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General Discussions => Skepticism / Science Talk => Topic started by: materialist_girl on July 28, 2017, 07:38:53 AM

Title: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 28, 2017, 07:38:53 AM
Look, that sexual predator's magazine is pro-Milo now! I'm sure the usual suspects will have a freeze peach circle jerk over this review of the book, but the rest of you really have to start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/george-michael-reviews-dangerous-by-milo-yiannopoulos/ (http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/george-michael-reviews-dangerous-by-milo-yiannopoulos/)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: superdave on July 28, 2017, 07:47:00 AM
start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

Literally the question that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 08:26:10 AM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 28, 2017, 01:36:29 PM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.

I don't think we read the same article. Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: random poet on July 28, 2017, 01:39:22 PM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.
1) There is no battle.
2) SJWs don't exist.
3) Nobody won or lost anything.
4) I'm not retarded, you are!
5) Milo is not worth the ink in that magazine (which is itself not worth its own ink, so, whatever).
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Ron Obvious on July 28, 2017, 01:42:22 PM
As soon as I saw the subject line of this post, I knew with near 100% certainty who had posted it. 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 01:43:06 PM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.

I don't think we read the same article. Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription

I have the third comment on the article:

Quote
I’m so glad this article summarized Milo’s stances rather than just quoting him at length. At a meta-level I can appreciate what he does, but he rambles on and the narcissism… It’s so much that I can’t be bothered to listen to him (without considerable effort) for more than two minutes at a time. Some people are outraged by him and want him silenced. I think it’s underestimated how many of us just find him to be a bore or annoying at an aesthetic level.

It's as if we read the exact same article, have similar reactions to Milo, but only one describes this article as having "fellated" him.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 28, 2017, 01:57:41 PM
It's as if we read the exact same article, have similar reactions to Milo, but only one describes this article as having "fellated" him.

As you are well aware I was using sarcasm about reading a different article. We may have similar reactions to Milo (I imagine less similar than you think), but we obviously interpreted that article differently.

Quote

At least in the realm of culture, the New Left had become the new establishment by the 1980s. In the realm of politics, the Democratic Party increasingly reached out to minorities, and although this segment of the electorate was once small, new voters could be imported by way of mass immigration from the third world. To be expected, this development created a large pool of cheap labor as well as a deluge in new welfare recipients who were more inclined to vote for the Democratic Party insofar as it favored an expansion of government programs to help the poor. Thus a built-in constituency for the Democratic Party was artificially created.

In an ironic reversal, the political left now pushes social taboos, seeking to restrict expressions of heterosexuality for its alleged contribution to “rape culture.” In this framework, straight white males have become the new “bourgeoisie.” So-called third wave feminism has been in the forefront in promoting this narrative.


That's just dumb. Hispanics for example voted more for Republicans than Dems until Republicans started attacking them (it was Rs, not Ds that flipped California to blue). There is no Democratic plot to flood the US with imigrants to vote D; R's just keep attacking immigrants (in a country built on and by immigration, which we continue to depend upon).

This isn't a neutral or dispassionate presentation of Milo's views, it is an endorsement of them. If the author is just trying to present Milo's perspective he's doing a pretty good job of making it look like an editorial from himself. My guess is that you agree with a lot of that stuff, so to you it's along the lines of "water is wet."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 02:06:18 PM
It's a book review.  I feel like you're just stating the obvious here about opinion pieces or editorial of that nature:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 28, 2017, 02:15:39 PM
"it was neutral" turned into "it was a book review" pretty quick, huh?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 02:38:27 PM
"it was neutral" turned into "it was a book review" pretty quick, huh?

No.  I stated that he was presenting Milo's position.  Enkidu said that it could very easily be read as the author's position (and therefore an implicit endorsement) instead.  My response was granting that as a premise for the discussion to continue.  Try to keep up.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 28, 2017, 02:43:48 PM
"it was neutral" turned into "it was a book review" pretty quick, huh?

No.  I stated that he was presenting Milo's position.  Enkidu said that it could very easily be read as the author's position (and therefore an implicit endorsement) instead.  My response was granting that as a premise for the discussion to continue.  Try to keep up.
Your exact words were "makes no value judgements" but the article continually presents without question Milo's claims as true while presenting a view of his importance and behavior that is nothing if not praising him. That is a value judgements. The thing you have said is the opposite of the thing that is true, now avt like an adult and admit it.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 02:47:12 PM
"it was neutral" turned into "it was a book review" pretty quick, huh?

No.  I stated that he was presenting Milo's position.  Enkidu said that it could very easily be read as the author's position (and therefore an implicit endorsement) instead.  My response was granting that as a premise for the discussion to continue.  Try to keep up.
Your exact words were "makes no value judgements" but the article continually presents without question Milo's claims as true while presenting a view of his importance and behavior that is nothing if not praising him. That is a value judgements. The thing you have said is the opposite of the thing that is true, now avt like an adult and admit it.

No it's makes a statements, without citations, in ways that seemed clear to me were representations of Milo's views, but which others are stating are the author making assertions about their own view.  To move forward with the conversation I made a response assuming their interpretation.  You are not capable of comprehending this conversation.  You should back out gracefully.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 28, 2017, 02:57:22 PM
"it was neutral" turned into "it was a book review" pretty quick, huh?

No.  I stated that he was presenting Milo's position.  Enkidu said that it could very easily be read as the author's position (and therefore an implicit endorsement) instead.  My response was granting that as a premise for the discussion to continue.  Try to keep up.
Your exact words were "makes no value judgements" but the article continually presents without question Milo's claims as true while presenting a view of his importance and behavior that is nothing if not praising him. That is a value judgements. The thing you have said is the opposite of the thing that is true, now avt like an adult and admit it.

No it's makes a statements, without citations, in ways that seemed clear to me were representations of Milo's views, but which others are stating are the author making assertions about their own view.  To move forward with the conversation I made a response assuming their interpretation.  You are not capable of comprehending this conversation.  You should back out gracefully.

So your position is that if Skeptic Magazine reviewed the Bible, they should state as fact that the Bible is the inspired word of God and important because of the truth of sin and hell?

Funny how it's okay for you to personally attack other people, after complaining about it yourself last week.

https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,48982.msg9512341.html#msg9512341

Remember folks, the rules don't apply to Andrew. Rules of logic, his own personal rules, forum rules, doesn't matter because Andrew is a special boy the rules don't apply to.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 03:03:02 PM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Shibboleth on July 28, 2017, 03:09:41 PM
All holes are bigoted IMHO, especially black holes.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 28, 2017, 03:19:47 PM
As soon as I saw the subject line of this post, I knew with near 100% certainty who had posted it.

Thanks for noticing! Glad to know the brand is working.  :sun:
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 28, 2017, 03:20:57 PM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
That bullshit doesn't fly.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 28, 2017, 03:37:32 PM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
That bullshit doesn't fly.

Then by all means, choose one:

1) Demonstrate that you understand what I've been saying and I'll apologize.

2) Report my post and hope the moderators agree with you.

3) Stop trying to turn this discussion about the article into a misrepresentation on my statements.

Any will do.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 28, 2017, 03:43:38 PM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
That bullshit doesn't fly.

Then by all means, choose one:

1) Demonstrate that you understand what I've been saying and I'll apologize.

2) Report my post and hope the moderators agree with you.

3) Stop trying to turn this discussion about the article into a misrepresentation on my statements.

Any will do.
I did make my case, and asked a question to clarify your position and mine. You responded with a personal attack and ignored my response. Because of the personal attack I do not believe that you're participating in good faith. Apologize, and continue the discussion, or don't.

The mods won't do any thing, they've already let you back once. Clearly the rules don't apply to you.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 28, 2017, 03:52:37 PM
FUCK THIS REVIEWER RIGHT IN THE SPEW-HOLE.

What a load of garbage.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 28, 2017, 07:26:01 PM
start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

Literally the question that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread.

Really? Just because of what someone on a forum with a clear grudge against the skeptical movement wrote?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 28, 2017, 07:37:42 PM
you really have to start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

I have noticed from your posts that you have a grudge against the skeptical movement. I don't know why that is, but it is incredibly unlikely that you will destroy it by writing posts on a forum.

Let me ask you this: The folks you don't like, like Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer, are not only skeptics, they are also atheists and humanists. Do you reject those labels as well due to these individuals? If not, then why not?

The skeptical movement includes people like Steven Novella and Carl Sagan, as well as many other admirable people. Why woukdn't I want to be associated with that? The skeptical movement and what it stands for are among the few things I really can give my full support to.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 28, 2017, 07:54:25 PM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
Oh, when I call you an idiot, I'm not insulting you. I'm just pointing out the fact that you are an idiot. It's not insulting merely to point out facts, obviously. And the fact is that you are an idiot. No insult there. So because I can twist logic to serve my purpose, I can freely call you an idiot without consequence and you have no right or capability to upbraid me for it because you are an idiot and that is a simple objective fact.

Did I do it right?  ::)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on July 29, 2017, 02:37:20 AM
1) Thank you, materialist_girl, for bringing attention to this.
2) This is an embarrassment of a "book review". It's more like "let me offer a pathetic, fawning summary of the views of individual x". Maybe this is a new way forward for crap publications: if you can't afford to have a high-profile person write an op-ed for you, just have a fan paraphrase them.
3) Solid B- level writing for a 4th grade book report.
4) Yes, I am really starting to ask myself if "skeptic" is a label I want anything to do with.
5) Quetzalcoatl-- I can't speak for materialist_girl, but I have no grudge against the skeptical movement. I react strongly to this stuff because I care so much about the movement, and I hate to see it get derailed by gross ideologies.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 29, 2017, 07:44:03 AM
you really have to start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

I have noticed from your posts that you have a grudge against the skeptical movement. I don't know why that is, but it is incredibly unlikely that you will destroy it by writing posts on a forum.

You're making assumptions about my posting motivations, which doesn't seem very skeptical. Here's the thing: a thread title like this will annoy those people for whom skepticism is a sacred cow which cannot be questioned, and they reveal themselves to hold such unskeptical primacy for their group that they need to defend it with projections and hypotheticals, like you are doing here. My motivations mean nothing, but the reflections they provide surely do highlight the in-group, blind defensiveness of many people who claim the label of skeptic. Again, like you and others are doing here, and have done again and again in the past.

None of the rest of your post has anything to do with the fact skepticism has increasingly made space for racists, misogynists, Islamophobes, homophobes, and the gamut of reactionary politics currently popular with many of the people who aren't affected by those oppressions (straight, cisgender, white, etc). Although the misunderstanding and misapplication of logical fallacies is a favorite of you and others, you can't tu quoque your way out of this. My opinion on people like Carl Sagan has nothing to do with the reality of skepticism's current deep ideological rot. If you are unable to acknowledge or respond to it, and rather only can point out issues with those who bring these issues up, then I'd suggest the issue is with you and others similarly in denial.

TL;DR if you're defensive and raising your hackles because of this thread title, and not the content it points to, then there's no real resolution to this other than you imagining me into some kind of scary irrational anti-skeptic. And, well, that's good for you, but it certainly appears rather silly to people outside of your in-group, and does nothing to address the ongoing and increasing degree of hateful opinions and actions finding a home under the umbrella of skeptic.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on July 29, 2017, 08:07:14 AM
Quetz: That's a dumb argument. Why does any of us discuss any of the shit we care about on a forum?

TL;DR if you're defensive and raising your hackles because of this thread title, and not the content it points to, then there's no real resolution to this other than you imagining me into some kind of scary irrational anti-skeptic. And, well, that's good for you, but it certainly appears rather silly to people outside of your in-group, and does nothing to address the ongoing and increasing degree of hateful opinions and actions finding a home under the umbrella of skeptic.

materialist_girl:

 You do have a history of raging against skepticsm as if it were obliged to conform to your own ethics. I don't think your ethics are bad or anything, but I don't think you appreciate the ethical diversity of humans.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 29, 2017, 08:21:09 AM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
Oh, when I call you an idiot, I'm not insulting you. I'm just pointing out the fact that you are an idiot. It's not insulting merely to point out facts, obviously. And the fact is that you are an idiot. No insult there. So because I can twist logic to serve my purpose, I can freely call you an idiot without consequence and you have no right or capability to upbraid me for it because you are an idiot and that is a simple objective fact.

Did I do it right?  ::)

Nope, didn't state it was about his intelligence.  Try again.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 29, 2017, 11:54:19 AM
The problem with cultural skepticism (in the US at least) comes down to what individual skeptics feel we should be willing to exclude and marginalize. Falsifiable claims like that of homeopathy are excluded, but there isn't much controversy there. The problem is with the non-falsifiable claims, which by definition can neither be proven or disproven.

The question of religion is a big one: should all skeptics be atheists? Personally I don't think so, so long as religious beliefs are of the non-falisifiable kind. If you think the Earth is 6000 years old that is a problem; if you think the universe as understood by science was created by God(s) in a way that does not contradict known facts it is not a problem IMO, even if it is an unnecessary hypothesis.

The truly thorny issues are ethical and cultural. Skepticism, like science, cannot tell us what is right. More than that, when deciding how to manage society and pass and enforce laws and social norms we don't have perfect laboratory conditions and have to make choices based on probabilities not certainties. As an example imagine if Bill Cosby were a prominent skeptic rather than a comedian. All of the accusations against him come down to eye-witness testimony, which as we know isn't reliable. Should Cosby continue to be invited to speak at conferences? The reality is that some would say yes, in spite of the low probability that all of these women are just making shit up; Cosby would, absolutely, be invited to speak at some cons, because a significant portion of the skeptical community is going to treat a rape accusation the same as a ghost sighting.

This is a problem, and it is killing skepticism for the simple reason that too many skeptics are trying to use skepticism to make decisions that skepticism isn't built to make. On the one hand we have skeptics refusing to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope, while on the other we have skeptics claiming to be able to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope and accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being bad skeptics.

Any sub-culture is going to have adherents that turn their central purpose into a cure-all ideology. Skepticism can't tell us that homophobia or racism or sexism is wrong, yet remaining "neutral" on issues such as this is a cowardly cop out, driving out decent people while allowing the most toxic ideas free to flourish because "it's outside skepticism's scope." Every sub-culture must make value judgements about where it stands; refusal to do so will result in the worst of the worst taking over.

TLDR; organized skepticism is crippled by the same moral relativism skeptics like to wag their fingers at post-modernists about. TBH, the very notion of organized skepticism as a monolithic culture is itself profoundly problematic. If skepticism is going to survive we need about a thousand schisms. It's the ideas that matter, not a cultish devotion to the label "skeptic."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 29, 2017, 12:35:06 PM
The issue wasn't caused by "letting these elements in."  Several people (see atheism plus) decided to try to use skepticism to push a political ideology.  The community rejected that.  And these "bigots" don't care about pushing their views on others through skepticism, so they won.  They are the "decent people."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: nameofthewave on July 29, 2017, 01:02:13 PM
The problem with cultural skepticism (in the US at least) comes down to what individual skeptics feel we should be willing to exclude and marginalize. Falsifiable claims like that of homeopathy are excluded, but there isn't much controversy there. The problem is with the non-falsifiable claims, which by definition can neither be proven or disproven.

The question of religion is a big one: should all skeptics be atheists? Personally I don't think so, so long as religious beliefs are of the non-falisifiable kind. If you think the Earth is 6000 years old that is a problem; if you think the universe as understood by science was created by God(s) in a way that does not contradict known facts it is not a problem IMO, even if it is an unnecessary hypothesis.

The truly thorny issues are ethical and cultural. Skepticism, like science, cannot tell us what is right. More than that, when deciding how to manage society and pass and enforce laws and social norms we don't have perfect laboratory conditions and have to make choices based on probabilities not certainties. As an example imagine if Bill Cosby were a prominent skeptic rather than a comedian. All of the accusations against him come down to eye-witness testimony, which as we know isn't reliable. Should Cosby continue to be invited to speak at conferences? The reality is that some would say yes, in spite of the low probability that all of these women are just making shit up; Cosby would, absolutely, be invited to speak at some cons, because a significant portion of the skeptical community is going to treat a rape accusation the same as a ghost sighting.

This is a problem, and it is killing skepticism for the simple reason that too many skeptics are trying to use skepticism to make decisions that skepticism isn't built to make. On the one hand we have skeptics refusing to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope, while on the other we have skeptics claiming to be able to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope and accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being bad skeptics.

Any sub-culture is going to have adherents that turn their central purpose into a cure-all ideology. Skepticism can't tell us that homophobia or racism or sexism is wrong, yet remaining "neutral" on issues such as this is a cowardly cop out, driving out decent people while allowing the most toxic ideas free to flourish because "it's outside skepticism's scope." Every sub-culture must make value judgements about where it stands; refusal to do so will result in the worst of the worst taking over.

TLDR; organized skepticism is crippled by the same moral relativism skeptics like to wag their fingers at post-modernists about. TBH, the very notion of organized skepticism as a monolithic culture is itself profoundly problematic. If skepticism is going to survive we need about a thousand schisms. It's the ideas that matter, not a cultish devotion to the label "skeptic."

Yes exactly, I guess it is the difference between skepticism as an abstract concept and organised skepticism. I don't necessarily have any objections to a Milo book review per se, but such a fawning, one sided and uncritical one is just crap journalism, let alone crap skepticism.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 29, 2017, 02:11:26 PM
Topical, as the overlap between new atheism and skepticism is essentially indistinguishable (underlining mine).

And, Redamare, pretend I'm "raging against skepticism" as much as you want, but this is what reasonable people see when they look at your community.

From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How “new atheism” slid into the alt-right

"First of all, Dagach’s tweet was overtly defamatory. I wrote him asking for a public apology and heard nothing back, although he quietly deleted the tweet. But even that did not happen until I had received a hailstorm of disturbing responses to Dagach’s false statements, responses in the form of internet trolls aggressively defending Harris by asking me to kill myself and proposing new nicknames like “Phil Hitler Torres” (seriously!). This is the new atheist movement today, by and large. The great enemy of critical thinking and epistemological integrity, namely tribalism, has become the social glue of the community.

I should still be the new atheist movement’s greatest ally, yet today I want nothing whatsoever to do with it. From censoring people online while claiming to support free speech to endorsing scientifically unfounded claims about race and intelligence to asserting, as Harris once did, that the profoundly ignorant Ben Carson would make a better president than the profoundly knowledgeable Noam Chomsky, the movement has repeatedly shown itself to lack precisely the values it once avowed to uphold. Words that now come to mind when I think of new atheism are “un-nuanced,” “heavy-handed,” “unjustifiably confident” and “resistant to evidence” — not to mention, on the whole, “misogynist” and “racist.”"

http://www.salon.com/2017/07/29/from-the-enlightenment-to-the-dark-ages-how-new-atheism-slid-into-the-alt-right/ (http://www.salon.com/2017/07/29/from-the-enlightenment-to-the-dark-ages-how-new-atheism-slid-into-the-alt-right/)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Nosmas on July 29, 2017, 02:35:08 PM
The solution to our bigotry and community perception problem is simple. We just need a new community to branch away from this one. I propose we call it Skepticism Plus! Who's with me!?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: nameofthewave on July 29, 2017, 03:25:39 PM
Topical, as the overlap between new atheism and skepticism is essentially indistinguishable (underlining mine).

And, Redamare, pretend I'm "raging against skepticism" as much as you want, but this is what reasonable people see when they look at your community.

From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How “new atheism” slid into the alt-right

"First of all, Dagach’s tweet was overtly defamatory. I wrote him asking for a public apology and heard nothing back, although he quietly deleted the tweet. But even that did not happen until I had received a hailstorm of disturbing responses to Dagach’s false statements, responses in the form of internet trolls aggressively defending Harris by asking me to kill myself and proposing new nicknames like “Phil Hitler Torres” (seriously!). This is the new atheist movement today, by and large. The great enemy of critical thinking and epistemological integrity, namely tribalism, has become the social glue of the community.

I should still be the new atheist movement’s greatest ally, yet today I want nothing whatsoever to do with it. From censoring people online while claiming to support free speech to endorsing scientifically unfounded claims about race and intelligence to asserting, as Harris once did, that the profoundly ignorant Ben Carson would make a better president than the profoundly knowledgeable Noam Chomsky, the movement has repeatedly shown itself to lack precisely the values it once avowed to uphold. Words that now come to mind when I think of new atheism are “un-nuanced,” “heavy-handed,” “unjustifiably confident” and “resistant to evidence” — not to mention, on the whole, “misogynist” and “racist.”"

http://www.salon.com/2017/07/29/from-the-enlightenment-to-the-dark-ages-how-new-atheism-slid-into-the-alt-right/ (http://www.salon.com/2017/07/29/from-the-enlightenment-to-the-dark-ages-how-new-atheism-slid-into-the-alt-right/)

Is there even such a thing as a 'New Atheism' movement any more, I haven't heard anyone refer to this for a while? I remember it being a bit of a trendy middle class thing in the noughties after those books came out, but it seemed to die out after that. Of the four originators, these days Harris is mostly known for ranting about Islam, Dawkins for Twitter and putting his foot into it, Hitchens for being dead and Dennett, I never really knew much about him. I dunno, it feels like their time has come and gone in some ways, there's not really that much you can do with pure atheism, I know that when they first came to prominence there was some resentment from the established skeptical community for the new atheists who the former viewed as superficial new kids on the block, so I'm not sure they have ever been indistinguishable as such.

