Episode XXXIV: You can say that on the internet

The last open thread had some discussion of what other people don't want you to say on the internet — George Carlin had a few things to say about that censorious attitude (NSFW; you know what he's going to say.)

With special bonus rudeness below the fold!

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More like this

Bummer, door slammed right in my face !

Try again, convention warm-up going on over here:

This article in the SMH has a link to a livefeed of AC Grayling and Richard Dawkins speaking at Sydney Opera House this Sunday from 12pm, which is Saturday evening in the US.

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

You made us move to a new thread? Well fuck you, PZ!!!

re:#2 - Did I do that right?

Just because you CAN say something on the internet, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

re:#2 - Did I do that right?

I think there you were supposed to say "Well fuck you, PZ, Fuck you very much!!!!".

At least according to my copy of "The New Atheist Guide to Saying Fuck and Other Rude Words on a Science Blog". I believe it is considered to polite to enquire of Sheril Kirsenbaum whether she has enough pearls to clutch. This applies especially of late, since she has been clutching them so hard she has probably crushed a whole load.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@Rorschach #5,

The chief executive of Christian Schools Australia, Stephen O'Doherty, said the board statement was too strident, removing the right to teach ''biblical perspectives'' as part of science.

Are they fuckin' serious? "Biblical perspectives" a part of science?

We really need some sort of education about the nature of science. Pig-raping ignorant slime mold puke like that those motherfuckers think they can re-define what goddamned science is.

I'd punch them in their tits.

Shit!

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@ 7,

*clutches pearls*

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Carlie re#2, you left out #$%^&* poopyhead. (From work, so no f-bomb).

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Get us some blinking Mollies, you Belgium poopyhead suppository.

Professor Myers, I think it's about time for a new round of Molly voting.

From Rorschach's link:

Australian Christian schools will campaign against what they see as the thin end of the wedge - a decision by the South Australian Non-Government Schools Registration Board to effectively ban the teaching of creationism.

Under policies published in December, the board said it required ''teaching of science as an empirical discipline, focusing on inquiry, hypothesis, investigation, experimentation, observation and evidential analysis''.

The board said it ''does not accept as satisfactory a science curriculum in a non-government school which is based on, espouses or reflects the literal interpretation of a religious text in its treatment of either creationism or intelligent design''.

Hmmm. This is quite an interesting problem.

Obviously, as secularists, we all agree that creationism should never be taught in science classes in government-run schools. Creationism is a sectarian religious dogma, not science, and no taxpayer money should ever be spent on promoting it. And I'm totally against public funding for "faith schools", such as we have in the UK. In a free society, the state should be completely secular, and taxpayers' money should never be spent on supporting or promoting religion.

But I'm in two minds about whether it's legitimate for private religious schools, which receive no funding from government, to be banned from teaching creationism.

On the one hand, one can argue that, just as government is not entitled to interfere with the right of churches and religious sects to teach whatever crazy bullshit they wish, so too it should not be entitled to interfere with the right of private religious schools to define their own curriculum. In that context, it can be seen as an aspect of religious freedom; private religious schools, like churches or temples or mosques, are performing a religious function with which government should not interfere.

On the other hand, it can be argued that children, particularly young children, should not be completely indoctrinated with their parents' beliefs, and that all children have a right to a minimum standard of secular education, regardless of what their parents think about it. While adults have the right to fill their head with whatever religious bullshit they want, children should, it can be argued, be exposed to a wide range of ideas, so that they can make decisions for themselves rather than being forced to accept their parents' belief system. On this view, it is legitimate for the state to control the curriculum of private schools, and to ensure that a minimum standard of empirically-based science education is provided in all schools, including private religious schools. Furthermore, it can also be pointed out that in many jurisdictions, private religious schools get tax breaks, so they are indirectly subsidised by the taxpayers anyway.

So I'm not sure where I stand on this question: should the state have any control over the curriculum in private religious schools? It's an interesting topic of discussion.

But I'm in two minds about whether it's legitimate for private religious schools, which receive no funding from government, to be banned from teaching creationism.

Walton, premise fail.
Religious schools here do in fact get a large amount of government funding funnily enough, Article in the Age from 2009 here giving some background.

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@Walton: if those schools want state registration so that the certificates from them are considered evidence of an education, then yes, they need to hew to the rules. You wouldn't give registration to a school if the math class told everyone that 2+2=5. If they don't want to register as a school, then they can do their own thing. The key phrase in the article was "Non-Government Schools Registration Board".

By Stephen Wells (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

semprini

By truthspeaker (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Before we drop the civility issue: it seems that Mooney and the gang find it uncivil to use words like "fuck" but perfectly civil to say things which imply that most professional scientists are liars. If creationists wander in and claim that evolution is a failed theory and intelligent design should be in science classes, they're already being grossly rude; just because they didn't use naughty words doesn't make them polite or deserving of respect.

By Stephen Wells (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton, premise fail.
Religious schools here do in fact get a large amount of government funding funnily enough, Article in the Age from 2009 here giving some background.

OK, sorry: I wasn't 100% familiar with education funding arrangements in South Australia. But the question still stands in the abstract, since there are lots of countries where religious schools exist but are not funded by government. In the UK, we have some government-funded religious schools (mainly Catholic and Church of England, but there are a few Jewish and Muslim schools which receive public funding as well), but there are also many independent religious schools that do not receive public funding (including some very well-known and prestigious schools, such as Ampleforth College).

@#6

"The New Atheist Guide to Saying Fuck and Other Rude Words on a Science Blog"

Can I get a copy of that, Matt? I never learned how to swear properly as a child, and am still not fluent in spite of remedial profanity classes I took from a friend in college.

"children have a right to a minimum standard of secular education"

Walton, I think you answer your own dilemma right there.

Schools of any type have an obligation to teach the government mandated curriculum. If they can't or won't do that, then they are not an acceptable alternative to public schools. They would have to squeeze themselves in as an "After School" or "Sunday School" program, in which case they can say whatever the fuck they want.

But if you're going to offer yourself as something to replace public school, you have to fulfill the state standards. And those state standards would be remiss if they did not have a "no creatardism" clause in them.

Walton, schools registered as charities get substantial state funding in the form of tax relief.

By Stephen Wells (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Before we drop the civility issue: it seems that Mooney and the gang find it uncivil to use words like "fuck" but perfectly civil to say things which imply that most professional scientists are liars. If creationists wander in and claim that evolution is a failed theory and intelligent design should be in science classes, they're already being grossly rude; just because they didn't use naughty words doesn't make them polite or deserving of respect.

I have been saying this for ages now. I have yet to have anyone give a good reason why saying that evolution is false is not as rude as saying fuck. Actually I would argue saying evolution is false is ruder.

It seems to the difference between civility and politeness. Be civil is not saying fuck, whereas being polite is not making idiotic arguments that are not backed up with any evidence. Lack of civility can sometimes be amusing and sometimes be tiresome. Lack of politeness in this context is never amusing.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Before we drop the civility issue: it seems that Mooney and the gang find it uncivil to use words like "fuck" but perfectly civil to say things which imply that most professional scientists are liars.

That comes from a simple, well-known, and quite factual inequality: Religion > science.

Science is limited to what can be observed. Science is hobbled by the simple necessity of observation, and the quite limited logical facilities of women and men. Science can only study that which is.

Religion, on the other hand, is unbound by dogmatic restrictions on what can be true. As the logic of god is unlimited (by simple expedience of god's omnipotence), there is an infinity of possibility. As everything you can imagine is true (by variations on Plantinga's modal ontological argument), religion encompasses science.

In the end, science is nothing more than the pale subset of religion -- the subset we quaintly refer to as, "reality."

Oh, and religion can kick science's ass on the playground. And it never picks science to be on its team for dodgeball. And when religion grows up, it's going to be a pro wrestler, and science is going to end up as some biochemist studying stoopid things like proteins, which are only good for smoothies in the morning.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Schools of any type have an obligation to teach the government mandated curriculum. If they can't or won't do that, then they are not an acceptable alternative to public schools. They would have to squeeze themselves in as an "After School" or "Sunday School" program, in which case they can say whatever the fuck they want.

You're presupposing that the government has a right to require all young people to attend school in the first place. I'm personally profoundly uncomfortable with compulsory education - particularly for teenagers, who are perfectly capable of choosing for themselves what kind of institution they want to attend.

I think the authoritarian, disciplinary nature of most schools is highly damaging to many young people. I strongly suspect that part of the reason so many people go through life blindly what they are told, and never exercising critical thinking or challenge the prevailing norms and ideas of society, is because most schools are hierarchical institutions which use "discipline" and "punishment" to force young people into a mould, and they tend to reward obedience and conformity, while punishing individual choice and willpower. I am a big fan of the "Sudbury school" model and other alternative schooling models, which respect the right of young people to control their own education and make their own choices.

I do think civility - in the sense of treating others with automatic respect and dignity as human beings, regardless of what you think of their ideas - is important and desirable. But civility has nothing to do with avoiding profanity.

"You're an ignorant, intellectually dishonest moron" is a sentence containing no profanity, but it is deeply hurtful and offensive to the person against whom it is directed. Conversely, "Oh fuck, I just stubbed my toe" is a sentence containing profanity, but it is not offensive. What matters is whether or not you are using words to degrade another person. The actual words you are using are not determinative.

Obviously, some words are inherently offensive, like "n****r", because they are associated with a history of violence directed against a particular group. But this is a very small group of words. Most profane terms are offensive only when they are used to hurt someone.

Becca@18, I had the privilege of taking an advanced profanity course from Rahm Emanuel, so let me know if you need any pointers. Remember, rhythm is key! It also helps to end with hard sounds, but k's are better than t's as you are less likely to humiliate yourself by spitting.

"There are times profanity provides a relief denied even by prayer."--Mark Twain

By a_ray_in_dilbe… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think the authoritarian, disciplinary nature of most schools is highly damaging to many young people. I strongly suspect that part of the reason so many people go through life blindly what they are told, and never exercising critical thinking or challenge the prevailing norms and ideas of society, is because most schools are hierarchical institutions which use "discipline" and "punishment" to force young people into a mould, and they tend to reward obedience and conformity, while punishing individual choice and willpower.

That was the entire point of school. It was as much about indoctrinating young farm kids into the life of the factory as it was about education. At least, here in the states.

I disagree that school should not be compulsory. Modern society requires well-educated, critical thinkers. The fact our schools (again, here in the states) aren't up to the task is no reason to scuttle the goal of universal education.

Reaping the benefits of society requires participation in society. That means getting educated (in all aspects of society), it means paying taxes to support institutions that you might not agree with, it means attempting to use your political voice to help direct the country the way you believe it should go, it entails sucking it up and putting on your big girl panties when things don't go your political way. For this to be effective, citizens need to be literate and critical.

To achieve this, we need to fix our schools.

Oh, and I wouldn't trust most teenagers to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. They get to choose their direction after they've had basic education. I don't think the 12 years required here in the states is outside reason.

Of course, all this is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton says "I'm personally profoundly uncomfortable with compulsory education - particularly for teenagers, who are perfectly capable of choosing for themselves what kind of institution they want to attend."

Sorry, Walton, but science ain't with you on this one. Teenagers lack full capacity for decision making precisely because the frontal lobes are the last part of the brain to mature. This is the portion of the brain that considers consequences. In reality, this portion is only mature in the early 20s for women and after age 26 for men. Asking a teenager to make life decisions is like placing a bright, shiny loaded gun in front of a 2 year old.

By a_ray_in_dilbe… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

That was the entire point of school. It was as much about indoctrinating young farm kids into the life of the factory as it was about education. At least, here in the states.

Yes, that's true; mass schooling, in its traditional hierarchical disciplinary form, is a product of the Industrial Revolution era and carries many of the hallmarks of that era.

Which is why I think, if we want to build a more liberal and enlightened society where individuality and critical thinking are more prevalent, the state needs to stop herding young people into schools and forcing them to accept "discipline" on pain of "punishment". We need to completely re-think the entire traditional system of schooling, and replace it with an approach where young people's right to individuality, self-determination and self-expression is fully respected.

We need to completely re-think the entire traditional system of schooling, and replace it with an approach where young people's right to individuality, self-determination and self-expression is fully respected.

Which is fine, as long as they fulfill their obligations to society by getting educated.

Devising that system will be . . . challenging.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton Said:

You're presupposing that the government has a right to require all young people to attend school in the first place.

Yes. Yes I am. An educated populace is a bare requirement for participatory government. A government that does not insist on an educated populace is asking for a populace who are guided by the government rather than a population ready to guide the government themselves.

Governments that do not insist on universal education are monstrous basically by definition. That does not prevent governments that do provide educational requirements from doing monstrous things, of course.

Similarly, you can have a ghastly police state. That's a real thing that can really happen. But you cannot run society without a police force. It's just not even possible. A government must provide a police force of some kind. The alternative is too ghastly to contemplate.

There are lots of things I would like to reform in the educational system. But making it non-mandatory is not on that list. or will it ever be.

Snake eats titanosaur dinosaur!

Read all about it!!

Even dinosaurs were afraid of snakes!!!

[…]

(and in the current edition of PLoS Biology (but currently it is Feb 2010 and does not contain the article - no doubt this will change))

I already posted a link to the pdf and provided a summary in comment 508 of the previous subthread :-)

"The New Atheist Guide to Saying Fuck and Other Rude Words on a Science Blog"

:-D

I want one.

But the question still stands in the abstract, since there are lots of countries where religious schools exist but are not funded by government.

Why even try to answer the question in the abstract? :-)

Why not be content to answer it for every single case based on the circumstances? As long as the circumstances are taken into account in a consistent way, you won't have to worry about being potentially unfair.

You're presupposing that the government has a right to require all young people to attend school in the first place.

Stop thinking in terms of "government" already. You're talking about a democracy.

The question is: what do we as a society want?

Wouldn't it be great if everyone had the basic abilities and knowledge that living in our kind of society requires?

The easiest way to answer this in the affirmative is compulsory education. It is therefore a Good Thing®.

[…] for teenagers, who are perfectly capable of choosing for themselves what kind of institution they want to attend.

That's true for few of them, IMNSHO…

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

This is the portion of the brain that considers consequences. In reality, this portion is only mature in the early 20s for women and after age 26 for men.

Yet in our society, 18-year-olds are free to choose what college or university to attend, where to work, how to vote, whether to get married, whether to join the military, etc. 18 is a lot younger than 26.

In the end, we need to stop seeing "child" and "adult" as discrete binary statuses. Maturity is a sliding scale; people mature at different ages, and each person's decision-making capacity is different, depending on his or her individual abilities and life experiences. A person does not magically change from being a "child" to an "adult" at age 18.

A person does not magically change from being a "child" to an "adult" at age 18.

What metric would you propose? Maturity tests before being allowed to marry or reproduce?

There is a certain amount of simplicity in creating an arbitrary date at which someone is considered an adult, both for legal and societal purposes. Also, it means there is no judgment passed on a person.

While I admire your idealism in this, I suspect the implementation would be troublesome at best, and troubling at worst.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Stop thinking in terms of "government" already. You're talking about a democracy.

That makes no difference. I'm talking about whether we, as a society, ought to coerce individual young people into attending schools, in which (in the traditional authoritarian model of schooling) they are denied liberties of self-expression, forced to obey a range of arbitrary rules on pain of punishment, and expected to be "obedient" and accept "discipline". If we want to know why such a large part of the populace seems incapable of exercising independent critical thought and challenging accepted dogma, we need to look first to the schools in which they spend their formative years.

I'm talking about whether we, as a society, ought to coerce individual young people into attending schools, in which (in the traditional authoritarian model of schooling) they are denied liberties of self-expression, forced to obey a range of arbitrary rules on pain of punishment, and expected to be "obedient" and accept "discipline".

We, as a society, can expect everyone to participate in society, and fulfill their obligations to society. That is part of the cost of reaping the benefits of society.

Do you have a proposal that will provide for the education of all citizens, while still allowing for unlimited self-expression, and perhaps inculcating critical and rational thought?

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think the authoritarian, disciplinary nature of most schools is highly damaging to many young people. I strongly suspect that part of the reason so many people go through life blindly what they are told, and never exercising critical thinking or challenge the prevailing norms and ideas of society, is because most schools are hierarchical institutions which use "discipline" and "punishment" to force young people into a mould, and they tend to reward obedience and conformity, while punishing individual choice and willpower.

That's an argument to change the way public schools are run, not an argument against compulsory education.

An educated populace is a bare requirement for participatory government. A government that does not insist on an educated populace is asking for a populace who are guided by the government rather than a population ready to guide the government themselves.

Bingo.

States only works if the rulers understand what they're doing. Democracy. thus, only works if the voters understand what they're doing. When they don't, they elect James Inhofe to represent them, or McPain/Failin', because they simply don't know any better.

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Wouldn't it be great if everyone had the basic abilities and knowledge that living in our kind of society requires?

The easiest way to answer this in the affirmative is compulsory education. It is therefore a Good Thing®.

No, this doesn't follow. In my experience, the actual imparting of knowledge is, at best, a secondary function of schooling. I distinctly remember several subjects where I read through the textbook at the start of the year, learnt the material on my own in a couple of days, and yet was still required to sit through hours and hours of lessons. Had I not been required to attend school, I could have acquired the same amount of knowledge and the same intellectual skills in far less time. I suspect most people here had the same kind of experience.

Rather, the primary function of schools is to force young people into a conformist mould, force them to accept "discipline" and obey rules and instructions, and discourage them from rebelling against the norms of society. Those who obey without question are rewarded; those who make their own decisions and think for themselves are punished. It isn't rocket science to work out that this is why, in modern societies, a large proportion of the populace - even many relatively intelligent people - never really think for themselves, challenge accepted dogma or reject irrational social norms. This, in turn, is how governments are so often able to exploit people and take away liberties.

ought to coerce

Ah, the glibbertarian rises again. Maybe it needs to be put back in the bottle. Society needs an educated poplace. There isn't any way to do it without requiring an education. Where that education reasonably ends is a matter for discussion, but not the need for education.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Do you have a proposal that will provide for the education of all citizens, while still allowing for unlimited self-expression, and perhaps inculcating critical and rational thought?

No. I don't purport to possess some kind of ultimate wisdom about how children "should" be raised and educated. (Indeed, people who do claim to possess such wisdom, and insist in trying to force everyone to go along with their preferred system, are part of the problem.) This is why I'm not advocating some sort of "new model" of schooling; rather, I'm arguing for giving young people much more control over their own educational choices, and setting them free from the constraints of disciplinary institutions. In the end, each individual is different; the same approach doesn't always work for everyone. And when set free of authoritarian constraints, people are capable of being very creative.

Walton,

Your arguement is one for changing how we educate children, not one for not educating them at all.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm talking about whether we, as a society, ought to coerce individual young people into attending schools, in which (in the traditional authoritarian model of schooling)

I don't know your experience, but few schools are that bad anymore. To me, the real horror wasn't the teacher who tried to form my character for 7 years, it was the bullying by class- and other schoolmates.

(And, in the later years, that it started too early in the morning. But that would be comparatively easy to fix.)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I was wrong, in fact, to start this discussion by talking about "compulsory education". Everyone agrees that education is a good thing, and that it is essential for all people to be educated.

But education != schooling. Schooling has many functions besides education - indeed, as I noted earlier, the traditional model of schooling is far more focused on "disciplining" young people, and forcing obedience, than on actual education. What I am attacking is compulsory schooling, rather than education.

Conversely, plenty of education takes place outside formal schooling. All of us are learning all the time: we acquire knowledge from reading, surfing the internet, conversing with others, and from our daily life experience.

No, this doesn't follow. In my experience, the actual imparting of knowledge is, at best, a secondary function of schooling.

It seems we're talking at cross-purposes here. We're defending the abstract concept of mandatory education. You are attacking the specific current institution of school. I believe many of us here would agree the current education system has large flaws, and so do not disagree with you on that point.

(My mom is a biologist who became a high-school teacher, so I am familiar with both the flaws of the current system, and the flaws of the students. Most of them would not study anything at all if they had a choice.)

To make this more productive: Walton, do you agree that citizens should be well-educated as a requirement for participation in society? If so, what alternatives to the current education system do you propose? If not, what are your specific reasons for not requiring education?

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I distinctly remember several subjects where I read through the textbook at the start of the year, learnt the material on my own in a couple of days, and yet was still required to sit through hours and hours of lessons. Had I not been required to attend school, I could have acquired the same amount of knowledge and the same intellectual skills in far less time. I suspect most people here had the same kind of experience.

I trust you borrowed things like Scientific American from the school library, read them behind/under your table, and ended up learning more…?

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Rorschach @676

Them's some fine arteries you have there, and with normal flow velocities and Doppler flow curves, also not much arteriosclerosis(the white reflexes along the vessel's inner walls).

Why, thank you. [blush]

I uploaded the movie to my public folder, so if you're hankering to watch carotid duplex movie, you can browse to: http://public.me.com/lynna.howard
1.Then select the file you want to download, and click "download", the movie is named "unnamed_1.mov"

How damned old does one have to be to have even a little arteriosclerosis? "I'm too young for that," she wailed.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@Walton: as the parent of a child who also learned things very quickly, I understand your frustration. However...this is why some parents homeschool (not an option for us due to financial issues). NOT because they don't want widdle precious to learn ebilution, or sex ed.

A child who learns quickly with parents who value education can learn this way. However, I have a friend whose parents never learned to read English (they were Chinese). My friend learned very quickly in public school and was sometimes bored (so was I; another quick learner). Other children really needed the educated teacher for assistance in learning.

However, we were fortunate to go to school at a time when children were 'tracked' into different groups and challenged according to ability. Now, to prevent 'social issues' a child is forced to stay with their age group and only do the work everyone can do.

If I had to do it over again I would have homeschooled my children. If they ever have children, that will be my recommendation to them, at least until US schools improve their teaching methods or unless my children can afford to send their children to private schools that allow children to learn at their own pace rather than the "classes' pace".

By triskelethecat (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

as I noted earlier, the traditional model of schooling is far more focused on "disciplining" young people, and forcing obedience, than on actual education.

Where ? When ?

Oh, and I think it is good that teachers enforce a certain number of disciplinary rules (eg do not yell at the teacher, do not eat/drink/smoke/make crazy noises in class, etc...) and is in no way incompatible whith encouraging students to think for themselves.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

If I had to do it over again I would have homeschooled my children. If they ever have children, that will be my recommendation to them, at least until US schools improve their teaching methods or unless my children can afford to send their children to private schools that allow children to learn at their own pace rather than the "classes' pace".

My daughter was homeschooled, but mostly because her mom wanted to protect her from the EEEEvils of EEEvilution. Oh, and because her mom was teased cruelly in high school by other students.

She hated it. (Of course, she's still a creationist, goddamn it.) She didn't do her work on time. She tried to avoid learning entirely.

Now she's off to college, and finally enjoying life, and finally learning what it's like to be an adult (at 22) and have a little freedom.

So while I agree with Walton that different people learn at different paces, and in different ways, I'm not sure we should go completely the other direction and remove all compulsory education, either.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

When I arrived home yesterday, waiting next to my door was a book I ordered last week. I was annoyed, as I have been for some time, with this notion some people seem to hold that we're losing or have lost some wonderful era of civility in public discourse. It never existed, and to the extent that such "polite" realms of political discourse have established themselves they have generally, in my view, served to promote elite interests and to discourage democratic participation in public life. So I did some searching and came across this book - Marcus Daniel's Scandal & Civility: Journalism and the Birth of American Democracy (2009). From the Introduction, pp. 5-6 (available on Google books, by the way):

For there was no golden age of American politics when public-spirited men debated issues of great moment with a rationality as sharply honed as their classical rhetoric, when public debate was conducted within well-understood and widely-accepted limits of civility, and when journalists deferred to their political betters and dutifully observed a sharp distinction between public and private life. On the contrary, scandal and incivility have always been part of American politics and at no time was this more true than during the founding period.

