RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the clogosphere?

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[edit] Wrong Megan Fox

There is no socially redeeming value in watching a random, annoying woman spouting ignorant crap about paleontology. If it were the hot Megan Fox, I'd feel different. Whoover (talk) 22:13, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

I was hoping to see another celebrity make an idiot out of themselves, but all I got was some old lady being stupid. Misleading advertising, I'm sending the FTC.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 01:42, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
A reddit thread on this video had a lot of "I only made it 28 seconds into the video before puking and bailing" kind of comments. I made it as far as "if there are still eukaryotes, their lack of change disproves evolution" and had enough of that idiot. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:50, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Rebecca Watson

I love how readily she talks about how punching unpleasant people in the face is "glorious", whereas if Buzz Aldrin had punched a woman I think it would have been a bit different. Nothing to do with doxxing, just wanted to add that.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 01:01, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

In the particular case Aldrin didn't punch Sibrel just because was "unpleasant" - Sibrel had tried to interview Aldrin under false pretenses, then prevented him from retreating twice. The second time Sibrel directly blocked his way and prodded him with a Bible, saying the now infamous "You are a coward and a liar and a [thief]." The punch was prompted by those specific circumstances, including the difference in age and body size. In most cases a woman a) wouldn't be on the same level of physical threat to Aldrin to warrant the same physical response, and b) wouldn't be so dumb to behave in the same manner. And in the hypothetical alternative universe where Bart Sibrel was a woman, all other properties unchanged, I doubt that Watson would be a great fan of her behavior.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:19, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
You're probably right about the last part, but even if it were a physically threatening woman, Watson and most people in fact wouldn't call it glorious. That would be glorifying violence against women, of course.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the guy who was punched presented a physical threat to Aldrin or that Watson is arguing that he did. As for a woman being less "dumb" than a man, what are you basing that on? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:00, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

If you are confronted like this by an animal, for most species all else being equal the threat level is very dependent on the gender. H. Sapiens are no exception. The thing with various maninists is that they attack various compensations and variations that society puts around the sexual dimorphism of the species (as those are pretty much the only existent instances of something being seemingly stacked against males in the world of still widespread workplace discrimination). Dmytry (talk) 21:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Regardless of what your precise point is, I'm very wary of the phrase "H sapiens are no exception." There's a lot of ways in which humans need special treatment, due to our intellectual complexity and ability to understand the implications of things. In this case with respect to violence and its interrelationship with our ability to formulate and discuss moral systems. Ikanreed (talk) 21:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] "Justified" v. "Unjustified"

Just wanted to add here: While I'm pretty vehemently against doxxing in principle, I'd say the threatening situations that Rebecca talks about is pretty damn justified if the source is confirmed. General misogyny or -isms on the other hand, not so much (compare Alana Pearce/Facebook-linked threats vs. Brianna/Getting Racists Fired tumblr). Noir LeSable (talk) 09:20, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Yep, doxxing as a way of outsourcing shitty behavior isn't good, and she ought not to have done it. But she's also right that context matters, and doxxing people who are using anonymity to cause trouble for others is substantially distinct from doxxing people in a way that delivers their home address to people who are known to be threatening them. To argue she's wrong about context mattering is crazy; completely insane. There are times when something can be wrong without rising to the level of hypocrisy(also, from what I've seen of her videos, she's never condemned doxxing herself). Ikanreed (talk) 14:14, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
The problem with Watson's defence of her actions is that she's totally subjective. "Oh, it's ok to dox those guys, because we're the good guys here." And that's the problem - who exactly decides who the good guys in each fight are? And who decides who deserved to be doxed? Does Ray Comfort have the right to dox you, because you question his dogma? Can Andy Schlafly dox you for trolling CP? The fact remains, people are dicks on the internet, and if they act like dicks, there are processes to deal with them. Acting like a douchebag, just to out another douchebag isn't one of them. Watson has committed a Dawkinsesque level of dumbassery with this posting. PsyGremlinFale! 14:54, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm gonna come back and say that doxxing can mean multiple things. Outing a person hiding behind anonymity's real name isn't the same as publishing home addresses, for example. Context matters. I'll also repeat that she's wrong that it's okay. Just right that context is meaningful. Ikanreed (talk) 15:25, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Ray Comfort absolutely has the right to dox you. Yes, Andy Schlafly has the same. There are no laws against it. And it's not a 'douchebag' maneuver; that in itself is subjective. Doxxing is just a tool. Unless you think you have some right to have your internet actions divorced from your IRL self - and I do not agree with that at all. --Castaigne (talk) 15:32, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
"There are no laws against it." Yes there are. At least against doxing federal officers in certain positions (18 U.S.C. § 119). That was the crux in one of the counts of the Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. case. Either way, the legality of doxing is still very murky, depending the sources used (Stalking?), the purpose of/motive behind the doxing (Harassment? Defamation? Threats?), among other things. [Insert Not A Lawyer Your State May Vary Disclosure Here]. Noir LeSable (talk) 17:53, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I am happy to acknowledge that doxxing the information of federal agents in pursuit of official duties is Not Allowed. However, I don't believe that's what we're talking about here. As for the legal "murkiness" of doxxing, to me that is mostly bull. As the article itself says, as long as nothing illegal is done in acquiring or publishing the information, it's all good. Keeping it legal keeps it legit. --Castaigne (talk) 21:33, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