Also, I don't deny that Harris/Dawkins/Hitchens have said some problematic things, but I can't lump them in with the alt right. Harris and Dawkins both hate Trump, and I'm sure Hitchens would have. Maybe Dennett loves Trump, but I've never heard his opinion on it.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 29, 2017, 04:37:03 PM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.

Haaaaave you read the Right Wing Propaganda thread.  You just described every other post.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 06:13:28 PM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.

I don't think we read the same article. Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription

People who denigrate fellatio deserve to never receive it.


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Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 29, 2017, 06:31:54 PM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.

I don't think we read the same article. Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription

People who denigrate fellatio deserve to never receive it.


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The idea that someone thinks that is a semblance of a comeback, let alone one of wit, or that it might be found insulting is weird to me.  And pretty telling.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 29, 2017, 06:57:07 PM
The problem with cultural skepticism (in the US at least) comes down to what individual skeptics feel we should be willing to exclude and marginalize. Falsifiable claims like that of homeopathy are excluded, but there isn't much controversy there. The problem is with the non-falsifiable claims, which by definition can neither be proven or disproven.

The question of religion is a big one: should all skeptics be atheists? Personally I don't think so, so long as religious beliefs are of the non-falisifiable kind. If you think the Earth is 6000 years old that is a problem; if you think the universe as understood by science was created by God(s) in a way that does not contradict known facts it is not a problem IMO, even if it is an unnecessary hypothesis.

The truly thorny issues are ethical and cultural. Skepticism, like science, cannot tell us what is right. More than that, when deciding how to manage society and pass and enforce laws and social norms we don't have perfect laboratory conditions and have to make choices based on probabilities not certainties. As an example imagine if Bill Cosby were a prominent skeptic rather than a comedian. All of the accusations against him come down to eye-witness testimony, which as we know isn't reliable. Should Cosby continue to be invited to speak at conferences? The reality is that some would say yes, in spite of the low probability that all of these women are just making shit up; Cosby would, absolutely, be invited to speak at some cons, because a significant portion of the skeptical community is going to treat a rape accusation the same as a ghost sighting.

This is a problem, and it is killing skepticism for the simple reason that too many skeptics are trying to use skepticism to make decisions that skepticism isn't built to make. On the one hand we have skeptics refusing to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope, while on the other we have skeptics claiming to be able to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope and accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being bad skeptics.

Any sub-culture is going to have adherents that turn their central purpose into a cure-all ideology. Skepticism can't tell us that homophobia or racism or sexism is wrong, yet remaining "neutral" on issues such as this is a cowardly cop out, driving out decent people while allowing the most toxic ideas free to flourish because "it's outside skepticism's scope." Every sub-culture must make value judgements about where it stands; refusal to do so will result in the worst of the worst taking over.

TLDR; organized skepticism is crippled by the same moral relativism skeptics like to wag their fingers at post-modernists about. TBH, the very notion of organized skepticism as a monolithic culture is itself profoundly problematic. If skepticism is going to survive we need about a thousand schisms. It's the ideas that matter, not a cultish devotion to the label "skeptic."

I think what this boils down to is the distinction between skepticism as a concept or philosophy, and skepticism as a movement or subculture. Although obviously closely related, they are not synonymous. I think that while skepticism as such might not have much to say about values, I also think it is appropriate for the skeptical movement (organizations, conferences, etc) to have codes of conduct.

As usual, I think Steve (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/scientific-skepticism-rationalism-and-secularism/) has a sensible point of view:

Quote from: Steven Novella
The issue of whether or not activist skeptics should take on issues of feminism or racism recently comes up quite frequently in this discussion. There is the implication that scientific skeptics want to avoid these issues, do not see them as part of skeptical activism, and even want to give a “pass” to sexists or racists – charges that I do not think are fair or accurate.

First, as I wrote in a previous post, any movement or organisation needs to care about sexism and racism within their ranks, no matter what their focus. Sexism and racism are demonstrably morally wrong and should not be tolerated, period. Further, it is in the best interest of both moral justice and our movement to take specific steps to eliminate sexism or racism in our movement and at our venues.

Further, we should be specifically reaching out to women and minorities and trying to identify and eliminate barriers to their participation in the movement. We can discuss the relative merits of specific strategies, but there is general agreement on these principles.

Recently efforts to make organized secularism and skepticism more friendly to women have been hampered by what appears to be a cyberattack by sexists and misogynists against prominent feminists within the movement. This is a complex issue, which is difficult for me to summarize here, but I will give it a try.

First, I have to say (and I find general agreement on this point) that the misogynist attacks are completely unacceptable. They are poison, they make rational discussion about how best to promote feminism within our movement difficult, and they tend to radicalize all sides.

One example of how they poison discussion is this – whenever someone condemns this misogyny there are those who claim that legitimate criticisms of the claims and strategies of specific feminists are immediately dismissed as misogyny, and there are those who will probably try to do that to me here. This is a strawman, however.

What I am condemning as misogyny are e-mails and online posts that refer to feminists being raped, desires that they suffer from violence, attacking their physical attributes, and crude derogatory sexist language. As a community we absolutely need to be united in our condemnation of this behavior.

If we can get past the childish trolling, we can then move on to a mature discussion of the role of feminism within our movement, various types and strategies of feminism, and the relevant empirical evidence. The role of scientific skepticism is in addressing the empirical evidence. I will leave it to the humanists and feminists to discuss philosophy and strategies of modern feminism. As a movement, however (again, regardless of what our activism is) we need to pay attention to these issues.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 29, 2017, 07:04:36 PM
Skeptic mag just did the whole "presenting both sides and let you decide" on the bell curve.  I think this is where I get off the train.

Milo's book is by all measures a failure.  I think his sales in Europe were in the 100s.   So its not like it was having an impact that needed to be discussed, and it did not need a skeptical view.  What was Shermer's purpose other than to shill?  Did he get paid?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 07:04:38 PM
Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription


People who denigrate fellatio deserve to never receive it.

The idea that someone thinks that is a semblance of a comeback, let alone one of wit, or that it might be found insulting is weird to me.  And pretty telling.

But you're okay with using fellatio as an insult. Nothing homophobic to see here.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 29, 2017, 07:12:27 PM
I have no idea what you are talking about, but you seem really upset. 

Also, yoy seem to have messed up the quotes there.
 There are some instructions written in fairly plain language on how to use the quote function.  You should review them.  I think you would benefit from them.
Title: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 07:21:49 PM
Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 29, 2017, 07:21:51 PM
Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription


People who denigrate fellatio deserve to never receive it.

The idea that someone thinks that is a semblance of a comeback, let alone one of wit, or that it might be found insulting is weird to me.  And pretty telling.

But you're okay with using fellatio as an insult. Nothing homophobic to see here.
Why is describing a favorable, loving book review as fellatio homophobic?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 07:22:54 PM
Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription


People who denigrate fellatio deserve to never receive it.

The idea that someone thinks that is a semblance of a comeback, let alone one of wit, or that it might be found insulting is weird to me.  And pretty telling.

But you're okay with using fellatio as an insult. Nothing homophobic to see here.
Why is describing a favorable, loving book review as fellatio homophobic?

It wouldn't be if the description wasn't intended as condemnation, obviously.


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Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 29, 2017, 07:26:03 PM
Milo is a boring pseudo-intellectual, and seeing him fellated in Skeptic magazine makes me glad I don't have a subscription


People who denigrate fellatio deserve to never receive it.

The idea that someone thinks that is a semblance of a comeback, let alone one of wit, or that it might be found insulting is weird to me.  And pretty telling.

But you're okay with using fellatio as an insult. Nothing homophobic to see here.
Why is describing a favorable, loving book review as fellatio homophobic?

It wouldn't be if the description wasn't intended as condemnation, obviously.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
It could only be taken that way if you think fellatio is A) only a thing me do to men and B) makes the giver lesser or denigrates then in some way. If you don't make either of those assumptions, it's a description of the loving, intimate way ""Skeptic" magazine treats a book that makes a series of wild claims about history and current events.

Sure seems like you're projecting a lot here.
Title: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 07:31:47 PM
If you don't see the condemnation in that post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,49046.msg9515240.html#msg9515240) there is nothing I can do.

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Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Nosmas on July 29, 2017, 07:41:51 PM
If you don't see the condemnation in that post, there is nothing I can do.


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Surely you see how the comparison of the review to felacio of the author is not an insult to homosexuals or the act of felacio. It's simply hyperbole stating that the reviewer is so in love with Milo that the review is comparable to a blow job. That's an act that men AND woman only perform on someone they're fond of.

It's no more insulting than the phrase "circlejerk" to describe a bunch of people agreeing with each other.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 29, 2017, 07:46:50 PM
If you don't see the condemnation in that post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,49046.msg9515240.html#msg9515240) there is nothing I can do.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
You could attempt to self-examine a bit and ask whether your leap to blowjob=homophobic says more about yourself than me. Unless of course we're to presume that you're right without questioning you. That can't be the case though, since we're good skeptics and wouldn't presume that indignation was a substitute for presenting an argument or backing up a claim with evidence.

Or are you saying your feelings on homophobia are more important or more valid than mine?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 07:48:32 PM
If you don't see the condemnation in that post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,49046.msg9515240.html#msg9515240) there is nothing I can do.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
You could attempt to self-examine a bit and ask whether your leap to blowjob=homophobic says more about yourself than me.

I never said it said anything about you, unless of course you have two different handles on this forum.



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Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 29, 2017, 07:50:08 PM
I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
Oh, when I call you an idiot, I'm not insulting you. I'm just pointing out the fact that you are an idiot. It's not insulting merely to point out facts, obviously. And the fact is that you are an idiot. No insult there. So because I can twist logic to serve my purpose, I can freely call you an idiot without consequence and you have no right or capability to upbraid me for it because you are an idiot and that is a simple objective fact.

Did I do it right?  ::)

Nope, didn't state it was about his intelligence.  Try again.
What you're failing to grasp - what you always fail to grasp, is that even when you think you're not being insulting, you're still being insulting. It doesn't matter if you think you're referring to someone's intelligence or someone's comprehension. It's still insulting. You are like the schoolboy bully who grabs nerds by the wrist and forces them to punch themselves, then defends yourself by saying that you weren't punching them. You try to twist the technicality, but you're not fooling anyone. We can see your behaviour and it clearly marks you as a really horrible person.

And hey, that's not an insult, it's just a statement of fact.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 29, 2017, 08:15:43 PM
See where you said, "clearly marks you as a horrible person," is where you went personal insult.  Also, in case it wasn't obvious, the "we" you speak of is not everyone, and those who are aren't really people whose opinions I care about.  There are some people around here who I know I can reasonably disagree with, and there are also some whom I view as less thans.  As in less than worth the effort.  I respond to their brain dead posts for the benefit of others only.  I earnestly believe I'm more honest, introspective, and intelligent than these individuals I'm referring to.  If one fails basic reading comprehension and continually misrepresents my stance, then no there's no no condescending way to say they're not up to the task of rational debate, but the reason shall be left unspoken.  Could be ideological blinders.  Could be intelligence.  Could be a purposeful straw man on their part.  I leave it to them to interpret or not.  You think I'm using a loophole in the rules.  I'm following them, making clear cases for my positions, and demanding the same.  Don't like it?  Too bad.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 29, 2017, 08:21:10 PM
I'm not going to lower myself to arguing with you. The fact that you can't see what an awful person you are just makes you even more awful a person.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 29, 2017, 08:50:50 PM
I'm not going to lower myself to arguing with you. The fact that you can't see what an awful person you are just makes you even more awful a person.
It's not an insult because it's true, and that's a fact, and his posts are proof. Gotta add that bit.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 29, 2017, 08:56:42 PM
I'm not going to lower myself to arguing with you. The fact that you can't see what an awful person you are just makes you even more awful a person.
It's not an insult because it's true, and that's a fact, and his posts are proof. Gotta add that bit.
Yeah, sorry, I kind of took that as assumed.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 29, 2017, 09:05:05 PM
Topical, as the overlap between new atheism and skepticism is essentially indistinguishable (underlining mine).

And, Redamare, pretend I'm "raging against skepticism" as much as you want, but this is what reasonable people see when they look at your community.

From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How “new atheism” slid into the alt-right

"First of all, Dagach’s tweet was overtly defamatory. I wrote him asking for a public apology and heard nothing back, although he quietly deleted the tweet. But even that did not happen until I had received a hailstorm of disturbing responses to Dagach’s false statements, responses in the form of internet trolls aggressively defending Harris by asking me to kill myself and proposing new nicknames like “Phil Hitler Torres” (seriously!). This is the new atheist movement today, by and large. The great enemy of critical thinking and epistemological integrity, namely tribalism, has become the social glue of the community.

I should still be the new atheist movement’s greatest ally, yet today I want nothing whatsoever to do with it. From censoring people online while claiming to support free speech to endorsing scientifically unfounded claims about race and intelligence to asserting, as Harris once did, that the profoundly ignorant Ben Carson would make a better president than the profoundly knowledgeable Noam Chomsky, the movement has repeatedly shown itself to lack precisely the values it once avowed to uphold. Words that now come to mind when I think of new atheism are “un-nuanced,” “heavy-handed,” “unjustifiably confident” and “resistant to evidence” — not to mention, on the whole, “misogynist” and “racist.”"

http://www.salon.com/2017/07/29/from-the-enlightenment-to-the-dark-ages-how-new-atheism-slid-into-the-alt-right/ (http://www.salon.com/2017/07/29/from-the-enlightenment-to-the-dark-ages-how-new-atheism-slid-into-the-alt-right/)

No, the atheist movement is not indistinguishable from the skeptic movement. They have overlaps, both in interests and members, but are still distinct.

Also, Chomsky is profoundly stupid. His ideal democracy is Bolivia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Bolivia). Nothing more is needed to show how profoundly out of touch with the world that guy is. Add to that his instances of genocide denial. He is a relic from the Vietnam era who has since long ceased to be relevant in politics.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 29, 2017, 09:08:49 PM
4) Yes, I am really starting to ask myself if "skeptic" is a label I want anything to do with.

Becuase some guy wrote a lousy book review? Seriously?

The premise of the OP is very myopic. The skeptical movement can be found all over the world. So some American skeptic wrote a lousy book review? Should that really affect people all over the world, starting a worldwide rejection of skepticism (at least the word)? It makes no sense.

(And if this is not the correct way to interpret the OP, then please outline what the correct way is.)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 29, 2017, 09:29:22 PM
I guess people like Steve, Bob, Evan, Jay and Cara are along for this ride into bigotry?  I mean they all self identify as skeptics.

As do people like: Michael Marshall and others from the Merseyside Skeptics, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Saunders, Adam Savage, and Ann Druyan.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 29, 2017, 09:39:26 PM
I guess people like Steve, Bob, Evan, Jay and Cara are along for this ride into bigotry?  I mean they all self identify as skeptics.

As do people like: Michael Marshall and others from the Merseyside Skeptics, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Saunders, Adam Savage, and Ann Druyan.

I do not believe that Tyson any longer identifies as a skeptic, quite possibly for the very reasons being discussed in this thread.

But that is really beside the point.  Nobody is saying that every person who describes him- or herself as a skeptic is racist and misogynistic.  What people are saying is that there are elements within the movement that are racist and misogynistic, and that the movement as a whole seems unable or unwilling to distance itself from or exclude those elements.  If it continues to fail to deal with this issue, more and more non-racists and non-misogynists may choose not to identify as skeptics (though still holding a skeptical world view) and may distance themselves from the organized movement.  If that happens, the identification of organized skepticism with those elements will become stronger and stronger.  It is a concern that I have, and that I think others have.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 29, 2017, 09:49:48 PM
Also, Chomsky is I am profoundly stupid.

FTFY.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 29, 2017, 09:56:01 PM
Yeah, Chomsky speaks on many things he's not qualified to, and I disagree with him on some things, but there is no doubt he's a brilliant man.  His work in linguistics alone shows that.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 29, 2017, 11:10:07 PM
Lolzers.  That coment thread is a shitshow.  Nothing like a mention of Milo to bring in the mindless fanboys.  And whew boy are they anything but skeptical.  Pixzagate, NWO, Bilderberg, gold standard, all kinds of wackadoodles sprouted over there.

Meanwhile, Shermer's play for the right looks like it shit the bed.  Apparently, the author did not get the language right in several areas, but especially on gamergate.  So there are a shitload of pissy drivebys just to shit on the article for being to lefty.  Looks like the Milo fanbots left too early.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 29, 2017, 11:11:06 PM
"the auther did not get the language right"

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 12:16:19 AM
Oh no.  An article that makes zero value judgements and explains the perspective of the subject!  As I've been saying in countless threads, the sjws forced this battle within skepticism and they lost because their ideas are retarded.  Get over it.

The phrase, "As Milo points out" (and similar phrases used throughout the review) does not merely present the subject's perspective, it asserts that that perspective is correct.  It makes the opinion the author's own.  If I say, "As Trump points out, a border wall is the best way to keep Mexican rapists out of the country," I am not merely stating that Trump believes those things, I am saying that I believe them, too.  That happens over and over again in this review, and it's the opposite of making "zero value judgments."
Title: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 07:31:26 AM
I guess people like Steve, Bob, Evan, Jay and Cara are along for this ride into bigotry?  I mean they all self identify as skeptics.

As do people like: Michael Marshall and others from the Merseyside Skeptics, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Saunders, Adam Savage, and Ann Druyan.

I do not believe that Tyson any longer identifies as a skeptic, quite possibly for the very reasons being discussed in this thread.

But that is really beside the point.  Nobody is saying that every person who describes him- or herself as a skeptic is racist and misogynistic.  What people are saying is that there are elements within the movement that are racist and misogynistic, and that the movement as a whole seems unable or unwilling to distance itself from or exclude those elements.  If it continues to fail to deal with this issue, more and more non-racists and non-misogynists may choose not to identify as skeptics (though still holding a skeptical world view) and may distance themselves from the organized movement.  If that happens, the identification of organized skepticism with those elements will become stronger and stronger.  It is a concern that I have, and that I think others have.


Hmm we should say that then, every time.  I'll have to remember this the next time I see a tweet about Louis Farrakhan continuing the descent of blacks into bigotry or how Milo is tarnishing the reputation of gay people. 

I mean look at this thread, there are people who are saying they no longer want the label skeptic because obviously SKEPTIC magazine's article represents the position of all skepticism.  I really am not sure that's what the OP is saying.  She seems to be saying that everyone who retains the label 'skeptic' is associated with Milo now and should seriously rethink their association with the label.

I haven't read the article because I have precisely zero interest in Milo's blather and bigotry. And after the gender studies paper, I cancelled my subscription. From what I see in the thread, that was a good decision. 


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Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 30, 2017, 08:01:12 AM
Some people can't accept criticism of groups they're part of, and can only deflect to "Well, what about those people." And, of course, there's no suggestion of racism that those other people are usually black. I think maybe the deep racism of the alt-right is finding a home is skepticism because of the light, everyday racism of old white men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 08:08:56 AM
Also, Chomsky is I am profoundly stupid.

FTFY.

What a profound, deep argument. ::)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 30, 2017, 08:12:01 AM
I guess people like Steve, Bob, Evan, Jay and Cara are along for this ride into bigotry?  I mean they all self identify as skeptics.

As do people like: Michael Marshall and others from the Merseyside Skeptics, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Saunders, Adam Savage, and Ann Druyan.

I do not believe that Tyson any longer identifies as a skeptic, quite possibly for the very reasons being discussed in this thread.

But that is really beside the point.  Nobody is saying that every person who describes him- or herself as a skeptic is racist and misogynistic.  What people are saying is that there are elements within the movement that are racist and misogynistic, and that the movement as a whole seems unable or unwilling to distance itself from or exclude those elements.  If it continues to fail to deal with this issue, more and more non-racists and non-misogynists may choose not to identify as skeptics (though still holding a skeptical world view) and may distance themselves from the organized movement.  If that happens, the identification of organized skepticism with those elements will become stronger and stronger.  It is a concern that I have, and that I think others have.


Hmm we should say that then, every time.  I'll have to remember this the next time I see a tweet about Louis Farrakhan continuing the descent of blacks into bigotry or how Milo is tarnishing the reputation of gay people. 

I mean look at this thread, there are people who are saying they no longer want the label skeptic because obviously SKEPTIC magazine's article represents the position of all skepticism.  I really am not sure that's what the OP is saying.  She seems to be saying that everyone who retains the label 'skeptic' is associated with Milo now and should seriously rethink their association with the label.

I haven't read the article because I have precisely zero interest in Milo's blather and bigotry. And after the gender studies paper, I cancelled my subscription. From what I see in the thread, that was a good decision. 


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Naw.  This is just the straw.  The article is  unskeptical, and there was no reason for a skeptical viewpoint - not that one was offered.  It should be possible to be skeptical about an opinion based work, but this article instead is a fluff piece.  This shouldn't be asking for the world here.

And, as I say, this is becoming a habit at skptic mag.  They seem to no longer be thinking rationally about their articles.  I see in their writing the same tricks that Amway salesmen, and supply siders use to justify their bunk.  That's what I don't like.  And yes, its a problem coming from the magazine that bears the name of the movement.    Its not like Fahrkahn publishes a magazine called "The Opinon of All Black People (and what all non-black people are going to use as a primary source) Magazine".  Milo conversely, wishes he could command the respect and dignity of Fahrkahn,  but his claims of representing gay people a seen as the transparent lie it is.  However Shermer comes pretty close to representing the movement after Randi.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 30, 2017, 08:12:20 AM
Also, Chomsky is I am profoundly stupid.