Far from being an age of classical virtue and republican self-restraint, political life in the post-revolutionary United States was tempestuous, fiercely partisan, and highly personal. And nobody was exempt, not even the founding fathers themselves. ...[A]nd the violence of the printed word often flowed off the page and into the streets, provoking verbal and physical assaults, duels, public demonstrations, and riots. Political emotions ran extraordinarily high in what was less an "age of reason" than what one historian has called an "age of passion."*

Then, as now, many Americans deplored this partisan passion, criticizing (and sometimes seeking to restrain by legal and illegal means) those they held responsible for fomenting these passions. Like many of us, they yearned for a more civil politics, projecting a lost moral unity and political consensus back into the revolutionary past and attacking the organized, self-interested agents of party politics. But as many of them recognized, and some even celebrated, scandal and incivility were closely linked to the creation of a more democratic and participatory political culture. Inspired by their own revolution and by the revolutionary upheavals of the broader Atalntic world, the 1790s were a remarkably creative period in American political life, and by helping to fashion a vibrant and iconoclastic culture of political dissent, American journalists contributed to the emergence of a more democratic social and political order.

Looking forward to reading the substantive chapters. I won't generalize to all places and times, but in my research and experience I've found that established rules for and an insistence on so-called civility are weapons wielded by dominant groups and serve to maintain them in power. People with delicate sensibilities about profanity or strongly-worded criticisms of individuals should realize that their squeamishness helps to promote a situation of enforced deference to the powerful and insensitivity to authoritarianism.

*I don't think these should be seen as distinct - I like "impassioned reason."

:)

Walton,

I feel, from personal experience, that blaming the school system for people lacking critical thinking skills is a tad shortsighted. From what I've seen the people I have encountered who lack critical thinking skills are precisely the people who decided to completely not participate in the school system, either through simply failing miserably at it, or not attending - while not a legal option it is still an option which, at least in the area I grew up in, was largely available and widely taken advantage of - particularly as people progressed into their teens. Thankfully these are also the people who make up the big chunk of the population who are too lazy to vote.

I know that I personally, would have a vastly crappier life right now if I'd been allowed, age 13, to decide whether or not to persue eductation - although thankfully I have parents who would likely have coerced me into continuing - millions don't - I'm unconvinced that a life playing video games from 13 until my parents had no legal obligation to take care of me would have prepared me in any way for life, and I'm pretty sure that, despite my ability to do well in school if I had to (to avoid getting in trouble, or because my English teacher was literally the most scary person on Earth) given the option to do nothing, or get educated, I'd have done nothing - and bar one or two of my friends who went on to become doctors I'm pretty sure most people I hung around with would have done precisely the same.

Oh goodie, now Piltdown Man has shown up.

*spit-take*

That's a high class of commenters they attract over there with their super-civil discourse policy.

One issue with regards education, and the acceptance is that children will differ in what type of education suits them best, is that it requires choice be given to the parents and the child.

To be implemented properly choice requires inefficiency. For there to be choice in education there must be more places available than there are students to fill them. Providing more places than there are students will cost more as well.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh, and I think it is good that teachers enforce a certain number of disciplinary rules (eg do not yell at the teacher, do not eat/drink/smoke/make crazy noises in class, etc...) and is in no way incompatible whith encouraging students to think for themselves.

In UK schools, it goes much further than this. Most schools in the UK have a "school uniform" and tell students how to dress; they also tend to have rules about hair dye, makeup, piercings and the like, forcing students to adhere to the school's prefereces as to personal appearance. (These rules tend, of course, to be heteronormative and gender-discriminatory.) Schools also enforce rigid timetables, telling young people where to go and when, and are able to put young people in "detention" who refuse to adhere to the various arbitrary rules. And many schools require young people to address teachers as "sir" [in the case of male teachers] or as "Mr. or Mrs. X", further reinforcing the perception of hierarchy and subordination.

As I said, I really like the idea of the "Sudbury model" democratic schools, though I've never been to one and am not sure how they function in practice. Alternatively, I find the "unschooling" movement very compelling, from what I've read about it.

Walton,

One reason to enforce a school uniform policy is that it cuts down on one potential source of bullying. It is known that kids who do not wear the labels are subjected to bullying as a result.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton,

I actually do actually agree with you on many points. Schools, especially at the primary and secondary level, unfortunately tend reward blind obedience more than curiosity. Challenging teachers even on factual points tends to be strongly discouraged. The atmosphere is one where individuality and nonconformity don't really flourish.

However, here are some of my (pre-coffee) objections. There is a VAST amount of resources (both in book form and on the internet) and if one is inexperienced it can be difficult to tell what is important and what is crap. There's needs to be a guide to help sort out the gems from the crap.

Furthermore, it's very easy for someone educating themselves to become complacent. It often helps to have someone challenge one's abilities and their ideas. This also helps since adolescents tend to grossly overestimate their knowledge of the world (I think most of us fallen victim to this). It helps to have guides pointing out how one's simple views just don't hold up to harsh reality.

For these reasons I am hesitant to give adolescents full control of their education. The way I see it, part of the solution is making a teacher's role that of a guide rather than a drill sergeant*.
___

* This is not shot at all teachers. I have had many fine teachers who cared more about challenging students than about blind obedience. This is a critique not on individuals but on an institution.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

That's a high class of commenters they attract over there with their super-civil discourse policy.

Oh noes! It's a concern-troll breeding ground!

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I am doing my best to read through that morass of muddled thinking over at The Intersection.

And what I'm finding, after this last week, is that it resembles nothing more than a convention of Pharyngula exiles, all gathering together to have a collective "Waaaaaaaa!"-fest.

Do people honestly get so hung up on posting to blogs that they actually are psychically harmed after being banned from one? Is it so common to carry grudges that large for what happens in a more-or-less anonymous electronic posting board?

I mean, yeah, you can get pissed off. But to carry a bucket of venom around for a year or two, and then dump it into the blogosphere soup as if the event that pissed you off occurred just yesterday when it actually happened last February?

Good gods, but there are people there who need to grow an armored dermal layer. How do they function in the real world? Do they declare eternal vendettas against people who don't signal for a turn in front of them on the road? Dream of planting dynamite under the foundations of libraries that charged them an overdue fine? Use 88 mm anti-tank weapons to hunt sparrows?

Holy shit, but they need to grow up.

While I appreciate the desire for more freedom in pursuing education (I really do), I'm inclined to move away from an impulse to de-centralize it because it would disadvantage people like me. Without the sort of unpleasant public government education that is so limited and creativity-draining, I would have been left with no education at all. It's one thing to say, I can learn from this book quite easily... but at least you had access to the book. Not to mention that, at least you had the ability to read.

A question for the community: What is yr take on how well we're doing wrt education? Are today's 18-year-olds better capable of critical thinking and continuing self-education than the 18-year-olds of 1990 or 1970?

I live in a college town, so I run into a lot of bright young people, but when I think back to my own generation at that age, I find I can't make any meaningful comparisons. (Years of substance abuse, prolly.)

Are we winning or losing?

By menckensghost (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

David M. and Alan B., I was pleased to see the snake-eating-dino story in my local news, and covered on NPR. I also liked seeing it come up multiple times in the endless thread. Repetition is good in some cases. I skipped the first link because of work pressures, then forgot to go back to it, so I caught the second posting.

I also find that science-related news sinks in better if I read it or see it from several viewpoints. It's part of my better-late-than-never education. I should have a science degree, but I don't. We should give out Pharyngula Master degrees.

Loved the coverage of snake jaws in the snake-crushes-eggs and snake-swallows-whatever-the-fuck stories. They left me a little unhinged.

As for the debate about teaching science (or non-science) in religious schools, that stuff hits too close to home for me. We have plenty of charter schools in Idaho, and some of them want to use the bible as a text book. Some of them have marginal or below-par teachers. I'm with Richard Dawkins on this, it's child abuse. Think of all those developing brains being trained to think in religious ruts, digging those ruts deeper year by year, setting up god's little multi-level-marketing victims for future generations.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

The single-biggest blogging negative, however, is the grouping together of people who already agree about everything*, and who then proceed to square and cube their agreements, becoming increasingly self-assured and intolerant of other viewpoints. Thus, blogging about science has brought out, in some cases, the loud, angry, nasty, and profanity-strewing minority of the science world that denounces the rest of America for its ignorance and superstition. This ideological content, which inflames audiences, is often the most likely to draw attention outside of the science-centric blogosphere—meaning that out of the many contributions made by science blogging, the posts that non-scientists (or people who don’t follow science regularly) will probably come across are those skewering religion.

I find their continuously spewing this unsupported blather most uncivil. Most uncivil. And are these audiences who are "inflamed" made up of children?

Needless to say, while I was not surprised at the response to Chris’ announcement, I am extremely dismayed.

*clutch!*

Discussion of each post is anticipated,

Each post on your ridiculous blog? I don't think so, dear.

but baseless personal attacks demonstrate the trouble with blogging.

What about based ones?

My favorite:

Much of the time, the blogs have become sport and spectacle. The highest traffic ensues when shots are fired between folks who like to spat angrily across their sites from behind the safety of their desktop.

"Please excuse us while we engage in this to drum up some traffic."

The funny thing is, we assuredly agree on far more than whatever we’re at odds over on any given day.

I suspect we might not. In any case, I can't fathom how this would suggest to someone that disagreements not be aired (at least not by others).

*HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

But to carry a bucket of venom around for a year or two, and then dump it into the blogosphere soup as if the event that pissed you off occurred just yesterday when it actually happened last February?

It's called entitlement. Some of those people really think no matter how nasty they are, how stupid and redundant, how dismissive, how racist, how sexist, how resistant to any kind of learning, they are that it boils down to not giving them the treatment they *deserve* because they are *special* and *brilliant* and ought to be privileged and recognized for the special little dumplings they really are no matter how inane and destructive their behaviors. Remember, we *owe* it to them and PZ ought to be punished for not kissing their booboos when some one called them a doody-head and even worse for making them feel like they did something to deserve being called a doody-head when everyone knows they are, as I said, special special dumplings of awesome.

While I appreciate the desire for more freedom in pursuing education (I really do), I'm inclined to move away from an impulse to de-centralize it because it would disadvantage people like me. Without the sort of unpleasant public government education that is so limited and creativity-draining, I would have been left with no education at all. It's one thing to say, I can learn from this book quite easily... but at least you had access to the book. Not to mention that, at least you had the ability to read.

Yes, that's an important point. I recognise that compared to a lot of people, I had a very privileged childhood, and had plenty of access to books and knowledge from an early age. I'm well aware that many children do not have the opportunities I had. (Indeed, here in the UK this problem is getting worse; social mobility has decreased over the last ten years, and the gap in educational attainment between young people from wealthy and poor backgrounds is actually increasing.) So I am not arguing, by any means, that government should not provide education; it absolutely should do everything possible, within the constraints of respect for civil liberties and of financial viability, to ensure that everyone has access to education. I'm simply opposing the traditional regimen of compulsory schooling, not education in general.

Perhaps one answer is to stop tying educational entitlements to age. Perhaps we should say that a person is entitled to be educated to a certain level at state expense regardless of his or her age. So, for instance, if a young person from a deprived background is forced to drop out of school at 14, but then realises at the age of 25 that s/he really wants to complete his or her basic education, he or she should be able to study at state expense, in his or her own time, on a timetable tailored to his or her needs. (I'm not arguing for making higher education free for everyone; this is not financially feasible and is also bad public policy, for a number of reasons. But everyone should have a right to finish secondary school, and should be able to do so, for free, however old he or she is.)

Re #59:

This is essentially my position on this.

I'd add that I'm very sympathetic to the notion that we really want to make very, very sure educational systems do not teach people just to follow orders. And I'd add you probably need to have a vigilant attitude about this to avoid this. Certain institutional settings do seem to me to have this problem that conformity for conformity's sake breeds readily within them. Some bureaucratic thinker just wants to save a little work, so there's a policy, there's a system, there's a form, and it's as if there's something infectious about that shit. Gets out of control fast. People get to thinking: if we can get 'em all to do exactly the same exercise, a machine can mark it, whatever...

For that matter, it often looks to me also that there's a certain breed of human just fucking likes that dreaming up that stuff for its own sake*. They love their nice little rows of identically dressed students, too, and how the students might feel about it seems almost immaterial.

So yeah, it's like the most obvious fucking thing to say, but making schools a place where people learn to love learning, that's got to be the goal. Where it's not happening, it absolutely needs to be fixed.

(/*Not to self: anyone who puts their underwear on a hanger and/or organizes their sock drawer by colour should probably be kept away from designing curricula, as a general policy. It's just safer.)

I think we should make it our mission to not only make Mooney and Kirshenbaum clutch their pearls but have them swooning as well. I would suggest Patricia be on hand with the fainting couch, but I am not sure I want to have a soft landing.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

...special special dumplings of awesome.

This is the best phrase I've heard all week. I'm considering changing my Movable Type Handle to "Walton, Special Special Dumpling of Awesome."

Oh noes! It's a concern-troll breeding ground!

Yes, and that's trouble. It is possible to accidentally foster an atmosphere of pearl-clutching, to the detriment of meaningful conversation.

I've seen this happen on a smaller scale in writing workshops. I help to run an ongoing workshop, so I've had the experience of one group generally hoping for hugs and unearned respect, while another group digs in and works toward improvement, shrugging off hurt feelings and misaimed criticism. In the latter group, writers improve and a greater percentage have some professional success. In the former, not so much -- it turns into a social outlet only, a clique that is resistant to change, a literary circle-jerk. For people that really need the social, pat-on-the-back aspect, I find it's enough to schedule occasional parties -- but falling into the all-social, all-love, all "but I write from my heart" syndrome equals me wasting my time.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

DO IT! That would show all those Mooneyites that we're not so rough-and-tumble around here.

*clutches pearls*

Oh dear, oh dear, I just want a rational discussion. I must express my prejudices, which must be politely discussed, and everybody must agree with me. Never mind that my prejudices aren't rational, and I refuse to acknowledge that.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I loved the link Feynmaniac provided. This is what the hoax had to say.

Nonbelievers trying to justify implicit requests for the death and sexual mutilation of others? This is disturbing. I’m being serious.

That is just so rich. No one is engaging in murder nor mutilation. Yet he is the same moral monster who thinks it is justifiable for his church to execute non believers.

__________________________________________________

For fans of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the collection of people at the Intersection is like the meeting of ATHF's archenemies. I guess this would make Chris and Sheril the Mooninites.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh, blockquote fail. :( I was responding to Walton's suggestion in #71.

I like that XKCD so much I'm adding it to the post.

Maslab @70 - thanks for linking to the "dreams" cartoon. I hope it's viral.
Scientists make tiny new magnets from old bugs

Scientists in Manchester have found a clean and green way of making tiny magnets for high tech gadgets – using natural bacteria that have been around for millions of years.
     The work by a team of geomicrobiologists from the University of Manchester paves the way for nanometer-size magnets – used in mobile phones and recording devices – to be made without the usual nasty chemicals and energy intensive methods.
     Researchers studied iron-reducing bacteria that occur naturally in soils and sediments and found they can be used to create iron oxide nanoparticles with magnetic properties similar to those created through complex chemical process...
By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

nigelTheBold @#45:

To make this more productive: Walton, do you agree that citizens should be well-educated as a requirement for participation in society? If so, what alternatives to the current education system do you propose? If not, what are your specific reasons for not requiring education?

This was essentially what I was seeking to address at #41 and #44, just above your post. We need to distinguish "education" from "schooling". Obviously, we all agree that education is a good thing. But the question is whether our present system of compulsory institutional schooling actually serves the purpose of education, whether the harm it causes outweighs the good, and whether there is a less coercive alternative.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@ Walton.

:D:D:D

For fans of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the collection of people at the Intersection is like the meeting of ATHF's archenemies. I guess this would make Chris and Sheril the Mooninites.

I like to think of them as The Legion of Doom.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I see my new handle as the Internet equivalent of growing extravagant facial hair (something which, by coincidence, I used to have in RL).

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I see my new handle as the Internet equivalent of growing extravagant facial hair (something which, by coincidence, I used to have in RL).

My big fat handlebar / Zappa mustache agrees

nice one

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Pygmy Loris, thank you for your detailed recommendations in the previous thread. The inclusion of dimmed lights, couch, and Blake for reviewing the fascinating display of my pumping carotid arteries will be seriously considered.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

For fans of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the collection of people at the Intersection is like the meeting of ATHF's archenemies. I guess this would make Chris and Sheril the Mooninites.

Thank you for making my SIWOTI morning awesome. : )

is the grouping together of people who already agree about everything*

People here agree about everything ?

I almost never agree with Walton, and I still like him.
Just today, I disagreed with Strange Gods and several others on freedom of speech.

If I'd agree with people here on everything, I wouldn't bother commenting. It gets so boring when we agree about everything.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton! You are stealing my shtick! Stop it! Stop it now!

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh no, Walton and Janine both using many transparent names. How will I ever figure it out.
*clutches pearls*

I would suggest Patricia be on hand with the fainting couch, but I am not sure I want to have a soft landing.

We can bring the fainting couch over after the Pullet PatrolTM has practiced their close order drills on it.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

If I'd agree with people here on everything, I wouldn't bother commenting. It gets so boring when we agree about everything.

Hear, hear! I agree, Sir!

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Rejoice! I just found the Lord God in all His glory. He's such an awsome Lord. Yet, he couldn't stop the Koreans from catching Him and the Greeks from frying Him.

(well the Lord was repelled by iron chariots.)

By Gyeong Hwa Pak… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Good fucking grief. I just read through the latest at the Colgate twin's post.

I'm going to make a fortune farming pearls to replace all the ones that are worn out over there.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Are we sure they're clutching pearls?

By the way, did Petra ever link to the comment that supposedly contains the one she is oh so offended by?

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@68

(/*Not to self: anyone who puts their underwear on a hanger and/or organizes their sock drawer by colour should probably be kept away from designing curricula, as a general policy. It's just safer.)

I knew a guy that made sure all the hangers in his closet were evenly spaced, and that the hangers on the right side of the center support were hung with the hook facing the back wall, and all the hangers on the left side of the center support were hung with the hook facing out. He also folded his underwear. He believed in absolutes when it came to Morality with a capital M. Not folding one's underwear was a sign of moral decadence.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

From Vyspyr (on the other site):

This is a whole new level, and it makes me sick. And what’s more? It’s found on almost every thread at Pharyngula. I thought it was a one-time case or somethng overblown. But no. It’s in the comments of almost every thread. Pathetic – especially for something representing a discipline as noble as science.

Vyspyr, Vyspyr, Vyspyr. Science is noble, yes, but it's also a crucible. Science is unkind and uncaring. It will kiss you passionately one moment, and kick you square in the nuts the very next.

Science is hectic, rude, and often hurtful (especially for folks of such fragile constitution as you seem to possess). It is unmindful of your feelings, and speaks only the truth, no matter how ego-damaging it might be.

Why should science blogs be any different?

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I've got a lot of sympathy for the viewpoint Walton's putting forward. The authoritarian model of education fits well into modern corporate capitalism, which ideally needs:
1) A small number of "leaders": capable of critical thought within broad limits, and of organising and controlling large numbers of others.
2) A small number of "innovators": non-conformists, capable of critical thought without limits.
3) Larger number of "executives" and "technicains": conformists, capable of critical thought within narrow limits, and of organising and controlling small numbers of others.
4) A mass of worker/consumers, conformists, incapable of critical thought (but able to read, write and reckon to some degree).

I'm not sure the claims that teenagers particularly are incapable of making important decisions about their own education stand up - indeed, many do so under the current system: my son, at just 14 and in a quite conventional state school, had to decide which subjects to take at Standard Grade: his teachers and parents advised him, but the decision was his, and I think he chose well. I don't know about the record of the "Sudbury model" schools, but certainly the British private school Summerhill, organised on similar lines, seems to produce very few educational failures; and very little bullying. I think democracy is best learned by practising it, which you can't do in a conventional school environment.

On the other hand, I suspect most kids who go to such schools have highly motivated pro-education parents; and at present, left to himself my son would apparently spend most of his time playing video games. Of course he might tire of these after a few months - and some of them, like Sim City, have a lot of educational potential. Overall, I'm inclined to think that adult advice rather than control would be enough to steer most teenagers toward a reasonably broad education, and the majority in his school would certainly benefit if the minority, who just don't want to be there, weren't.

Walton, if you haven't read him, I'd recommend John Holt's How Children Fail, How Children Learn, and other books. Incidentally, you may not be aware of the extent to which British state schools have moved in an authoritarian direction since Thatcher came to power in 1979 - all part of the shift toward greater inequality and corporate power.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

haven't read through the whole thread yet, cuz my attention span isn't so great right now, but I'll have to respond real quick:

1)as someone who was bored to death in school, had to deal with severe mental health problems during that time, and was generally rather miserable about it, I'm fucking GLAD that shit was mandatory. if it hadn't been, I'd have dropped out in 6th grade instead of 12th. And what good would that do anyone, including me?

2)again, as someone who was bored to death in school, I'm all for re-structuring it. I'm glad to have at least grown up in an environment that reacted allergic to even the slightest hint of authoritarianism in state-organizations, because our schools didn't have dress codes, or behavioral codes beyond "don't talk too much in class, don't smoke in the building, don't drink/smoke pot on school grounds, cover your naughty bits, don't swear at teachers, don't bring guns". however, if high-schools were run more like american universities (minus the cost), everyone would benefit: more class choice, ability to simply take proficiency tests to skip over classes you don't need because you already know the material, more personalized counseling, etc.

3)"special special dumpling of awesome"? are you competing with GHP for silliest cutesy title?

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I really am beginning to get totally pissed of with demented fuckwits who lack the intelligence to know which way to sit on a lavatory (You mean I shit through the hole ?)

Anyone who thinks tone is more important than content should be taken outside and slapped with a dead halibut until they come to their senses.

Mooney & Kirshsenbaum lied about Crackergate in Unscientific America, but to some it seems that is OK. Facts are just a matter of opinion it seems. Well fuck them. Truth matters (to borrow a phrase from another person who has no time for The Twins) and anyone who does not understand that it is no ally of mine, no matter what the battle. That syphilitic fuckwit McCarthy lied about being banned from commenting here but he did he get taken to task by any of the other regulars ? Did he fuck. They stuck up for the tosser.

To hell with them.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Just because you CAN say something on the internet, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

The point being, it isn't necessarily up to any one person to determine what someone else should be able to say. Any time you see the word "should", that should signal to you that a value judgment is being made. It's up to me and my own internal compass to determine that; anyone else who wants to deny my own ability to judge what is right for me to say can go fuck themselves.

There is a huge difference between telling someone that what they said is hurtful or offensive and telling someone not to say something. Those two events are not equivalent.

Oh noes! Petra is going to complain about PZ to SEED! Whatever shall we do? And who the fuck is this Petra person anyway? Her story about what was said to her keeps changing. At first it was that someone told her to fuck off and die in a fire, now it is that someone told her to go fuck a rake and die. All I want to know is what she said to get such a response.

By aratina cage o… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

oh yeah, and

4)for what it looks like when schooling isn't compulsory, look at the U.S. no one deserves a society going to shit like that, just because you think freedom from schooling trumps an educated populace.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anyone who thinks tone is more important than content should be taken outside and slapped with a dead halibut until they come to their senses.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I wish to complain...

Walton:

I see the conversation about education has wound its way through ~60 posts since your comments @25, and some of my comments may be redundant, but since this subject is one of my pet peeves, I'm going to redund away:

You're presupposing that the government has a right to require all young people to attend school in the first place. I'm personally profoundly uncomfortable with compulsory education [noted for the record that you subsequently clarified this as referring to compulsory schooling] - particularly for teenagers, who are perfectly capable of choosing for themselves what kind of institution they want to attend.

As others have noted, a democratic state has a compelling interest in universal education, because an informed electorate is a predicate requirement for a functioning democracy (of any configuration, including the representative republic that is the particular form of democracy here in the U.S.).