And here is the alternate viewpoint: I don't see a problem with what she's saying, since doxxing is a null threat anyway. There hasn't been privacy on the internet since the 1990s, no matter what people would like to believe, and if we wanted to drop $35-50 we could have a background firm dox someone instantly. She is right; doxxing by itself is neither good nor bad, it is just a tool. Like hiring a PI. Like doing a background check. Secondarily, why should she NOT publish the names of those who harass her? Why is she obligated to protect them on the internet? The whole idea that you should be able to harass with IRL immunity is frankly ridiculous. (Obligated notation: This is coming from a person who happily made sure a now-imprisoned pedophile rapist's internet harassment of women was made known to his IRL associates.) When PZ says "I suspect the only reason that “doxxing” has been elevated to such a sacred level of knee-jerk abhorrence is not out of some virtuous desire to protect the innocent, but entirely to protect the guilty.", he is entirely correct. It was totes OK for the 4Chan/GG/ED crowd to dox others, until they themselves were doxxed. It's good for that crowd to do it to Quinn and Sarkeesian and anyone else they want to, but not to have their own tactics turned against them. I'm just not seeing anything controversial or stupid here being uttered by either person. --Castaigne (talk) 15:32, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that doxxing can and does turn into worse things sometimes. People delivering actionable threats to your home because some idiot dumped your address online isn't a game. If you've got a good reasons for publishing peoples' private information in a widely disseminated way: it's not a illegal, and I can't stand in your way. If you don't, I have good reason to condemn you for it. Us vs. them tends to be a easy conflation to make here, but subtlety and nuance aren't going to go away. Ikanreed (talk) 15:40, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree, it is not a game. But then I also state that others are responsible for their actions. Doxxing is a value-neutral tool. It's used for good things and bad, with good and bad being subjectively defined by the user thereof. What Watson and Meyers are talking about is not the validity of doxxing in and of itself, which is a null subject, but the fucked premise that there's some sort of internet social etiquette that you don't dox people. That's never been true. It hasn't been true since I first got on the internet full-time in 1993. And for a certain crowd of people to pretend that it's true? They're lying. And that's just fact. --Castaigne (talk) 15:54, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
You don't dump people's names and addresses online. I don't care who you are or how right you are. People have a right to anonymity, and either noone has that right or everyone has it. People say dumb things on the internet. They float unpopular ideas. They let off steam. That does not justify escalating things by bringing it into the "real world". If someone escalates it themselves by stalking or harassing or doxxing, then they should be reported to law enforcement, not left to such imprecise, unreliable, arbitrary, and unaccountable people as internet mobs (the police may be all those things as well, but not to the extent of Everyone on the Internet). (Agrajag (talk) 18:04, 15 December 2014 (UTC))
I agree but disagree at the same time. If you want to talk shit online but then somebody puts you on blast for it and has evidence of it, bye bye. But I wouldn't find their address or their real name and do that, that is creepy, wrong and extreme. However, I can't say I feel bad when a woman takes a picture of a guy on Tinder/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram who says stuff like "You stupid bitch! You won't let me fuck?!" and then puts it online.(BlackProg (talk) 18:13, 15 December 2014 (UTC))
1) People's names and addresses are already dumped online. ALL of them. It's just a matter of connecting the dots.
2) I don't agree that everyone has a right to anonymity. If you like, you can tell me where you derive this idea from and why it should be legally enforced. My position is that no one has a right to anonymity, just like no one has a right to anything not absolutely guaranteed and enforced by law.
3) You say "That does not justify escalating things by bringing it into the "real world"." This exemplifies the exact type of problem I see. There is no difference between the real world and the internet. NONE. People have maintained this fiction since 2000 or so, but it's simply untrue. Terri "Tickle" DeSisto learned that to her (his) despair back in the late 90s. (http://citypaper.net/articles/040501/cb.onmedia.shtml) There is no escalation and I'm quite confused when you refer to the revealing of publicly available information as such.
A major problem with such discussions is that "doxing" covers a lot of behaviors, so blanket statements are nearly meaningless.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:29, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
No. You don't escalate stuff like that while leaving it online. Other people will be bastards. That's a fact of life. Either refute them (morons), block/ignore them (trolls and assholes), or report them to the police (harassers and stalkers).(Agrajag (talk) 18:50, 15 December 2014 (UTC))
I don't see how revealing the identity of vicious psychopaths to the world can be considered a morally bad thing. When doxxing is used by vicious psychopaths to harrass and terrorize people, it's obviously a bad thing of course. (talk) 20:42, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Because not everyone is a consequentialist ethicist. Some people believe, though I do personally disagree, that your own actions towards others is the only valid criteria for judgement. Ikanreed (talk) 20:46, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Is disrespecting one person for the sake of protecting everyone else from that person not the best action to take? Even if protecting those people involves me committing a type of act that is intrinsically immoral, it is still preferable that I sacrifice my moral purity for the sake of preventing graver immoral acts from being committed. Though I suppose someone like Kant would decide otherwise, choosing "moral purity" over lying to a murderer about the location of their intended victim. Though I don't see how being complicit in murder would make Kant more morally pure. (talk) 22:01, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
If you ask me, the matter under contention isn't "vicious psychopaths" and (somehow) "murderers", the but rather things like "I think they're a bigot", "We had an argument and I disagree with them", "This person made a [very/vaguely/could be interpreted as] sexist tweet", "That person is/did X! Look at this [damning/misleading/vague/fabricated/nonexistent] evidence!" and so forth. Revealing the identity of a "vicious psychopath" with proof of their harassing or threatening behavior is a lot less contentious on the justifiable scale than, say, doxxing someone who made an off-color joke on a personal Twitter. Noir LeSable (talk) 03:16, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
If you release that shit to the general public then you are inviting every drooling sociopath on the interwebz to come along and play. End of story.--Madman (talk) 03:56, 16 December 2014 (UTC)The Madman

