Author Topic: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations  (Read 6357 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online D4M10N

  • Seasoned Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #225 on: March 13, 2018, 01:38:20 PM »






I've been thinking along those lines for a few years now. It started with elevatorgate, but it was easy to dismiss that as primarily "internet drama." Hearing about Shermer, and the absolute, abject failure of organized skepticism regarding him left me disenchanted to say the least.

Which skeptic groups still platform Shermer, other than the one he heads up?

When women are warning each other about who to avoid, who to watch out for, who not to be alone with because there are predators that *no one in a position of authority is doing anything about* things are fucked up. If a person has to rape someone before people running the show finally decide that person is a problem things are fucked up. Or do you believe Shermer was an angel right up until the credible rape allegation?

So when you referred to an "absolute, abject failure of organized skepticism" re: Shermer you meant prior to the Buzzfeed exposé about him?

When an organization only does the right thing because of bad publicity yes, I consider that a failure.

This is becoming increasingly difficult to follow.

Can I safely assume you are damning JREF in particular, rather than organized skepticism generally?

Online random poet

  • That's bullshit!
  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1843
  • On n'a jamais le temps, le temps nous a.
    • I have a LJ
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #226 on: March 13, 2018, 04:20:15 PM »
(click to show/hide)

Just watched todays video from Steve Shives. He actually summed up my thoughts pretty much perfectly.

Im not posting this as any sort of argument in itself but just as a thing that anyone interested can listen to while they do whatever it is they do!
This guy is amazing. I can't believe, out of the millions of fucking YouTube channels I'm following, that I didn't know about him.
Aujourd'hui j'ai vu un facteur joyeux.

Online arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #227 on: March 13, 2018, 05:48:24 PM »
No, that's not how context works. What you're giving me is a load of bullshit.
It's not bullshit, and if you'd ever talked to anyone who has known about this stuff for literally years, you wouldn't so cavalierly dismiss it.

Or maybe you would. After all, you're talking to someone who has known about this stuff for literally years right now, and you're cavalierly dismissing it. How many people need to tell you about it before an "anonymous rumour" becomes believable fact?

"everyone who's interacted with him in a social situation knows it"? Really?
Pretty close to everyone, yes. And anyone who has spoken to any of those people about him. Some, like you, dismiss or excuse the behaviour. But very few people deny it.

Additional bullshit clipped - skipping to the final point.

If that's the case, then doesn't it seem that there ought to be more than just anonymous rumors to go on?
There is more than just anonymous rumours. There are many direct eyewitness accounts from reliable people. Is it only at one remove that an account of a direct and specific personal experience becomes an "anonymous rumour"? I have spoken to people who have said "yes, this happened to me". Are you accusing me of lying, or accusing them?

No, I'm not going to name them for you because that would be an invasion of their privacy. It's up to them to come forward, not me to out them. Besides, I can't imagine that any of them would be even remotely interested in engaging with you on this subject. You are the reason people are reluctant to report sexual harassment.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3638
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #228 on: March 13, 2018, 05:53:34 PM »
Matt Dillahunty has made a statement. Glad he eventually came to his senses on this matter:

Quote from: Matt Dillahunty
Briefly...

Instead of waiting until NaNoCon (Nashville, next weekend), I sat down with Callie Wright and Stephanie Zvan on a special edition of The Gaytheist Manifesto, to answer questions about my views related to the Krauss/Buzzfeed article. They asked questions, I talked...a lot (surprise).

The primary position is this:

I will not be working with Lawrence Krauss in the future.

The explanations are here, in detail, including answers to other questions people had asked.

I fully expect there to be additional questions from others. That said, I'm under massive time-constraints in the near future and may not have time to go into this further (which was part of the reason for sitting down with Callie and Stephanie in sort of an AMA to, at least for now, stick a fork in this).

I've got 5 days to prepare before hitting the road for NaNoCon followed by 3 months of touring the world with my 'Magic and Skepticism' show...in addition to Patreon videos and debate prep. There's a lot that needs to happen (including making sure that I don't head out on tour and strand my wife at home with my other unfinished projects).

So...listen, or don't - but if you have further questions, I have no idea when/if I'll get back around to this.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Online arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #229 on: March 13, 2018, 06:02:51 PM »

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 13574
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #230 on: March 13, 2018, 06:19:38 PM »
John, Im sorry if you feel that people are trying to shut you up, but the fact is that there are real people on the other end of these claims and so yes, I think some tact in how we handle it is appropriate and not at all unskeptical. Even in the hard sciences, conservation often takes priority over curiosity until a good balance can be reached.