That being the case, I think it's easy to see that the same compelling public interest that justifies mandatory universal education also justifies mandatory minimum curriculum standards for alternative forms of education: If private schools and homeschoolers aren't meeting the same minimum curriculum standards that public schools are, they're not satisfying the state's compelling interest.

And that gets the the education/schooling distinction you were making: It's hard to see how mandatory curriculum standars can be enforced absent some sort of institutional structure.

If alternative, non-public schools are allowed to teach nonconforming curricula, they're not satisfying society's needs. Religions nuts (for example) have the right to teach their kids whatever they want about creationism (for example)... but they cannot claim that satisfies the larger society's compelling need that those kids be educated.

I actually think the very existence of nonpublic forms of schooling damages the republic, even when said forms of schooling do conform to standard curricula, because [a] they are not accountable to the public and [b] they tend to disproportionately remove the most committed, advantaged families from the public schools, thereby making high-quality public education more difficult and expensive. I'd have a problem, from a civil liberties POV, in banning private schooling... but I think it would be a good thing for democracy if everyone went to public schools (I'm talking through high school, here; higher education is a different kettle of fish).

I think the authoritarian, disciplinary nature of most schools is highly damaging to many young people.

As many have noted, this is a reason to reform public schools, not to abandon them. But I'd also note that it's far from universally true that schools are invidiously authoritarian. In my experience (which is anecdote, not evidence, of course, but at least stands as a single counter-example), the rules at schools I've attended (and taught at) were reasonable attempts to keep the students safe and the environment productive, and were never abritrarily obsessive. YMMV, of course, but not everybody's school days were Tom Brown's.

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

and

5)I haz a blog nao ^_^'

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh noes! Petra is going to complain about PZ to SEED! Whatever shall we do? And who the fuck is this Petra person anyway? Her story about what was said to her keeps changing. At first it was that someone told her to fuck off and die in a fire, now it is that someone told her to go fuck a rake and die. All I want to know is what she said to get such a response.

Has anyone ever seen the actual comments she's talking about?

As in here at Pharyngula and not just her retelling of the oh so dreaded offense of being told something nasty on the Internet.

/faint

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Dear Sir or Madam:

I wish to complain...

Don't forget to end the letter with "I remain, Sir/Madam, your humble and obedient servant..."

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anyone who thinks tone is more important than content should be taken outside and slapped with a dead halibut until they come to their senses.

That might be a bit hard. Halibut can be pretty heavy.

*checks OP, meeps*

Anyone who thinks tone is more important than content should be taken outside and slapped with a dead halibut until they come to their senses.

Or knocked into a canal.

I looked. Can't seem to find anyone posting as "petra", so she may have been using a different 'nym...which makes her story hard to verify. It's not entirely improbable, since people here do get vicious, but it means the context is hidden and deniable.

Yeah I'd just like to see the whole thing in context.

And now that you mention it, I think I remember her saying she was posting as someone like

Greatfuldeadgirl

or Hippiegirl

or something along those lines.

She mentioned it on some other Colgate Twin's "PZ is a big meanie and is killing science" thread.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

FrankT @51 for the link:

Holy Shit! The US is imprisoning people for owning Manga? I understand that schoolgirls being raped by aliens with monstruous appendages isn't everyone's cup of tea but for feck's sake they are pen and ink drawings on paper!

On the other hand, it can be argued that children, particularly young children, should not be completely indoctrinated with their parents' beliefs, and that all children have a right to a minimum standard of secular education

I can tell you now that a girl I knew, and her mother, were extremely angry after paying quite a lot of money to a "Christian" high school, only to have her unable to enroll in her first choice, Baylor (a Baptist university). In fact, she couldn't get into any college or university. Not even the local jr. college could accept her--her ACT scores were abysmal, and let's not even go into the SAT. This, from the person with the second highest GPA in her school.

For a lot of reasons, she ended up attending the secular high school to catch up, for two years. That's how badly her school failed her.

What was right about putting her through all that, when she didn't have a choice in her mother's decisions about her education?

So I think that it is in the child's best interests to have a minimum standard of education, in the long run. It's best for them, and for society at large.

And who the fuck is this Petra person anyway? Her story about what was said to her keeps changing.

In the past I've tracked down information from a couple people who complained on the Intersection about being insulted here for no reason, and without exception they were lying (directly or through omission). Unfortunately, Petra seems to have used a different 'nym, as nothing comes up.

This Petra over at the interdungeon seems a bit ... confused :

(comment # at the interdungeon)

#84
I’ve been kindly asked to go kill myself (after violating myself with various kinds inanimate objects) at Pharyngula simply for expressing an opinion

#112
(and for the record, Knockgoats, I’m not a “Pharyngula exile.” I’ve never even posted over there. I’m just wholly confused at the doublespeak we seem to be getting here.)

#154
All I said was the equivalent of “Don’t you think it might turn people off to science if they see scientists acting like children?” To which I was told that I should die slowly (presumably figurative, but who knows?) and that I should take it upon myself to be raped (or I guess more accurately for ‘f*** yourself,’ sodomize myself) with landscaping tools…before I died, of course. The death part was presumably to come immediately after.

#178
I’m going to do what I should have done when I was first told to get raped and dieI ram the rough end of a garden rake up my vagina until it bleeds, Rev. BigDumbChimp.

?????
I asked her for a thread reference, let's see if she remembers.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

And now that you mention it, I think I remember her saying she was posting as someone like

Greatfuldeadgirl

or Hippiegirl

or something along those lines.

I recall someone posting at CPP's blog fairly recently with a pseudonym like that.

Hippiegirl? Was it perhaps harleygirl, that nutcase from a couple weeks ago?

Hippiegirl? Was it perhaps harleygirl, that nutcase from a couple weeks ago?

No, this was a while back

something with hippie or Grateful Dead or Deadhead ...

Crap can't find the post at the intersection.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Has anyone ever seen the actual comments she's talking about?

No I have not. Poor innocent Petra wouldn't happen to be lying now, would she? Lying for Kershenbaum?

By aratina cage o… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton, Special Special Dumpling of Awesome

Ah, Walton, your new nym just makes me want to pinch one of your rosy cheeks!

****pinch****

There, I feel better!

/Auntie mode off

Come see what the AFA is up to these days. They want to stone killer whales. (Well, one of them.)

By Givesgoodemail (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

It's creepy how many people on The Intersection are willing to blatantly lie and make up stories to fit into the Intersection Pity Party. I've seen it several times. It's like, instant commenter cred over there.

They even contradict themselves in so doing (as Petra did, telling Knockgoats she had never posted on Pharyngula then 50 posts later saying she posted once and was told do fornicate with a rake). It's like they ramp up their "credentials" with no care for whether it matches with what they've said up until that point. Anything to be seen as "part of the team".

Daisy Deadhead?

What's strange is that she says she's never even posted on Pharyngula, but claims she was told to get raped and die.

Maybe she had some kind of vision ?

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Daisy Deadhead?

Actually, that sounds about right

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Lying for Kershenbaum?

Now, that's just pathetic.

I mean, lying for Jayzuz, at least that's got some tradition behind it, y'know? Lying for Zeus, that's got that nice, charming ring of classicism about it... Appealing, in its own little way. 'The opponents of Zeus are men of no conscience who sodomized my brother'... Sure, that almost sings...

Lying for Marduk would be kinda nicely counterculture, seems to me... A nuanced choice...

But lying for Kershenbaum? Just sad. Like walking into a biker bar and saying to the biggest guy in the room 'You're a meanie!'...

(/I mean, that's not going even going to earn you the dignity of a proper brawl... They'll just laugh and order you a straightup milkshake or somethin'...)

Things I never thought of: Searching for "twat" in Firefox will find a match in "saltwater".

By aratina cage o… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Well did a search on that and all i got was Patricia saying something about using that name. So that's not it.

But I could be steering us in the wrong direction.

I do definitely remember her saying she posted under a different name though.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

We've also got Philip Jr claiming that "f***ed rigid with a broken broomhandle covered in hot sauce” is a phrase used here. I haven't been able to find it, even breaking it down into pieces and searching for those bits. Weird. So they get to just make stuff up?

Apparently.

But seriously, just look at the cabal of cast offs they've gathered over there. I'm not shocked they are making things up.

When is Silver Fox going to show up?

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Well, it's going to get some use now. Hell, I might use that at work!

Jadehawk @105, nice try when it came to disguising the blog-whoring. :-) And nice blog, too.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So they get to just make stuff up?

Well, they're just taking after their blog hosts. Imitation is the finest form of flattery, after all. This is why I generally don't post there any more, making things up and refusing to substantiate them is the modus operandi of the regulars over there.

When is Silver Fox going to show up?

He's been there before, along with mabus and Davison. He's probably just not around right now.

A couple of times I have told someone to fuck themselves with a splintering telephone pole up the ass, sideways. I can see how Petra and Philip Jr can get confused.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton @107---

While "I remain, your humble and obedient servant" is the way I end both personal and business correspondence, I do use "Sir and/or Madam" in case I'm missing something about my correspondent's Secret Life.

By DesertHedgehog (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I see my new handle as the Internet equivalent of growing extravagant facial hair (something which, by coincidence, I used to have in RL).

I see it as the equivalent of you having cute little cheeks to pinch (NO NOT THOSE).

He believed in absolutes when it came to Morality with a capital M. Not folding one's underwear was a sign of moral decadence.

With the FSM as my witness, I swear I had never encountered the concept of folding underwear until I was in college and had a temporary roommate who did so. When my mom was in charge of my dresser she just laid them in flat, and my method was to just shove them all in the drawer and hope it closed.

Anyone who thinks tone is more important than content should be taken outside and slapped with a dead halibut until they come to their senses.

Even if it doesn't work, it's something to do just for the halibut. (rimshot)

Dear Sir or Madam:

I wish to complain...

about the parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique!

Ah... I see she has a blog post about it. Man she really disagrees with herself a lot.

I get this.

People said things to her (no mention why so of course it was just because she's a Christian) that hurt her feelings and made her feel degraded.

Yeah, the sexist comments can be irritating.

Unfortunately since she keeps changing the paraphrase of the comments she references it's hard to believe her at all.

Whaddya bet if some one really tracks down the original argument it boils down to something like

"I give up. STFU you insufferable bitch" or something of that nature.

The broom handle comment exists! But it wasn't even used as an insult:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/09/what_if_sarah_palin_were_you…

Louis:

That's why conservatives are so apparently down on sex. Banning stuff makes it naughtier and thus more fun. Imagine all that emotional guilt based frisson when the 19 year old, illegal immigrant, identical, Chinese, twin girls you bought from your arms dealer friend (who are spanking you with a rolled up copy of anything by Adam Smith) call you a very dirty daddy before pegging you rigid with a splintery broom handle strap on covered with tabasco, and then decide to give you a girl on girl on boy piss fest and mutual fist-a-thon whilst snorting coke off a pile of gay men's cocks shortly after these gents have performed what can only be described as a human demonstration of the principle underlying Da Vinci's helicopter.
....but enough about my weekend....

LOL!

Jon Swift has died:

Oh, how sad. I missed that - that puts my parrot quote in a pretty macabre setting. Although I think he might have gotten a kick out of that. Why do we always lose the good ones too early?

Ahhhhh.

Yep that is who I was thinking of.

Probably not Petra.

So

The question remains, when and where did Petra post and then have nasty things said to her poor sensitive eyes/ears?

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton: So I'm not sure where I stand on this question: should the state have any control over the curriculum in private religious schools? It's an interesting topic of discussion.

The question is whether the state should recognize certain private curricula. That's a different problem. Once you agree that the state can require children to go to school, it has to distinguish "going to school" from "just fucking around". Therefore, it has to set standards -- which are requirements for recognitions.

The argument here isn't that the school, outside of the recognized curriculum as far as I know, can't teach creationism -- but that within science class, they have to teach proper science if they want to be recognized as an alternative to public schools. It would be another thing if the state banned Sunday schools, after-school programs, etc. But in science class, they have to teach the scientific truth of the matter, which is that creationism is not science, not an alternative scientific theory, that it has nothing to do with science.

Otherwise, how could the secular state approve the curriculum? It would be like the state approving curricula that claim Aborigines are a separate species, that there are no other countries than Australia, that Australia is the legal inheritor of Mu, or that the world is flat, and that these are "historical" or "scientific" facts, thereby undermining the required curriculum.

You can always teach those, however, outside of "history" or "science". You just can't claim that they are "history" or "science", since, well, they ain't, not by any common understandings of the term outside of their sects.

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Yeah I don't think that is Petra.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Ah, it could be Daisy. She posted multiple times, not just once, in this thread -- her first post was a little screech of outrage, and she gave as good as she got. She was not told to die, she was not threatened with rape. She was derided, sometimes nastily, especially by a poster named Logician...and Logician in turn was derided by the regulars here.

Daisy was a liberal Christian, as you'll find on her blog. I can see her finding the Colgate Twins more to her liking, and also complaining a lot about Pharyngula. She got slapped down hard here.

Alternatively, I find the "unschooling" movement very compelling, from what I've read about it.

oh barf. that shit only works on kids who are universally curious, very intelligent and have a certain level of self-discipline. For the rest of us, this would be a fucking disaster. Even the smartes unschooled kids often end up with vast gaps in the areas they just weren't all that interested in (and hey, math is what calculators are for, right? and who needs to read beyond a 3rd grade level when there's TV and Youtube?)

One reason to enforce a school uniform policy is that it cuts down on one potential source of bullying. It is known that kids who do not wear the labels are subjected to bullying as a result.

doesn't work. rich kids get to mod their uniforms because the teachers turn a blind eye to it; non-conformists get slapped for even the tiniest variation from book-standard. (anecdata from non-conformist friends from Britain from schools in the 90's)

This also helps since adolescents tend to grossly overestimate their knowledge of the world (I think most of us fallen victim to this).

indeed. walton of all people should know this.
Also, I'm now trying to remember that line about how people go into universities knowing everything, and leave knowing nothing, so all that knowledge they "lose" is why universities are repositories of knowledge...

A question for the community: What is yr take on how well we're doing wrt education? Are today's 18-year-olds better capable of critical thinking and continuing self-education than the 18-year-olds of 1990 or 1970?

no fucking clue... seems mostly a wash, and least for europe.

I'm not arguing for making higher education free for everyone; this is not financially feasible and is also bad public policy, for a number of reasons.

bullfuck. especially in a society where manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of automation, no society can afford to NOT sponsor a college-educated populace and instead carry around the dead weight of a largely undereducated, unemployable workforce.

This is the best phrase I've heard all week. I'm considering changing my Movable Type Handle to "Walton, Special Special Dumpling of Awesome."

well, that explains that...

Not folding one's underwear was a sign of moral decadence.

what about not owning any?

Jadehawk @105, nice try when it came to disguising the blog-whoring. :-) And nice blog, too.

*grin*

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Windy and SC, your search-function fu is impressive. As for the quote from Louis, that is just over-the-top funny ... because it's obviously over-the-top exaggeration for the sake of comedy/sarcasm. The riff from Louis is not aimed at one person, not personal at all. It's a comedic takedown of an attitude that needs to be taken down a peg. Better than George Carlin. Louis, wherever you are, that was hilarious.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh, man. Swift's mom lost her husband and her son in the same week. Nobody should have to go through that.

With the FSM as my witness, I swear I had never encountered the concept of folding underwear until I was in college and had a temporary roommate who did so. When my mom was in charge of my dresser she just laid them in flat, and my method was to just shove them all in the drawer and hope it closed.

I had never encountered the concept of folding underwear until I read your post.

(Seriously, why would anyone want to fold underwear? While I'm hardly an expert on these matters, I would tend to imagine that on the only occasion when another person is likely to see one's underwear, they tend to have more pressing matters on their minds than whether the underwear is creased.)

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think I do remember seening the nym Petra awhile ago. Once had a co-worker Petra, thats why the name was memorable.

That is all, not much sorry.

Asked Petra to provide a link, since she must have one handy to report to SEED. Her response was simply that it has already been reported, no link. She's just posturing and playing Internet Tough Guy for attention and pity.

I don't think Petra is Daisy. Possible, but I don't see any solid connection to support it. It was pleasing to look up Daisy's story and point out how full of it she was, though, trying to play innocent victim attacked for being from the south (as opposed to being attacked for coming into a thread throwing punches).

The broom handle comment exists! But it wasn't even used as an insult:

Oh good grief, if that's what he's on and on about then he's even more of a milquetoast pearl clutching Mrs. Rev. Lovejoy type than I thought.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think Jackie Kennedy used to require her maids to iron her stockings, and to fold her underwear.

I wash my dishes (apologies again to David M. and Jadehawk), but I do not fold underwear.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Louis, wherever you are, that was hilarious...

He does that sorta thing on a semiregular basis. One of those guys who pops up at random, pulls something beautifully over the top like that, disappears again, for a while...

I'd say there should be some sorta 'Best of Louis' page to make finding it easier, but the random, out-of-nowhere quality of the stuff is probably half the fun. And it'd be too much at higher concentrations, probably, anyway...

I would tend to imagine that on the only occasion when another person is likely to see one's underwear, they tend to have more pressing matters on their minds than whether the underwear is creased...

... also, I find those acetate mesh g-strings of mine really don't crease especially readily anyway...

(/TMI?)

When the spawn was in high school, after freshman year, he was allowed to elect the courses he was going to take the following year. Everything he chose was the equivalent of basketweaving 101. The husbeast and I, properly appalled, and knowing what sorts of courses would be required for college acceptance, promptly vetoed all his choices, and dictated the appropriate selections, and told him exactly why we were doing it. He balked, of course, but yielded, partly because, though he would never admit it, he suspected that we might just be right. He was in his twenties and after we had regained our original IQ points, he remembered to thank us for doing the right thing. I shudder to think what would have become of his life's prospects had he not had mandatory preparation for college, and eventually he became a productive member of adult society. Now, as most of you know, adult life follows the 80-20 rule. 80% of life consists of crap, the mundane, and the trivial. If you are lucky, you get the other 20%, which consists of the things we think of as being part of the good life - a job you love, and other accoutrements of middle-cass stability. School as it exists today (with all its shortcomings) acts as a good preparation for this real life. But I have noted with trepidation that a lot of the younger generation has been brought up with the "gold-star" mentality- everyone gets a gold star and this tends to devalue genuine excellence. These young people enter real life thinking it's all going to be gold stars again and are rudely awakened. It would be loverly if every student could get an education tailored perfectly to him. But it ain't gonna happen. The masses have to be educated and in the most efficient way possible. (That, of course, is a whole other topic). Having been a beneficiary of tracking my whole life, I think it is a better way than having heterogeneous classes. It is a fact of life that no matter how classes are arranged, by the end of the first few days of school, everyone knows who the smart kids are, and who the dumb kids are. But the classes are taught to the average, shortchanging everybody except the average. We are in the process of undereducating our best and brightest, but American students certainly have the highest self-esteem in the world)a measured fact). Is this really what we want for our future?

By leepicton (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Unrelated to anything here, but I just attended a seminar on RNA polymerase V and was mightily impressed that scienceblogs.com/pharyngula was cited as a picture source (hox genes in drosophila) - so apparently you aren't doing the best job at killing science.

That thread at Alas, a Blog is weird: Daisy says about her one encounter here that "the thread was about the first Hindu prayers in Congress" -- no, it wasn't. It was an Eddie Izzard video in which he makes fun of the Noah's Ark story, and she stormed in with a comment about how atheists are all snooty and SUPERIOR, and then the whole thing went into a death spiral from there.

It was a bizarre distortion of her own history, which makes me suspect even more that the Petra on the Colgate Twins blog is the same person. She doesn't seem to be quite all there. Must have been all those good drugs in the 60s.

bullfuck. especially in a society where manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of automation, no society can afford to NOT sponsor a college-educated populace and instead carry around the dead weight of a largely undereducated, unemployable workforce.

In the UK, we have too many people with degrees chasing too few graduate jobs. I know quite a few people with degrees from second- or third-tier universities who are currently working in low-level office jobs and the like. In the end, someone with a poor degree in a non-marketable subject from a poor university does not necessarily have better job prospects, or higher earning potential, than someone who never went to university.

And because we have so many people going into higher education (almost 50% of British school-leavers now go on to higher education, compared to less than 10% a couple of decades ago), the cost of the system has now become totally unsustainable. At the moment, tuition fees for home and EU undergraduates are capped at just over £3,000 per annum - but the actual cost of an undergraduate education is more like £12-15,000 per annum. The rest is either absorbed by the universities or picked up by the taxpayer - which is a completely unsustainable arrangement in the medium-to-long term, hence why the prospect of substantial tuition fee rises is now on the political agenda. We simply can't afford to subsidise an ever-growing number of students, especially those whose degrees are not going to translate into higher earnings or a stronger economy.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Asked Petra to provide a link, since she must have one handy to report to SEED. Her response was simply that it has already been reported, no link.

I hope that's true. Then PZ should be able to find out from SEED what name she posted here under and what the hell she's talking about. And if it's not true, then M&K should have to make clear there that she is lying.

Whaddya bet if some one really tracks down the original argument it boils down to something like

"I give up. STFU you insufferable bitch" or something of that nature.

If so, the odds are very high that several people objected to the sexist language.

Must have been all those good drugs in the 60s.

Those drugs are still around so don't put that past her either.

Yeah It may be her but before I'm convinced I'd like her to admit it.

Trouble it she won't even post the link to the comment on the intersection. Though she claims she has sent it to to the SEED OVERLORDS.

197. Petra Says:
March 3rd, 2010 at 1:45 pm

One would think you had it handy as you were going to report it to SEED, correct?

Already done, Paul.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I actually lol'd @ #198 (M&K thread):

I’m simply stunned to see people actually defending such speech. And I’m with Piltdown Man

Not exactly what he/she meant, but still funny.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Nice Louis! That paragraph was a sight to behold!

Daisy says about her one encounter here that "the thread was about the first Hindu prayers in Congress" -- no, it wasn't. It was an Eddie Izzard video in which he makes fun of the Noah's Ark story, and she stormed in with a comment about how atheists are all snooty and SUPERIOR, and then the whole thing went into a death spiral from there. -PZ

Daisy was also on a thread about Hindu prayers in Congress (link) but even with all her inanity, she was treated fairly well I thought after skimming it.

By aratina cage o… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anyone who thinks tone is more important than content should be taken outside and slapped with a dead halibut until they come to their senses. - Matt Penfold

I'm glad you specified a dead halibut: I take a very strong line against cruelty to halibut!

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

*headache*

walton, we already talked about this. we have a general labor glut. there's too many workers IN GENERAL for the amount of work required to make our society function as it does. and so we have all these pointless, useless make-work type of jobs that exist only because of the capitalist notion that everyone should work as much as possible as a requirement for survival.

this is neither neccesary, nor does it stand in any relation to the fact that the broader your education, the better you as an individual you are at adjusting to new work environments in the information age; and the more better educated individuals you have in society, the better your society runs, because it's more flexible in terms of sudden shifts in the job market (I've told you about the necessity of redundancy systems to you multiple times. have you finally bothered to look into it?). Now, I understand that there's more need for affordable and good vocational training, but that too falls under the category of needs for easy access to higher education.

IOW, a Chemistry PhD can work at Starbucks, but a high-school graduate can't work in a lab.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I note, BTW, that halibut can weigh up to a third of a ton - you'd know about it if you were slapped with one of that size (or possibly not, come to think of it).

