Talk:Blithering Genius

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Notes on things to add[edit]

I haven't quite figured out how to write the article introduction in a way that gives a good sense of who Blithering Genius is, and dissuading potential followers without going into too much detail. There are other subjects about him that may be relevant, but I wasn't sure how to comment on them. So I'll write them down here:

  • Rejection of morality, and how it may shape his political stances
  • How his low opinion of altruism shapes his beliefs, including on evolution.
  • "White preservationism" vs white supremacism (as defined by BG)
  • "Humanism" and his understanding of modern culture.
  • Other bloggers in his cult

--LiamM32 (talk) 01:55, 28 October 2023 (UTC)

I might also write about what he's written on Nazi's, and the Charlottesville article. He is very gentle on the Nazis compared to feminists. The one about Israel & Palestine may also be worth it.
Perhaps I should make a section called "Takes on various social conflicts". --LiamM32 (talk) 01:34, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
Here's a good-looking article that may be useful at some point. I'm saving it here as a note. Corporate ads said Black Lives Matter. But the industry creating them is nearly all white. --LiamM32 (talk) 05:07, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
There's a part in his recent Israel-Palestine article where he rejects the quote "every people has a right to a homeland".[1] The problems with this that he immediately brings up are reasonable, but his stances here appear to conflict with his grievances on the status of white people in Western countries. --LiamM32 (talk) 05:53, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
This article claims that most people believe "that there is a moral dimension to the universe". This might be true worldwide, as most religious people probably believe that. But if he's talking about the parts of the world where he believes "humanism" to be the dominant ideology, this is strange. Though it's not clear whether he thinks most westerners are agnostic or athiest. The claim sounds very dubious to me on the face of it, but given that most people in the world are religious, unlike me, I'm not sure if it's worth pushing back on. --LiamM32 (talk) 23:12, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

Found an article on Donald Trump following the 2020 election. Overall, he seems to not particularly like Trump, though considers him better than Democrats. Choice quote: "He should have created a special agency or task force to investigate corruption in the bureaucracy and media." This is despite writing somewhere else in favour of free expression IIRC. --LiamM32 (talk) 02:49, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

I found an interesting one to reference, but I don't know where exactly to mention his rejection of morality. His article "Evolution and Morality" says that altruism can't evolve, and therefore morality is "a lie", and also that evolution implies that altruism is self-defeating. I don't know where to fit this in exactly, but it provides light as to why he holds the right-wing economic views that he holds. --LiamM32 (talk) 07:52, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

On Feminism[edit]

There is a lot that I can say about his article on feminism, but I'm not sure what to focus on. One problem is that the article starts out implying that it's going to argue that feminism is "a disease" because it suppresses reproduction in the host. However, some of the ranting in the article seems unrelated to it's effect on reproduction, just saying that feminism is illogical or it's aims are unfair. He might be saying these things to explain why feminism appeals to women (because it promotes unreasonable privilege for them), but it looks far more like a rant than an explanation. So some of the article would be better to argue against from an ethical perspective, but it isn't entirely clear which points about reproduction and which one's aren't. The lack of focus makes the article harder to debunk.

A few times he implies that women have a drive for power that men don't. The notion that women have a greater desire for power than men can probably be dismissed as not backed by evidence (as he doesn't cite any), but it might be good to cite research on it. It looks like there is some evidence that men have higher average social dominance orientation, but SDO doesn't always have the same meaning. Sometimes it's about personal drive for power, while sometimes it's about support for in-group dominance.

One thing I thought about commenting on is his argument that "feminism demands that women have all the rights and men bear all the responsibilities". I was thinking of countering with that by saying that feminism doesn't need to explicitly argue for the removal of female privileges for it to happen, as they naturally happen. An example I can think of is that if a woman punches a man in a bar today, they are more likely to be punched back than in the past, probably because of an understanding that old gender norms are no longer important. But I don't know if this is a strong argument, or if I can back it up.

For the kind of people more likely to believe this article's representation of feminism, it's difficult to explain how this article's narrative differs from reality as there's so much variation in feminist thought. I probably won't go into too much detail on this, given it's complexity, but the article on feminism is already linked. --LiamM32 (talk) 01:06, 11 November 2023 (UTC)

You could just summarize it with "his ideas about feminism are an incoherent mess." Carthage (talk) 01:08, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
That wouldn't be so bad if I wanted to mention the anti-feminist thing in the introduction, but I probably won't. I'm primarily writing this article for potential followers of him, not RationalWiki regulars. I want it to be in the Google search results when people search him. So I think I/we should try to properly explain why his feminism article makes no sense. --LiamM32 (talk) 05:14, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
Then, in the lede, mention his crankery, give a brief explanation of why they are crankery, and also cover his platforming in the same sense. Give a proper synopsis of the content. Look at the lede to my article on Melvil Dewey as an example of this. I properly synopsize Dewey's history of sexual harassment, racism, and antisemitism while also covering how he helped to empower female employment in a previously male dominated area. Carthage (talk) 02:37, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

Introduction & Organization of the article[edit]

@Carthage I would like a little bit of assistance on this. It's alright if you don't read BG's content, as it's about the organization of the information I already wrote. I called you over because I don't know who else.