[edit] Nothing new

For ages, Pharyngula has had a version of this disclaimer:

I reserve the right to publicly post, with full identifying information about the source, any email sent to me that contains threats of violence.

It's not an empty statement, Myers has done it a few times. In one case this resulted in a woman losing her job after her dumb husband used her work-related e-mail address to threaten Myers. And given the existence of an article about Dennis Markuze on this wiki, I also find the whole conversation a bit hypocritical. :) --ZooGuard (talk) 18:25, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

How are back-and forth discussions ever hypocritical? She made an argument for nuance in determining the harm of doxxing, and some people think that there's no legitimate reason to do it(for certain definitions of "it"). I find both to be true and not mutually exclusive. Ikanreed (talk) 18:46, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not a fan of Doxxing anyone as any type of punitive vigilante action, but the one exception is threats/harrassment in order to figure out who to stop. It's nearly impossible to do already. Such as nothing was done about Dennis until people figured out who he was and contacted the police literally thousands of times. I have been in the situation where we even knew who the person was and it was near impossible to get the authorities involved until that person did something physical. We only were able to convince the cops before it went too far because we found out this guy was convicted of doing the same escallating things previously after kicking in the door of the person he was stalking and assaulting her. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:36, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] The Fox and the Hounding

Ok yeah, it's Fox News. Not exactly the bastion of scientific/skeptical thinking there.

But good grief, give them some credit. I could pretty easily see how someone who's kinda sorta vaguely familiar with relevant scientific events (i.e. the Mars Climate Orbiter crash of 1999) could think of that potential issue without completely thinking it through. And as Christ-crazy (Chrizy?) some Fox reporters can be, Kooiman included, it doesn't look like she was at all bringing religion into it or demonizing the metric system outright. Noir LeSable (talk) 10:11, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] George Will and Cassandra

Is this just standard neo-conservative puffery, where they use something out of classical education, like archaic words or mythological figures, to help establish an unwarranted image of education and worldliness, or is there some self-aware explanation that would actually justify the invocation?

