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General Discussions => Skepticism / Science Talk => Topic started by: heyalison on April 24, 2019, 03:51:53 PM

Title: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 24, 2019, 03:51:53 PM
Another interesting article on the culture of "debate me," this one from The New Republic (https://newrepublic.com/article/153645/constructive-debate). It begins with the trans antagonism of Jesse Singal, through the reactionary right, and into general cultural trend of applying concepts of reason and free speech in haphazard ways. I would suggest there's more than a fair bit of this kind of bad faith arguing here on these forums (that cultural appropriation thread, ugh), and there's certainly a tendency among some to fall back on personal definitions and frameworks while demanding their take is universal.

From the article: "It is telling that critics of the social justice movement are obsessed with free speech and debate: It is the one inviolable principle they can fall back on when argument on the actual issues fails."
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 04:23:30 PM
Comparing the issues addressed in this article to the "cultural appropriation thread" is in itself bad faith arguing.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: amysrevenge on April 24, 2019, 04:49:00 PM
I like this.  I grok it down to my core.  It entirely informs my social justice leanings.  "History has selectively concealed the experience of reality felt by people without power."
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 24, 2019, 05:23:25 PM
The brave heroes who tell us that they just hope to convince even one spectator of the debate and it will have been worth it.
But if their opponent convinces 2 people then was it not worth it?
Maaaaybe this is more about their egos, seeing arguing as a hobby and not so much the issues?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 05:26:35 PM
The 'dispassionate debate' remarks always make me think of this, which I've seen:
(https://i.imgur.com/XkBNGd3.jpg)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 05:31:27 PM
The brave heroes who tell us that they just hope to convince even one spectator of the debate and it will have been worth it.
But if their opponent convinces 2 people then was it not worth it?
Maaaaybe this is more about their egos, seeing arguing as a hobby and not so much the issues?

So the solution is what? To refrain from discussing scientific, political, or philosophical issues with anybody you don't agree with?

Maybe purporting to tell other people about their own values is more about your ego. 

This is a skeptics community, after all, and is supposed to be a place to discuss and debate issues that we deem important.

Who is trying to silence trans people or question anybody's rights? Who are the Hitlers in this community?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 05:35:20 PM
'All debate is always good' only makes sense if 'all speech is always good'

Some speech is:
So the solution is what?

To not use a blanket rule here.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 05:45:21 PM
And let's not pretend that ego isn't always involved in any discussion.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 05:53:05 PM
My view on three common alt-right tacks:These people are bad faith actors co-opting this cultural niche's language
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 24, 2019, 06:05:23 PM
We've all seen the "free speech" canard trotted out as a flimsy defense against de-platforming.

But have you ever actually had somebody goad you by saying "debate me!"? Do people actually talk like that?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 24, 2019, 08:50:51 PM
Yeah, I see it a lot from alt-right people.  By rank-and-file on social media when they're pushing racism and sexism.  By media figures when they're trying to latch onto higher profile persons or just attacking them (and their audience eats it up). 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:24:49 PM
Comparing the issues addressed in this article to the "cultural appropriation thread" is in itself bad faith arguing.

I agree with you.

Also, nobody was goaded to join the discussion in the cultural appropriation thread. Those who felt like discussing did so, those who did not, didn't. Which is as it should be.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:25:49 PM
Yeah, I see it a lot from alt-right people.  By rank-and-file on social media when they're pushing racism and sexism.  By media figures when they're trying to latch onto higher profile persons or just attacking them (and their audience eats it up).

Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 25, 2019, 01:44:26 PM
Sounds like you want to debate about debate?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:48:31 PM
Sounds like you want to debate about debate?

Asking for an example is not debating.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 25, 2019, 01:54:19 PM
Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?

When the board went all, "Skinheads of the Galaxy," for a few months, I remember seeing it from those guys.  But I don't really care to go digging around their stuff for quotes.

In the meantime, Ben Shapiro's thrown it at AOC a few times.  He tweets about her a lot.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 25, 2019, 01:56:05 PM
Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?

When the board went all, "Skinheads of the Galaxy," for a few months, I remember seeing it from those guys.  But I don't really care to go digging around their stuff for quotes.

In the meantime, Ben Shapiro's thrown it at AOC a few times.  He tweets about her a lot.

I have no idea what "Skinheads of the Galaxy" refers to.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on April 25, 2019, 02:26:18 PM
Do you see any of it on this forum, as the OP suggested? If so, can you point to any example?

When the board went all, "Skinheads of the Galaxy," for a few months, I remember seeing it from those guys.  But I don't really care to go digging around their stuff for quotes.

In the meantime, Ben Shapiro's thrown it at AOC a few times.  He tweets about her a lot.

And let's not all the "Shapiro/Peterson/Harrs destroys feminist/muslim/socialist with REASON and LOGIC" "content" on the internet. The alt-light and the nazis have thoroughly appropriated the discourse
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 26, 2019, 10:08:17 AM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 26, 2019, 11:30:13 AM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on April 26, 2019, 03:04:34 PM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
I'm in the exact same position as you and for some of the same reasons, but it's weird you picked this post and not literally anything on the first page by posters who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance. If they're not "enraged" they're certainly unable to take their own advice about not participating.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 26, 2019, 03:16:33 PM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
I'm in the exact same position as you and for some of the same reasons, but it's weird you picked this post and not literally anything on the first page by posters who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance. If they're not "enraged" they're certainly unable to take their own advice about not participating.

Can you give some examples of this?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 26, 2019, 07:00:06 PM
And for the record, since it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some, I didn't mean there was an exact situation of someone saying "Debate me!" in the cultural appropriation thread. There's a hell of a lot of the same bad faith arguments that the debate-me crowd uses, however, as well as the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men. Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format. In this thread, even, there's the suggestion that one either can take part in that thread or not, dismissing critique of the very thread itself. That's pretty much debate-me culture without saying "Debate me!"

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the one thread that I mentioned in a parenthetical. This is an important article, and I'm not shocked that the usual suspects are enraged.

Really, enraged? The amount of hyperbole and weirdly passive aggressive shots fired back and forth on this forum really distract from my ability to enjoy lurking the discussions these days. I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.
I'm in the exact same position as you and for some of the same reasons, but it's weird you picked this post and not literally anything on the first page by posters who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance. If they're not "enraged" they're certainly unable to take their own advice about not participating.

Do you mean the first page of this thread or the parent message board in general?

To be honest that post because it was the most recent upon my reading this thread, it seemed to me the worst case of hyperbole and misrepresenting how I perceived the conversation so far and because the original post itself almost feels like bait. It doesn't name people specifically but addresses people in this forum of going all "debate me" and then a specific thread. We know who she's talking about, we know they'll read this thread and it's not a shock they'll be commenting regarding that because it's obviously a shot taken which didn't need to be. It's practically spillover when you could just address specific concerns about a thread within it. But up until this point I have seen no rage, like at all, and to refer to the responses in that way just seems like OP was primed to receive an enraged reply.

Now this is all just how it looks to me. And it's admittedly after reading several other threads (not by OP) that give me the same feeling. So maybe I'm primed to perceive it more in that way. I don't know anyone's real intentions, just that I've been getting a lot of bad vibes.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 26, 2019, 07:18:09 PM
We know who she's talking about

No we don't.

She took the cultural appropriation thread as an example, in that case it is, I assume, me and John Albert. But according to the OP, that was just one example. Other than that, we don't know. There have been vague accusations thrown around in this thread about people wanting to boost their egos, alt-rightists, people who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance, but all requests for actual examples, and/or information about who these people on this forum are have so far been met with silence.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 26, 2019, 07:43:40 PM
We know who she's talking about

No we don't.

She took the cultural appropriation thread as an example, in that case it is, I assume, me and John Albert. But according to the OP, that was just one example. Other than that, we don't know. There have been vague accusations thrown around in this thread about people wanting to boost their egos, alt-rightists, people who turn every thread into some weird personal grievance, but all requests for actual examples, and/or information about who these people on this forum are have so far been met with silence.

I only meant that CA thread, and I'm assuming the same.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 27, 2019, 07:22:21 AM
Jesus christ, outrage, then. It speaks volumes that people are more willing to attack women for a poor choice of words than men who stan for racist talking points (which the majority of the contributions on that thread are).

If you want to dismiss me as passive-aggressive or as having personal issues with specific posters and not the ongoing creep of alt-right and outright fascist talking points into skepticism in general, well, that's some typical sexist myopia. The reason I posted this article is because this is a serious issue, and if you look out into the culture beyond this forum people are discussing it. But if you criticize these behaviors (and apparently especially if you're not a white guy) here then you get dogpiled. And you want to talk about passive-aggressive? Half of the arguments you get from these guys is pearl-clutching "Oh, but you're not a real skeptic then!" whining. And, of course, bad-faith misrepresentations of the actual topics over and over.

The inability to engage the issues in this article and others I've posted, and to instead make it into an issue about me personally, is typical of the ways in which the right dismisses criticism. It's lazy "both sides"-ism, it's sexism, and it is there to talk over discussion of actual issues--as has happened again here.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 27, 2019, 08:10:16 AM
Well frankly, if you arent going to go through the trouble of going back through multiple threads and finding specific quotes that people can then quibble over into infinity then Im not going to do any introspection.
/s

Edited portion in next post.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on April 27, 2019, 08:37:20 AM
I would like to add , if I havent already before, that I really appreciate heyalison making the effort to still be here and give these perspectives. It is really hard (for me anyway) emotionally to engage in these drawn out point for point disagreements that are clearly going nowhere, so the time and effort in the face of flat out denial and derision is something I very much respect.
We have lost way too much diversity of reasonable non racist opinion here over the past couple of years and its not like the other folks made a secret of why they were going.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on April 27, 2019, 08:39:02 AM
Jesus christ, outrage, then. It speaks volumes that people are more willing to attack women for a poor choice of words than men who stan for racist talking points (which the majority of the contributions on that thread are).

If you want to dismiss me as passive-aggressive or as having personal issues with specific posters and not the ongoing creep of alt-right and outright fascist talking points into skepticism in general, well, that's some typical sexist myopia. The reason I posted this article is because this is a serious issue, and if you look out into the culture beyond this forum people are discussing it. But if you criticize these behaviors (and apparently especially if you're not a white guy) here then you get dogpiled. And you want to talk about passive-aggressive? Half of the arguments you get from these guys is pearl-clutching "Oh, but you're not a real skeptic then!" whining. And, of course, bad-faith misrepresentations of the actual topics over and over.

The inability to engage the issues in this article and others I've posted, and to instead make it into an issue about me personally, is typical of the ways in which the right dismisses criticism. It's lazy "both sides"-ism, it's sexism, and it is there to talk over discussion of actual issues--as has happened again here.

Thanks for posting the article. I don't grok all of it, but I will read it again. I have become increasingly frustrated with the discourse here too. I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

The energy and interest to continue trying to make this place inclusive and welcoming isn't worth it to me anymore.

I'll check back in May or June, maybe.

Bye.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 27, 2019, 08:39:55 AM
I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on April 28, 2019, 06:41:08 AM
I had several paragraphs in response and just opted to delete them in the end. The point I'd like to make would require multiple examples which feels petty, a waste of energy and not likely to change anything.

I'll just try and stick to safer threads about movies, books and silly things for this forum.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 28, 2019, 05:07:42 PM
The alt-light and the nazis have thoroughly appropriated the discourse

This accusation is absurd. Nobody can "appropriate the discourse." If your view is not being represented in "the discourse," that's nobody's fault but yours. It's even more obtuse to assert that your own viewpoint is above question, and nobody should be debating it in the first place.

The basic gist of your objections seems to be that if you can't assert control over the language and scope of discussion to hinder all viewpoints besides your own, then reasoned discussion is generally a bad thing. That illiberal view is a lynchpin of totalitarianism.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 28, 2019, 05:34:19 PM
it seems intentionally missing the point or demanding exact dictionary-definition is part of the skeptical toolbox of some

If consulting a dictionary is removed from the "skeptical toolbox," then how are we supposed to clarify the terms of discussion when people start misusing words in crazy ways?


the implicit demand that people of colour or their allies have to defend their experience of cultural appropriation on the terms of (I'm guessing here) mostly white men.

Which demands are being made of people of color?

How do the self-appointed "allies" know that they're accurately representing the interests of the people they're trying to protect, when even people of color don't all agree about what constitutes cultural appropriation?

So teasing out the details and making sense of that concept is the purpose of that thread. Being that this is a skeptics forum, we're trying to discuss the concept in terms of evidence and reason. Evidence and reason are are not the exclusive purview of "white men"; they're tools that serve everyone regardless of demographic identity.


Instead of endeavoring to understand, there's a doubling-down on the format.

The discussion in the last few pages of the thread have been about trying to establish a cogent definition of "cultural appropriation." The problem is that the goalposts keep shifting all over the place.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 28, 2019, 07:08:01 PM
Personally, I just gave up on 'cultural appropriation' as a concept. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 28, 2019, 08:51:28 PM
Personally, I just gave up on 'cultural appropriation' as a concept.

In order to prevent spillover, I'm going to answer this over in the other thread (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,48481.msg9611871.html#msg9611871).
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on April 28, 2019, 11:52:58 PM
The alt-light and the nazis have thoroughly appropriated the discourse

This accusation is absurd. Nobody can "appropriate the discourse." If your view is not being represented in "the discourse," that's nobody's fault but yours. It's even more obtuse to assert that your own viewpoint is above question, and nobody should be debating it in the first place.

The basic gist of your objections seems to be that if you can't assert control over the language and scope of discussion to hinder all viewpoints besides your own, then reasoned discussion is generally a bad thing. That illiberal view is a lynchpin of totalitarianism.

If I wated to be funny, I would quote the dictionary definition of totalitarianism and murder the discussion by doggedly sticking to my one and only correct definition with the confodence of a clueless white man.

Instead, I just appreciate how the tone police, once again, showed up in full force to protect nazis and smear people who maliciously spoke out against them.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on April 29, 2019, 12:49:16 AM
If I wated to be funny

You don't have to want to be funny.


I would quote the dictionary definition of totalitarianism

Have I misused the word "totalitarianism" by pointing out that one of its primary strategies is to assert complete control over the public discourse?


Instead, I just appreciate how the tone police, once again, showed up in full force to protect nazis and smear people who maliciously spoke out against them.

In this fantasy of yours, who are these "tone police" who protect Nazis and smear people?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 29, 2019, 02:11:31 PM
We have lost way too much diversity of reasonable non racist opinion here over the past couple of years and its not like the other folks made a secret of why they were going.

Yep, the politics sub-forum here has certainly got a reputation (https://www.reddit.com/r/SGU/comments/aub8ih/the_official_sgu_forum/eh9esxz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x):

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 29, 2019, 04:57:21 PM
I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 06:56:40 AM
We have lost way too much diversity of reasonable non racist opinion here over the past couple of years and its not like the other folks made a secret of why they were going.

Yep, the politics sub-forum here has certainly got a reputation (https://www.reddit.com/r/SGU/comments/aub8ih/the_official_sgu_forum/eh9esxz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x):

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.

Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 08:57:32 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 09:00:24 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 09:02:22 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.

As opposed to your deeply thought out, mind-changing posts, I suppose.

(Yes, Harry Black is impressed, but I think he is impressed by anything that's anti-me.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 09:05:15 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.

As opposed to your deeply thought out, mind-changing posts, I suppose.

(Yes, Harry Black is impressed, but I think he is impressed by anything that's anti-me.)

Oh, lordy, kid, you have some deep persecution issues. Anyway, I'm going to slip you back onto ignore. Bad on me for engaging!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 09:09:50 AM
Wow, Reddit thinks something. Thanks for sharing! You know posting things like this makes you look ridiculous, right? Hashtag Skeptic!

Reddit is not a single entity, it is a wide variety of forums with people with different views. You know, like here (even though some people are working hard to stamp out dissenting opinions).

For the record, the only thing I'm offended by in that Reddit comment is that someone would portray my views as any flavour of "lib" or liberal. I'm a stinkin' pinko commie, and I wear that proudly.  :D

So you are an adherent of an ideology then, with the biases and special pleading that goes along?

- Against Ideology (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/against-ideology/)

- Ideology is the Problem (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/ideology-is-the-problem/)

Maybe you should reconsider?

This is another of those posts that make you look ridiculous.

As opposed to your deeply thought out, mind-changing posts, I suppose.

(Yes, Harry Black is impressed, but I think he is impressed by anything that's anti-me.)

Oh, lordy, kid, you have some deep persecution issues. Anyway, I'm going to slip you back onto ignore. Bad on me for engaging!

Thank you. I know it is a bad idea to try to engage with you because you clearly aren't interested in that, but sometimes I can't resist.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on April 30, 2019, 10:44:48 AM
I get the sense a lot of people, across all spectra, totally underestimate how cognitively difficult some of these social justice concepts are, and then bandy them around without full understanding.  This is probably just bias on my part but that's the sense I am getting. 

That was the origin of my struggle with the idea of cultural appropriation.  Scholars and experts in the field, that I generally trust, are pretty consistent that cultural appropriation is bad.  This did not jive with my interpretation, and that was causing some dissonance.  But the choice is that either the experts are wrong and I have stumbled onto an insight that is totally new to the field, or I am lacking in a full understanding.  One of those is much more likely than the other.  So the goal shouldn't be to prove the experts wrong, it should be to learn as much as possible about their reasoning to prove to yourself why they might be right.  Of course, there is a chance they are wrong, and some of this comes down to opinion, but at least it should be an informed opinion.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on April 30, 2019, 10:54:42 AM
That was the origin of my struggle with the idea of cultural appropriation.  Scholars and experts in the field, that I generally trust, are pretty consistent that cultural appropriation is bad.  This did not jive with my interpretation, and that was causing some dissonance.  But the choice is that either the experts are wrong and I have stumbled onto an insight that is totally new to the field, or I am lacking in a full understanding.  Of course, some of this comes down to subjective opinion.  Ultiamtely wherther or not cultural appropriation is "bad" comes down a to a value judgement, but it should be an informed one.

Who are these scholars? Do they exist outside of the US? In what fields do they have expertise?

I'm going to re-post the original quote I referred to in the other thread (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,48481.msg9611833.html#msg9611833), and the original blogpost (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2015/12/some-thoughts-on-cultural-appropriation/) deserves to be read as a whole:

Quote
The point I’m stuck on is this: If culture can be appropriated, who is it appropriated from? In other words, what defines who the “rightful” owners of a cultural practice are? Is it based on race, nationality, country of birth, or something else entirely?

For instance, if I were an ethnically white person adopted by Japanese parents and raised in Japan, would it be cultural appropriation for me to wear kimonos or collect Japanese art? Conversely, what if I were ethnically Japanese but born and raised in America with no particular connection to Japan? Would I be exempted from charges of cultural appropriation, just based on the DNA I happened to be born with?

My point is that there isn’t and couldn’t be a definitive answer to these questions. There’s no high arbiter of culture to rule on what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Some people may be happy to see their cultural innovations appreciated and adopted by outsiders; others may be staunchly opposed; still others may be indifferent. None of these opinions are more right or more wrong than the others, and if it seems wrong to mock or fetishize another culture, it seems equally wrong to grant a heckler’s veto to anyone in the world who wants to stake a claim on the matter.

It’s always a good idea to approach cultures not your own with respect and sensitivity. But an overly rigid insistence on sharp lines of demarcation strikes me as suspect. It perpetuates the essentialist fallacy that cultures are distinct and homogeneous groups of people who are all like each other and unlike everyone else. Such balkanization has no basis in reality: there’s no unique essence that all Japanese people, all Indian people, or all American people have in common. Every culture is enormously diverse; every culture blends with and bleeds into others at the edges.

Ultimately, all human culture is a remix. Starting from childhood, we learn by imitating others around us. Civilizations intermingle and cross-pollinate, absorbing ideas from each other, regardless of whether they meet through trade, migration or war. We borrow and adapt words, food, fashion, art, music, religion. Almost everything we do “comes from” somewhere else, and I’d be willing to bet that’s true of every human cultural practice or invention, going back to the knowledge of how to knap flint into spear points. Cultures only seem distinct and static on the short timescale of individual lives; over many generations, they diffuse into each other until it’s impossible to answer the question of who came up with what.

If these objections were seriously and ably answered, I would seriously reconsider my position.

See, I even state my objections and that responses to them would change my mind. Something entirely different from heyalison's "Agree with me!" posts that so strongly impresses Harry Black.

Of course it comes down to value judgement, in part. I am a cosmopolitan in my outlook. I oppose segregation, I oppose Balkanization, I oppose viewing people as members of collective groups based on superficial attributes rather than as individuals with their own intellectual commitments, etc.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on April 30, 2019, 11:19:57 AM
I dont want to derail this thread with specific argument about cultural appropriation, my point was to use it as an example of how hard it is to debate something without full understanding of it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on April 30, 2019, 12:09:06 PM
Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Ah.hell on April 30, 2019, 12:51:19 PM
Its also awfully easy to just assume the reason someone disagrees with you, is because they don't understand you.   Having read the article, it mostly just sounds like, "we shouldn't even try to explain ourselves to those that disagree because they're dishonest." 

They don't understand so they disagree and they're dishonest so we don't even need to listen to them. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Billzbub on April 30, 2019, 01:02:48 PM
Let me see if I can summarize what I thought the article said.

People who dictate what is true have a lot of power, and it is people in power that can dictate truth.  Because of this, what they think of as the truth only takes into account their experiences, and their version of the truth does not take into account the experiences of the marginalized.  It is a self-reinforcing cycle, and the difference in the truths controlled by the powerful and the truths known by the marginalized are so great that discourse between the two sides is nearly impossible.

Am I close?  I have a hard time parsing philosophical writing like that.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on April 30, 2019, 01:02:56 PM
I think there's a niche use-case for when a dominant culture jams up a non-dominant culture by redefining shit (e.g. Nazis ruined swastikas in the west)

But regular left-wing discourse finds appropriation under every instance of whites adopting non-white culture.  It looks like a lazy, pseudo-intellectual games of one-upsmanship to me.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on April 30, 2019, 02:49:49 PM
I think there's a niche use-case for when a dominant culture jams up a non-dominant culture by redefining shit (e.g. Nazis ruined swastikas in the west)

But regular left-wing discourse finds appropriation under every instance of whites adopting non-white culture.  It looks like a lazy, pseudo-intellectual games of one-upsmanship to me.

OK, that's a fair initial response, but I think it's missing the broader context. You can't talk about cultural appropriation (CA, to save typing) without cultural context. But even that is not enough, you have to show up with the understanding that there has been an intentional and coordinated effort to undermine the concept by bad actors such as 4chan, 8chan and others. Part of their playbook is to post online as though they are proponents of CA, but then describe ridiculous examples that are easily undermined. Pretty much the entire CA thread has been expressions of these "But I saw this on Tumblr!" efforts, which work to make the concept seem ridiculous and not real. I'm not being a paranoid conspiracy theorist, chatroom dumps of 4chan and 8chan show us these are intentional and planned. They have used online outrage tactics again and again to feed false narratives into the discussion of social justice issues.

This is how we end up with responses such as "I guess we're just awful people for saying that making tacos doesn't harm anyone," from the CA thread here. After how many thousands of replies we end up at such a disingenuous comment as that isn't by chance. It's because bad actors have infected the discussion so much so that either intentionally or not, people pick up these ideas and arguments against a strawman CA. It appeals to many white guys who feel like they are being personally attacked by the advances of minorities to be able to dismiss their concerns as unfounded.  It appeals to many who've also picked up essentialist ideas about free speech without consequences from those same bad actors. And that's not even out and out racists, but it is a gateway to further radicalization. Its intent is to radicalize white people against the concerns of racialized people and minorities.

So with that well so badly poisoned, then I think it is up to white folks to be aware of that, and how they're being manipulated by a message meant to lure them to the side of believing minorities are coddled and lie about their hardships. It makes having an unbiased take on CA very difficult for white people, even moreso if they question the intent of the examples they're being told, i.e. the 4chan and 8chan etc. disino efforts. Is that a hill you're feeling 100% confident to die on? These are extreme times, and as a white person I'm not willing to make that bet. Knowing how easily we are manipulated into bias, and knowing how minorities are actually treated--that leads me to use my critical thinking to go "Hey, wait a sec." And when you engage with actual examples and explanations of CA, and not as a thing to be debated--as many people tried to do on the CA thread--you might come away with both a greater empathy for the experience of minorities and a stronger critical filter.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 06:24:36 AM
I get the sense a lot of people, across all spectra, totally underestimate how cognitively difficult some of these social justice concepts are, and then bandy them around without full understanding. This is probably just bias on my part but that's the sense I am getting.

Are social justice concepts really that inscrutably rigorous? The concepts are really not so hard to grasp when compared to, say, differential calculus, thermodynamics, or French symbolist literature.  ;)

Seriously, I've read quite a bit about dialectics, intersectionality theory, and feminist epistemology. None of the underlying theory was all that difficult to understand. The main problems I had were that some of the core concepts are highly subjective, much of it is predicated on collectivizing and generalizing people, and some of the ideas are denialistic and even hostile to science.

It's no mystery that we all have different feelings and attitudes with regard to demographic groups outside our own, and we all need to understand where each other are coming from before we can even begin to address the myriad social problems. But I don't think we're going to get there by declaring moral superiority, drawing battle lines, fighting stereotypes with ever more stereotypes, and vilifying anyone who disagrees with our opinions.

That said, I still believe there's great value in many of the concepts of Marxist feminist theory. I just don't think the ideology as a whole ought to be asserted on general principles without question. As freethinkers, we ought to question everything.
 

Scholars and experts in the field, that I generally trust, are pretty consistent that cultural appropriation is bad.  This did not jive with my interpretation, and that was causing some dissonance.  But the choice is that either the experts are wrong and I have stumbled onto an insight that is totally new to the field, or I am lacking in a full understanding.  One of those is much more likely than the other.

A third alternative is that a lot of the material was inherently subjective, hence neither true nor false but a matter of personal opinion.


So the goal shouldn't be to prove the experts wrong, it should be to learn as much as possible about their reasoning to prove to yourself why they might be right.

I disagree with that approach. When I hear something that seems unreasonable, my first inclination is not to try and prove to myself why it must be correct. My first inclination is to look for the evidence and line of reasoning behind the conclusion being presented.


Of course, there is a chance they are wrong, and some of this comes down to opinion, but at least it should be an informed opinion.

Yes, this is correct. Social theories are not like scientific theories which can be objectively verified through experiment. There is a chance they are wrong, or that it's simply a matter of personal opinion and opinions may vary.

As with any other subject, skepticism prescribes that we apply the rules of basic epistemology.

History is full of ill-conceived social theories which looked reasonable at first, but ended up causing a lot of damage in the long run.

That's why it's important to have critical discussions about these concepts, to examine and critique them in detail, instead of just accepting them at face value and personally denigrating anybody who questions or disagrees.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 07:16:53 AM
This is how we end up with responses such as "I guess we're just awful people for saying that making tacos doesn't harm anyone," from the CA thread here.

That particular response was an attempt at defusing the exasperation with a little absurdist humor.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 08:45:11 AM
I am still waiting for superdave to name some of these experts who support the concept of cultural appropriation.

Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!

I have some questions and objections to the concept, I even quoted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612128.html#msg9612128) them. No attempt has been made to answer them, instead I am met with ad hominems. Harry Black and you are apparently impressed (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612092.html#msg9612092).

My tentative conclusion is that neither you, Harry Black, or heyalison have the ability to make a substantive reply to these questions and objections. It would certainly explain why it has so far not come. As for the reason the three of you support this concept despite seemingly not being able to defend it against critiques and objections, I can only speculate.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on May 01, 2019, 09:53:48 AM
Trying to prove to yourself why you are wrong is not always the best approach but it makes sense in a situation where you are at odds with experts.  It is much more likely that you have overlooked something than they did.  Otherwise you are no better than the "If people come from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" sort.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 01, 2019, 10:04:52 AM
And there's a point where arguing in bad faith will demotivate people from engaging with you. It doesn't make you right, it means you're untrustworthy.

Ironically, this brings the point back to the original article, and how the debate-me crowd will declare victory in the absence of engagement on their terms.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 10:12:55 AM
Trying to prove to yourself why you are wrong is not always the best approach but it makes sense in a situation where you are at odds with experts.  It is much more likely that you have overlooked something than they did.  Otherwise you are no better than the "If people come from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" sort.

Again, I have yet to see any evidence of an expert consensus on cultural appropriation, as you refuse to show it. For clarification, the opinions of heyalison and Harry Black are not qualified to be expert consensus.

To compare doubt about the validity of the concept of cultural appropriation to creationism is ridiculous. A more apt comparison is that believers in the concept seem to have a creationist-level understanding of human culture and human history.

Show me the consensus and answer the objections I have linked to multiple times. I am not going to take it on faith, or believe in it just because it is part of the beliefs of some political tribe.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: superdave on May 01, 2019, 10:18:45 AM
Trying to prove to yourself why you are wrong is not always the best approach but it makes sense in a situation where you are at odds with experts.  It is much more likely that you have overlooked something than they did.  Otherwise you are no better than the "If people come from monkeys why are there still monkeys?" sort.

Again, I have yet to see any evidence of an expert consensus on cultural appropriation, as you refuse to show it. For clarification, the opinions of heyalison and Harry Black are not qualified to be expert consensus.

To compare doubt about the validity of the concept of cultural appropriation to creationism is ridiculous. A more apt comparison is that believers in the concept seem to have a creationist-level understanding of human culture and human history.

Show me the consensus and answer the objections I have linked to multiple times. I am not going to take it on faith, or believe in it just because it is part of the beliefs of some political tribe.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Ah.hell on May 01, 2019, 10:47:32 AM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 01, 2019, 03:02:25 PM
I am still waiting for superdave to name some of these experts who support the concept of cultural appropriation.

Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!

I have some questions and objections to the concept, I even quoted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612128.html#msg9612128) them. No attempt has been made to answer them, instead I am met with ad hominems. Harry Black and you are apparently impressed (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612092.html#msg9612092).

My tentative conclusion is that neither you, Harry Black, or heyalison have the ability to make a substantive reply to these questions and objections. It would certainly explain why it has so far not come. As for the reason the three of you support this concept despite seemingly not being able to defend it against critiques and objections, I can only speculate.
I am unwilling to "defend it against critiques and objections" because this is not a debate and I don't have to defend anything. Your demands that random internet people prove established concepts to you are boorish. I am not an expert on the subject, the experts all agree on this concept, your questions are assinine and irrelevant, and I don't give a shit anymore; it is up to you to educate yourself.

If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 01, 2019, 03:09:38 PM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus.
The point is that if you are genuinely interested in a topic and are asking such basic questions then it would probably behove you to go and do some bare basic research.

If you refuse to do so because of a generally accepted practice of debate then it says a lot about your intent to learn vs your devotion to a format. You wont be any more right or wrong in an objective sense by them going and delivering links to you, but you arent doing the basic work that one might expect of someone who has decided they disagree with an idea.

This is debatemebro culture rearing its head in trying to force a debate where people have said or implied they are not interested in it and then declaring victory (of the non debate) when people choose not to engage.

And it may have cost us yet another forum member mere days ago.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 03:12:53 PM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus.

The results look a lot like an ongoing debate about what constitutes cultural appropriation. Even the articles that advocate most strongly for the concept show a tendency to admit that it's very subjective and context-dependent.

This is not like questioning the existence of an empirical fact like global warming or the effectiveness of vaccines. Social theories are not data-driven scientific models, but more akin to commentary or persuasive writing about social issues.

I haven't seen anybody around here demanding a debate. There's a lively discussion going on about a topic in a thread, and anybody is free to participate or not participate. Just because somebody may disagree, that is no reason to lash out at them with personal attacks.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:14:08 PM
I am still waiting for superdave to name some of these experts who support the concept of cultural appropriation.

Yes, quetz, you have abundantly demonstrated your lack of understanding of that concept. Would you just give it a goddamn rest? That is the whole point of this thread. How about you read the article a few more times? It might help! Probably not, though!

I have some questions and objections to the concept, I even quoted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612128.html#msg9612128) them. No attempt has been made to answer them, instead I am met with ad hominems. Harry Black and you are apparently impressed (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9612092.html#msg9612092).

My tentative conclusion is that neither you, Harry Black, or heyalison have the ability to make a substantive reply to these questions and objections. It would certainly explain why it has so far not come. As for the reason the three of you support this concept despite seemingly not being able to defend it against critiques and objections, I can only speculate.
I am unwilling to "defend it against critiques and objections" because this is not a debate and I don't have to defend anything. Your demands that random internet people prove established concepts to you are boorish. I am not an expert on the subject, the experts all agree on this concept, your questions are assinine and irrelevant, and I don't give a shit anymore; it is up to you to educate yourself.

If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.

Again, who are these scholars that all agree? We are still not being told. It is not an established concept outside of certain corners of American college campuses. If you ask a 100 random people on the street here if they have heard about it, almost none will (they will have heard of evolution and climate change).

And I am not going to accept the belief without good reason. That the belief is part of the belief-system of your political tribe and your identity is irrelevant. I'm not going to take it on faith. And if you and heyalison don't want your pet ideas to be discussed or debated, it is a very asinine idea to create a thread about it on an internet forum.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 03:20:54 PM
If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.

I'm not sure I agree with this line of reasoning.

Lots of people devote their professional lives to scholarship of subjects that are wrong, or at the very least unfalsifiable. One could make a very long list starting with theology and running the gamut all the way to alternative medicine practices.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:24:26 PM
(click to show/hide)
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cultural+appropriation+site%3A.edu
Kind of BS really.   
Can you show me evidence of your contention? 
Nope, that's up to you to prove me right. 

Also the results are a bunch of links to different article, doesn't really say much about the consensus.
The point is that if you are genuinely interested in a topic and are asking such basic questions then it would probably behove you to go and do some bare basic research.

If you refuse to do so because of a generally accepted practice of debate then it says a lot about your intent to learn vs your devotion to a format. You wont be any more right or wrong in an objective sense by them going and delivering links to you, but you arent doing the basic work that one might expect of someone who has decided they disagree with an idea.

This is debatemebro culture rearing its head in trying to force a debate where people have said or implied they are not interested in it and then declaring victory (of the non debate) when people choose not to engage.

And it may have cost us yet another forum member mere days ago.

This is elaborate special pleading.

It takes less than 10 seconds to google for the consensus on global warming (https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-basic.htm) and on evolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution). They are all suggested by Google when I start to write, indicating that these are subjects people search for on a re-occurring basis. No such suggestion is given for cultural appropriation, and the findings of the result don't point to any consensus. The concept does seem to be rather ill-defined.

If you post on an internet forum and insist that you don't want the subject of the post discussed, what is the point? Why even post it at all?

It was stated that there is an expert consensus on cultural appropriation and asked for a source for the claim. You then come along and try to stamp that out. I'm not going to believe it because someone you admires says so.

Can I start a thread about Harry Black, claim various things about him, and insist that I am not interested in debating this, and therefore refuse to back up any claims?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:25:58 PM
If your answer is "well the people who have devoted their professional lives as scholars of this subject are wrong," that says a lot more about you.

I'm not sure I agree with this line of reasoning.

Lots of people devote their professional lives to scholarship of subjects that are wrong, or at the very least unfalsifiable. One could make a very long list starting with theology and running the gamut all the way to alternative medicine practices.

All homeopaths agree that homeopathy works.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 03:31:41 PM
And it may have cost us yet another forum member mere days ago.

You mean like this (https://www.reddit.com/r/SGU/comments/aub8ih/the_official_sgu_forum/eh9esxz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x)?

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.

How about the self-introspection that you suggested to people who disagree with you?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 01, 2019, 03:54:29 PM
(…)
Again, who are these scholars that all agree? We are still not being told. It is not an established concept outside of certain corners of American college campuses. If you ask a 100 random people on the street here if they have heard about it, almost none will (they will have heard of evolution and climate change).

And I am not going to accept the belief without good reason. That the belief is part of the belief-system of your political tribe and your identity is irrelevant. I'm not going to take it on faith. And if you and heyalison don't want your pet ideas to be discussed or debated, it is a very asinine idea to create a thread about it on an internet forum.
[/quote]
Again, I don't have to tell you shit. I don't care what you think about CA. Educate your own damn self. Or don't. Your opinion is irrelevant.

Philosophy is attacked by skeptics all the time for being "subjective" or "unproven." I'm not going to sit here and explain 3000 years of scholarship to you, just to get you to accept CA, or intersectional feminism, or any other basic concept, or why they are different from pseudoscience. For some reason, people seem to think they can become experts on these subjects by reading a couple articles. I read about astronomy all the time, does that make me an astrophysicist? Move over, NASA, I'll fix that rocket for you!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2019, 04:01:10 PM
In this interview (https://www.startalkradio.net/show/think-like-a-skeptic-with-cara-santa-maria-and-steven-novella/) on StarTalk, around 5:20, Steve makes an off the cuff joke about cultural appropriation, and they laugh at it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 04:03:56 PM
Philosophy is attacked by skeptics all the time for being "subjective" or "unproven."

Which is quite ironic because skepticism is itself a philosophical concept.

But it's also important to recognize that discussion and debate are the primary activities of philosophy.


In this interview (https://www.startalkradio.net/show/think-like-a-skeptic-with-cara-santa-maria-and-steven-novella/) on StarTalk, around 5:20, Steve makes an off the cuff joke about cultural appropriation, and they laugh at it.

It's clear that he understands the concept well enough to make a good joke about it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 01, 2019, 04:21:31 PM
I like this.  I grok it down to my core.  It entirely informs my social justice leanings.  "History has selectively concealed the experience of reality felt by people without power."

Isn't that the primary motivation behind Howard Zinn's historiographic approach? 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 07, 2019, 11:24:14 PM
I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.

Your denial of racism is blatant in this thread:

(click to show/hide)

As for your claim that I'm slandering you...

https://youtu.be/vcM1kTZm-nM

Still, it isn't libel or slander if it is true.

This is in contrast to your actual libel - or at least lies - about what I have said. In the same thread about Canada you can find several specific quotes from me about the heinous shit Canada has done.

I'll check back in another week or two.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 08, 2019, 11:45:57 AM
This is where I started to wonder if you're an intelligent racist working to corrupt our community.

Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.

Your denial of racism is blatant in this thread:

(click to show/hide)


None of this establishes that I am a racist, or that I deny that racism is a thing. You will have to point out the exact quotes that to your mind do so.

And my claim was never that the US does not have issues.

And can you clarify how I "corrupt" the community?

As for your claim that I'm slandering you...

https://youtu.be/vcM1kTZm-nM

Still, it isn't libel or slander if it is true.

This is in contrast to your actual libel - or at least lies - about what I have said. In the same thread about Canada you can find several specific quotes from me about the heinous shit Canada has done.

I'll check back in another week or two.

I'm not interested in semantics here. English is not my first language, and you understood very well what I meant. My English is still better than your Swedish. My Norwegian is probably better than your Norwegian...
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 08, 2019, 11:44:27 PM
This is where I started to wonder if you're an intelligent racist working to corrupt our community.

Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

I didn't expect Quez to deny racism is a thing, for example.

Where did I do that?

If you make such a public, specific statement or accusation like that, you absolutely owe it to substantiate it, or retract and apologize.

Since you are apparently not going to substantiate your slander, I can play this game too.

I really didn't expect brilligtove to deny the suffering of First Nations in Canada and Canadian society, both historically and contemporary.

Your denial of racism is blatant in this thread:

(click to show/hide)


None of this establishes that I am a racist, or that I deny that racism is a thing. You will have to point out the exact quotes that to your mind do so.

And my claim was never that the US does not have issues.

And can you clarify how I "corrupt" the community?

As for your claim that I'm slandering you...

https://youtu.be/vcM1kTZm-nM

Still, it isn't libel or slander if it is true.

This is in contrast to your actual libel - or at least lies - about what I have said. In the same thread about Canada you can find several specific quotes from me about the heinous shit Canada has done.

I'll check back in another week or two.

I'm not interested in semantics here. English is not my first language, and you understood very well what I meant. My English is still better than your Swedish. My Norwegian is probably better than your Norwegian...

Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing and that segregation doesn't happen anymore are evidence that my asking if you're racist is not libel. The defence against a claim of defamation (slander or libel) is that the statements were true.

The YouTube video is a jokey way I remember that slander is spoken and libel is written. I learned that from that scene and it still makes me smile.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 09, 2019, 05:01:10 AM
Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

Yeah, it's shocking how holding racist opinions and sharing racist talking points will make people suspect your motives when talking about race.

And maybe if this isn't your native tongue then hold back on the smugness and arrogance? Maybe the aggression, too? Apart from your dogwhistle racism it makes you sound like an asshole and a bit of a loser.

Odd how there are so many progressive, totally not racist/sexist men here who just happen to lose their shit if they're ever challenged by a woman or person of colour (or queer people or trans people, or anyone who isn't a white cis man).


Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 11:57:01 AM
Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing

Science says it isn't a thing. Take your dispute to the scientists.

and that segregation doesn't happen anymore

A very uncharitable reading on your part. It was clear from the context that I referred to segregation in the American south up until the 1960s or so.

are evidence that my asking if you're racist is not libel.

Being mistaken about the two things you mentioned would not constitute racism.

The defence against a claim of defamation (slander or libel) is that the statements were true.

That race isn't a thing is a scientific fact. And I referred to segregation in a particular context, which is what we were talking about.

You should retract and apologize, but I doubt you will.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:13:40 PM
Clearly, you don't really deserve any response. But here we go...

Yeah, it's shocking how holding racist opinions

Such as?

and sharing racist talking points

Such as?

will make people suspect your motives when talking about race.

I never talk about race. You and your ideological compatriots talk about race, skin color, etc, all the time. I never ever do that. I never make sweeping comments about entire demographics, like skin colors, "races", ethnic groups, religious groups, nationalities, etc.

And maybe if this isn't your native tongue then hold back on the smugness and arrogance? Maybe the aggression, too? Apart from your dogwhistle racism it makes you sound like an asshole and a bit of a loser.

Ad hominem.

Odd how there are so many progressive, totally not racist/sexist men here who just happen to lose their shit if they're ever challenged by a woman or person of colour (or queer people or trans people, or anyone who isn't a white cis man).

Well, again, I never refer to demographic factors like that. You do that, not me. Yet, in your world, I am the racist, and you are not. ::)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:30:55 PM
Philosophy is attacked by skeptics all the time for being "subjective" or "unproven." I'm not going to sit here and explain 3000 years of scholarship to you, just to get you to accept CA, or intersectional feminism, or any other basic concept, or why they are different from pseudoscience. For some reason, people seem to think they can become experts on these subjects by reading a couple articles. I read about astronomy all the time, does that make me an astrophysicist? Move over, NASA, I'll fix that rocket for you!

I have never made the claims that philosophy is subjective or unproven.

And you have not yet shown us the supposedly existing expert consensus about cultural appropriation, despite several requests.

We can look at a real consensus for you to chew on: The consensus among economists about the benefits of free trade. The consensus is strong, and very easy to find on the internet. For example:

Quote
4 Politically Controversial Issues Where All Economists Agree (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/4-politically-controversial-issues-where-all-economists-agree/255600/)

None of the economists surveyed disagreed that the gains to freer trade are much larger than any costs. And only two economists even said that the answer is uncertain. In a space for additional comments, MIT's Richard Schmalensee declared "If that's not right, almost all of economics is wrong".

Economists have emphasized the benefits of free trade for a long time, reflecting the field's belief in the importance of specialization, comparative advantage, and gains from trade. Indeed, these results are similar to other surveys that show economists strongly supporting free trade.

...

Paul Krugman provides three reasons why intellectuals in particular resist the theory of comparative advantage that underpins free trade: 1) opposition to free trade is intellectually fashionable, 2) comparative advantage is hard to understand, and 3) they are averse to a fundamentally mathematical understanding of the world.

As is reflected in the comments by some of the panelists trade will create winners and losers, which may also explain some opposition to trade. But economists on the left and the right still struggle the understand the level of opposition to trade, and the rejection of the overall gains. Whatever their reasons for resisting, people should follow economists lead and embrace the fact that the gains from freer trade outweigh the costs.

Quote
Economists Actually Agree on This: The Wisdom of Free Trade (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/upshot/economists-actually-agree-on-this-point-the-wisdom-of-free-trade.html)

If Congress were to take an exam in Economics 101, would it pass? We are about to find out.

...

Economists are famous for disagreeing with one another, and indeed, seminars in economics departments are known for their vociferous debate. But economists reach near unanimity on some topics, including international trade.

Quote
Why Economists Are Worried About International Trade (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/business/trump-economists-trade-tariffs.html)

When President Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, I was reminded of a line from George Orwell: “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

While Orwell’s comment was focused on military and political issues of the late 1930s, my subject is economics, and to most people in my field, the benefits of an unfettered system of world trade are obvious. Any good student of Econ 101 can explain the logic.

...

This argument was expanded by David Ricardo in the 19th century. Ricardo addressed the question: What if one nation does everything better than another? His answer was that trade depends on comparative advantage — how good a nation is at producing one thing relative to how good it is at producing another.

Ricardo used England and Portugal as an example. Even if Portugal was better than England at producing both wine and cloth, if Portugal had a larger advantage in wine production, Portugal should export wine and import cloth. Both nations would end up better off.

The same principle applies to people. Given his athletic prowess, Roger Federer may be able to mow his lawn faster than anyone else. But that does not mean he should mow his own lawn. The advantage he has playing tennis is far greater than he has mowing lawns. So, according to Ricardo (and common sense), Mr. Federer should hire a lawn service and spend more time on the court.

Do you accept the (very real) expert consensus on free trade?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:32:24 PM
Since Soldier of FORTRAN has blocked me for pm, maybe he can explain in public what he finds likable about a post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138) of logical fallacies and personal attacks?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 09, 2019, 12:49:46 PM
No problems with 'debate me culture' on this forum. No sir!
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 09, 2019, 12:51:13 PM
Since Soldier of FORTRAN has blocked me for pm, maybe he can explain in public what he finds likable about a post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138) of logical fallacies and personal attacks?

Cognitively, you're a little fucked up. And I've run out of patience given how much you rely on delusional superiority as a coping mechanism. 

(Hint: That coping mechanism is a problem which keeps you stuck)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 12:57:55 PM
No problems with 'debate me culture' on this forum. No sir!

Why post something on a (skeptic) forum and then demand that people don't discuss it? Seems a little odd to me. I would not have posted anymore in this thread, had brilligtove not made his post.

But whatever. If heyalison posts a new thread, I promise I will not post in it, unless it directly addresses me. Complete homogenization of views seems to be what you desire.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 09, 2019, 01:07:30 PM
Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing

Science says it isn't a thing. Take your dispute to the scientists.

and that segregation doesn't happen anymore

A very uncharitable reading on your part. It was clear from the context that I referred to segregation in the American south up until the 1960s or so.

are evidence that my asking if you're racist is not libel.

Being mistaken about the two things you mentioned would not constitute racism.

The defence against a claim of defamation (slander or libel) is that the statements were true.

That race isn't a thing is a scientific fact. And I referred to segregation in a particular context, which is what we were talking about.

You should retract and apologize, but I doubt you will.

*Sigh*


I don't know why you even care. If race doesn't exist it doesn't matter if I call you racist. The concept has no meaning, right?

Oh! Unless race is a social construct with real, measurable effects, as has been stated many times in this and other threads. Your inability to comprehend this plants you in racist territory in the same way that Bachfiend's inability to comprehend language change plants him in transphobic territory.

At this point I don't know what else to say about your insistence that segregation stopped 50 years ago, despite ample, overwhelming, in-your-face, scientifically measured evidence to the contrary. Unless you can provide some alternative explanation, I'm forced to conclude that you've chosen a racist position and don't care about changing it in light of evidence. I'd really like there to be an alternative that means you're not holding a racist position. Is there one?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 09, 2019, 01:15:34 PM
Oh! Unless race is a social construct with real, measurable effects

Of course I have never denied that. But that doesn't make it real beyond being a social construct, that in the US has changed over time, and in other places is different.

Your inability to comprehend this plants you in racist territory in the same way that Bachfiend's inability to comprehend language change plants him in transphobic territory.

Inability to understand anything would't plant anyone anywhere except inability to understand anything. I am not familiar of what you are referring to about bachfiend or any conflict you might have with him, so I won't comment on that one.

At this point I don't know what else to say about your insistence that segregation stopped 50 years ago, despite ample, overwhelming, in-your-face, scientifically measured evidence to the contrary. Unless you can provide some alternative explanation, I'm forced to conclude that you've chosen a racist position and don't care about changing it in light of evidence. I'd really like there to be an alternative that means you're not holding a racist position. Is there one?

Huh? Of course segregation exists. I was talking about institutionalized segregation in the US south in the 1960s, which I have repeatedly stated to you. It's your choice to ignore that, and stick to an uncharitable interpretation.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 09, 2019, 02:16:03 PM
Moderator Comment Speculation on the mental state of other users is not ok. Keep it civil.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 09, 2019, 02:19:56 PM
Discussion is discussion.
PMing someone to demand an explanation for what posts they 'like' and then calling them out in public when they express that they do not want to talk to you, is the epitome of debatemebro culture.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 09, 2019, 02:26:46 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

Racism in the US is not the same as it was in the 18th Century, but that certainly doesn't mean that racism isn't a problem in the US anymore. If anything, racism has been on a sharp increase again in the last decade since the 2007-'08 presidential campaign season. It seems that having a black president has stirred up the previously underlying racism in the US, and staunch racists have once again become emboldened to speak their bigotry in public.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 09, 2019, 03:30:26 PM
And you have not yet shown us the supposedly existing expert consensus about cultural appropriation, despite several requests.
I have already stated that I don't have to show you shit. I don't owe you an education. This is not a debate. I don't care. Are you seriously this clueless? This is a thread about why refusing to debate is a good idea, and you are providing everyone with one of the most egregious examples yet.

You have successfully brow-beaten your way into winning an argument, even while being wrong on every level about the subject of said debate. This is how we know that debate is completely useless. Congratulations.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 09, 2019, 09:28:15 PM
Your ongoing insistence that race isn't a thing

Science says it isn't a thing. Take your dispute to the scientists.

Science says that it isn't a biological or genetic thing. But it is absolutely a sociological, psychological, and political thing. Don't ignore that.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 10, 2019, 07:30:37 AM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

That was not what the conversation was about, he knows this, yet here he is again stanning for the plausible deniability of racism and sexism. It's a broke-broke-broken record with this guy. Call a Nazi a Nazi? Can't do that! You're being the divisive one! Call racism racism? No, people deserve the benefit of the doubt, and anyway, Webster's dictionary says you're wrong. Call a piece of shit dude who supports facism a piece of shit? No, you're the problem, calling people ideas pieces of shit is the real problem. Really, it's those SJWs forcing their identity politics that got Trump elected, you know! Privilege is a lie made up by lefties! Really, I'm pro-women, but oh if they ever decide they won't give me the time to argue my pet issues with, then I'll hound them until they do. And I'll have a funny user icon of a seal to show what I really think of harassment.

These are the positions this poster has repeatedly supported. He says he hates Trump, and that he's a progressive guy who supports women and LGBT people, but he seems to push back anytime people from those groups actually define their experience. I'm not sure if John's a troll, an undercover Proud Boy, or just an arrogant dude who found a place in Skepticism to vent his insecurities as superiority and who's a useful idiot for more sinister people. What I do know is the effect is the same, and for a community that loses its shit over anitvaxxers Skeptics seem to have a blind spot or inability to face the creep of alt-right ideology--something with a much larger body count, and with the capacity for much greater harm than even measels outbreaks. Free speech essentialism has bludgeoned the capacity for insight and nuance out of too many of you. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Billzbub on May 10, 2019, 12:51:25 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

If you had stopped there, then I would have believed that you are trying to defend people who use "race doesn't exist" to say that racism doesn't exist.  But then, you went on to say:

Racism in the US is not the same as it was in the 18th Century, but that certainly doesn't mean that racism isn't a problem in the US anymore. If anything, racism has been on a sharp increase again in the last decade since the 2007-'08 presidential campaign season. It seems that having a black president has stirred up the previously underlying racism in the US, and staunch racists have once again become emboldened to speak their bigotry in public.

...which clearly shows me that you do understand that racism does exist.  So at least you are okay on that point.

I think (and please correct me if I am wrong) what Heyalison is saying is that even though you know that racism exists and is a problem today, you don't understand how a lot of the racist people use the defense that race doesn't exist to perpetuate their racist ideas.  I think that is what brilligtove is accusing Quetzalcoatl of doing.

Quetzalcoatl, I have a couple of questions for you to try to clear things up a bit.
1.  Do you think that racism doesn't exist or isn't important to address because race doesn't exist?
2.  Do you think that people who point out racism (in general I mean, not any specific SGU forums case) are overreacting based on the idea that since race doesn't exist, racism doesn't really mean much?

I think if you clear these things up for us, it would go a long way toward short-circuiting some of this discussion.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: TheIrreverend on May 10, 2019, 05:45:39 PM
Administrator Comment Please focus on discussing the topic at hand and not the alleged failings of other members.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 10, 2019, 05:46:59 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

That was not what the conversation was about, he knows this, yet here he is again stanning for the plausible deniability of racism and sexism.
(click to show/hide)

So you're against having a reasoned discussion, yet personal attacks and insults directed in the third person are what you'd prefer to replace it with?

How do you justify this garbage? Nobody has attacked you personally. A difference of opinion is not a de facto personal attack.

This kind of juvenile nonsense is at the root of many political problems in this era of social media. The echo-chamber culture has made people so brittle about their precious ideologies that they'd prefer to point fingers and hurl insults, rather than engage in a normal conversation over a minor philosophical disagreement.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 10, 2019, 06:31:21 PM
Racial archetypes are not evidenced in the science of genetics, and pointing that out does not indicate that one is a racist or in denial of racism.

If you had stopped there, then I would have believed that you are trying to defend people who use "race doesn't exist" to say that racism doesn't exist.

Just because I pointed out that race is not defensible by genetics, that doesn't mean I'm defending people who say racism doesn't exist. Why would you expect me to say such a thing?

Even though the concept of "races" is mostly irrelevant from a biological view, I fully acknowledge the existence of "race" as a social construct, ethnic heritage and culture.


But then, you went on to say:

Racism in the US is not the same as it was in the 18th Century, but that certainly doesn't mean that racism isn't a problem in the US anymore. If anything, racism has been on a sharp increase again in the last decade since the 2007-'08 presidential campaign season. It seems that having a black president has stirred up the previously underlying racism in the US, and staunch racists have once again become emboldened to speak their bigotry in public.

...which clearly shows me that you do understand that racism does exist.  So at least you are okay on that point.

Well gee, thanks for giving me the "okay" on that one particular "point." ;)


I think (and please correct me if I am wrong) what Heyalison is saying is that even though you know that racism exists and is a problem today, you don't understand how a lot of the racist people use the defense that race doesn't exist to perpetuate their racist ideas.

I don't doubt that's what heyalison thinks, and as usual she has me completely wrong. I don't think heyalison even bothered to read what I wrote. Maybe my writing just sucks. Either way, I'm pretty sure heyalison is just picking a fight as she so often does. 

Even the original topic and the linked article is irrelevant to the discourse here on the SGU forums. That article does not make a case for debate being a bad thing.

It specifically addresses a particular style of online harassment that some bigots use to bully trans people: couching their personal attacks as "debate" by goading the trans person into the position of intellectually defending of their own personal gender identity. That is a vile tactic, and I'm glad to say I haven't seen anybody doing it around here. I would imagine such behavior would run afoul of the new hate speech rule at any rate.

Posting that article looks like a flimsy excuse to go on a rant against the practice of reasonably discussing our disagreements.


I think that is what brilligtove is accusing Quetzalcoatl of doing.

Yes, brilligtove literally accused Quetzalcoatl of denying that racism exists.

So I went back and reread all of Quetzalcoatl's early posts in this thread, and found nothing even hinting that be might believe that. Then I went back through brilligtove's posts in this thread, and I found this bit of spillover from the "Canada ranked #1 country in the world for Quality of Life" thread.

Brill referred to a post by Quetz (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.msg9602863.html#msg9602863) in that thread, wherein he responded to a claim by brilligtove that segregation in Canada is rare, whereas in the US it is frequent and active. Quetz correctly pointed out that the US and Canada have both enacted anti-segregation policies and says it's unfair to compare the pre-Civil Rights Era US to current Canada, which seems reasonable. But he also compared the race situation in the US to that of Sweden, and obviously doesn't seem to understand why race relations play such an important role in US politics.

He also doubles down on the denial of cultural appropriation, which is unsurprising given the discussion has trended toward skepticism of the concept.

Then Quetzalcoatl says something that I found a bit unseemly: "The American success at integration has been considered something we should learn from."

Well, um, yeah... there are undeniably a great many lessons to be learned from the American approach to integration, and race relations in general. But "success" is not exactly the word I would use...

So what's the takeaway? Did Quetz really deny that racism exists? Not explicitly, no.

But he does seem to diminish its importance, at least from a contemporary American liberal perspective. I think it's probably a misunderstanding due to the cultural gap. Sweden is a very different country from the US. Our country is plagued by a horrific and dishonorable history of systemic oppression, race slavery, and genocide, which we seem loathe to address in a forthright and repentant manner. That's why issues of race are so divisive here in the US, and why many of us are so defensive about it. We live with it every day, but I don't necessarily expect everybody from other countries to fully understand how fucked-up this country really is.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 10, 2019, 08:48:52 PM
Check out the thread about how Canada is a great place to live. I was pretty direct in attempting to pin him down on racism and segregation today. I was shocked and appalled by his answers.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 11, 2019, 06:40:37 AM
Ah, fuck this place. It's a white man free speech zone. What is the point of pretending you have a hate speech policy if you just let the hate seep in around the edges, especially if most of the (white male) moderation here clearly has bias against (non-white male) people pointing out hate. This forum exists to protect the platforms of white men pushing the discussion further into hate.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 11, 2019, 07:14:50 AM
Check out the thread about how Canada is a great place to live. I was pretty direct in attempting to pin him down on racism and segregation today. I was shocked and appalled by his answers.

Which thread is that? Is it "Canada ranked #1 country in the world for Quality of Life" (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.165.html)? I just checked that thread, and the last post was from March 26.

Could you please post a link to your conversation with Quetzalcoatl from today?



Ah, fuck this place. It's a white man free speech zone. What is the point of pretending you have a hate speech policy if you just let the hate seep in around the edges, especially if most of the (white male) moderation here clearly has bias against (non-white male) people pointing out hate. This forum exists to protect the platforms of white men pushing the discussion further into hate.

If any "hate" is "seeping in" to this forum, it's coming from people who hurl insults because they lack the social skills to handle disagreements like a reasonable adult.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 11, 2019, 08:31:26 AM
Yeah, the problem is definitely with the women, trans people, queer people and people of colour that keep leaving because they lack social skills.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 11, 2019, 09:23:57 AM
Which thread is that? Is it "Canada ranked #1 country in the world for Quality of Life" (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.165.html)? I just checked that thread, and the last post was from March 26.

Could you please post a link to your conversation with Quetzalcoatl from today?

Try this one: https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50948.msg9602863.html#msg9602863
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 11, 2019, 03:08:16 PM
If any "hate" is "seeping in" to this forum, it's coming from people who hurl insults because they lack the social skills to handle disagreements like a reasonable adult.

Hot take:  every single person here spending >15 minutes a day arguing with pseudo-anonymous strangers about skepticism does not possess the social skills of a "reasonable adult."

I wouldn't agree with every characterization that heyalison has offered, but her central point stands.  It does not matter one bit if the frequent posters here all perceive *themselves* as being fair, rational, friendly, open-minded etc.  If you come off like an asshole to other people, then that's who you are to them.  Trying to tell them that their perception of you is wrong won't do a damn thing.



I can't remember if I've written about this before here, but on another forum I used to visit there was a section for one single guy to rant about his political agenda.  He unironically titled the thread "I'm Smart and My Opinion Matters."  I found it maddening that someone who was white, heterosexual, financially well off, conservative, and male would be so self-centered and petty to preemptively declare his authority in the thread title, but he certainly lived up to his reputation.  He was very good at making it appear that he was in a serious discussion with other people, but he never showed any real self-awareness when he was wrong about something or when he was just coming off like a massive douche.  And the even the thread format itself gave him a natural advantage in any discussion, since anyone posting was forced to accept his initial framing of an issue, yet he had no obligation to respond to more pertinent criticisms (although I generally thought he was a moron, he clearly was bright enough to capitalize on this advantage).

I now can't un-see this phenomena when dealing with certain people on this forum.  They are more subtle about it and probably often unaware of it, but their writing style (and frequency of posts) just screams "Hey I'm one of the important people here, so I get to quarterback this one".  And if it looks like this to me, it must look ten times worse to someone who is new here, or a woman, or an ethnic minority, or someone who has already heard negative things about skeptics.  If people here cannot understand that problem or won't do anything to mitigate it, then I agree with alison - fuck 'em.  Enjoy your super special white male circlejerk community.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 11, 2019, 03:38:49 PM
Yeah, the problem is definitely with the women, trans people, queer people and people of colour that keep leaving because they lack social skills.

Who said anything about women, trans people, queer people or people of color? I'm referring to people who can't handle a simple disagreement on any subject without resorting to cheap personal attacks. That character flaw seems to cross all socioeconomic boundaries.

I'm not going to call out names, but over the past few months we seem to have "lost" a couple posters who frequently lashed out and attacked other posters without provocation. I don't know how many of those people were queer, trans, female, or people of color, but I don't miss that annoyance any more than I miss the shitposting of the alt-righters. When somebody's being an insufferable asshole I tend to not really think too much about their demographic stats.


If any "hate" is "seeping in" to this forum, it's coming from people who hurl insults because they lack the social skills to handle disagreements like a reasonable adult.

Hot take:  every single person here spending >15 minutes a day arguing with pseudo-anonymous strangers about skepticism does not possess the social skills of a "reasonable adult."

Isn't that to be expected in any community?

I know plenty of intelligent, reasonable, decent, and charming queer people and people of color who can chat knowledgeably on a variety of topics without being a raging asshole. But as far as I know they're not especially into skepticism or fans of the SGU, and I'm not going to invite them to some niche Web forum to serve as token minorities.


I wouldn't agree with every characterization that heyalison has offered, but her central point stands.  It does not matter one bit if the frequent posters here all perceive *themselves* as being fair, rational, friendly, open-minded etc.  If you come off like an asshole to other people, then that's who you are to them.  Trying to tell them that their perception of you is wrong won't do a damn thing.

Right, but aren't there are boundaries that we can all agree upon?

Such as provoking arguments for the mere sake of conflict, demanding that the forum rules be changed in order to hinder nuanced discussion, calling people names, constantly bringing people's race and gender into the discussion, and associating them with vile political ideologies simply for having a slight difference of opinion... do you consider this reasonable or civil behavior?


I can't remember if I've written about this before here, but on another forum I used to visit there was a section for one single guy to rant about his political agenda.  He unironically titled the thread "I'm Smart and My Opinion Matters."  I found it maddening that someone who was white, heterosexual, financially well off, conservative, and male would be so self-centered and petty to preemptively declare his authority in the thread title

That's pretty obnoxious, narcissistic behavior for a Web forum, no matter what his social status. A Web forum is a community, not anyone's personal blog. The whole premise is kind of rude, even if they're nice about it.

I could see an exception if it's intended as comedy, and the person is genuinely funny. I know a guy who started an "advice column" thread on a Web forum and everybody loved it so much that he had business cards printed up that advertised himself as a "Life Coach," and handed them out at meetups.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 12, 2019, 01:01:43 AM
This reminds me of SGU's social justice threads:

https://twitter.com/mikeabrusci/status/1126884763585908736

Because they usually don't go well.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 09:50:55 AM
Ah, fuck this place. It's a white man free speech zone. What is the point of pretending you have a hate speech policy if you just let the hate seep in around the edges, especially if most of the (white male) moderation here clearly has bias against (non-white male) people pointing out hate. This forum exists to protect the platforms of white men pushing the discussion further into hate.

The mods are not at all biased against you. While warnings are not public, from what I understand, three warnings within a short period of time usually results in suspension for a week. You engage in personal attacks a lot, and seemingly don't receive warnings for it, to any significant extent. I don't know, it's not really my business, but I doubt you have received a single warning, as the personal attacks go on unabated.

If I engaged in 10% of the amount of personal attacks you engage in, I would immediately receive warnings. And I promise you, Harry Black and The Latinist would be delighted to give me warnings.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 10:25:10 AM
But he does seem to diminish its importance, at least from a contemporary American liberal perspective. I think it's probably a misunderstanding due to the cultural gap. Sweden is a very different country from the US. Our country is plagued by a horrific and dishonorable history of systemic oppression, race slavery, and genocide, which we seem loathe to address in a forthright and repentant manner. That's why issues of race are so divisive here in the US, and why many of us are so defensive about it. We live with it every day, but I don't necessarily expect everybody from other countries to fully understand how fucked-up this country really is.

Maybe there is a cultural gap. The US has become less racist compared to say a century ago, but then, so has the rest of the Western world as well. This does of course not mean that all racism is gone, or even close to (I should not even have to spell this out).

I work with people of other backgrounds every day in my job. Maybe the US is different, but here it wouldn't be considered appropriate if I referred to their skin colors or backgrounds all the time, or if I treated them differently because of it. And I don't at all think they would appreciate to be singled out or in some way be made separated. They are not "other" because of having different backgrounds. They are colleagues and members of society just as much as anyone else.

If I move to the US (which I don't plan to do), then I guess I will have to adapt. But for know, I will treat people as individuals, not singling out or dividing people based on descent.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 12, 2019, 11:42:01 AM
I can assure you, I have zero interest in needing to give anyone any sanction whatsoever. I find you frustrating to talk to and almost wilfully ignorant, but I dont actually dislike you as I have said multiple times.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 03:10:51 PM
Yeah sure, you just approve of every single post you can find about how I am a terrible human being, even of outright personal attacks. People who approve of lies and deceits and personal attacks (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138) certainly show what kind of persons they are.

Quote
Concern Trolls and Free Speech Nazis (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/concern-trolls-and-free-speech-nazis-2/)

One of the things that I love about the skeptical community is that it is a vibrant intellectual community that is not afraid to turn its critical eye inward. There is also sufficient diversity of background and perspective, superimposed upon a generally skeptical outlook, to provide some genuine conflict. While you won’t find many bigfoot believers in our ranks, we do run the spectrum from liberal to libertarian, militant atheist to Christian, scientist to artist, and politically correct to Penn Jillette.

The wringing of hands may at times seem tedious – but it’s all good. As long as we remember that at the end of the day we are all skeptics, a cultural minority looking to change the world.

Does this describe this forum, to your mind?

This forum is very homogeneous in its political views, and more is apparently desired. There have been calls (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50534.0.html) for a way to vote people away, and I won't be surprised in the least if some such system eventually gets implemented.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 12, 2019, 03:18:04 PM
Ok. You seem to enjoy being up on your cross. And yes, I do like a lot of posts that disagree with you because I almost always disagree with you.

But as I said- Not interested in having a debate with you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 03:43:55 PM
Ok. You seem to enjoy being up on your cross. And yes, I do like a lot of posts that disagree with you because I almost always disagree with you.

Yeah, calling me a racist and an asshole is a "disagreement".

I don't mind posts stating another opinion from mine. I do mind posts that engage in outright lies and personal attacks against me, and then refuse to substantiate those claims. And people who approve of such posts...

But as I said- Not interested in having a debate with you.

Fair enough. Just wanted to have the above stated.

From the outside:
Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 12, 2019, 05:39:36 PM
A great quote from the link above, Steve's blogpost:

Quote from: Steven Novella
Seth’s post was followed by a thoughtful post from PZ Myers at Pharyngula. PZ makes some good points. I think he hits the nail most on the head with this statement:

Quote from: PZ Myers
The skeptic movement will be inclusive and allow anyone to participate, and participation means your ideas will be scrutinized and criticized and sometimes mocked and sometimes praised.

This is how I feel – our own beliefs are all fair game, whether religious, political, or social. We should not demand any litmus test for skeptical purity – that is not practical, reasonable, or healthy for any movement, let alone a minority movement like skepticism. Anyone who wants to participate should be welcome, in my opinion – even pseudoskeptics who don’t get it (but that doesn’t mean they get to speak at our meetings). However – everyone also has to recognize that your own beliefs are fair game for the criticism that is at the core of skeptical philosophy. That means that global warming dissidents, feminists, alternative medicine proponents, deists, free market zealots, anti-government conspiracy theorists, and communists all get to have their beliefs challenged, and have no reasonable expectations that their beliefs or their feelings will be spared.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 12, 2019, 07:39:01 PM
If I engaged in 10% of the amount of personal attacks you engage in, I would immediately receive warnings.

I received not one, but two separate warnings from different mods for a single incident of calling somebody a "Nazi sympathizer piece of shit" back in August of 2017, following the Unite The Right murder. 
 

I don't mind posts stating another opinion from mine. I do mind posts that engage in outright lies and personal attacks against me, and then refuse to substantiate those claims. And people who approve of such posts...

Strangely, the posters least tolerant of disagreements also happen to be some of the most outspoken against the concept of "debate," which they interpret to mean "mutually agreeing to support our own claims with evidence and reason." Instead, they hurl insults and accusations against those they disagree with.

One might get the impression that there's a certain contingent who demand respect for their opinions without question, while at the same time personally attacking others for having dissenting views. And they expect members of this skeptics forum who try to advocate and practice skepticism to feel ashamed about a so-called "debate me bro" culture.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 13, 2019, 12:55:48 AM
This may seem a bit off topic, but do other males here actually *enjoy* being part of a community that is >90% male?  When I was a bit younger it was something I would be mildly annoyed at.  Now it makes me feel awful.  I have no idea which of the advice that has come from our handful of female skeptics is practical to implement, or who exactly is to blame when they don't feel welcome.  But to spent an ounce of energy defending the status quo and constantly placing the blame on others - even when they do insult you, even when you are pretty sure they are bending the forum rules, even when you don't feel they've earned the label of being a True Skeptic - it's just ... depressing.  It's not hard to find one of the other 50,000 male dominated science/skepticism forums if that's really how people want to waste away their lives, but FFS, would it be so bad if this forum was a bit more diverse?

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 13, 2019, 01:29:42 AM
This may seem a bit off topic, but do other males here actually *enjoy* being part of a community that is >90% male?  When I was a bit younger it was something I would be mildly annoyed at.  Now it makes me feel awful.  I have no idea which of the advice that has come from our handful of female skeptics is practical to implement, or who exactly is to blame when they don't feel welcome.  But to spent an ounce of energy defending the status quo and constantly placing the blame on others - even when they do insult you, even when you are pretty sure they are bending the forum rules, even when you don't feel they've earned the label of being a True Skeptic - it's just ... depressing.  It's not hard to find one of the other 50,000 male dominated science/skepticism forums if that's really how people want to waste away their lives, but FFS, would it be so bad if this forum was a bit more diverse?

I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm not talking about the women skeptics on this forum.

I'm talking about the anti-skeptics who rail against reasonable, respectful discourse in favor of personally attacking others whom they disagree with. Some of these individuals rarely participate in any discussions of science or skepticism, but seem to come here for the express purpose of browbeating anyone who questions whatever political ideas they deem sacrosanct.

Like the "debate me bro" canard, the "True Skeptic" accusation is another piece of bullshit that's getting tiresome. No skeptics are demanding some litmus test for ideological purity. It's not about defending any "status quo" other than basic mutual respect and decency. I'm all in favor of diversity, but that needn't include mollycoddling and tiptoeing around those who refuse to engage in good faith but constantly attack others with personal insults. Those kinds of members are toxic to any kind of Internet community.

If you want to see more women skeptics around here, then why not invite some women skeptics to participate?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 13, 2019, 01:33:16 AM
All my social media blends together so I'm ambivalent by default.  I'm mostly just after:Gender ratios are incidental and vary wildly from venue to venue.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 13, 2019, 01:54:04 AM
This may seem a bit off topic, but do other males here actually *enjoy* being part of a community that is >90% male?

No. Not at all. I lament it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 13, 2019, 09:32:53 AM
Instead of telling people to avoid reasoned discussion and ostracizing everybody who thinks differently, maybe it might be better to teach them how to avoid taking offense (https://bit.ly/2VZFzbs) in the first place.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 13, 2019, 09:40:02 AM
Instead of telling people to avoid reasoned discussion and ostracizing everybody who thinks differently, maybe it might be better to teach them how to avoid taking offense (https://bit.ly/2VZFzbs) in the first place.

Yes, those stupid, overly sensitive women and POC just need to elevate themselves to the standards of know-it-all white dudes by education. That is the solution.


I also love your use of the "ostracise everybody who thinks differently" trope, it is original and exciting, I have never seen this straw-man before from white dudes defending and maintaining the oppressive status quo. Not even once. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 13, 2019, 10:00:39 AM
Yes, those stupid, overly sensitive women and POC just need to elevate themselves to the standards of know-it-all white dudes by education. That is the solution.

With that bombastic, ill considered strawman, you just proved my point for me.

I never called anyone stupid, or said anything about people of color or women or men in particular. Most of the anti-skeptical belligerents around here happen to be white males.

Doesn't it ever occur to you that this narrative you keep pushing—that the standards of reason, evidence and respectful discourse are the exclusive purview of "know-it-all white dudes"—is actually very demeaning to women and people of color?


I also love your use of the "ostracise everybody who thinks differently" trope, it is original and exciting, I have never seen this straw-man before from white dudes defending and maintaining the oppressive status quo. Not even once.

Another strawman. I'm not defending any status quo, let alone an oppressive one.

I'm suggesting that we all learn how to have respect for each another instead of always acting like assholes, and you responded by acting like an asshole.

Congratulations.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 13, 2019, 03:53:24 PM
Doesn't it ever occur to you that this narrative you keep pushing—that the standards of reason, evidence and respectful discourse are the exclusive purview of "know-it-all white dudes"—is actually very demeaning to women and people of color?

Yeah, that's what I think as well.

I happen to know a skeptic who is also gay. I'm pretty sure he doesn't listen to the SGU, and he has little interest in internet discussions. I'm not going to suggest he comes here. If anything, this thread would probably give him a huge headache. But he is certainly a skeptic, atheist, and antitheist. I don't think he would appreciate it at all if he was told that the standards of reason and evidence are not within his purview because he is not straight.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 14, 2019, 06:24:10 PM
To anyone other than these two losers:

Think of me what you will, that I'm a shrill bitch who overreacts or makes it personal--but my behavior here has been based on actual positions and actions done by these two. Others as well, but it seems John and Q-whatever are especially aggressive about pushing back at women and minorities. I didn't just pick their names out of a hat, I responded to positions they have taken that I find morally reprehensible, and I won't pretend to be civil with people for its own sake. That's a privilege. If that is against the rules of this forum, it's all good, I'm going to spend my time elsewhere from now on.

But this fantasy they're jerking each other off over is just insulting. I'm a bi woman and find it telling that--in addition to misogynist jokes elsewhere on the forum--the two of them are having a yuck over a really weak joke that intentionally misreads my complaints (and the complaints of others, but as I;n a woman I'm a target for them). It shows how deeply insecure and lacking actual intellectual merit they are that their arguments aren't ever against the points I've made, but rather to mock me with sexism and LGBT-phobia. "I've got a gay friend" indeed. Go fuck yourself.

Free speech without consequences isn't free speech. Objectivity isn't something you can claim for yourself. And reason and argument without context and self-awareness is just another tool to oppress others. Goodbye.

(Now I expect a flurry of posts from them both, as they certainly seem to like getting the last word in. Cowardly, after people make it clear they're leaving. Bye skeptics, you can do better than this.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 14, 2019, 08:24:45 PM
Bye

(https://i.imgur.com/1ZsKEt3.gif)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 14, 2019, 09:26:03 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 14, 2019, 11:00:52 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.
AQB is still here! Thankfully.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 14, 2019, 11:54:38 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.
AQB is still here! Thankfully.

I've been told, confidentially, that there is one other.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: 2397 on May 15, 2019, 02:10:12 AM
I would say that the main advantage of online debate is that it's very easy to not opt into. It's also very easy to opt in, with potentially billions of participants, so there's bound to be a lot of conversations that are not worth taking part in. Someone's going to have a lower threshold for participating than you. Some people might even be paid to do it, in one way or another, so it's worth it to them regardless of what they get out of it otherwise.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 03:40:01 AM
I think the wrong person just left.


At least the smart, educated champions of rationality, the gatekeepers of truth and proper conduct can declare another victory and pat each other on the back.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 04:30:30 AM
All histrionics aside, I'm sure she'll be back. Like a bad penny, these crusader/victim/martyr types always return.


I would say that the main advantage of online debate is that it's very easy to not opt into. It's also very easy to opt in, with potentially billions of participants, so there's bound to be a lot of conversations that are not worth taking part in. Someone's going to have a lower threshold for participating than you. Some people might even be paid to do it, in one way or another, so it's worth it to them regardless of what they get out of it otherwise.

Exactly, If you don't like the discussion or don't want to debate, nothing is forcing you to participate.

But it's rather obnoxious to come into a community and start dictating how everybody should and shouldn't engage with each other in free discourse.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 04:56:06 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 04:59:24 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

Too true.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 05:03:41 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

Too true.

All this after making this place just that much less diverse and welcoming.

Not sure what you are trying to achieve by poisoning the forum with your toxic behaviour, but you should probably get your head out of your own arse and maybe do a bit of self-reflection.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:10:31 AM
What exactly are you accusing me of?

I did "not make this place" anything.

What "toxic behavior" are you referring to?

I did not come here and attack people for having opinions different from my own.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 15, 2019, 05:12:18 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:14:41 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

Exactly.

But you know what? You can't force everybody to think just like you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on May 15, 2019, 05:40:12 AM
heyalison, I am very sad to hear that you are thinking of leaving this forum. I value your voice here, and it will be a huge loss to the community if you leave. I'm sorry that other posters, including me, haven't done a better job of letting you know how much we support you.

I worry that the skeptical movement is being taken over by an infantile view that social and cultural issues can be stripped of all historical and human context and solved as a series of logical propositions. This simplistic reduction demonstrates a lack of empathy and appreciation of history. It also shows an appalling lack of awareness of human emotion and interactions. I hope that everyone--myself included-- strives to appreciate context and complexity and is open to learning from folks like heyalison.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 15, 2019, 12:17:47 PM
Congratulations guys, you've just driven away the forum's last woman.

We haven't "driven away" anyone. heyalison made an OP that was essentially a bait as noted (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9611664.html#msg9611664), and received responses.

Last time I checked, disagreement with heyalison was within the forum rules. Though I consider it very likely that new rules will eventually be added that prohibits disagreement with certain political views, and/or that makes it possible for members with unpopular or minority views to be voted away. Then the forum's demographic will be even more narrow and insular.

Perhaps you and the other self-appointed popular people should take a deep, hard look in the mirror into why this forum's demographics are so narrow? The SGU has something like 350 000 weekly listeners, if I am not mistaken. How many active members has this forum got? 30 maybe, give or take? That would mean that less than 0,1% of the weekly listeners are active here. Sure, some have better things to do. But the potential baseline is sure higher than 0,1%, don't you think?

As we know, Reddit has one potential answer:

Quote
Stay out of the politics forum, it's toxic. Basically a few alt-right troll types, and a few screeching ultra-libs drown out otherwise useful information. Better content on skepticism subreddits.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 15, 2019, 12:38:12 PM
as I;n a woman I'm a target for them

You aren't a "target", or even singled out specifically. And your womanhood has nothing to do with the responses you get, no matter how much you pretend otherwise.

but rather to mock me with sexism and LGBT-phobia.

Can you, or any of your acolytes for that matter, please provide examples of sexism or LGBT-phobia by me or John Albert, or how anyone has mocked you with it? This should be very easy, if it is true.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 15, 2019, 01:32:44 PM
Can't write everything I would like right now, but I have to point out "I'm sure she'll be back" is itself a real bullshit move.   You have simultaneously pardoned yourself of any wrongdoing, and made a catch 22 for alison where she's damned whether she responds or not.

This looks bad, guys.  Your distrust of alison, or rai, or harry, or anyone else aside ... can you not perceive how this looks to a newcomer to the forums?

Sent from my SM-J327V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 02:31:50 PM
What wrong have I done?

I said "she'll be back" because I've been on many different Web forums for decades, and seen this kind of poster innumerable times before. This person has a beef with the community or with some stereotype they perceive as the culture of the community (ie. "skeptics"), and they're on a crusade to defeat or reform the culture.

As for the threats to leave, this isn't even the first time heyalison has threatened to quit the SGU forums. And that kind of guilt-tripping (being a one-note cantor about a single pet peeve, posting polemical screeds at the community, making every argument about themselves, claiming victimhood over disagreements, personally attacking other posters, kvetching to other members via PM, threatening to leave the community) is all part of the M.O.

And when people line up to cry "No, please! Don't go!" all that does is validate their trolling tactics.

Mark my words, we haven't seen the last of this one. She will be back, and then we can have another go-round about how we're just awful, privileged, oppressive racists and misogynists because we value reasoned discussion and ask for evidence to support our claims.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 15, 2019, 03:08:50 PM
It seems like some people here (not me or John Albert) promote the anti-female trope that men are inherently rational and logical, whereas women are inherently emotional (as if not both of those aspects have their proper places in life). I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes a quote says it best:

Quote from: Carl Sagan
Casual observers of meetings of sceptics, and those who glance at the list of CSICOP Fellows, have noted a great preponderance of men. Others claim disproportionate numbers of women among believers in astrology (horoscopes in most 'women's' but few 'men's' magazines), crystals, ESP and the like. Some commentators suggest that there is something peculiarly male about scepticism. It's hard-driving, competitive, confrontational, toughminded - whereas women, they say, are more accepting, consensus-building, and uninterested in challenging conventional wisdom. But in my experience women scientists have just as finely honed sceptical senses as their male counterparts; that's just part of being a scientist. This criticism, if that's what it is, is presented to the world in the usual ragged disguise: if you discourage women from being sceptical and don't train them in scepticism, then sure enough you may find that many women aren't sceptical. Open the doors and let them in, and they're as sceptical as anybody else.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 15, 2019, 04:59:37 PM
It seems like some people here (not me or John Albert) promote the anti-female trope that men are inherently rational and logical, whereas women are inherently emotional (as if not both of those aspects have their proper places in life). I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes a quote says it best:

Quetz, I could possibly accept the idea that some people here have gone out of their way to interpret your posts in an unfair manner.  But why you expect them to employ the principle of charity when you post stuff like this is beyond me.  Literally zero people on this thread are claiming men are inherently rational and logical and women are inherently emotional.   I almost wish you were just trolling, because I cannot fathom how you have misread people this poorly.

Do you guys honestly expect any of the people you are arguing with to respond to this in a positive manner?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:13:16 PM
Skepticism doesn't mean encouraging bombastic rhetoric, outrageous accusations and personal attacks on behalf of some ideology. It means questioning, examining, and weighing various possibilities, and ultimately reserving judgment until good reason or evidence is presented.

Isn't this forum supposed to be dedicated to promoting skeptical values? What happened to that? That's what the SGU is supposed to be about.

Yet some individuals around here seem so indifferent to the actual practice of skepticism that they turn outright hostile to its very core principles if it runs even slightly askance of their political beliefs. To those individuals, this is not a community devoted to skepticism but a political activist community with "skepticism" taped on as an a pretense. Even some of the moderators here are outspokenly dismissive of skepticism in actual practice.

When some ideologue comes into a community of skeptics and starts personally attacking people for merely using the tools of skepticism, that should be seen as a problem.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 15, 2019, 05:29:08 PM
Debate and skepticism are two different things.
Do not assume people eschew the latter because they refuse to play your game with the former.

The idea that people must engage on the terms you dictate or ignore threads that deal with issues that affect them is absurd and insulting. People are under no such obligation and it says zero  (one way or the other) about the objective truth of their positions.
You asked how many marginalised people have left because of this bullshit? I count 9 off the top of my head.
You can decide to keep on with your arrogant belief that you are the only one doing skepticism right, or decide Im full of shit because I wont name names, but that is the impact you and people like you have had on this community.
Maybe you think its for the best because all of those people were irrational and uncivil.
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:29:20 PM
Literally zero people on this thread are claiming men are inherently rational and logical and women are inherently emotional.

Rai said:

         
Yes, those stupid, overly sensitive women and POC just need to elevate themselves to the standards of know-it-all white dudes by education. That is the solution.

What is this supposed to mean? It was obviously intended as sarcasm, in response to a link I posted (to an article and video by a woman of color (https://bit.ly/2VZFzbs), BTW) which suggested that people learn how not to take offense at differences of opinions. 

So if Rai thinks the solution is not for everybody alike to learn how to conduct ourselves like reasonable, respectful adults in conversation, then what did he mean?

Are we supposed to use a separate set of standards for "women and POC," besides our normal mode of discussion with white cis male skeptics? Are we supposed to tolerate unfounded accusations and vitriolic personal attacks when they come from "women and POC"? Are we supposed to change the forum rules (as heyalison suggested) in order to hinder nuanced discussion and debate?

This call for a double standard carries the inherent assumption that "women and POC" don't abide reasonable discussion, so any bad behavior on their part must be accommodated.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 05:38:40 PM
Debate and skepticism are two different things.
Do not assume people eschew the latter because they refuse to play your game with the former.

Discussing contradictory or competing ideas is inherent to the practice of skepticism.

How do you propose we deal with that, if not by polite, reasonable discussion? Are we to hurl accusations and call each other derogatory names? Because that's the method heyalison chose.


The idea that people must engage on the terms you dictate or ignore threads that deal with issues that affect them is absurd and insulting.

I never dictated terms, other than to suggest people not act like assholes.


People are under no such obligation and it says zero  (one way or the other) about the objective truth of their positions.

On the contrary, the way somebody responds to criticism or questioning can often tell us a lot about the truth of their position. It happens all the time. If you want examples, take a look through The President Trump Thread.


You asked how many marginalised people have left because of this bullshit? I count 9 off the top of my head.

I didn't ask that. But what "bullshit" are you attributing their leaving?

I can count several posters who were unable or unwilling to engage respectfully with others, and are no longer around. I can't say I miss them.


You can decide to keep on with your arrogant belief that you are the only one doing skepticism right

I never said I was "the only one doing skepticism right."

Nor am I the one who started a thread entitled "The Rules of Engagement" wherein I purport to tell everyone else not to debate ideas I disagree with.

I said that skepticism is practiced by "questioning, examining, weighing various possibilities, and ultimately reserving judgment until good reason or evidence is presented."

I also said that personal attacks in the course of a discussion is not the right way to do skepticism.

Do you take exception to that?


Maybe you think its for the best because all of those people were irrational and uncivil.

In some cases, yes. For what reason would you advocate to keep uncivil people around? The irrationality is not the problem, mind you. It's the incivility.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 15, 2019, 06:25:53 PM

I never dictated terms, other than to suggest people not act like assholes.


Okay so this is stepping on a lot of peoples' toes, but you're dictating the terms of many discussions here just by virtue of having high post frequency.

This is one of the things that I just don't understand about you, and Quetz, and even several of the people who are on my "side" on this topic.  You seem very invested in this forum and curious about how it operates, but somehow are oblivious to some very obvious social dynamics of a forums general (and potentially how those dynamics could be changed with a bit of effort).  Most "controversial" forum threads are dominated by the same five or six people posting over and over.  They quarterback those threads, and even when someone new throws a wrench into the topic, it still tends to get reframed by the more frequent posters.  Heyalison's critiques of skeptics aside, I don't think there's anything particularly unique about us in this regard - you see this on virtually every forum I've ever visited.  But as skeptics, I find it odd that there's not more curiosity or introspection on this phenomena.  Because it absolutely boxes new people out of discussion, it absolutely make the personalities/styles of a handful of people the norm, and it absolutely keeps our community looking like every other lame nerd community - white, heterosexual, and male.  If people here would simply realize that on many topics they actually have very little that's interesting to contribute, and accept that a conversation may go somewhere that they don't agree with, and that they don't instantly have to jump in to reframe it every 20 minutes or freak out when someone dares express emotion - I don't see how that would be a bad thing for us.  While I won't accuse people of pushing back against this as automatically being racist/sexist/homophobic, I will continue to mock them, because I think they are at best being really, really, really stupid.

Anyway if you guys still can't see how your obsession with constantly reframing the narrative in every single post is off-putting (or perhaps you don't even believe that you're doing it?), there's nowhere to go from here. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2019, 07:13:47 PM

I never dictated terms, other than to suggest people not act like assholes.


Okay so this is stepping on a lot of peoples' toes, but you're dictating the terms of many discussions here just by virtue of having high post frequency.

Having a high post frequency is 'dictating terms'?


This is one of the things that I just don't understand about you, and Quetz, and even several of the people who are on my "side" on this topic.  You seem very invested in this forum and curious about how it operates, but somehow are oblivious to some very obvious social dynamics of a forums general (and potentially how those dynamics could be changed with a bit of effort).

Yes, I obviously invest quite a lot of time and attention to this forum. I am interested in the subjects being discussed well as the values which the SGU promotes. I began posting here because I figured this community for a group who appreciate rigorous, fact-based discussion of relevant issues.

I don't know what you mean by "very obvious social dynamics of a forums general." I have been a member of many Web forums ever since the late 1990s, and I was on Usenet for 3 or 4 years before that. I've served as a moderator on Web forums, as well as a number of social media groups. So I'm well aware of the social dynamics of various types of groups.

Why are you saddling me with maintaining the social dynamics of the entire group, just because I may have reached some different conclusions than you on particular issues?


Most "controversial" forum threads are dominated by the same five or six people posting over and over.  They quarterback those threads, and even when someone new throws a wrench into the topic, it still tends to get reframed by the more frequent posters.

"Controversial" is subjective. You may deem some particular subject controversial while others may not. As for myself, there are numerous ongoing debates in various threads, in which I take little interest and no part.

What you describe as "reframing" is really just an ongoing discussion. What you call, "reframing" just means somebody has a difference of opinion, which happens. It's not the end of the goddamn world.

This is a skeptics forum after all. If you post in a forum full of skeptics about your favorite therapeutic technique, fad diet, political viewpoint or pet social theory, you should not be surprised to receive some questioning, requests for evidence to back up your claims, even pushback or rebuttals to your viewpoint. That is the nature of skeptical discourse.


But as skeptics, I find it odd that there's not more curiosity or introspection on this phenomena.

Which phenomena?

That observation that some people choose to believe in things because those things "feel" right to them, despite a lack of evidence?

The observation that a community predicated on skepticism, who try to base their beliefs on evidence will tend to reject non-evidenced claims?


Because it absolutely boxes new people out of discussion, it absolutely make the personalities/styles of a handful of people the norm, and it absolutely keeps our community looking like every other lame nerd community - white, heterosexual, and male.

It doesn't necessarily box new people out. People can make their own decisions, and we can discuss those reasonably even if we disagree. There needn't be a problem so long as people aren't dicks about it.

But some people insist on being dicks about it. They assert that their beliefs are transcendent over mere evidence and reason, that their beliefs are true even if they're  based on misinformation and fallacies. These people often react badly when confronted with their own cognitive dissonance, so they evade those confrontations by characterizing anyone who disagrees as some kind of villain. So instead of engaging on good faith, they viciously attack the naysayers with accusations and invective.

The question is, how do we deal with people like that?

Let's not pretend this problem is all about race, gender, sexual preference. Plenty of nonwhites, women, and LGBTQ people can be dicks about their beliefs, just like many white males are. By the same token, many women, people of color, and LGBTQ people are capable of being reasonable and cordial about disagreements.


If people here would simply realize that on many topics they actually have very little that's interesting to contribute

Interesting to whom? To you, and only those who agree with your politics?


and accept that a conversation may go somewhere that they don't agree with, and that they don't instantly have to jump in to reframe it every 20 minutes or freak out when someone dares express emotion - I don't see how that would be a bad thing for us.

 While I won't accuse people of pushing back against this as automatically being racist/sexist/homophobic, I will continue to mock them, because I think they are at best being really, really, really stupid.

Anyway if you guys still can't see how your obsession with constantly reframing the narrative in every single post is off-putting (or perhaps you don't even believe that you're doing it?), there's nowhere to go from here.

This obsession with "narratives" and "talking points" is a big part of the problem. Some people think their preferred narrative is inherently more important than others, so they're unwilling to be reasonable or respectful to anybody who disagrees.

Hint: If you want an echo chamber where your narratives aren't questioned or challenged, maybe a skeptic forum isn't the place for you.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 15, 2019, 09:27:15 PM
Some people just don't get it, ever

I wouldn't bother. John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly. He honestly believes that he is doing nothing wrong, and will not accept any suggestions to the contrary.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: CarbShark on May 15, 2019, 10:47:47 PM
Hey, Allison, if you’re still listening, just ignore them. It easy to do. It’s a setting on your profile.

We need you around here more than we need them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 16, 2019, 12:02:43 AM
Some people just don't get it, ever

I wouldn't bother. John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly. He honestly believes that he is doing nothing wrong, and will not accept any suggestions to the contrary.

I am not sure why I am even trying at this stage *looks up at the "I am the best and most sceptic and did nothing wrong ever and all of you should be like me" walls of text*
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 16, 2019, 12:42:31 PM
It seems like some people here (not me or John Albert) promote the anti-female trope that men are inherently rational and logical, whereas women are inherently emotional (as if not both of those aspects have their proper places in life). I don't buy into that at all. Sometimes a quote says it best:

Quetz, I could possibly accept the idea that some people here have gone out of their way to interpret your posts in an unfair manner.  But why you expect them to employ the principle of charity when you post stuff like this is beyond me.  Literally zero people on this thread are claiming men are inherently rational and logical and women are inherently emotional.   I almost wish you were just trolling, because I cannot fathom how you have misread people this poorly.

Do you guys honestly expect any of the people you are arguing with to respond to this in a positive manner?

It is not a mere possibility that they go out of their way to interpret my posts in an unfair manner. It is an indisputable fact. The Latinist, Soldier of FORTRAN, arthwollipot, and brilligtove have by their actions demonstrated that they are not interested in logic and evidence, and they endorse personal attacks based on lies that are pleasing to them, in some cases made up by some of them, that they refuse to substantiate.

Both Rai and fuzzyMarmot have made posts implying that the standards of reason and evidence somehow are not within the purview of women and person of color. It feels preposterous that they then try to claim that they are somehow the supporters of those groups.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 16, 2019, 12:45:50 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 16, 2019, 01:51:24 PM
Yet some individuals around here seem so indifferent to the actual practice of skepticism that they turn outright hostile to its very core principles if it runs even slightly askance of their political beliefs. To those individuals, this is not a community devoted to skepticism but a political activist community with "skepticism" taped on as an a pretense. Even some of the moderators here are outspokenly dismissive of skepticism in actual practice.

When some ideologue comes into a community of skeptics and starts personally attacking people for merely using the tools of skepticism, that should be seen as a problem.

I agree.

Ideally, a skeptics forum should try to be a friendly community for skeptics where issues can be discussed, critical thinking skills can be improved, beliefs potentially changed. For everyone, regardless of previous or current beliefs. The methods, not the conclusions or beliefs, should be the most important factors.

For example, if a libertarian skeptic comes along and wants to argue for the benefits of an unregulated (or minimally regulated) market, he or she can do that. Those who disagree with the proposition could then make counter-arguments, and the discussion could then proceed. Those involved would refer to real-world data and make sound and logical arguments, and despite disagreement, keep a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps some beliefs would be altered by the discussion.

Similarly, if an anarchist skeptic comes along and wants to argue for how we would be better off by abolishing the institution of government, he or she can do that. Those who disagree with the proposition could then make counter-arguments, and the discussion could then proceed. Those involved would refer to real-world data and make sound and logical arguments, and despite disagreement, keep a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps some beliefs would be altered by the discussion.

Similarly, if an Orthodox Christian skeptic comes along and wants to argue for the truth of Orthodox Christianity, he or she can do that. Those who disagree with the proposition could then make counter-arguments, and the discussion could then proceed. Those involved would refer to real-world data and make sound and logical arguments, and despite disagreement, keep a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps some beliefs would be altered by the discussion.

I will once again refer to this lovely quote (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/concern-trolls-and-free-speech-nazis-2/):

Quote from: Steven Novella
Seth’s post was followed by a thoughtful post from PZ Myers at Pharyngula. PZ makes some good points. I think he hits the nail most on the head with this statement:

Quote from: PZ Myers
The skeptic movement will be inclusive and allow anyone to participate, and participation means your ideas will be scrutinized and criticized and sometimes mocked and sometimes praised.

This is how I feel – our own beliefs are all fair game, whether religious, political, or social. We should not demand any litmus test for skeptical purity – that is not practical, reasonable, or healthy for any movement, let alone a minority movement like skepticism. Anyone who wants to participate should be welcome, in my opinion – even pseudoskeptics who don’t get it (but that doesn’t mean they get to speak at our meetings). However – everyone also has to recognize that your own beliefs are fair game for the criticism that is at the core of skeptical philosophy. That means that global warming dissidents, feminists, alternative medicine proponents, deists, free market zealots, anti-government conspiracy theorists, and communists all get to have their beliefs challenged, and have no reasonable expectations that their beliefs or their feelings will be spared.

And the great motto of the Edinburgh Skeptics Society (https://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/about): Respect People, Challenge Ideas

Thus, all beliefs are fair game, and should not be treasured for their own sake. But still a friendly atmosphere for a skeptical community should be maintained. If people feel comfortable beating their political drums and hurling personal insults against those who dare to express disagreement, and get moderator support for it, something is very wrong.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on May 16, 2019, 02:20:16 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)
If you said that in genuinely good faith, I would have gone back through my posts and considered how my words may have been interpreted by others or what root they may have that does actually betray a bias.
I would take it as a chance to work on myself, rather than an opportunity to crow at someone else.

As I have done many times in the past. I am actually still following up on something ah.hell said to me weeks ago, because its unreasonable to direct him back to his dad for specific examples of Irish antisemitism but I want to be aware of such a thing if it is in fact an issue, so I can mitigate it.

Nice attempt at a 'gotcha' though.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 16, 2019, 03:09:37 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)

If you said that in genuinely good faith, I would have gone back through my posts and considered how my words may have been interpreted by others or what root they may have that does actually betray a bias.
I would take it as a chance to work on myself, rather than an opportunity to crow at someone else.

As I have done many times in the past. I am actually still following up on something ah.hell said to me weeks ago, because its unreasonable to direct him back to his dad for specific examples of Irish antisemitism but I want to be aware of such a thing if it is in fact an issue, so I can mitigate it.

Nice attempt at a 'gotcha' though.

I don't think it was intended as a 'gotcha.' It's a blatantly false accusation in service of a point.

Quetz obviously intended (at least it seems pretty obvious to me) to illustrate to you what heyalison did to others on this forum, when she falsely accused them of being misogynists simply for disagreeing with her.


John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly.

'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.


He honestly believes that he is doing nothing wrong, and will not accept any suggestions to the contrary.

What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

As far as I can tell, it's having a personal disagreement with somebody, posting too frequently in somebody's opinion, and defending myself against personal attacks, none of which I consider to be wrong in the first place.


I am not sure why I am even trying at this stage *looks up at the "I am the best and most sceptic and did nothing wrong ever and all of you should be like me" walls of text*

I never claimed to be "the best" or "most sceptic" [sic]. I just feel that I ought to be able to voice an opinion without being vilified in the third person by a cowardly troll, and have people take the troll's side against me.

Is that too much to expect from a skeptics forum? 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 16, 2019, 08:44:25 PM
'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.

Exactly. Thank you for confirming my contention.

What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

Again? Why would I bother? You showed no signs of even understanding every other time I've tried to do it (e.g. the entire sealioning thread). I'm not going to beat my head against that brick wall again.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on May 17, 2019, 03:41:01 AM
I'd like to share a productive way to respond to being called out for offensive statements. Take it with a grain of salt-- I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, just passing on what has worked for me.

I remind myself that:
1) Virtually everyone is misogynistic, racist, or homophobic to some extent. The person who calls me out is identifying an action I should remedy, not personally attacking me.
2) The person calling me out might be coming from a place of lived experience, and it is completely valid for them to react with emotion. It is inappropriate for me to address it as a debate competition or game.
3) If I don't understand why my statements or behavior are offensive, it is because I do not understand the context or background of the situation. It is my responsibility to educate myself. I need to step back, research, and learn.
4) It is inappropriate for me to ask them to provide evidence or to give me a remedial course on cultural context.
5) I should apologize for my offensive behavior.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 17, 2019, 01:25:57 PM
4) It is inappropriate for me to ask them to provide evidence or to give me a remedial course on cultural context.

Cultural context? What if I am from a culture in which what you'd call "color blindness" is the ideal, and in which borrowing from other other cultures is not considered wrong, and in which it is generally* recognized that one of the ways we grow and learn is by learning from others?

Are ways of seeing things that deviate from orthodox American liberalism wanted here? We know the answer empirically, and for most of those active in this kind of discussion, it is a resounding "no". Promoting those views above, i.e what you call "color blindness", and that borrowing and learning from others are not morally wrong, has been met with vicious personal attacks with moderator approval, from among others brilligtove, The Latinist, Soldier of FORTRAN, arthwollipot, etc. I.e top dogs, and wannabe top dogs.

Which brings me to the next thing. You guys wax about diversity, but you don't really want diversity. You want zero deviation from your social and political views, and there have even been calls (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50534.0.html) for a rubber clause so that those who deviate can be voted away. I give it a maximum of two years before such a thing is implemented in some way. Congratulations, then the demographic will be even more narrow and even smaller.

Again, why does this forum not succeed to attract more than 0.01% of the SGU listeners? Ever pondered that?

*Those who don't share that view are typically nationalists and racists. The kind of people you and the others claim to oppose, but that you have a lot of common ground with.

5) I should apologize for my offensive behavior.

Not necessarily. heyalison seems to think that disagreement with her is offensive. I am not going to apologize for not agreeing with her.

Some religious people are offended by atheists expressing that they are atheists. No apology is necessary.

Apologies for personal attacks against me are indeed warranted, but very unlikely to come.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 17, 2019, 03:18:00 PM
I would rather have them back than have more of this pseudo intellectual by the numbers debate club that would rather demand other people go quote mining for them than do some introspection.

I see that an Irish moderator at this forum is really, really contemptuous of Welsh people. It is clear from his posts. Now, don't expect me to provide any examples for him to quibble over for all eternity. He should do some self-introspection instead. ::)

If you said that in genuinely good faith, I would have gone back through my posts and considered how my words may have been interpreted by others or what root they may have that does actually betray a bias.
I would take it as a chance to work on myself, rather than an opportunity to crow at someone else.

As I have done many times in the past. I am actually still following up on something ah.hell said to me weeks ago, because its unreasonable to direct him back to his dad for specific examples of Irish antisemitism but I want to be aware of such a thing if it is in fact an issue, so I can mitigate it.

Nice attempt at a 'gotcha' though.

I don't think it was intended as a 'gotcha.' It's a blatantly false accusation in service of a point.

Quetz obviously intended (at least it seems pretty obvious to me) to illustrate to you what heyalison did to others on this forum, when she falsely accused them of being misogynists simply for disagreeing with her.

That is indeed correct. And also refused to show were the dissenters, in the view of her and her supporters, went wrong.

John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly.

'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.

"Sealioning" is a new word to me, but I looked it up. It seems to be a subset of trolling. Never followed that other thread. Perhaps I should read it.

My impression is that trolling or any subset thereof is indeed a real thing that happens in the wild, but far more often than not invoked to causally dismiss people they disagree with, who may not have ill intentions at all.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 18, 2019, 03:04:55 PM
What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

Again? Why would I bother?

Why would you bother telling me what wrongdoing you're accusing me of?

I'd hope you would do so because you accused another person of wrongdoing. It's an appeal to your sense of morality. If I accuse somebody of something, I feel obliged to at least explain why.



I'd like to share a productive way to respond to being called out for offensive statements. Take it with a grain of salt-- I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, just passing on what has worked for me.

I remind myself that:

1) Virtually everyone is misogynistic, racist, or homophobic to some extent. The person who calls me out is identifying an action I should remedy, not personally attacking me.

2) The person calling me out might be coming from a place of lived experience, and it is completely valid for them to react with emotion. It is inappropriate for me to address it as a debate competition or game.

3) If I don't understand why my statements or behavior are offensive, it is because I do not understand the context or background of the situation. It is my responsibility to educate myself. I need to step back, research, and learn.

4) It is inappropriate for me to ask them to provide evidence or to give me a remedial course on cultural context.

5) I should apologize for my offensive behavior.

This list has some pretty glaring problems.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 18, 2019, 05:14:10 PM
John Albert is completely self-blind, on this subject as he is on sealioning, which is a behaviour which he is again demonstrating clearly.

'Sealioning' is a childish accusation to throw at anybody one disagrees with, when one is too arrogant to be bothered with reasonably discussing the differences of opinion.

We went over this ad nauseam in that other thread.

"Sealioning" is a new word to me, but I looked it up. It seems to be a subset of trolling. Never followed that other thread. Perhaps I should read it.

My impression is that trolling or any subset thereof is indeed a real thing that happens in the wild, but far more often than not invoked to causally dismiss people they disagree with, who may not have ill intentions at all.

"Sealioning" has been variously defined as a suite of different activities ('fake' politeness, asking questions and demanding evidence, nitpicking, time wasting, Gish-galloping, harassment, bullying, cyberstalking).

The reason why I have a baby sea lion as my avatar is because several people accused me of being a "sealion" when I argued that the term is ill-defined and often misused in a manner incompatible with skeptical discussion.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 18, 2019, 07:54:40 PM
While trolling certainly exists, I think it is far more often thrown as an insult against people whose opinions they don't like.

It's a similar situation as with the scientism accusation: Yes, some people certainly over-state what science can do, but far more often it is used to wall off beliefs from scientific scrutiny. For example religious people who don't want scientific examination of their beliefs.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 18, 2019, 08:08:14 PM
Regarding "sealioning" and "debate me bro culture," I have never had somebody chasing me around the Internet from forum to forum, on social media and whatnot, demanding that I debate them on some issue. I've probably been on the Internet longer than most people around here, and it's just not a thing that I've ever seen happen. Or even heard it happen to anybody I know.

Now I have heard tell of some famous academics and activists being challenged to a debate by miserable flunkies on YouTube, who are obviously trying to increase their view counts by name-dropping. But outside of those rare cases, this "debate me bro culture" mostly seems like a red herring.

What I have seen quite a lot is people asserting questionable claims as foregone conclusions, then refusing to back them up with evidence when asked, and flinging harsh accusations in response. That kind of anti-skeptical behavior is nothing new; it's been going on ever since the days of Usenet.

But more and more I'm seeing some political activists promoting that kind of behavior with statements like, "you don't owe anybody an argument or an explanation." Which is really bad for skepticism because it not only discourages the practice of critical discourse, but it personally maligns skeptics as "toxic people" just for questioning.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 18, 2019, 08:44:18 PM

  • You're talking about eradicating the idea of burden of proof for people of certain demographics. This is the upshot of considering reasonable discourse the exclusive purview of white men, so we should exempt women and POC from the same standards. It's a terrible idea to rip up the foundations of civilized discussion, the basis of millennia of philosophical and scientific progress, on the faulty premise that some people must be always considered right by dint of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. That approach ultimately leads to some really absurd places (https://bit.ly/2ewMN1m).

Ah yes, clearly these forums, and the skeptical community as a whole, is on the verge of utterly abandoning the institution of science because the steady incursion of political correctness and identity politics.  I mean just think of all the people that used to post here who now accept witchcraft or homeopathy because of the pervasive influence of the postmodernists and feminists.  I'm so glad we have people who are willing to fight this dastardly threat.  If we don't keep our guard up the Enlightenment will be #cancelled.

And thank goodness we don't ever have to worry about the opposite happening.  It's not like any former members here ever got duped by reactionary political hucksters because of superficial appeals to reason and logic, and maybe with a more diverse community we could have done something to stop it.  It's not like "open discourse" or "facts over feelings" are monikers of some of the biggest bullshit artists on the internet, and our community has been completely inept at countering any of their nonsense.  It's not like there's some completely fabricated issue popping up every six months in nerd communities under the guise of objectivity or maintaining high standards of evidence, and it just so happens to result in further alienation of women.  It's not like when a giant racist troll shows up here he can steer the conversation of every single political thread because people give him the benefit of the doubt that he genuinely cares about the core tenets of skepticism.

Nope, no need to worry about these silly hypothetical problems.  The only real threat is when newer female members accuse someone of being a jerk.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 19, 2019, 10:22:21 AM
Sawyer, that post makes no sense. I don't owe you an explanation as for why. Go educate yourself. [Insert some of the personal attacks that have been thrown at me in this thread with impunity, but which I would receive a warning for if I responded in kind with.]

 ::)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 21, 2019, 04:24:51 PM
Ah yes, clearly these forums, and the skeptical community as a whole, is on the verge of utterly abandoning the institution of science because the steady incursion of political correctness and identity politics.

That's a strawman argument. I never said that.

By the way, I wonder what you mean by "the institution of science"? Do you think science is just an institution, performed in laboratories by professionals, and its basic tenets such as skepticism, critical thinking, and open discourse are not applicable in daily life?


I mean just think of all the people that used to post here who now accept witchcraft or homeopathy because of the pervasive influence of the postmodernists and feminists. I'm so glad we have people who are willing to fight this dastardly threat.  If we don't keep our guard up the Enlightenment will be #cancelled.

Yeah, that's another strawman argument.

As for the "Enlightenment" quip, the values you're arguing for are indeed contrary to those of the Enlightenment. You guys are basically saying that certain classes of people are exempt, their claims should be taken as indisputable fact, they should be allowed to personally attack others instead of discussing ideas; whenever a question arises the onus is on the skeptic to do extensive research until they agree, or else it's fair game to browbeat them mercilessly. That's demagoguery, not skepticism.


It's not like any former members here ever got duped by reactionary political hucksters because of superficial appeals to reason and logic, and maybe with a more diverse community we could have done something to stop it.

This is a thing that has happened? Which former members got duped by reactionary political hucksters?


It's not like "open discourse" or "facts over feelings" are monikers of some of the biggest bullshit artists on the internet

I haven't heard anybody use the phrase "facts over feelings" in this discussion, so that's just another strawman argument. 

Open discourse is the cornerstone of science and critical thinking. It's the process by which the good ideas persist and the bad ideas get weeded out. Just because some assholes might call themselves "skeptics" and abuse the idea of open discourse, that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Why do you even care that some bigots abuse the idea of open discourse? Don't you believe there's a better case to be made for rejecting bigotry? Or are you afraid that they might turn out to have the better arguments?

Or do you feel that you shouldn't have to bother standing up for the values you believe are right?

Either way, flat-out refusing to engage sure looks like a lack of conviction on your part.


our community has been completely inept at countering any of their nonsense

On the contrary, this community has been quite successful at chasing away white supremacists, gun nuts and conservative trolls. Pdb, Andrew Clunn, Ron Obvious, SnarlPatrick, all those guys and more have given up and left the forums.

Now you guys are working on browbeating the nonpartisan skeptics. 


It's not like there's some completely fabricated issue popping up every six months in nerd communities

I don't give a shit about "nerd communities." I'm not interested in any of the juvenile garbage spewing out of the MCU, Star Wars and videogamer fandoms.

The "skeptic community" is based on a set of ideals in which I believe, because those values have driven nearly all of the scientific, technological and social progress of the last few centuries. So that's what I care about.

On the other hand, what has all this post-structuralist bullshit artistry achieved over the last 3 or 4 decades? Confidence in science and reported news is at an all-time low. Previously eradicated diseases are making a resurgence due to dangerous fake medicine practices. Foreign governments are using fake narratives to control our political elections. Instead of gender equality, women's rights are actually receding to pre-1970s standards. We have a dangerous, narcissistic idiot as our president, a high court stocked with regressive misogynists, and we're seeing the reemergence of far-right politics all over the world.   

In case you haven't figured it out, this is the problem: when you try to disrupt critical discourse in the interest of some ideology, you're ultimately hurting yourself because two can play at that game. The conservative reactionaries can abandon facts and reason in favor of rhetoric just as well, and their narratives are far more effective. "The enemy is at the gates!" will always be more terrifying and compelling than "we must have compassion for each other." If you make it a game of Bullying and Bullshit, they will always win.


It's not like when a giant racist troll shows up here he can steer the conversation of every single political thread because people give him the benefit of the doubt that he genuinely cares about the core tenets of skepticism.

Several alt-right trolls and neo-Nazis thrived here for literal years while you guys maintained your inactive strategy of "don't debate, just ignore them and shame them and hope they go away." It wasn't until some of us started engaging with them, pushing back with reasonable arguments and detailed counter-evidence that they eventually gave up and left.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 21, 2019, 08:34:13 PM
What have I done wrong? This is the second time I've been accused of so-called 'wrongdoing,' though nobody seems willing to tell me exactly what is the offense.

Again? Why would I bother?

Why would you bother telling me what wrongdoing you're accusing me of?

I'd hope you would do so because you accused another person of wrongdoing. It's an appeal to your sense of morality. If I accuse somebody of something, I feel obliged to at least explain why.

You showed no sign of being capable of comprehending the first dozen or so times I tried to do so, so I see no reason why that would be different now. If you think you've changed enough that you might understand this time, go re-read the Sealioning thread.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 22, 2019, 01:11:32 AM
I love it how John is now crediting himself with chasing the nazis away. Some people are just flawless champions, I guess.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 22, 2019, 11:48:34 AM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll. Despite the fact that I am much more cosmopolitan in my outlook than they probably will ever be. I guess such is the effect of the post-structuralist bullshit. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. ::)

I don't think that the presence of people who are more politically conservative or libertarian in their outlook is a problem at all. As long as they are good skeptics who don't deny reality or data inconvenient to their views, and are not anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian, etc. The same also goes for people with a more left-wing outlook, as long as they are not anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian, etc, and are good skeptics.

So in my book at least, people who lean right-wing are fine, but not neo-Nazis, alt-righters, etc. People who lean left-wing are fine, but not supporters of or apologists for totalitarian regimes and terrorist groups who happen to subscribe to a left-wing ideology and/or are opposed to the US.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 22, 2019, 04:29:45 PM
I love it how John is now crediting himself with chasing the nazis away. Some people are just flawless champions, I guess.

I did not credit myself with that. It was a group effort that involved lots of people.

PANTS!, arthwollipot, werecow, Belgarath, Zec, fuzzyMarmot, Mr. Beagle, DevoutCatalyst, SkeptiQueer, and others. Even you and Sawyer contributed to the kickback, despite your penchant for railing against "debate."
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 22, 2019, 09:39:26 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 22, 2019, 11:19:57 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

Yeah, I'm curious about my contribution. I just said you appear to be unrepentantly racist because of positions you've taken (e.g., that segregation by race does not exist in the USA today). I never called you any version of any N word. Just racist.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 23, 2019, 01:31:34 AM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

Yeah, I'm curious about my contribution. I just said you appear to be unrepentantly racist because of positions you've taken (e.g., that segregation by race does not exist in the USA today). I never called you any version of any N word. Just racist.

Are you sure that his position was really a consequence of racism, and not just a simple misunderstanding of the situation in the US?

The US is a big place, race relations in the US are very complicated, and the situation is not necessarily obvious to somebody who doesn't live here. In fact, even many people who do live here are unaware of the extent of the racial divide in areas outside their local communities.

For example, we do have anti-discrimination and anti-segregation laws, and have had such laws in place since the 1960s. So in that sense, segregation is illegal.

But despite those laws, segregation certainly still exists for a complex mix of social, cultural and economic reasons.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 23, 2019, 01:55:25 AM
You showed no sign of being capable of comprehending the first dozen or so times I tried to do so, so I see no reason why that would be different now. If you think you've changed enough that you might understand this time, go re-read the Sealioning thread.

Sorry, that's not how this works. That Sealioning thread was a complete waste of time.

You accused me of some kind of offense, the very least you owe me is an explanation.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 23, 2019, 02:30:43 AM
You showed no sign of being capable of comprehending the first dozen or so times I tried to do so, so I see no reason why that would be different now. If you think you've changed enough that you might understand this time, go re-read the Sealioning thread.

Sorry, that's not how this works. That Sealioning thread was a complete waste of time.

You accused me of some kind of offense, the very least you owe me is an explanation.

I gave you an explanation - an extensive and detailed one - in the Sealioning thread, which you continue to refuse to accept. No. I'm not going to bang my head against that brick wall again. If you're so unselfaware that you can't see it when it's staring you in the face, that's not my problem. It's yours.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 23, 2019, 01:20:24 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

Yeah, I'm curious about my contribution. I just said you appear to be unrepentantly racist because of positions you've taken (e.g., that segregation by race does not exist in the USA today). I never called you any version of any N word. Just racist.

Wow, what a compliment, that makes all the difference! ::)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 23, 2019, 01:23:37 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

According to you pals in this very thread, you aren't supposed to ask me for that. You are instead supposed to read back through your posts and try to figure out what I am referring to. But I will give you a hint. It is not something you wrote, it is something you showed approval of.

But anyways, change "neo-Nazi troll" to "just racist" then, as brilligtove insisted. As if it makes any difference.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: random poet on May 23, 2019, 01:28:01 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

According to you pals in this very thread, you aren't supposed to ask me for that. You are instead supposed to read back through your posts and try to figure out what I am referring to. But I will give you a hint. It is not something you wrote, it is something you showed approval of.

But anyways, change "neo-Nazi troll" to "just racist" then, as brilligtove insisted. As if it makes any difference.
People have pointed out to you in the past when you were saying racist bullshit. Your answer is always "no, that's not racist."

You are still trying to debate people instead of trying to fix your problem with racism.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 23, 2019, 02:20:36 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

Yeah, I'm curious about my contribution. I just said you appear to be unrepentantly racist because of positions you've taken (e.g., that segregation by race does not exist in the USA today). I never called you any version of any N word. Just racist.

Are you sure that his position was really a consequence of racism, and not an simple misunderstanding of the situation in the US?

The US is a big place, race relations in the US are very complicated, and the situation is not necessarily obvious to somebody who doesn't live here. In fact, even many people who do live here are unaware of the extent of the racial divide in areas outside their local communities.

For example, we do have anti-discrimination and anti-segregation laws, and have had such laws in place since the 1960s. So in that sense, segregation is illegal.

But despite those laws, segregation certainly still exists for a complex mix of social, cultural and economic reasons.

If I am not mistaken, the discussion started when I cited the US and Canada as countries that succeed well in integrating immigrants. I'm not going to go through that again, but the US has been cited as good at integration compared to Sweden. Two articles from the news in recent years, the beginning parts translated by me (I'm not going to translate the entire articles):

Quote
Here, the integration of Somalis has been successful.

COLUMBUS, OHIO. Somalis are one of the groups in Sweden where integration has worked most poorly.

In Columbus, Ohio, there live as many Somalis as in all of Sweden - but here there is a greater chance that a Somalia-born person has a job than a US-born person.

- The African-American civil rights movement has paved the way for us, says Abdulkadir Xurka, public health expert in the town hall of Columbus.

...

Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed, 56, who once upon a time was minister of education in Somalia and now lives in Columbus, tells:

- The US really is "the land of opportunity". It is built by immigrants. The opportunities are the same both for the one who is born here and the one who has immigrated. Go to Canada and you will see that many Somalis are well-education and have a lot of knowledge but still don't succeed to get a job. The important thing here in the US is economic independence, I think it is because you don't get especially much help from the welfare system.

Source: https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/3joAM9/har-har-integrationen-av-somalier-lyckats

Quote
"The success of Somalis in the US is not by chance"

In Canada, the US, and the UK, ethnic organizations stand for central parts of the integration efforts - but in Sweden the authorities are supposed to do the integration, writes Benny Carlsson.

Sweden has in recent years been a safe haven for many Somali refugees. Most of them seem to think that Sweden is a good country that offers housing, education, and healthcare of good quality and safe environments for children to grow up in. Despite, many of them have doubts about if Sweden is the country of the future. There is a major crux. They have a hard time to get jobs and start businesses.

The employment level for Somalia-borns in Sweden has long fluctuated between 20 and 30% and the level of self-employment is around half a percent. There are two immediate explanations for that. Many have low levels of education, and many have arrived to Sweden the past five or six years.

If you compare Sweden to other countries to which many Somalis have fled, such as Canada and the US, the housing environments are often poorer, but the labor market is not as hard to breach into.

In Canada the employment level of Somalis is at 46%, in the US at 54%, and in both countries the levels of self-employment at 5%.

Source: https://www.expressen.se/debatt/somaliers-framgang-i-usa-ar-ingen-slump/

That was the sort of thing I was referring to. Only a totally dishonest person would read into that some sort of endorsement of segregation in the American south prior to the 1960s civil rights movement.

In fact, a few years ago when a lot of Syrians fled to Europe, mostly Germany and Sweden, a Swedish historian wrote debating articles arguing that historically, immigration has been a net benefit for Sweden, and ignorance of history is behind opposition to immigration and xenophobia. He also referred to the US as an example of how immigration has benefited a country. Some opponents then argued that well, immigration there wasn't so good for the Native Americans. Which is a strawman, because he made it clear that he referred to peaceful immigration, not to military conquests, and thus not to the treatment of Native Americans. brilligtove made a similar argument, that successful integration of immigrants in the US somehow meant endorsement of segregationism. A similar dishonest strawman.

I do not deny that the US has many, many social problems, many more than we do. But in some aspects they have succeeded better than us, and then we should indeed look at what they do that maybe we can learn from (and the US should look at other countries to learn from them in areas where they have worked poorly and the other countries worked better). I get the sense that brilligtove seems offended by the notion that the US can ever be good at anything ever. I guess it is true that the identity of some Canadians is "not being the US".
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 23, 2019, 02:22:05 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

According to you pals in this very thread, you aren't supposed to ask me for that. You are instead supposed to read back through your posts and try to figure out what I am referring to. But I will give you a hint. It is not something you wrote, it is something you showed approval of.

But anyways, change "neo-Nazi troll" to "just racist" then, as brilligtove insisted. As if it makes any difference.
People have pointed out to you in the past when you were saying racist bullshit. Your answer is always "no, that's not racist."

You are still trying to debate people instead of trying to fix your problem with racism.

Such as? You always refuse to give me examples.

I am in fact very confident that I am much more cosmopolitan than all of my detractors.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: brilligtove on May 23, 2019, 02:38:28 PM
You certainly are very confident.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 23, 2019, 02:57:18 PM
You're talking about eradicating the idea of burden of proof for people of certain demographics. This is the upshot of considering reasonable discourse the exclusive purview of white men, so we should exempt women and POC from the same standards. It's a terrible idea to rip up the foundations of civilized discussion, the basis of millennia of philosophical and scientific progress, on the faulty premise that some people must be always considered right by dint of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. That approach ultimately leads to some really absurd places (https://bit.ly/2ewMN1m).

Their argument, besides being bigoted, is also false. Sarah Haider (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Haider) and Ali Rizvi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_A._Rizvi) are much better examples of skepticism, critical thinking, and the Enlightenment than the bigots who claim that these ideals only belong to white men. And they certainly are contributing much more to make the world a better place than the bigots.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 23, 2019, 08:51:15 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

According to you pals in this very thread, you aren't supposed to ask me for that. You are instead supposed to read back through your posts and try to figure out what I am referring to. But I will give you a hint. It is not something you wrote, it is something you showed approval of.

I'm gonna need a few more hints here.

But anyways, change "neo-Nazi troll" to "just racist" then, as brilligtove insisted. As if it makes any difference.

I didn't say you were racist. I disagreed with your contention that since race is not a biological or genetic thing, racism isn't a thing. That's all. That's the only opinion remotely related to you that I recall expressing in this thread.

ETA I've just skim-read through the entire thread again, and I notice that you did not even respond to that post, yet afterwards I was thrown in with a bunch of other people suddenly accusing you of being a nazi.  I think I deserve an apology.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 24, 2019, 12:36:11 AM
I tempted to post a giant wall of text in here reiterating how this thread captures several features of the online skeptical community that I'm growing weary of, but then I have to keep reminding myself that these features are abundantly obvious to most of our active members already.  And going back to the OP, I think they are pretty obvious to lurkers and those that pop in from time to time.

And as shitty as this thread is, I am getting a kick out of the inevitable Catch-22 that's emergin.  The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D



Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on May 24, 2019, 12:46:33 AM

Quote from: This Thread
[...]

(https://i.imgur.com/SwysOZL.jpg)

FTFY
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on May 24, 2019, 12:52:53 AM
The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D
Nailed it!  :D
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 24, 2019, 07:00:07 AM
You're talking about eradicating the idea of burden of proof for people of certain demographics. This is the upshot of considering reasonable discourse the exclusive purview of white men, so we should exempt women and POC from the same standards. It's a terrible idea to rip up the foundations of civilized discussion, the basis of millennia of philosophical and scientific progress, on the faulty premise that some people must be always considered right by dint of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. That approach ultimately leads to some really absurd places (https://bit.ly/2ewMN1m).

Their argument, besides being bigoted, is also false. Sarah Haider (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Haider) and Ali Rizvi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_A._Rizvi) are much better examples of skepticism, critical thinking, and the Enlightenment than the bigots who claim that these ideals only belong to white men. And they certainly are contributing much more to make the world a better place than the bigots.

I don't know how else to interpret it, other than the rules of reasonable discourse and critical thinking are being suspended out of the noblesse oblige of self-appointed moral gatekeepers who've decided it's in the best interest of certain demographics over whom they feel protective.

That interpretation also explains the outrageous levels of smugness with which they attack anybody who disagrees. They won't engage on an intellectual level because they probably don't really understand the contorted ideological underpinnings of their position. Facts and reasoning are irrelevant; the proper, ideologically approved narrative is all that matters. Hence they really don't have an intellectual leg to stand on, and their performative facade of moral superiority can't withstand that hit. So their only option is to refuse to engage on an academic level, and instead hurl hyperbolic insults at the other guy for even daring to question. (Anybody who doubts this claim must be a bigot!) Or they simply keep repeating the mantra that the questioner "doesn't get it."

But maybe, just maybe some people "get it" more than they realize.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 24, 2019, 07:01:38 AM
The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D

Nailed it!  :D

Did you guys even read that article? It has nothing to do with the topic of this discussion.

What the article is really about, is the bullying tactic of demanding that transsexual people defend their gender identity in an ideological debate.

Nobody here is engaged in that repugnant tactic, or trying to defend it.



I tempted to post a giant wall of text in here reiterating how this thread captures several features of the online skeptical community that I'm growing weary of

Some things are too complex or nuanced to be addressed in glib sound bytes. I would rather try to articulate my ideas explicitly, than dumb them down just because some people can't be bothered to read more than a sentence or two.

If you're "growing weary" of long-form discourse and potential points of disagreement, then maybe something like Tumblr would be more your speed.



I gave you an explanation - an extensive and detailed one - in the Sealioning thread

You and Sawyer accused me of "wrongdoing" in this thread. That's the accusation I'm asking about. I'm not rereading through 30+ pages of bullshittery to try and guess which vague accusation you guys may or may not be referring to.

This is the kind of anti-skeptical assholishness I'm talking about. You apparently think it's all fine and good to personally malign somebody and then refuse to offer any explanation, instead demanding that the accused person subject themselves to hours of research to figure out why.

That's not how discourse works. That's not how conversation works. That's not how skepticism works. That's not how a decent human being works.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 24, 2019, 01:13:14 PM
You have to remember that according to brilligtove, arthwolliport, Latinist, etc, I am the neo-Nazi troll.

Please quote where I have said this.

According to you pals in this very thread, you aren't supposed to ask me for that. You are instead supposed to read back through your posts and try to figure out what I am referring to. But I will give you a hint. It is not something you wrote, it is something you showed approval of.

I'm gonna need a few more hints here.

Didn't you listen to your friends? You are not supposed to ask for that. You are supposed to read through your entire back-catalog and try to figure out what I referred to.

But since I'm not one of those people, I will refer you to the post that you liked, that I am referring to: https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138

I didn't say you were racist.

No, you just explicitly approved of someone else saying that. ::)

I disagreed with your contention that since race is not a biological or genetic thing, racism isn't a thing.

I never said that racism isn't a thing. Only a most uncharitable, dishonest reading could get to that conclusion.

I think I deserve an apology.

I think I am the one deserving an apology.

(Not only from you, but from brilligtove, Soldier of FORTRAN, random poet, and The Latinist as well. But I know that is not going to happen.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 24, 2019, 01:14:51 PM
I tempted to post a giant wall of text in here reiterating how this thread captures several features of the online skeptical community that I'm growing weary of, but then I have to keep reminding myself that these features are abundantly obvious to most of our active members already.  And going back to the OP, I think they are pretty obvious to lurkers and those that pop in from time to time.

And as shitty as this thread is, I am getting a kick out of the inevitable Catch-22 that's emergin.  The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D

Maybe if the OP wasn't posted as a bait, the reactions would have been different.

But yes, I too notice that this thread has a lot of lurkers. I wonder what they think. I suppose it varies.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Captain Video on May 24, 2019, 01:17:19 PM
The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D

Nailed it!  :D

Did you guys even read that article? It has nothing to do with the topic of this discussion.

What the article is really about, is the bullying tactic of demanding that transsexual people defend their gender identity in an ideological debate.

Nobody here is engaged in that repugnant tactic, or trying to defend it.



I tempted to post a giant wall of text in here reiterating how this thread captures several features of the online skeptical community that I'm growing weary of

Some things are too complex or nuanced to be addressed in glib sound bytes. I would rather try to articulate my ideas explicitly, than dumb them down just because some people can't be bothered to read more than a sentence or two.

If you're "growing weary" of long-form discourse and potential points of disagreement, then maybe something like Tumblr would be more your speed.



I gave you an explanation - an extensive and detailed one - in the Sealioning thread

You and Sawyer accused me of "wrongdoing" in this thread. That's the accusation I'm asking about. I'm not rereading through 30+ pages of bullshittery to try and guess which vague accusation you guys may or may not be referring to.

This is the kind of anti-skeptical assholishness I'm talking about. You apparently think it's all fine and good to personally malign somebody and then refuse to offer any explanation, instead demanding that the accused person subject themselves to hours of research to figure out why.

That's not how discourse works. That's not how conversation works. That's not how skepticism works. That's not how a decent human being works.

At this point I gotta ask, why do you care what they are accusing you of?  I mean I cant figure it out either and I have to wonder if they even know.   

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 24, 2019, 01:53:35 PM
You're talking about eradicating the idea of burden of proof for people of certain demographics. This is the upshot of considering reasonable discourse the exclusive purview of white men, so we should exempt women and POC from the same standards. It's a terrible idea to rip up the foundations of civilized discussion, the basis of millennia of philosophical and scientific progress, on the faulty premise that some people must be always considered right by dint of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. That approach ultimately leads to some really absurd places (https://bit.ly/2ewMN1m).

Their argument, besides being bigoted, is also false. Sarah Haider (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Haider) and Ali Rizvi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_A._Rizvi) are much better examples of skepticism, critical thinking, and the Enlightenment than the bigots who claim that these ideals only belong to white men. And they certainly are contributing much more to make the world a better place than the bigots.

I don't know how else to interpret it, other than the rules of reasonable discourse and critical thinking are being suspended out of the noblesse oblige of self-appointed moral gatekeepers who've decided it's in the best interest of certain demographics over whom they feel protective.

That interpretation also explains the outrageous levels of smugness with which they attack anybody who disagrees. They won't engage on an intellectual level because they probably don't really understand the contorted ideological underpinnings of their position. Facts and reasoning are irrelevant; the proper, ideologically approved narrative is all that matters. Hence they really don't have an intellectual leg to stand on, and their performative facade of moral superiority can't withstand that hit. So their only option is to refuse to engage on an academic level, and instead hurl hyperbolic insults at the other guy for even daring to question. (Anybody who doubts this claim must be a bigot!) Or they simply keep repeating the mantra that the questioner "doesn't get it."

But maybe, just maybe some people "get it" more than they realize.

I don't get their approach either. I don't know from where it comes. I have never seen any prominent skeptic, living or dead, arguing that skepticism should only be for white men. I know that Paul Kurtz was very active in helping skeptical groups across the would to get off the ground. I heard on the podcast that the recent SGU book either has been or will be translated to Hebrew, Korean, and Russian.

At least my opinion is that I would want skepticism, critical thinking, science, and the good stuff, to be spread as widely as possible. I recall on the SGU that they interviewed a guy who started a Skeptics in the Pub meeting group in Hong Kong. Here (https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2FSE6RJE6QZYG/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1538760533) you can read a review of the SGU book from a woman who was inspired by the SGU to start a skeptical group in Turkey. Nigerian skeptic Leo Igwe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Igwe) wrote A Manifesto for a Skeptical Africa (http://archive.randi.org/site/index.php/component/content/article/37-static/1891-leo-igwe.html). Read about Chilean skeptics in Skepticism In The Southern End Of The World (https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/skepticism_in_the_southern_end_of_the_world/). I also know that there are skeptical groups in India, Thailand, and Japan. All of this is good, and nothing to be feared or opposed.

Maybe ur detractors feel nervous and uncomfortable about there being non-white, non-male skeptics? ;)

As for integration in the US, see this post (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9614668.html#msg9614668). I am of course open to be corrected, as all skeptics are. But that is the kind of thing I was referring to. Only a truly dishonest, malicious person could read into anything I have written any kind of endorsement of segregation in the American south prior to the 1960s civil rights movement, or that I deny that racism exists.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 24, 2019, 07:52:06 PM
At this point I gotta ask, why do you care what they are accusing you of?  I mean I cant figure it out either and I have to wonder if they even know.

I've apparently been accused of committing a social infraction, though nobody will explain exactly what it is.

Another poster disagreed with some rather minor, technical, philosophical points I'd made in a different thread. That poster refrained from discussing their disagreement with me personally, and instead opted to lash out in a passive-aggressive fashion. Speaking in the third person, they accused me of cryptofascism and affiliation with various racist and antisemitic groups. When I pushed back to defend myself against having my character maligned, that poster got huffy and threatened to leave the forums. Now some other individuals seem to feel that I'm to blame for all of that, apparently because of something to do with my race and gender.

It also may be worth noting that the overwhelming majority of this poster's output has been harshly critical of the skeptical community, as well as the regular practice of skeptical inquiry and open discourse. This poster has even gone so far as to correlate Steven Novella with the likes of Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson, and has also leveled accusations of misogyny against others, simply for disagreeing with her.

What I'm looking for is some clarification of how any of this should be deemed acceptable within a self-styled skeptical community.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 25, 2019, 01:22:53 PM
This poster has even gone so far as to correlate Steven Novella with the likes of Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson

Wow! I haven't followed the particular poster very closely so I have missed that, but then it makes even less sense that she gets so fiercely defended.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on May 25, 2019, 04:54:58 PM
The classiest thing in the world is to put words in the mouth of someone you chased away from a forum.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 25, 2019, 10:05:18 PM
The classiest thing in the world is to put words in the mouth of someone you chased away from a forum.

I haven't chased anybody away from anything. All I did was defend myself against a raging demagogue's obtuse accusation that I'm involved with the alt-right. That person decided on her own to play the martyr and mope-quit the forum.

Mark my words, she'll be back. Maybe with a different username, but the posting style will be recognizable as the single-minded harping about "debate culture" whenever anybody contradicts her politics.



This poster has even gone so far as to correlate Steven Novella with the likes of Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson

Wow! I haven't followed the particular poster very closely so I have missed that, but then it makes even less sense that she gets so fiercely defended.

I haven't "followed" her either. I just happened across this little gem of dubious wisdom while searching for another thread about so-called "debate me bro culture."

Here's the quote, in context:

               
Quote
"The general notion of public debate (and the very idea of the “pubic sphere” for that matter) resides tacitly on discursive public space as an arena for settling the relative strengths and uses of a set of ideas. Two intellectual frameworks enter, and only the burliest leaves. It’s a kind of egghead octagon. Now, however, debate—and especially the challenge to debate—exists as an end in itself. Debate has become a conservative fetish object."

Quote
"...the very form of structured, public debate feels slightly regressive. It appeals not only to the loopy, esoteric belief in the unmediated primacy of the spoken word, but also to potentially uncomfortable ideas of authority itself. Debate proceeds not from the model of a community in dialogue, but rather from the general addressing his troops. It’s a bizarre trick that the contemporary right (from “classical liberals” to alt-right and Intellectual Dark Web figures) attempts to lay unique claim to the very ideas of reason and rationality. “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” bray Ben Shapiro’s followers. But rhetoric has always relied on affect and feeling, not just the calculated rousing of the audience’s emotions, but the deeper feeling that speech itself is somehow privileged, truer."

These behaviors are clearly on display in the alt-right and fans of the Peterson, Shapiro, and sometimes even those of Novella. Ironically, even on this board discourse has been hampered by this aggressive demand that every thread be treated as a debate, and that all debates be answered or the opponent has "lost."

By the way, I have yet to see anybody on this forum demand, aggressively or otherwise, that every thread must be treated as a debate.

I clipped the rest of the post because it just rambles on with more rhetorical bullshit alleging damages wreaked by people discussing their disagreements. If you're interested, you can read the whole post in-thread here (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50759.msg9589392.html#msg9589392).
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 26, 2019, 07:40:12 AM
Jesus Christ, can you stop lying? I did not "correlate" Novella to these guys. I also never promoted the idea that women and queer people aren't capable of reason, or whatever it is were lying about me there (which is the sexist and queerphobic thing you and Quetz did on this thread that you keep playing stupid about).  For two big bad skeptics you just do all of the things you accuse me of doing. And the fact you're going through old posts of mine is super creepy and fits with your pattern of serial harassment. Lies, lies, lies, and creepy obsession.

Now let's see how long it takes for your little echo chamber friend to pop in with more echo-affirmations and lies.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: heyalison on May 26, 2019, 08:45:26 AM
Quoting, because it seems like he has a habit of posting things then editing to avoid being actionable. I came here to check some messages, and I see this thread has turned into an unchecked hate-fest about me from John and Quetz.

Mark my words, she'll be back. Maybe with a different username, but the posting style will be recognizable as the single-minded harping about "debate culture" whenever anybody contradicts her politics.

This is harassment. I have every right to be here or not, without comment or intentional baiting like this.

By the way, I have yet to see anybody on this forum demand, aggressively or otherwise, that every thread must be treated as a debate.

I've never said that, and in fact I repeatedly have pointed out that it is about behaviour, not declared intent. But, hey, you sure do like your lies, so I guess that's expected.

I clipped the rest of the post because it just rambles on with more rhetorical bullshit alleging damages wreaked by people discussing their disagreements. If you're interested, you can read the whole post in-thread here (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50759.msg9589392.html#msg9589392).

Baiting, harassment, and thread spill. The last few pages of this thread have been full of lies, harassment, and attempts to bait me into arguing with him (funny that, as he denies being a debatebro).

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: goatboy1290 on May 26, 2019, 12:44:41 PM
Dear Heyalison,

Certain posters here are charlatans who wouldn't know a skeptical argument if it fell into their lap, and when things don't go their way they resort to insults and gaslighting. When things get really tight i.e. reality jars against their entrenched biases they circle the wagons and invoke the secret weapon......'youuuuuuu are a RUSSIAN' (screamed at high pitch!!!). If it wasn't so tragically sad and pathetic it would be funny. There seems to be a small cohort of posters in the 5-10k posts region who feel that this forum is their dominion and arguing in good faith is not on the agenda.

I read the opening pages of this thread with a growing sense of incredulity. All the things you are experiencing and are being accused of, I too have experienced. A thread I started on the Novichok poisoning incident (currently sitting near the top due to recent activity) is a prime example. Jump in at almost any point and you will see an inability to accept reasonable evidence, gaslighting, insults, character assassination, logical fallacies aplenty.

Now I am definitely a passionate arguer and I probably give as good as I get in those exchanges. I won't back down and I don't mind a little heat, back AND forth. I make no apologies for that. But it is very hard to make a case in the end when nearly all your sources of evidence are written off as Russian, or terrorists or discredited in some other way.

The ultimate test of a skeptic is whether they will argue in good faith even when the argument challenges their values and assumptions and especially when the evidence demands that they reassess those values or assumptions. What I have experienced is a resolute system of ignoring inconvenient sources of evidence and circular arguments that start and end with the received wisdom of the establishment.

You are better off on other forums. This well is poisoned here. I will defend the thread I started, I always finish what I start, but thereafter.....as they say on the apprentice - I'm out!

I'm going to quote John Albert here and refer you my posts on the aforementioned Novichok thread from yesterday (May 25th). There has been a ding dong argument going on surrounding my alleged inability to support my assertions with 'hard' evidence. The nature of such arguments are that you often have to make reasoned conjectures (hypothesis) in lieu of supporting data, but the response to my latest thread will be very instructive regarding how committed the regular posters on this forum are to the ethic laid out in this quote:


Quote
That interpretation also explains the outrageous levels of smugness with which they attack anybody who disagrees. They won't engage on an intellectual level because they probably don't really understand the contorted ideological underpinnings of their position. Facts and reasoning are irrelevant; the proper, ideologically approved narrative is all that matters. Hence they really don't have an intellectual leg to stand on, and their performative facade of moral superiority can't withstand that hit. So their only option is to refuse to engage on an academic level, and instead hurl hyperbolic insults at the other guy for even daring to question. (Anybody who doubts this claim must be a bigot!) Or they simply keep repeating the mantra that the questioner "doesn't get it."

Wow....this really is the pot calling the kettle black. It is my experience that this more accurately applies to the regular posters on this forum and not the occasional contributors (such as myself). This example is highly relevant to this thread as it goes to the heart of exactly who is acting in good faith and utilising skeptical thinking. You decide dear reader!

A very clear piece of evidence from a very reliable source has been posted on my most recent addition to the 'Novichok' thread. It is in complete opposition to their argument (the regular posters) on matters relating to a specific issue (the Syrian/Douma chemical attack of 2018). To accept the conclusion of the evidence (OPCW report) would necessitate accepting a great many contrary things about the argument. Contrary things that I have been asserting for months. Lets see the 10K+ posters hold themselves up to their own standards without resorting to diversion, character assassination, Russophobic chants or any number of other mechanisms.

Concerning the MM:

Rhetorically chanting the opinions of the MM (and quite often they are unresearched opinions) does not equate to debate. Neither does chanting the opinions of the minority of outlets that challenge the MM. We are all guilty of doing it occasionally. What matters is how you behave when hard evidence presents itself.

What I find in these forums, the internet more widely and indeed society as a whole, is that the MM has created a 'reality' a Matrix is you will that creates the terms of debate. Operating outside of those terms is 'against the rules' so to speak. The establishment figures who run the MM and intersect with government and the military industrial complex know this. They rely on it. But very occasionally you get a glimpse and a chance to see behind the curtain. You can only 'see' if you are open to looking. The chemical attacks in Douma and indeed the whole Syrian conflict offer such an opportunity.

History offers us other instructional opportunities. Who in America would have thought in 1967 that the US government/military already knew that the  vietnam war was unwinable? Despite using the full force of 'boots on the ground', chemical weapons on a mass scale and using the CIA to murder and torture on an industrial scale they were clearly losing. They then cynically chose to persevere with a war that was daily killing thousands of young (mostly poor) Americans. A war that started with a now well documented false flag incident continued for several more years so that a very few political leaders could save face (see the excellent Netflix documentary by Ken Burns on this). This is a very good example of the extent that things can get to when you refuse to face facts and instead promote an idealogical agenda. Lets not ignore the past, lets learn from it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 26, 2019, 01:53:12 PM
I see this thread has turned into an unchecked hate-fest about me from John and Quetz.

Really? The most vilified person on the forum is probably me.

Will heyalison and the guy promoting Putinist/Assadist conspiracy theories find common ground? We are about to find out.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: CarbShark on May 26, 2019, 05:52:19 PM

Really? The most vilified person on the forum is probably me.

I think that's a very presumptuous statement.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on May 26, 2019, 06:59:55 PM
The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D

Right, because this forum is not only the only placed where politics is debated (and "debated"), but the only place where it gets nasty. Political exchanges on Twitter are often nastier than anything you see on this site.

I sensed a similar irony regarding this thread. The subtext is that this forum has the problem indicated in the article, and the resulting thread is just indication of the problem. Of course, that was not explicitly argued in the OP.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: goatboy1290 on May 26, 2019, 07:11:51 PM
Quote
Quote
That interpretation also explains the outrageous levels of smugness with which they attack anybody who disagrees. They won't engage on an intellectual level because they probably don't really understand the contorted ideological underpinnings of their position. Facts and reasoning are irrelevant; the proper, ideologically approved narrative is all that matters. Hence they really don't have an intellectual leg to stand on, and their performative facade of moral superiority can't withstand that hit. So their only option is to refuse to engage on an academic level, and instead hurl hyperbolic insults at the other guy for even daring to question. (Anybody who doubts this claim must be a bigot!) Or they simply keep repeating the mantra that the questioner "doesn't get it."

Quote
It is my experience that this more accurately applies to the regular posters on this forum and not the occasional contributors (such as myself).

It didn't take long.....

Quote
Will heyalison and the guy promoting Putinist/Assadist conspiracy theories find common ground?

The only conspiracy is the one being peddled by the US/UK.

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/assessment-by-the-engineering-sub-team-of-the-opcw-fact-finding-mission-investigating-the-alleged-chemical-attack-in-douma-in-april-2018 (http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/assessment-by-the-engineering-sub-team-of-the-opcw-fact-finding-mission-investigating-the-alleged-chemical-attack-in-douma-in-april-2018)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 27, 2019, 12:52:20 AM
No, you just explicitly approved of someone else saying that. ::)

Please quote the post in which I did that, or withdraw the accusation.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Sawyer on May 27, 2019, 09:42:00 AM
I'm throwing in the towel here.  I can't think of anything I can write here that will make my point without being extremely unpleasant.  I encourage anyone that's on the fence about this "topic" to go back and read the previous heyalison post that John linked, because his depiction of her correlating Steven Novella to Peterson/Shapiro is a complete mischaracterization.  Read what she actually wrote there.  And I guess go back and look at the cultural appropriation thread again. It is one of the clearest examples of this community engaging in petty bickering under the guise of skepticism instead of showing even a modicum of curiosity and humility about a topic that they don't understand.

DBAD.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 27, 2019, 12:27:53 PM

Really? The most vilified person on the forum is probably me.

I think that's a very presumptuous statement.

How so?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 27, 2019, 12:35:09 PM
No, you just explicitly approved of someone else saying that. ::)

Please quote the post in which I did that, or withdraw the accusation.

I already linked to that. But here it is, again: https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 27, 2019, 12:38:00 PM
DBAD.

Really? You find nothing whatsoever to object to when it comes to the behavior of heyalison, brilligtove, etc? But people rejecting their personal attacks, that is the real problem? Wow...
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 27, 2019, 03:51:56 PM
Welcome back to the SGU Forums, heyalison.

Mark my words, she'll be back. Maybe with a different username, but the posting style will be recognizable as the single-minded harping about "debate culture" whenever anybody contradicts her politics.

This is harassment. I have every right to be here or not, without comment or intentional baiting like this.

No, it's not harassment. I never said you don't have a right to be here, and to be honest I really don't care whether you stick around or not.

Of course you have a right to be here, so long as you abide by the same forum rules that we've all agreed upon.

As such, I have just as much right to speculate about whether you will return after bombastically quitting the community.


By the way, I have yet to see anybody on this forum demand, aggressively or otherwise, that every thread must be treated as a debate.

I've never said that, and in fact I repeatedly have pointed out that it is about behaviour, not declared intent. But, hey, you sure do like your lies, so I guess that's expected.

Since you're literally calling me a liar, I suppose the burden is now upon me to show the evidence where you said the thing you're now denying:

                     
Ironically, even on this board discourse has been hampered by this aggressive demand that every thread be treated as a debate, and that all debates be answered or the opponent has "lost." Certainly the emotional high of watching edited clips of one's heroes owning an opponent is popular, as the internet thrives on sharing these clips, and challenging people to dare to watch their hero. There is no original thought from the poster, however, just the emotional rush of being on the winning side and imagining oneself as the winner of the exchange. And much like the debaters they're fans of, if you dismiss this framework they will gladly proclaim victory anyway, as though choosing not to debate these empty, bad faith gestures is evidence of a paucity of intellect.

Not only did you quite emphatically state that people in this community "aggressive[ly] demand that every thread be treated as a debate," but you also made presumptions about the alleged individuals' feelings and motives.


Jesus Christ, can you stop lying? I did not "correlate" Novella to these guys.

If you take offense to the word "correlate," then what verb is appropriate?

You spoke of them comparatively in the same sentence, likening the fans of "Novella" with those of Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro:

     
These behaviors are clearly on display in the alt-right and fans of the Peterson, Shapiro, and sometimes even those of Novella.

Do you really think it's good form to insult SGU listeners like that, right here on the SGU's own web forum?   


I also never promoted the idea that women and queer people aren't capable of reason, or whatever it is were lying about me there (which is the sexist and queerphobic thing you and Quetz did on this thread that you keep playing stupid about).

I never accused you of that.

It was a response to other people's suggestion that women and people of color were avoiding this forum because they're turned off by debate. That carries the implication that skeptical discourse is the purview of white males, to which women and people of color are averse.

Which I think is nonsense. I know plenty of women and people of color who have no problems engaging reasonably and discussing differences of opinion without resorting to personal attacks.

To me it seems far more likely that people are staying away because these forums have become a political hornets' nest, despite the SGU itself being decidedly apolitical.


Baiting, harassment, and thread spill. The last few pages of this thread have been full of lies, harassment, and attempts to bait me into arguing with him (funny that, as he denies being a debatebro).

As for your accusation of "thread spill," you initiated that yourself when you mentioned another thread in your own original post:

     
I would suggest there's more than a fair bit of this kind of bad faith arguing here on these forums (that cultural appropriation thread, ugh)

When you bring something up in conversation (especially when framing it as an accusation), it's unseemly to become outraged when others respond to it.

And when you come into a community for the express purpose of criticizing that community's stated values and calling out individual members by name, don't expect those people to just let it go without any pushback.

One more thing, if you do plan to stay around, could you please refrain from all the vitriolic accusations and name-calling?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 27, 2019, 04:25:45 PM
The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D

Right, because this forum is not only the only placed where politics is debated (and "debated"), but the only place where it gets nasty. Political exchanges on Twitter are often nastier than anything you see on this site.

I sensed a similar irony regarding this thread. The subtext is that this forum has the problem indicated in the article, and the resulting thread is just indication of the problem. Of course, that was not explicitly argued in the OP.

With regard to behavior on these forums, the situation put forth in the article from New Republic is a red herring. I'm pretty certain that nobody here thinks it's alright to demand that trans, gay or gender-queer people defend their gender identity or sexual preference against an ideological assault. The forum's hate speech rules already make that kind of discussion off-limits.

That aside, I think the problem is not that people want to discuss and debate the relative merits of various ideas. This is, after all, a skeptics forum. Calling our forum discussions 'debate me culture" is odious and contrary to the ideals of skepticism.

Skepticism is about inquiry, withholding credulity, and presenting and examining evidence. When people come together to discuss topics with a skeptical attitude, disagreements are inevitable.

So the question becomes, how do we handle our disagreements? Do we discuss the ideas like reasonable adults, or do we try to make enemies of one another with cliquish taunting and personal attacks?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: arthwollipot on May 27, 2019, 08:58:46 PM
No, you just explicitly approved of someone else saying that. ::)

Please quote the post in which I did that, or withdraw the accusation.

I already linked to that. But here it is, again: https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138

Is that what you're butthurt about? My mistake, I was thinking you were butthurt about something else.

Never mind. I like others can see the futility of trying to continue this conversation, because I no longer care. See you in other threads. This one's going on Ignore.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 28, 2019, 12:39:56 PM
No, you just explicitly approved of someone else saying that. ::)

Please quote the post in which I did that, or withdraw the accusation.

I already linked to that. But here it is, again: https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9613138.html#msg9613138

Is that what you're butthurt about? My mistake, I was thinking you were butthurt about something else.

Never mind. I like others can see the futility of trying to continue this conversation, because I no longer care. See you in other threads. This one's going on Ignore.

Really, is this your only comment? Would you accept such a comment from me if I had liked a post about how you behave like a child molester?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 28, 2019, 12:50:46 PM
The longer Quetz and John argue with people here, the more it will resemble the type of interaction critiqued in the originally referenced debate-me article.   >:D

Right, because this forum is not only the only placed where politics is debated (and "debated"), but the only place where it gets nasty. Political exchanges on Twitter are often nastier than anything you see on this site.

I sensed a similar irony regarding this thread. The subtext is that this forum has the problem indicated in the article, and the resulting thread is just indication of the problem. Of course, that was not explicitly argued in the OP.

With regard to behavior on these forums, the situation put forth in the article from New Republic is a red herring. I'm pretty certain that nobody here thinks it's alright to demand that trans, gay or gender-queer people defend their gender identity or sexual preference against an ideological assault. The forum's hate speech rules already make that kind of discussion off-limits.

That aside, I think the problem is not that people want to discuss and debate the relative merits of various ideas. This is, after all, a skeptics forum. Calling our forum discussions 'debate me culture" is odious and contrary to the ideals of skepticism.

Skepticism is about inquiry, withholding credulity, and presenting and examining evidence. When people come together to discuss topics with a skeptical attitude, disagreements are inevitable.

So the question becomes, how do we handle our disagreements? Do we discuss the ideas like reasonable adults, or do we try to make enemies of one another with cliquish taunting and personal attacks?

As you noted, John Albert, certain members are openly dismissive of skepticism (and it correlates strongly with political zealotry). I wonder what attracted them here in the first place. If you want to boast about your politics (and not be contradicted, or have your arguments scrutinized), there are plenty of outlets that allow for that.

I also think you are correct in that the forum being a political hornets' nest is driving people away, rather than that it is not politically homogeneous enough.

(I'm pretty sure that they will eventually implement a system to vote unpopular people away, and in that case, I would be among the first they voted away.)

Imagine if all members on this forum were committed to skeptical inquiry, to learn, and to improve their critical thinking skills, and applied the principle of charity. And were also committed to create a good social community for skeptics. And there not being people who go out their way to be nasty and uncharitable. It could be awesome.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 28, 2019, 12:55:53 PM
I think we could all benefit from applying a little more charity, myself included.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: wastrel on May 28, 2019, 01:46:05 PM
Like-policing is the whiniest thing I can imagine.  Just stop, Quetz.  Your persecution complex is annoying at the best of times, but absolutely intolerable most of the time.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Captain Video on May 28, 2019, 01:53:02 PM
Like-policing is the whiniest thing I can imagine.  Just stop, Quetz.  Your persecution complex is annoying at the best of times, but absolutely intolerable most of the time.

Someone called him a racist, several people liked the post, he pointed that out, one member challenged him implying that he never liked the post, once proved incorrect the member went on to blow it off as if it was no big deal. 

How exactly does Quetz  have a "persecution complex"? He is clearly treated differently.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on May 28, 2019, 04:41:26 PM
How exactly does Quetz  have a "persecution complex"? He is clearly treated differently.

From what I remember, he was accused of being racist for arguing against cultural approproation in that thread. And I think it is part of the culture developing in this politics sub-board, at least in hot threads, to carry over personal gripes.

But, to stay on point. It mostly looks like a transphobe trying to get attention. Of course people don't have an inherent right to debate with others, nor an obligation to debate the validity of their own existence, and for reasons regularly brought up in the skeptical community, debates don't really prove anything. Except of course when it is legal debate in a courtroom, where they still don't technically prove anything, but the outcome has an actual meaning.

Also, just because a jackass says mean things doesn't disprove the value of free speech. I think we are at a stage where transphobes can't really say anything to help their own cause, even with soliciting for debate.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 29, 2019, 03:54:17 AM
If you look back through the thread, brilligtove originally called Quetz "racist" for two reasons:

I don't recall Quetz ever posting anything that I perceived as the slightest bit transphobic. Then again, I'm not a trans person so my perception of such things is probably a bit off.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 29, 2019, 04:10:50 PM
While I agree that stands2reason's post was a little unclear, I'd assume that the transphobe she refers to is the person written about in the article in the OP, not me.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on May 29, 2019, 06:50:49 PM
While I agree that stands2reason's post was a little unclear, I'd assume that the transphobe he refers to is the person written about in the article in the OP, not me.

Indeed. "But to stay on point" (2nd paragraph) implies everything that follows is related to the OP and the linked article.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on May 30, 2019, 05:05:52 AM
BTW Quetz, stands2reason identifies as female.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 30, 2019, 06:24:43 AM
Oh, I had no idea. I edited my post above to appropriately reflect that.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 02, 2019, 02:27:34 PM
Like-policing is the whiniest thing I can imagine.  Just stop, Quetz.  Your persecution complex is annoying at the best of times, but absolutely intolerable most of the time.

If someone posts something that is objectionable, that person may be asked about it. Nothing weird there. The same of course applies if a person likes something objectionable.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 02, 2019, 02:32:25 PM
Like-policing is the whiniest thing I can imagine.  Just stop, Quetz.  Your persecution complex is annoying at the best of times, but absolutely intolerable most of the time.

Someone called him a racist, several people liked the post, he pointed that out, one member challenged him implying that he never liked the post, once proved incorrect the member went on to blow it off as if it was no big deal. 

How exactly does Quetz  have a "persecution complex"? He is clearly treated differently.

Those people, i.e arthwolliport, brillingtove, etc, are likely not interested in honest discussion, at least not in this case. They are interested in raising their social statuses, and the way they try to do so is by attacking me.

A lot of times, the "like" function on this forums functions as social signaling more than anything else.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 02, 2019, 02:33:56 PM
And I think it is part of the culture developing in this politics sub-board, at least in hot threads, to carry over personal gripes.

A case could absolutely be made to close the politics sub-forum. I don't know if it would ultimately be persuasive, but it would certainly not be without merit.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on June 02, 2019, 07:05:53 PM
A lot of times, the "like" function on this forums functions as social signaling more than anything else.

Isn't that the function of "Like" buttons everywhere?

For whatever it's worth, I feel that social media gimmicks such as the "Like" function don't really belong in a skeptics discussion forum because they basically represent an appeal to popularity.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on June 02, 2019, 08:05:00 PM
A lot of times, the "like" function on this forums functions as social signaling more than anything else.

Isn't that the function of "Like" buttons everywhere?

For whatever it's worth, I feel that social media gimmicks such as the "Like" function don't really belong in a skeptics discussion forum because they basically represent an appeal to popularity.

I appreciate it as a way to vote your approval of a post in contrast with posting a reply to that effect.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on June 02, 2019, 08:33:02 PM
Yeah, I've used it that way too. But it also adds a social media feel to the site, which might be feeding into the problematic "echo chamber" effect.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 03, 2019, 02:43:12 PM
Yeah, I too think the "like" button could be considered for removal.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 04, 2019, 05:24:41 AM
Like-policing is the whiniest thing I can imagine.  Just stop, Quetz.  Your persecution complex is annoying at the best of times, but absolutely intolerable most of the time.

Someone called him a racist, several people liked the post, he pointed that out, one member challenged him implying that he never liked the post, once proved incorrect the member went on to blow it off as if it was no big deal. 

How exactly does Quetz  have a "persecution complex"? He is clearly treated differently.

Come to think of it, arthwolliport asked me several times to apologize for my accusation. Then when it showed to be true, he completely brushed it off as if it was nothing. No apology was offered, nothing. arthwolliport's behavior just screams in the face of how he views social status and hierarchy, though I'm not sure he is aware of it. Low-status me is supposed to apologize to him. High-status him is not supposed to apologize to a low-status person, that it simply beneath him. High-status people like him treat low-status people however they see fit.

Primate hierarchies are really, really ugly to behold.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Rai on June 04, 2019, 05:35:14 AM
Moderator Comment This thread is getting awfully close to de factp changing its topic to "airing persona grievances", which is not quite cricket
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 04, 2019, 08:40:48 AM
People here should read this: How to Argue in the Comments (https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/how-to-argue-in-the-comments/)

For people who want to be critical thinkers, it is essential reading.

Especially consider these points:

Quote from: Steven Novella
It is very easy to talk at people than to or with them. I often find that people are not responding to what I actually wrote, but to some cartoon they have in their mind about what the “other side” thinks, or whatever side they imagine I am on (often falsely). Don’t assume that the person you are talking to has a particular position they have not expressed.

Quote from: Steven Novella
Don’t play the semantic game, parsing words and definitions in such a way as to reconstruct someone else’s position into something other than what it is. Work together with the other person to clarify definitions and uses of words, to be unambiguous, so that you understand what they actually mean.

Quote from: Steven Novella
I would argue, it is best to have no emotional investment in any particular factual claim. Your identity should not be tied up with a specific ideology. Rather, it is better to value the process. This way you will be motivated to admit error, because that shows you are true to the process.

Humans, however, are tribal and we tend to plant our flags in specific ideological positions, and then defend them at all costs. You can transcend this default mode, however, by simply staking your claim in the process rather than the outcome.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on June 04, 2019, 03:55:35 PM
Maybe we should have a forum politics & grievances thread (in Members Only). This kind of discussion keeps cropping up because there apparently isn't a place to talk about it.

Shouldn't be too bad if it's evidende-based (referring to the aggrieving posts). Disagree? Then debate me, bro.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on June 04, 2019, 05:44:43 PM
I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.

I'll just try and stick to safer threads about movies, books and silly things for this forum.

You are absolutely correct.

There are other forums out there with more intellectually mature memberships for the discussion of serious subjects. One should probably stick to discussing the above-mentioned "silly things" on this forum, as well as specific SGU episodes or SGU-related issues.

It is sad though, that this forum gets to claim association with a brilliant podcast.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on June 05, 2019, 04:37:24 PM
There are other forums out there with more intellectually mature memberships for the discussion of serious subjects.

What are these other forums? Are they also dedicated to discussion of science and skepticism?

(Feel free to PM me if you don't feel comfortable making referrals to outside forums.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Eternally Learning on July 01, 2019, 12:54:57 AM
Wow... So, I hadn't felt particularly drawn towards going through this thread before, but after reading most of it just now... wow.  I feel like maybe I have a less common perspective being a one-time active member who currently lurks a little and occasionally posts so I'm familiar with the forum to an extent, but more or less completely ignorant of the current cliques and common views on current active members.  For instance, I had no idea that Quetz was regarded in the ways this thread has made apparent besides a couple of negative reactions I'd noticed the other day (I've been a little more familiar with John Albert in generalities, but not the specifics mentioned here).

To be 100% honest, I really don't care enough to go digging through multiple threads which are painfully long and seemingly full of nothing but bickering about previous threads and disagreements, to form my own opinion on whether or not these posters are deserving of the reactions they get.  Equally as honest though, these repeated grudge matches also make me really feel like not engaging here at all sometimes; at least in Politics.  I don't discount those who've interacted with these people far, far more than I, but I also don't immediately understand where they are coming from either so it makes it hard to want to even ask or put my opinion in either way.  I do remember a few MAGA trolls a while back who prompted similar reactions and in that case I was familiar enough with them to share the general opinion of the forum that they were indeed disingenuous posters who were not at all interested in questioning their views and engaging in earnest with other members and were instead motivated by other things I couldn't ever nail down, but were certainly opposed to the meeting of minds and sharing of ideas.  In those cases I advocated that we simply ignore these people rather than engage and derail every single thread they posted in, and turn those threads into a continuing war that bounces from thread to thread, pretending to be new each time. 

I don't know John or Quetz (or others I may have missed) well enough to determine if they are truly deserving of the negative response they are getting so I won't attempt to weigh in on that, but I know this forum well enough to say that having the people who hold those opinions of them relaunch into their same list of grievances and insults every single time they post something isn't making maters any better and is definitely empowering them to derail (intentionally or not) each and every thread they are met in, into a discussion about themselves and previous threads. 

There have been repeated mentions of what newcomers to this forum might think and why others may be driven away from it as well.  I think a big thing that drives away new-comers and veterans alike is having threads started with the apparent intention of discussing something novel pretty much instantly start referencing previous threads that are not related and behaving as if this is just part of a bigger and older conversation.  This is not to say that any of those comments may be entirely irrelevant or that the opinions held may be irrational or unfounded, but it does have the effect of shutting out anyone not versed or familiar with the references.  I mean, where in this particular thread was there an opportunity for someone new to the forum to weigh in on the article listed in the OP?  Within a few posts it seemed, there were only the options to be lost in walls of text or to attempt to weigh in on the merits (or lack thereof) of certain members.

Honestly, I just don't get the logic or reasoning behind engaging and attacking someone you think is acting in bad faith.  I've been drawn into doing it from time to time myself, and every time I've regretted it as a colossal and frustrating waste of time.  At absolute best, you wind up having others agree with you that your insults and dismissals are indeed reasonable and appropriate (I'm not saying they never are BTW) and you cause the other person to stop posting, but that almost never happens.  Usually you get what happened here; a few people agreeing with you, the people you are insulting and dismissing constantly respond (honestly, who wouldn't if they honestly felt they were being unfairly attacked) and drag the conversation on, and most other people either ignore the whole affair or just lurk, silently holding whatever opinions they have. 

Somewhere in here, there was a good conversation to be had about an interesting article.  Imagine if the posters who many consider to be disingenuous actors had posted their peace and had simply been ignored by those who dismiss them (rightfully or wrongly), with the only responses being from posters trying to engage them simply on the basis of what they wrote in this thread based on the assumption that they were commenting in earnest, leaving others free to have other conversations.  The people giving them the benefit of the doubt (even if only through sheer ignorance) would be free to decide for themselves if they were being disingenuous or not and then to ignore them or not, and the other conversations might have taken place more freely.  If they truly are acting in bad faith, then everyone deciding to make their own minds up and then ignore them if they believe they are bad actors should lead to them having no voice, no influence, and hopefully being too bored to contribute.  I can't see how that's not a win-win for everyone involved.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on July 01, 2019, 04:04:29 AM
Somewhere in here, there was a good conversation to be had about an interesting article.  Imagine if the posters who many consider to be disingenuous actors had posted their peace and had simply been ignored by those who dismiss them (rightfully or wrongly), with the only responses being from posters trying to engage them simply on the basis of what they wrote in this thread based on the assumption that they were commenting in earnest, leaving others free to have other conversations. 

Yes, the OP article was a relevant commentary about how open discourse is sometimes abused by bigots for the purpose of personally attacking transsexual and gender-queer individuals.

Imagine if the thread had simply presented that article for discussion, instead of citing it in a polemic against skeptical discourse in general. The entire thread would have gone very differently.

(By the way, this is not the first time (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50759.0.html) heyalison used the tactic of proffering an op-ed article for discussion, then using it as a jumping-off point to scold the entire SGU forum.)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Eternally Learning on July 01, 2019, 04:56:54 AM
Somewhere in here, there was a good conversation to be had about an interesting article.  Imagine if the posters who many consider to be disingenuous actors had posted their peace and had simply been ignored by those who dismiss them (rightfully or wrongly), with the only responses being from posters trying to engage them simply on the basis of what they wrote in this thread based on the assumption that they were commenting in earnest, leaving others free to have other conversations. 

Yes, the OP article was a relevant commentary about how open discourse is sometimes abused by bigots for the purpose of personally attacking transsexual and gender-queer individuals.

Imagine if the thread had simply presented that article for discussion, instead of citing it in a polemic against skeptical discourse in general. The entire thread would have gone very differently.

(By the way, this is not the first time (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50759.0.html) heyalison used the tactic of proffering an op-ed article for discussion, then using it as a jumping-off point to scold the entire SGU forum.)

People can create threads to discuss anything they desire, but if you consider her to be arguing in bad faith, then my quote applies just as much to you as it does to those responding to you.  Imagine if you'd ignored her and allowed others who didn't share your view to attempt to discuss it with her, while giving her the benefit of the doubt.  If you're right and she's not interested in honest debate, then those that are would eventually realize it for themselves.  Not laying this mess of a thread all at your feet or anything, just saying "what if?"
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on July 01, 2019, 05:07:52 AM
Have you read the other thread (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50759.0.html)? I mostly kept out of that one.

I suppose I could have ignored the bait the second time around too, but why should I have to?

I'm not the one who's chastising other forum members in the third person just for expressing opinions slightly different from mine.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Eternally Learning on July 01, 2019, 05:33:02 AM
Do you really read what I've said here as stating an opinion that you are the one most at fault for all these thread derails and bickering?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on July 01, 2019, 09:40:54 AM
Do you really read what I've said here as stating an opinion that you are the one most at fault for all these thread derails and bickering?

I thought your post was fair and well said. It articulates some of how I feel when lurking here.

I disagree with a lot of what Quetz says but mixed in there are some good and interesting posts as well. The whinging about being treated unfairly is sometimes eye rolling and cringey, but to be honest I think he has a point. I think he could post that the earth is round and immediately recieve snide snark-filled posts from the same 6 or so people which would of course cause a response from him. Then the thread turns into another grudge fest. This thread was always going to be what it became because the OP took a jab right from the start and achieved the self fulfilling prophesy when the targets responded.

I just think this forum needs to have a villain or two for the popular members to get their fix for dog piling. A lot past members seemed more rightfully shunned here in the last few years, although a few of those didn't seem entirely fair either (or I missed something). When they leave it just becomes the next person who is most out of line with the consensus of the most frequent members.

I've seen a few times members worrying that people like Quetz or the lack of diversity is what keeps numbers low here. I think the lack of willingness to accept other viewpoints outside those of the most active few along with the abundance of snark keeps a lot of people away. I know it has that effect on me and at least 2 other members who I've met from other communities and lurk here.

I sometimes get the feeling several people here wish this was more of an Athiest+ type of forum where dissent is an auto ban. Thankfully the mods here are really good at doing their job and enforcing the rules even when it's obvious they disagree.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 01, 2019, 12:20:05 PM
Do you really read what I've said here as stating an opinion that you are the one most at fault for all these thread derails and bickering?

I thought your post was fair and well said. It articulates some of how I feel when lurking here.

I disagree with a lot of what Quetz says but mixed in there are some good and interesting posts as well. The whinging about being treated unfairly is sometimes eye rolling and cringey, but to be honest I think he has a point. I think he could post that the earth is round and immediately recieve snide snark-filled posts from the same 6 or so people which would of course cause a response from him. Then the thread turns into another grudge fest. This thread was always going to be what it became because the OP took a jab right from the start and achieved the self fulfilling prophesy when the targets responded.

I don't really know what I "say" that is so disagreeable. And a post can be interesting even if you disagree with it.

As for being treated differently, others (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9615169.html#msg9615169) have noticed that as well.

I just think this forum needs to have a villain or two for the popular members to get their fix for dog piling. A lot past members seemed more rightfully shunned here in the last few years, although a few of those didn't seem entirely fair either (or I missed something). When they leave it just becomes the next person who is most out of line with the consensus of the most frequent members.

I don't know who these past members are or why they were targeted, but it is actually somehow consoling to know that I am not the only target of the people you implicitly describe as cyberbullies (let's be honest, that's what they are if they need that kind of "fix").

I've seen a few times members worrying that people like Quetz or the lack of diversity is what keeps numbers low here. I think the lack of willingness to accept other viewpoints outside those of the most active few along with the abundance of snark keeps a lot of people away. I know it has that effect on me and at least 2 other members who I've met from other communities and lurk here.

I think the "cliqueness" is a big turn-off for many. Any lurker can see that either you fall in line with what the popular people think, or you get targeted endlessly. And if your description is correct that certain popular people here are always looking for someone to target, of course that will drive people away. It is a no-brainer.

(I find it very ironic that from what we know about the leanings of the SGU rogues, they too would fall out of line with the consensus of the popular people.)

I sometimes get the feeling several people here wish this was more of an Athiest+ type of forum where dissent is an auto ban. Thankfully the mods here are really good at doing their job and enforcing the rules even when it's obvious they disagree.

Yes, there have been calls (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50534.0.html) for a mechanism to vote people away. I won't be surprised in the least if something like that is eventually implemented.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Nosmas on July 01, 2019, 01:03:34 PM
I don't really know what I "say" that is so disagreeable. And a post can be interesting even if you disagree with it.

As for being treated differently, others (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,51152.msg9615169.html#msg9615169) have noticed that as well.

Why put say in quotations?
Anyway, EVERYONE says stuff that's disagreeable. Don't take it so personally. I think some of what I take as foot in mouth comments is due to English not being your first language which doesn't seem to be considered often. I also think some of the singling out comments directed at you has made you even more sensitive to being singled out which causes you to feel that way even if it's not happening.
 I agree posts can be interesting if you don't agree. I would say they're often more interesting.

I don't know who these past members are or why they were targeted, but it is actually somehow consoling to know that I am not the only target of the people you implicitly describe as cyberbullies (let's be honest, that's what they are if they need that kind of "fix").

Cyberbully seems extreme. I think it happens in most online forums but it seems particularly bad when member count is low and you see the same people shitting on the same target.
I may be remembering some of them wrong but the ones I was thinking of were AndrewClunn, Radamare, Anders, pbd and a few others whose names I can't recall.

I think the "cliqueness" is a big turn-off for many. Any lurker can see that either you fall in line with what the popular people think, or you get targeted endlessly. And if your description is correct that certain popular people here are always looking for someone to target, of course that will drive people away. It is a no-brainer.

(I find it very ironic that from what we know about the leanings of the SGU rogues, they too would fall out of line with the consensus of the popular people.)

"Cliqueness" is a pretty good way to describe it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on July 01, 2019, 02:43:36 PM
A couple of points occur to me:
-If you say something someone disagrees with, they might tell you they disagree with it. If many people disagree with you and decide to let you know, thats not really dogpiling.

-Is there some popularity meter I am unaware of? It seems like some are fixated on the idea that there are a big group of friends who defend each other no matter what. Thats not the case and you can see pretty much everyone arguing with someone over something on this forum. If we do have some sort of a popularity hierarchy, who is at the top? How do these cliques work? Why do they not stop myself and PANTS! from disagreeing about Bernie and me from thinking and saying Hanes goes over the top sometimes or that Rais anarchist vision would probably not work?
Or maybe this is just projection from past offline experiences? Some ideas do seem more popular than others and people can be a bit overzealous in defending them.

-Theres always a feeling that maybe its the sjws who are making the place unwelcoming to a more diverse group but so many women, people of colour and queer folks have specifically told us why they were leaving that it seems odd to still be speculating about it. One person told me its because we dont come down hard enough on certain people.

-If the thing being questioned relates to someones identity and sense of safety in a society or if the question 'just being asked' is one that people are sick to death of answering then snark is probably likely. But it doesnt make it a great thing to happen and its probably not the best way to make everyone feel comfortable. We should try and do that less.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Captain Video on July 01, 2019, 03:27:01 PM
Im surprised you don't see it. I suppose the clicky groups in the school cafeteria may not have realized it either.

Disagreement is fine, its the attitudes and sarcasm during that disagreement that seems to change when talking to the people at the unpopular table. I think most everyone here has been guilty of it at one point including myself, some much more than others.


I think this thread should be moved to somewhere only members can see.



Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on July 01, 2019, 03:39:55 PM
I get it, some of us can be very sarcastic, but just because some people have a similar style of engagement, does not make them a group in any meaningful way.
All any of us have here are the words we put on the screen, so any reaction is a reaction to that.
I can see how being on the recieving end of hurtful engagement might make one view those who did so as a single entity or group but it just does not stand up to much of a deep look at all.
Did we pull names out of a hat and decide who is popular and who is not? What ideas are cool and what ones arent?

In an irl setting, a clique could definitely be a thing. Its a group of people who are close together. Even online,there could be a case of facebook friends conspiring or whatever but of the people still left on the forum, Aqb and John Albert are the two I have had the most off site or PM conversations with.
I know how it feels to think a group is arbitrarily against you and its very tempting to think that the reasons for disagreement are arbitrary or tribal, but sometimes a bunch of different strangers just disagree with you (and are maybe assholes about it) and no conspiracy is needed.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Captain Video on July 01, 2019, 03:58:16 PM
A clique forms and changes in its own organic way, nobody exactly goes out of their way to plan them and there are never "meetings" or it becomes a club.

Admittedly cliques may not be the best way to explain what is being described, I don't know what other word to use.  Its very clear to me that when certain people post the attitude changes from the majority of the other heavy posters and the sarcasm becomes mean.  Quetz has been pointing this out for some time now and it seems to be dismissed as some kind of persecution complex yet its right there in front of us, he is not wrong.

Im not even sure if his personality type takes this kind of thing personally (do you Q?) He seems to point it out as a discussion point to try and understand "Why" he is being treated this way. (sorry if i am putting incorrect words in your mouth Q, but this is how it looks to me)

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Harry Black on July 01, 2019, 04:10:28 PM
So yes. I would agree that lots of people (myself included) do post somewhat dismissively where Quetz is involved.

I dont think it is any sort of 'group' that is definable in any way other than being people who disagree with the content of his posts and the perception that the way he engages is often condescending while very often demanding debate in a way that we may see as being obnoxious.

Again- All we have to judge each other by are the words we put on the screen.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on July 01, 2019, 04:34:27 PM
-Theres always a feeling that maybe its the sjws who are making the place unwelcoming to a more diverse group but so many women, people of colour and queer folks have specifically told us why they were leaving that it seems odd to still be speculating about it. One person told me its because we dont come down hard enough on certain people.

It makes sense to speculate, because people lie. It's pretty obvious that people who don't actually like skepticism are pretending that they want to be members here, and giving destructive advice. If you are referring to the examples I think, these people used identity politics as a diversion, basically used every unskeptical discussion tactic you can think of, acted like terrible people, acted like they were being harassed just for posts that disagree with them, and then left when their identity politics didn't get them special treatment.

If I were a minority, my biggest fear would be anonymous people on the Internet claiming to belong to my group (believable or not) and then acting like a terrible person. In my mind, when someone does this, they are either totally clueless about what constitutes intelligible and reasonable discourse (even in politics). Or even more likely, they are sarcastically pretending to represent a minority group they don't like.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: John Albert on July 02, 2019, 03:17:50 AM
Do you really read what I've said here as stating an opinion that you are the one most at fault for all these thread derails and bickering?

No. Did I say you'd stated that opinion? I was just responding to the part of your post that I had quoted earlier.

Sorry if my reply came off as defensive, but in two years of interacting with this community I've learned that it helps to cover my ass to avoid getting blindsided. 


If you say something someone disagrees with, they might tell you they disagree with it. If many people disagree with you and decide to let you know, thats not really dogpiling.

A group of individuals independently disagreeing with an opinion is not 'dogpiling.' At least, that's not what I mean when I use the word.

'Dogpiling' is when a number of posters gang up on an individual with repeated personal attacks, usually through insults, name-calling, mockery, and mischaracterization. Often it involves criticizing the targeted individual in the third person instead of addressing them directly as one would in a good faith conversation.

When somebody who self-identifies as a righteous activist levels an accusation at the entire community, then directs the collective rage at certain members of the community and refuses to tolerate dissent, that is basically directing the community to engage in dogpiling.


If the thing being questioned relates to someones identity and sense of safety in a society or if the question 'just being asked' is one that people are sick to death of answering then snark is probably likely. But it doesnt make it a great thing to happen and its probably not the best way to make everyone feel comfortable. We should try and do that less.

Agreed.

It's also important to remember that just because somebody's "sick to death of answering" a particular question, that does not mean their opinion is necessarily correct or reasonable; it just means the person is unwilling to reconsider or entertain questions about it.
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 02, 2019, 03:46:53 PM
So yes. I would agree that lots of people (myself included) do post somewhat dismissively where Quetz is involved.

It's nice to know where I have you.

I can't answer for all the previously listed members who were driven away by the cyberbullies. But I think I recall Redamare and Anders to be decent people.

I think this forum was intended to be a friendly community for skeptics, not for a bunch of cyberbullies to live out their nature. If this forum has a track record of a few people dominating who drive others away, it fails to live up to its original purpose, and is probably harmful to the skeptical movement in general, and the SGU podcast in particular.

I dont think it is any sort of 'group' that is definable in any way other than being people who disagree with the content of his posts and the perception that the way he engages is often condescending while very often demanding debate in a way that we may see as being obnoxious.

Again- All we have to judge each other by are the words we put on the screen.

Do you have any example of me being "condescending" or "very often demanding debate"? The latter should be easy to put forth, if it is "very often".

As for who the popular people are, should we really start to list people, some of whom haven't participated in this thread, at least not for a while?

I can think of one member who is probably at the top of the social ladder, who I perceive to be immensely influential. This person has (I think) not even posted in this thread. Should I really mention him (I assume it's a him)? It feels improper unfair to drag that person in.

Maybe you can even guess who I am referring to? :P
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Eternally Learning on July 02, 2019, 04:44:55 PM
May I just point out that this seems to be yet again another example of a circular conversation that will almost certainly go nowhere?  I'm pretty sure Quetz is not likely to agree with anyone's negative opinions of them and it doesn't seem that anyone who has those opinions is likely to change their minds either.  I get the impetus behind defending one's views of others or themselves but really, where is this conversation ever going to go that's constructive and in what threads will it ever prove to welcome those who have no dogs in the fight to participate?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 02, 2019, 04:51:02 PM
May I just point out that this seems to be yet again another example of a circular conversation that will almost certainly go nowhere?  I'm pretty sure Quetz is not likely to agree with anyone's negative opinions of them and it doesn't seem that anyone who has those opinions is likely to change their minds either.  I get the impetus behind defending one's views of others or themselves but really, where is this conversation ever going to go that's constructive and in what threads will it ever prove to welcome those who have no dogs in the fight to participate?

Actually I think this got much more interesting since you, Nosmas, Captain Video, and stands2reason joined in.

John Albert also gets cudos from me for being one of the friendliest and most consistently skeptical people on this forum. :)
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: stands2reason on July 02, 2019, 05:45:52 PM
May I just point out that this seems to be yet again another example of a circular conversation that will almost certainly go nowhere?  I'm pretty sure Quetz is not likely to agree with anyone's negative opinions of them and it doesn't seem that anyone who has those opinions is likely to change their minds either.  I get the impetus behind defending one's views of others or themselves but really, where is this conversation ever going to go that's constructive and in what threads will it ever prove to welcome those who have no dogs in the fight to participate?

Even though I am a regular, I don't read all the threads here, sometimes missing out on forum politics. I don't necessarily take what someone says about someone else at face value. What people say about others often says more about themselves. But it's nice to have an understanding of baggage that exists.

Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Eternally Learning on July 02, 2019, 06:06:37 PM
May I just point out that this seems to be yet again another example of a circular conversation that will almost certainly go nowhere?  I'm pretty sure Quetz is not likely to agree with anyone's negative opinions of them and it doesn't seem that anyone who has those opinions is likely to change their minds either.  I get the impetus behind defending one's views of others or themselves but really, where is this conversation ever going to go that's constructive and in what threads will it ever prove to welcome those who have no dogs in the fight to participate?

Even though I am a regular, I don't read all the threads here, sometimes missing out on forum politics. I don't necessarily take what someone says about someone else at face value. What people say about others often says more about themselves. But it's nice to have an understanding of baggage that exists.

If no one were to warn you, and you happened to have a conversation with that person, completely unaware that others found them disingenuous, and you never develop that opinion, is that such a bad thing?  There have been plenty of people here, even some of the MAGA hats, who I personally feel were often posting in bad faith and yet from time to time I was able to have a reasonable conversation with them.  I'm not sure it's really all that helpful for members to try and spread their negative opinions of other members (even if those opinions are 100% spot-on) to people trying to honestly engage with them.

Either those members are truly problematic or they aren't.  If they are, then it should get to the point where mod actions are required up to and including banning.  If they aren't so problematic to require mod actions but are still disingenuous, then everyone who feels that way ignoring them should lead to them not being much of a presence as really; how long would any of us participate in a forum where literally no one responds to anything we say? Also, if not everyone feels that way then maybe they aren't quite as problematic as some members feel. 
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on July 03, 2019, 02:44:09 PM
If you think about it, really, what kind of people are those who feel the need to spread their negative view of other forum members?
Title: Re: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic
Post by: Eternally Learning on July 04, 2019, 07:23:55 PM
If you think about it, really, what kind of people are those who feel the need to spread their negative view of other forum members?

I understand it if you think someone is being intentionally disruptive, I just think that directly confronting someone you think is being intentionally disruptive only furthers their opportunities to disrupt.