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

An LDS missionary wife in Chile made the most of the earthquake by claiming the lord himself warned her. But I'm not buying it because the lord/holy spirit would have warned her husband (he being the priesthood conduit for lordly revelation):

During the past few days, we have witnessed many events which serve to remind us that the Lord is in charge and that as missionaries and members of His church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are performing His work, and as President Monson teaches, "When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to His help." I want to share with you a few miracles that will help you to understand our profound feelings of gratitude....[she goes on to drop a General Authority name, which, in mormondom, is on a par with breaking bread with Elvis]
     Elder Scott further instructed us to keep a notebook beside our bed so that we could record these precious promptings...
     We have been astonished at the fulfillment of Elder Scott's prophetic words...
     Nearly two-and-one-half weeks ago, I was awakened at around 4:00 AM by just such a prompting. I did not hear a voice, but the thought was as clear as if it had been in the form of spoken words: "There is going to be an earthquake. Prepare your missionaries." ...
     In talking with our office missionaries to arrange for them to put together a list of everything we would need to prepare...in both Spanish and English...we discovered that the Lord had also let two of our office missionaries know of the possibility of an earthquake (in the form of dreams) and the need to prepare our mission.

Hmmm. The earthquake in Haiti had nothing to do with this "miracle", right? Source; http://www.ldsmag.com/churchupdate/100303chile.html

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm glad you specified a dead halibut: I take a very strong line against cruelty to halibut!

And of course no halibut should be killed solely for the purpose of slapping tone fixators.

And of course no halibut should be killed solely for the purpose of slapping tone fixators.

And I'm not even sure that would work in the first place - it sounds kind of fishy to me.

If so, the odds are very high that several people objected to the sexist language.

If so the odds are high I was one of them under my old nym.

Jadehawk: So, how would you pay for free, unlimited higher education for everyone? Considering that in the UK we already have a massive budget deficit, spiralling debt and out-of-control public spending, I don't know where you think the money is going to come from. The next government is going to have to reduce, not increase, public spending across the board just to get the budgetary situation under control.

And higher education should be one of the target areas for cuts, IMO. To be honest, I'd rather see my fellow students have to tighten their belts a little (considering that most of them spend massive amounts of money on alcohol and clubbing anyway) than, say, see more soldiers and civilians dying in Afghanistan because of inadequate funding for military equipment, or see more patients dying of preventable diseases because of NHS cuts.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Just because you CAN say something on the internet, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Well, perhaps you're right. Just because I CAN say something on the internet, doesn't mean I SHOULD... but SOMEONE should!

It's when someone CAN'T that things are intolerable.

Actually, it was once, when I somehow missed that that was PZ's implied premise of an article (it was pretty obvious in hindsight, but somehow I completely missed it at the time) that I came the closest to becoming a pariah on these boards.
(My implied premise, that no-one is entitled to argue from a postition of assumed righteousness, was equally missed by PZ but my premise might not have as obvious as PZ's should have been to me.)

I'm getting old. When I read "You can (or can't) say that on the Internet" I get an immediate sense of befuddlement because I'm from the generation that simply assumed the entire point of the internet was to say absolutely anything.
I recently came across a movie on Netflix the description of which contained the phrase "all-new episodes deemed too outrageous for TV or the Internet" and I was thrown through a loop. Appearently this was stated (and recieved) with utterly no sense of irony. *sigh* I am old.

Anyway that was just a segue, to talk about the last episode of family guy where the cartoon Jesus after givng a sappy "It doesn't matter what religion you are; you can get along" speech is asked "Well, how should I chose which religion". To which Jesus answers "Six of one. They're all a crock of garbage."
Did anyone here see it? I expected because it was *Jesus* saying it, there'd be a big stink all over the internet but I haven't heard a thing.
Or was the episode a rerun and the stink was months ago and I just made a fool of myself (...again...)?

Recently in The Thread there was a bit of discussion of anonymity. Just now I read AJ Milne's last comment on Repent, Amarillo! And now the same sentiment is expressed in XKCD. Clearly, God is trying to tell us something.

I can't help remembering Brad Templeton's essay, A Watched Populace Never Boils:

People often ask why a loss of privacy -- as would come from increased surveillance, TV cameras on all the street corners and a national ID card -- is a restriction on freedom.

Some wonder it because they have fallen for the old fallacy that if you are innocent, you have nothing to hide. Some wonder it because there is already a lot of monitoring in society, particularly in our credit card transactions, and the walls have not come tumbling down.

Some welcome it, feeling that the extra surveillance will cut down on crime, and provide some increased level of safety or imagined safety.

But the truth is that invasions of privacy invade our freedoms quite directly. This is true even if the surveillance isn't abused by the watchers, even though history shows that it always is.

When we feel watched, we feel less free. We censor ourselves and our actions. Sometimes in little ways, sometimes in big ones.

We all know this. We all know the exhilarating freedom we felt when we first left home, out from under the watchful eye of our parents. Alone, unwatched, we could finally be ourselves, or even be new selves. Some people experience this even when they move to a new town. Some feel themselves reducing to their old, censored self during Thanksgiving dinner. ...

Yet the mainstream will never fear monitoring that much, just as it is more comfortable with censorship. What civil rights protect is not the majority, but the fringe. The fringe is usually feared by the majority, and most subject to its oppression.

Yet the fringe is the lifeblood of a society's future. When I say a watched populace never boils, I refer to the ability to bubble with change and novelty. Yes, it also means unrest, for there are both positive and negative elements to the fringe. Yet the fringe today becomes the mainstream in the future. That is how a healthy, dynamic society works. That is how our society works.

You can't have the same sort of counterculture in a monitored society. It gets driven even further underground. You won't find the counterculture in the small towns where everybody knows one another. Usually the youth, full of anger and novelty and art and invention, leave those small towns to discover themselves in the city. Will they do it as well if mom, or big brother, is watching?

Would you have liked to be gay 40 years ago in a monitored society? Or an enemy of J. Edgar Hoover with modern tools in his hands? A far-left philosopher 50 years ago? A cancer patient trying to use marijuana to alleviate nausea today?

Consider as well the plight of the shy person in the surveillance society. They are many, and they are a great deal more sensitive to being watched. In them, the feeling of being noticed sets off an anxiety the extroverted will never understand, and they will fear the public arena. For many, it is how their brain is wired. They can't "get over it" and accept the cameras. Have they no rights?

Even just ask the famous today if they like their lack of privacy. They like the perks of fame, but surveillance just gives everybody the exposed life of the famous without the nice tables at restaurants.

The founders of the USA knew this. They wrote much of their founding doctrine anonymously in the Federalist Papers. That legacy exists today online. Some online communities are destroyed by anonymous abuse, but others (particularly ones for discussion of sexual matters, or support groups for victims of unpleasant diseases) could only exist with the anonymity they provide their participants. They are boiling, opening doors, and changing the world.

We might be safer if people had less privacy. We could be as safe as the people in the small towns, which have low crime rates. We would also be as lukewarm as the people in those towns; content but never boiling.

(If you liked that, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where Brad worked for the last ten years.)

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

see more soldiers and civilians dying in Afghanistan because of inadequate funding for military equipment,

or you know, we could all stop wasting stupendous amounts of money on wars of aggresssion and the maintenance of an overblown, aggressive military.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Ol'Greg, what was your old moniker?

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I only read a little of the discussion about Pharyngula over on the Intersection, but in the discussion about PZ's alleged "selective enforcement" of banning those who use "inflammatory language" something seems to be overlooked by both sides. That "inflammatory language" or "what gets one banned from Pharygula" is not simply the use of profanity, but only using profanity. That is, people who make no material contribution in any of their comments. Sure, Molly-holders often post comments that are little more than "go fuck yourself" or "STFU", but those are not their only comments here. That point did not seem to be made over at the Intersection, but I probably missed it or it has been made since.

Well, if you *can* say something on the internet in Volapuk...then you damn' well *should*.

(But not the useless text-msg "Volapuk"--- *real* Volapuk!)

By DesertHedgehog (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

leepicton: We are in the process of undereducating our best and brightest, but American students certainly have the highest self-esteem in the world)a measured fact). Is this really what we want for our future?

You don't know how horrible it is, if you're not involved in the US school system now. They start drilling in kindergarten for standardized tests! It's like a torture chamber for the kids -- the bright kids are terminally bored because all material is focused on "the test", which has to be aimed at the middle, and the slow kids are bewildered because they just can't get up to the "proper" test scores. The weird kids suffer because they can't sit drilling for hours.

And the middle kids are learning a secondary skill -- how to master multiple choice exams.

I've known children who regressed in reading through kindergarten -- they came in reading and were so tortured they decided to hate reading. The gifted programs are "academically oriented", so they just beat them harder and faster (still better for the smart kids, in that they're at least less bored).

Hopefully the kids will surprise the system. But I'm unsurprised when students see the whole exercise of education as a certification process -- "What's the RIGHT answer?"

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Knockgoats@97,
It is not that teenagers cannot make good decisions, it is that the override circuitry in the frontal lobes is a whole helluva lot slower that the "I wanna" circuitry. I agree that school can be deadening. However, so can a homeschool. So can dropping out.

The trick with teenagers is to slow them down and help them consider consequences before they act. In the best of worlds, a school can be a place that does that well.

Actually, the experiences of my wife and I are about as diametrically opposed as they can be. We were both in "middle class" high schools. She was allowed to drift, essentially quit going to school (over 50% truancy rate one year) and managed to graduate without ever having taken a math class in highschool. I fought like hell to get an education and graduated with 150% of the credits I needed. I think the difference was that my parents cared more than hers and taught me to care as well.

Ultimately we both wound up being scientists, but I sure had an easier time than she did.

So, while I agree that compulsory school can be deadening, I think it is certainly better than cutting kids loose before they really have the ability to make responsible decisions.

By a_ray_in_dilbe… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

or you know, we could all stop wasting stupendous amounts of money on wars of aggresssion and the maintenance of an overblown, aggressive military.

I'm not going to get into a debate now as to the rights and wrongs of the war in Afghanistan (though as you know, I supported it and continue to support it, and also believe it to be legal under international law, unlike the invasion of Iraq). But I would have thought it should be obvious to anyone that the withdrawal of coalition forces now would be an unmitigated disaster for the people of Afghanistan. And as long as we have troops over there, we need to pay for the equipment and supplies to allow them to do their jobs properly.

You seem to think we'd be better off in a world in which democratic nations had no militaries, and in which only the dictatorships and the terrorist organisations would actually have the means to use force. I think you're wrong. And I certainly don't think we should sacrifice the basis of global security, in order to allow more people to complete degrees in Applied Leisure Studies at the University of West Nowhere.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@ Walton's education poser:

Caveat: I haven't read the whole thread yet.

My theory, which is mine, goes like this - these schools can teach whatever religiously-based stuff they want. They cannot, however, teach only creationism, and call it science. They must teach science, or they cannot be accredited as having taught science. If they aren't teaching science, they cannot be generally accredited as being an educational institution below university level, most places.

I see nothing wrong with this. Until we have a world in which different primary and secondary school "degrees" are recognized and accounted for, and the resulting "discrimination" questions are settled, we're "stuck" with our reasonable definitions of what counts as a general education.

But maybe then you could make quite a business out of post-primary and post-secondary remedial education for individuals who want to leave mythology-based schooling and need accreditation to move into reality-based schooling at the secondary or university level.

Ok, how funny is it that the XKCD comic is right next to an Ad Council tower ad saying "THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE ONLINE SINCE EVERYONE CAN READ IT" pointing to http://cybertipline.com ?

By sultmhoor (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Conservative, mormon Republicans (think about that nexus of brain toxins) in Arizona have talked a panel into okaying a display of the Ten Commandments at a state site.

Saying the minority must be tolerant of the majority, Republicans who control the Senate Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to require that a copy of the Ten Commandments be erected in front of the old state Capitol.
     SB1213 directs the Legislative Council, the main occupant of the building, to look for donations to put up a monument, plaque or some other permanent form of the commandments. The measure now goes to the full Senate....
     Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, [mormon] who crafted the measure, said it's wrong to think of the commandments as religious. Instead he called them "10 little rules," saying if everyone honored them, "boy, what a better place this would be." [Several Democrats objected]...
     "Tolerance works two ways," responded Sen. Sylvia Allen [mormon], R-Snowflake. "People need to be tolerant of the majority's beliefs as well as the majority needs to be tolerant of the minority's beliefs. I don't know why it would be that offensive.

Source is http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/150770

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think I'm going to change my handle back. It's fine when I'm making frivolous posts, but when I'm trying to make a serious political point, the whole "Special Special Dumpling of Awesome" thing deprives my posts of a certain measure of gravitas. :-)

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

war on terrorism my ass. "people of Afghanistan" my ass. the people of Afghanistan have been worse off with every single intrusion of Western military forces into their country, and pretty much all their problems are caused by said intrusions. i know you have a hard-on for the military, but neither the UK nor the US have defensive militaries, which would be one hell of a lot cheaper than what they have.

and your sneering contempt for curiosity has been duly noted.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think I'm going to change my handle back. It's fine when I'm making frivolous posts, but when I'm trying to make a serious political point, the whole "Special Special Dumpling of Awesome" thing deprives my posts of a certain measure of gravitas. :-)

The strawmen don't help either. I can't for the live of me figure out how you got :

You seem to think we'd be better off in a world in which democratic nations had no militaries, and in which only the dictatorships and the terrorist organisations would actually have the means to use force.

from

or you know, we could all stop wasting stupendous amounts of money on wars of aggresssion and the maintenance of an overblown, aggressive military.

I mean, seriously?

Seriously, why would anyone want to fold underwear?

Not all underwears are created equal. Some need folded to fit in the drawer with all the other crap you've got shoved in there.

I think I'm going to change my handle back. It's fine when I'm making frivolous posts, but when I'm trying to make a serious political point, the whole "Special Special Dumpling of Awesome" thing deprives my posts of a certain measure of gravitas. :-)

That is so not super special awesome.

My wife works in the American school system, as a counselor, so she has to direct the testing at her school. The present system of "teaching for the tests" is a flaming mess.

And yeah, the kids have self-esteem out the wazoo, but damned little self worth. They insist that they are right almost no matter what, but when they (rarely) realize they have done something incorrectly, they collapse into a snivelling heap.

By Menyambal (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Authoritarianism in schools today: anybody remember Savana Redding? She was strip-searched by school administrators at the age of thirteen, made to pull out the front of her underwear to show them whatever she might be hiding, on the basis of word-of-mouth that she was carrying ibuprofen.

Motrin. A thirteen-year-old was made to show her genitals to school administrators looking for Motrin.

Of course this was an obvious abuse of power, resulting in the administrators' immediate termination, right? Nope. The school administration was supported by the state, and appeals continued all the way to the Supreme Court, where panty-sniffer Clarence Thomas defended the state's authority to humiliate teenagers.

That this was not handled by immediate firing is an indicator of how widespread and ingrained the authoritarian impulse in schooling.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Seriously, why would anyone want to fold underwear?

Who knows? I forgo the stuff completely and the wife just throws hers in a drawer.

TMI?

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I've been pretty much staying out of the fuss, and off of The Intersection -- though my guess is that I'd be perfectly welcome to stay. I'm sort of a weird combination of someone who is (almost) never anything other than perfectly polite and civil -- AND someone who has (almost) no problem with the invective and insults which are common on Pharyngula. The only time they bother me is when they tend to get very real-life personal, meaning that they attack something like weight, attractiveness, or whether someone lives in a trailer.That's irrelevant.

Otherwise, insults are irrelevant. Tone is irrelevant. Focus on the issue.

That is, that's my advice to myself. I'm not the goddam Personality Police. I don't care about people's social skills, and I don't need to correct their habits of argument. If I am attacked, I am not a kicked puppy: I am a heavy chair. I don't notice, I don't react. I don't defend myself. I don't care. The issue is whatever the heck we're disagreeing about -- and it's not going to be tone, because I'm not going to make it about tone. (I'm not going to make it about tone by bringing up that I'm not bringing up tone, either -- passive aggressive tactic, fools nobody.)

I think that this area is a particular sore spot with me because I have spent a fair amount of time trying to have meaningful discussions with New Agers, UU's, The Spiritual, and various fuzzy-wuzzy woo-ists of one stripe or another, and I am sick and tired of their constant attempt to throw the argument onto the turf of Who Is Being Nice, and why this isn't really about the topic, it's about someone having ego and going on the attack, and on and on. I'm supposed to mention that I disagree, but then say that I respect their position, and would never try to get them to change their minds. That way, we get real diversity. All different kinds of people, respecting people's RIGHT to BELIEVE what they WANT. Iow, a circle jerk.

They just can't separate themselves, from whatever piece of nonsense they're espousing. They don't have the goods, they don't have the evidence, they can't make their case -- so the response is to shift to the personal area. Let's talk about our feelings. Someone has been hurt. This isn't about homeopathy (or God or astrology or the Blood-Type Diet or bullshit-of-the-week) -- it's about the skeptic, and what's wrong with them.

Oh, please. Doesn't matter how pleasant and non-threatening I try to make my points; doesn't matter how much time I spend flattering and stroking egos; doesn't matter how often I talk about problems with the way the brain works and include all humanity in my critique. I can be Mr. Rogers on ludes and makes no difference.

My hostility makes it impossible for them to listen to me anymore.

Fuck. That. Shit.

Those few of you who've met me at conventions know that when I say I try to be extra sweet, that is a damn serious threat. My real personality flaw is a tendency to be cheerful, and smile a lot. It's annoying, but I can mostly hide it online. Thank goodness for the internet. I get to blend in as normal. I love spending time on the Tortuga of Science Blogs. It's like a breath of fresh air. It's a reality check. It's real.

/rant

(Incidentally, I suspect that at least some of the banned trolls complaining at The Intersection were those who consistently ignored my comments and questions, in their eagerness to strike out at the tone and incivility of some other commenter.)

I'm a veteran of the chat rooms: if I wanted a decent discussion in a hostile room, I knew enough to ignore the stupid stuff, ignore the insults, and focus on anything and/or anyone that seemed interesting. It works. You end up having an interesting discussion. So I have little sympathy with the complaints that they tried to have a polite conversation, and golly gee they just couldn't. Bullshit. You get out, what you put in. On IRC I used to be able to get content-debates with neo-nazis, and Calvinists. If they couldn't find content-debates on Pharyngula, it's because they were looking to have their prejudices confirmed.

war on terrorism my ass.

I said nothing about the "war on terrorism". I don't use that phrase, since I've seen how much it has been abused by governments over the last few years as an excuse for intrusion into civil liberties. And the whole "war on [abstract concept]" thing never seems to work out too well (the "War on Drugs" being the most obvious example).

the people of Afghanistan have been worse off with every single intrusion of Western military forces into their country, and pretty much all their problems are caused by said intrusions.

So they were better off in the days when women could not be educated, hold public office or be seen in public without their husbands, and people could be publicly beheaded for various violations of Islamic law (such as being gay, or belonging to the wrong sect of Islam)?

(Of course, this wouldn't in itself have been a justification for the invasion. Invading a country merely to remove an oppressive government is, in most circumstances, a violation of international law (article 2(4) of the UN Charter) and is not something we can feasibly do in any case; otherwise we'd have to invade a number of our allies, including Saudi Arabia. The reason for the invasion was that Afghanistan was the base camp and training centre for al-Qaeda worldwide - who, in case you didn't notice, were responsible for murdering quite a lot of people.)

Show me some evidence that the presence of coalition forces is responsible for "all Afghanistan's problems", rather than just asserting it.

and your sneering contempt for curiosity has been duly noted.

What "sneering contempt for curiosity"? Higher education is a great thing, and so is intellectual curiosity. I'm a student myself, and will be continuing with further study next year.

But there are a lot of degree courses in the UK, at third- and fourth-rate universities, which have very little intellectual value, and are basically an excuse for "students" to party and get drunk for three years. People graduate from these courses with very little extra marketable qualification or experience, and without having particularly expanded their minds. Do you seriously think that the taxpayer should be paying for them to do this for free (as opposed to the £3,000 a year they currently pay)?

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

strange gods @#192: That's absolutely horrific. And illustrates the point I was trying to make earlier in the thread.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

(Incidentally, I suspect that at least some of the banned trolls complaining at The Intersection were those who consistently ignored my comments and questions, in their eagerness to strike out at the tone and incivility of some other commenter.)

Sastra, for what it is worth, your assumption is correct.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

your ignorance about the history of Afghanistan has also been duly noted. go educate yourself, i'm not your fucking teacher.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I dont believe this, but I'm agreeing with Walton.

I hated school. I mean hated it. From day one, I never wanted to be there. I could be bored to death anywhere, so why there?

I had zero problems learning things or with education. I had noting but problems with how public schools went about it. It has to be the absolute worst, most dehumanizing way to go about it.

If it had been the learning I hated, then I wouldn't have thrived in college--it turned out to be exactly what I'd wanted from school. The biggest thing I enjoyed was not having to be on campus more than half a day or so, and not even the same classes every day. No busy work. No compulsion to attend assemblies and home room and, god forbid, pep rallies. And so forth.

If school had been like college, I might have liked it.

I mean, seriously?

Haven't you heard that the anti-war mood is a danger to peace?

(That's what the actual headline in the NYT said: "Gates Calls Europe Anti-War Mood Danger to Peace", before it went down the memory hole. Seriously.)

They insist that they are right almost no matter what, but when they (rarely) realize they have done something incorrectly, they collapse into a snivelling heap.

And thus the main reason I pride myself on admitting when I'm wrong.

Who knows? I forgo the stuff completely and the wife just throws hers in a drawer.

TMI?

Pics or it didn't happen.

relevant. the Education block fits snugly 4 or 5 times into the National Defense block. Just Sayin'

Not in the UK. In the UK, we spend less than £40bn per annum on defence. And even so, we still spend substantially more per capita than most other countries.

US military spending is exceptionally high, compared to everywhere else in the world, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the US has (for historical reasons) specific international obligations to defend, and maintain bases in, several other countries around the world, from South Korea to Palau. The US also maintains a massive amount of naval power (including several carrier battle groups, enough to take on any other combination of naval forces in the world today) in order to reinforce this international presence. Some of these international presences are now pointless and a waste of money, and will hopefully eventually be ended; for instance, there's no good reason for Britain and the US to continue maintaining bases in Germany (the Allied Rapid Reaction Force) in the post-war era.

And, of course, the Pentagon wastes tons of money on contracts for favoured politically-connected businesses, and on administration and bureaucracy generally. But this is a part of the general malaise afflicting the US federal government, and is not specific to military spending.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Also, Jadehawk: you're only looking at the federal education budget. The vast majority of education spending in the US occurs at the state and local level, and is therefore not included in the budget proposal you cited. Education spending in total in the US, at all levels of government, was estimated at over $900 billion in 2009.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Pics or it didn't happen.

I'm pretty sure no one wants to see those, unless you're talking about my wife and that ain't going to happen.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton,

You seem to think we'd be better off in a world in which democratic nations had no militaries, and in which only the dictatorships and the terrorist organisations would actually have the means to use force. I think you're wrong.

Okay Walton, I'm getting sick of your constant straw man attacks. I know you're smarter than that. Please respond to what people are actually saying.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So they were better off in the days when women could not be educated, hold public office or be seen in public without their husbands, and people could be publicly beheaded for various violations of Islamic law (such as being gay, or belonging to the wrong sect of Islam)?

While hardly ideal, most women had it better in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and before Reagan gave money to the Mujaheddin. You know, the direct fore bearers of the Taliban

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm pretty sure no one wants to see those, unless you're talking about my wife and that ain't going to happen.

I'm pretty sure you're right.

Fun to mess with people though, isn't it?

I'm so enjoying the Rev.'s unrelenting demands for links over at the Pile-Up.

that's fucking irrelevant, walton. point is, there's shittons of money being wasted on death, destruction, and the creation of terrorism that could instead be used to educate people.

I'm not saying budgets for certain things don't have to be redone and waste cut out. but there's no fucking reason for the western world not to provide a sufficiently flexible level of education for its populace. we are immensely rich countries. the money exists. the political willpower to do something doesn't.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Sastra @194

Doesn't matter how pleasant and non-threatening I try to make my points; doesn't matter how much time I spend flattering and stroking egos; doesn't matter how often I talk about problems with the way the brain works and include all humanity in my critique. I can be Mr. Rogers on ludes and makes no difference.
My hostility makes it impossible for them to listen to me anymore.
Fuck. That. Shit.

