance. This should come as no surprise, really; it’s of a piece with that entire set who believes in the power of the veneer of civility – the trappings – but not the substance of genuinely respectful discourse. It’s the attitude that brought us the great Framing Wars, and the attitude that animates the conflict between the accommodationists and the non-accommodationists.

  452. #453 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    jenbphillips, no worries! I figured it out. :)

  453. #454 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Josh OSG:

    The hallmark of the intersection crowd is style over substance.

    Oh yes. The base dishonesty of the whole framing/accomdationist mess has a lot to answer for, to say the least. As for the pearl clutchin’ style, honestly, I think the person who used “simulate sex” instead of fuck might have traumatized a few of my brain cells.

  454. #455 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, dear, my comment is “awaiting moderation.” Since it won’t likely get through:

    Sven de Milo said:

    poopyheads!

    to which Wowbagger replied:

    Sven, that?s terrible. That comment can only mean one thing: you?re inciting people to literally visit the people who post here and violently smear their heads with faeces. You?re despicable.

    to which SpokesGay replied:

    I agree with Wowbagger. It?s staggering that adults, in this day and age, could actively encourage fecal assault, then lamely try to excuse it as a ?joke.? Coprocrania is no joke. Ever.

  455. #456 gould1865
    March 11, 2010

    I have an opinion about science blogging.

    Back on number one and post, a priori there seems to be no real or working definition of what is a scientist. It’s clear that the bloggers want to be one. All they have to do is say they are one; the term is not regulated. I do recall that Joseph Campbell said this was coming in his Hero trilogy.

    So who are these persons claiming to be scientists? After reading science blogs, often all of it, since Oct of 09, home because of a heart condition, I have concluded that for the most part the science bloggers are primarily teachers who call themselves scientists. I say primarily, not exclusively, based on their attitudes. They are telling you, often in poor prose, and you are to figure out what they mean. For the most part they do not like contradiction nor a dust-up, and if your argument is telling it will never appear in the comments, for the most part, no matter how polite you comment. For the most part the bloggers confidence is weak and if they can’t tell you that you should read and study, as they would a student of theirs, then they don’t think you’re playing the game right.

    Well now, what makes me think I know whether an argument is telling and what is poor prose? Long experience, thirty years of trial law and then judge, says I must know something, I’m not pulling authority, I’m telling you part of why I am confident, you don’t have to allow it. But that’s not all. My M.A. in English is with emphasis on prose style and therefore rhetoric. My long paper was on the style of T. H. Huxley. I first learned some things when I taught at a Miss. Univ. during the 60’s civil rights turmoil and was finally asked to move on. I had committed academic suicide, so I went into law. But that’s not all. I retired and went back to school and was certified in Chemistry, Geology, Ecology, Space Science, Astronomy, and Biology, taught those subjects plus physics for five years at a high school and every summer did expeditions with the National Science Foundation, racking up a year of mostly Western studies in geology and paleontology. Therefore, am I a scientist? I am primarily a lawyer to my mind, then a teacher–though I did contribute on the Mars blueberries. That does not make me a scientist. I think the man who writes the chicken blog (not on scblgs) actually is a scientist tho he calls himself a farmer.

    Among the persons writing on scienceblogs are persons with two PhD’s, which is ridiculous to have two and of questionable ethics for them and for the university that awarded the second one. Somebody was denied one because of each of them, as supposedly they are limited in number and availability and funding. So these doctor, doctors write a blog and their whole life has been as either student or teacher in an institution, their whole life one long promotion, and what do they know? They are teachers who are not called to task but are flattered laid on with a trowel, and their judgments are highly questionable, which sometimes makes them interesting for that reason only. Seeing which discipline they speak in is interesting, They will teach you, as far as they are concerned.

    We have an engineer and a preposterous rhetorician. Are they scientists? All they have to do is say they are.

    Bora, aka Cotournix, aka Blog Around the clock is a special case. He appears to be some sort of concierge and is primarily interested in other bloggers. That pompous smiler is not only intent on making you his student but making the other bloggers his students as well. The spate of words from has an embarrassing shadow, and hopefully he will learn to think more and write less as he matures.

    Ed Yong is an exception. He claims to be a journalist and he delivers with verve. Laelaps, Allocthonous, and Eruptions are exceptions, they deliver in spades. I like Mike the Mad Biologist but I can’t figure out why. And some exceptions may not come to mind at this time.