FTFY.

What a profound, deep argument. ::)

That was made to mock the complete lack of argument you made. Jeez, kid, you're going to try harder than that.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 09:06:57 AM
materialist_girl, do you know what I think you should do? Go the forum of the Swedish Skeptics' Association (http://forum.vof.se) and make the same argument there. Yes, the forum is in Swedish, but nowhere in the rules (http://forum.vof.se/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=429) does it say that posts must be in Swedish, and people will understand English. There is also no restriction on who may join the forum. You don't have to be a member of the association, or even a skeptic, in order to join and post there.

We will see how they would react to the argument that the label "skeptic" or the skeptical movement should be disbanded because of a book review some guy wrote in the USA.

The section you should reasonably post it in is VoF och den skeptiska rörelsen (http://forum.vof.se/viewforum.php?f=16) (meaning "VoF [the Swedish Skepitcs' Association] and the skeptical movement").

Here (http://skepticzone.libsyn.com/the-skeptic-zone-336-29mar2015) on Skeptic Zone (with Richard Saunders) is an interview about the skeptical movement in Sweden with a board member of the SSA, which you can listen to. The very idea that an organization in Sweden founded in 1982 would disband or reject the label "skeptic" because of an American book review in 2017 is flat-out absurd.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on July 30, 2017, 09:30:54 AM
The very idea that you think this is just about one single book review is the absurd thing here. "Continues" is right there in the thread title. Continuing means something already started in the past. Even as a Swede surely you knew that.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 09:36:13 AM
The very idea that you think this is just about one single book review is the absurd thing here. "Continues" is right there in the thread title. Continuing means something already started in the past. Even as a Swede surely you knew that.

The OP wrote this as a reaction to the review:

Quote
the rest of you really have to start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

I never knew Michael Shermer was the definition of skepticism.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Ron Obvious on July 30, 2017, 10:17:52 AM
Also, Chomsky is I am profoundly stupid.

FTFY.

I think I may have spotted one of those trolls I hear tell about.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 11:05:35 AM
I think maybe the deep racism of the alt-right is finding a home is skepticism because of the light, everyday racism of old white men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yep, knew that one was coming......
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 30, 2017, 12:12:18 PM
What people are saying is that there are elements within the movement that are racist and misogynistic, and that the movement as a whole seems unable or unwilling to distance itself from or exclude those elements.  If it continues to fail to deal with this issue, more and more non-racists and non-misogynists may choose not to identify as skeptics (though still holding a skeptical world view) and may distance themselves from the organized movement.  If that happens, the identification of organized skepticism with those elements will become stronger and stronger.  It is a concern that I have, and that I think others have.

Seems to me that it's just a consequence of critical philosophical movements in general. Such ideologies tend to be deconstructive, and consequently lack any basis for a unified worldview or set of ethics. The downside is that the moniker of "skeptic" is concomitantly vague and appealing to contrarians, that you can't really pick and choose who decides to ride its coattails.

In my experience, the same goes for obnoxious blowhards like that T.J. "The Amazing Atheist" dude riding the coattails of the Atheist movement. I want so baldly to punch that guy in his smug ass face for the kinds of awful things he says. His unwanted contributions reflect badly on a movement which already has an uphill battle for legitimacy in so-called "polite society."

But the fact that he self-identifies as atheist doesn't change the fact that he and I both share a conspicuous lack of god-beliefs, and also feel strongly about combating the negative effects of religion. I don't have to like the guy or support him; I can criticize him all I want, but for better or worse I'm still stuck sharing the epithet "atheist" unless I pick another descriptor like "Humanist" or whatever. 

Just the same, I feel that having published this article really tarnishes my opinion of Michael Shermer. Which is a shame, because I've always found him rather pleasant and engaging. 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 30, 2017, 12:25:40 PM
I think maybe the deep racism of the alt-right is finding a home is skepticism because of the light, everyday racism of old white men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yep, knew that one was coming......

Well, in response to criticism about your in-group you responded with "Well, yeah, what about this black man, huh?" I'm not saying you're a racist, but if you're white, middle-aged, and middle-class in America and can not see the troubling undertones to that intentionally racial tu quoque, then I suppose it's easier to make me into some SJW extremist with a grudge against white people.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 30, 2017, 12:30:18 PM
I think maybe the deep racism of the alt-right is finding a home is skepticism because of the light, everyday racism of old white men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Blaming it on old white men is not really fair though. Bigotry is also gaining popularity among young white men.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 12:37:34 PM
I think maybe the deep racism of the alt-right is finding a home is skepticism because of the light, everyday racism of old white men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yep, knew that one was coming......

Well, in response to criticism about your in-group you responded with "Well, yeah, what about this black man, huh?" I'm not saying you're a racist, but if you're white, middle-aged, and middle-class in America and can not see the troubling undertones to that intentionally racial tu quoque, then I suppose it's easier to make me into some SJW extremist with a grudge against white people.

Isn't it rather bigotted (and stupid) to have a grudge against "white people", full stop? Like it is bigotted (and wrong) to say that all Muslims are Islamists? Or what would be the difference?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 12:45:01 PM
Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.

I'm a gay man that characterized a fawning review as "felating." If I had said "he practically cooked him a 4 course meal" to express how fawning the review was, would that make me anti-cooking?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on July 30, 2017, 12:45:51 PM
I think maybe the deep racism of the alt-right is finding a home is skepticism because of the light, everyday racism of old white men. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yep, knew that one was coming......

Well, in response to criticism about your in-group you responded with "Well, yeah, what about this black man, huh?" I'm not saying you're a racist, but if you're white, middle-aged, and middle-class in America and can not see the troubling undertones to that intentionally racial tu quoque, then I suppose it's easier to make me into some SJW extremist with a grudge against white people.

Isn't it rather bigotted (and stupid) to have a grudge against "white people", full stop? Like it is bigotted (and wrong) to say that all Muslims are Islamists? Or what would be the difference?
Nobody here has a grudge against white people though.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 12:57:07 PM
Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.

I'm a gay man that characterized a fawning review as "felating." If I had said "he practically cooked him a 4 course meal" to express how fawning the review was, would that make me anti-cooking?

If our culture had as much of a problem with anti-cooking sentiment as it does with anti-gay ideology, it might well be an issue.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 30, 2017, 01:01:58 PM
Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.

I'm a gay man that characterized a fawning review as "felating." If I had said "he practically cooked him a 4 course meal" to express how fawning the review was, would that make me anti-cooking?

If our culture had as much of a problem with anti-cooking sentiment as it does with anti-gay ideology, it might well be an issue.

Seems to me that if the blowjob metaphor is anti- anything it would be anti- sex workers. Not anti- gay people.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 30, 2017, 01:03:43 PM
I guess people like Steve, Bob, Evan, Jay and Cara are along for this ride into bigotry?  I mean they all self identify as skeptics.

As do people like: Michael Marshall and others from the Merseyside Skeptics, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Saunders, Adam Savage, and Ann Druyan.

I do not believe that Tyson any longer identifies as a skeptic, quite possibly for the very reasons being discussed in this thread.

But that is really beside the point.  Nobody is saying that every person who describes him- or herself as a skeptic is racist and misogynistic.  What people are saying is that there are elements within the movement that are racist and misogynistic, and that the movement as a whole seems unable or unwilling to distance itself from or exclude those elements.  If it continues to fail to deal with this issue, more and more non-racists and non-misogynists may choose not to identify as skeptics (though still holding a skeptical world view) and may distance themselves from the organized movement.  If that happens, the identification of organized skepticism with those elements will become stronger and stronger.  It is a concern that I have, and that I think others have.


Hmm we should say that then, every time.  I'll have to remember this the next time I see a tweet about Louis Farrakhan continuing the descent of blacks into bigotry or how Milo is tarnishing the reputation of gay people. 

I mean look at this thread, there are people who are saying they no longer want the label skeptic because obviously SKEPTIC magazine's article represents the position of all skepticism.  I really am not sure that's what the OP is saying.  She seems to be saying that everyone who retains the label 'skeptic' is associated with Milo now and should seriously rethink their association with the label.

I haven't read the article because I have precisely zero interest in Milo's blather and bigotry. And after the gender studies paper, I cancelled my subscription. From what I see in the thread, that was a good decision. 


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Louis Farrakhan doesn't speak for all black people and Milo for all gay people. They certainly harm the issue of black equality and gay rights by being a strawman for those opposed to beat up, and aren't helping or may be hurting efforts to get those in the middle on side. Skeptic Magazine, on the other hand describes itself as:

Quote
A leading international publication in the realm of skeptical inquiry, Skeptic magazine examines extraordinary claims and revolutionary ideas, promotes critical thinking, and serves as an educational tool for those seeking a sound scientific viewpoint. Each issue examines a specific theme and explores various social, scientific, and paranormal controversies. We investigate claims of the paranormal, pseudoscience, fringe groups, cults and claims between: science, pseudoscience, junk science, voodoo science, pathological science, bad science, non science and plain old nonsense.

Similar to Farrakhan, someone reading a credulous "review" of a book rife with conspiracy and illogic would certainly be prejudiced against the magazine and the author of the "review" as well. If the skeptical community is still promoting Shermer and Skeptic magazine as good representatives, then that's going to prejudice people against the skeptical community the same way that GLAAD inviting Milo to speak at an event and promoting his book would harm GLAAD's image.

No one is saying Skeptic Magazine is the arbiter of the skeptical movement, but the credibility given to it, to Shermer, Boghossian, and others as great thinkers and representatives of the movement is certainly harmful, just as Ted Nugent's presence on the NRA Board of Directors tarnishes the reputation of all gun owners. If I DuckDuckGo or Google the word "skeptic" the first result is the Skeptical Society and Skeptic Magazine. The Sixth is a Skeptoid article that starts by quoting Shermer. The seventh is the wikipedia article for Skeptic Magazine. You'd be right to point out that a skeptical person would not overestimate the impact or importance of the Skeptical Society and Skeptic Magazine based on search engine rankings, a skeptical person would also have to have their head up their ass not to realize that the skeptical person is in the minority in the world, and also unlikely to be googling around for "skeptic" to learn what this whole skepticism thing is about. Like it or not, the most prominent person to wear and publicize the use of a label will determine in part how everyone else wearing that label is perceived.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 01:03:50 PM


Seems to me that if the blowjob metaphor is anti- anything it would be anti- sex workers. Not anti- gay people.

The metaphor was about a writer named George fellating a writer named Milo. Not seeing where sex work comes into the picture.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 01:05:59 PM
Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.

I'm a gay man that characterized a fawning review as "felating." If I had said "he practically cooked him a 4 course meal" to express how fawning the review was, would that make me anti-cooking?

If our culture had as much of a problem with anti-cooking sentiment as it does with anti-gay ideology, it might well be an issue.

As an enthusiastic and proud cocksucker I can assure you that your concerns are misplaced and my comment was not an attack upon anyone's sexuality.

This little derail is hilarious, because if you think that Milo doesn't make the same kinds of comments (without homophobic intent) you must have your head in your bum (which I assure you is not an attempt to demean auto-salad-tossing).
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 01:07:51 PM


Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.

I'm a gay man that characterized a fawning review as "felating." If I had said "he practically cooked him a 4 course meal" to express how fawning the review was, would that make me anti-cooking?

If our culture had as much of a problem with anti-cooking sentiment as it does with anti-gay ideology, it might well be an issue.

As an enthusiastic and proud cocksucker I can assure you that your concerns are misplaced and my comment was not an attack upon anyone's sexuality.

Your comment was not intended to attack Milo's (or George's) sexuality and that's all to the good. You know what they say about intent, though.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 30, 2017, 01:10:56 PM


Seems to me that if the blowjob metaphor is anti- anything it would be anti- sex workers. Not anti- gay people.

The metaphor was about a writer named George fellating a writer named Milo. Not seeing where sex work comes into the picture.

Clearly, he's writing the article for a paycheck. Maybe it's a strained analogy.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 01:34:57 PM


Some people think it's cool to mock gay men for blowjobs. Some people don't.

I'm a gay man that characterized a fawning review as "felating." If I had said "he practically cooked him a 4 course meal" to express how fawning the review was, would that make me anti-cooking?

If our culture had as much of a problem with anti-cooking sentiment as it does with anti-gay ideology, it might well be an issue.

As an enthusiastic and proud cocksucker I can assure you that your concerns are misplaced and my comment was not an attack upon anyone's sexuality.

Your comment was not intended to attack Milo's (or George's) sexuality and that's all to the good. You know what they say about intent, though.

I know what they say about reading other's words charitably vs reading them in the worst light possible. You want me to be homophobic so that you can claim the moral high ground. Sorry to disappoint.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 01:39:28 PM
Of course I don't want you to be homophobic.

You call that a charitable reading?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 30, 2017, 02:14:58 PM
Of course I don't want you to be homophobic.

You call that a charitable reading?

I think your post is about wanting to derail the thread because discussion of Milo reveals what a lowlife he is.  And it seems that is not acceptable.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 02:20:56 PM
Of course I don't want you to be homophobic.

You call that a charitable reading?

I think your post is about wanting to derail the thread because discussion of Milo reveals what a lowlife he is.  And it seems that is not acceptable.
Quite a hasty induction you've got there. I don't recall ever saying anything positive about Milo, in any forum. Have at him. Better yet, have at Dr. Michael for posting the least skeptical book review in the history of Skeptic Magazine. That's all fair game, of course.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 02:22:00 PM
Of course I don't want you to be homophobic.

You call that a charitable reading?

I think your post is about wanting to derail the thread because discussion of Milo reveals what a lowlife he is.  And it seems that is not acceptable.

There is no doubt that Milo is a low life.  There are other parts of this thread, however, that are just disturbing.  It seems that it's ok to group some people together based on demographic and treat them as a monolith, and others it's not ok.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 02:22:43 PM
Hmm we should say that then, every time.

I don't understand what you mean.

Quote
I mean look at this thread, there are people who are saying they no longer want the label skeptic because obviously SKEPTIC magazine's article represents the position of all skepticism.   I really am not sure that's what the OP is saying.  She seems to be saying that everyone who retains the label 'skeptic' is associated with Milo now and should seriously rethink their association with the label.

No, I don't think that's what they're saying at all. What they're saying is that this is a continuation of a trend within the skeptical movement of flirting with, embracing, or at best failing to distance itself from racists and misogynists. From elevatorgate to gamergate to increasing anti-muslim rhetoric in the new atheist movement to flirtations with the Bell Curve and to this article in SKEPTIC, the movement has been tarnished by a series of incidents involving racist, bigoted, and misogynistic words and actions which many skeptics have defended and to which the movement as a whole has not adequately responded.  These are no longer isolated incidents; they form a pattern, and it's one I think it's important to address and not to dismiss.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 02:26:18 PM
So why do you demand that Steve, for example, address it every time Shermer does something dumb?  It isn't really his job.  Nor is it the job of anyone else.

I'm totally in favor of people ripping Shermer and Milo new ones for their stupidity and bigotry.  I object when people start 'grouping' skeptics or others together simply because of a label or characteristic, and the OP is famous for doing that.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on July 30, 2017, 02:34:03 PM
I'd be okay with the SGU declaring itself Switzerland. 

Edit: Don't read into this, "Argentina." 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 30, 2017, 02:42:30 PM
Edit: Don't read into this, "Argentina."

"I've kept my promise, don't keep your distance..."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 02:48:25 PM
So why do you demand that Steve, for example, address it every time Shermer does something dumb?  It isn't really his job.  Nor is it the job of anyone else.

It's the job of anyone who doesn't want the perception of the skeptical movement tarnished by racism or bigotry.  By tolerating it and not distancing ourselves from it, we become complicit in it. And I'm not just asking Steve to do it; I'm doing it myself, as is materialist_girl.  And you should be doing it, too, not out of idealism but out of self-interest.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 03:25:22 PM
For what it's worth I think Steve has worked to distance himself from this stuff. This isn't about singling one person out and saying "You need to be the defender of the faith doubt." It's that we all need to speak out against bigotry (and Steve has). Steve and the SGU aren't the problem, and I don't recall anyone in this thread saying that they are.

The problem is that the culture of the skeptical movement has toxic elements and many of us feel that these elements are being handled on the whole in a way which is insufficient to marginalize them, which is leading to women and minorities feeling increasingly unwelcome and bigots feeling more so. It is a vicious cycle that I for one think we can interrupt.

I think Steve is trying his best to do that himself, as are others. The issue is that it doesn't seem to be enough (I honestly hope I am wrong about that). More of us need to speak out. Taking a neutral stance on social issues because it is outside of skepticism's scope is unacceptable. Would a neutral stance on slavery truly be neutral? How about rape? Steve isn't taking a neutral stance - bringing him up is a red hearing (as is bringing up Atheism +). The issue is that there are far too many "good Germans" in skepticism that don't want get involved, or who think that SJWs are just as bad as rape apologists.

And I get it, being fussed at by a 14 year old about how *problematic* what you said is when they don't even know the meaning of the word is annoying as hell, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be moved by that annoyance to ignore actual rascists & other asshats that keep shitting in the skeptical pool.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 30, 2017, 03:56:49 PM
So why do you demand that Steve, for example, address it every time Shermer does something dumb?  It isn't really his job.  Nor is it the job of anyone else.

I'm totally in favor of people ripping Shermer and Milo new ones for their stupidity and bigotry.  I object when people start 'grouping' skeptics or others together simply because of a label or characteristic, and the OP is famous for doing that.

Sure.  But don't marginalize Shermer either.  He may not be the Ronald Reagan of the movement, but he isn't Milo or Farkhan either.  And he is a high water mark in the movement for the alt-right.  This is not about if Shermer is the end-all-be-all of the movement, it is just a matter of where people draw the line on how much influence the shitheels should have.  So, you are willing for the sewer to back up some more before you get out.  Great for you.  Quit giving other people static because they are tired of standing in the shit pool and watching one more person decide to drop trou and add to the effluvia while they are trying ti clean it up.  You don't get to draw that line for someone else, just like they don't get to draw that line for you.  But seriously - shaming others who are tired of the shit is not helpful.

BTW, if you haven't decided where you draw the line, you might want to lest you end up like the Republican or Libertarian party - carrying a massive viral load of Milos and Trumps and their entourages, and way past the point of stopping the infection.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 04:28:43 PM
I strongly disagree that there should be any place for Michael Shermer in the Skeptical movement.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 30, 2017, 04:44:29 PM
It's not about what the position of a single person is. It's about the public, and what they think of when they see someone labelled as a "skeptic". I assure you, most people on the street don't have the nuanced Humean definition that most of us subscribe to.

For a large number of people, the label "skeptic" is not a positive one.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 04:53:50 PM
It's not about what the position of a single person is. It's about the public, and what they think of when they see someone labelled as a "skeptic". I assure you, most people on the street don't have the nuanced Humean definition that most of us subscribe to.

For a large number of people, the label "skeptic" is not a positive one.

This. I've been in a back and forth with someone on twitter because I'm not using the "traditional" or "commonly accepted" definition of skeptic. To this person "skeptic" means argumentative, condescending cynical asshole. They eventually conceded that the modern skeptical movement is a thing, but that I'm somehow a bad person for using that meaning of the word.

Honestly this movement chose a pretty shit word to use, even though it's in line with usage of the word going back to ancient Greece; from a PR perspective it's just a dumb move. I don't think we should go about re-naming existing things, but it seems like a smart thing in the future to use labels like "scientific literacy" and "reason" without appending "skeptic." Fighting over the meaning of a word is a pointless waste of resources and time.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 30, 2017, 04:57:01 PM
It's not about what the position of a single person is. It's about the public, and what they think of when they see someone labelled as a "skeptic". I assure you, most people on the street don't have the nuanced Humean definition that most of us subscribe to.

For a large number of people, the label "skeptic" is not a positive one.

This. I've been in a back and forth with someone on twitter because I'm not using the "traditional" or "commonly accepted" definition of skeptic. To this person "skeptic" means argumentative, condescending cynical asshole. They eventually conceded that the modern skeptical movement is a thing, but that I'm somehow a bad person for using that meaning of the word.

Honestly this movement chose a pretty shit word to use, even though it's in line with usage of the word going back to ancient Greece; from a PR perspective it's just a dumb move. I don't think we should go about re-naming existing things, but it seems like a smart thing in the future to use labels like "scientific literacy" and "reason" without appending "skeptic." Fighting over the meaning of a word is a pointless waste of resources and time.
And that's why some people choose not to identify as skeptics.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 05:07:18 PM
So why do you demand that Steve, for example, address it every time Shermer does something dumb?  It isn't really his job.  Nor is it the job of anyone else.

I'm totally in favor of people ripping Shermer and Milo new ones for their stupidity and bigotry.  I object when people start 'grouping' skeptics or others together simply because of a label or characteristic, and the OP is famous for doing that.