Excellent rant, Sastra. Thank the FSM for Pharyngula, eh? I live in the mormon corridor, so every social or public interaction I have requires self-censoring. Without Pharyngula I would be ... depressed. And I would harbor a narrower mind without even realizing that I was doing so.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Feynmaniac @#206: Jadehawk and I have discussed defence policy before, so that particular post wasn't just based on what she has said on this thread.

Nevertheless, Jadehawk: I apologise if I misrepresented your opinion. It was not intentional.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

that's fucking irrelevant, walton. point is, there's shittons of money being wasted on death, destruction, and the creation of terrorism that could instead be used to educate people.

Let's break this down a bit into specifics, rather than generalising.

Leaving Afghanistan aside for a minute:

*Do you think the US should renege on its treaty obligations to defend countries such as Palau and Nauru? Do you think it should withdraw from defending South Korea?

*Do you think the US should decommission its nuclear deterrent? What message do you think this would send to Iran and the DPRK?

I'm curious as to which specific parts of the US military you would downsize, or what you think it shouldn't be doing.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Ol'Greg, what was your old moniker?

Blueelm.

I didn't post that much. I probably said some stupid things too. I wasn't very articulate some times. I lurked here forever with that name and it's my handle in lots of places. I think I started using that name for myself when I was like 8. As a result when we went to the registered comments I screwed myself out of my name because I had registered it in prettymuch all of those places only I really have no clue with what email addresses or passwords. So I just figured I'd start fresh.

I'm so enjoying the Rev.'s unrelenting demands for links over at the Pile-Up.

I find it shocking, SHOCKING, that Philip Jr. has been subjected to such offense that it has rendered him wholly unable to copy and paste the URL to the comments of offense into that thread. I know it makes him have to relive the terrible letters placed in a way to form words and phrases that caused the obvious injury to his psyche, but damn it, I want to get to the bottom of this horrible internet wrong done to him and Petra and all sensitive readers of blogs everywhere.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

If school had been like college, I might have liked it.

For me, it was... that was one of the primary goals of the Latin School I attended... to make it as much a prep for college as possible (without the social constructs, which are of course nearly impossible to reproduce on the high-school level outside of boarding schools).

For me high school was challenging, but I never really hated it.

But again, things were a bit different at my high school than your typical American public school.

By Celtic_Evolution (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Mr. Rogers on ludes

This image is going to be with me all day, and hopefully tomorrow. I adore you, Sastra. :)

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Sastra -

I love spending time on the Tortuga of Science Blogs.

Wonderful! I just renamed my Pharyngula bookmark to "Tortuga of Science Blogs".

By Celtic_Evolution (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

strange gods, you haven't said whether you like my new handle. :-)

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I loved school because I was the coolest, nicest, handsomest guy there.

At least that's what my mom told me.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Pardon my entrance, but I always thought blueelm was a girl.

By Apolipoprotein E (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

It's cute, Walton. But I'm a bitter hatemonger; I don't 'like' things. ;)

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I love spending time on the Tortuga of Science Blogs.

But I don't wanna be a pirate!

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

nuclear deterrent

*groan*

and don't even fucking talk about "messages to Iran". the only messages the US is currently sending is that the only countries the US doesn't invade just for the fuck of it are those with nuclear weapons.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton,

Show me some evidence that the presence of coalition forces is responsible for "all Afghanistan's problems", rather than just asserting it.

This is what I'm talking about. First of all it's bad manners to put into quotations something no one wrote. This is especially ironic since you complained in that very same post of not using the term 'war on terror'. Secondly, even if the West wasn't responsible for all or even most of Afghanistan's problems WE are still responsible for the actions WE took that caused problems there.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Pardon my entrance, but I always thought blueelm was a girl.

She is a woman.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm Jonesing for Mollies.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

nuclear deterrent

Since when have nukes been a deterrent? And why do we need to capability to destroy the world a hundred times over? Or even once?

SC, I'm watching the video from your blog now to which you linked at #216.

It's awful. And I have never sought to downplay the fact that conditions for most women in Afghanistan continue to be terrible.

But I don't see how there would be any possibility of making the situation better, if we withdrew coalition troops from Afghanistan and left the warlords to run and ruin the country. Surely it would only get worse?

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Pardon my entrance, but I always thought blueelm was a girl.

She was.

I am.

We are.

So was I wrong to assume that Greg is Ol'Greg's real name and also wrong to assume that Greg is generally a male-gendered name?

By Apolipoprotein E (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Feynmaniac: It was an inadvertent paraphrase of

the people of Afghanistan have been worse off with every single intrusion of Western military forces into their country, and pretty much all their problems are caused by said intrusions.

But yes, I made a mistake. I'm very tired (and should be working), and I apologise.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So was I wrong to assume that Greg is Ol'Greg's real name and also wrong to assume that Greg is generally a male-gendered name?

And my name ain't nigel, either. You just can't trust those folks at Pharyngula. They go around pretendin' to be named something they ain't. Not like honest folk!

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

and have you bothered to actually go to their Website, Walton? there the women of Afghanistan tell you that they don't want your help and your guns. does their opinion in this matter count, or do you know better than they do?

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So was I wrong to assume that Greg is Ol'Greg's real name and also wrong to assume that Greg is generally a male-gendered name.

Well it's not like some kind of ethics breach, but you were mistaken :D Greg is not my real name. Greg is generally a male name.

I adapted my name from the Old Greg episode of Mighty Boosh. You are free to psychoanalyze why I want to identify myself with a neurotic intersex fish-human though.

I adapted my name from the Old Greg episode of Mighty Boosh. You are free to psychoanalyze why I want to identify myself with a neurotic intersex fish-human though.

better than those damn furries

/looks around nervously for Naked Bunny with a whip

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

better than those damn furries

/looks around nervously for Naked Bunny with a whip

Hey now, let's not be generalizing a subculture, here.

Some of these international presences are now pointless and a waste of money, and will hopefully eventually be ended

Oh, Walton, Walton--the need never goes away. If it did, the US would have dismantled most of its military after the Soviet Union fell. They didn't. They can't

The US made the brain dead decision in the 40s and 50s to let a big leg of its economy rely on building armaments and other materials for war.

The defense industry is like any other: It needs revenue streams to stay afloat;however, they usually have a very limited number of customers. This is a problem. You don't get continued revenue from a customer buying, say, 12 tanks that they use for 20 years. You have to find a way to get them to buy those 12 tanks every 5 years.

That is a disaster waiting to happen, but America has only itself to blame that they've let one industry, a despicable industry, become so ingrained in our culture that it can take down the entire nation's economy, and the world's, if it collapses.

What Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex in his Iron Cross speech has unfortunately come true. We have sacrificed the future of our nation, and maybe the entire world, on an iron cross of death.

Walton #233

I was wondering why I couldn't find that phrase. I'm glad to see you're honest enough to admit the error though. Apologies if I sounded harsh. I'm in a bad mood and should probably get off the internet right now.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm in a bad mood and should probably get off the internet right now.

Funny... I find when I'm in a bad mood the first thing I want to do is come here... is that a bad thing?

By Celtic_Evolution (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Hey now, let's not be generalizing a subculture, here.

You know that's a reference to the well-liked commenter,* right?

*with whom I've sometimes disagreed, of course. :)

And no, I'm not saying the defense industry causes war--they don't. But what they do is provide ever more sophisticated weaponry to bring in revenue, because they know paranoid freaks can't get enough guns and goodies to kill more people more effectively.

Wait a moment.

Walton said:

Do you think the US should renege on its treaty obligations to defend countries such as Palau and Nauru? Do you think it should withdraw from defending South Korea?

I'll give you South Korea - only just. (It's not as if North Korea enjoys carte blanche support from any other superpower anymore, as they did in the Cold War days, and the 25,000 or so U.S. military personnel in South Korea are little more than a potential [and currently expensive] tripwire meant to assure American support for intervention in a Korean conflict.) But defend Palau and Nauru? From whom?

And my name ain't nigel, either. You just can't trust those folks at Pharyngula. They go around pretendin' to be named something they ain't. Not like honest folk!

Hey, you can trust some of us. True fact: I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

You know that's a reference to the well-liked commenter,* right?

*with whom I've sometimes disagreed, of course. :)

I haven't been here that long, so I guess not. :P

Lynna, OM #211

I live in the mormon corridor, so every social or public interaction I have requires self-censoring.

I can imagine. But I think that, with Mormons, it's a slightly different kind of self-censoring that's needed. The Mormons are right, and everyone else is wrong: they don't want to hear wrong things, from people who are wrong.

With the touchy-feely crowd of self-styled ecumenicists, the taboo is against saying, thinking, or implying that other people are wrong. Everyone has the RIGHT to their OPINION. We celebrate and cherish our differences, and this means we don't get into the right-wrong distinction at all. That's being a bigot. It's wrong. And they don't want to hear wrong things, from people who are wrong.

I approach making an argument against this, as a challenge. It's less depressing that way.

@ Walton, Special Special Dumpling of Awesome:

I've always known that.... :)

As for Ol'Greg, I think she's female: I noted that in one of the threads where she referred to 'back when she was a little girl,' or something of that nature.

Now -- is raven a guy? I think so, and vaguely remember him saying so once, but someone on the Amarillo thread said no, and when raven came on s/he didn't say, and I didn't want to derail the thread/ put him/her on the spot, with asking. Just curious.

Wow, Sacramento now has its own Fake Shroud Exhibit! That's right, we have a simulated shroud!

My favorite part is the statue. Does it look to anyone else like Jesus got knocked in the nuts during a game of pick-up basketball? If we got close, we could see the wince and the crossed-eyes?

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/01/2572117/sacramento-parish-gets-100000…

By https://me.yah… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

lol, J.J. Ramsey was kind enough to search for the source of a couple of the list of obscene quote-mines they've been tossing around on the Intersection.

"razor-bladed stick and go die in a ditch", by Ward S. Denker to Knockgoats. I wonder just how many of those examples are from resident trolls. Would be priceless of any of the quotes are from Pilty or bilbo, but I lack the interest to try to search-fu (potentially) badly mangled comment quotes.

Ol'Greg said:

You are free to psychoanalyze why I want to identify myself with a neurotic intersex fish-human though.

What? And run the risk of offending someone over at The Intersection of the Morally Wounded? Perish the thought!

I am being nominated for the Idaho Media Award (one of many Take Pride in Idaho awards).

Idahoans throughout the state are recognized for their efforts to promote, preserve or restore Idaho’s tourism and recreation resources through the “Take Pride in Idaho Awards”. ... The Idaho Media Award – recognizes the works of an Idaho newspaper, magazine, radio, television station or freelance writer to promote Idaho’s tourism and recreation opportunities.

If you've read any of my work and would like to add to the kudos that my publisher is gathering up for the award submission, you can email your comments to me at lynna[dot]howard[at]mac[dot]com. My publisher has to turn in the completed nomination by April 9th.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

*eyeroll* Good grief, you people. Mooney is just trolling for traffic. Don't fall for it.

Paul, I pointed out that Knockgoats dismissed the insult. I so want someone to argue that those mean words are still oh so harmful, even when the recipient just shrugs it off.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I am being nominated for the Idaho Media Award (one of many Take Pride in Idaho awards).

Congratulations! That is most excellent news.

I've not read any of your stuff -- how might I find it?

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I haven't been here that long, so I guess not. :P

Naked Bunny with a Whip is a commenter, furry, and Molly nominee.

by Ward S. Denker

Thanks for the flashback, cockwad. :P

But I don't see how there would be any possibility of making the situation better, if we withdrew coalition troops from Afghanistan and left the warlords to run and ruin the country. Surely it would only get worse? - Walton, SSDoM

That's naive Walton: "we" (i.e., those keeping the foreign troops in Afghanistan) have done fuck-all to prevent the warlords running and ruining the country; the "Afghan government" is a coterie of feuding warlords, and Karzai has just "won" an election by wholesale cheating - and he couldn't even do that effectively. The Taliban's biggest source of income after heroin is protection money paid by the Americans so they can get supplies in across the mountains. The war is unwinnable without pouring in so many troops that conscription would be required - and that's not going to happen. At present Obama is still trying to get enough leverage by fighting to negotiate a withdrawal without an immediate collapse of the Kabul regime. I'll be surprised if he succeeds - the Taliban can see all this as well as I can.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

FWIW it really doesn't matter that much whether people identify me as male or female in their minds when talking to me. If you were looking at me you wouldn't have much choice.

*eyeroll* Good grief, you people. MooneyKirshenbaum is just trolling for traffic. Don't fall for it.

As little as I think of the Wonder Twins, we should at least properly acknowledge which one is behind any particular screed. Guess she didn't have a good kissing picture, so she decided to take a page from Mooney's playbook. I can only assume the much greater traffic flow means she's more likely to do more of it later.

My memory is that raven is a she and works in the medical field. Could be wrong. Hard to keep up with traffic through here.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

"razor-bladed stick and go die in a ditch", by Ward S. Denker to Knockgoats. - Paul

:D
Of course it wasn't that I objected to from What-a-stinker, but his glibertarian callousness and idiocy.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Hey now, let's not be generalizing a subculture, here.

Heh. I wasn't, but that's been explained above.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Knockgoats: Well, what would you suggest? How would you make conditions better for the women of Afghanistan? I'm not being snarky, I'm asking an honest question.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

And my name ain't nigel, either. You just can't trust those folks at Pharyngula. They go around pretendin' to be named something they ain't. Not like honest folk!

The internet is like the Electric Company's theme song of Spider-Man - Nobody knows who you aaaaarreee...

I think there have been some sociological studies done on how people interpret the gender of people on the internet based on usernames and then how they're treated. Somewhere.

Thanks for the flashback, cockwad. :P

My first colorful insult! Thank you! The worst I've been called before is, I think it was "stupid", by Knockgoats. This is far better!

I've dealt with the guy on multiple blogs. I'd seen him sane before seeing him on Pharyngula, but couldn't stand the tripe he posted here.

Douglas Todd has shown up on the "problem with science journalism" thread.

Walton, congratulations on your new name! ^_^

and finally learning what it's like to be an adult (at 22)

"Finally"? I still haven't quite figured it out :^)

*I don't think these should be seen as distinct - I like "impassioned reason."

:)

=8-)

Challenging teachers even on factual points tends to be strongly discouraged.

This depends on the teacher (as I found out the hard way, heheh).

I'm not arguing for making higher education free for everyone; this is not financially feasible and is also bad public policy, for a number of reasons

Wrong and wrong, respectively. Where I come from, studying at a university is a right provided you have finished the equivalent of GCS A-level; so far the budget hasn't collapsed.

anyone who puts their underwear on a hanger and/or organizes their sock drawer by colour should probably be kept away from designing curricula, as a general policy

I've never heard of organizing one's sock drawer by colour, but it sounds like a pretty practical idea. I'm just way too lazy to do it.

The concept of putting underwear on a hanger, however, is simply beyond me.

Scientists make tiny new magnets from old bugs

A commercial application for something as obscure as iron-III-breathing bacteria!!! That should become a textbook example for why basic research should be amply funded.

I haz a blog nao ^_^'

:-) :-) :-)

Not another blog I need to read every day! I'm already neglecting the linguablogosphere so I can keep up with the Endless Thread (and still can't keep up with the rest of Pharyngula)! If I can't submit my thesis in time, I'll strangle you at the dig, with my own bare hands (…or maybe cheetah-style if I got over it in the meantime).

Looks like you write a lot. That's how I like it. Maybe I should get rid of that habit of sleeping…

Also, unbridled envy. On two blogs, several people have asked me to start a blog, which would be insane to do before (at least) my thesis is finished. I'll try hard to pick on the fact that you chose Blogspot, which is too stupid to allow the <blockquote> tag.

bullfuck.

:-D

especially in a society where manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of automation, no society can afford to NOT sponsor a college-educated populace and instead carry around the dead weight of a largely undereducated, unemployable workforce.

Internet won, I should go home, but I haven't finished reading the thread yet…

what about not owning any?

I've read of such people, but… wouldn't that be uncomfortable? For those of the male persuasion at least? For others, risks like wet flatulence still argue for wearing some, even if it's borrowed rather than owned…

On the other hand, though, much of mainstream women's underwear looks seriously uncomfortable to me. On the third hand, even my sisters seem not to notice… ~:-|

We simply can't afford to subsidise an ever-growing number of students, especially those whose degrees are not going to translate into higher earnings or a stronger economy.

Be careful about that "not going to" part. Remember the rust-breathing bacteria?

We all know this. We all know the exhilarating freedom we felt when we first left home, out from under the watchful eye of our parents. Alone, unwatched, we could finally be ourselves, or even be new selves.

…tsss…

Neurotypicals. <headshake>

They start drilling in kindergarten for standardized tests!

<headdesk>

No Child's Behind Left.

TSIB.

I […] believe it to be legal under international law

As far as I understand it, it's only legal because the Taliban-controlled area wasn't really a country (and didn't even pretend to be – it pretended to be the caliphate, the direct rule of a successor of the Prophet over the faithful, not something tied to a territory). But you're the one here who has learnt international law. Can you enlighten me a bit?

Of course this was an obvious abuse of power, resulting in the administrators' immediate termination, right? Nope. The school administration was supported by the state, and appeals continued all the way to the Supreme Court, where panty-sniffer Clarence Thomas defended the state's authority to humiliate teenagers.

I'm out of words. I'm just out of words.

relevant. the Education block fits snugly 4 or 5 times into the National Defense block. Just Sayin'

About 7 times (measured with fingers on screen), though then there's comment 204.

Do you think the US should renege on its treaty obligations to defend countries such as Palau and Nauru?

Defend against whom?

Against the Soviet Union of course.

The NATO should have been dissolved in 1991, too. Its raisin date raison d'être had ceased to exist after all.

And my name ain't nigel, either.

But is it Nigel? :-)

I didn't want to derail the thread/ put him/her on the spot, with asking.

When asked, raven completely ignores it – even when he/she/it/squid is present in that thread at that time.

The Taliban's biggest source of income after heroin is protection money paid by the Americans so they can get supplies in across the mountains.

Doesn't surprise me, but I'd still like to see a source.

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Knockgoats: Well, what would you suggest? How would you make conditions better for the women of Afghanistan? I'm not being snarky, I'm asking an honest question.

1)stop making it worse.
2)ask them, not another European white male

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

strange gods: Authoritarianism in schools today:

Have you seen this?
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/02/remotely_spying.html

A Pennsylvania school was using school-issued laptops to spy on families in their homes. They had no shame about it -- they tried to accuse a student of popping pills from a photo they took of him while using the laptop AT HOME. The FBI is currently investigating.

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

*eyeroll* Good grief, you people. Mooney[/Kirshenbaum] is just trolling for traffic. Don't fall for it.

Hmm. I'll usually try to avoid linking but sometimes do. But really, I'm confident that in the long run the trolling for traffic based on such drivel will bite them in the ass, so I'll respond to their idiocy in the short run when I think it necessary. I may well be wrong. But reputations are more enduring than individual posts, and I'm hoping people have (or the internet has) a decent memory.

It's also just difficult to avoid responding to false changes.

@254

Congratulations! That is most excellent news.
I've not read any of your stuff -- how might I find it?

I posted some bits and pieces at http://www.artmeetsadventure.com. If you need more, let me know. I can send out sample PDFs of book chapters, etc.

I know that Mr. Fire and Katrina have at least one of my books. I'll have to check my records to see if I have other fans on Pharyngula.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Screw you guys, I'm going home!!! It's 10:40 pm over here, and I'm still sitting in the lab because I refreshed 2 or 3 times while writing comment 265!!!

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Naked Bunny with a Whip is a commenter, furry, and Molly nominee.

I see. Thanks for the info.

2)ask them, not another European white male

Stupid White Men.

No, actually, the message is in Bowling for Columbine, presented by… Marilyn Manson, who looks completely gaga but is pretty much the only sane person in the entire movie.

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@ Lynna

Busted. I have it. I've looked through it (it's breathtakingly gorgeous!) But I haven't read it.

I actually put it away and out of sight, so I wouldn't forget and have it out when my mom gets here. Guess I'll have to get it out and actually read it. ^.^

bobber: I'll give you South Korea - only just

Why? Yes -- N. Korea is a horrible, militaristic monstrosity. But why should the US on the other side of the world be the defenders? The only logical reason is to keep their economy going as part of ours -- aka, imperialism (not implying motives other than keeping trading partners in our sphere).

If someone has an interest in keeping the N. Koreans from going off half-cocked it's China and Japan. Shouldn't they be the ones calling the shots?

I guess it all comes down to whether you see world hegemony in the interest of Americans as opposed to America (a gloss for powerful interests in the country). I think the historical record shows that hegemony is rarely in the interest of most of the citizens of the hegemon.

The arguable question is whether a non-hegemonic but peaceful system is practical.

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

With the touchy-feely crowd of self-styled ecumenicists, the taboo is against saying, thinking, or implying that other people are wrong.

Good point, Sastra. I run into that kind of self-censorship only in writing workshops, and then it's much less than the norm. We've got a diverse membership in Great Rift Writers, with mormons (born in the covenant, even), evangelicals, atheists and agnostics ... oh, yeah, and one real, live scientist. :-)

I tried joining another local writing group, but when they praised one woman for using the phrase "pools of desire" (and not ironically either, I might add!) in her nonfiction love story, I just couldn't take it. I bit my inner cheek to keep myself from laughing. I decided it would be physically detrimental for me to join that group. And they gave each other undeserved awards for cliché-ridden poetry. And they hugged a lot, and they gushed a lot. I felt like a shark in chummy waters.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

You've got to be kidding me.

I think the Colgate Twins are blocking my comments now.

I'll give it a little bit to see if it comes through but...

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So, one of Philip Jr.’s nastiest examples (”You can f*** yourself with a razor-bladed stick and go die in a ditch, you pompous, lying, gutless, disingenuous f***”) is completely real, at least, and came about due to nothing more than a spat over the accuracy of American history.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/its_yet_another_atheist_bus_…

And, from the looks of PZ’s log, the author isn’t banned…although PZ all but told us yesterday that he has no problem with such tripe as long as it doesn’t happen a lot (seriously)?

I really want them to use Wa...nker and those threads as an example. I so do, for so many reasons.

Not another blog I need to read every day!

don't worry, i'm not likely to turn THAT prolific.

If I can't submit my thesis in time, I'll strangle you at the dig, with my own bare hands

sounds kinky. was that meant as motivation or a deterrent?

I'll try hard to pick on the fact that you chose Blogspot, which is too stupid to allow the blockquote tag.

as I explained, i already had that spot for a while, unused. I set it up to help someone else with their blogspot. I don't even know what the best place for a blog is, since it never occurred to me to start one, until now.

should there ever be any need for a proper commenting system (like, you know, people commenting), I might move it to a new and better location. For now, it's just a dumping-ground for the thoughts that distract me from reading :-p

I've read of such people, but… wouldn't that be uncomfortable?

nope. for guys it might, but I'm not one.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

nope, they must have just had a hiccup

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

"Must have been all those good drugs in the 60s."

There were bad drugs in the 60s????

By Givesgoodemail (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

frog, I heard about that. Depressing, isn't it.

I didn't bring it up because I'm not sure of the details of the case yet. By my understanding, this may not have actually been planned by the school administration. A remote-activated camera can be a theft-response device that one may deliberately choose for one's own laptop. The administration claims this is the only reason the cameras were chosen, and that is perhaps a plausible explanation. If so, though, it was inevitable that eventually some asshole vice principle would begin spying on certain students.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

As far as I understand it, it's only legal because the Taliban-controlled area wasn't really a country (and didn't even pretend to be – it pretended to be the caliphate, the direct rule of a successor of the Prophet over the faithful, not something tied to a territory). But you're the one here who has learnt international law. Can you enlighten me a bit?

No, that's not correct.

By way of a brief background, there are two ways that international law gets made. One is by international treaty; there are thousands and thousands of international treaties in force, but the most important and authoritative is the United Nations Charter, to which virtually all states (excluding unrecognised states) are now signatories. The other is "customary international law"; this is, essentially, based on the practice of what states actually do. (This is a very simplified explanation, but I don't want to fill up the thread with legal details.)

