Today, on the heels of a very bad overnight shift that had already despoiled my mental resources and spoiled my mood, I woke up to learn that one of our bloggers, Avicenna, had committed a cardinal sin and was kicked out of the network as a result. He’d plagiarised large sections of text from a wide variety of sources and incorporated those appropriated words into his post without attribution, and he’d done it serially, on a number of occasions.
In comments, much is being made of his quality of output, that it is unpolished, rambling, unstructured; these are absolutely forgivable in my eyes because what he was passionate about, what he decried or wrote in support of, I largely felt the same way. My main problem with his writing now, knowing that he’s plagiarized with such aplomb, is that I’m now inclined to wonder if every moment of lucidity he had actually came from someone else.
Continue reading “On Avicenna, plagiarism, and thanking those who regularly cry wolf while flailing us raw”
John Loftus, ex Freethought Blogger who left because not enough Christians were engaging with his posts so he could convert them, who subsequently founded and then left Skeptic Ink for the same reason, is now blogging at his original Blogspot blog about PZ Myers and Michael Shermer. (A hint, good sir — you may want to actually target your intended audience with your posts.) In his post, wherein the only possible reasons he proffers that PZ Myers might have published the rape allegation — made against Michael Shermer by an unnamed source whom he trusts — involve either naivety or malice, Loftus published the following addendum:
In a personal email to me Shermer categorically denies these accusations. If what he said about his accuser gets out, it will be apparent to most all reasonable people that PZ Myers published a bold-faced lie. He recklessly tried to destroy another person’s reputation without regard for fact-checking.
Continue reading “More foot-gunning in the Shermer debacle”
Brian K. Dalton (aka Mr Deity) has stepped in it bigtime. As a SUBTLE JAB (pfft) at all these issues in the skeptical community with regard to accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and general predation, especially the accusations of such leveled against his friend Michael Shermer, he’s slipped into the end post-credits of his latest video (here, starting at 5:24) some interesting parallels. Like all “subtle jabs” predicated on a lack of understanding of a situation, however, they have all the subtlety of a hand grenade in a bucket of paint, and they fall apart under any degree of scrutiny.
Trigger warning for discussion of rape tactics and victim-blaming.
Continue reading “Mr. Deity and the Victim-Blaming and Dismissiveness of Serious Allegations”
First: yes, the title is plural. I’ll get to that. Trigger warnings for discussion of sexual assault and rape.
Continue reading “The web of trust: Why I believe Shermer's accusers”
Here’s the panel audio from the last panel I got to attend this year, at 12:30am on Sunday. This has had the benefit of the most amount of experience with Audacity, where I even got to go into individual questioners’ audio from the audience and re-amplify them (though this might expose a bad habit by one of our mic’d panelists of talking over audience members — don’t increase your volume for those parts). This is much more listenable than my first attempt this year. I’ll almost have the whole process figured out by the time next year rolls around!
Panelists were Dan Fincke, PZ Myers, Bridget Landry, Heina Dadabhoy and Debbie Goddard.
It’s a false dichotomy. End of panel. Thank you all for coming!
Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. You’ll want to listen to this one, especially where we draw significantly on our personal experiences and discuss how the lines are blurring, and how “meatspace” is not really all that distinguishable from the internet. In fact, the biggest and most important “internet-based” event in my life actually took me some time to recall, because I wasn’t mentally classifying it as internet-related, which is why you’ll hear me fumble for an experience at the start of the panel.
Panelists were Stephanie Zvan, Jason Thibeault, Lux Pickel, PZ Myers, and Jamie Bernstein.
Sorry it’s taking so long to get these out. I basically came crashing back to reality hard after CONvergence, coming home to two gigantic work crises at once, creating a perfect storm that I’m still shovelling out. Fifteen hours yesterday, seven hours sleep, more work since I’ve been awake. Essentially, the only reason I’m posting this now is because I’m on an enforced break while my VPN access point is rebooting. Seriously, God must really hate me for being so dismissive of him over the weekend or something.
I’m dyin’ of con crud here still. First day back at work, too. And I have a huge backlog of things to blog, but I’ll have to plug away at it as time allows.
I got to meet several FtB commenters at CONvergence, but one of my favorite new friends practically handed me a blog post within ten seconds of meeting. Niki M, who comments very infrequently but has started coming out of her lurker-shell recently, expressed adoration of me and Stephanie Zvan — while PZ Myers was in the room with us. She mentioned both of us specifically as people she reads regularly, while completely slighting PZ. This, needless to say, made me ecstatic and I had to shout “EAT IT, PZ! WE HAVE FANS THAT YOU DON’T!”
Continue reading “CONvergence: The Horror In Clay”
Another of the three panels I was on, audio only unfortunately. Do let me know if the questions from the audience aren’t audible, I might be able to normalize the volume some. I’m not terribly experienced with Audacity, but I’m willing to play with it some more if you have problems.
Also on the panel were biologist and medium-calibre blogger PZ Myers, sci-fi author Adam Whitlatch, math professor and zombie afficionado Robert Smith? (yes, the question mark is part of his real name), and The Skeptical Teacher Matt Lowry (who tried to bite PZ’s head and whapped me about with a CONvergence schedule — I’m just saying).
Continue reading “CONvergence: Doomsday Scenarios”
The following is a repost from 07/10/2009 on Accomodationism vs New Atheism. Given how well it worked for Stephanie Zvan and Greta Christina as first posts, maybe I should have led with this one. Or maybe I should write something new. I’m sure I have more to say about the nonsense that is the “New Atheist” label, and how “accomodationism” is really just rubbing everyone the wrong way with their crankiness that not everyone’s using their exact tactics of mollycoddling with one hand and slapping with the other.
I’m going to extend Greg Laden’s metaphor proclaiming (rightly, in my opinion) that the so-called “New Atheists” and the so-called “accommodationists” are in the same boat and bickering about what amounts to be the 1% difference between their philosophies. But first I’m going to set the stage for this rant, and I’m also going to do what a number of people in this Internet High Dudgeon have done — define all my terms (favorably to my argument, naturally).
Continue reading “Two boats tethered together on a lake (a repost)”