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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2017 :  20:14:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's a strong argument to be made that there shouldn't be any "thought leaders" among skeptics in the first place. There are people who have an attitude that Shermer, Dawkins or even Randi can do no wrong, which indicates the sort of cult of personality that skeptics should oppose at every turn. That humans make mistakes and have biases are two very basic skeptical premises, and they should be understood to apply to everyone, not just crystal healers and creationists.

Of course, having "icons" of skepticism gets people motivated, but if the icons aren't particularly active, then what good is the motivation? Lead by example. Some of today's "icons" seem content to sit on their book sales and speaking fees, without actually trying to get in front of anything and really show the next generation how to skeptic. Randi's de facto partnership with Johnny Carson may have been a once-in-all-our-lifetimes lucky break.

At least Bill Nye's new show is trending on Netflix, but I don't have any delusions that the audience is as large as Carson's was.

I'm sure that's partly the reason why, for the first time in many years, I have no interest in going to the major skeptical event in Vegas.
One of the factors may just be fatigue. Looking at the speaker list, a lot of the same names appear over and over again.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2017 :  20:25:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

no I'm talking about the general social and political divide rather than just the skeptical community...
Yeah, I know. In which case, I'll play the Scott Roeder and Robert Lewis Dear cards, and point out that the left quit resorting to shootings and bombings over 40 years ago.

The reason so many Republicans are upset with the SPLC today is because the SPLC is correct in that many of our domestic terrorists are old white guys with too many guns and too much hate. Compare and contrast the FBI's investigations into civil rights groups vs. "patriot" groups.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2017 :  20:42:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also...
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

no I'm talking about the general social and political divide...
Are you saying that (for example) calling a legislator a racist for racially gerrymandering themselves a sure electoral victory is as morally bad as (or worse than) being a racist who gerrymanders himself a sure electoral victory?

Are you saying that calling someone a sexual predator is as bad (or worse than) being a sexual predator?

Because these are the kinds of conflicts going on in society today.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2017 :  21:26:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You were saying, OFfC?:
...[T]he man began making racist remarks to the young women. A group of men tried to quiet him... and he stabbed them. - Oregon Live

Also, it seems that speaking Spanish in public is grounds for verbal and physical abuse, now.

But both sides are equally as bad, right?

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13377 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2017 :  08:48:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave:
At least Bill Nye's new show is trending on Netflix, but I don't have any delusions that the audience is as large as Carson's was.

And of course, it would be helpful if the show weren't pretty awful. I'm not going to do a review here, but darn!

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2017 :  18:35:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

And of course, it would be helpful if the show weren't pretty awful.
Huh. I don't think it's "I have to watch this a thousand times!" great, but I don't think it's horrible, either.
I'm not going to do a review here...
Of course not! We have a folder for reviews.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2017 :  09:49:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Stephen Knight is trying to throw the pall of hypocrisy on anyone who criticized the "hoax" article for being in a pay-to-publish journal without directly saying so. One such critic, Phil Torres, commented there:
This entire fiasco has been deeply wounding to those who care about facts. Not only was the B&L “hoax” (which “L” is now calling a “joke paper”) riddled with factual errors that neither B&L nor Skeptic have publicly corrected (because doing so would be ideologically inconvenient, of course), but I’ve been asking Stephen for several days to remove my name from this blog post: as a matter of verifiable fact, I have never once paid to be published, and I even attached screen shots of and forwarded editor emails from both Metaphilosophy and Foresight confirming that, contra the claims of this article, which people are still reading, they *do not* charge authors. A correction needs to be made fast because misinformation is spreading — but if there’s one thing this “hoax” reveals it’s that misinformation is, well, kinda okay if it suits your narrative.
So far, all Stephen Knight has offered is this "update":
Phil Torres has contacted me by email: “I can honestly affirm that I have never paid to publish an article”. He is working on a follow-up article which I shall link to here when it is published.
Ophelia Benson remarks that this is "insultingly inadequate."

Torres also begged Jerry Coyne:
Look, there have been literally *hundreds* of fake scientific papers published in open-access, pay-to-publish, peer-review scientific journals. Yet *no reasonable person* would conclude that these papers undercut science. Please, do the right thing and publicly acknowledge that this “hoax” says something (wholly unoriginal) about pay-to-publish journals, but absolutely nothing about gender studies. (Which is not to say that gender studies deserves no criticism.) The credibility of the skeptics community is on the line.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1414 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2017 :  11:33:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I follow Peter Boghassian on Twitter and he's still obsessed with feminism/gender. His latest tweet...
I never liked that Newton guy. The apple falling on his head is clearly representative of tea- bagging, i.e., male dominance. @CollegeFix



After Thomas Smith's interview with James Lindsay, Thomas tweeted a summary of what James Lindsay said...
"Our hoax failed to do what we said it did, but we won't apologize. Go do the work we should have done. In the meantime, we're still right."