Sure.  But don't marginalize Shermer either.  He may not be the Ronald Reagan of the movement, but he isn't Milo or Farkhan either.  And he is a high water mark in the movement for the alt-right.  This is not about if Shermer is the end-all-be-all of the movement, it is just a matter of where people draw the line on how much influence the shitheels should have.  So, you are willing for the sewer to back up some more before you get out.  Great for you.  Quit giving other people static because they are tired of standing in the shit pool and watching one more person decide to drop trou and add to the effluvia while they are trying ti clean it up.  You don't get to draw that line for someone else, just like they don't get to draw that line for you.  But seriously - shaming others who are tired of the shit is not helpful.

BTW, if you haven't decided where you draw the line, you might want to lest you end up like the Republican or Libertarian party - carrying a massive viral load of Milos and Trumps and their entourages, and way past the point of stopping the infection.

"The Ronald Reagan of skepticism"? Funny idea. I'd guess that is either Carl Sagan or James Randi. I also guess that in a few decades that will be Steven Novella.

But otherwise, good points. However, I don't think this is what the OP is engaged in. And I do think that the SGU distances itself from what you mention in a good way.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 05:08:24 PM
I strongly disagree that there should be any place for Michael Shermer in the Skeptical movement.
Because of the so-called magazine or the alleged sexual assault?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 05:12:58 PM
It's not about what the position of a single person is. It's about the public, and what they think of when they see someone labelled as a "skeptic". I assure you, most people on the street don't have the nuanced Humean definition that most of us subscribe to.

For a large number of people, the label "skeptic" is not a positive one.

This. I've been in a back and forth with someone on twitter because I'm not using the "traditional" or "commonly accepted" definition of skeptic. To this person "skeptic" means argumentative, condescending cynical asshole. They eventually conceded that the modern skeptical movement is a thing, but that I'm somehow a bad person for using that meaning of the word.

Honestly this movement chose a pretty shit word to use, even though it's in line with usage of the word going back to ancient Greece; from a PR perspective it's just a dumb move. I don't think we should go about re-naming existing things, but it seems like a smart thing in the future to use labels like "scientific literacy" and "reason" without appending "skeptic." Fighting over the meaning of a word is a pointless waste of resources and time.

I do think "skeptic" is a good word, probably as good as it gets, and it is well established by now. It is both a verb ("skeptical") and a noun ("skeptic", "skepticism"). "Reason" as a word to use has at least as many problems (the Objectivists use that word a lot), and "scientific literacy" misses out quite a bit of what skeptics promote (like critical thinking and logic), and it is not really a good noun either. Someone who is part of the skeptical movement or has a skeptical worldview is a skeptic. What's the noun for scientific literacy? A scientific literate? The Scientific Literates' Guide to the Universe?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 06:09:12 PM
I do think "skeptic" is a good word, probably as good as it gets, and it is well established by now. It is both a verb ("skeptical") and a noun ("skeptic", "skepticism").

That is not a verb.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 06:17:10 PM
It's not about what the position of a single person is. It's about the public, and what they think of when they see someone labelled as a "skeptic". I assure you, most people on the street don't have the nuanced Humean definition that most of us subscribe to.

For a large number of people, the label "skeptic" is not a positive one.

This is true, but when someone uses Michael Shermer as an example of someone not to exclude, I can't let it pass in silence even at the risk of distracting from the main point.  The man's continued presence and participation in organized skepticism as well as the defenses made of him, are shameful stains on the whole movement.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Nosmas on July 30, 2017, 06:33:42 PM
It's not about what the position of a single person is. It's about the public, and what they think of when they see someone labelled as a "skeptic". I assure you, most people on the street don't have the nuanced Humean definition that most of us subscribe to.

For a large number of people, the label "skeptic" is not a positive one.

Most people wouldn't even know what you mean if you said you identify as a skeptic. They wouldn't have heard if Shermer or elevatorgate.

Most people do not see the label "feminist" as a positive one, regardless of what it actually means. You go to a feminist community and keep posting about how they need to fix their PR problem and you'll probably get labelled a concern troll and be banned shortly after.

I don't believe there's anything overly unique about skeptics when it comes to this stuff. I see it as a group that leans far more progressive than your typical cross section of the population. Not to say It's without problems that need fixing (it isn't) but that portraying it as some alt-right cesspool is total hyperbole.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 06:35:15 PM
So why do you demand that Steve, for example, address it every time Shermer does something dumb?  It isn't really his job.  Nor is it the job of anyone else.

It's the job of anyone who doesn't want the perception of the skeptical movement tarnished by racism or bigotry.  By tolerating it and not distancing ourselves from it, we become complicit in it. And I'm not just asking Steve to do it; I'm doing it myself, as is materialist_girl.  And you should be doing it, too, not out of idealism but out of self-interest.

So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example?  Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do?  I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

With respect to Shermer, he's skeptical, except for some of his closely held beliefs, he's a horrible debater and when pressed he gets very wishy washy and then goes right back and says the same stupid crap again.


Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 06:43:23 PM
So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example? Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do? I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

I am not a Muslim, so I have no interest in reforming the image of Islam. I am a skeptic, however, and I think it is my duty to seek to reform a movement that I am a member of.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 30, 2017, 07:01:01 PM
FWIW, Shermer's thing these days seems to be called "Enlightenment Humanism". The Pinkerian influence is probably there, as I think he was the first person to use that term. However, in Shermer's case it seems to involve rejecting Hume's law. Did Steven Pinker really advocate such a thing?

Below is Shermer's article. Pick it apart for logical fallacies if you like. :)
Scientific Naturalism: A Manifesto for Enlightenment Humanism (http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/2017/images/17-07-19/Scientific-Naturalism-A-Manifesto-for-Enlightenment-Humanism.pdf)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Nosmas on July 30, 2017, 07:01:32 PM
So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example? Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do? I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

I am not a Muslim, so I have no interest in reforming the image of Islam. I am a skeptic, however, and I think it is my duty to seek to reform a movement that I am a member of.

Materialist Girl isn't a skeptic so you must find it pretty strange that she has so much to say about skepticism reform.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 07:03:30 PM
So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example? Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do? I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

I am not a Muslim, so I have no interest in reforming the image of Islam. I am a skeptic, however, and I think it is my duty to seek to reform a movement that I am a member of.

Ok, so you don't hold them to the same standard you hold yourself?  Is that a double standard?

I frankly agree with you on Shermer, however I don't think it is my responsiblity to say something every time Shermer says or does something stupid.  Sure, if I find it obnoxious enough, I will speak up, but one should never consider my silence as agreement.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 30, 2017, 07:03:51 PM
There will never be a single unified skeptical movement.  There's no single "holy text" for skepticism.  Attacks by association are going to happen.  Attempting to purge views unrelated to skepticism will only backfire.  Only making a new group based around some founding document that cannot be questioned can achieve what you want theLat.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 07:12:00 PM
It's important that we don't marginalize white supremacists, rape apologists, or people advocating pederasty - these things are outside of the scope of skepticism and attempting to do so will only back fire. What would people think if we made pederasts and rapists feel unwelcome? What would become of skepticism if we tried to keep white nationalists out?

Perish the thought.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 07:12:36 PM
There will never be a single unified skeptical movement.  There's no single "holy text" for skepticism.  Attacks by association are going to happen.  Attempting to purge views unrelated to skepticism will only backfire.  Only making a new group based around some founding document that cannot be questioned can achieve what you want theLat.

Actually, I'm fine with his moral standards applied to himself, but I think its not right to demand others do the same.

If I'm asked my opinion of Shermer, I'll give it. 

(the following is not directed at Latinist)
With respect to this thread, I basically object to classifying 'skeptics' or 'old white men' as these monolithic groups that move in lockstep.  It's just amazing to me that the same people who can see and understand that calling out certain groups of people is demeaning and offensive, but its completely fine to call out other groups of people when there is an ENTIRE range of opinions within those groups.

My father and I are both in the 'old white men' group, and you couldn't find two more different people.  He thinks Trump can do no wrong, I think he's an abomination.  If I wanted to follow Latinist's moral compass with respect to 'old white men' I'd be spending 23.5 hours per day excoriating people.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 07:13:22 PM
It's important that we don't marginalize white supremacists, rape apologists, or people advocating pederasty - these things are outside of the scope of skepticism and attempting to do so will only back fire. What would people think if we made pederasts and rapists feel unwelcome? What would become of skepticism if we tried to keep white nationalists out?

Perish the thought.

Killed that Straw Man DEAD DEAD DEAD.  Man that thing is ON FIRE it's so dead.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 30, 2017, 07:27:34 PM
It's important that we don't marginalize white supremacists, rape apologists, or people advocating pederasty - these things are outside of the scope of skepticism and attempting to do so will only back fire. What would people think if we made pederasts and rapists feel unwelcome? What would become of skepticism if we tried to keep white nationalists out?

Perish the thought.

Killed that Straw Man DEAD DEAD DEAD.  Man that thing is ON FIRE it's so dead.
Attempting to purge views unrelated to skepticism will only backfire. Only making a new group based around some founding document that cannot be questioned can achieve what you want theLat.

It's tough to call it a straw man when it's right the fuck there. I mean I guess it's easy as pie if you're just trying to make the problem go away instead of discussing it, but that's sort of the gist of the thread. If you have problems with the influx of misogynists, "race realists", white nationalists, and other groups of vitriolic hatemongers, then it's time to speak up. If you don't you're actively a part of the problem by seeing it and doing nothing.

Seeing a problem and ignoring it, and asking others not to address it makes you part of the problem.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 07:29:33 PM
It's important that we don't marginalize white supremacists, rape apologists, or people advocating pederasty - these things are outside of the scope of skepticism and attempting to do so will only back fire. What would people think if we made pederasts and rapists feel unwelcome? What would become of skepticism if we tried to keep white nationalists out?

Perish the thought.

Killed that Straw Man DEAD DEAD DEAD.  Man that thing is ON FIRE it's so dead.

1) Milo argued that pederasty wasn't so bad, and has since been defended in Skeptic magazine (albeit not for pederasty, it just isn't relevant)

2) Michael Shermer was accused of rape by multiple credible people and was defended, while others remained disappointingly silent.

3) Skeptic magazine published a defense of The Bell Curve

So, not so much a strawman as an accurate representation of the worst turds floating in the skeptical pool. What's next? Will Skeptic magazine publish a Holocaust denier so that readers can "decide for themselves?" How about climate change denial? They can do what they want, but I'm going to call that kind of bullshit out just like I do for Fox News when they "let the viewers decide."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 07:35:37 PM
It's important that we don't marginalize white supremacists, rape apologists, or people advocating pederasty - these things are outside of the scope of skepticism and attempting to do so will only back fire. What would people think if we made pederasts and rapists feel unwelcome? What would become of skepticism if we tried to keep white nationalists out?

Perish the thought.

Killed that Straw Man DEAD DEAD DEAD.  Man that thing is ON FIRE it's so dead.

1) Milo argued that pederasty wasn't so bad, and has since been defended in Skeptic magazine (albeit not for pederasty, it just isn't relevant)

2) Michael Shermer was accused of rape by multiple credible people and was defended, while others remained disappointingly silent.

3) Skeptic magazine published a defense of The Bell Curve

So, not so much a strawman as an accurate representation of the worst turds floating in the skeptical pool. What's next? Will Skeptic magazine publish a Holocaust denier so that readers can "decide for themselves?" How about climate change denial? They can do what they want, but I'm going to call that kind of bullshit out just like I do for Fox News when they "let the viewers decide."

Are you criticizing:

a) everyone who self identifies as skeptics
b) Shermer
c) Skeptic Magazine
d) all of the above

If it's b and c, then I say go for it.  I'm completely fine with it.  If it's a or d because those groups happen to contain Shermer and Skeptic Magazine, then I think it's wrong.

Frankly, even if I don't consider him a skeptic, I don't know any possible way to STOP him from using the term.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 30, 2017, 07:39:30 PM
So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example? Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do? I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

I am not a Muslim, so I have no interest in reforming the image of Islam. I am a skeptic, however, and I think it is my duty to seek to reform a movement that I am a member of.

Materialist Girl isn't a skeptic so you must find it pretty strange that she has so much to say about skepticism reform.

There's really a segment of you folks so deeply in denial all you can do is talk about the messenger, and not the message.

And as far as not being a skeptic, no, no I'm not. Does that mean none of my interests and concerns overlap with skepticism? Not at all. I believe science and critical thinking can play an important role in a future which centres equality and justice, and many people in skepticism have similar goals. So does that mean I think there are many useful, smart, insightful, etc. people who are in skepticism right now, and who I think are being held back by having to argue the same tiresome fascist, sexist, transphobic, Islamaphobic talking points with half-wits daily? Yes, I do, and I've already watched them begin to leave the rest of you behind. I think there are still many of those people here, and if my posting here helps them connect with people of a similar mindset and with similar hope and vision for a future beyond the alt-right blip we're going through right now, then all the better.

But comments like yours above? That's the work of a coward with no useful intellectual content to bring to a conversation. If Skepticism collapses on your head like a rotting building, I really don't care.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 07:54:07 PM
It's important that we don't marginalize white supremacists, rape apologists, or people advocating pederasty - these things are outside of the scope of skepticism and attempting to do so will only back fire. What would people think if we made pederasts and rapists feel unwelcome? What would become of skepticism if we tried to keep white nationalists out?

Perish the thought.

Killed that Straw Man DEAD DEAD DEAD.  Man that thing is ON FIRE it's so dead.

1) Milo argued that pederasty wasn't so bad, and has since been defended in Skeptic magazine (albeit not for pederasty, it just isn't relevant)

2) Michael Shermer was accused of rape by multiple credible people and was defended, while others remained disappointingly silent.

3) Skeptic magazine published a defense of The Bell Curve

So, not so much a strawman as an accurate representation of the worst turds floating in the skeptical pool. What's next? Will Skeptic magazine publish a Holocaust denier so that readers can "decide for themselves?" How about climate change denial? They can do what they want, but I'm going to call that kind of bullshit out just like I do for Fox News when they "let the viewers decide."

Are you criticizing:

a) everyone who self identifies as skeptics
b) Shermer
c) Skeptic Magazine
d) all of the above

If it's b and c, then I say go for it.  I'm completely fine with it.  If it's a or d because those groups happen to contain Shermer and Skeptic Magazine, then I think it's wrong.

Frankly, even if I don't consider him a skeptic, I don't know any possible way to STOP him from using the term.

I'm criticizing a weakness in the entire skeptical movement/culture, of which I consider myself a part. I am not blaming every single person who identifies as a skeptic for what some other skeptic says or does; I'm saying we all have a responsibility to curate our culture/movement so that it doesn't go to shit. Steve has himself spoken out on some of this stuff, he has decried misogyny in skepticism. He has done so because he recognizes it as a thing that is here and needs to be dealt with or the movement is going to die a slow, sad death.

I'm not saying skepticism is bad. I'm saying skepticism as a philosophy on it's own is impotent to deal with these issues. Unfortunately some people think being a good skeptic means staying silent on things like white supremacy and misogyny, among other things, and I'm saying that is poison.

I'm saying there are turds in our pool and wouldn't it be nice if we fished them out and maybe chlorinated the water? I'm saying that overall I like the pool and which more people could enjoy it, but the more turds there are floating around, the more people who don't like to swim in shit feel unwelcome, and the more people who love to shit in pools feel like it is a place for them. Again, it is a vicious circle, and while there are absolutely people who are overzealous in turd-fishing (like PZ, uhg), that doesn't meant there aren't actual turds. We can do better, and I think we will, but that requires that we admit there is a problem in the first place.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 07:57:09 PM


I'm saying there are turds in our pool and wouldn't it be nice if we fished them out and maybe chlorinated the water? I'm saying that overall I like the pool and which more people could enjoy it, but the more turds there are floating around, the more people who don't like to swim in shit feel unwelcome, and the more people who love to shit in pools feel like it is a place for them. Again, it is a vicious circle, and while there are absolutely people who are overzealous in turd-fishing (like PZ, uhg), that doesn't meant there aren't actual turds. We can do better, and I think we will, but that requires that we admit there is a problem in the first place.

So I agree with you that there are turds in the pool, but what I don't know is how you STOP them from self applying the label.  There's not much you can do about that. 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on July 30, 2017, 08:00:37 PM


I'm saying there are turds in our pool and wouldn't it be nice if we fished them out and maybe chlorinated the water? I'm saying that overall I like the pool and which more people could enjoy it, but the more turds there are floating around, the more people who don't like to swim in shit feel unwelcome, and the more people who love to shit in pools feel like it is a place for them. Again, it is a vicious circle, and while there are absolutely people who are overzealous in turd-fishing (like PZ, uhg), that doesn't meant there aren't actual turds. We can do better, and I think we will, but that requires that we admit there is a problem in the first place.

So I agree with you that there are turds in the pool, but what I don't know is how you STOP them from self applying the label.  There's not much you can do about that.
You can try to marginalize the views that make those people turds.

Of course, last time that was suggested you called it a straw man.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 08:08:36 PM


I'm saying there are turds in our pool and wouldn't it be nice if we fished them out and maybe chlorinated the water? I'm saying that overall I like the pool and which more people could enjoy it, but the more turds there are floating around, the more people who don't like to swim in shit feel unwelcome, and the more people who love to shit in pools feel like it is a place for them. Again, it is a vicious circle, and while there are absolutely people who are overzealous in turd-fishing (like PZ, uhg), that doesn't meant there aren't actual turds. We can do better, and I think we will, but that requires that we admit there is a problem in the first place.

So I agree with you that there are turds in the pool, but what I don't know is how you STOP them from self applying the label.  There's not much you can do about that.
You can try to marginalize the views that make those people turds.

Of course, last time that was suggested you called it a straw man.

No, that's not what I did.  I called the mocking representation of positions I've seen in this thread a straw man.  Did you see earlier in the thread where I said I stopped paying for SKEPTIC magazine and have stopped supporting Shermer?  I have no problem with people doing that.  With the exception of possibly Andrew, I'm not sure anyone posting thinks that you shouldn't advocate for whatever you want.

What I don't think is possible is that you'll be able to stop someone from using a label.  As an example from earlier in the thread, Farrakhan still calls himself a muslim, and all the effort from other muslims to call him out as NOT a muslim hasn't stopped him from using the label.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 08:15:35 PM
eh, you can't control how people label themselves. Climate change deniers call themselves "climate skeptics" and this absolutely harms the skeptical movement. We can't stop them from using the term, but we can ensure that we don't engage in any teach-the-controversy bullshit like Skeptic magazine did with The Bell Curve.

If Skeptic magazine continues what it appears to be doing (I've only seen a few instances and it's always possible those are outliers) they can be marginalized, and not just by individuals canceling supscriptions. It's not hard to make it the kiss of death to publish an article in their mag for example, as far as invites to speak at cons and on podcasts (and thus promote their own work). It really depends on how far you want to go, and this is absolutely up to a podcast or con or individual. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences; no one is obligated to have you on their platform.

Milo was effectively blacklisted by the MSM for his pederasty comments, and then Skeptic magazine decides to publish what is essentially a defense of Milo's worldview (at least in part). My response would be to blacklist Skeptic magazine going forward, and anyone who continues to be willing to contribute. If "Skeptic" magazine is no longer skeptical, or is otherwise abhorrent, skeptics should be as wary of writing for them as they would be for Stormfront.

It's not impossible, though it is always going to be a constant fight. Someone is always going to be shitting in the pool, while proclaiming it the bestest most skeptical shit ever. We don't have to invite "Bill Cosby" to speak at our cons or speak on our podcasts either.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 30, 2017, 08:19:15 PM


I'm saying there are turds in our pool and wouldn't it be nice if we fished them out and maybe chlorinated the water? I'm saying that overall I like the pool and which more people could enjoy it, but the more turds there are floating around, the more people who don't like to swim in shit feel unwelcome, and the more people who love to shit in pools feel like it is a place for them. Again, it is a vicious circle, and while there are absolutely people who are overzealous in turd-fishing (like PZ, uhg), that doesn't meant there aren't actual turds. We can do better, and I think we will, but that requires that we admit there is a problem in the first place.

So I agree with you that there are turds in the pool, but what I don't know is how you STOP them from self applying the label.  There's not much you can do about that.
You can try to marginalize the views that make those people turds.

Of course, last time that was suggested you called it a straw man.

No, that's not what I did.  I called the mocking representation of positions I've seen in this thread a straw man.  Did you see earlier in the thread where I said I stopped paying for SKEPTIC magazine and have stopped supporting Shermer?  I have no problem with people doing that.  With the exception of possibly Andrew, I'm not sure anyone posting thinks that you shouldn't advocate for whatever you want.

What I don't think is possible is that you'll be able to stop someone from using a label.  As an example from earlier in the thread, Farrakhan still calls himself a muslim, and all the effort from other muslims to call him out as NOT a muslim hasn't stopped him from using the label.

I was replying directly to Andrew, though I should have quoted him.  The presence of rape apologists, white nationalists and defenders of pederasty is an established fact; How we respond to them is what this thread is all about.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 30, 2017, 08:28:29 PM
Wait, and which one of those three is Milo?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 30, 2017, 08:36:56 PM
Wait, and which one of those three is Milo?
Defenders of pederasty.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Nosmas on July 30, 2017, 08:43:31 PM
So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example? Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do? I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

I am not a Muslim, so I have no interest in reforming the image of Islam. I am a skeptic, however, and I think it is my duty to seek to reform a movement that I am a member of.