I'm not sure how best to open up the article. Should I get it out of the way as quickly as possible that he promotes some crank ideas and is probably a white nationalist, or is it alright if I first just say the names of his blogs and the themes he covers before getting into what's wrong with him? I'm not sure what order to present these things in. I want the introduction to serve both RationalWiki regulars and potential followers of him who found the page on Google. So it's largely a matter of what order I should introduce the following three things:

  • His platforms
  • Topics that he covers
  • What's wrong with him (crankery & white supremacist)

I'm saving the detailed debunking for the other sections.

What do you think of the "Highlights of his beliefs" section? It may be a little bit too Conservapedia-like, but it does the job very quickly.

I was considering adding a section on the network of blogs associated with him; The Pragmatosphere, but I decided to do it in a separate article. --LiamM32 (talk) 01:01, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

I would say divide the analysis of his crankery into separate subjects. Feminism and whatnot go in one category, evolution denial in another. Cover the platforming first though, but make note of which crankery is more common on what platform and where. Carthage (talk) 01:19, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
The highlights of his views I think should be renamed "miscellaneous crankery". Because it's not an in-depth analysis, just a list. Carthage (talk) 01:21, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
Generally, I would say cover the platforming first and foremost. Analysis can come second, especially as we already have articles on the subjects. Mention the crankery, obviously, but I think analysis can come second. Carthage (talk) 01:28, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
Thank you but this isn't what I asked for. I'm not asking for how I should order those 3 things in the entire article. I'm asking in what order should I first mention them in the introduction. I'm not asking for help in organizing the detailed sections by category. --LiamM32 (talk) 02:37, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
If the goal is to write for readers of the man himself, then I suggest explaining why exactly he is problematic first. "Blithering Genius is a blogger and self-styled 'amateur evolutionary biologist' who specializes in anti-intellectual denialism of biology and pushing long-debunked and reactionary viewpoints and agendas contrary to and perhaps because of the evidence." Carthage (talk) 02:51, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

I'm not sure if the word "reactionary" is entirely accurate to describe Blithering Genius. "Reactionary" is usually defined by wanting to return to the way things previously were. Blithering Genius has many grievances about how the world around him has changed, and much of what he writes is a reaction to progressive ideas. However, what he advocates for isn't exactly a return to a past state, and he is upfront about this. Here is a quote from his article on Donald Trump after the 2020 US election:

The MAGA dream is over. It was always a delusion. America will not be made great again. We can't solve the problems of the modern West by clinging to past glories. It's time to put those boomer dreams to rest. Things have to get worse before they can get better. Delusions have to be shattered before people will face the truth.

So is there any substitute for "reactionary" I should use? --LiamM32 (talk) 08:20, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

Right-accelerationism. Similar ideology to that advocated by the Atomwaffen Division. Carthage (talk) 08:39, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

Blithering Genius's Response Article[edit]

Blithering Genius has written a response essay to this article, and he challenges LiamM32 / Electric-Gecko to have a recorded voice debate with him to defend the claims made on RatWiki: — Unsigned, by: Zero Contradictions / talk / contribs