Certainly, I've seen enough of the former from the "dark enlightenment" types who purposefully cloak their meaning in unreasonable metaphor so as to accuse people of "not getting it". But George Will isn't their type of idiot. He's, even if as politically uninsightful as they come(also a vindictive, petty person), a writer, and should know how to use language to make a point. What actually explains this? Ikanreed (talk) 15:25, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

There is an off-chance that George Will was being sarcastic, "these degenerates are thoroughly convinced history will vindicate them", of course, he could have had a senior moment. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock )Moderator 18:43, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
That does fit pretty well with neocon pettiness. I subscribe to your theory. Ikanreed (talk) 19:47, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't see what's wrong with the odd classical allusion. Of course, he got it wrong and said the exact opposite of what he (presumably) wanted to say, and simultaneously hit on the truth. I think it was pretty great. (Agrajag (talk) 20:25, 9 January 2015 (UTC))

[edit] Patheos on Charlie Hebdo attack

I've got a feeling this is a pretty polarizing issue around here and somebody was bound to start this discussion sooner or later, so it might as well be me. Personally I think there's an important distinction to be made here that Friendly Atheist isn't making, or at least is glossing over. And that's that criticizing the works of Charlie Hebdo, without condoning the attacks those works precipitated, is not in and of itself a form of victim blaming. Saying that its creators deserved to die certainly is, but some of the people FA cites (e.g. Jacob Canfield) say nothing of the sort. FA seems to want to hold people like Canfield responsible for statements made by others in the comment sections of their blogs, which in my opinion is disingenuous. Abed Nadir (talk) 20:25, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Eh. Strictly true, in a disconnected verbal sense. But the problem with this line of thinking is that if all you do, in the wake of someone being a victim, is discuss their flaws, particularly those that relate to how they were attacked, it's essentially victim blaming. It's like if a woman was raped and people say "She dressed like a slut" rather than "She was raped because she was dressed like a slut" you can't just pretend there's no implication there. Their worst crimes do not stand up to the crimes that were perpetuated upon them. Ikanreed (talk) 20:49, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think people like Canfield intend solely to "discuss their flaws" so much as criticize the "Je Suis Charlie" crowd, who have taken to lionizing CH in the name of "free speech." Attacks on Muslims are on the rise now in a twisted form of "retaliation", which is completely unacceptable. But I doubt you disagree with me that that's unacceptable, and I can see where you're coming from too... It's a complex issue. Abed Nadir (talk) 20:54, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, And I don't think "all they did" was discuss their flaws. That's an over-representation to make the core case that victim blaming doesn't only extend to strictly blaming victims for the acts of criminals. Ikanreed (talk) 21:02, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] "Victim blaming"

Now, lest anyone accuse me of terrorism apologetics, let me assure you that I strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms. No matter what perceived wrongs people may have committed, murder and violence should never be the answer. But let's look at the case of Charlie Hebdo. Their last cartoon before the attack is basically the magazine goading terrorists to commit an attack on French soil. (How is this humour?) I don't know about you, but as far as the definition of the phrase "asking for it" goes, I think it definitely applies here. That doesn't mean the massacre was justified, of course, but that they've become the victim of a terrorist attack doesn't mean the questionable way Charlie Hebdo chose to use their freedom of speech can't or shouldn't be criticized. Frankly, with the way they were endangering French citizens, I'm somewhat relieved that the attack only targeted Charlie Hebdo and wasn't accompanied with the bombing of a crowded public space or somesuch. (talk) 21:03, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

It's kinda mean though. You're gonna pile criticism on top of being murdered. It's just kinda harsh. Ikanreed (talk) 21:07, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
A fair point, but given Charlie Hebdo's firm pro-free-speech and pro-satire stance, wouldn't refraining from criticizing them because it'd be "kinda harsh" given the circumstances be kinda hypocritical? (talk) 21:35, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. Whether the criticisms of Charlie Hebdo are right or wrong, they're fair comment, as in turn are the criticisms of these criticisms. What I find rather disappointing is that many of these counter-criticisms carry heavy implications of "you shouldn't say that because innocent people have been killed", "you shouldn't say that so soon" or "you should be respectful and keep those criticisms to yourself", which I find rather ironic coming from people who are ostensibly standing up for freedom of speech & the right to criticise. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:44, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Abed Nadir (talk) 00:06, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Breaking news