Materialist Girl isn't a skeptic so you must find it pretty strange that she has so much to say about skepticism reform.

There's really a segment of you folks so deeply in denial all you can do is talk about the messenger, and not the message.

I've spoken about the message. In short I said it's hyperbole that skepticism is the cesspool that you make it out to be. Even if it were abandoning the word skeptic wouldn't help. To be clear, I think it has a racism / misogyny / fascist problem to the extent that society in general has that problem right now. I don't like or follow Shermer. I couldn't even get past the last podcast I heard him on. Alt rights are worse than SJWs, the American right are so messed up on social issues that shouldn't even be considered, woman have it worse than men and for sure there are assholes in the skeptic community.

Despite making reference to you, that post wasn't really about you. It was an attempt to see if TheLat finds it strange that a non-skeptic would be interested to the extent that you are here after suggesting that not being a part of a group means having no interest in reforming it. You're the only one here I'm aware of that doesn't consider yourself a skeptic.

And as far as not being a skeptic, no, no I'm not. Does that mean none of my interests and concerns overlap with skepticism? Not at all. I believe science and critical thinking can play an important role in a future which centres equality and justice, and many people in skepticism have similar goals. So does that mean I think there are many useful, smart, insightful, etc. people who are in skepticism right now, and who I think are being held back by having to argue the same tiresome fascist, sexist, transphobic, Islamaphobic talking points with half-wits daily? Yes, I do, and I've already watched them begin to leave the rest of you behind. I think there are still many of those people here, and if my posting here helps them connect with people of a similar mindset and with similar hope and vision for a future beyond the alt-right blip we're going through right now, then all the better.

The bold is what I was getting to. Not being a part of a group does not mean you can not have overlapping concerns and areas of interest. The rest of the above is interesting as I've considered asking you why you're here at all but have held back because I suspect you're not capable of carrying a non-hostile conversation with someone who doesn't agree 100% with you on everything.

But comments like yours above? That's the work of a coward with no useful intellectual content to bring to a conversation. If Skepticism collapses on your head like a rotting building, I really don't care.
::)

I've explained that comment, although I don't believe it changes anything for you. The same accusation could easily be leveled at a sizeable number of your posts but that would be spill-over.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Nosmas on July 30, 2017, 08:45:57 PM
Double post. Sorry.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 30, 2017, 08:53:16 PM
Wait, and which one of those three is Milo?
Defenders of pederasty.

Really?  Could I ask for a link to him actually advocating such (and not simply others claiming so)?

Also, quite odd that almost all the outrage appears to actually be leveled at the alt-right in this thread (of which Milo is not).  It's almost as if the OP and some others have an axe to grind and want others to not look too closely as to whether the event that set this off has anything to do with their stated complaints.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 08:59:00 PM
Wait, and which one of those three is Milo?
Defenders of pederasty.

Really?  Could I ask for a link to him actually advocating such (and not simply others claiming so)?

Also, quite odd that almost all the outrage appears to actually be leveled at the alt-right in this thread (of which Milo is not).  It's almost as if the OP and some others have an axe to grind and want others to not look too closely as to whether the event that set this off has anything to do with their stated complaints.

Hmm, how about a link to thunderf00t calling him out on it?  Really, I'm surprised that you're ignorant of this Andrew...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNfvgYwFPF4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC3HElx-CQ0
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 30, 2017, 09:06:41 PM
Will watch those tomorrow.  Daughter running a fever so I can't watch videos right now.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 30, 2017, 09:32:12 PM
Milo is like Bannon.  He is fer sure fascist curious,  has a subscription, and is paying dues. The whole "I'm a Nazi in everything but name because they have bad branding" means they are Nazis Andrew.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on July 30, 2017, 09:34:42 PM
So, do you say the same thing of the followers of Islam, as an example? Does every follower of Islam need to speak up whenever an Islamic terrorist does what they do? I seem to remember the exact opposite argument in this forum a while ago.

I am not a Muslim, so I have no interest in reforming the image of Islam. I am a skeptic, however, and I think it is my duty to seek to reform a movement that I am a member of.

Materialist Girl isn't a skeptic so you must find it pretty strange that she has so much to say about skepticism reform.

There's really a segment of you folks so deeply in denial all you can do is talk about the messenger, and not the message.

And as far as not being a skeptic, no, no I'm not. Does that mean none of my interests and concerns overlap with skepticism? Not at all. I believe science and critical thinking can play an important role in a future which centres equality and justice, and many people in skepticism have similar goals. So does that mean I think there are many useful, smart, insightful, etc. people who are in skepticism right now, and who I think are being held back by having to argue the same tiresome fascist, sexist, transphobic, Islamaphobic talking points with half-wits daily? Yes, I do, and I've already watched them begin to leave the rest of you behind. I think there are still many of those people here, and if my posting here helps them connect with people of a similar mindset and with similar hope and vision for a future beyond the alt-right blip we're going through right now, then all the better.

But comments like yours above? That's the work of a coward with no useful intellectual content to bring to a conversation. If Skepticism collapses on your head like a rotting building, I really don't care.

I appreciate your presence and postings on these boards, materialist_girl. Ever since I started listening to the SGU, I've thought the skeptical community was awesome and something I want to be a part of. Lately, however, I've begun to smell something rotten in it. It has been hard for me to identify whether I'm making mountains out of molehills, or whether the movement is so debased that I should abandon it. I'm still not sure what to do, but your posts have at least convinced me that I'm no crazy for pondering these questions.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 30, 2017, 10:02:55 PM
Rather than reading a third-party take on it, here's the original unedited video:

https://youtu.be/6vZsbpvhn5Q
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on July 30, 2017, 10:39:06 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/ekBjrxf.png)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 30, 2017, 10:41:58 PM
Rather than reading a third-party take on it, here's the original unedited video:

https://youtu.be/6vZsbpvhn5Q

My point of posting Thunderf00t was that he was, for a while, a hero of the Milo crowd.  Milo even disturbed Thunderf00t, which just goes to show how bad he is.  I was going to post the 'original' but decided to post a critique from the same side of the fence.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on July 31, 2017, 12:16:54 AM
I don't care for SKEPTIC, and I don't like to see Shermer getting air time, but I would stop short of no-platforming "anyone who continues to contribute" to the magazine. People have bills to pay and even kids to feed. Personally, I've worked on nuclear weapons, and as a debt collector, both of which I found tougher to square ethically than I would ever feel about contributing to a magazine (as long as my contribution itself was sincere).

Should I be no-platformed for my past jobs?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on July 31, 2017, 07:49:47 AM
Of the people who might contribute to the magazine and also have a decent chance of being invited to speak at skeptical conventions, how many have families in danger of starving if they don't publish there?

More generally the "everybody's got to eat" argument only goes so far. Unless a person is enslaved they still have some choice in the matter, and I'm going to judge them for doing a job that actively hurts people when there are other more respectable options like sex work or dealing drugs.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on July 31, 2017, 08:13:29 AM
I was imagining someone writing for the magazine right now, who may rise to something like prominence a decade from now, suddenly having her publication history thrown in her face.

Also, not everyone who gets invited to speak actually makes good money. I know of many authors who get speaking invitations from time to time but were never able to quit their day job.

But seriously, what do you think of someone who has turned a wrench to keep a city destroying rocket in good condition? Aren't I at least as awful as someone who writes inoffensive articles in an occasionally offensive magazine?

I did smile at your last sentence.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 31, 2017, 08:34:07 AM
 ::) Good lord, can you not participate in a thread without making it about you?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on July 31, 2017, 09:18:11 AM
Does my question lack salience?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on July 31, 2017, 09:24:36 AM
I was imagining someone writing for the magazine right now, who may rise to something like prominence a decade from now, suddenly having her publication history thrown in her face.
Was anyone necessarily talking about permanent blacklisting?

Quote
Also, not everyone who gets invited to speak actually makes good money. I know of many authors who get speaking invitations from time to time but were never able to quit their day job.
"Unable to quit their day job" is not the same as "unable to feed their family".

Quote
But seriously, what do you think of someone who has turned a wrench to keep a city destroying rocket in good condition? Aren't I at least as awful as someone who writes inoffensive articles in an occasionally offensive magazine?
You are far, far worse than anyone who ever wrote anything for this magazine.

There, is that what you wanted?

Quote
I did smile at your last sentence.
It wasn't a joke.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 09:35:09 AM
::) Good lord, can you not participate in a thread without making it about you?

I know this comment wasn't directed at me, but I've decided to act as though it is  ;D
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 09:56:39 AM
Rather than reading a third-party take on it, here's the original unedited video:

https://youtu.be/6vZsbpvhn5Q

Okay.  So he said he held no ill will towards the particular adult he fucked as a teen, while also saying that normalization of pedophilia is dangerous and wrong...  I'm not sure he's promoting or being a pedophile apologist there, but definitely an idiot and hypocrite.  Honestly the position seems to make so little sense that I'm not sure he even knows what he believes.  Glad to finally get the primary source on this.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 31, 2017, 10:03:38 AM
Rather than reading a third-party take on it, here's the original unedited video:

https://youtu.be/6vZsbpvhn5Q

Okay.  So he said he held no ill will towards the particular adult he fucked as a teen, while also saying that normalization of pedophilia is dangerous and wrong...  I'm not sure he's promoting or being a pedophile apologist there, but definitely an idiot and hypocrite.  Honestly the position seems to make so little sense that I'm not sure he even knows what he believes.  Glad to finally get the primary source on this.

Did you catch the part where he said:

Quote
I think particularly in the gay world and outside the Catholic church, if that’s where some of you want to go with this, I think in the gay world, some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men, they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys. They can even save those young boys, from desolation, from suicide (people talk over each other)… providing they’re consensual.

That is clear praise for pederasty.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 10:06:34 AM
Huh?  I literally just listened to that video and did not hear that.  Did I just gloss over that?  I assume it was during the "Father Michael" section.  Okay, I'm going to listen again.  I honestly did not here that paragraph anywhere.

EDIT -

"AS I said earlier, if it weren't for father Michael, I would have given far less good head."  Okay I think there's part of this interview I'm missing that isn't in this clip.  Going to look up the full episode.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 31, 2017, 10:18:28 AM
Huh?  I literally just listened to that video and did not hear that.  Did I just gloss over that?  I assume it was during the "Father Michael" section.  Okay, I'm going to listen again.  I honestly did not here that paragraph anywhere.

Sorry, I confused this clip with another.  The Rogan video was where he refused to reveal the identity of pedophiles he claimed had witnessed raping children at a party.  The defense of pederasty was on the Drunken Peasants podcast (the relevant section starts at about 1:00:30):

https://youtu.be/azC1nm85btY
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on July 31, 2017, 10:19:17 AM
I don't care for SKEPTIC, and I don't like to see Shermer getting air time, but I would stop short of no-platforming "anyone who continues to contribute" to the magazine. People have bills to pay and even kids to feed. Personally, I've worked on nuclear weapons, and as a debt collector, both of which I found tougher to square ethically than I would ever feel about contributing to a magazine (as long as my contribution itself was sincere).

Should I be no-platformed for my past jobs?

It's a free market, bub.

I have no obligation to spend money with them just because people work for them.  This argument is borderline idiocy.  You think giving it a name like "no-platforming" makes people obligated to spend their cash there?  Screw that.  I bet you no-platform the Catholic church, Harley-Davidson, SheaMosture, LeerJet, and Popeye's Chicken, don't you.  If you work for a company that can't make it in the free market, then yes you do deserve to be no-platformed.  And bad marketing is a perfectly good reason for a company to fail. 

Take this hippie post to the commies in China or the corruptagarchs in Russia, this is America, man.  Capitalism works, not this weirdo system you are stumping for where everyone spends money everywhere because everyone needs to work.  Thats sounds like communism.   >:D
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 10:20:34 AM
Okay, I'll have to listen to that one later.  I'm trying to inform myself here, but gosh this is a ton of time to find out (potentially) that Milo isn't just somebody who's style I dislike, but whose views I also find abhorrent.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 31, 2017, 10:25:11 AM
Okay, I'll have to listen to that one later.  I'm trying to inform myself here, but gosh this is a ton of time to find out (potentially) that Milo isn't just somebody who's style I dislike, but whose views I also find abhorrent.

I wouldn't torture myself with the whole nearly three-hour video.  I don't think you'll be taking things dangerously out of context if you start around 53 minutes.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on July 31, 2017, 12:21:20 PM
Does my question lack salience?

Well, it lacks relevance... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 01:01:57 PM
Hmmm...  Milo appears to be arguing that the climate in the gay world (in situations where sexuality is oppressed and shamed within religious families) makes it so these illicit sexual relationships are not damaging, but rather enables them to come to terms with their own sexuality in a positive way.  He appears to also being saying that attraction to sexually undeveloped kids is pedophilia, but relationships with people who are sexually developed and give consent (but are below 18) is not pedophilia.

That's... a lot to unpack.  I honestly expected to either hear something that was clearly not Milo defending pedophilia, but which could be interpreted that way, or saying so in a way that I would instantly reject.  I don't know how I feel about these arguments.  I need to ponder them more.

Assuming I reject either of these arguments though, then I'd certain have an issue with Milo's views (not just his completely self absorbed style).  Does he discuss these views in his book "Dangerous"?  Because if he doesn't, I'm not sure that I could say that a generally positive review of said book in Skeptic Magazine therefore means that the magazine (let alone Skepticism as a whole) endorses or is tainted by these views.  Hmmmm...  Gonna come back later, but that video was not at all what I expected.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 31, 2017, 01:25:26 PM
He's technically right in that pedophilia is an attraction to pre-pubescent children, while ephebiphilia is an attraction to adolescents (this is a relatively new term to me). This distinction is recognized both legally and psychologically, but for most people it's a distinction without a difference. I certainly think the former is worse than the latter, but neither are defensible.

To be honest I am somewhat sympathetic in that he was abused by a priest and has convinced himself that it was a healthy thing that happened. Even if it's possible for an adult to have a, uh, healthy sexual experience with an adolescent I imagine such situations are rare and the youth is certainly not going to be able to evaluate that for themselves. I think I'm stating the obvious that these rare hypotheticals have to be weighed against the real harm done to kids by grown adults.

Milo has no filter, and had a discussion in public that he should have had with a therapist instead IMO. This is his achillies heel - he is so dedicated to the idea that you can say anything that he will literally say anything that pops into his head, and the more offensive or harmful the more self righteous he is likely to be in defense of what he has said.

He has, sort of, apologized for what he said, but I find it hard to believe he is sincere. Probably more of a "I'm sorry this blew up in my face" than an "I'm sorry I said that, it was truly fucked up."

I cannot fathom why Skeptic magazine felt the need to publish a review of his book.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 31, 2017, 01:33:42 PM

I cannot fathom why Skeptic magazine felt the need to publish a review of his book.

My sense is that it was likely done for one of two reasons (or some combination of these two)

1) Shermer's views on free speech
2) Cynical calculation that all the furor over the publication would increase sales. 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: nameofthewave on July 31, 2017, 01:43:43 PM

I cannot fathom why Skeptic magazine felt the need to publish a review of his book.

My sense is that it was likely done for one of two reasons (or some combination of these two)

1) Shermer's views on free speech
2) Cynical calculation that all the furor over the publication would increase sales.

I think also some skeptics just like being contrarian for the sake of it, even if this results in taking an absurd position.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 31, 2017, 01:45:15 PM
He's technically right in that pedophilia is an attraction to pre-pubescent children, while ephebiphilia is an attraction to adolescents (this is a relatively new term to me). This distinction is recognized both legally and psychologically, but for most people it's a distinction without a difference. I certainly think the former is worse than the latter, but neither are defensible.

I don't think anyone here has said that he advocates pedophilia; what he describes is pederasty.

Quote
To be honest I am somewhat sympathetic in that he was abused by a priest and has convinced himself that it was a healthy thing that happened.

I pity him, to be sure.  But I don't excuse his words or actions because of it.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on July 31, 2017, 01:50:47 PM

I don't think anyone here has said that he advocates pedophilia; what he describes is pederasty.


I was responding to Andrew who seemed to have been unaware of the distinction (which Milo talks about in the clip and Andrew commented on). Lots of people think of sexual relations between adults and adolescents as pedophilia.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 02:14:06 PM

I don't think anyone here has said that he advocates pedophilia; what he describes is pederasty.


I was responding to Andrew who seemed to have been unaware of the distinction (which Milo talks about in the clip and Andrew commented on). Lots of people think of sexual relations between adults and adolescents as pedophilia.

It's the special case of gay relationships that has me thinking there.  I mean for quite some time (and potentially currently in certain places) that these sorts of relationships might be a comparatively healthy means of sexual discovery when put against the anti-gay sexual repression isn't a ludicrous idea.  He also seems to suggest that the laws are about right, meaning that any relationship like that should be illegal, and that only the continued willingness of the minor / former minor to protect the adult would keep them from prosecution.  Which of course means that either the relationship was legitimately of benefit or the grooming took hold to a level of stockholm syndrome.  I'm not sure I could objectively distinguish between the two.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 03:14:21 PM
This is true, but when someone uses Michael Shermer as an example of someone not to exclude, I can't let it pass in silence even at the risk of distracting from the main point.  The man's continued presence and participation in organized skepticism as well as the defenses made of him, are shameful stains on the whole movement.

I just did some Googling on Shermer.... whoa shit, I didn't know about all that.

This guy is not somebody I wish to support in any way.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 04:00:03 PM
Also, quite odd that almost all the outrage appears to actually be leveled at the alt-right in this thread (of which Milo is not)

What makes you think that Milo Yiannopoulos is not "alt-right"? He is certainly associated with the "alt-right" in the public mind and has frequently acted as a spokesperson on behalf of that movement. Was there some point at which he publicly disavowed or disassociated himself from it?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 31, 2017, 04:07:07 PM
This is true, but when someone uses Michael Shermer as an example of someone not to exclude, I can't let it pass in silence even at the risk of distracting from the main point.  The man's continued presence and participation in organized skepticism as well as the defenses made of him, are shameful stains on the whole movement.

I just did some Googling on Shermer.... whoa shit, I didn't know about all that.

This guy is not somebody I wish to support in any way.

The question is, how could Shermer be disassociated from skepticism?

For a start, I don't think he is very prominent these days, and I think rather few will cite him as a significant influence.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 31, 2017, 04:11:12 PM
This is true, but when someone uses Michael Shermer as an example of someone not to exclude, I can't let it pass in silence even at the risk of distracting from the main point.  The man's continued presence and participation in organized skepticism as well as the defenses made of him, are shameful stains on the whole movement.

I just did some Googling on Shermer.... whoa shit, I didn't know about all that.

This guy is not somebody I wish to support in any way.

The question is, how could Shermer be disassociated from skepticism?

For a start, I don't think he is very prominent these days, and I think rather few will cite him as a significant influence.
Don't invite him to speak on skeptical media and petition those media to not invite him, petition Skeptic Magazine to either remove him or change their name, denounce him and his bullshit whenever it pops up.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: random poet on July 31, 2017, 04:13:36 PM
Also, quite odd that almost all the outrage appears to actually be leveled at the alt-right in this thread (of which Milo is not)

What makes you think that Milo Yiannopoulos is not "alt-right"? He is certainly associated with the "alt-right" in the public mind and has frequently acted as a spokesperson on behalf of that movement. Was there some point at which he publicly disavowed or disassociated himself from it?
Don't listen to Clunn. He's wrong about everything.

Milo worked at Breibart. They practically invented the alt-right. He is quoted on the wikipedia page for alt-right. Saying he's not alt-right is like saying Nixon wasn't a republican. (This is a good analogy because they both got kicked out of their jobs, and it doesn't make them any less of a alt-right douche or a republican, respectively.)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 04:30:08 PM
Also, quite odd that almost all the outrage appears to actually be leveled at the alt-right in this thread (of which Milo is not)

What makes you think that Milo Yiannopoulos is not "alt-right"? He is certainly associated with the "alt-right" in the public mind and has frequently acted as a spokesperson on behalf of that movement. Was there some point at which he publicly disavowed or disassociated himself from it?

He's made several statements saying that he isn't.  He's criticized fascists and racial identity politics openly (can provide videos if you'd like).  Basically if you can define alt-right in such a way as it does not include the racial identity elements, and then the criticisms presented against it (as being abhorrent) fall apart.  Or you can include those elements and then Milo is clearly not a member.  There's no shortage of people wanting to broadly define the term to include people they disagree with, and then associate those people with ideas they do not hold.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 04:42:29 PM
This is true, but when someone uses Michael Shermer as an example of someone not to exclude, I can't let it pass in silence even at the risk of distracting from the main point.  The man's continued presence and participation in organized skepticism as well as the defenses made of him, are shameful stains on the whole movement.

I just did some Googling on Shermer.... whoa shit, I didn't know about all that.

This guy is not somebody I wish to support in any way.

The question is, how could Shermer be disassociated from skepticism?

For a start, I don't think he is very prominent these days, and I think rather few will cite him as a significant influence.

Yeah, what SkeptiQueer said.

Don't support him. Don't subscribe to his magazine. If you're involved with the organization or production of any conference, podcast, or other skeptic-oriented presentation, then use your own influence to prevent him being invited. Make it known to others in your organization that his actions, his politics and personal beliefs run contrary to your own values.