    However, in the U.S. we live in an anti-intellectual culture and we must not be too hard on our intellectuals, nor our science bloggers nor their commenters, for the most part. One notch down is enough.

    Now for you academic hidebounds, that’s all you know, you can know that my degrees are B.A., M.A., J.D., Ed.S. I am sort of envious that you lot were able to get PhD’s while I was not. But if I had gotten one I would be teaching English in some university and be basically stupid and not even know it, like a goldfish. Still, we need our intellectuals, who are easily shunted for the most part, by the way.

    Which leaves PZ Myers and Ed Brayton who unbeknownst to them attracted me to scienceblogs, and they remain my favorites. I’m not for flattering them and will leave it at that.

  456. #457 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Oh, goodness me, my comment was Approved(TM)! Could it be that Lady Pucker and Lord Turtlehead have had a sudden reversal, and now approve of bawdy commentary? Or, are they hatching a fiendish plot to pluck my innocent comment from its context and pimp it for an intellectually dishonest pursuit?

    Stay tuned for the next episode of The Intersection: Life (and our faces), Airbrushed.

  457. #458 WowbaggerOM
    March 11, 2010

    Thanks for those who’ve come over to the 2nd train-wreck thread to add voices of reason; it may have no effect on the closed-minds of Bilbo & co., but it might have one on those impartial readers who hear about the kerfuffle and come to see for themselves.

    I’m signing off for the day – and probably the next few days; I can’t imagine I’ll have either the time or opportunity to be online – and heading over to Melbourne to meet up with PZ and everyone else who’s at the GAC.

    No-doubt one or more of those there will have the means to post updates to let you know how it’s going.

  458. #459 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Josh OSG:

    Coprocrania

    Hahahahahahaha. Oh my. Do you think the coprocraniums will get it?

  459. #460 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Hahahahahahaha. Oh my. Do you think the coprocraniums will get it?

    Shit no. Do you think Kirshenbaum would have approved my comment if she actually did get it?

  460. #461 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    To me, this travesty is in the ballpark with the inappropriate hyperbolic use of ‘Holocaust’ as a blanket description for various and sundry unpleasant situations.

    [gregladen]
    Some might consider your comments antisemitic!!!
    [/gregladen]

    (just in case nutso is still trolling)

  461. #462 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Josh, OSG, good point. Copracranium and its variations is now added to my vocabulary. Thank you kindly, dear Sir!

  462. #463 Bastion Of Sass
    March 11, 2010

    Isn’t it terrible how we are made to feel unwelcome here, jenbphillips, Carlie, Caine, SC, Janine, Bastion of Sass, et cetera?

    Agreed! That’s why I left Pharyngula, haven’t posted here in years, and will not post again, ever.

    It’s also why I started the Baltimore Pharyngula Fans group. God, I hate this blog!!

  463. #464 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Josh, OSG, good point. Copracranium and its variations is now added to my vocabulary. Thank you kindly, dear Sir!

    You’re most welcome dear dark lady of the flower. I give you even odds Kirshenbaum deletes my comment when she goes back and realizes she was taken in by its superficial appearance of pearl-clutching shock, and its faux-latinate content.

  464. #465 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    No bet, Josh. I imagine the pearlescent shrub of stylish dishonesty is going to take one hell of a pruning whenever the Lord and Lady bother to pay attention.

  465. #466 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    perhaps if someone yanked those pearls out, she’d relax a little.

    say now, that might be a perfect job for our resident quackalicious!

  466. #467 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Ichthyic, ooooh, you get major smartass points for that one. :D :D :D

  467. #468 Sven DiMilo
    March 11, 2010

    Josh, I’m L’ing OL @#455.
    We really should think about taking that show on the road.

  468. #469 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Still going strong. In moderation now:

    This is absolutely unhinged. If you call that “rape imagery”, there is something seriously wrong with you. For example, if I were to say “f*** them in the ear”, you take that as me advocating actual ear penetration?

    I mean, you guys have a point if there wasn’t a “sideways” on it. But it does. Which by any rational standard makes it crass, vulgar, offensive, insensitive, and oh, HYPERBOLE. Or satire, since it was a reference. Which any child would understand. Or both. If you don’t see that you are dense as a post, lying, or both.

    Also,

    1. I was quoted out of context. A simple click shows you that.
    2. I was directly replying to someone. If you’re too lazy to even scroll up, well, that’s your problem.
    3. There are females on Pharyngula.
    4. Some have even been raped.
    5. They pounce on rape imagery.
    6. None of them came even close to taking offense.
    7. Because they understand context.