So no, its not at all verboten but by focusing so much on what many see as one of the least transgressive of the claims, it does steer an entire discussion away from women who were borderline if not actually assaulted.
The other reason I dont want to just focus on one claim in isolation is because context is everything.
If he made a clumsy pick up attempt one time in an inappropriate venue, then thats one thing. I might shrug either way about whether or not he was invited back (If it was my employee he upset, he would not be). But with a pattern of claims, I think its more likely that he did not express his interest in a respectful way that was comfortable for the recipient. And I have actually seen people taken off of invite lists for poly (non sexy) social events for such a pattern.

As to the anonymous nature of the claims- My perspective is that I dont have a problem with the source. Buzzfeed is scoffed at as a place where clickbait lives, thats true. But I dont see them in the same light as the Daily Mail etc. Further, the actual writers and editor of the piece seem pretty good to be honest.
Added to that, people whose word I trust have spoken to the thoroughness of the journalism so I am willing to believe that the anonymous sources are known to the writers and have been vetted.
Added to that, prominant people whose word I have no reason to doubt also claim to know people who experienced Krauss' behaviour and on top of THAT I personally know people who are aquainted with one of the sources.

So I feel quite comfortable in believing them and dont accept that this should be a skeptical failing on my part.


And again. We are not talking about jailing a man. He behaved in a way at public events that damaged his brand and peoples trust in him. This is what happens.

If I was hiring a caterer for an event and people who had been at previous events told me he was handsy with female guests? I dont think I would feel ethically obligated to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Offline John Albert

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3948
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #231 on: March 13, 2018, 07:23:24 PM »
John, Im sorry if you feel that people are trying to shut you up

It's not that I feel that people are trying to shut me up. It's that people are drawing battle lines and hurling accusations when I'm simply trying to engage in a conversation about a particular relevant point.


the fact is that there are real people on the other end of these claims

There are presumably real people "on the other end" of all claims. That has no bearing on the veracity of those claims.


so yes, I think some tact in how we handle it is appropriate and not at all unskeptical. Even in the hard sciences, conservation often takes priority over curiosity until a good balance can be reached. So no, its not at all verboten but by focusing so much on what many see as one of the least transgressive of the claims

But here we are arguing over whether it's even appropriate to ask questions, regardless of the question itself. And your reasoning has nothing to do with the substance of the question.

Tact has nothing to do with it. There are important discussions to be had, that may help to prevent some kinds of inappropriate behavior in the future, and you're shutting that down on some flimsy premise of protecting the victims. 


it does steer an entire discussion away from women who were borderline if not actually assaulted.

How is someone "borderline" assaulted?


The other reason I dont want to just focus on one claim in isolation is because context is everything.

I'm not asking anyone to "focus on one claim in isolation" to the exclusion of all else. I'm raising a important point about where and how the lines are drawn between actual assault and this nebulous thing you apparently call "borderline assault," and you're refusing to even have that discussion.

It sounds an awful lot like, "never mind how we actually tell if somebody's a witch. There's no time, we have witches to burn!"


But with a pattern of claims, I think its more likely that he did not express his interest in a respectful way that was comfortable for the recipient.

How can you make such a determination when you know nothing about the people making the claim?


As to the anonymous nature of the claims- My perspective is that I dont have a problem with the source. Buzzfeed is scoffed at as a place where clickbait lives, thats true. But I dont see them in the same light as the Daily Mail etc. Further, the actual writers and editor of the piece seem pretty good to be honest.

From where I'm sitting it appears that you're quite eager to grab your torch and pitchfork any time somebody gets accused of this kind of thing.


Added to that, people whose word I trust have spoken to the thoroughness of the journalism so I am willing to believe that the anonymous sources are known to the writers and have been vetted.

Nobody I personally know or trust has verified the quality of the journalism. But given the business of journalism, it shouldn't be necessary to know somebody associated with the story in order to trust a story. If it were reported in a more respectable outlet as opposed to a gossipy clickbait website with a long history of articles attacking atheists. But journalism in the Internet age is far from trustworthy.

This kind of gossip smear piece is not a new thing in the age of Internet journalism, but ruining somebody's career over anonymous opinions is new. This kind of activity is reminiscent of witch hunts of the past that have ruined people's lives, and I fear that basing this kind of thing on anonymous opinions also sets a dangerous precedent going forward.