We may not be able to exercise control over the "Skeptic Community" as a whole; but we certainly have the power to choose with whom we associate. And we can make a priority of promoting positive humanist values in whichever groups we do belong.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on July 31, 2017, 04:49:50 PM
Are we just going to let references to "the gay world" slide? LGBT people occupy the same world we do.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 04:56:43 PM
What makes you think that Milo Yiannopoulos is not "alt-right"? He is certainly associated with the "alt-right" in the public mind and has frequently acted as a spokesperson on behalf of that movement. Was there some point at which he publicly disavowed or disassociated himself from it?

He's made several statements saying that he isn't.  He's criticized fascists and racial identity politics openly (can provide videos if you'd like).
 
Yeah, I'd definitely like to see some videos where he personally disassociates himself from the alt-right.

Not that I necessarily disbelieve you. Milo talks an awful lot of shit, while apparently paying scant attention to whether the things he's saying are even self-consistent. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that he purported to speak on behalf of the alt-right at one time, then turned around and criticized or disavowed any connection to it at another.

Regardless what he's personally said, I still tend to believe that he's at least associated with the alt-right, by dint of his editorial leadership position at the Breitbart News Network.


Basically if you can define alt-right in such a way as it does not include the racial identity elements, and then the criticisms presented against it (as being abhorrent) fall apart.  Or you can include those elements and then Milo is clearly not a member.

It all depends on how you define it. Or to be honest, how the people who self-identify as "alt-right" have chosen to define it.

I feel that even if you do strip away the explicit racism, there's still plenty of abhorrent shit to criticize about the alt-right.


There's no shortage of people wanting to broadly define the term to include people they disagree with, and then associate those people with ideas they do not hold.

This tendency is very prevalent on both "sides" of the political "spectrum." Unfortunately, this is the world we live in now.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 04:58:52 PM
Are we just going to let references to "the gay world" slide? LGBT people occupy the same world we do.

Yeah, I thought the exact same thing upon hearing that.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Ah.hell on July 31, 2017, 05:08:49 PM
(click to show/hide)
The question is, how could Shermer be disassociated from skepticism?

For a start, I don't think he is very prominent these days, and I think rather few will cite him as a significant influence.
He'll have an asterisk for me, I'd still recommend folks get a used copy of "why people believe weird things."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 31, 2017, 05:11:06 PM
What makes you think that Milo Yiannopoulos is not "alt-right"? He is certainly associated with the "alt-right" in the public mind and has frequently acted as a spokesperson on behalf of that movement. Was there some point at which he publicly disavowed or disassociated himself from it?

He's made several statements saying that he isn't.  He's criticized fascists and racial identity politics openly (can provide videos if you'd like).
 
Yeah, I'd definitely like to see some videos where he personally disassociates himself from the alt-right.

Not that I necessarily disbelieve you. Milo talks an awful lot of shit, while apparently paying scant attention to whether the things he's saying are even self-consistent. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that he purported to speak on behalf of the alt-right at one time, then turned around and criticized or disavowed any connection to it at another.

Regardless what he's personally said, I still tend to believe that he's at least associated with the alt-right, by dint of his editorial leadership position at the Breitbart News Network.


Basically if you can define alt-right in such a way as it does not include the racial identity elements, and then the criticisms presented against it (as being abhorrent) fall apart.  Or you can include those elements and then Milo is clearly not a member.

It all depends on how you define it. Or to be honest, how the people who self-identify as "alt-right" have chosen to define it.


There's no shortage of people wanting to broadly define the term to include people they disagree with, and then associate those people with ideas they do not hold.

This tendency is very prevalent on both "sides" of the political "spectrum." Unfortunately, this is the world we live in now.

The ADL describes him as "in the alt-right orbit." He's certainly endorsed nationalism and white supremacy, but like most other things (including his sexuality) it drifts with whatever is most provocative or handy in the moment.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on July 31, 2017, 05:28:36 PM
I don't care for SKEPTIC, and I don't like to see Shermer getting air time, but I would stop short of no-platforming "anyone who continues to contribute" to the magazine. People have bills to pay and even kids to feed. Personally, I've worked on nuclear weapons, and as a debt collector, both of which I found tougher to square ethically than I would ever feel about contributing to a magazine (as long as my contribution itself was sincere).

Should I be no-platformed for my past jobs?

It's a free market, bub.

I have no obligation to spend money with them just because people work for them.  This argument is borderline idiocy.  You think giving it a name like "no-platforming" makes people obligated to spend their cash there?  Screw that.  I bet you no-platform the Catholic church, Harley-Davidson, SheaMosture, LeerJet, and Popeye's Chicken, don't you.  If you work for a company that can't make it in the free market, then yes you do deserve to be no-platformed.  And bad marketing is a perfectly good reason for a company to fail. 

Take this hippie post to the commies in China or the corruptagarchs in Russia, this is America, man.  Capitalism works, not this weirdo system you are stumping for where everyone spends money everywhere because everyone needs to work.  Thats sounds like communism.   >:D

No, no, no, no no!

I was responding to a post that was already buried by the time I responded which said that individuals who continued to contribute to the magazine should be blacklisted. That anyone who writes anything for the magazine should not be invited to speak at cons, etc. Nothing to do with supporting the magazine for the sake of its employees.

What kind of fucking idiot do you think I am?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 31, 2017, 05:44:30 PM
I don't care for SKEPTIC, and I don't like to see Shermer getting air time, but I would stop short of no-platforming "anyone who continues to contribute" to the magazine. People have bills to pay and even kids to feed. Personally, I've worked on nuclear weapons, and as a debt collector, both of which I found tougher to square ethically than I would ever feel about contributing to a magazine (as long as my contribution itself was sincere).

Should I be no-platformed for my past jobs?

It's a free market, bub.

I have no obligation to spend money with them just because people work for them.  This argument is borderline idiocy.  You think giving it a name like "no-platforming" makes people obligated to spend their cash there?  Screw that.  I bet you no-platform the Catholic church, Harley-Davidson, SheaMosture, LeerJet, and Popeye's Chicken, don't you.  If you work for a company that can't make it in the free market, then yes you do deserve to be no-platformed.  And bad marketing is a perfectly good reason for a company to fail. 

Take this hippie post to the commies in China or the corruptagarchs in Russia, this is America, man.  Capitalism works, not this weirdo system you are stumping for where everyone spends money everywhere because everyone needs to work.  Thats sounds like communism.   >:D

No, no, no, no no!

I was responding to a post that was already buried by the time I responded which said that individuals who continued to contribute to the magazine should be blacklisted. That anyone who writes anything for the magazine should not be invited to speak at cons, etc. Nothing to do with supporting the magazine for the sake of its employees.

What kind of fucking idiot do you think I am?
Please quote and link to the post that said anyone who were for Skeptic should be blacklisted forever.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Ah.hell on July 31, 2017, 05:45:41 PM
(click to show/hide)
There's no shortage of people wanting to broadly define the term to include people they disagree with, and then associate those people with ideas they do not hold.
Trivial musings to follow:
I don't think this as much a desire of folks as just the intellectual default.  Hasty generalizations and strawmen are as often built on misunderstanding as deliberate construction.   Thanks to our all to human minds, things like the back fire effect ensure that even when it is due to misunderstanding, our strawmen and generalizations aren't easily relinquished. 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on July 31, 2017, 05:47:16 PM
I didn't ever say "forever" and, you know what? I don't feel like it.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 31, 2017, 05:51:27 PM
This is true, but when someone uses Michael Shermer as an example of someone not to exclude, I can't let it pass in silence even at the risk of distracting from the main point.  The man's continued presence and participation in organized skepticism as well as the defenses made of him, are shameful stains on the whole movement.

I just did some Googling on Shermer.... whoa shit, I didn't know about all that.

This guy is not somebody I wish to support in any way.

The question is, how could Shermer be disassociated from skepticism?

For a start, I don't think he is very prominent these days, and I think rather few will cite him as a significant influence.

Yeah, what SkeptiQueer said.

Don't support him. Don't subscribe to his magazine. If you're involved with the organization or production of any conference, podcast, or other skeptic-oriented presentation, then use your own influence to prevent him being invited. Make it known to others in your organization that his actions, his politics and personal beliefs run contrary to your own values.

We may not be able to exercise control over the "Skeptic Community" as a whole; but we certainly have the power to choose with whom we associate. And we can make a priority of promoting positive humanist values in whichever groups we do belong.

Wait a moment, I thought Shermer was controversial because of certain nastiness surrounding him, not because of his politics. I think it should be ok to be a skeptic and a libertarian.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 31, 2017, 05:53:14 PM
I didn't ever say "forever" and, you know what? I don't feel like it.
You specifically gave the example of someone who wrote for it today gaining popularity years from now and then being blacklisted because of that.

Either back your claim or relinquish it.

To answer your previous question, the kind who continually find ways to turn everyone else's activism or motivations into a grand interwoven conspiracy against himself.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 06:16:02 PM
(click to show/hide)
There's no shortage of people wanting to broadly define the term to include people they disagree with, and then associate those people with ideas they do not hold.
Trivial musings to follow:
I don't think this as much a desire of folks as just the intellectual default.  Hasty generalizations and strawmen are as often built on misunderstanding as deliberate construction.   Thanks to our all to human minds, things like the back fire effect ensure that even when it is due to misunderstanding, our strawmen and generalizations aren't easily relinquished.

Which is why Milo seeming to fit into the alt-right, while not wanting to be associated with it makes perfect sense.  These labels are more about guilt by association than anything else.  I gotta say, it's one of the nice things about so many religions.  What's that?  You have a holy text that is the unquestionable word of God and I can read it?  Finally somebody willing to put what they really believe out there!
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Belgarath on July 31, 2017, 06:32:40 PM
Reminds me a bit of Rubin.  He claims over and over again that he's not alt-right, yet he panders incessantly to them.  Milo does the same thing.  He just got burned by one of those alt-right groups because some of them are vehemently homophobic and were able to put together a takedown of him.   Had Rubin been invited to speak at the republican event, he likely would have had similar treatment.

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 06:51:32 PM
Wait a moment, I thought Shermer was controversial because of certain nastiness surrounding him, not because of his politics. I think it should be ok to be a skeptic and a libertarian.

I'm not talking about libertariansm. If I were, then I'd also have to call for the censure of people like Penn & Teller and Robert Sheaffer, a move which I don't believe would be justified even though I strongly disagree with their politics. Even James Randi himself has expressed certain libertarian ideals that I find particularly callous, yet I wouldn't feel right about trying to oust him from the movement.

I'm talking about Shermer publishing in his magazine a book review that endorses the vile, duplicitous civic irresponsibility of a shitheel like Milo Yiannopoulos.



...Milo seeming to fit into the alt-right, while not wanting to be associated with it makes perfect sense.  These labels are more about guilt by association than anything else.

"Alt-right" is not a strawman or a liberal slur, but a label by which followers of the movement enthusiastically self-identify. The label "alternative right" was coined (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right#Etymology) by conservative historian Paul Gottfried and popularized by white nationalist Richard Spencer, who used it as the title of his own personal blog (https://donotlink.it/V4aw). As for Brietbart, Stephen Bannon himself made the association (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news/): “We’re the platform for the alt-right.”
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 07:17:45 PM
John come on.  That post was a combination of interpreting others in the most partisan way peppered with attacks on nobody in particular.  I'm sure it felt good, but it has no value outside of being cathartic.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 07:20:52 PM
What are you talking about? Are you denying that "alt-right" is an appellation that those individuals apply to themselves?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Andrew Clunn on July 31, 2017, 07:25:58 PM
Not in Milo's case.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on July 31, 2017, 07:34:42 PM
For a guy who's not part of the "alt-right," he's devoted an awful lot of column inches to defining, justifying and affirming it, while working for a propaganda outlet whose own founder described it as "the platform for the alt-right."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on July 31, 2017, 08:37:28 PM
Also, quite odd that almost all the outrage appears to actually be leveled at the alt-right in this thread (of which Milo is not)

What makes you think that Milo Yiannopoulos is not "alt-right"? He is certainly associated with the "alt-right" in the public mind and has frequently acted as a spokesperson on behalf of that movement. Was there some point at which he publicly disavowed or disassociated himself from it?

He's made several statements saying that he isn't.  He's criticized fascists and racial identity politics openly (can provide videos if you'd like).  Basically if you can define alt-right in such a way as it does not include the racial identity elements, and then the criticisms presented against it (as being abhorrent) fall apart.  Or you can include those elements and then Milo is clearly not a member.  There's no shortage of people wanting to broadly define the term to include people they disagree with, and then associate those people with ideas they do not hold.
The criticisms don't rely on the "race realists" or "ethnonationalism" (both terms Spencer used on his blog, Alternative Right, to describe who would fit in) because the anti-social justice, "archeofuturism" and neoreactionarist, and "traditional values" (all in quotes are, again, direct quotes form the aforementioned to describe other ideas that fit in the movement) are also objectionable garbage founded in fantasy.

It sounds like you're not actually familiar with the alt-right. SPLC has a decent article chronicling the start with Spencer and where it's gone from there. Might be wise to understand what it is before you try to argue whether or not someone fits.

As far as Milo on video saying something, it's ultimately inconsequential. He has contradicted himself on simple.subjects like his own sexuality and political ideology frequently enough that we can play the "Milo debates Milo" game just like with Trump. His core identity appears to be narcissism based on angering other people and having others praise him for it. Like Trump, Milo is not a trustworthy witness even unto himself.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on July 31, 2017, 09:02:23 PM


Wait a moment, I thought Shermer was controversial because of certain nastiness surrounding him, not because of his politics. I think it should be ok to be a skeptic and a libertarian.

Same here. I can understand how/why humanist groups would filter for political ideology/personal values but not so much skeptic groups.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on July 31, 2017, 09:05:48 PM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on August 01, 2017, 12:25:54 AM
I don't care for SKEPTIC, and I don't like to see Shermer getting air time, but I would stop short of no-platforming "anyone who continues to contribute" to the magazine. People have bills to pay and even kids to feed. Personally, I've worked on nuclear weapons, and as a debt collector, both of which I found tougher to square ethically than I would ever feel about contributing to a magazine (as long as my contribution itself was sincere).

Should I be no-platformed for my past jobs?

It's a free market, bub.

I have no obligation to spend money with them just because people work for them.  This argument is borderline idiocy.  You think giving it a name like "no-platforming" makes people obligated to spend their cash there?  Screw that.  I bet you no-platform the Catholic church, Harley-Davidson, SheaMosture, LeerJet, and Popeye's Chicken, don't you.  If you work for a company that can't make it in the free market, then yes you do deserve to be no-platformed.  And bad marketing is a perfectly good reason for a company to fail. 

Take this hippie post to the commies in China or the corruptagarchs in Russia, this is America, man.  Capitalism works, not this weirdo system you are stumping for where everyone spends money everywhere because everyone needs to work.  Thats sounds like communism.   >:D

No, no, no, no no!

I was responding to a post that was already buried by the time I responded which said that individuals who continued to contribute to the magazine should be blacklisted. That anyone who writes anything for the magazine should not be invited to speak at cons, etc. Nothing to do with supporting the magazine for the sake of its employees.

What kind of fucking idiot do you think I am?
Please quote and link to the post that said anyone who were for Skeptic should be blacklisted forever.

I believe he was responding to me. I can't be assed to actually look up what I said, so I'll just rely on my fallible memory: If Skeptic magazine is consistently pulling crap like publishing that book review, i.e. this is the kind of thing they do often, on purpose, with no regrets, then yes, anyone who writes articles for them should be treated like someone who writes for Stormfront.

Sure, if you wrote one article for Stormfront ten years ago and deeply regret it I don't think we need to hold that against you; but if you wrote an article for Stormfront six months ago and think that's fine, no I don't want you invited to speak at a con I'm going to be at. I could handle you being interviewed on a podcast, so long as the interview is focused on why the fuck you are writing for Stormfront.

Obviously Skeptic magazine isn't Stormfront, but that defense of The Bell Curve they published is gross and disturbing. Why do that? Where is Skeptic magazine going with this shit? At a certain point a platform itself becomes toxic. Should black people be sent back to Africa? - we'll publish both sides! Fair and balanced! Maybe Skeptic is a lost cause, maybe it isn't, but at some point I think it's abosolutly valid to blacklist anyone who associates with such a toxic platform.

I don't think I said forever in my original post, but if I did I retract it.

PS if you can't find a way to feed your family other than by writing articles for Stormfront you need to get your head out of your ass and learn to wash dishes.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on August 01, 2017, 12:29:10 AM
I don't care for SKEPTIC, and I don't like to see Shermer getting air time, but I would stop short of no-platforming "anyone who continues to contribute" to the magazine. People have bills to pay and even kids to feed. Personally, I've worked on nuclear weapons, and as a debt collector, both of which I found tougher to square ethically than I would ever feel about contributing to a magazine (as long as my contribution itself was sincere).

Should I be no-platformed for my past jobs?

It's a free market, bub.

I have no obligation to spend money with them just because people work for them.  This argument is borderline idiocy.  You think giving it a name like "no-platforming" makes people obligated to spend their cash there?  Screw that.  I bet you no-platform the Catholic church, Harley-Davidson, SheaMosture, LeerJet, and Popeye's Chicken, don't you.  If you work for a company that can't make it in the free market, then yes you do deserve to be no-platformed.  And bad marketing is a perfectly good reason for a company to fail. 

Take this hippie post to the commies in China or the corruptagarchs in Russia, this is America, man.  Capitalism works, not this weirdo system you are stumping for where everyone spends money everywhere because everyone needs to work.  Thats sounds like communism.   >:D

No, no, no, no no!

I was responding to a post that was already buried by the time I responded which said that individuals who continued to contribute to the magazine should be blacklisted. That anyone who writes anything for the magazine should not be invited to speak at cons, etc. Nothing to do with supporting the magazine for the sake of its employees.

What kind of fucking idiot do you think I am?
Please quote and link to the post that said anyone who were for Skeptic should be blacklisted forever.

I believe he was responding to me. I can't be assed to actually look up what I said, so I'll just rely on my fallible memory: If Skeptic magazine is consistently pulling crap like publishing that book review, i.e. this is the kind of thing they do often, on purpose, with no regrets, then yes, anyone who writes articles for them should be treated like someone who writes for Stormfront.

Sure, if you wrote one article for Stormfront ten years ago and deeply regret it I don't think we need to hold that against you; but if you wrote an article for Stormfront six months ago and think that's fine, no I don't want you invited to speak at a con I'm going to be at. I could handle you being interviewed on a podcast, so long as the interview is focused on why the fuck you are writing for Stormfront.

Obviously Skeptic magazine isn't Stormfront, but that defense of The Bell Curve they published is gross and disturbing. Why do that? Where is Skeptic magazine going with this shit? At a certain point a platform itself becomes toxic. Should black people be sent back to Africa? - we'll publish both sides! Fair and balanced! Maybe Skeptic is a lost cause, maybe it isn't, but at some point I think it's abosolutly valid to blacklist anyone who associates with such a toxic platform.

I don't think I said forever in my original post, but if I did I retract it.

PS if you can't find a way to feed your family other than by writing articles for Stormfront you need to get your head out of your ass and learn to wash dishes.
I don't disagree with you at all, but I want Redamare to admit that turning that into blacklisting someone even years later who wrote one article is both ridiculous and dishonest.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 01, 2017, 12:56:46 AM
That was sincerely the impression that I came away with. That doesn't mean that I ever consciously thought he meant explicitly to say that. Also, the idea of it being "one article" didn't come up until two posts ago.

I was intending my original post in this thread to be taken in a much more casual manner than you seem to have taken it. From my point of view, this crusade for a pound of my flesh seems to be coming out of nowhere.

Also, a minor point, and one I usually have to make to conservatives, is that I don't ever find it prudent to assume someone can freely choose to change careers without serious consequences.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on August 01, 2017, 01:11:10 AM
Writing for one magazine instead of another isn't changing careers. You don't HAVE to write for Stormfront to be a writer, & if you can't find anyone else that will publish you maybe you suck at writing and should do something else.

I've worked in food service for 20 years. Seriously, washing dishes has more integrity. Don't whore yourself out.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 01, 2017, 01:32:23 AM
Look, I have never extended my negative views of a company to its employees, and I'm going to start tonight.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 01, 2017, 04:02:37 AM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 01, 2017, 04:16:20 AM
I imagine that was Lat's point.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on August 01, 2017, 11:44:02 AM
Look, I have never extended my negative views of a company to its employees, and I'm going to start tonight.

I'm not sure if you meant to say that or if you meant to say "I'm NOT going to start tonight."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on August 01, 2017, 12:07:17 PM
Writing for one magazine instead of another isn't changing careers. You don't HAVE to write for Stormfront to be a writer, & if you can't find anyone else that will publish you maybe you suck at writing and should do something else.

I've worked in food service for 20 years. Seriously, washing dishes has more integrity. Don't whore yourself out.
Or do, but literally, because I stand by my earlier statement that sex work has far more integrity than a lot of other jobs people do.

But yeah, "Don't publish your articles in this particular magazine" isn't the same as "Stop working in the one career where you know you can make a living."
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: random poet on August 01, 2017, 12:10:59 PM
Look, I have never extended my negative views of a company to its employees, and I'm going to start tonight.

I'm not sure if you meant to say that or if you meant to say "I'm NOT going to start tonight."
Stormfront writers aren't employees. They're ideologues. The fact that they get paid for it is a side-effect.

