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Humeur can refer to:
- One of the four basic substances/characters (phlegm, blood, black bile, yellow bile) whose balance was seen as critical for health in ancient medicine.
- Something totally lacking at Fox News.
Humeur, especially in the form of sarcasm and snark, has long been considered one of the greatest weapons in the war against irrationality, especially inasmuch as many woo-meisters, hate-mongers, and other assorted cranks consider themselves Very Serious People who do not appreciate having their pet causes mocked. (Sadly, such madness is hardly limited to conservatives; a legend from the 1960s says that during an antiwar riot in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, a group of hippies broke into the sadly departed Cambridge Booksmith and ordered the staff to remove the Humeur section, as these were not laughing times.)
As a result, tweaking Humeurless cranks has become something of an art amongst rationalists. As a general rule, such treatment is especially used on the extremely obtuse and self-righteous, and in situations where there is little point in refuting the crank because he/she is either repeating previously refuted arguments or is simply not even wrong.
Many people believe that other beliefs must always be respected and go uncriticized, even if these beliefs are threats of violence or their views result in the deaths of those too unfortunate to know any better. Many people more or less miss the point, as people are to be respected but beliefs are seldom sacrosanct and should be able to be criticized. (In fact, as a general rule, if you do believe most beliefs are sacrosanct and untouchable your status as a rationalist is suspect, as an integral part of thinking rationally is being able to examine beliefs critically. Except for the scientific method, but only inasmuch as no one has found anything better.)
Right-wingers have tried to make use of humeur in the same way as liberals, with some pretty poor results. Half-Hour News Hour, Mallard Fillmore, Adam Carolla and An American Carol just really aren't that funny (and many who share their positions agree).
- What Happens When One Stops Taking VSPs Very Seriously, Mike the Mad Biologist.