It turns out Fox News is a no-go area for facts. The police there are known to arrest anyone not wearing a flag pin. Ikanreed (talk) 20:53, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Birmingham police being grossly pro-their-version-of-Britain? Nah, no way. If that were true there would be things like incidents in the past where the West Mids police didn't care to practice proper investigations into terrorist atrocities, and just beat confessions out of whoever they thought they could blame. Even if there is something comparable to that from the past things would have changed by now, or the police would be major advocates of surveillance in the city based effectively along racial or religious grounds. BrowserWarVet (talk) 13:47, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Hate Speech Laws

The person who posted the link to the Peach video regarding the Charlie Hebdo attacks seems to imply that hate speech laws should exist. I'm somewhat surprised that the denizens of this wiki are in favor of such laws, which are a pretty obvious violation of the principles of free speech, they provide pretense for ridiculous arrests (that guy who called a policeman's horse gay, for instance), and are much more often applied to vocal atheists than to hateful preachers. Do many people here share his/her view?(Agrajag (talk) 21:24, 13 January 2015 (UTC))

Yeah, I'm pretty damn 'Merican in that I don't tend to sympathize much with any infringments on freedom of speech without extraordinarily reasonable justifications(i.e. people being directly harmed). So I agree hate speech laws don't make much sense, unless you goal is to dictate discourse. Ask me about hate crime laws, though and you'll get a very different perspective. Ikanreed (talk) 21:28, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I have to agree with Ikanreed here. However, I probably wouldn't put too much truss into the WIGO results as a barometer for RW userbase opinion for several reasons:
  1. There are only 16 votes as of posting, 8 of whom ostensibly agree with hate speech laws existing (see point 3). A relatively small sample size.
  2. Anyone, regular user or no, can vote on a WIGO, and possibly multiple times if they have a mobile device or access to public wifi hotspots.
  3. People can downvote something for any reason they want. Maybe they hate Youtube videos in WIGO topics. Maybe they think her editing or scripting was bad. Maybe they don't like the Charlie Hebido magazine and will blindly downvote anything that has to do with it, critical or no. Maybe they thought it was self-serving advertising for her Youtube channel. Maybe they have a compulsion to downvote any WIGO that has precisely 163 letters. We can't say.
So yeah. Noir LeSable (talk) 03:33, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
And of course speech can't cause harm... You're right, that particular stance is really common in the US. :/ (talk) 03:48, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I was just thinking that the opposition to drawing Muhammad voiced by numerous people in the "Draw Muhammad Day" thread might indicate support for hate speech laws, which would be odd, since this site might well be in violation of the British ones (though it seems that it's pretty hard to be sure until you get arrested). (Agrajag (talk) 03:58, 14 January 2015 (UTC))
I haven't actually read that thread yet, but I'd say there's a bit of a difference between disapproving of certain speech and wanting it censored or illegal, imo. I don't particularly approve of Jack Chick tracts, white supremacist propaganda, anthropogenic climate change denialist rhetoric, or Twilight, but I wouldn't want them to be outright banned by the government or illegal (unless they were, like, calling for violence or something). Noir LeSable (talk) 04:28, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
If you've read those things and they didn't incite violence in you, I think you've been reading them wrong. >.> (talk) 04:34, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure whether or not that was meant to be sarcastic. Noir LeSable (talk) 04:28, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
It's meant to be cynical. I hope that helps. (talk) 04:43, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Luckily, we're too jaded to be violent.--TiaC (talk) 04:55, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I voted it down out of insane bigotry against YouTube links in clogs - David Gerard (talk) 15:24, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, actually me too. I don't actually have a profound hate of youtube. It's an okay site. It's just anytime someone links me a youtube video to prove a point, I die a little inside. Ikanreed (talk) 15:25, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] "What if you can't see their skin color?"

As disappointing as it is, it seems like she might have been saying that one of the problems with profiling people based on race as a means of spotting criminal activity was that not all criminals look like stereotypical bad guys, and sometimes you can't see their skin color so it wouldn't work then either.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 23:35, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

That's very charitable, but doesn't really match up with what she said. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:41, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not trying to be charitable, just honest with myself. I really do like it when people say stupid things, but I don't like to pretend they do.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 22:18, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] There's a moon in the sky. (It's called THE MOON!)

I suppose what made that QVC video so hilarious was that the host was the one who was actually trying to reason from data. She invoked the list of planets she learned in school, and noted that the Moon was not among their number. Ergo, the moon is a star. QED - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:25, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

it might be an idea for them to avoid episodes of QI when they discuss how many moons the earth has AMassiveGay (talk) 12:06, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I sincerely hope that person was on drugs. That's so stupid I can't cope if it was real. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
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