Skeptic magazine jumped the shark and landed right in the same pile.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 01, 2017, 07:43:49 PM
Look, I have never extended my negative views of a company to its employees, and I'm going to start tonight.

I'm not sure if you meant to say that or if you meant to say "I'm NOT going to start tonight."

My bad. The second one.

Look, I have never extended my negative views of a company to its employees, and I'm going to start tonight.

I'm not sure if you meant to say that or if you meant to say "I'm NOT going to start tonight."
Stormfront writers aren't employees. They're ideologues. The fact that they get paid for it is a side-effect.

Skeptic magazine jumped the shark and landed right in the same pile.

A: I'm not the one who brought up Stormfront.

B: I agree that SKEPTIC sucks, but I think you are overstating your case.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on August 02, 2017, 11:54:12 AM
I don't think it's fair to put Skeptic in the same pile as Stormfront. The whole point of bringing up Stormfront was to contrast them with other publications. If you don't think someone should suffer any professional consequences for working for a particular publication, that includes those that promote white supremacy.

I think that's bonkers, and I just want to be clear on this: If someone writes articles for an outlet that promotes racism, denies the holocaust regularly, and demonizes ethnic minorities, do you believe that person should suffer any consequences for those choices? Do you think it would be right to invite them to speak at skeptical conventions (or any conventions) or to talk on podcasts. I'm not talking about "come on our podcast and we'll interview you about your controversial views of race" I'm talking about "come on our podcast and talk with us about bigfoot and we will ignore your statements in the past that the Jewish people should be eradicated."

Is there a line?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 02, 2017, 12:04:54 PM
I don't think it's fair to put Skeptic in the same pile as Stormfront. The whole point of bringing up Stormfront was to contrast them with other publications.

Yeah, it is tantamount to a Godwin.

But sometimes it's useful to invoke the most extreme example in order to illuminate the concept in an sharp contrast.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 02, 2017, 12:09:51 PM
I think that's bonkers, and I just want to be clear on this: If someone writes articles for an outlet that promotes racism, denies the holocaust regularly, and demonizes ethnic minorities, do you believe that person should suffer any consequences for those choices?

Yes.


Do you think it would be right to invite them to speak at skeptical conventions (or any conventions) or to talk on podcasts.

I would not attend any event that would invite a brazen racist as a speaking guest. 


I'm not talking about "come on our podcast and we'll interview you about your controversial views of race" I'm talking about "come on our podcast and talk with us about bigfoot and we will ignore your statements in the past that the Jewish people should be eradicated."

"Come on our podcast and we'll rip you a new asshole for being a racist piece of shit, using reasonable arguments and valid science, backed up with citations in the show notes." How does that grab you?

I would not only listen to that show, but subscribe, give it a 5-star rating on both Stitcher and iTunes, and donate to its Patreon as well.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 04:30:00 PM
What about "Come on our podcast, and we'll hold your feet to the fire and seriously challenge your views, also pointing out the harm they cause, while remaining polite and being open, in principle if not really in fact, to your arguments"?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: jt512 on August 02, 2017, 06:03:27 PM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."

Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not, I'm not convinced that they are true.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on August 02, 2017, 06:20:58 PM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."

Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not, I'm not convinced that they are true.

Thank you for defining rape culture.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: jt512 on August 02, 2017, 06:28:57 PM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."

Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not, I'm not convinced that they are true.

Thank you for defining rape culture.

Thank you for defining the Ctl-Left.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 06:53:47 PM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."

Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not, I'm not convinced that they are true.

Thank you for defining rape culture.

Are you of the opinion that we should be "convinced" of things that are merely claimed? If so, I'm not sure if any skeptic should concern themselves with your criticisms of the movement any longer. You and skepticsm clearly do not have common cause.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on August 02, 2017, 07:03:55 PM
It's a cowardly dodge.

"Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not," then "I'm not convinced that they are true" allows one to seem aware of the concerns of women who've been assaulted, but then ultimately fall back on the typical legal standard BS. Legal standards count in courts, but if those courts are unlikely to render a fair verdict, then they're no longer worth the respect people show them. How many women have to accuse someone of behaviour for you to believe, or will it never happen unless a judge somewhere convicts them? The defensiveness at men being accountable to women for sexual predation and assault is one of skepticism's more embarrassing, juvenile blunders.

And Redamare, I honestly do not give the slightest shit what you think about me or my posts. Like I've said, you're not my audience. Those who are know that, and surprise, are among the few men on this board capable of being polite to a woman who expresses ideas. Other than them, I hope these threads reveal what's really on people's minds, so anyone not a white, straight, cisgender man who is curious about skepticism knows what to actually expect.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on August 02, 2017, 07:02:32 PM
[oops, duplicate]

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on August 02, 2017, 07:06:14 PM
[oops, duplicate]
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on August 02, 2017, 07:07:41 PM
[oops, duplicate]
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: materialist_girl on August 02, 2017, 07:09:11 PM
[oops, duplicate]
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: gmalivuk on August 02, 2017, 07:31:44 PM
More like quintuplicate.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on August 02, 2017, 07:42:59 PM
To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."

Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not, I'm not convinced that they are true.

Thank you for defining rape culture.
The definition of "rape culture" is failing to believe (without question) any given accusation?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 08:06:40 PM
Not even that. He had already said he believes them. M_g demands that we be convinced. We must believe with our whole being, not allowing for any possibility that a man could be falsely accused.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on August 02, 2017, 08:14:20 PM
I don't think Shermer *was* falsely accused, but I have idiosyncratic and personal reasons for taking that position. Don't expect everyone to take my view.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 08:36:30 PM
Oh same, here. I totally think he's a high level creeper. But I don't think anybody ought to be locked up just because I think they're more likely to be guilty than not.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on August 02, 2017, 09:34:32 PM
Nobody here has advocated that he be locked up.  What we have said is that there is enough reason to believe the accusations against him that he should not be welcome in the skeptical movement.  And yet skeptics attacked his victims and defended him with vigor, and he is still able to make a living as the publisher of a major skeptical magazine and to appear on such shows as the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.  That is, in my opinion, a huge problem.

For the record, I don't think we should welcome Bill Cosby or Roman Polanski in it, either.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on August 02, 2017, 09:45:29 PM
What about "Come on our podcast, and we'll hold your feet to the fire and seriously challenge your views, also pointing out the harm they cause, while remaining polite and being open, in principle if not really in fact, to your arguments"?
Start that podcast and let me know how it works for you.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on August 02, 2017, 09:46:51 PM
What about "Come on our podcast, and we'll hold your feet to the fire and seriously challenge your views, also pointing out the harm they cause, while remaining polite and being open, in principle if not really in fact, to your arguments"?
Start that podcast and let me know how it works for you.
Invite Shermer first.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 09:48:55 PM
Nobody here has advocated that he be locked up.  What we have said is that there is enough reason to believe the accusations against him that he should not be welcome in the skeptical movement.  And yet skeptics attacked his victims and defended him with vigor, and he is still able to make a living as the publisher of a major skeptical magazine and to appear on such shows as the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.  That is, in my opinion, a huge problem.

For the record, I don't think we should welcome Bill Cosby or Roman Polanski in it, either.

 I agree with all of that.

What about "Come on our podcast, and we'll hold your feet to the fire and seriously challenge your views, also pointing out the harm they cause, while remaining polite and being open, in principle if not really in fact, to your arguments"?
Start that podcast and let me know how it works for you.

Since I am unlikely ever to actually do that, could just state explicitly whatever it is you are getting at? Would you disapprove of such a podcast?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: SkeptiQueer on August 02, 2017, 09:50:57 PM
Nobody here has advocated that he be locked up.  What we have said is that there is enough reason to believe the accusations against him that he should not be welcome in the skeptical movement.  And yet skeptics attacked his victims and defended him with vigor, and he is still able to make a living as the publisher of a major skeptical magazine and to appear on such shows as the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.  That is, in my opinion, a huge problem.

For the record, I don't think we should welcome Bill Cosby or Roman Polanski in it, either.

 I agree with all of that.

What about "Come on our podcast, and we'll hold your feet to the fire and seriously challenge your views, also pointing out the harm they cause, while remaining polite and being open, in principle if not really in fact, to your arguments"?
Start that podcast and let me know how it works for you.

Since I am unlikely ever to actually do that, could just state explicitly whatever it is you are getting at? Would you disapprove of such a podcast?
Did you see the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 09:52:57 PM
I'm not sure that's a good analogy, and I still can't tease out your point with any confidence.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: jt512 on August 02, 2017, 10:04:59 PM
It's a cowardly dodge.

It is neither cowardly nor a dodge.  It is my honest assessment of the probability that Shermer did at least some of what he was accused of, given the evidence.

Quote
"Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not," then "I'm not convinced that they are true" allows one to seem aware of the concerns of women who've been assaulted, but then ultimately fall back on the typical legal standard BS.

I am not using legal standards at all.  I would put the probability that he did at least some of what he was accused of of around 2/3. at a coin flip.* False accusations happen, and they can ruin people professionally (http://reason.com/archives/2015/07/23/sexist-scientist-tim-hunt-the-real-story/) and personally.  See also the case of Bret Weinstein.

*I just reread Shermer's response to the allegations and cannot now in good conscience give the benefit of the doubt to his accusers.  I know that it is easy to be overly influenced by the most recent thing you've read, and perhaps that has had undue influence on my current opinion, but this is now where I stand.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on August 02, 2017, 11:26:05 PM
I'm not sure that's a good analogy, and I still can't tease out your point with any confidence.

I believe he is referencing the risk/benefit issues with debating certain issues. Ken Ham made a lot of money off of that debate, and having a probable rapist on your show is highly likely to result in book sales for said probable rapist. More, the fact that he is on the show at all suggests that "hey, maybe he's not so bad, maybe he's innocent." Milo's agent tried to get him an appearance on Samantha Bee's show and Bee's assistant basically told him to get fucked; I can't remember the specific wording, but Bee tweeted it out approvingly. Milo would have likely given them a viewership bump just from people wanting to watch the shit show, but they took the high ground.

At a certain point there is no more value in hearing from a particular perspective, and when you weigh this against promoting and giving economic aid to someone who has done reprehensible things . . . . do you really want to help a horrible person make money off of the horrible things that they have done so that . . . what? Do we need to hear Cosby's side at this point? Do any of us need to hear more of Milo's vapid nonsense? What is there to gain from having Shermer on a program at this point?

Can you imagine a holocaust denier being interviewed on the SGU? I could see it on Be Reasonable, but the whole point of that podcast is to interview batshit crazy/ reprehensible people. The SGU doesn't do that, so why have someone on who almost certainly raped women in the skeptical community and whose continued presence is having a negative impact on skepticism.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on August 02, 2017, 11:56:35 PM
We seem to be talking past each other.

Shermer's problem is stuff he did, not stuff he says. I'm not aware of any views he has that would need to be challenged, and having someone on a show to grill them about their behavior is not particularly interesting to me. They're either going to admit it or deny it, there is no "argument" involved.

Milo is a provocateur. Now, I want to be very careful, here, because a lot of people throw that label at anyone who wants to discuss anything outside the mainstream. But Milo, and Anne Coulter, for that matter, really are subscribing to a business model built on generating outrage. They're not here to discuss anything rationally, and I have no interest in feeding a monster. But I think the number of people about whom you could say that is actually rather small. Milo is able to do what he does in no small part because of ideas that have some merit, but are swept under the rug because they have associations with other, more repugnant views. I think many of the people out there promoting dangerous but ascendant views, who seem sincere, should be debated firmly, politely, and publically.

I don't know that Ken Ham's creationism is a good candidate for this. I don't think it was ascendant, for one thing. Yes, there is some risk of "legitimizing" a view. But if it's already growing like wildfire, trying to marginalize a viewpoint has its own risks. People will assume you are afraid to talk about it because you know it's true.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Eternally Learning on August 03, 2017, 12:10:03 AM
I've tried and I just cannot make it through this whole thread.  I don't pay any attention to Milo, but it is distressing to me that Skeptic Magazine seems to supporting him, or at least not being very critical of his views.  I mean, if I'm going to read a book review in a magazine labelled "Skeptic" then I'm going to want to see some skepticism, not just an uncritical rephrasing of it that I could find anywhere. 

All that aside, I find the idea of distancing myself from the "skeptic" label, ever, laughable.  If every other person in this world who calls themself a skeptic is a racist, homophobic, sexist, violent waste of human life I will still identify as a skeptic.  The reasons are that the label is accurately applied to me, as a skeptic I'm fairly pedantic, and those qualities it describes in me and what I strive to be like are qualities that I value as most critically important to forming my worldview.  Don't get me wrong, the fact that the skeptic label has in some cases become associated with things I find disgusting bothers me quite a bit, but that is a separate issue.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: moj on August 03, 2017, 11:10:12 AM
I don't use the skeptic label anymore because I don't think it' s helpful. I've never once mentioned it and had someone not already involved know what I'm talking about. If I mention it would have to then explain the history and what its about instead of denying global warming. For that reason I stopped using it because it's not helpful or descriptive. I can just say I dig logic and truth and the scientific method and it be more efficient at communicating the ideas of things I value then bringing up skepticism.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 03, 2017, 11:23:24 AM
Milo's agent tried to get him an appearance on Samantha Bee's show and Bee's assistant basically told him to get fucked; I can't remember the specific wording, but Bee tweeted it out approvingly. Milo would have likely given them a viewership bump just from people wanting to watch the shit show, but they took the high ground.

A counterexample might be the Joe Rogan episode with Milo. I'm not a huge Rogan fan, but I have to credit him with handling that exchange pretty masterfully. He hung back and let Milo do all the talking, gently stringing him along with some soft-spoken jabs here and there to underscore that he in no way endorses the views of this narcissistic bigot. Lulled into a false sense of security, Milo took the bait. He just rambled and bitched and boasted and bloviated, and talked himself right out of a career before he even knew what was going on.

There was also the Marc Maron WTF podcast episode where the comedian Gallagher melted down and walked out of the interview (http://bit.ly/2vsQ6hX) after Maron gently challenged him about homophobic jokes in his stage show. There's no way Gallagher could have come out on top of that one. He blew it.

Of course both of these examples involve an interview subject who is not only guilty of bad behavior, but also possessed of some overt character flaws (narcissism in the case of Milo, and Gallagher's bitterness over the state of his career).


Can you imagine a holocaust denier being interviewed on the SGU? I could see it on Be Reasonable, but the whole point of that podcast is to interview batshit crazy/ reprehensible people. The SGU doesn't do that, so why have someone on who almost certainly raped women in the skeptical community and whose continued presence is having a negative impact on skepticism.

On the SGU? No. As you said, the point of the SGU is not to engage and challenge woo believers on their shit.

I've never listened to Be Reasonable. Is it worth checking out?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: The Latinist on August 03, 2017, 11:31:57 AM
I've never listened to Be Reasonable. Is it worth checking out?

It depends on your tolerance for batshittery.  The entire schtick is getting batshit people to come on and share their batshittery.  The point is not to challenge it, but just to draw it out.  It's painful.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 03, 2017, 11:41:04 AM
That sounds it could either be very interesting or extremely frustrating, depending on the subject.

To be clear, I don't give a fuck about Shermer's politics.

There's also the whole "getting grabby with women" thing, which is a.k.a. "sexual assault."

Although I think those accusations are more likely true than not, I'm not convinced that they are true.

Thank you for defining rape culture.

The definition of "rape culture" is failing to believe (without question) any given accusation?

This is another problem with intersectionality theory, in particular the concept that there's such a thing as a separate "feminist epistemology (http://www.iep.utm.edu/fem-epis/)," under which positivist rules don't apply. It's a way to shoehorn social activism into the methodology of epistemology itself, and it backfires in some very obvious ways.

The concepts of requiring evidence or applying proportional credibility are thrown out the window whenever a perception of social injustice comes into play. It leads to paradoxes like the adage, "always believe the victim." The problem is... lacking any kind of evidence or personal knowledge of the individuals, how can you know who's the victim? Is the accuser always the victim? We have plenty of real world evidence that accusers sometimes lie. But according to some interpretations of feminist epistemology, the mere acknowledgement of that reality amounts to a rape apologetic. It's absurd, but not intentionally so. The problem is not that it's dishonest per se, but that it's rooted in some deeply flawed logic. For all its academic pretense, it ends up being just empty rhetoric that relies entirely on social pressure and public shaming.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Ah.hell on August 03, 2017, 11:42:50 AM
On the SGU? No. As you said, the point of the SGU is not to engage and challenge woo believers and on their shit.

I've never listened to Be Reasonable. Is it worth checking out?
I've really enjoyed the one or two times SGI has interviewed woo beleivers though. Be reasonable would be great if they got more interesting guests.  The few episodes I've listened to have been pretty dull.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Enkidu on August 03, 2017, 12:00:39 PM
Be Reasonable is hit or miss. The flat earther episode was good. Another one, with some B-actor that thought he was psychic, was fucking hilarious. And then there was the episode with the guy selling bleach water to treat diseases in Africa; that one was infuriating, for the host as well as the audience (because children were fucking dying).
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on August 05, 2017, 02:09:56 AM
That sounds it could either be very interesting or extremely frustrating, depending on the subject.
It's both, simultaneously.

I think The Latinist's characterisation is a fraction on the unfair side. The point of the podcast is to be curious and interested in what the guests are talking about.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Beleth on August 10, 2017, 12:54:59 PM
That sounds it could either be very interesting or extremely frustrating, depending on the subject.
It's both, simultaneously.

I think The Latinist's characterisation is a fraction on the unfair side. The point of the podcast is to be curious and interested in what the guests are talking about.

Wouldn't we just get a podcast version of Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM radio show that way?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on August 12, 2017, 09:33:58 PM
That sounds it could either be very interesting or extremely frustrating, depending on the subject.
It's both, simultaneously.

I think The Latinist's characterisation is a fraction on the unfair side. The point of the podcast is to be curious and interested in what the guests are talking about.

Wouldn't we just get a podcast version of Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM radio show that way?

I've never heard Coast to Coast, but I get the impression that Marsh digs deeper with a single interviewee, rather than having a lot of crackpots scream random stuff into the telephone and leave. The people he has on are generally quite articulate.

And it's not true that Marsh doesn't challenge his guests. He just challenges them politely and respectfully, and with curiosity for what they're actually saying.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 13, 2017, 07:53:37 AM
I've never heard Coast to Coast

The old 1990s Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell can be found online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRlcldtrNL8
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: arthwollipot on August 15, 2017, 07:04:22 AM
I've never heard Coast to Coast

The old 1990s Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell can be found online.
My statement was not a request.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 15, 2017, 11:27:06 AM
My statement was not a request.

Well, there it is. Take it or leave it.

Some of those old episodes are well worth listening to, from a skeptical point of view if not just for entertainment's sake.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Ah.hell on August 15, 2017, 11:34:58 AM
Art Bell and coast to coast were certainly influential on my road to skepticism, I was a night security guard for years.   Its fascinating to see how the other side thinks.  I will never forget the moment when a guest said, "...Pasteur's debunked germ theory of disease...." as an aside that went completely unnoticed by the host.  I almost did a spit take.

Really opened my eyes to the notion that folks could believe things that are so completely wrong about things that I thought pretty much everyone agreed about.

Then there's things Like Mel's Hole, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel%27s_Hole, some random dude crank calling Bell over years.  No idea if Bell realized it was all BS or not, but he never let on that he did. 

Side note, its also the first place I heard Seth Shostak and Michio Kaku speak.  I have a hard time taking either seriously as a result.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on August 15, 2017, 12:57:48 PM
The Coast to Coast AM shows leading up to and then following the Hale-Bopp/Heaven's Gate incident are quite instructive about the dangers of allowing pseudoscience to go unchallenged, even when it seems obviously silly.

Up until that point I had been enjoying Art Bell's presentation as something of a wink-and-a-nod romp through the world of the unabashedly weird. This was before the rise of Alex Jones on right-wing AM radio, so it all seemed like mostly harmless fun. Sure it was sensationalistic and often heavyhanded, but I chalked that up to the inherent risk of the kind of show that just put stuff out there and let the chips fall where they may. Sure it was cringeworthy to listen to Father Malachi Martin sensationalizing the practice of exorcism, or some poor unwitting NASA science educator being verbally ripped to shreds with conspiracy accusations by a rabid kook like Whitley Strieber. But Art Bell was a consummate showman who really knew how to present a radio show. Most of the time he maintained a good tonal balance between the wondrous and the spooky, the outrageous and the silly. And there were genuine moments of truly great radio. Stories like Mel's Hole, "Madman" Markham's time machine, the panicked call from an anonymous Area 51 whistleblower, taking calls from the world's most remote phone booth in the middle of the Mojave desert; it was amazing to hear these myths unfolding in real time at 3AM every weeknight.