    And no, I’m not a victim for being called less-than-clever. Of course not. Nonetheless, it is direct disparagement of a person (and a completely clueless type at that), rather than a vulgar dismissal.

    Any of you thinking that what I said condones, let alone approves or encourages rape in any way shape or form should A) take lessons in basic anatomy and B) get your head examined. YOU are the ones taking this to rape, thereby demeaning actual rape or threats of rape. YOU are the ones with minds sufficiently in the gutter that you can actually think of ways to make sideways knife-rape work (again, what the hell). YOU are the ones with your mind in the gutter, and no amount of “we don’t use naughty words” veneer fools anyone.

    You are sickening, and projecting.

  469. #470 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    stuv:

    3. There are females on Pharyngula.

    You know, I lurked here for ages before I commented, and I continue to be surprised by the amount of idjits who assume there are no women on Pharyngula. A whole lot of people seem to think if they don’t see a host of “girly names”, there are no women.

  470. #471 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    You know, I lurked here for ages before I commented, and I continue to be surprised by the amount of idjits who assume there are no women on Pharyngula. A whole lot of people seem to think if they don’t see a host of “girly names”, there are no women.

    Perhaps all of the women on Pharyngula should figure out how to get our usernames to show up in pink instead of blue, so the intersection vapor won’t have to trouble themselves with figuring out on their own which pigeonhole to shove each of us in.

  471. #472 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Carlie, pink? No no no. Now red, that’s a different story. ;)

  472. #473 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Oh dearie me. It looks like I’m now being actively censored on the Intersection. My latest comment does not show up, even as “in moderation”… but re-submitting it shows “You’ve already said that”.

    It looks like I’ve officially gone down the memory hole over there.

    What a bunch of weaklings.

    Here it is:

    You appear to be remarkably uninformed about issues of sexual violence against women.

    Not at all, thank you very much. If my other comment makes it out of moderation, you’ll see that several women on that very thread were victims of sexual violence and took no offense to my comment whatsoever.

    What they are taking offense to is THIS, this equating a hyperbolic comment with sexual violence, thereby trivializing the actual issue. They take offense with you. Do you understand? Is this hard to grasp? It is the equivalent of someone saying “f*** Israeli settlements, in the ear” and coming back with the vapors and quacking about the holocaust.

    It. Trivializes. The. Issue.

    Form. Over. Content.

    You are astonishingly unaware of how this imagery, directed at a specific woman goes well beyond simply tasteless and inappropriate.

    You are astonishingly bad at reading comprehension. My comment was directed not specifically at Sheril, but at Chris, Sheril and most of the commenters here. If at all, I would be advocating taking one little rusty knife and taking on all of you. Again, if that seems like a realistic image to you, seek professional help.

    A lengthy, complete and very contrite letter of apology should be your next order of business.

    Funny, coming from someone who either did not read my comment or failed to comprehend it. A lengthy, complete and very contrite letter of apology for doing either should be your next order of business.

    And no, don’t deflect with “that still does not make your comment okay”. You just misrepresented what I said completely. You did so out of carelessness, stupidity or outright perfidy. Until you address which one it was, and apologize for it, you have no standing in this conversation whatsoever.

  473. #474 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    @Sven:

    We really should think about taking that show on the road.

    You got it pal! But only if we can do Jazz Hands (TM)! And also, only if our promo posters can be airbrushed within an inch of their goddamned lives. Fuck me – it’s like they took Barbie Flesh Tone spraypaint and stuffed it in a can of Aquanet to spray on their photo. No one – not even the best drag queens, not even Taylor Lautner* – has skin that preternaturally smooth.

    Not even babies, and I should know. Having braised my share at sundry holidays.

    * You wish, Chris.

  474. #475 Carlie
    March 11, 2010

    Oh no, Caine! Not nearly girly enough. In fact, we should probably also start doing all our posts in Curlz MT font too.

    Someone over there is now claiming that the offensive comment in question is a veiled reference to FGM, to which I say WTF?

  475. #476 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Yeah, it looks like the other one is gonna be in moderation forever, and my last one shitcanned.

    So much for open discussion. I’m glad I copied and pasted them here. Sorry if it felt a bit spammish, guys — call it a premonition.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to say this half the day now: thank you ladies, both the abused and those lucky enough to escape such horrors. Thank you. I felt what they were doing was trivializing, disrespectful and asinine, but to hear it straight from the horses’ mouths… well, I appreciate it sincerely.