The default position in international law, under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, is that the use of force against another state's "territorial integrity or political independence" is illegal. This applies regardless of whether that state has an effective or recognised government. Afghanistan was undoubtedly a state in 2001, and the invasion therefore constituted a use of force.

However, there are two main exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force. Firstly, Article 51 of the Charter allows states to exercise the "inherent right of self-defence" in response to an "armed attack". Self-defence can be collective rather than individual, meaning that states can band together to defend themselves against a threat. Unfortunately, it isn't very well-defined; there are quite a few instances of states interpreting the concept of "self-defence" very widely. For instance, India sent troops into East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1971, when East Pakistan was fighting for liberation from West Pakistan, ostensibly as a form of "self-defence" in response to the flow of refugees across the Indian border. After 9/11, the US and its allies claimed that the right of self-defence extended to defending oneself against terrorist attacks by organisations based in the territory of another state, where that other state is harbouring and assisting the terrorists. This view seems to have been accepted by the international community, suggesting that it may be an accurate statement of customary international law.

The other exception to the prohibition on the use of force applies when the UN Security Council issues a binding resolution authorising the use of military force. There was no such resolution in the case of the original invasion of Afghanistan, but after the invasion had taken place, SC Resolution 1378 provided for the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), therefore giving its backing to the continued military presence.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I really want them to use Wa...nker and those threads as an example. I so do, for so many reasons.

Seriously it exposes what a bunch of pearl clutching I'M SO MAD AT PZ AND I'M GOING TO THROW A HISSYFIT wet noodles they are.

Seriously. If they took even 5 mins to read the rest of that thread, hilarious.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

strange gods,

is that the sanskrit (OM) that's next to your name ?

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@SC OM #53

People with delicate sensibilities about profanity or strongly-worded criticisms of individuals should realize that their squeamishness helps to promote a situation of enforced deference to the powerful and insensitivity to authoritarianism.

This was very well said.

In my personal view, and in the view of other, more scholarly researchers such as Marvin Minsky of MIT, emotions play a key role in intelligence. I can only guess at how "polite society" arrived at the conclusion that profanity -- and even ill manners -- are somehow indicative of lower intelligence and poor breeding. This conclusion certainly isn't supported by science, and I agree with SC OM that it probably has more to do with a traditional, cultural deference to authority, particularly religious authority. In other words, during our more tribal stage, if you started dropping the F-Bomb you often found a spear sticking out of your back... perhaps more than one.

A even more controversial view would assert that the historical development of polite, long-winded, pedantic, explanatory prose in both writing and conversation was a reaction to the inherent problems with simply stating one's opinion with straightforward, profanity-laced statements. Abrupt, clearly stated opinions such as "That's fucking ridiculous" were likely suppressed and discouraged by those in power (even today), and therefore a new means of expression "evolved" that was more circuitous, and hence less comprehensible to possible oppressors. The educated elite therefore adopted this style of discourse, to avoid the gallows or the chopping block. As long as "rebellious" scientists and philosophers could communicate with each other, and stay in the good graces of those who provided funding and protection, then there was no need for more concise, more emotional, and more forthright language.

So to hell with all of that shit. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. You brainy mother fuckers.

By SaintStephen (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@Lynna,

Wow! Your brother is an excellent photographer.

I haven't had time yet to read your bits and pieces yet -- I'm still at work, just about to head home. But it's bookmarked.

Thank you for the link (which has a trailing dot after the .com, but that's easy to remove -- just a heads-up for anyone clicking the above link).

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

You got it, negentropyeater.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

If someone has an interest in keeping the N. Koreans from going off half-cocked it's China and Japan. Shouldn't they be the ones calling the shots?

I suppose the South Koreans might have an interest in that question. But really, how many of our defense agreements have more to do with projecting U.S. military power across the globe, as opposed to altruistic defense of democratic nations (which South Korea hardly qualified as)?

Again, I'm of the opinion that the American token force in the Korean peninsula is just that - a token force - but it also provides the American military with a land-, sea-, and air-base that's just a cardboard North Korean military away from China's northeast.

Just like so many of the trolls around here, it's all about the projection.

And my name ain't nigel, either. You just can't trust those folks at Pharyngula. They go around pretendin' to be named something they ain't. Not like honest folk!

Not me! I am in fact the Killer Of Peaceful Dreams, and the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything. No pretendin' goin on here.

SC @277: This makes me LOL so very much. What fun. So I went back and read a bit of the exchange, and Knockgoats was knocking wanker's half-assed arguments out of the park every time. Knockgoats made some great points, was thoroughly grounded in history, and showed considerable restraint, while the almost-a-troll Denker/Wanker/Dude was the one spouting the worst sexual-assault fantasies. Priceless!

But let us not use any of our powers of intellect in judging these outpourings, let us instead tar with a brush loaded with myopic stupidity all of Pharyngula's commenters ... especially the OMs. Fucking priceless.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@Lynna

Your site is really cool! You make me want to travel.

Ah, David M., thank you so much for picking up on the iron-breath bacteria. I thought maybe I had posted yet another tidbit which tickled me, but was of no interest to anyone else.

Alan B., in his geologist hat, might be interested.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bobber: I suppose the South Koreans might have an interest in that question. But really, how many of our defense agreements have more to do with projecting U.S. military power across the globe, as opposed to altruistic defense of democratic nations (which South Korea hardly qualified as)?

Who's projectin' now? I'd say there is no such thing as an "altruistic" state -- altruism is a personal quality and not a state quality. So the only question then is whether the state is working in the interests of a broad spectrum of it's population, or merely a tiny elite.

Therefore, the question for the US is whether the interests of the population at large are enhanced by projecting power across the globe. Historically, such projection never helps the citizenry. British people weren't better off with the British empire, etc.

Now, it was fair of me to assume that the interests of S. Koreans was a given, and unnecessary to discuss. The question is local projection of power -- neighbors do have an interest in keeping the neighborhood from going to hell.

So, what does a token force in N. Korea do? Why isn't there a token force of S. Koreans in Texas, say? It's clearly a message -- and I'm questioning the value of that message.

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Speaking of names, I can't seem to get the '42' to go away. I go to my profile and change the display name and save, and when I come back here the '42' is back.

Your site is really cool! You make me want to travel.

Mission accomplished. :-) You can come visit me.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I just posted a link to a choice comment by the Hoax over at the Intersection with a comment that PZ thought him worthy of banning, but they apparently accept him as a valued peer. Can't wait to see if they bite.

oh it's just getting better over there

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

nigel @286

Wow! Your brother is an excellent photographer

Yes, my brother is an artist with the camera. We make a good team.

Thanks for the heads up about the link. I guess I need an editor. We'll try again: http://www.artmeetsadventure.com

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Now they don't understand subject/object. I can haz basic grammar?

I checked out the pile-up. What a cluster-f***.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Posted by: KOPD | March 3, 2010 5:22 PM

Speaking of names, I can't seem to get the '42' to go away. I go to my profile and change the display name and save, and when I come back here the '42' is back.

I think you just succeeded.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Knockgoats: Well, what would you suggest? How would you make conditions better for the women of Afghanistan? I'm not being snarky, I'm asking an honest question. - Walton, SSDoA

What "we" can do is limited. Much of Afghan culture is highly misogynistic (although with variations, e.g. IIRC Hazara culture is much less so), and there is nothing "we" can do about that directly. In the short term, withdraw foreign forces. This will not guarantee that the war ends, but we can be sure it won't as long as those forces are there. Second, channel direct aid to Afghan women's organisations; so far as I can tell, RAWA is the most effective of these. Third
legalise drugs. The illegal drug trade is a major source of power for both warlords and Taliban; legalisation would lead to a fall in prices, but Afghanistan's natural advantages would mean the legal trade remained a good source of income. (Of course, it can be argued that this isn't going to happen either, despite the immense reduction in both human suffering and the financial costs of addiction that would result.) Other measures would depend on what happens internally: aid in reconstruction should be given if a government outsiders can work with results.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Holy shit. Now they are objecting to this comment from MAJeff who was responding to some misogynistic asshole.

Peter

Fuck you Michelle R., you stupid fucking bitch.

aaaand, Peter's misogynist ass needs to die.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think you just succeeded.

The weird thing is, it still says "Thanks for signing in, KOPD42. (sign out)". Oh well. I think it just did that to make me look silly. If I had said "I'm finally taking the numerals off my nick" then it would have stayed. I'm sure of it.

Lol! I think they're just typing fuck or die into the search box and quoting anything that comes up!

Wonder if they'll start quoting Mabus as evidence that PZ endorses murder (his own most vehemently)! Oh no, they won't. Mabus actually get's blocked from here.

Yes, my brother is an artist with the camera.

So is Rev BDC, by the way.

Well I have a comment responding to the Family Guy one but of course it is held up in moderation.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So is Rev BDC, by the way.

Thanks! but Lynna's brother blows me away.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

More sayings from our evil hideout that make Philip Jr. cry:

  • "Take a greased pole and fuck yourself." (link)
  • "Fuck yourself with a sharp stick" (link)
  • "find a splintering stick and fuck yourself up the ass" (link)
  • "go fuck yourself. And then die in a fire" (link)
  • "Go. Fuck. Yourself. With a Hefty Bag full of rottweilers" (link)
  • "Go fuck yourself with a chainsaw in that festering pustule of an asshole of yours" (link)
  • "Fuck yourself Charles- IN THE ASS" (link)
  • "You can fuck yourself with a razor-bladed stick and go die in a ditch, you pompous, lying, gutless, disingenuous fuck" (link)
  • "Take your gun, lube the barrel and fuck your self in the ass." (link)
  • "you should be fucked sideways with a rusty knife" (link)*
  • "Do us all a favor and kill yourself before you have a chance to have children" (link)*
  • "you can go fuck yourself. Do it deep, long and hard." (link)
  • "Go die in a fucking fire. The world will be a better place without you in it." (link)
  • "I will, however, say that this fuck up here is a complete asshole and needs to die in a fire" (link)
  • "Go and die painfully, okay?" (link)*
  • And just for kicks: "Go fuck yourself sideways with a rusting chainsaw, you vapid, godbotting wank" (link)
  • And more kicks:"fuck yourself up the ass with a splintering cross" (link)

*Similar but not exact phrasing.

I can't find eight of them from his shitlist, however.

By aratina cage o… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Chimpy, I did point that out. But it is funny how some of the people can read something and get the opposite meaning. I think I am more saddened than anything else.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Go. Fuck. Yourself. With a Hefty Bag full of rottweilers

thankfully i wasn't drinking anything when I read that.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Much of Afghan culture is highly misogynistic (although with variations, e.g. IIRC Hazara culture is much less so), and there is nothing "we" can do about that directly.

That's a bit defeatist. I don't think we should simply accept, in a relativist fashion, that Afghan culture has different values, or that we should therefore stand by and let Afghan women be oppressed. Rather, I think we should do whatever is in our power to protect Afghan women from oppression; I don't see why we should wait for the oppressors to change their attitudes.

I don't see how it's different from the US federal government using force to free the slaves in the Deep South in the nineteenth century, or to end racial segregation in the 1960s. The culture of the Southern states at that time was deeply racist, just as Afghan culture today is deeply misogynistic; but the Northern states did not wait for attitudes in the Southern states to change. They used force to guarantee the rights of African-Americans in the South, and they were right to do so. Afghanistan may be a bit further away than Alabama, but I don't see that there's a difference in principle.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink
Yes, my brother is an artist with the camera.

So is Rev BDC, by the way.

Too true. I have oft perused the Rev's site.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

OK. I'll pause briefly at #3, with profound thanks to arat. That was from Sooty, the lunatic or troll who was physically threatening me (based on, well, evidently insanity).

Oh, so typical of this blog - not.

Ok so I looked at all of those. And sure there is some insulting going on at and from regulars, so I guess if someone were so fragile that getting the finger in drive time traffic would send them into a week long fit of fetal position rocking and thumbsucking was reading them that they might be offended.

On the other hand, people do talk like this in the real world so I hope these people don't have to drive anywhere anytime soon.

Pretty much all of those are in response to some equally annoying insult or stupidity displayed.

And all of them are a good example of those idiots at the intersection searching for bad words or phrases and ignoring the context.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm not saddened. This is too stupid to be anything more than entertaining. As much as I love reading the comments on this blog, it is a BLOG, not the forum in which science is substantially evaluated. That's the peer reviewed stuff that Nerd is always spouting off about, and there you don't get to say "die in a fire" or "f*** yourself with a [insert implement].

I learn a lot here, for sure. That's why I keep reading. And I imagine that I would like a good many of you if I knew you in real life. However, if all of the science blogs in the world utterly failed because of vitriol, outrage, meanness, insults, obsenity, puerility, etc. SCIENCE would still work. If someone's most difficult problem is being told to s*** c*** by a stranger on a blog/forum, they have it really soft, and should be grateful for the insult.

What a bunch of babies, bitching and moaning about their hurt feelings.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Well, apparently the Piltdown Man posting at that thread claims not to be our Piltdown Man:

For the record, Knockgoats, if you’re trying to tie me to another “Piltdown Man” that you don’t like (the only plausible assumption for the wild accusations you just hurled at me and/or tried to pin on me), it’s not me. This is my first time posting here, and I’ve never posted on Pharyngula.

It wasn't exactly a wild assumption considering all the Dungeon members they got over there.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Awesome. "Go and die painfully, okay?" is someone saying a Godbot left that message on their Youtube channel. Amazing how context is anathema to the Intersection crowd. They just search for bad words and crow about how those that post them are evil nasty naughty people.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I would also point out that much more damaging things have been written about me (not my Seleucid persona) on a "science blog" than the crap that these guys are talking about, without anyone ever asking me to f*** myself with anything. These things were not regarding a matter of professional opinion, but were personal with my real name used and everything.

Luckily, I vanquished them. Still, I haven't encountered any rudeness here that made me even frown.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

You know, I found it impossible to read aratina cage's list at #309 without laughing.

Presumably, a lot of people find that it gets more and more awful and distressing, the more and more they read, and it's always fuck this, and fuck that, and poles and fires and who-knows-what, and won't someone think of the children!

I just think it gets funnier. Maybe I'm jaded. Or twisted. But ... oh, come on. It's clearly hyperbole.

Awesome. "Go and die painfully, okay?" is someone saying a Godbot left that message on their Youtube channel. Amazing how context is anathema to the Intersection crowd. They just search for bad words and crow about how those that post them are evil nasty naughty people.

Yeah that one is particularly telling about what's going on over there.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Awesome. "Go and die painfully, okay?" is someone saying a Godbot left that message on their Youtube channel. Amazing how context is anathema to the Intersection crowd. They just search for bad words and crow about how those that post them are evil nasty naughty people.

Yep. Maybe they'll use all the quotes in this thread of them next!

Oh well, it's time for me to go home. Go and die painfully y'all!

I just think it gets funnier. Maybe I'm jaded. Or twisted. But ... oh, come on. It's clearly hyperbole.

A concept wholly lost on the Milquetoast Posse at the Colgate Twins home for wayward crybabies.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

ink we should do whatever is in our power to protect Afghan women from oppression; I don't see why we should wait for the oppressors to change their attitudes.

"We" incldes Afghan women. Which means a moral obligation to talk to them, and to understand the history. OK? They're not objects of your protection. They're people. They're political. They're political people. Like anyone else.

Heh ... I posted at #321 before I saw Rev's clip.

It's just so ... appropriate.

They're people. They're political. They're political people. Like anyone else.

In no way did I allege that they were not.

Believing in protecting people's rights does not seem to me to imply a disregard for their individual autonomy as human beings. Rather the opposite, I would have thought.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

That's it, I bet this Petra was Julie :

she posted only one comment on Pharyngula...

I don't think PZ advances the cause of athiests at all. He makes them all look like vicious, stupid bigots who spew vile hatred in blogs and comboxes.

...which generated a few replies amongst which this one by stogoe :

Go. Fuck. Yourself. With a Hefty Bag full of rottweilers.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

One of the things I love about this place is that I can swear to my heart's content. I can't do it at home (I think of the children!). I can't do it at work (most people think that it's not a good idea for teachers to swear at students). But here I can just call a stupid dumbass a stupid dumbass, and there need to be places where one can do that.

In no way did I allege that they were not.

Up your nose with a rubber hose. :P

Believing in protecting people's rights does not seem to me to imply a disregard for their individual autonomy as human beings. Rather the opposite, I would have thought.

HISTORY.

Oh my, Aratina Cage. A couple of those are mine. I have to admit, I am proud of the splintering cross line. That when when I was having fun playing with the Rookie. Sometimes I do miss him. He was an excellent chew toy. It helped to keep my pelt sniny.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton my sweet dumpling, it is very, very easy to cross over from doing something FOR someone "for their own good" to running roughshod over them, rather than listening to them and working WITH them in the context of them being the ones giving the directions. It's not simply regarding their autonomy, it's understanding that what they want might not be exactly what you want them to have and that they know more about their own situation than you do, and responding to their needs and wants rather than what you think they ought to have.

aratina cage @309, that was the most prolonged LOL I've had in a long time. I clicked through to every link and checked out the context of the comments. I have to say that AJ Milne's reference to the Elements of Style accepting "Go fuck yourself sideways with a rusting chainsaw, you vapid, godbotting wank" (link)" was the winner in a hard-fought competition. I see Janine was overly well-represented, which means the rest of us have some catching up to do.

I'm now, however, seriously concerned about the inability of others to read for meaning, to view comments within context, and most of all, to see the humor in a deliberately exaggerated response to the truly obscene, uncivil, and eternal

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Hmmm....Maybe we could exchange their pearls for ones with sound chips in them. That way, every time they clutch, a f-bomb goes off...

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm now, however, seriously concerned about the inability of others to read for meaning, to view comments within context, and most of all, to see the humor in a deliberately exaggerated response to the truly obscene, uncivil, and eternal

Thank you for condensing the issue down to an easily digestible format. Hopefully the Milquetoast Posse will read it and comprehend. unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm noting that a lot of posts are going to moderation. Based on past Intersection history, it shouldn't be too much longer until that thread gets closed for being too much of a moderation hassle.

I know I'm an idiot what ought to know better, but could someone post AGAIN the secret html for evading the link moderation? I promise I'll write it down this time. I think it had something to do with removing the first part of the link directive to fool SB into thinking it was one of their own, but I can't remember the details.

The military defeat of the Confederacy secured no rights for black Americans. That effort has required 150 years of constant force, still ongoing today, and the work is not yet done. It has required not only legal recognition of what you call "negative rights," but positive intervention, an activist judiciary, and a coordinated propaganda campaign by government agencies at every level, most of which would have never been considered without decades of agitation by a militant black nationalist movement powerful enough to frighten liberals from their complacency.

Is the United States prepared to make similar effort in Afghanistan, where we do not have the Fourteenth Amendment authority to incorporate our federal rights against that government?

Recall that our puppet Karzai legalized marital rape. On the front of women's rights, we do not even have the support of our empire's governors.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I don't see how it's different from the US federal government using force to free the slaves in the Deep South in the nineteenth century, or to end racial segregation in the 1960s. The culture of the Southern states at that time was deeply racist, just as Afghan culture today is deeply misogynistic; but the Northern states did not wait for attitudes in the Southern states to change. They used force to guarantee the rights of African-Americans in the South, and they were right to do so. Afghanistan may be a bit further away than Alabama, but I don't see that there's a difference in principle.

Well first, the freeing of the slaves was more a byproduct than the point of the war, at least as far as Lincoln was concerned. Always distrust simple stories of good vs evil, Walton. Second, you have proposed nothing apart from continuing the war, which is channeling money and weapons to both the warlords and the Taliban; and the situation is very different from those you mention, if only because the outsiders lack the knowledge and the contacts to operate effectively. How many of the foreign troops do you think speak any Afghan language? Third, I made specific suggestions - a bit less satisfyingly macho than your preferred approach perhaps, but why have you simply ignored them? Fourth, there's the opportunity cost to consider: the resources being poured into a hopeless war could do immense good elsewhere providing health and education services for women in countries that are not at war.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm noting that a lot of posts are going to moderation. Based on past Intersection history, it shouldn't be too much longer until that thread gets closed for being too much of a moderation hassle.

Probably with a closing statement that says the contents of that thread clearly show that PZ is why we can't have nice things.

(340 cont'd.) ...right after a quote-mine that says "Even one of PZ's regulars says over there that he's the reason they can't have nice things."

Fourth, there's the opportunity cost to consider: the resources being poured into a hopeless war could do immense good elsewhere providing health and education services for women in countries that are not at war.

It may be overly optimistic to think so, but I've always thought that providing health and education services for women would prevent some wars. Many people have pointed out that simply educating women is the proven method for relieving financial and population pressure.

By Lynna, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I just had a comment deleted. Didn't even go into moderation.

I just asked Petra if she was Julie (see my comment #328 above) and noted that unlike what she claimed, noone wished her death nor getting raped.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

SC,

Up your nose with a rubber hose. :P

*peers thoughtfully at SC over top of glasses, and frowns*

I have never heard this phrase before, and am a little confused. The Great Library of Google reveals to me that it is, apparently, a quote from a 1970s television programme named Welcome Back, Kotter, with which I am regrettably unfamiliar. What is it meant to signify in this context?

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

The Great Library of Google reveals to me that it is, apparently, a quote from a 1970s television programme named Welcome Back, Kotter, with which I am regrettably unfamiliar. What is it meant to signify in this context?

It was a decent enough 70's sit-com staring.... John Travolta.

If only he stayed in the 70's (save one or two films).

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

. . . it's understanding that what they want might not be exactly what you want them to have . . .

Ah, yes. The much-ignored platinum rule: do unto others as they would have you do unto them. Keep your own damn opinions to yourself.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I find that train wreck hilarious. The way they stumble over each other, the way they have to lie and misrepresent to make their case. I left another comment there, just to summarize. It's in moderation so I'll put it here, just in case.

Remarkable.First you can’t comprehend a simple English sentence and complain that I play favorites and let people on ‘my side’ get away with crude remarks…and then when it is discovered that you got it wrong, that the person saying the nasty stuff was an opponent, not a word of apology, not even an acknowledgment that Bilbo and Seminatrix got it exactly backwards.Then you find another example of someone demanding someone die…only it’s Shplane, yet another weird guy randomly trolling the blog…who if you read a little further down, you’d discover that everyone is piling on him for his out-of-line comments. Without wishing him an ugly death, by the way.Then you find another instance of someone, this time a respected regular, saying “Peter’s misogynist ass needs to die”. You neatly remove the context, in this case that this “Peter” was another drive-by creep who’d just, out of the blue, announced “F*** you Michelle R., you stupid f***ing b**ch.” What was being said was not a threat of physical action, by a hyperbolic request that the annoying misogynist be banned.What you all seem to miss is that anyone can comment on Pharyngula — people who detest me, people who like me. We have creationists, homophobes, right-wing loons, libertarian loons, homeopaths, chiropractors, all brands of crazy, all converging on the site and engaging in heated argument. I don’t censor and I don’t ban, no matter what their point of view, simply for being angry and profane. I am not interested in maintaining a happy little G-rated site for family entertainment in which we all have sweet little discussions; again in direct contradiction of your repeated claims, it’s the freewheeling and often antagonistic atmosphere that gets both sides swapping barbs.And we like it.It’s going to stay that way. Go ahead, whine to Seed. If your case is anything like what you’ve made so far, they’ll laugh your petulant, whimpering butts out the door.

The Great Library of Google reveals to me that it is, apparently, a quote from a 1970s television programme named Welcome Back, Kotter, with which I am regrettably unfamiliar.

*falls over laughing*

(correct reference)

*falls over laughing*

*stands and stares bemusedly at SC's apparent fit of mirth*

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Nice PZ.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think it would be a good thing for democracy if everyone went to public schools (I'm talking through high school, here; higher education is a different kettle of fish).