But after the Heaven's Gate suicides, the show took a very dark turn from which it never properly recovered. The heat he took from the Hale-Bopp broadcasts was probably undeserved. There was no way of knowing that some weird death cult was listening to his show every night and taking it all very seriously. Art Bell had always been genial with his guests regardless how nutty they came off, but the shows after that were strained. The quality of his guests changed. No longer was he giving a voice to any old weirdo with a crazy story. The bizarre gave way to the unscrupulous. Suddenly it turned boringly commercial, every guest being some woo-woo author trying to pitch their latest book.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Beleth on August 24, 2017, 03:04:01 PM
Art Bell and coast to coast were certainly influential on my road to skepticism,

Mine too. I used to often drive down the California coast later at night than I care to admit, and Coast To Coast AM was one of the few things worth listening to on the radio. I found one topic that I couldn't just debunk on my own (reverse speech), so I started searching for more information online, which led me to one of Randi's Swift articles that mentioned it. He dismissed it with a scoff and a wave; I found that unsatisfying, but I was hooked on Randi's writing style. I decided to become a forum member there, then a forum member here, then the forum mod here, etc. etc. etc.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on August 24, 2017, 05:00:21 PM
I've tried and I just cannot make it through this whole thread.  I don't pay any attention to Milo, but it is distressing to me that Skeptic Magazine seems to supporting him, or at least not being very critical of his views.  I mean, if I'm going to read a book review in a magazine labelled "Skeptic" then I'm going to want to see some skepticism, not just an uncritical rephrasing of it that I could find anywhere. 

All that aside, I find the idea of distancing myself from the "skeptic" label, ever, laughable.  If every other person in this world who calls themself a skeptic is a racist, homophobic, sexist, violent waste of human life I will still identify as a skeptic.  The reasons are that the label is accurately applied to me, as a skeptic I'm fairly pedantic, and those qualities it describes in me and what I strive to be like are qualities that I value as most critically important to forming my worldview.  Don't get me wrong, the fact that the skeptic label has in some cases become associated with things I find disgusting bothers me quite a bit, but that is a separate issue.

I agree with you. "Skeptic" and "atheist" are about the only two labels I'm fully comfortable to associate or identify with. I guess you can add "secularist" to that as well. I don't identify with any political ideology or political party. And here I don't really count purely descriptive labels that I happened to be born with, like "Swede", "European", "male" etc, I'm only counting intellectual labels.

Steve has explained on various occasions why it's important to identify as a skeptic, and I agree with that reasoning.

And I agree that we should be concerned when bad things happen within the skeptical community.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on September 03, 2017, 06:09:27 PM
This was not on my radar, but back in February, Michael Shermer tweeted (https://twitter.com/michaelshermer/status/829149761794035715) the following:

Quote from: Michael Shermer
Why Skepticism Is Important. My dialogue with Stefan Molyneux, one of the most articulate podcasters for reason.

(Don't forget to look at the comments to that tweet. And full disclosure, I haven't listened to the conversation between Shermer and Molyneux.)

So who is Stefan Molyneux? Let's take a look: Michael Shermer endorses popular alt-right Youtuber Stefan Molyneux (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cognitivedemons/2017/02/michael-shermer-endorses-stefan-molyneux-popular-alt-right-youtuber/)

Quote
Many people are likely unaware of who Stefan Molyneux is and I can only say that those people are very fortunate. I came across his videos after they were repeatedly shared and endorsed by an old university friend who has fallen deeply down the alt-right rabbit hole. According to Stefan, he is the host of the world’s largest and most popular philosophy show on YouTube. But anyone who spends any time watching his videos will quickly notice a distinct lack of philosophical content and an absolute abundance of partisan alt-right political and social commentary.

The self-proclaimed ‘world’s most popular philosopher’ currently devotes most of his time to defending Donald Trump, criticising the omnipresent bogeymen of the alt-right: social justice warriors and political correctness and issuing heavily skewed click bait hit pieces on celebrities and notable historical figures (‘the Truth about Robin Williams/Martin Luther King/Trump’). Recently he has also began to flirt with IQ and ‘race realism’ content (i.e. black people are genetically less intelligent), increasing his appeal amongst the far-right and White supremacists and resulting in one ex-guest decrying “a libertarian icons descent into racist pseudoscience“. Shermer thus joins a prestigious line of recent ‘featured interviewees’ on Stefan’s show which includes Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulous, Mike Cernovich, Paul Joseph Watson, Gavin McInnes, and so on. (Notice any pattern?)

But wait, there’s more. Stefan isn’t just your run of the mill alt-right bobble head. No, in a previous life (i.e. just prior to the current election), Stefan was better known for promoting his own brand of libertarian anarcho-capitalist, combined with a kind of quasi-Freudian psychoanalysis that attributes any and all problems with the world, or his follower’s lives, to their ‘abusive’ upbringing (and women in general). Stefan even gained some infamy a few years back for his advocacy of the practice of deFOOing – a euphemism he invented for cutting contacts with all friends and family if they didn’t share your anti-state views.

See also the discussion on Reddit Skeptic (https://www.reddit.com/r/skeptic/comments/5shacy/why_skepticism_is_important_michael_shermer_and/).

Now, unlike quite a lot of people, I'm not really bothered by Michael Shermer being a libertarian. I'm not a libertarian myself (though I have some libertarian tendencies and sympathies), but I don't think being a libertarian or leaning that way is inherently incompatible with being a skeptic.

But this alt-right (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right) stuff is different, in my view. I am troubled if prominent skeptics are being associated with that political faction. And in Shermer's case, it's just the top of the iceberg. He is on record as endorsing Sam Harris' meta-ethical philosophy (which has been debunked many times over), and then I haven't even mentioned the Big Thing we all have heard about...

I have seen it stated that Why People Believe Weird Things is one of the seminal tomes of skepticism, very highly rated and well-liked (even if it might fall a bit short of Sagan or Randi in popularit). I haven't read that book, but I have planned on doing it at some point. However, the more shit its author seems to be up to, the less I feel like doing it. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Redamare on September 03, 2017, 08:18:43 PM
Well, if Shermer is really chugging the Molyneaux Kool-Aid, we no longer need to worry whether or not to accept him as a skeptic given the allegations of assault. He's gone full nut-bag.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on September 05, 2017, 06:45:13 AM
What a loser. Fuck Shermer.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 05, 2017, 05:18:11 PM
I have seen it stated that Why People Believe Weird Things is one of the seminal tomes of skepticism, very highly rated and well-liked (even if it might fall a bit short of Sagan or Randi in popularit). I haven't read that book, but I have planned on doing it at some point. However, the more shit its author seems to be up to, the less I feel like doing it. What do you guys think?
It's one of the few "skepticism" books I have ever read. It's pretty good, if not a little dated by now. Though if Shermer is falling in with the alt-right it should make for interesting bedfellows, as I recall a fairly heavy portion of that book was devoted to Holocaust denialism and his efforts against that.
Skepticism is now having its period of hard reflection as it grows, but can we shed the alt-right nonsense as easily as the misguided A+ debacles? This is where we are seeing the true fallout from the demographics and representation issues this "movement" has been warned about for the last decade (or more).
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on September 05, 2017, 05:40:46 PM
Skepticism is now having its period of hard reflection as it grows, but can we shed the alt-right nonsense as easily as the misguided A+ debacles?

We don't yet know what Shermer's position on the alt-right is. It is disturbing enough that he hails Molyneux as a "podcaster for reason", but as long as he hasn't actually made any statement on his behalf what his views are, we should be careful in lumping him in there. It would however be interesting to see him clarify his position.

As for the movement as a whole, I'm less worried. Has anyone besides Michael Shermer walked even remotely as near the alt-right territory as he has?

(No, Richard Dawkins has not.)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: D4M10N on September 05, 2017, 09:59:14 PM


Skepticism is now having its period of hard reflection as it grows, but can we shed the alt-right nonsense as easily as the misguided A+ debacles?

Just exactly as easily. Relationships will be severed, activist groups riven by schism.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: BTS on January 03, 2019, 06:16:17 PM
eh, you can't control how people label themselves. Climate change deniers call themselves "climate skeptics" and this absolutely harms the skeptical movement. We can't stop them from using the term, but we can ensure that we don't engage in any teach-the-controversy bullshit like Skeptic magazine did with The Bell Curve.

If Skeptic magazine continues what it appears to be doing (I've only seen a few instances and it's always possible those are outliers) they can be marginalized, and not just by individuals canceling supscriptions. It's not hard to make it the kiss of death to publish an article in their mag for example, as far as invites to speak at cons and on podcasts (and thus promote their own work). It really depends on how far you want to go, and this is absolutely up to a podcast or con or individual. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences; no one is obligated to have you on their platform.

Milo was effectively blacklisted by the MSM for his pederasty comments, and then Skeptic magazine decides to publish what is essentially a defense of Milo's worldview (at least in part). My response would be to blacklist Skeptic magazine going forward, and anyone who continues to be willing to contribute. If "Skeptic" magazine is no longer skeptical, or is otherwise abhorrent, skeptics should be as wary of writing for them as they would be for Stormfront.

It's not impossible, though it is always going to be a constant fight. Someone is always going to be shitting in the pool, while proclaiming it the bestest most skeptical shit ever. We don't have to invite "Bill Cosby" to speak at our cons or speak on our podcasts either.

Apparently, skepticism means only discussing certain topics from a progressive pre-ordained perspective.  The proper policy to deal with AGW is an extremely complex issue, surely we don’t believe that there are no issues to be discussed and dissected. It seems to be more harmful to skepticism when there is a set of politically approved conclusions that need to be protected by calling anyone with a question or a challenge a denier.   Do you seriously consider holocaust denial equivalent to criticism of policy options around AGW?   

The best criticism of I have seen of the Bell Curve is why would anyone even bother researching the topic as it will only lead to misunderstanding and misuse of the findings (Unfortunately, its analysis seems to hold up).  It seems disingenuous to place far too much emphasis on race (i.e. white privilege) and then howl with indignation when someone continues with this collectivist viewpoint in research on IQ distributions.  Treat everyone as individuals, with no prejudice seems to be the real answer rather than trying to parse everything in a racial framework.  Bigots exist, they are awful, call them out,  don't join them by using race as a determinant of import or culpability.
 
Milo is an intellectual light-weight.  His positions are not well thought out and his arguments are weak.  Give him the attention he has earned, none.  It should be exceedingly simple to refute his drivel, do so and move on.  It would do Milo more harm for ~20 dolts to show up for his presentations than to have the outcry and banning that powers pathetic conspiracy theories.  He is a provocateur, don’t be moths that succumb to his 6W bulb.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on January 03, 2019, 06:55:33 PM
Apparently, skepticism means only discussing certain topics from a progressive pre-ordained perspective.

No, that's not what "skepticism" means at all, nor is it what the "Skeptic movement" is about.

The movement is about promoting science literacy, critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning; to a lesser extent, it's about identifying and criticizing pseudoscience.


The proper policy to deal with AGW is an extremely complex issue, surely we don’t believe that there are no issues to be discussed and dissected. It seems to be more harmful to skepticism when there is a set of politically approved conclusions that need to be protected by calling anyone with a question or a challenge a denier.

But denialism of a scientifically-validated fact is not a valid conclusion, regardless of your opinion about what is or isn't "politically approved."

The science comes first, and political opinions should be determined from there. Doing it the other way round only serves the interests of dishonest political actors.


The best criticism of I have seen of the Bell Curve is why would anyone even bother researching the topic

Really? How much criticism have you actually read about The Bell Curve?

Because of all the stuff I've read about it over the past 20 some odd years, the idea that we should just flat out refrain from doing research is among the worst premises I've ever heard about anything.

Adverse reactions to the pernicious claims in The Bell Curve have inspired lots of new research, which in turn spawned several entirely new fields of study into the nature of intelligence. That flourish of academic response is testament to its importance as an object lesson about how sociology should not be done.


(Unfortunately, its analysis seems to hold up).

That would depend on which analyses you're talking about. Some of the analyses in that book are clearly faulty, and others have shed light on some glaring flaws in the intelligence evaluation methods on which we'd come to rely.


It seems disingenuous to place far too much emphasis on race (i.e. white privilege) and then howl with indignation when someone continues with this collectivist viewpoint in research on IQ distributions.

White privilege is not really about "putting emphasis on race." It's an observation of the cultural consequences of institutional racism. 


Treat everyone as individuals, with no prejudice seems to be the real answer rather than trying to parse everything in a racial framework.  Bigots exist, they are awful, call them out,  don't join them by using race as a determinant of import or culpability.

Except for the fact that nobody can really treat everyone equally without prejudice. Numerous cognitive psychology studies have revealed that we are all racist to some extent. Refusal to acknowledge racism as an ongoing systemic problem is one of the most insidious expressions of racism. 
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on January 03, 2019, 09:01:11 PM
Apparently, skepticism means only discussing certain topics from a progressive pre-ordained perspective.  The proper policy to deal with AGW is an extremely complex issue, surely we don’t believe that there are no issues to be discussed and dissected. It seems to be more harmful to skepticism when there is a set of politically approved conclusions that need to be protected by calling anyone with a question or a challenge a denier.   Do you seriously consider holocaust denial equivalent to criticism of policy options around AGW?   

The best criticism of I have seen of the Bell Curve is why would anyone even bother researching the topic as it will only lead to misunderstanding and misuse of the findings (Unfortunately, its analysis seems to hold up).  It seems disingenuous to place far too much emphasis on race (i.e. white privilege) and then howl with indignation when someone continues with this collectivist viewpoint in research on IQ distributions.  Treat everyone as individuals, with no prejudice seems to be the real answer rather than trying to parse everything in a racial framework.  Bigots exist, they are awful, call them out,  don't join them by using race as a determinant of import or culpability.
 
Milo is an intellectual light-weight.  His positions are not well thought out and his arguments are weak.  Give him the attention he has earned, none.  It should be exceedingly simple to refute his drivel, do so and move on.  It would do Milo more harm for ~20 dolts to show up for his presentations than to have the outcry and banning that powers pathetic conspiracy theories.  He is a provocateur, don’t be moths that succumb to his 6W bulb.

Do you have any specific examples of anything you'd like to discuss?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Sawyer on January 03, 2019, 10:41:01 PM
You guys know when someone bumps an old thread, you are allowed to just ignore them, right?  Even if they have a mildly interesting point, maybe another trip down Bell Curve Avenue isn't actually very productive for any of the active members here?  (especially when a major conclusion in this thread appears to be that we should let Skeptic magazine slowly fade into obscurity)

Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: BTS on January 04, 2019, 10:54:04 AM
I don't read Skeptic magazine.  I do listen to the Skeptics Guide. 

What I am most disturbed about in this so called skeptical forum, is that only evidence or analysis from the sources that fit a particular political bent are valid.  AGW is scientifically valid?  Beyond the claim that man-made CO2 causes increased forcing that will tend to raise the temperature, what claim is iron clad?  Is an ECS of 3.4 K iron clad?  Is the bountiful wonder of a Carbon Tax iron clad?  Global Warming seems to be the one topic that even left leaning people I would consider open to a diverse discussion (like Sam Harris or Bret Weinstein) will fall in lock step with the leftist viewpoint, apparently a religious tenet to horrible to even question.

You can't even have a discussion here.  My politically motivated analysis trumps your politically motivated analysis. 

The degree of political homogeneity and its policing by the self anointed moral police is disappointing.  Sorry I don't hover around this site in order to be considered timely with my input.
 Unintended or not, the result will be closing another hole in your Echo Chamber lest my unenlightened perspective soil the floor.  The regressive left has succumbed to the same self-serving belief in their absolute moral authority that turned many people off about the religious right.  I will leave you to swim in your ideological pool of purity and unburden your lifeguards of watching for moral degenerates like me.  Maybe Heterodox Academy will be a place where a real discussion can take place.

Just because you understand the concept of motivated reasoning doesn't mean you are immune; of course neither am I.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Eternally Learning on January 04, 2019, 11:35:12 AM
What the hell are you on about?  You mind starting a thread about your questions instead of declaring the whole forum to be supressing opinions we haven't seen you express yet?
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on January 04, 2019, 01:14:05 PM
If he did that, he might have to convey more than vague, non-specific ill-will.

edit: The board's fractious as hell. Only unifies against stuff like climate denialism and 'race realism' crap.  He self-describes as on the wrong end of such unification, also uses language and framing uncommon outside the alt-right but common within the alt-right.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on January 04, 2019, 03:00:16 PM
Yeah, if the only support you have for your grand ideas is that "everyone else hassles me about it, so it has to be right" then you are almost always full of shit.  That's not to say that someone with evidence and a persecution complex is wrong.  No, instead if that is the extent of your argument, and you have nothing else, ever, then please quaff a bucket of STFU.  You are really just a waste of time.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Sawyer on January 04, 2019, 06:48:01 PM
I don't read Skeptic magazine.  I do listen to the Skeptics Guide. 

What I am most disturbed about in this so called skeptical forum, is that only evidence or analysis from the sources that fit a particular political bent are valid.  AGW is scientifically valid?  Beyond the claim that man-made CO2 causes increased forcing that will tend to raise the temperature, what claim is iron clad?  Is an ECS of 3.4 K iron clad?  Is the bountiful wonder of a Carbon Tax iron clad?  Global Warming seems to be the one topic that even left leaning people I would consider open to a diverse discussion (like Sam Harris or Bret Weinstein) will fall in lock step with the leftist viewpoint, apparently a religious tenet to horrible to even question.

You can't even have a discussion here.  My politically motivated analysis trumps your politically motivated analysis. 

The degree of political homogeneity and its policing by the self anointed moral police is disappointing.  Sorry I don't hover around this site in order to be considered timely with my input.
 Unintended or not, the result will be closing another hole in your Echo Chamber lest my unenlightened perspective soil the floor.  The regressive left has succumbed to the same self-serving belief in their absolute moral authority that turned many people off about the religious right.  I will leave you to swim in your ideological pool of purity and unburden your lifeguards of watching for moral degenerates like me.  Maybe Heterodox Academy will be a place where a real discussion can take place.

Just because you understand the concept of motivated reasoning doesn't mean you are immune; of course neither am I.


Okay I'll bite.

Do you want to know why we don't have serious "debates" about global warming on this forum?  Go look at the AGW subforum that was active up to a few years ago and tell us with a straight face that there was anything productive coming out of it.  That's why most of us here refuse to engage people on this topic.  It has very little to do with us being brainwashed by "leftist dogma" and everything to do with our understanding of how this (and most science forums, for that matter) operate when discussing global warming.  A handful of people, who were usually savvy enough to not officially break the moderation rules, created literally thousands of pages of utter garbage, and the rest of us had to desperately try to keep up with their avalanche of misinformation.  Seriously, spend a Sunday afternoon slogging through FX and Will Nitschke posts.  I'm sorry if you are a newer member or not very active, but the people who wasted hours and hours of their lives dealing with this shit don't owe you a fresh debate.  We had one real climate scientist (cshorey) that often had real expertise to contribute, but I think he eventually found there were other places where he preferred to spend his time.  It's also worth noting that the most infuriating members in those threads are in some respect the best that the AGW skeptic community had to offer.  They knew a lot about the topic, they had an awareness of which arguments were based on serious science and which were just idiotic talking points, and they understood how to leverage the rules and format of our forum to promote their agenda.  And they still failed to do anything other than troll.

So yes, some of us are now a little rude when it comes to that topic.  Draw whatever parallels you like to other political issues that show up here and why the left-leaning members aren't always enthusiastic about engaging people in debates.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on January 05, 2019, 03:34:07 PM
Yeah, if the only support you have for your grand ideas is that "everyone else hassles me about it, so it has to be right" then you are almost always full of shit.  That's not to say that someone with evidence and a persecution complex is wrong.  No, instead if that is the extent of your argument, and you have nothing else, ever, then please quaff a bucket of STFU.  You are really just a waste of time.

But they also persecuted Galileo, and he turned out to be right!
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on January 06, 2019, 08:06:22 PM
Yeah, if the only support you have for your grand ideas is that "everyone else hassles me about it, so it has to be right" then you are almost always full of shit.  That's not to say that someone with evidence and a persecution complex is wrong.  No, instead if that is the extent of your argument, and you have nothing else, ever, then please quaff a bucket of STFU.  You are really just a waste of time.

But they also persecuted Galileo, and he turned out to be right!

I hope this is sarcasm.  If not please reread what I wrote.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Gigabyte on January 08, 2019, 06:39:42 AM
(https://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/daily-afternoon-randomness-49-photos-15.gif?w=580)
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: PANTS! on January 08, 2019, 08:11:25 AM
There is a surprising lack of getting out from under umbrellas in that gif.  Maybe it cuts off too early.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: John Albert on January 08, 2019, 12:05:27 PM
I hope this is sarcasm.

It is!  :D
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Harry Black on January 08, 2019, 02:50:41 PM
Yeah, if the only support you have for your grand ideas is that "everyone else hassles me about it, so it has to be right" then you are almost always full of shit.  That's not to say that someone with evidence and a persecution complex is wrong.  No, instead if that is the extent of your argument, and you have nothing else, ever, then please quaff a bucket of STFU.  You are really just a waste of time.

But they also persecuted Galileo, and he turned out to be right!
I was thinking the other day that the hardest thing about being a flat earther must be not being able to use the Galileo gambit.
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: stretcher on January 11, 2019, 05:36:31 AM
I guess not matter where one goes, if there's a discussion criticizing a sexual predator or white supremacists a random champion of conservatism will pop up and

A. Claim to be the victim of oppression
B. Start screaming at everyone for being liberals
Title: Re: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole
Post by: Gigabyte on January 11, 2019, 09:12:05 AM
I was thinking the other day that the hardest thing about being a flat earther must be not being able to use the Galileo gambit.
That's pretty funny.