    And, of course, I appreciate you sharing your experiences outright.

  476. #477 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Oh my god. I’m laughing so hard here I nearly had to go throw up (srsly). Look at the intersection:

    Stu:

    Rape and sexual abuse might be theoretically possible with a rusty knife, but sideways?

    That’s got me giggling. And then. . .

    J.J. Ramsey:

    One can easily interpret you as speaking of moving the knife sideways as one penetrates, which is quite physically possible and no doubt more painful than I want to imagine.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, Ramsey. What’s your damage – did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?

  477. #478 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Whoa, spoke to soon — after 20 minutes, all of a sudden my last comment is showing “In moderation”.

    How… odd.

  478. #479 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Carlie:

    Someone over there is now claiming that the offensive comment in question is a veiled reference to FGM

    *jaw drops* How in the hell is anyone capable of drawing that conclusion? I stand in astonishment of just how far they are willing to go in an attempt to justify their so-called outrage.

  479. #480 windy
    March 11, 2010

    Okidoki, as the person who wrote the damned thing, let me clear a few things up here.

    Stu, I think your comment was insensitive. Irony impairment is a serious condition.

  480. #481 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    J.J. Ramsey:

    One can easily interpret you as speaking of moving the knife sideways as one penetrates, which is quite physically possible and no doubt more painful than I want to imagine.

    Just how much time has this guy spent thinking on how one might go about such a thing? Now that’s grade A creepy.

  481. #482 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Josh, you fruitloop*… your comments are getting through where mine are not!**

    DISCRIMINATION!

    * This obvious gay slur about to be discussed on the Veneer Twin’s blog in 3… 2… 1…

    ** This comment to be taken out of context on the Whitening Strip Duo’s blog in 3… 2… 1…

  482. #483 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Caine, ma fleur, my thoughts exactly. WE’RE the sick ones?

  483. #484 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    I know I am going to regret this but what is FGM?

  484. #485 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2010

    Now that’s grade A creepy.

    and THAT’S really why Ramsey was banned from here.

  485. #486 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Janine, Female Genital Mutilation, as in removing the clitoris.

  486. #487 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Stu:

    Josh, you fruitloop*… your comments are getting through where mine are not!**

    DISCRIMINATION!

    * This obvious gay slur about to be discussed on the Veneer Twin’s blog in 3… 2… 1…

    First, I have no idea why my comments are getting through, since I’ve been rather firmly censored there before. Also, the reason I don’t style myself as “SpokesGay” there is it’s a Pharyngula-specific joke/identity, and I don’t have the patience fight prissy faggots like Anthony McCarthy, who’d spend 200 comments deconstructing it to tell the world why he’s a more upstanding, ethical gay man than I am. He’s so damned clenched not even ShamWow shorts can help.

    Second, yeah, it’s almost inevitable some dumb shit from Lady Pucker and Lord Turtlehead’s* realm is going to misconstrue what you said. Well, let them. I’ll laugh as I feast on their open skulls!**

    * Ima work that brilliant idea from Caine until it becomes a true meme

    ** This shall not be construed to endorse skull-opening, trepanning, or any involuntary act of decepahilization.

  487. #488 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Thank you, Caine. I should have been able to figure that out. And, shit, I am even more angry at that den of assholes.

  488. #489 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    Thank you, Caine. I should have been able to figure that out. And, shit, I am even more angry at that den of assholes.

    As well you – or anyone of ordinary ethical sensitivity – should be. Willful intellectual dishonesty that denigrates real suffering through false comparisons with hyperbole is disgusting. And it betrays everything we need to know about the true moral compass of the people who indulge in it.

  489. #490 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Wait, Josh…

    He’s so damned clenched not even ShamWow shorts can help.

    I’d say that being that clenched would make such shorts redundant, wouldn’t it?

    Now, when the Great Unclenching occurs, I would upsell them on the SplashGuard Seat(TM).

  490. #491 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010
  491. #492 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Janine:

    And, shit, I am even more angry at that den of assholes.

    You’re not alone on that score. The thought of FGM causes me a great deal of sorrow and fury; when I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s account in Infidel there were tears running down my face.