Edited by - ThorGoLucky on 05/30/2017 11:37:57
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2017 :  18:17:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Adam Lee:
Worse, these same white guys often have the temerity to claim that they’re the unbiased, apolitical ones, whereas us social-justice warriors are tainting the pure water of skepticism with “ideology“. Ironically, if this shabby and nakedly political hoax accomplishes anything, it should be to prove once and for all why this is a false and untenable distinction.

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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1414 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2017 :  17:02:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see the light! Adam Lee is now another blog for me to regularly check, thx.

If you notice such a skeptical blind spot on me, please let me know.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2017 :  18:57:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

I see the light! Adam Lee is now another blog for me to regularly check, thx.
If there's one awesome thing about the Patheos platform, it's that all their blogs have individual RSS feeds. I wish FreeThoughtBlogs had them, but with FTB, one's RSS reader gets everyone's posts or nobody's.

I don't know how I lived without a feed-reader for a decade. I use Feedly (.com).

If you notice such a skeptical blind spot on me, please let me know.
Kil and I used to discuss the fact that everyone who considers themselves a skeptic seems to have one issue about which they're completely unskeptical. I don't know what mine is, yet. I'm not sure Kil does, either.

But as an example, we used to have a guy here who was extraordinarily knowledgeable and absolutely relentless towards anyone who made truth claims about Jesus or Christianity in general, but he decided that he couldn't share this forum space with me if I were to question his negative opinions about the gays' governance of San Francisco, so he split. I was amazed, 'cause I'd never witnessed such a turn-around before - from a detail-oriented person who provided ample references for his arguments to, basically, "screw you if you don't agree with my unreferenced ramblings" within a few days.

It's a cautionary tale, though, Thor. In most people I've seen it happen to, they started out as "please let me know" kind of people, but ended with nasty, emotional statements about why they'll never change their minds about whatever subject X happens to be, and how dare anyone question their skepticism.

People in general don't like their hypocrisy pointed out to them. Skeptics seem to take it extraordinarily badly.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13377 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2017 :  19:50:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave W:
Kil and I used to discuss the fact that everyone who considers themselves a skeptic seems to have one issue about which they're completely unskeptical. I don't know what mine is, yet. I'm not sure Kil does, either.
We saw it happen a few times. Slater's unwillingness to even consider his homophobia just might be irrational was one of the more dramatic.

There are things that I should have been skeptical of but just accepted until I was either straightened out or I learned enough about it to change my mind on my own. An example of that was that while arguing for GMOs I still went along with the idea that Monsanto was evil incarnate for a while. I also bought into the whole False Memory Syndrome meme (like the good skeptic that I am) until Michelle turned me on that one with studies and really good arguments. But no. I haven't found that thing that I have become so emotional about that I just can't consider the possibility that I might be wrong. I've disagreed with other skeptics at times but I don't think I've ever become unreasonable about whatever it was. I hope I never will.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2017 :  20:40:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

We saw it happen a few times. Slater's unwillingness to even consider his homophobia just might be irrational was one of the more dramatic.
I wasn't going to name names, but if we're going to... Yeah, I was talking about Slater, who was a well-respected and valued member of SFN until he went bugshit about the Gays.

And Beskeptigal was awesome here until she boldly asserted that it wasn't worth her time to educate anyone on the benefits of Net Neutrality even though I was just playing Devil's Advocate against her.

Dude left because he attempted to refute the "Schrodinger's Rapist" illustration with bad probability calculations.

bngbuck couldn't understand that "it's just my opinion" doesn't insulate one from criticism, because one's opinions are based on some sort of evidence.

And Gorgo had problems with anyone even a smidgen to the right of Chomsky.

There are things that I should have been skeptical of but just accepted until I was either straightened out or I learned enough about it to change my mind on my own...
Just to clarify, I wouldn't hold anything against anyone prior to their "conversion" to skepticism. I used to believe all sorts of crap until I stumbled upon Bob Carroll's Skeptic's Dictionary and SFN around the same time. It's not hypocritical to believe in crystal power at age 19 and then change your mind about it after you learn it's all bunkum years later.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1414 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2017 :  09:16:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was thinking about starting a new topic about skeptical blindspots, but quicly realized that the Shermer thread is a good place for such a discussion, heh.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13377 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2017 :  14:53:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

I was thinking about starting a new topic about skeptical blindspots, but quicly realized that the Shermer thread is a good place for such a discussion, heh.

Should we start with libertarian skeptics who deny or are soft on doing anything about climate change?


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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