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Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: State Farm Nukes Rob Schneider ads
« Last post by lofgren on Today at 01:52:50 AM »
I had three reactions:

1) BAD. This is silly. Obviously State Farm can hire an actor without having to endorse every statement and position that actor has made or taken.

2) BAD. Schneider is not primarily known for his vaccine or science positions. All you do by drawing attention to them is make more people aware of them.

3) Good. Healthcare companies ought to take firm positions with regards to vaccines, given the scientific evidence. Pulling the ad is the clearest way to make that position known.

On the surface the benefits of 3 appear to outweigh the other two. However given the other two, this is likely to be perceived as political rather than scientific. Just another blow in the culture war. It generates interest in Schneider's positions and makes him into a martyr. State Farm has already taken the position that they are removing the ad due to negative publicity rather than Schneider's unscientific views.

In the future a better approach might be to pressure State Farm to clearly state their position with regard to vaccines. If they say openly that they highly recommend vaccinating in any situation deemed appropriate by a doctor, that there is no evidence vaccines cause autism, and that they do not endorse any statements made by Schneider outside of his role in this commercial, just let it go and move on.

If they vacillate on any of the above statements or take a contrary position, go for the jugular and keep the focus on the healthcare company's position.

Schneider and his positions should never be at the forefront of the conversation. That makes it personal which allows too many opportunities for State Farm or Schneider to control perceptions of their audience. Schneider is not powerful or respected enough for his personal positions to matter. We want to keep people focused on the evidence, not on petty vendettas against fourth-tier celebrities.
Tech / Re: Apple & other smartwatches
« Last post by Ambious on Today at 12:42:16 AM »
Despite my enthusiasm, I have to agree.
This is the first generation, and first generations of products are not without their problems.
As one analyst wrote. the flaws in the Moto360 are probably because of cost-cutting, and he (and I) would gladly have paid 100$ more to see those issues resolved.
I'll be waiting to see what they can whip up for their second generation (if only because I can't get my hands on this one).
To paraphrase Marques Brownly (MKBHD): "Is it perfect? No. It's just 'ok'. Is it better than any other smartwatch right now? Absolutely yes".
General Discussion / Re: Analysis of the Novellas' inside humor
« Last post by arthwollipot on Today at 12:32:28 AM »
I don't get it.

which I think is the point of an inside joke
General Discussion / Re: Emma Watson calls for men to join feminism
« Last post by Ambious on Today at 12:32:17 AM »
I'm also an Atheist, an Israeli, a Jew, a Skeptic a man and

can I just slip in the comment that there's probably no good reason to capitalize 'atheist' or 'skeptic'? (I know it's probably just trivia (but if I'm wrong I want to know why), and I think it does help people confuse these things with ideologies: 'Republican' and 'republican' are very different animals. 'Republican' opposes 'Democrat', 'Christian' and 'Atheist' looks like a matching pair of ideologies, which takes us away from the proper theist/atheist distinction)

You're absolutely right, I've been doing that (capitalizing things that don't need to be capitalized) forever. I'll try to pay more attention to it in the future.
General Discussion / Re: Emma Watson calls for men to join feminism
« Last post by arthwollipot on Today at 12:25:43 AM »
Still think releasing nude photos of someone on the internet without their consent is not a form of sexual assault?


Though there’s no way to know if this is a real threat, or just an ugly prank, Jill Filipovic of Cosmopolitan captured some 4chan users explicitly suggesting nude photo leaks to punish Watson for her outspoken feminism. "That feminist bitch Emma is going to show the world she is as much of a whore as any woman," wrote one. "She makes stupid feminist speeches at UN, and now her nudes will be online, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH," wrote another.

In addition to the clock the website features a photo of Watson wiping away tears. The choice is a telling one, demonstrating that the point of releasing these photos—or threatening to—is not the pleasure of seeing someone naked. After all, there are millions of images of naked women who happen to be consenting available online. It's about getting those tears, the pleasure of hurting and humiliating a woman who offended you by being unobtainable, and by standing up for other women.
Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: State Farm Nukes Rob Schneider ads
« Last post by arthwollipot on Today at 12:16:26 AM »
Okay, no worries. I just like to be up on the jargon people use :)
Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: Palaeontology Megathread
« Last post by Rai on September 22, 2014, 11:52:34 PM »
Mark Witton, of "terrestrial stalking azhdarchids" fame has been communicating with the Spinosaurus paper authors and seems to have been convinced that the hip and hindlimb proportions are correct.

General Discussion / Re: Anyone wanna do a skeptics in the pub in october? (London)
« Last post by mr_fuzzer on September 22, 2014, 11:03:58 PM »
I know, i was talking about a drink. Anyway it would have to be the 17th.
Any takers?
Podcast Episodes / Re: Episode #479
« Last post by Henning on September 22, 2014, 10:46:18 PM »
Haha, I should've read that one.  Cyd, you'd need some kind of enriched-uranium Meltdown Machine, not a dirty bomb, for that.  Again, unpersuasive. 
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