    The crossroads asses are trivializing a vile, loathsome practice while thinking they are high-minded, moral animals who could never possibly offend a woman. I am absolutely furious. Those fuckheads, to a one, wouldn’t know what does or doesn’t offend a woman if their life depended on it.

  492. #493 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG you guys, Deepak Shetty wins the thread:

    Oh yeah, he/she does. Pwned. Suck on it*, whiney ass Intersectionistas.

    *Yes, this is meant to be construed in as vulgar a way as you can imagine. Thank you.

  493. #494 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    The thought of FGM causes me a great deal of sorrow and fury;

    You’re a better person than I am. All I can muster is raw, vengeful rage. I’ve thought quite a bit of what would constitute the equivalent for a male, and, well…

  494. #495 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 11, 2010

    I’ve thought quite a bit of what would constitute the equivalent for a male, and, well…

    The male equivalent would be cutting the head off the penis. Which is why it’s so infuriating when people poo-poo the trauma of FGM, or try to compare it to male foreskin circumcision. No, circumcising the foreskin of baby boys isn’t right, and it isn’t justified. But it is most emphatically not the equivalent of excising the clitoris.

  495. #496 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    stuv:

    You’re a better person than I am. All I can muster is raw, vengeful rage. I’ve thought quite a bit of what would constitute the equivalent for a male, and, well…

    I doubt I’m a better person. It’s hard to express what “female circumcision” makes me feel. I can imagine it, you see, I can imagine how it would feel, what it would mean. I can imagine what I’d do with any sharp instrument to someone attempting to carry one out.

    FGM is an action of the construct which reinforces the absolute evil of women, a construct supposedly from god, in which it is always the woman who is unclean, filthy, a temptation which cannot possibly be ignored or averted; an evil that is a slut, a whore, an utter horror to any man who wishes to do right by god. I cannot express my feelings adequately on this subject.

  496. #497 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 11, 2010

    Stephen Colbert just got done with a bit about Karl Rove. He said when he cannot find Rove on TV, he puts a pair or wire rim glasses on a canned ham. At the end he ate a bite of Karl Rove and stuck a knife in the top of his head. Colbert is obviously advocating the murder and eating of our political foes and making light of murder and cannibalism.

    I will not talk about putting Karl Rove through the Truth (Meat) Grinder.

  497. #498 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 11, 2010

    Janine:

    Colbert is obviously advocating the murder and eating of our political foes and making light of murder and cannibalism.

    Of course he is, it’s obvious! Why someone better alert the moral police at the intersection of ass and clam; they can write to Comedy Central and complain with pearl clutching, shrieking screeds.

  498. #499 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    the absolute evil of women

    Well, whoa now, I do not in any way dispute any of the kind*.

    I just think that cutting off clitori is not in any way an appropriate response.

    * Oh really, I really need to put down the disclaimer here? As if the people that actually would read it do not already know that I mean it in jest, and that the Listerine Consortium will not take this out of context?

    Just as a random aside, what is really busting my non-leather chaps is that I posted a motherfucking three sentence post, with obvious references, and that the We Love To See You Smile corporation actually felt the need to take one of them to quote out of context. I mean, really. Of all the limp-wristed intellectually-bankrupt asinine moves… you have to kill a referential footnote?

    What the flying motherfucking fuck is wrong with these people?

    (And as another random aside, if I have to hear anyone else disparage this particular forum’s freedom of expression disparaged, I am going to fucking flip**.)

    ** Which means that I will talk serious shit. I will at no point, in any way, in any form, consider, incite or advocate sexual harrassment, intimidation or violence of any sort towards anyone. This disclaimer was brought to you by People Willfully Dense And Willing To Quote-Mine.

  499. #500 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 11, 2010

    Ugh

    I try to not get worked up but that fucking place makes my moron meter go off the charts.

    Must go to my happy place

    Must go to my happy place

    must go to my happy place

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    bourbon and Panic and jazz and pork and hoppy beers

    ahhhhhhhhhhhh

  500. #501 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 11, 2010

    Stephen Colbert just got done with a bit about Karl Rove

    Watching the same damned thing.

    Going on now:

    “Some really smart people believe some really dumb things”.

    I have such a pointless crush on you, it’s not even funny.

  501. #502 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 12, 2010

    Rev, I know — after a while on there, I just want to sit in a corner and rock back and forth.

    It just reeks of dumb.

