Author Topic: Shermer continues to be a bum  (Read 1616 times)

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2019, 11:55:48 PM »
Forgive my wording... However, isn't that an allegation?

No. It happened.
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Offline Bill K

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2019, 11:56:32 PM »
I'll have to read more about it. Thanks.

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2019, 12:16:37 AM »
I'll have to read more about it. Thanks.

There's only really one good article online, which I suspect you've probably already read. I know a little more because she's a friend and we've talked about it.
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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2019, 03:17:33 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.

I feel like any difference of opinion we have is a semantic one over the definitions of adversity, anxiety, and so on.  To illustrate my point beyond mere words, I'll just refer to a reality show, Hell's Kitchen.  Gordon Ramsay is without a doubt a gifted and talented chef and I'm sure he's produced many other fantastic chefs in his career.  On his show, he berates, belittles, insults, and tears down everyone who makes a mistake.  Admittedly, some are rather serious mistakes, but regardless his shtick is to be as big an impatient and non-caring an asshole as possible.  I've heard from other chefs in interviews that they hate his show because it represents a very specific kind of chef that was very mainstream back in the '80s and '90s, but that now, it's a terrible misrepresentation of how the next generation of chefs is being trained and most chefs are not like that at all.  That is the type of adversity that has no place in any kind of education except for where it prepares people to deal with that kind of behavior after their education is complete.  The type of adversity I think is fine and healthy is the kind that holds people to certain standards and does not allow them to slip by to make them feel better.  That's not the same thing as treating someone with a disability the same as someone without.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2019, 07:46:49 AM »
I dont think the issue is that Eternally Learning is making any sort of unreasonable argument, but rather that Shermer has appropriated this reasonable position to justify his ignorance and cruel preferences.

Offline mindme

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2019, 08:36:34 AM »
I used to like Shermer back when I was dipping my toe into the world of podcast skepticism (I had been a skeptic since the 80s but podcasts kind of brought it back into my life). Anyway, I started to watch Shermer debate creationists on youtube. And the guy sucked. He seemed like his approach was to just show up.

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Online Sawyer

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2019, 09:46:57 AM »
I used to like Shermer back when I was dipping my toe into the world of podcast skepticism (I had been a skeptic since the 80s but podcasts kind of brought it back into my life). Anyway, I started to watch Shermer debate creationists on youtube. And the guy sucked. He seemed like his approach was to just show up.

I guess it's time for me to defend the one thing of Shermer's that I actually like - the book Denying History regarding Holocaust denial.  I think it was my first serious exposure to the idea that racist crackpots can be extremely smart and manipulative, and how neither being armed with facts nor sufficient moral outrage are effective counters to their arguments.  It also does a good job of laying out the evolution of how we have approached historical research over time (although I suspect if I read it now I'd think Shermer was being to dismissive of Postmodernism).

Offline Bill K

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2019, 10:44:17 AM »
Quote from: Eternally Learning
I feel like any difference of opinion we have is a semantic one over the definitions of adversity, anxiety, and so on.

 As such, we should try and make clear when we're referring to the normal feeling of anxiety that every human being comes equipped, and actual anxiety disorders.

Quote from: Etertnally Learning
That is the type of adversity that has no place in any kind of education except for where it prepares people to deal with that kind of behavior after their education is complete.

 I disagree in that such behavior in education only helps to keep the cycle of work-place harassment going. Right?

Quote from: Eternally Learning
The type of adversity I think is fine and healthy is the kind that holds people to certain standards and does not allow them to slip by to make them feel better.

 Really? People with legitimate mental disorders aren't trying to "slip by" nor are they asking to be made to "feel better." They have limitations as a consequence of having said mental disorders, and perhaps doing a TED talk for their vindictive professor is one of them. I feel like if this were instead of about anxiety disorders but something more akin to depression, bipolar, what have you, that it wouldn't be being taken so lightly.

 
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2019, 10:52:14 AM »
There is a very real issue of people obtaining special privileges by claiming disabilities they don’t really have. Examples would be the person falsely claiming they need their dog for emotional stability, so they can bring it into places where dogs should not be allowed, when their real reason is they imagine the dog is unhappy if left at home for an hour; or someone who just doesn’t like to walk claiming a disability they don’t really have so that they can use the disabled parking closer to entries; or even someone getting a prescription for “medical” marijuana when their real use is recreational, something I suspect is quite common.