>Claims not to be Alt-Right
>Throws in a StoneToss comic in his defence of not being Alt-Right
...Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:09, 18 November 2023 (UTC)
Blithering Genius wrote in his response article that he has "alt-right characteristics" from a leftist perspective, so it's not clear what your point is here since he agrees with you on that. Furthermore, both Blithering Genius and I would be in favor of many of the ideas that ratwiki describes as being characteristic of the "alt-right", like Social Darwinism, eugenics, and race realism.
The bottom line is that both of us have criticized other alt-right and white nationalist beliefs (see my criticism here), so labeling either of us as being "alt-right" would attribute many characteristics to us that do not accurately describe our beliefs (e.g. racism, race idealism, antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia, holocaust denial, kin selection theory, etc). You have to realize that reality and worldviews are more nuanced that this website portrays them to be, and there are many ways how language has the potential to influence thought.
And btw, giving someone a heretical label like "alt-right" doesn't disprove anything that they've said. Zero Contradictions (talk) 17:08, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Well, I can recommend reading the above response article and updating anything that really was wrong if anything, can't recommend going into a voice debate, though that's up to him. Chillpilled (talk) 20:29, 18 November 2023 (UTC)
Why would you *not* recommend that LiamM32 debate Blithering Genius in voice? LiamM32 doesn't have anything to lose from doing a voice debate, and he should go for it because it's the ultimate way to show who has the better ideas. The only good reason to not debate Blithering Genius is if Liam is afraid that he's going to lose, and if that's the case, then he should re-evaluate his worldview.
Seriously, if Liam is so confident that he's right and that Blithering Genius is wrong, it should be easy for Liam to make Blithering Genius look like an idiot in a voice debate. And if he's clearly won the debate, then he's given everybody clear and convincing reasons to not listen to Blithering Genius any further. Zero Contradictions (talk) 13:05, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Vaush and Jackson Hinkle are two great embodiments of why voice debates are very dumb. Incidentally, I hear that those two very same people voice-debated each other once, which would probably physically pain me to watch. Chillpilled (talk) 23:25, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
The goal of a debate is not to convince the opponent. It's to convince the audience. Zero Contradictions (talk) 01:27, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
I probably won't do a voice debate. At this point I would rather move on with my life to better things and not have this guy on my mind. Some of the things he wrote in that response article are reminders of why I shouldn't bother debating him. It seems very unlikely that such a debate will go anywhere. Though after seeing him say in his article that "Not all behaviour can be explained by evolution", I think I may have formed a good crack in his worldview.
I will try to come back and change some things in the article that are incorrect, but many of the stuff he took issue with aren't really a problem. --LiamM32 (talk) 00:48, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
As I've said before, the goal of a debate is not to convince the opponent. It's to convince the audience. You'll never convince BG of anything unless you use intellectually honest arguments. But if you debate him, it's very likely that you'll persuade at least some people to not listen to him regardless of whatever you say, which is your stated intention of writing this article in the first place.
Anyone can prattle nonsense, and they'll always be able to find people to believe it, especially if they dress their arguments up heavily with ideological rhetoric.
The debate won't take long either. It would probably only last about 1-2 hours, and if you have time to write ratwiki articles, then you certainly have time to debate the people you're criticizing. The only reason why you would not want to debate him (or me) is if you're a coward or you don't want to risk being humiliated in front of hundreds or thousands of people, in which case, you should seriously question why you believe what you believe. Why should you continue to hold beliefs that you can't defend with confidence? Zero Contradictions (talk) 07:36, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
@Zero Contradictions I have some questions about this debate. What topics does BG want to cover in the debate? Is it for YouTube? How does he plan to organize it with me? Remember that I was banned from his Discord server. --LiamM32 (talk) 20:35, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
Well, you guys are probably only going to talk the topics that are in BG's ratwiki article, and possibly anything that comes up while discussing that. He usually only posts discussions on Youtube if they're civil, likely to be interesting for his Youtube audience, and the opponent agrees to it. But if it gets vulgar, uninteresting, etc, then it will only get posted to his spreaker channel (which is more private since only a few dozen people or so know about it) instead of Youtube. If you message him that you're okay with being recorded and having the audio shared on the Internet, then he will make sure that he starts the recording before he asks you again in voice if you're okay with having the audio recorded and shared on the Internet and your following "yes" response. He does this for transparency and also because it might be a legal requirement (see this spreaker debate if you want an example of this). The debate would probably be organized by the order of what's written in the ratwiki article, or he might be willing to organize it with you beforehand if you try to arrange for that, but it would be better if you rejoin the Discord server to ask him directly. Only your shieldmaiden alt account was banned for being in the server under false pretenses, so you should be able to rejoin the server under your Electric-Gecko account. If your IP address is blocked from the server due to shieldmaiden being banned, then you could use a VPN to rejoin as Electric-Gecko. Let us know if you still can't join. We look forward to hearing back from you. Zero Contradictions (talk) 05:02, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

Possible changes in response to BG[edit]

There are some things that may be worth changing about this article in response to Blithering Genius's response. I don't think everything he took issue with needs fixing. For example, the article doesn't make nearly as many claims about his intentions as he claims in his response. But there are some other things that may be worth addressing. I will probably remain busy working on a different project in the next few days, but here are some things that some other users here may be able to help with, or at least comment on:

  • The article says that his blogs have "mostly the same articles", while in reality one of them has all the articles from the other plus many more. I don't know how to rephrase the sentence without making it too long.
  • The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Is there anyone here that knows enough about this event to verify his claim? He said that the car attacker was responding to a threat. This is not a subject that I ever planned to read about in detail. I knew about that rally, but I only started reading about what happened in order to write this article.
  • The grave sites at Canadian residential schools: Has anyone looked closely at this subject? How strong is the current evidence for large numbers of children buried at these schools? This is something that I might be willing to read closely into myself if I can find the resources, but not for the next week.
  • The section on kin selection would benefit from review by someone with more expertise in biology.
  • The article accuses BG of doing the correlation-causation fallacy and the homunculus fallacy, but BG doesn't appear to understand what was meant by it. I didn't go into detail about how he commits them because I thought the reader would be smart enough to see it if pointed out. @Carthage @Arcadium Trancefer @Chillpilled How easy do you think it is to understand these two fallacies being pointed out in the article in it's current state? I want to know if these parts really need more clarification for the reader to understand, or if it's just motivated interpretation on BG's part.
  • The cult following thing: I was considering adding a brief section on the network of blogs that he is closely associated with. In here I was going to clarify that he's not a cult leader in the usual sense. He doesn't demand loyalty from followers. His Discord server allows dissidence, though he might call you a retard after you leave. Since leaving I have been getting some nasty messages on Discord & Reddit from members of his Discord community. My feeling of a cult dynamic comes more from the behaviour of his community than anything directly from him. So to what extent is it appropriate to use the word "cult" or "cult following" here? I used the latter term because it has a milder connotation.

I didn't include the thing about his relationship to white nationalism and racialist ideology because that would require too much reading of his content to make a judgement on, which I figure nobody else here will be willing to do. No replies here from pragmatospherians please. --LiamM32 (talk) 20:58, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

The wiki tends to assume its readers are educated enough to know that correlation does not equal causation, but some things might be counterintuitive to sufficient understanding, especially if this article is directed towards members of the BG community and not the wiki itself. So in that case it might be prudent to go into more detail. It might also be motivated (mis)interpretation on BG's part, but it's better to be safe than sorry, especially since this article is directed towards the community and not BG himself. Carthage (talk) 11:18, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Well, it's more for potential or new followers of him than members of his community. But I just wanted you and some others to read the parts of the article where these fallacies are mentioned, and to report whether you understand what is meant in these particular instances. I still might expand it even if you catch the intended meaning, but it's just a first test. Have you personally read the paragraphs of the article where these fallacies are mentioned? Did you understand what was meant by it? --LiamM32 (talk) 23:08, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
I've finally started to dig deeper on residential schools. It looks like there was already evidence of a huge number of deaths published in 1922 by Peter Bryce, so the mass graves aren't as important to our historical knowledge as BG implied. I should have remembered about the Peter Bryce report. In BG's response article, he said that he is sure that many children died of disease at these schools (which is exactly what happened), but he downplays the whole thing by making it sound like the rates were normal for the time, and that the discovery of mass graves was a hoax. I may come back to write on this, if I can think of a good choice of words. --LiamM32 (talk) 07:25, 30 December 2023 (UTC)
Your ping to me failed for some reason. If you want to learn about the Unite the Right rally, I recommend the YouTuber Shaun's video "Charlottesville: The True Alt-Right". It's pretty long though and I don't remember if it discusses the car attack in-depth. You could of course review court documents. The perpetrator if I recall correctly was sentenced by a court to life in prison for the car attack, so they must have found the evidence compelling. If I remember right, claims that he was responding to a threat were based on the fact somebody struck the back of the car with a stick or something like that after he was already speeding down the street. Chillpilled (talk) 07:34, 30 December 2023 (UTC)

Update regarding status as a cult[edit]

When I first went to Blithering Genius's Discord server, he told me (paraphrasing) "You're free to disagree and challenge our ideas. We're not a cult". That being said, I still noticed a little bit of cult-like behaviour in the way that others there defended Blithering Genius when he was obviously wrong and attacked perceived opponents of his views in unreasonable ways.

Previously, this article said that he "has a cult following", and accused him of a cult manipulation tactic, with a link to the article on cults. This was a common source of complaints from BG's community members. I myself was undecided on whether it reached the threshold of qualifying as a cult. He didn't explicitly demand loyalty, but the behaviour of others seemed rather cult-like. About a week ago, I rejoined BG's Discord community hoping to answer questions members may have, given the speculation on me that had happened. While there, I decided to remove the word "cult" and links to the cult article, thinking that perhaps BG's community isn't cult-like enough to reasonably write that.

Then, BG proposed to do a recorded voice debate with me regarding everything in this article on him, which I didn't accept. He banned me for not taking it.

Anyway, Blithering Genius himself has changed his mind on whether his community is a cult. Before banning me and two other dissident users he said "From now on I am a cult leader. This server will exist only to serve my cult. Those who aren't loyal will be banned".

Well, he didn't quite say that, but almost. Here is a screenshot of what he wrote:


"Gecko" is myself, with "V" and "Vasilias" being the other two.

Anyway, I am now reintroducing the word "cult" and the link to the cult article. I expect it to remain. Not only is it now a de-facto cult, but now BG himself has decided and admitted that he wants a cult.

The psychological projection in that last message from BG should be apparent even to someone unfamiliar with him. I am very unlikely to change my mind on this being a de-facto cult unless I find evidence of his followers pointing out the flaws in this message at a time prior to me writing this. LiamM32 (talk) 04:58, 16 February 2024 (UTC)