  502. #503 Carlie
    March 12, 2010

    Well, it looks like I was wrong, and it’s all my own fault. Gaythia over at intersection linked to what I thought was a NYTimes series on female genital mutilation that came out awhile back, but it’s really the wartime rape series. So I take back my assertion of what she was saying, because I was wrong at #475. I saw the title, thought I remembered that was the title of the fgm series, and wrote before checking it to be sure. Absolutely, totally my own fault.

  503. #504 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 12, 2010

    It does reek of dumb and disgusting but Deepak Shetty rocks!

  504. #505 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2010

    It does reek of dumb and disgusting but Deepak Shetty rocks!

    shityeah

  505. #506 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 12, 2010

    Carlie, I think some people should take a lesson from you.

  506. #507 jenbphillips
    March 12, 2010

    FGM is an action of the construct which reinforces the absolute evil of women, a construct supposedly from god, in which it is always the woman who is unclean, filthy, a temptation which cannot possibly be ignored or averted…

    I totally agree, of course, that it’s all that–and more. There’s all sorts of fucked up superstition behind this abominable practice, some god-related, some not, but at the center is an undeniable belief–a preference, even–that women should not be sexual beings. As such, it is perfectly justifiable to hack away the parts of their bodies that function as organs of sexual pleasure, thus ensuring that they will never dishonor their families by having sex for any reason but procreation–or to serve the pleasure of their husbands.

    Stu: thanks for cross-posting your comments over here, whether or not they ever appear at the pile-up, I appreciate the time and effort you took to speak on behalf of the Pharyngulistas.

    And, just for a little extra perspective: so far we’ve been face-palming over the inapt comparisons between anonymous blog insults and real life violence. Here is an example of a comment, directed at me, that was far, far creepier–verging on threatening–than anything being discussed at Chez Colgate right now. Notably, it contains no profanity whatsoever. Make of that what you will.

  507. #508 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    Carlie, not a problem, we got some good conversation out of it. The mere fact you corrected yourself puts you massively higher than any one of the Pearltown moral police.

  508. #509 Carlie
    March 12, 2010

    jen – sorry, I remembered something wrong, didn’t double-check, and brought up worse than they were really doing.

    But wow. That comment you linked to is about ten ways of creepy. That’s how you do threatening and scary to women, right there. I’d take a dozen rusty knife comments over that any day.

  509. #510 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    From Jen’s link:

    Can I ask you a rhetorical question? Since you talk like a man, can you behave like a man? If you were walking down the street would you talk to a strange man the way you talk to strange men on the internet from the safety of where ever you are?

    I would advise against it. You never know if people are from your social grouping or not. Maybe the person you are acting like a man with is from a culture where they physically chastise people who say nasty things.

    Holy cow. I remember that particular asshole. That is seriously creepy, with that subcurrent of “I hope this happens to you and shows you the error of your ways, woman!” Nasty, very nasty. Of course, that would most likely pass as good advice on a certain crossroad.

  510. #511 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 12, 2010

    Jen, that was breath taking and not in a good way. Implying that one should act and talk in a certain way because of gender was bad enough. But that was the point of that story? It is good that Orac did the right thing.

  511. #512 The Laughing Man
    March 12, 2010

    I was told very recently that Kinsey’s methods of research were rather poor, in particular sampling prisons (homosexuality being a jail-able offence) and bathhouses (need i say more?). This is what i have heard, and i’m quite bothered to find a proper rebuttal :-/

    In addition i’m rather worried that no one bothered to even address my other post other than for presentation problems. *sigh* Oh well. I am not the master of the universe i suppose
    /crestfallen

  512. #513 jenbphillips
    March 12, 2010

    Carlie–no worries at all. I appreciate you correcting your original assumption, and as others have pointed out it is a damn sight more than we could ever expect from anyone in that nest of tone trolls.

    Yeah, that comment was more than a bit chilling, especially as it came in the same week I had decided to come out from behind my ‘Danio’ ‘nym and start posting comments under my real (full) name.

    Back on point, though, can you imagine a greater departure from the tone and content of StuV’s offending post? There’s just no comparison. Sheril & Co are fucking insane.*

    *by which I mean their behavior is exceedingly irrational, not that they are fornicating with the mentally ill.

  513. #514 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    The Laughing Man, don’t be dismayed. Your post didn’t go unnoticed, people just get busy with conversations around these parts. Keep joining in.

    As for Kinsey, I don’t know enough to say. I do think his scale idea is sound; I think people’s sexuality is more fluid than perhaps they would like to think.