But the solution to such fraudulent abuses of disability accommodations is not to repeal or deny all such accommodations, it’s better enforcement of the requirements to get such accommodations. Maybe penalize doctors who are found to be handing out diagnoses for people they know to be faking.

@Eternally Learning: I really don’t think that adversity ever makes anybody stronger. I completely disagree with the trite aphorism that “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But I concede that you and I might be using different meanings for “adversity.” I think of things like being born into poverty, living with a disability, being surrounded by or in the power of abusive people, being stuck in a job with low pay or unhealthy conditions, etc. Many people overcome such conditions, and that shows great strength of character. But I don’t think it was the condition that bred or built that character. Their success owes entirely to themselves, not to the adversity they had to overcome. The great majority of people are beaten down or destroyed by adversity.
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Offline Bill K

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2019, 10:58:14 AM »
There is a very real issue of people obtaining special privileges by claiming disabilities they don’t really have.

 You're absolutely correct... I think being emotionally invested in this topic has caused me to somewhat overlook that fact. How can such fraud be policed better?
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2019, 11:33:12 AM »
There is a very real issue of people obtaining special privileges by claiming disabilities they don’t really have.

 You're absolutely correct... I think being emotionally invested in this topic has caused me to somewhat overlook that fact. How can such fraud be policed better?

I don’t know. Sometimes it may be best to let it pass. Sometimes attempting to strictly enforce rules does more harm than good. An example is that a few people on welfare are cheaters. Conservatives use this to argue against welfare entirely. They would allow a hundred to starve rather than risk giving free food to one person who doesn’t really need it. The Shermer types would drive a hundred kids out of college rather than risk allowing one lazy student to get out of taking a test.

Safety nets exist to protect people. It’s a social/political decision how large or small to make the weave. You can never prevent all fraud. You just have to try to find an acceptable balance between protecting the needy and preventing fakery. I’m inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt, except perhaps for the women (seems like it’s usually women) who bring their football dogs into the grocery store. I have an emotional prejudice against football dogs and their owners. If I had a tiger I’d train it to eat football dogs. (Yes, it’s not news that I’m a bad person.)
Daniel
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Online Billzbub

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2019, 12:15:20 PM »
There is a very real issue of people obtaining special privileges by claiming disabilities they don’t really have.

 You're absolutely correct... I think being emotionally invested in this topic has caused me to somewhat overlook that fact. How can such fraud be policed better?

I don’t know. Sometimes it may be best to let it pass. Sometimes attempting to strictly enforce rules does more harm than good. An example is that a few people on welfare are cheaters. Conservatives use this to argue against welfare entirely. They would allow a hundred to starve rather than risk giving free food to one person who doesn’t really need it. The Shermer types would drive a hundred kids out of college rather than risk allowing one lazy student to get out of taking a test.

Safety nets exist to protect people. It’s a social/political decision how large or small to make the weave. You can never prevent all fraud. You just have to try to find an acceptable balance between protecting the needy and preventing fakery. I’m inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt, except perhaps for the women (seems like it’s usually women) who bring their football dogs into the grocery store. I have an emotional prejudice against football dogs and their owners. If I had a tiger I’d train it to eat football dogs. (Yes, it’s not news that I’m a bad person.)

There is wisdom in this post.  It seems obvious once you say it, but this concept honestly never occurred to me until very recently.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2019, 07:45:04 PM »
I do not believe for one femptosecond (sorry — fempto is just such a cool prefix)

Femto-. Not "fempto".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_prefix
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2019, 08:39:24 PM »
I do not believe for one femptosecond (sorry — fempto is just such a cool prefix)

Femto-. Not "fempto".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_prefix

I had a friend in Mexico who, when we were speaking English always said “bullship.” I pointed out to her that it was “bullshit,” not “ship.” She cheerfully said she didn’t care. She liked “bullship” better.

Clearly I had it wrong, but I like “fempto” better.
Daniel
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Re: Shermer continues to be a bum
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2019, 09:22:50 PM »
I think I like bullship better too.
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