I don't necessarily disagree with this sentiment, but I am highly interested in the reasoning that led you to this conclusion. I can see the vested public interest in public primary and secondary schools, but what ends that interest at postsecondary education?

I know I'm an idiot what ought to know better, but could someone post AGAIN the secret html for evading the link moderation? I promise I'll write it down this time. I think it had something to do with removing the first part of the link directive to fool SB into thinking it was one of their own, but I can't remember the details.

I'm not familiar with that trick, but you might try using http://tinyurl.com/ links. (Remember there's also a limit on the number of external links. I forget what the number is, but I think I've been able to include four before.)

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@negentropyeater

Are you sure it was deleted? I have a post that's been in moderation for 45 minutes or so, pointing out the quotemine in the “Go and die painfully, okay?” quote. Thought it was odd it had been sitting in the queue that long, as whichever one of them is on duty today has been moving things through moderation rather swiftly today. It would be unfortunate if they started cracking down on questioning people's stories.

It would be unfortunate if they started cracking down on questioning people's stories.

Oh, but that's confrontational. We wouldn't want to be confrontational, now, would we?

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Julie could be Petra, but I know a few things you don't.

She also posted here, as "Nobody Important".

She also posted a couple of comments in this thread, defending the Catholic church.

All are the same Julie, confirmed by email address and/or IP number.

*stands and stares bemusedly at SC's apparent fit of mirth*

I got a note!

Appropriate Kotter reference (start it at 4 minutes in). "Resolved: humans are aggressive."

It is unfortunately without the rubber hose reference, but it's of the same drift.

Oh, but that's confrontational. We wouldn't want to be confrontational, now, would we?

I suppose it would be more sporting to put a section in the upcoming book, taking the situation out of context and talking about how Journalism blogs are dominated by gossip, quote-mines, and fake or exaggerated martyrdom stories.

thanks to arat -SC OM

*clenched tentacle salute* I hope this doesn't spur Philip Jr. on. There are a lot of naughty tidbits out there.

I know I'm an idiot what ought to know better, but could someone post AGAIN the secret html for evading the link moderation? -Carlie

I believe it was Owlmirror who discovered the secret in an ancient subthread. You erase the http://scienceblogs.com from the anchor tag, which looks like <a href="...">link</a>, carefully ensuring to leave the forward slash in front like so: <a href="/pharyngula/...">link</a>, and you can link to as many in-house locations as you want.

Another cool thing is that you can link directly to comments in the same thread by just the number sign ending, like this: <a href="#comment-2320531">link</a>. The only caveat is that you cannot test the in-thread comment links on preview.

By aratina cage o… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

My comments are going through okay.

Dammit! That must mean I'm being too nice. Which seems kind of weird, considering my approach way earlier in the thread had the vapid pissant regulars announcing that I obviously endorsed (in the real world, mind you - not just suggestions made on the blog) mutilation for petty theft, stoning for insults and people being knifed for disagreeing with me.

It's not just a train-wreck; it's a train wreck with a rescue attempt by a few rational folk being hindered by a handful of drunk monkeys armed with flamethrowers.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Remember there's also a limit on the number of external links

strange gods: that's the limit I'm talking about. I remember something about fooling sb into thinking it was internal link, because there's no limit to the number of internal sb links?

Paul,

I wrote several comments which were awaiting moderation, but eventually went through. But the last comment I wrote, asking if Petra was Julie, was deleted. I didn't even get back an "awaiting moderation" message next to my comment, like with the previous ones.

Don't know what happened. Was it because I noted that telling someone "go fuck yourself with a hefty bag of rotweilers" wasn't the same as wishing someone's death or getting raped ?

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Did you censor the fuck?

f***

not sure but that might have done it

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh, that's probably the reason, they have a fuck detector.

Fuck !

And I don't use that word much, it got me in trouble when living in Malaysia because someone didn't understand I was using it as an emphatic term and punched me right back in the face.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Just because you CAN say something on the internet, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Just because you can be an OFFICIOUS PRICK on the Internet doesn't mean you won't be told to FUCK OFF.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

283. Seminatrix Says:
March 3rd, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Thanks boys. Your sudden reliance on insults is all we’ve come to expect from years of Pharyngula training.

I'm not sure that one of the Milquetoast Posse could have summed up the whole thing better than that after having their ass handed to them.

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Appropriate Kotter reference (start it at 4 minutes in). "Resolved: humans are aggressive."

The best political link posted on this blog (start at the beginning). Ever.

Is that James Woods, the ass?

I've now watched the video linked to from comment 216. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad.

(Can't leave a comment there, for lack of identity.)

Sili! An almost-dinosaur has been named after not-you. Abstract, blog treatment by a colleague of the authors complete with comments from one of them.

If I can't submit my thesis in time, I'll strangle you at the dig, with my own bare hands

sounds kinky. was that meant as motivation or a deterrent?

That sounds kinky? I thought you were into the part you didn't quote? ~:-|

Good question how it was meant. I fear you'll have to work it out on your own. :-)

No, actually, there's no risk I won't be able to finish my thesis in time, unless the bureaucracy starts making trouble, which isn't under your control (unfortunately). So just keep posting :-)

nope. for guys it might, but I'm not one.

So what do you do in winter when...

Oh. America. You don't have a tram to sit down in. :-| I often find even 2 layers of cloth to isolate too little against sitting on a cold surface with any heat capacity.

After 9/11, the US and its allies claimed that the right of self-defence extended to defending oneself against terrorist attacks by organisations based in the territory of another state, where that other state is harbouring and assisting the terrorists.

"Claimed" is the right word.

after the invasion had taken place, SC Resolution 1378 provided for the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), therefore giving its backing to the continued military presence.

But not to the invasion itself in the first place :^)

is that the sanskrit ॐ (OM) that's next to your name ?

If you used IE8, you wouldn't have asked that question :-)

(Opera 10.10 for Mac displays a placeholder square instead. <Nelson Muntz>)

I can only guess at how "polite society" arrived at the conclusion that profanity -- and even ill manners -- are somehow indicative of lower intelligence and poor breeding.

Well, for centuries, the most revered topic in Europe was religion, so therefore the curses with the highest shock value – and therefore the most common curses – were blasphemous. Thence the fear of all swearing that conservative people tend to have even in cultures that have largely stopped using blasphemous swears. (For instance, plenty are attested in German, but hardly anyone uses any of them anymore. It's all "shit", "ass", and a bit of "fuck" these days, no more "sacrament", "in three devils' name", or even just "Jesus".)

The much-ignored platinum rule: do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

I smell a Molly nomination.

Gay marriage poll needs help:

http://www.wusa9.com/

down the page on the right.

The District of Columbia began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday. Do you think Maryland and Virginia should follow suit?

Yes - MD and VA should allow same-sex marriage 40.7%
They should not allow it, but should recognize marriages from DC 3.6%
No - MD and VA should not allow same-sex marriage 55.7%

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

It's not just a train-wreck; it's a train wreck with a rescue attempt by a few rational folk being hindered by a handful of drunk monkeys armed with flamethrowers.

While sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness (sidebar quote by Terry Pratchett), how about some flowers?

(I posted this 2 or 3 times already and never got a reaction. ~:-| Click on the page and see what happens.)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I just watched the clip Carlie posted. I still don't get it. :-\

My knowledge of popular culture is apparently not up to scratch.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Thanks aratina - that's the one I meant, but I guess it only works for in-house?

Dang, SC, you're good - IMDB confirms that the part of Alex Welles was indeed played by James Woods.

Ha, this has been fun, but I'd better be off to bed. Go and die painfully now, you hear!

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

My knowledge of popular culture is apparently not up to scratch.

More like before your time. The school is in the ghetto, and if you had a rubber tube up your nose (my understanding is they go through the nose to avoid the gag reflex if they go through the mouth), you were in the hospital in bad shape. Not sure if pumping the stomach or a feeding tube.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton: Afghanistan may be a bit further away than Alabama, but I don't see that there's a difference in principle.

That's a huge difference, in principle. Minnesota and Alabama had free-trade, open borders, free movement, a common legislature, a common tax-base, a common military... They were part of the same country! It was their common legislature that funded the changes, and it was their common executive that executed the changes.

"In principle" -- that's why I hate the phrase. This isn't about abstractions, but specific historical moments. There's almost nothing in common between using the "National Guard" internally to enforce the constitutional order, for a highly moral purpose, for a very limited time, and traveling around the world to use your external military force to claim to enforce your moral code on a project that would have to last generations.

Here's my suggestion for Afghanistan -- give a bunch of money to form an all-women's army. That'll change the culture much, much faster, and less intrusively, than our current cluster-fuck.

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I just watched the clip Carlie posted. I still don't get it. :-\

My knowledge of popular culture is apparently not up to scratch.

Indeed. Class, racism, authoritarianism in education,..., no.

Seriously, that show dealt with the issues you're talking about here.

"Up your gizzard with a rubber lizard!"

On a serious note (having been thoroughly defeated by SC's 1970s-TV-fu), I wish I had a better answer to the situation in Afghanistan. I'm not at all certain that I'm right; but I can't see that any of the available alternatives will make things much better.

Why can't the world just be a bit simpler? I get fed up with this: the more I learn about things, the more I realise that I don't know the best answers, and that there probably aren't any. :-(

And I'm fed up with changing my mind about everything all the damn time. I've been through so many different ideological conversions in my life, and it shows no signs of stopping. Most political activists have a consistent philosophy that they stick to; whereas I keep finding myself constantly revising my ideas about everything. Maybe I'm just too impressionable and easily led to have meaningful opinions about politics.

By Walton, Specia… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Go and die painfully now, you hear!

Good night, Knockgoats. Remember to fuck yourself with a broken bottle.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

A long time ago, Frog said:

I'd say there is no such thing as an "altruistic" state -- altruism is a personal quality and not a state quality. So the only question then is whether the state is working in the interests of a broad spectrum of it's population, or merely a tiny elite.

To which I reply:

Yeah, that sounds about right.

(And no, I don't think the U.S. needs to have a military presence in the Korean peninsula - for the record.)

While sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness (sidebar quote by Terry Pratchett), how about some flowers?

Flamethrowers, eh?

Maybe I'm just too impressionable and easily led to have meaningful opinions about politics.

You know enough to know you don't have the answers, so the answer is you're not up to snuff? That makes no sense. If you don't have the answers, find them. Synthesize relevant data to weigh alternatives. As SC keeps telling you, HISTORY. There's lots of data there. You're in a good position to do this sort of thing, as you have shown the ability to detach yourself from ideology when it appears to be wrong on specific points. I suppose it could be argued that this flexibility makes you unsuitable to be a politician, as it will be difficult to marshal a following when you don't simply tell them whta they want to hear. But it makes you quite suited to have opinions on politics, if you only take the step of informing yourself (showing a disinterest in actually researching the relevant HISTORY would make you unsuitable to have meaningful opinions, but that's your own personal decision, not some intrinsic unsuitable trait).

I thought the clip not only dealt with the educational system, but was also a nice analogy to the Pharynguhogs v. the Moonuppities.

Did that phrase originate with ng tubes? I just thought it was a dumb rhyme. Gabe Kaplan is now a tv narrator/host for some World Poker show. It throws me off every time I scan by it and hear his voice.

The flowers were quite cute. :)

Paul | March 3, 2010 4:27 PM:

As little as I think of the Wonder Twins, we should at least properly acknowledge which one is behind any particular screed.

My apologies. Thank you for the correction.

Most political activists have a consistent philosophy that they stick to

"Most" (>50%) may or may not be true when you take into account their teens and twenties. Anecdotally, a lot of my friends were notably more conservative -- either actively so or indifferent to the status quo -- in the recent past.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh my. So not only did my humble little Elements of Style on Tourette's bit make Maude Flanders' shitlist, but in Lynna's estimation, it makes the best of the shitlist?

I'm not sure I've ever been so proud. I'm moved, I tell you. Honoured...

(Sniffles...) Fuck you all... (Wipes away a tear...) With a motherfucking barbed, nuclear-powered dildo dipped in Spanish Fly... (Blows nose noisily...) In every fucking orifice you have and a few new ones ripped open for the occasion with a dull screwdriver... (Places hand emotionally over heart...) At once!

(/You like me... You really like me... You fuckers!)

Encouraging, if not particularly useful, words to follow.

Walton said:

I'm not at all certain that I'm right...

Stop right there. Rinse, lather, repeat. That's how we start asking the right questions. It's not a weakness. It's the beginning of knowledge.

Why can't the world just be a bit simpler?

Because people aren't simple. But it's not important that you understand everything about the world; once you realize that you aren't the one to produce the solutions to all the world's problems, but can trust others to solve their own problems and make their own decisions, life gets much, much easier to deal with. If you're to have any role, it's to be that of "helper upon request" (I'm an idealist).

I get fed up with this: the more I learn about things, the more I realise that I don't know the best answers, and that there probably aren't any.

There are very few permanent solutions to anything, because human societies are fluid things; human problems can often be like trying to solve a Rubik's cube that, of its own volition, keeps re-arranging the bits you've put in order. The point is for us to keep moving forward - even Sisyphus was accomplishing something, if his goal was to create a channel in the hill. : D

And I'm fed up with changing my mind about everything all the damn time.

If the changes come after consideration of new evidence, what's the problem with that? You call it "change", I'll call it "growth".

Feelings are ephemeral. I'm not sure solid moral principles can (or should) be built around such fleeting, semi-permanent patterns of neuronal activity. I'm just talking out of my hat, so I hereby plead ignorance if I'm neglecting important (or even obvious) counterarguments. But here's an example of what I'm saying.

After making a comment on a blog one morning, Francis is greatly insulted by the responses he receives, which include vicious, sadistic profanity and several creative suggestions for increasing his personal sexual fulfillment. To clear his head, Francis decides to change the scenery and sit in his back yard, accompanied by his I-Pod and a marijuana bong. An hour later he returns to the blog, re-reads the thread he was insulted in earlier, and starts chuckling to himself. Some of the comments were quite imaginative, he admits privately. Francis then shuts off his computer and begins making preparations for dinner.

Question: Was Francis harmed in any way by the blogged insults?

I say no, he wasn't. The negative feelings Francis experienced were nothing more substantial than his occasional fears about dying in a plane crash. Feelings can be changed easily, and even instantly in some cases, by any number of things including drugs, conversation, meditation, exercise, music, or simple walks in Nature.

Surely we can't be that worried about such things. Physical interaction between humans is an entirely different ballgame, granted, and this can include "personal space" considerations. But insults on a website? Please. It's all a zero-sum game.

By SaintStephen (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton,

Why can't the world just be a bit simpler? [...] And I'm fed up with changing my mind about everything all the damn time.

The world is complicated, that there's no denying.

As to being fed-up, you should rather be proud that you hold your opinions only provisionally, and are open-minded and critical.

By John Morales (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton: And I'm fed up with changing my mind about everything all the damn time. I've been through so many different ideological conversions in my life, and it shows no signs of stopping.

That means you're healthy, particularly if you're young.

Try everything once -- try the things you like twice.

By frog, Inc. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

(Sniffles...) Fuck you all... (Wipes away a tear...) With a motherfucking barbed, nuclear-powered dildo dipped in Spanish Fly... (Blows nose noisily...) In every fucking orifice you have and a few new ones ripped open for the occasion with a dull screwdriver... (Places hand emotionally over heart...) At once!

I'm getting a little Verklempt

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

For fans of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the collection of people at the Intersection is like the meeting of ATHF's archenemies. I guess this would make Chris and Sheril the Mooninites.

ROFL!

Maybe I'm just too impressionable and easily led to have meaningful opinions about politics.

Maybe you're a scientist at heart.

:-)

Sidebar quote:
"Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."
– Thomas Henry Huxley

Flamethrowers, eh?

ROTFL!

nuclear-powered

X-D

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I gotta get going, too. A quick video game, and then bed. I wish you all a sincerely painful gang-rape by a series of prize bulls on a Spanish farm, while being filmed for The Discovery Channel.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh my pearls, that thread just got AWESOME. Go Janine!

Ok, I may be obsessing but the smackdown being handed to the Milquetoast Posse is epic (and i hate that word).

Seriously, how are all these folks going to walk around with all those holes shot in their collective feet?

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

And I'm fed up with changing my mind about everything all the damn time.

I get the impression that you're like the title character from Voltaire's Candide. That your philosophy is being shattered by your coming to grips with events in the real world, at the same time as coming up with the equivalent of best of all possible worlds where hundreds of thousands die in an earthquake. The nose might not have been designed to hold glasses after all ;)

I'm getting a little Verklempt...

I know, I know...

Sorry... I just need a minute to pull myself together, here, that's all... It's all good... There's this thing I know I can do, I'll be okay...

... So if anyone needs me, I'll be screaming random obscenities from my car at roving Mormon missionaries 'n Jehovah's Witnesses making their rounds...

(/BRB.)

I gotta get going, too. A quick video game, and then bed. I wish you all a sincerely painful gang-rape by a series of prize bulls on a Spanish farm, while being filmed for The Discovery Channel.

Bless you

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I wish I could participate on Mooney's blog!

The very first comment I made, on another thread, simply echoed the repeated calls for him to publish his Templeton application. No profanity, or ugly stuff at all. The comment was not posted.

I've just now made a second comment:

Just checking my status. My first comment was a request (in another thread) for Chris Mooney to publish his Templeton application.

This comment was made at 7:28PM and is still being moderated.

By SaintStephen (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Arghh....a comment of mine is awaiting moderation at the InterDungeon. Just in case it doesn't show appear....
_________

If you do a search of this blog and pull quotes out-of-context:

F*** ‘em — I know who I am and if some a**hole thinks I’m just a pretty face, he can go f*** himself.(Source)

You motherf**kers are f***ing pathetic. Sack the f*** up and get a f***ing grip, for f***’s sake.(Source)

Ophelia Benson is a b**ch with PMS(Source)

Out of context these quotes look bad for this site. It only took me 5 minutes of searching to find them. Taking that last quote as an example, it was a complaint of what Kwok (a regular here) had said. His comment was subsequently deleted.

Now, consider the fact that Pharyngula has been online longer, has more traffic than this site and has a very liberal commenting policy. It's very easy to quote-mine the comments there to make it look bad.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I own negligees that I've had longer than any of my political opinions (other than, maybe, "the dignity and rights of the individual"), and definitely longer than Walton has been able to hold any political opinions whatsoever (given that I'm almost twice his age). This is not meant as criticism of Walton. This is more meant to compare the good quality of my fancy nightgowns with the comparatively diaphanous quality of my political opinions. I reserve the right to change my undergarments, and my mind, and for much the same reasons.

By badgersdaughter (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Carlie, thank you. But I just followed the links that Aratina Cage provided earlier. He did the digging. I just read what followed.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

And the "Cheer" from old George:

Rat shit, Bat shit
Dirty old twat
69 assholes tied in a knot.

Hooray!

Lizard shit!

FUCK!

By https://me.yah… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Are you folks insane ?? 350+ comments since I went to bed 10 hours ago....

I reckon we should't give those lying and quote-mining whiners any more bandwidth, it's not that any of these people will be swayed or convinced by attempts at correcting their errors, including the blog owners.

Otherwise, I found this thread extremely entertaining to read...:-)

And I remember blueelm, but wouldn't have connected it with Ol'Greg.I guess that was the idea ;)

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Walton@377
As someone who has seen some astounding shit storms, from the personal to the global level, the only advice I can give is this:
1)Never stop pushing in the right direction.

So, now you're going to ask me which direction is the right one. Sorry, grasshopper, one question to a neophyte.

Seriously, though, the right direction is the one that leaves the fewest people hurting, leaves those who come after you with things at least as good as you found them, has the most truth (as opposed to truthiness). People matter more than principles. Truth matters more than anything. When these two principles conflict, you are doing something wrong.

By a_ray_in_dilbe… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Wow, there is no blasphemy here, is there? Does culinary blasphemy count?

"I devoutly wish that you live for eternity in a school lunchroom where they serve breaded croquettes made out of yesterday's vegetables, pizza made out of a slice of white bread smeared with catsup and topped with a plastic-wrapped single slice of process cheese, and overcooked pinto beans with all the radicles separated from the cotyledons so it looks like it's full of mealworms. And sugar-free Jello for dessert."

By badgersdaughter (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

"I devoutly wish that you live for eternity in a school lunchroom where they serve breaded croquettes made out of yesterday's vegetables, pizza made out of a slice of white bread smeared with catsup and topped with a plastic-wrapped single slice of process cheese, and overcooked pinto beans with all the radicles separated from the cotyledons so it looks like it's full of mealworms. And sugar-free Jello for dessert."

See, now, that's obscene.

... not quite as bad as banging on with hypocritical, pearl-clutching bullshit about 'tone' while being a flat-out lying sack o' shit/waffling wanker about anything and everything (but sans any good ole' Saxon profanities, heavens to Betsy 'n bless my soul we can't have any of those, dearie) goes unchallenged, no. But getting up in the area, all right.

(/Doffs hat as tribute.)

*raises toast to badgersdaughter for inventive invective.*

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

badgersdaughter #407

Thank you. May you eat breakfast in an army messhall and let it be creamed chipped beef on toast (aka shit on a shingle), cold scrambled powdered eggs, and over-boiled coffee with non-dairy creamer but sans sugar.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I DEMAND THAT BADGERSDAUGHTER BE BANNED IMMEDIATELY FOR THIS INCENDIARY COMMENT.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Dear Sir or Madam,

I wish to register a complaint. . .

All right. Since I am so in awe of the detective skills and moral rectitude of Bilbo, Seminatrix, Philip Jr, Vyspyr, and all those other brave critics at Colgate Central, I'm...

BANNING YOU ALL! AND SLAPPING GAGS ON YOU! AND ENABLING THE NAUGHTY WORD FILTER IN MOVEABLE TYPE!

Nah, not really.

Or, perhaps we should return to the days of Shakespearean insults:

"Thou wayward fen-sucked canker-blossom!"

I'm...

BANNING YOU ALL! AND SLAPPING GAGS ON YOU! AND ENABLING THE NAUGHTY WORD FILTER IN MOVEABLE TYPE!

Well, fuck.

Thank you, 'Tis. Soy bacon right back at you, brother commenter.

By badgersdaughter (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Well, fuck.

Goddammit, another diet pepsi through the nose. You know how much that hurts?

That sounds kinky? I thought you were into the part you didn't quote? ~:-|

any "threat" of "violence" from you I interpret as kinkiness, because any other interpretation would be absurd :-p

Oh. America. You don't have a tram to sit down in. :-| I often find even 2 layers of cloth to isolate too little against sitting on a cold surface with any heat capacity.

my dear, I'm very well insulated naturally in that general area. I don't need much in the way of artificial padding to keep from getting cold.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Can I have a gag? And a good spanking every time I say a naughty word?

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

more good news from NZ:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10629377

anyone recall the split that drove Ken Ham to America from OZ?

Bishop Brian Tamaki, who founded the church in New Zealand in 1998, is expected to be among those heading to Australia this week

LOL you got rid of Ham... let's see how fast you can shuffle this mofo off to the States, OZ!

here's material to work with:

"It was a money-making scheme. All the people who make covenant with Bishop Tamaki have to buy a $300 ring.

Ball's in your court, Ozzies!

I hope someday all of these charlatans that prey on inner city kids, at risk Maori, and newly immigrant Islanders will get their own theme-parks in the states, and be fenced in there as exhibits.

seriously, I would love to see Ken Ham fenced in his own "dinotopia" forever.

Jadehawk, I am working so very hard to keep from saying something crude!

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

blockquote fail...

"It was a money-making scheme. All the people who make covenant with Bishop Tamaki have to buy a $300 ring.

Ball's in your court, Ozzies!

I hope someday all of these charlatans that prey on inner city kids, at risk Maori, and newly immigrant Islanders will get their own theme-parks in the states, and be fenced in there as exhibits.

seriously, I would love to see Ken Ham fenced in his own "dinotopia" forever.