  514. #515 Paul
    March 12, 2010

    By the way, Deepak Shetty posted the same rebuttal in the previous thread when they were complaining about SEED’s terms being violated and SEED being responsible for the content (that is, that they state explicitly that they have no obligation to censor content). It was post 476. Note that they completely ignored it and started parroting the same talking points in the new thread.

    By the way, Stu, re: “can’t we all go to Pharyngula?”. The Intersection regulars have previously admitted to trolling merely to get post count up (the example that comes to mind is McCarthy, who was “just trying to hit 700 comments on that thread”). Makes you wonder about the relationship between commenters, blog hosts, and traffic flow in situations like this. Do they allow trollish, intellectually dishonest morons to continuously spew their tripe merely because they drive people to the site via rampant SIWOTI who are otherwise sick and tired of M&K’s contentless blather? One wonders.

  515. #516 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    Paul:

    Makes you wonder about the relationship between commenters, blog hosts, and traffic flow in situations like this.

    Well, Laden recently used Pharyngula to his advantage, giving him a comment volume he’d never had before. Now that the fuss is over, he shows up and trolls here. It’s pathetic.

  516. #517 Paul
    March 12, 2010

    Sorry, I hate uncited hearsay, even when it’s tangential. McCarthy said:

    Big Dumb, you need to get another line. I?m just here trying to get the comments up to 650 so I can mention it to Coyne?s boy, NEB, someday.

    While knee deep in garbage finding the exact quote, I found that Kwok gem regarding the camera blackmail:

    A few friends of mine caught onto my ?threat? over at Pharyngula and realized immediately that I was joking (I had no idea that they were reading it until I found out a few days later.). But the point remains that even I admitted to PZ that it was a joke, he still insisted ? and apparently still does ? that it wasn?t. IMHO for him to still insist means that he?s lying.

    Just including it since I mentioned it earlier, and someone was surprised and unfamiliar with the excuse. Good stuff. “My friends knew I was joking, so PZ is lying because he took my blackmail (sent to many people so they would insist he pay up) at face value”.

  517. #518 Paul
    March 12, 2010

    Well, Laden recently used Pharyngula to his advantage, giving him a comment volume he’d never had before. Now that the fuss is over, he shows up and trolls here. It’s pathetic.

    Yeah, but his link in his username is still broken and won’t actually take people to his site (and it’s been like that for over a year, and it has been mentioned to him). I think at this point he’s just defensive, chronically unable to own up to how badly he handled himself, and hoping if he contributes on other issues people will forget how morally bankrupt he acted.

  518. #519 Feynmaniac
    March 12, 2010

    A total of 3 of Pharyngula’s banned (Kw*k, Bilbo and J.J. Ramsey) appear in The Intersection‘s latest train wreck of a tread.

    Not bad, but it doesn’t beat its own record of 5*.
    ___

    * Kw*k, Pete R**ke, J*hn D**ison, M**bus, and S*lver F*x. Many other kooks who weren’t banned appear on that thread as well. Enter at own risk.

  519. #520 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    Hmmm, the last few times I bothered to mouse over his username, the link was there. Maybe it’s gone again.

    hoping if he contributes on other issues people will forget how morally bankrupt he acted.

    Thing is, he doesn’t contribute – that’s apparent in this thread (Laden’s post @ 193 and following and his username links to his blog). All he does trolling here is to continually attempt to justify his sleazy behaviour and actions.

  520. #521 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    Ah, the link is broken. I hadn’t bothered to click on it before.

  521. #522 The Laughing Man
    March 12, 2010

    Aww thanks Caine. I shall try.

  522. #523 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 12, 2010

    I haven’t been around long enough to know the troll commenters at the intersection. But from my visit there, I get the impression that they are doing what Ham does (I think it was in the Ken Ham is baffled post where he quote-mine and distort peoples comment without linking and attribution). Which would be very dishonest of them. But again I don’t know them so I can only infer.

  523. #524 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 12, 2010

    The Laughing Man:

    Aww thanks Caine. I shall try.

    Glad to hear that. :) The current incarnation of the endless thread is going long, but that’s always a good place to post whatever you want. Conversations go in all directions, it’s a good place to dive in and get to know people.

  524. #525 The Laughing Man
    March 12, 2010

    Actually i used to be semi-regular here under a different psuedomymn but i thought if i HAD to sign up i would take a name that i preferred

  525. #526 Bastion Of Sass
    March 12, 2010

    You know, I lurked here for ages before I commented, and I continue to be surprised by the amount of idjits who assume there are no women on Pharyngula.