 
Added to that, prominant people whose word I have no reason to doubt also claim to know people who experienced Krauss' behaviour and on top of THAT I personally know people who are aquainted with one of the sources.

So I feel quite comfortable in believing them and dont accept that this should be a skeptical failing on my part.

So now you're saying you personally know people. You could have said that before.

Unfortunately, I'm not in such a privileged position, so my own skepticism does not allow me to make a determination either way. But I've been busy with a new job and haven't had the opportunity to read much more about this Lawrence Krauss thing aside from that Buzzfeed article. So if other accusations have come out in the past couple weeks I'm unaware of them.

As I said before, it's not my intention to defend Krauss. I've never met the guy. He may be a monster for all I know. His unrepentant denials and lack of self-reflection seem to indicate a flippant attitude, so there's that.


And again. We are not talking about jailing a man. He behaved in a way at public events that damaged his brand and peoples trust in him. This is what happens.

If I was hiring a caterer for an event and people who had been at previous events told me he was handsy with female guests? I dont think I would feel ethically obligated to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That's entirely fair.

But, going with your caterer example: if the claims have been reported through anonymous channels such as Yelp, how can you know they're accurate and weren't just put there by a rival caterer to ruin that business?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 08:22:25 PM by John Albert »

Offline John Albert

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3948
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #232 on: March 13, 2018, 08:05:45 PM »
No, that's not how context works. What you're giving me is a load of bullshit.

It's not bullshit, and if you'd ever talked to anyone who has known about this stuff for literally years, you wouldn't so cavalierly dismiss it.

You misunderstand what I'm saying. I don't mean that the claims are bullshit. Lacking context, I have no way of judging them.

The bullshit I'm referring to is the self-aggrandizing boast about yourself providing the context.


you're talking to someone who has known about this stuff for literally years right now, and you're cavalierly dismissing it.

I am? And who might that be? 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 08:10:03 PM by John Albert »

Offline John Albert

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3948
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #233 on: March 13, 2018, 08:03:42 PM »
If that's the case, then doesn't it seem that there ought to be more than just anonymous rumors to go on?

There is more than just anonymous rumours. There are many direct eyewitness accounts from reliable people. Is it only at one remove that an account of a direct and specific personal experience becomes an "anonymous rumour"? I have spoken to people who have said "yes, this happened to me". Are you accusing me of lying, or accusing them?

Suddenly everybody knows somebody personally.

So now you're the guy who's known for years about Krauss' inappropriate behavior? If that's the case, then what exactly did you mean when you said this, a mere two weeks ago, on page 6 of this thread?

     
I think that we are in dire need of more good communicators. It's a shame that one of them has turned out like this and we have to dump him.

That sounds to me like you were as surprised as anybody to find out that Krauss "has turned out like this."
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 12:15:42 PM by John Albert »

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 13574
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #234 on: March 14, 2018, 05:44:32 AM »
Ok John, I think its time for me to disengage from this discussion.
No one is hurling accusations at you. In fact I have pointed you out as an example of good behaviour and engagement  up thread.
You mention me getting my torch and pitchfork out? I think my response to each of these discussions has been balanced and individual. Rarely have I gotten angry and my response to Ansari was very different to Weinstein. I can criticise both without the critique being the same for both.

You claim we arent drawing a line between creepiness and assault but thats not true. Folks have repeatedly said that they arent talking about criminal charges, just not inviting a guy to parties.
The main thing though is that you are not taking me on good faith right now. You think Im using what you think is a flimsy excuse to shut down the discussion even though I have actually been engaging you in the discussion you want.
You are effectively calling me a liar.

You also seem to be expressing doubt that I know someone in this tiny community who is aquainted with people who have been at conferences with Krauss?

At this point its clear where we disagree and I dont think ever lengthening quote posts are going to fix it, so I would just rather move on.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3638
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #235 on: March 18, 2018, 09:45:14 AM »
In this episode of the European Skeptics Podcast, right in the beginning, they discuss the Krauss allegations. Worth listening to. :)
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Offline John Albert

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3948
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #236 on: March 18, 2018, 12:12:53 PM »
Ok John, I think its time for me to disengage from this discussion.
No one is hurling accusations at you.

I'm sorry if my wording seems overly strong to you, but from my point of view it seems that you haven't really been "engaging" with me in the first place.


In fact I have pointed you out as an example of good behaviour and engagement  up thread.

Yeah I saw you said that, and I appreciated that. But then you went on to insinuate that my skepticism represents a lack of tact on my part, and a disservice to victims. Those parts I did not appreciate. 


You mention me getting my torch and pitchfork out? I think my response to each of these discussions has been balanced and individual. Rarely have I gotten angry and my response to Ansari was very different to Weinstein. I can criticise both without the critique being the same for both.

I don't remember the conversation about Weinstein, but I seem to recall we had much the same kind of disagreement about Ansari.

Regarding the "pitchforks" comment, it's not just you. All of these discussions of sexual misconduct accusations exhibit a notable lack of skepticism, with most people taking the claims at face value and proceeding to malign the character of the accused.

If you guys really think that's okay, then I suppose no reasoned argument is going to change your mind, especially when you won't even engage with discussions about why it might not be okay.


The main thing though is that you are not taking me on good faith right now. You think Im using what you think is a flimsy excuse to shut down the discussion even though I have actually been engaging you in the discussion you want.

You haven't addressed a single one of my points. You've simply dismissed them on some insinuations that even engaging in discussion about those subjects is tactless and a "disservice." Basically you're arguing that the points I'm raising are inappropriate to even question. I don't understand how you rationalize that as anything other than shutting down discourse. 


You are effectively calling me a liar.

No, I never called you a liar. I said you're refusing to engage with reasoned arguments and instead casting aspersions against my character (implying that I'm tactless and have no compassion for victims).

Whenever I see somebody using tactics like that in discussion, I tend to put it down as them being unwilling to critically examine their own beliefs. That's not the same thing as lying.


You also seem to be expressing doubt that I know someone in this tiny community who is aquainted with people who have been at conferences with Krauss?

Where did I do that?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 12:17:54 PM by John Albert »

Online arthwollipot

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #237 on: March 18, 2018, 04:29:57 PM »
I am? And who might that be?
You cannot possibly be that obtuse.

So now you're the guy who's known for years about Krauss' inappropriate behavior?
Suddenly you're the guy who's known for years? That doesn't even make sense.

That sounds to me like you were as surprised as anybody to find out that Krauss "has turned out like this."
That's a deliberate misinterpretation of what I said and you know it.

Ok John, I think its time for me to disengage from this discussion.
Me too. Like I said, this is one reason why many people who suffer sexual assault and harassment do not report it - because when they do, they get confronted with this kind of response.

Offline John Albert

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3948
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #238 on: March 19, 2018, 01:49:50 PM »
So now you're the guy who's known for years about Krauss' inappropriate behavior?
Suddenly you're the guy who's known for years? That doesn't even make sense.

That sounds to me like you were as surprised as anybody to find out that Krauss "has turned out like this."
That's a deliberate misinterpretation of what I said and you know it.

Deliberate misinterpretation? I re-posted your exact words. If you meant something different, I'd like to hear your explanation.
 

this is one reason why many people who suffer sexual assault and harassment do not report it

Apparently, people do report it.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3638
Re: Laurence Krauss Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #239 on: March 24, 2018, 09:01:49 AM »
The Edinburgh Skeptics have also made a statement on Krauss (as the Australian Skeptics Inc did previously): Statement from Edinburgh Skeptics Committee – 11/3/18

Quote
Edinburgh Skeptics would like to put on record that any such behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We absolutely support the women who have made these allegations and any prospective speaker, volunteer or attendee at any of our events who acts in this way will not be welcome.

We want the Skeptical community to be known as a place which celebrates science, reason and critical thinking in an environment that is secure and open to everyone regardless of gender. There are far too few women in Skepticism and actions like this do much to fuel the belief that we are not such a place.

As a group that regularly promotes events under the banner of Skepicism and prides itself on being inclusive, open and welcoming to all, it grieves us that the reputation we, and many groups throughout the UK have built up over the years is being tarnished by the actions of Krauss and his apologists. This is not and should not be who we are. At our Fringe events last year over 70% of our speakers were women, our 2017 Science Festival had 7/8 female speakers and many of our committee and leaders over the years have been women. We will continue to champion the cause of women in science and ensure that our events are always a place where we continue to Respect People but Challenge Ideas.

Some people seem prone to blame the entire skeptical community for the failures of some specific American skeptical organizations or outlets. I don't think that's fair.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

 

personate-rain