Author Topic: Shermer continues to be a bum  (Read 1286 times)

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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2019, 05:38:04 AM »
Breeds stronger people, or filters out people who aren't already adapted to the specific tasks.

Both are good results if the tasks are critical to being able to work in the field they are choosing to study.  If they are extraneous, then I agree but I already said that.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2019, 06:22:28 AM »
Breeds stronger people, or filters out people who aren't already adapted to the specific tasks.

Both are good results if the tasks are critical to being able to work in the field they are choosing to study.  If they are extraneous, then I agree but I already said that.
I would say this is true if you are training for a job rather than studying a subject.
Yes, most engineers will need to be able to present their ideas. But could there be space for a person with engineering skills who does not need to do this?
Conceivably, I think so.
On the other hand, if a person training to be a cop is too shy to do crowd control...well they cant really do much else with their qualification.
The world is full of people using the skills from their degrees to work in fields completely unrelated to what they studied.

Experience in presenting ideas is certainly useful for most people, but I dont think it should stop someone getting a general degree.
Let employers vett for particular skills they need for the roles they need to fill.

Offline Rai

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2019, 06:39:44 AM »
If Shermer deems public speaking important enought that doing a TED talk is part of the course, then perparing the students properly is his job. This includes teaching ways to counteract anxiety and boost confidence. As an educator, Shermer should be providing knowledge and skills that enables his stundents to complete every task he gives them, instead of just making up some requirement and watch as the "weak" perish. Especially not if the "weak" have certified disabilities.

Sure, adversity makes people stronger. You know what also makes people stronger? Skills and knowledge, but they do it without psychological damage. Teachers should be providing the latter and not the former.

This kind of useless Spartan bullshit would have been abandoned by now.

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2019, 06:48:25 AM »
Well, to be fair to Shermer his tweet was in response to that option being taken from him. Because those 3 students are now exempt, he has no choice but to let them not do it. We also have no idea what his plans would be for those 3 if they did not have exemptions and it's not warranted to assume he'd just steamroll right over them. He may very well be adept at helping anxious students perform better for all we know.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2019, 07:24:14 AM »
They should be exempt. And if they want extra help to attempt it, then support mechanisms should be looked at.

I would be interested to see his proposed plan for 'helping' them.
And his justification as to why giving a TED talk is relevant enough to the course to make it mandatory.

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2019, 07:49:25 AM »
I don't know just about anything relevant about this to weigh in on the merits of his requirements. I just know that I really fucking hate the flippant attitude of treating people with diagnosed anxiety as if they are just making it up to get out of work. He's not a psychiatrist and he's certainly not THEIR psychiatrist, so there really is no other interpretation here of his public reaction other than he's a massive tool who thinks he knows it all.

Offline skepticahjumma

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2019, 08:12:30 AM »
Almost regardless of his opinion, those three students are going to read that tweet and know he’s talking about them. That’s rude.

Offline Rai

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2019, 08:20:16 AM »
Well, to be fair to Shermer his tweet was in response to that option being taken from him. Because those 3 students are now exempt, he has no choice but to let them not do it. We also have no idea what his plans would be for those 3 if they did not have exemptions and it's not warranted to assume he'd just steamroll right over them. He may very well be adept at helping anxious students perform better for all we know.

"You should feel anxious" does not sound like he was planning to build up their confidence.

I am rather sure that this is a fantastic power fantasy for him, making his students miserable. Which is not out of character for an unrepentant rapist and serial harasser.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2019, 11:07:08 AM »
I do not believe for one femptosecond (sorry — fempto is just such a cool prefix) that adversity makes people stronger. A few people, I’ll pull a number out of my ass and say one in a thousand, survive extreme adversity because they have the strength and stamina and drive and are fortunate in the details of the circumstances, and they become the examples we remember. Much like the rare individual who “works” his/her way out of poverty to become wealthy and becomes the example for the bullshit idea that “anyone can work their way out of poverty.”

Adversity tears people down. It destroys people. A few lucky ones will survive it.

This should not be confused with challenging yourself up to your limits with constructive tasks. A really good teacher will perceive a student’s capabilities and challenge the student up to those limits, thereby building skills and confidence.

“Anxiety” is too broad a term to be generalizable without more specificity. Anyone might be anxious about an upcoming difficult task. A disabling anxiety disorder is a whole ‘nuther level of thing which needs to be addressed, probably on two levels: treatment to help deal with it, and accommodations to help avoid the triggers.
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Offline Beef Wellington

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2019, 06:24:46 PM »
Is there a single "big name" atheist/skeptic from 10 years ago that has embraced twitter in a positive way?  Inability to use social media seems to their enduring legacy.

Phil Plait has been pretty good at it.

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Offline Bill K

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2019, 06:55:46 PM »
What daniel said.

I think there needs to be realized a distinction exists between expected, normal and healthy anxiety and potentially debilitating or limiting, professionally diagnosed anxiety disorders. I notice a lot of grouping together of the two, almost with implied illegitimacy of such psychological disorders. It's not just anxiety.

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« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 07:08:37 PM by Bill K »
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2019, 07:08:41 PM »
What daniel said.

I think there needs to be realized a distinguish exists between expected, normal and healthy anxiety and potentially debilitating or limiting, professionally diagnosed anxiety disorders. I notice a lot of grouping together of the two.

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This is a thing, funnily enough, that is exactly what I'm struggling with in game rules design.  Not enough words.  Or, rather, using the same word for two different things.

(click to show/hide)

Anyway, anxiety.  You're right, that there is a thing described as anxiety that can maybe result in extra effort and improved performance (arguable, but that's the claim).  And then there's this other thing described as anxiety that is a brain thing that doesn't help performance.  And we have those two things with the same word.  Not helpful.
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Offline superdave

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2019, 07:17:18 PM »
Obviously it's a bit of a black box but presumably his school has an office whose job it is to review medical claims for disabilities and I am sure you need some sort of evidence to get approval.  I am also sure that getting this approval and diagnosis is probably not very hard to get if a person really wants it, but it isn't the case that people can just claim they get anxious and can just get out of tests.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2019, 10:35:01 PM »
I'm not familiar with this man much, apart from now-vague memories of him on the podcast and the allegations of being sexually inappropriate.

It's more than "allegations of being sexually appropriate". He got a young woman drunk and had sex with her while she was incapable of consenting. He was married at the time.

She dropped out of skepticism and has now changed her name and is doing okay.
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Offline Bill K

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2019, 11:51:31 PM »
Forgive my wording... However, isn't that an allegation?

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« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 11:54:43 PM by Bill K »
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