    Nod. I think a number of us have had the experience of being referred to as “he.”

  526. #527 jenbphillips
    March 12, 2010

    Laughing Man @512:

    These criticisms aren’t new, and are, in some ways, valid. There was no randomization because all participants in the survey were volunteers. Kinsey answered this charge with the claim that a more random sample wouldn’t have necessarily given more representative results because people would have been afraid to answer honestly.

    The important thing to keep in mind, IMO, is that Kinsey & colleagues were the first to even attempt to collect these kind of data. Even if the methods were flawed from a scientific point of view, the end result was that a huge taboo was lifted, and a sea change occurred in cultural acceptance of talking about sex, and in particular talking about homosexuality. Sex surveys, which had never, ever been done before, became increasingly commonplace, to the point where today it’s quite straightforward to take a random population cross section and be reasonably assured of honest responses to such intimate questions. At this point, literally thousands of such surveys have been done, and none of them appear to conflict with Kinsey’s original findings in any meaningful way.

  527. #528 SC OM
    March 12, 2010

    I just want to say, belatedly, that I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, Stu. Believe me, I can sympathize. FWIW, your “What is wrong with you?” posts are showing them up for the sleazy, irrational defamers they are.

  528. #529 Sven DiMilo
    March 12, 2010

    bourbon and Panic and jazz and pork and hoppy beers

    I so want to be at El Chimpo’s house. Pretty much all the time.
    I’ve seen pix of his beer fridge.

  529. #530 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 12, 2010

    SC: thanks. I’m done though — it’s now down to trolling for more comments by a few sockpuppets. What a boring, boring, boring and depressing place it is over there.

  530. #531 Brownian, OM
    March 12, 2010

    I just read johnq’s comment about the whole dustup:

    I?d call it sophomoric if I weren?t worried about triggering a thousand posts arguing about whether I?d been overly insulting to sophomores.

    He’s a bit off the mark. It’s not that those at The Intersection would worry about being overly insulting to sophomores, it’s that they’d start complaining that johnq was actually suggesting they all be immediately enrolled in a second year of high school or university. Claiming someone be forced to enrol in remedial education against their will may be fine for governments, but is almost certainly a violation of Discover Blogs’ Terms of Service. As someone who’s seen A Clockwork Orange, I can only weepily imagine what someone who’s been the victim of the Ludovico technique might feel upon having read that filth.

    I am angrily typing a letter.

  531. #532 stuv.myopenid.com
    March 12, 2010

    The latest from Kwok, without comment:

    Just noticed this as a breaking news headline:

    A man in Atlanta, GA was arrested for posting over on YouTube on February 28th a video of himself urging that Elton John should be killed:

    http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=487661&gt1=28102

    While I won?t equate that man?s act with the comments over at Pharyngula, I think it is quite clear that SEED Media needs to do something to PZ Myers and Pharyngula. IMHO a mere slap on the wrist would be a most unsatisfactory response.

  532. #533 The Laughing Man
    March 13, 2010

    jenbphillips, I was hoping you may actually have a paper in mind :-p

    There is an entire Kinsey Institute. I don’t believe that there Wouldn’t have been other surveys of this kind….

  533. #534 jenbphillips
    March 13, 2010

    Well, LM what is is that you want to ‘rebut’, exactly? That the methods were ‘poor’? Guilty as charged for values of ‘poor’ that include the use of data from non-randomized subjects.

    If there’s a particular area of his findings (on male sexuality? on female sexuality? what?) that you are interested in learning more about, you should plug whatever that is into the PubMed search engine and see what comes up. I just plugged in ‘human sexuality’ and got a bunch of titles, which, if nothing else, proves that a shitload of sex surveys have been done over the years.

  534. #535 Mykelb
    March 16, 2010

    Control freak much? Authoritarian? Wow, what a dupe.

  535. #536 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    note the Kwokster’s choice of phrasing:

    I think it is quite clear that SEED Media needs to do something to PZ Myers

    John’s all into physical punishment I guess.

    what a fucking sociopathic little twit he is.

  536. #537 truth machine, OM
    March 27, 2010

    what a strange thing to say on a blog

    No stranger than “I blocked your emails? I think not” or, more to the point, “And your true self emerges. I dodged a bullet there…. So sorry we won’t be meeting up.”

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