Okay, just what kind of train wreck has mooneygit gotten up to this time. I think I was still polishing off that last Margarita and watching this guy's videos.

Can I have a gag? And a good spanking every time I say a naughty word?

And then the oral sex?

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Can I have a gag? And a good spanking every time I say a naughty word?

And then the oral sex?

¡Orale!

And I remember blueelm, but wouldn't have connected it with Ol'Greg.I guess that was the idea ;)

Hmmm... maybe that's a compliment? But either way I'm not trying to hide from it, I promise.

I've changed pretty extremely over the past two years though. I mean really extremely actually. My whole life is different. Very strange time to be me right now...

So let me get this straight. Apparently, the UK has a "massive budget deficit, spiralling debt and out-of-control public spending".1

Apparently, this means we need to make big cuts in education spending.2

On the other hand, apparently we absolutely must continue spending billions bombing the fuck out of civilians in Afghanistan.3

Apparently, the UK is a necessary actor in the war there. The US could not possibly go it alone, even though it is a fabulously rich superpower with the most powerful and expensive military the world has ever seen.

Apparently, it is absolutely essential that the enemy we fight there4 be defeated, even though Western and Western-backed leaders had a hand in their rise.5

Apparently, we must stay and fight, and help build a fair and just Afghan state, even though we have no hope of doing that.6

Apparently, fighting in Afghanistan will actually protect the West, despite the many Muslims radicalized by such horrors.7

Apparently, while evil state education spending must shrink, no deficit is too big to stop raping other countries. Thus is the cancer8 that is libertarianism laid bare. Stateless and loving it, right?9 Fuck you Walton.

********

1 Only the first of those claims is true.

2 Even though, of course, not a single child can be blamed for the economic crisis, while a great many adults can. And even though education is a vital source of economic growth, which, er, is hard to come by at the minute.

3 And the US must continue bombing Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq as well.

4 The Taliban, not al Qaeda any longer)

5 For instance, Ronald Reagan and Benazir Bhutto.

6 See, for example: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1406999

7 Such as Shehzad Tanweer, one of the London bombers.

8 Hey, "libertarian" Glenn Beck started it first.

9 Read, and check the tags at the bottom too: http://mises.org/story/2066

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Hmm, apparently discussion moved round to spanking and oral sex while I was typing #427. Well don't I look the nerd at the frat party. Social etiquette is hard.

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Google user at #427 & #428, I finally got around to answering you on the other thread. Just wanted to be sure that you see it.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

missed this on first reading:

Also, unbridled envy. On two blogs, several people have asked me to start a blog, which would be insane to do before (at least) my thesis is finished.

oh yes. you most decidedly need a blog eventually. hogging all that brainpower for yourself is just mean ;-)

But reputations are more enduring than individual posts, and I'm hoping people have (or the internet has) a decent memory.

the ADD-like lifespan of memes notwithstanding, the Internet seems to have a pretty long memory, actually. Longer than the meatspace political discourse, FWIW.

That's a bit defeatist. I don't think we should simply accept, in a relativist fashion, that Afghan culture has different values, or that we should therefore stand by and let Afghan women be oppressed.

stop with the straw-men. no one proposed any cultural relativism. but you've been shown a link to Afghani activist women who don't want your military help, and yet you insist that we should do it anyway. Do you know better than them? Do they not get a say in this? You are ignoring them, despite your claims to the contrary, as active participants in this. you want "us" to do something for "them", not even with them. Is this unsatisfying to your desire to help? sure. but the world doesn't exist to assuage your guilt and satisfy you. do what really works, even if it's in tiny little steps; don't do what in your mind looks like a grand gesture and "doing everything we can", especially if it's realistically making the situation worse. you can't save the world from itself. that is reality, and it sucks. at best, you can contribute a bit to help the world save itself (or tackle issues where you CAN honestly positively affect things , even it it's just a small thing)

I just think it gets funnier. Maybe I'm jaded. Or twisted. But ... oh, come on. It's clearly hyperbole.

of course you're twisted. you're a pharynguloid, so of course there must be something wrong with you.

Believing in protecting people's rights does not seem to me to imply a disregard for their individual autonomy as human beings. Rather the opposite, I would have thought.

are you even aware how often "protection" has been used as an excuse for abuse and the limiting of others' right and ability to actually act and take their rights?

"In principle" -- that's why I hate the phrase. This isn't about abstractions, but specific historical moments.

that just needed to be quoted.

Why can't the world just be a bit simpler? I get fed up with this: the more I learn about things, the more I realise that I don't know the best answers, and that there probably aren't any.

welcome to adulthood. incidentally, not that many people ever even get that far.

Most political activists have a consistent philosophy that they stick to;

that's only true for those who never actually think about their positions. most everybody else changes drastically, especially when young, and then continues evolving their "philosophy" as they gain more experience and knowledge, and as the needs of the time change. keep in mind, our very own "sinister, Leninesque demagogue" was a libertarian once. If you never change your mind, you're almost guaranteed to be always wrong.

(Sniffles...) Fuck you all... (Wipes away a tear...) With a motherfucking barbed, nuclear-powered dildo dipped in Spanish Fly... (Blows nose noisily...) In every fucking orifice you have and a few new ones ripped open for the occasion with a dull screwdriver... (Places hand emotionally over heart...) At once!
(/You like me... You really like me... You fuckers!)

:-D

I own negligees that I've had longer than any of my political opinions

haha, awesome. quoteworthy.

Are you folks insane ??

yes, why?

Thank you. May you eat breakfast in an army messhall and let it be creamed chipped beef on toast (aka shit on a shingle), cold scrambled powdered eggs, and over-boiled coffee with non-dairy creamer but sans sugar.

I'm going to have nightmares.

*points finger* PZ, she's mean to me!!!!!!!! *cries*

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

The Germans don't want to stand behind idly when every other country seems to have child-raping priests of course :

German monastery raided over child sex abuse claims

This comes not long after the highest northern german protestant bishop(first woman in the job too) had to resign after being caught drink-driving.
Good on you Germany !!

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Google user at #427 & #428, I finally got around to answering you on the other thread. Just wanted to be sure that you see it.

Yeah, I went over there before I'd refreshed this page. Thanks for the notification anyway.

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

LMAO!

Atheist Bibles-For-Porn Swap Riles Campus

(CBS/AP) A college atheist group is offering students pornography in exchange for Bibles.

Atheist Agenda calls the exchange "Smut for Smut," prompting prayers and protests from Christian students at the University of Texas San Antonio campus. [Emphasis added]

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Re: AJ Milne @ 386,

ROFLMM-FAO!!!!

Atheist Agenda calls the exchange "Smut for Smut," prompting prayers

Yep, I bet they are praying to get the good porn.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

The Intersection morons get more disappointing with every new post; they've just demonstrated they don't actually know what the term 'intellectual honesty' means.

Still, considering not one of them seems to know what hyperbole is, it's probably not that surprising.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

@badgersdaughter #407:

"I devoutly wish that you live for eternity in a school lunchroom where they serve breaded croquettes made out of yesterday's vegetables, pizza made out of a slice of white bread smeared with catsup and topped with a plastic-wrapped single slice of process cheese, and overcooked pinto beans with all the radicles separated from the cotyledons so it looks like it's full of mealworms. And sugar-free Jello for dessert."

*faints, clutching pearls*

I walk away for a few hours and the goalposts have moved into the next county.

WTF?

By Rev. BigDumbChimp (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I find it quite entertaining that the posters from Pharyngula who felt the need to come here to defend hate speech turned out to be the same ones who were responsible for the hate speech in question. Ravishing.

Ravishing? Petra's a bit...touched.

***

Links or it didn't happen.-SC

I'm personally profoundly uncomfortable with compulsory education

without education, democracy fails, period.

you should know this by now.

as legal cases go, you should review the case of the University of California vs the creationist high school that was resolved fairly recently:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Christian_Schools_Internati…

here's the creationist side of it, since the other side is blatantly obvious:

http://www.faith-freedom.com/in-the-courts/calvary-chapel-christian-sch…

so, Walton, NO. Freedom of religion does NOT mean that one can teach any shit they want and have it accepted as a proper education.

doesn't matter WHO funds it.

SC, I want to see what Petra thinks is hate speech.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Fuck the InterDungeon. I got two comments waiting moderation. No cursing or anything. Even if they get through at this point it will be so far up thread no one will notice. I personally find this more annoying than reading comments with naughty phrases.

Also, if they are looking for shock on the internet Pharyngula really does rank that high.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

OMG - I not only fold my underwear, I double-fold it! Fold it in half, fold that half in half again. It has never ever occurred to me that anyone *wouldn't* fold their underwear! I am having a serious case of the incoherent giggles, and am rethinking my entire laundry process.

By ctenotrish (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

It had to happen sooner or later. Gilligan's Island is coming to the movie theater. It has not been cast yet. Maybe we can get some of the fine folks at The Intersection to participant in a reality based Gilligan's Island?

Did I just engage in hate speech here?

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

YMMV, of course, but not everybody's school days were Tom Brown's.

hmm, you wouldn't happen to be a Flashman fan, now would ya?

Janine wrote:

SC, I want to see what Petra thinks is hate speech.

I want to see Paula think, full stop.

They completely misconstrued 'intellectual honesty' when I used it - they seemed to think it meant the same thing as 'intellectual' (to them I presume that means 'using big words'); ergo, to them 'hate speech' would probably mean 'anything you say when you're really angry'.

Gah. And they have the temerity to tell us we do harm to the image of atheists? I'd much rather be foul-mouthed and honest about it than a clueless fucking moron making ridiculous claims and then adding lie after lie to try and justify them.

The weird thing is, their justifications are almost identical to those of the papist fools who came here after crackergate to provide us with ridiculous analogies of what having heard about a cracker being defiled was the equivalent of - having your children killed in front of you being the one I remember best.

I suppose the upside of the whole mess is that it's a good illustration of how tempting the fallacious appeal to emotion is to the intellectually dishonest.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Richard Dawkins used to call his site a "clear thinking oasis" (maybe he still does), I think the same could be said about Pharyngula.
If you look(and I admit I just did) at the comments and arguments made by non-pharyngulites at MK's place, it's an utter disgrace and an insult to rational discourse.If this was my place, I would be so embarrassed that such awful arguments assertions, using quote-mining and other fine creationist tools, were being made in my name and on my site, those assclowns like Bilbo would be plonked quicker then you can say quack.
MK must be counting comment numbers instead.

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Rorschach,
What happened with the dietzia patient? I thought dietzia species were being used in hydrocarbon cleanup? And I found another animal report using dietzia as a preventative?
J Dairy Sci. 2009 Oct;92(10):4846-51. If she’s still got it, any chance you’d set up a competing strain of probiotic?

By Quackalicious (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I have done volunteer work for victims of violence. I am insulted and disgusted that some of those people compare hyperbole with rape. I want one of those fuckers to take to a person who has been queer bashed and try to compare that to a person on the internet telling them to fuck themselves.

Damn straight I am angry!

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

What happened with the dietzia patient?

None of your fucking business Mr Baloney.

By Rorschach (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

MK must be counting comment numbers instead.

There might be a simpler explanation for it all, just like in The Watchmen. M&K are creating a common enemy to unite the two warring factions (reason and unreason). But to do so, they have to make a common enemy out of those who are on their side. Mooney telling Dawkins not to write a book on evolution? Come on, the only way that could possibly be rationalised is if he's sucking up to the anti-science types by creating Dawkins as a common enemy the pro-science and the anti-science types can unite against.

None of your fucking business Mr Baloney.

Here I am, quitely lurking, and along comes the Quack to soil a perfectly good thread.

When I was ill, I went looking for a doctor.
I could not find anyone who did what I wanted.
So I have worked to become the doctor I wanted to find.

You, Quack, are a fraud. I link to your website, and you have made every attempt to fool people into thinking you are some sort of MD instead of ND type medical person. Nice touch, the stethoscope.

Is business down lately, that you have time to pretend you have legitimate arguments to present on science sites?

*Fucking Parasite*

Go sell your water elsewhere.

Hmm, my #447 isn't that clear; what I mean when I say 'their justification are almost identical', I mean their blowing things way out of proportion as part of the appeal to emotion - the extrapolation of possible acts from the original words became more and more graphic as they realised it was all they had on their side.

I hope that makes sense.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Egads and Odds bodkins, but that pace is full of folderol! Can I say that? ;-)

Oh, that reminds me…

I fold and roll my underwear. Newish habit after many years decades of drawer-stuffing. Makes it easier for me to give hubby directions for fresh, matching clothes when I'm in hospital.

Oh, I liked the flower garden. So much so, that it distracted me for ages and a whole slew of posts appeared in the meantime!

By Tigger_the_Wing (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

*Fucking Parasite*

My apologies to obligate parasites.

This image should be posted on every forum on the internet:

By nejishiki (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

So.. so far we have Jadehawk, RevBDC and myself who refuse to conform to convention and instead go "commando".

Who else here likes to live dangerously?

(Oh, by the way, all you folks who do actually fold your undies: WTF?)

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Rorschach

What happened with the dietzia patient?
None of your fucking business Mr Baloney

..that is so unbelievable funny. He sees you as a COLLEAGUE!!!

Talk to him about blood- it makes him faint.

By Bride of Shrek OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

PZ Myers | March 3, 2010 9:08 PM:

BANNING YOU ALL! AND SLAPPING GAGS ON YOU! AND ENABLING THE NAUGHTY WORD FILTER IN MOVEABLE TYPE!

But PZ, my safeword is a naughty word!

(Oh, by the way, all you folks who do actually fold your undies: WTF?)

Hey, man, I have limited drawer space.

Talk to him about blood- it makes him faint.

Bwahaha! Very funny!

What happened with the dietzia patient?

what happened to you answering all the questions that were posed to you on the threads bearing your name?

Who else here likes to live dangerously?

*raises hand*

since 18.

I only wear something underneath if I'm heading to the beach, and plan to go swimming.

Hey, man, I have limited drawer space.

How do folded undies take up less drawer space than crammed-in undies? (no pun intended)

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Heh heh heh. I'm just picturing Walton's expression when he reads about people discussing their [lack of] underwear. Mind you, my own reaction isn't too dissimilar. I mean, ewww! That's just all kinds of wrong.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I have discovered in my fifties that folded undies (or even folded and rolled undies) don't take up less space, but are much easier to extricate without pulling a whole heap of them on the floor.

If I didn't have to rely on others occasionally finding specific undies for me though, I still wouldn't bother.

By Tigger_the_Wing (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

since 18.

Same here. When mom stopped buying my underwear, I stopped wearing it.

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

[Several reprobates] refuse to conform to convention and instead go "commando".

You pee in your pants?

I mean, ewww! That's just all kinds of wrong.

How so, Wowbagger? If you've shit your drawers, you've shit your drawers and something needs to be done about it.

Unless there is a problem with incontinence, what's the difference? Personally, I've never had any issues. (yet)

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I have discovered in my fifties that folded undies (or even folded and rolled undies) don't take up less space, but are much easier to extricate without pulling a whole heap of them on the floor.

Sectarianism: Folders vs. Stuffers vs. Don't Bother With'em.

Perhaps there are "Wear Them Once and Toss Them" Puritanical types?

Same here. When mom stopped buying my underwear, I stopped wearing it.

It just dawned on me...

that's gotta be the same reason for me as well.

:P

socks are the only thing underwear related i allow space for.

Perhaps there are "Wear Them Once and Toss Them" Puritanical types?

I used to have a roommate that would buy new socks instead of washing the dirty ones. Had nothing to do with purity, however.

I never asked about his underwear habits. :)

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

on a completely unrelated note, I see I missed a thread in which SC was called a "ignorant, bigoted, right-wing libertarian troll" last summer.

that's it's own kind of epic.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

boygenius, special forces, sometimes know as commandos, are trained to operate in harsh conditions and using stealth, including—or so I recall it being said—sometimes having to pee without unfastening clothing.

p.s. Bicycle racers are the only people I know of who actually do do that as part of the job (albeit not all the time). And, for that matter, usually don't wear underwear (when racing/riding).

I never asked about his underwear habits. :)

Now, really, have you ever asked anyone about their underwear habits?

Context, blf, context.

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Now, really, have you ever asked anyone about their underwear habits?

Why, yes, I have. Just not of my male roommates.

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Same here. When mom stopped buying my underwear, I stopped wearing it.

It just dawned on me...

that's gotta be the same reason for me as well.

By Bride of Shrek OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

How so, Wowbagger? If you've shit your drawers, you've shit your drawers and something needs to be done about it.

I live in Australia. It's hot; I sweat. I'm okay with wearing short pants and trousers/jeans multiple times without washing as long as I wear clean underwear every day. I only wear my work shirts once before washing them and t-shirts I may wear more than once between laundry loads but it's uncommon.

Then there's comfort; having my junk bounce around all over the place seems like a bad idea to me. Underwear keeps things out of the way. I bicycle a fair bit as well.

And of course there always the There's Something About Mary-style zipper incidents to fear...

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Blockquote fail gives me the utter screaming shits. Try again:

Same here. When mom stopped buying my underwear, I stopped wearing it.
It just dawned on me...

that's gotta be the same reason for me as well.

.. and it's just dawned on me that if I stop buying them for my son when he turns, I dunno, about 12, then I'll never be subject to washing any Reg Grundies with skiddies on them. Thanks for the tip boys.

(possibly one of the most awesome Aussie euphemisms out there, Reg Grundy noted TV producer so hence all sorts of underwear is shortened to your "Grundies" or your "Reggies")

By Bride of Shrek OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

blf #477

Bicycle racers are the only people I know of who actually do do that as part of the job (albeit not all the time). And, for that matter, usually don't wear underwear (when racing/riding).

Quite true, although not for lavatorial convenience - there is a chamois insert in their shorts (or at least it was always chamois in my (amateur) day - probably a clever artificial substitute now) to prevent saddlesore through chafing, and underwear would rather defeat the purpose.

pee-ing in the saddle, whilst possible, is not a simple feat, and I seem to recall most stage racers hopping off to go by the roadside during quiet periods... although more competitive racing these days might require more deft unrinatory skills in the saddle.

By Usagichan (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

boygenius, special forces, sometimes know as commandos, are trained to operate in harsh conditions and using stealth, including—or so I recall it being said—sometimes having to pee without unfastening clothing.

..this being the military equivalent of lads pissing into empty beer tins at the footy because they don't want to miss a minute of the match.

I care not to divuldge how I know this to be a true phenomenon.

By Bride of Shrek OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I care not to divuldge how I know this to be a true phenomenon.

Oh, do tell.

Bride,

My mother taught me how to do my own laundry when I was 7-8, thereby absolving herself from the responsibility. You should try it. I'm willing to bet your spawn are capable of washing their own Reg Grundies.

BTW, I grew up in northern Minnesota and we also called them "Grundies" tho without the distinction between Reggies/Grundies. I had never heard of Reg Grundy until now.

Wowbagger,

"Frank and beans!"

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

although more competitive racing these days might require more deft unrinatory skills in the saddle.

naww.

competitive outdoors racing on long courses typically involves VERY careful water balancing, and most riders take a quick break when they reach the main race-start point. They are typically required to pass a check-in point, and their support team is supposed to run a quick bike and physical check, so it's a good time to take care of any business like that.

#233: So was I wrong to assume that Greg is Ol'Greg's real name and also wrong to assume that Greg is generally a male-gendered name?

(giggle)

That giggled, I do post under my real name. My unreal name is on my bank account and driver's license, but I publish as Ron and everyone who knows me knows me as Ron.

Millennium hand and shrimp!

Also, just on principle: BAN YOU, MOTHERBANNER!

Lynna: I can send out sample PDFs of book chapters, etc.

Pleeeeeeze? ron@faultline.org

As to "Up your nose with a rubber hose": I used to do that for a living. It's easier on (as well as with) babies.

Rorshach, I want to know what happened with the Dietzia patient too. And somebody tell Quackman what ~they~ use E. coli for sometime, hey?

# 404: And the "Cheer" from old George: ...

Dear Old Dad taught us this one, and my three sisters choreographed it and um cheerled it for select audiences when they were cheerleaders:

Rickety-rack!
Ram-ram!
Son of a bitch!
God damn!
Righty-dighty
Christ almighty!
Rah rah
SHIT!

Something he'd invented in smalltown Coal Region Catholic school in the mid-1940s, because the tempora and mores demanded it.

Ron Sullivan
http://toad.faultline.org

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I hate to say this, but the Intersectionites may have a point. Maybe it's dangerous if we keep telling people to pleasure themselves with all sorts of implements on such a popular blog. I just went to the store, and... they were all out of lube.

OH NOEZ !!!

MANNERZ CAT IS SHOKED, SHOKED TO SEE PPLZ YUZIN BAD WURDS ON TEH INTERNETS !!!!!!

<*fallz over*>

<*diez*>

<*iz ded*>

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Well, apparently the Piltdown Man posting at that thread claims not to be our Piltdown Man:

Really? Bugger.

I was hoping to respond to what was quoted @#76 with some choice tidbits I dug up.

Posted by: Piltdown Man | September 23, 2008 3:22 PM

In a sane world these scumbags would be publicly whipped, castrated or executed according to the serious of the offence.

Posted by: Piltdown Man | September 28, 2008 12:59 PM

In a society defined by religious belief, heresy is necessarily subversive of the social order. Surely any society that is based on defined principles must necessarily exclude opposing principles ... ?

Posted by: Piltdown Man | September 9, 2009 4:43 AM

My defence of the Inquisition, like my defence of the Crusades, is a defence of what I take to be the basic principles involved -- namely that a polity has the right to defend itself against external aggression and internal subversion, with lethal force if necessary.

Oh, well.

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bride,

I can discern the origin/meaning of all of those terms except for "John Brumbies".

Please, do enlighten me.

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Ichthyic #488

competitive outdoors racing on long courses typically involves VERY careful water balancing, and most riders take a quick break when they reach the main race-start point

How times have changed - I remember when you would see (on the tv coverage) a pro sprint off up the road four or five hours into a day's racing, only to see him rejoin the peleton at the back a couple of minutes later having dealt with his 'call of nature' at a secluded roadside spot.

There were also stories of riders using empty water-bottles for the purpose (I seem to recall a prominent Irish rider was reputed to hand such re-filled bottles to his domestiques as a practical joke - I don't think I would have laughed, but still...)

By Usagichan (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

boygenius

John Brumby is the current Premier of the state of Victoria ( not sure of you're in the US but equivalent of a Governor). I'd say he's a total softcock but I live in Queensland and our Premier ( Anna Bligh) is an even bigger assclam.

By Bride of Shrek OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

What is the multiplier to use to determine the ratio of softcock/assclam?

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

How times have changed - I remember when you would see (on the tv coverage) a pro sprint off up the road four or five hours into a day's racing, only to see him rejoin the peleton at the back a couple of minutes later having dealt with his 'call of nature' at a secluded roadside spot.

yeah, I have to specify that the races I'm more familiar with are offroad.

as to things like the Tours?

some of those stages are long enough that they simply have to stop at some point.

I think indeed their team cars follow along with "facilities" for them to use (yeah, probably a bucket or plastic bottle).

as to things like the Tours?

Yep, that's the sort of thing I was thinking of - Average speeds for stage races have increased so much that I was originally speculating that stopping is less of an option now (always some team pushing the pace up to chase down breaks, or to stop anyone getting away for their sprinter to take points), so the riders 'needs' must be dealt with on the move (eating and drinking always has been).

By Usagichan (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Hey boygenius

You see what were doing here? We're interrupting the conversational flow of a couple of BIKE NERDS!!!

By Bride of Shrek OM (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Many years ago, I had the unfortunate "opportunity" to serve two days of SILD (Sheriff Inmate Labor Detail) in lieu of ten days in jail. You've seen 'em, those losers on the side of the road wearing the orange vests and picking up trash? I was astonished at the number of plastic bottles full of urine that we came across. Probably the bulk of what we cleaned up. Assholes.

By boygenius (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink