Around Freethought Blogs

Things not to miss on the network today.

Natalie has the information on yet another Harper attempt to remake all of Canada in his image:

it appears that recent amendments to the Canadian Aeronautics Act, the laws and regulations regarding aviation in Canada, have added a regulation that permits discrimination against transgender passengers, entitling airline employees to refuse them permission to board. Specifically, this one:

Sec 5.2(1)(c) of the ID screening regs of Aeronautics Act: “An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.”

Oh hell no, Harper.

Frederick has a little something to say about being used by Be Scofield in an attack on Greta Christina and “New Atheists”:

I’ve observed a few the written exchanges between Scofield and Greta Christina and agree with the assessment that he is either sloppy or downright dishonest in his characterizations of what she says.  And Greta of all people least deserves to be a target of criticism on the issue of diversity and the “atheist movement.”

Scofield quotes from Sikivu Hutchinson’s critique of the New Atheists blind spot with respect to social justice issues, and the interplay between African American religiosity and these issues of social justice. Yet if he bothered to read the rest of the book besides the passages criticizing new atheism, he’d see that Hutchinson hardly argues for walling off god belief and African-American religious institutions from criticism. Her critique is aimed at presenting atheism/secularism to African-Americans in a way that makes it relevant because it addresses issues of racial and economic inequality.

And Greg has the latest on the war against women’s bodily autonomy–and the strange role the Susan G. Komen foundation has chosen to play in that war, presented here as a picture for the added irony:

Misplaced Komen Ad

Go read them all.

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Troll Alert: Do Not Engage

Those of you who read a number of blogs here at Freethought Blogs have probably noticed that we’ve had an ongoing infestation. It’s gone by a lot of names, but the commonality is that it can’t stand us talking about equality. I know that this sort of troll is a favorite food for commenters here, but after doing a bit of digging and seeing this guy in several places, I’m going to recommend that people stop engaging and simply report sightings to the blogger in question. Reasons why below the fold.

Continue reading “Troll Alert: Do Not Engage”

Troll Alert: Do Not Engage

Views and Comments

Work is doing its best to take up all my intellectual capacity, energy, and time at the moment. In lieu of a post of substance this morning, I bring you more on the question of controversy and pageviews. Greg offered his take on the question of comments versus pageviews here. I got curious about my own, so being the data-driven person I am, I charted them.

I started with my 15 top-trafficked posts since moving to Freethought Blogs. Then I added my 15 top-commented posts here, so I was getting the high range of both. The overlap was only six posts, which should tell you something right there. Here is what the relationship looks like. Continue reading “Views and Comments”

Views and Comments

About Those Pageviews

D.J. Grothe keeps mentioning pageviews in this discussion and suggesting they have some sort of causal effect on unnecessary dramatics and controversy. It’s not a new charge, of course. This is the internet, the land of the hyperactive meme. So let’s take a look at the idea, shall we?

There are three parts to this. Continue reading “About Those Pageviews”

About Those Pageviews

Retrospective

In the last four months of 2011, since moving to FreethoughtBlogs, my blog has received more visits than it did in its entire Blogger incarnation. That means (I hope) that some new people have discovered my blog and liked it. Assuming that’s the case, this seems like a good time to let you know what you might have missed this year. Here are a few posts that were favorites.

Dirty Little Geeks
This post made more people happy than anything else I’ve posted this year, I believe.

Male Rape Victims: Let’s Talk About the Men
This one made a lot of people happy as well, but for an entirely different reason. This covers research on male rape victims and their (few) differences from female rape victims.

Talking About Leadership
Debbie Goddard recommended this post on leadership challenges in the skeptical movement. I won’t even try to give you a better endorsement than that.

The Comments You Didn’t See
There’s a lot of noise from some quarters about free speech and comment moderation. This post captures a number of the comments moderated into oblivion during “Elevatorgate.” I’ve considered making this a semi-regular feature.

Confidence
This year, I only posted one of my stories on the blog. This is that.

The Judgment of Rep. Weiner
In which I responded to many of the common reactions to and assumptions about the pictures and sexting.

Sexism Always Wins, but It Still Loses
On not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

The Politics of the Null Hypothesis
The common charge is that it’s those on the “largely nuture” side of the IQ/genes debate who make their claims for political reasons. I took a little look at that.

True Equivalence
Putting the words of “atheist fundamentalists” up against religious moderates and fundamentalists.

Skepticism and Rape Adaptations; More on the Science of Rape “Adaptations”; and Skepticism Is a “How,” Not a “Who”
In which I start by criticizing an evolutionary psychology “researcher” and end up telling a CFI chapter how to do skepticism.

At the Atomic Testing Museum, At the Nevada Test Site, and Duck and Cover
Sharing the experience of a trip to Las Vegas for something very different than gambling.

Sex, Science, and Social Policy
Does crime go up in neighborhoods with adult businesses? Well, it depends on how you gather your data.

Should Have Known
On all the “She should have known” statements surrounding the assault of Lara Logan.

On the Assange Case
This is the last of a series of posts addressing the arguments against following through on the rape allegations against Julian Assange. It contains links to the rest.

Retrospective

Paying for Free

It’s one of those days, the sort that happen a lot this time of year, where a moment to sit down and write is in short supply. Apropos of that, and the early comments here (really?), enjoy this repost. It was originally posted here. For the record, he money earned by having ads on the site don’t change this math.

What is the point of entertaining you if you only tell me when I’m doing it wrong?

I will point out up front that I’m very lucky in my audiences. Some of this is work on my part, since I have no problem being fiercely critical of the hypercritical. A lot of it, though, is having largely other bloggers as readers of my blogs, other fiction authors as readers for my stories. There are few things more grand than to have work appreciated by those who understand what went into it.

How other bloggers cope sometimes is beyond me, though. Continue reading “Paying for Free”

Paying for Free

When the Puppets Come Out to Play

Mr. Moustache

Ooh. Really?

Mr. Sock

Interesting, but I think you’re both wrong. You appear to be a pair of fun photographers. Franc Hoggle aka Felch Grogan aka Victor Ivanoff is something else altogether. And now, since he can’t handle being ignored for several weeks, everyone who knows him in any incarnation has the opportunity to know who he is in all (or just many?) of them.

When the Puppets Come Out to Play

Minneapolis FtB Meetup

As long as we have Jason in town for another week, and Greg is mostly between the holiday obligations that come of marrying into a very social family, it’s time to take advantage of having a bunch of us in the same place at once.

So this Friday (December 2) at 5:30, we’ll be at Bar Abilene in Uptown, along with Ben and Jodi and, if we’re really lucky, Amanda and the hyper-cool Huxley. Join us for dinner or a little later for drinks. I recommend the cherry margarita and the guacamole prepared fresh at the table, but everything is good.

It is a Friday evening, so please let us know if you’ll be there. We’d hate to run out of seats. Leave a comment or drop one of us a line to let us know when you plan to show up.

Parking on the street requires the willingness to walk a few blocks or an undependable degree of serendipity, but there is a lot behind the restaurant on Fremont that’s fairly reasonable.

I hope to see you Friday!

Minneapolis FtB Meetup

We are Overwhelmed

It isn’t just that PZ has managed to transfer most of the Pharyngula traffic here from ScienceBlogs. Well…okay, it is largely that. But it’s also Ed, and it’s Chris and Justin and….

Look, to tell the truth, it’s not us. It’s you. FreethoughtBlogs has an awful lot of readers, many of whom read several blogs. That is really, truly awesome…and we just weren’t prepared for it.

You’ve noticed the problems: posts disappearing back into draft status, comment counts not keeping up, occasional long load times. So tonight, in order to fix that, we’re moving to the beefiest server our host can manage. This means downtime. At 10 p.m. EST, FreethoughtBlogs will go away for a bit.

You’re just going to have to find something else to do with your Friday night, I’m afraid. The current estimate is three hours, but you know how these things go. Well, being married to an IT guy, I know how these things go.

You’ll also need to bear with us a bit as we discover problems and straighten them out. Report them in comments as you see them. Give us pages where they happen and browser information so we can duplicate the weirdness. We’ll pass it all along to our tech. Fair warning: We will insist that he sleeps some this weekend, so you may not see immediate fixes.

It will also take some time to find an appropriate level of caching, which we’ve been using to fight the lag times, in order to fix the original problems. We’re on it, though, because really, it is about you.

We are Overwhelmed

Now It’s My Turn

Well, you know you’ve struck a nerve when people start researching you. It happened with Rebecca, of course. Juvenile jokes were blown up into “crimes” in an attempt to tell people they shouldn’t listen to anything she has to say. Information about her relationship history was passed around. Years-old insensitivity was posted as though it had been uttered yesterday as evidence of massive hypocrisy.

Think of it as a nifty little combination of character assassination and argument ad hominem. A particularly insidious way of saying, “If you don’t shut up, we’ll shut you up.”

Rebecca hasn’t been alone in this, of course. Continue reading “Now It’s My Turn”

Now It’s My Turn