Category Archives: General

Quick Note

I have now shut down the blog functionality entirely. I’m still getting the occasional comment notification telling me how wrong I am in one way or another and though I could just turn email notifications off, I’m not thrilled about the idea of letting comments go completely unchecked. So no more comments. The articles will remain (for now) in case people still might like to read them.

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Goodbye

Well I haven’t written here in a while and I don’t think I will any time soon. I’ve moved onto other skeptical projects outside of this blog and unfortunately I find that I no longer have time to post here.

Other than the time factor, though, I also find that I no longer have any desire to participate in recent online slagfests and bust-ups. I could have said a lot of things about the strange vitriol Rebecca Watson has been receiving after she politely suggested that men not corner women in an elevator alone, at night, in a foreign country because it’s creepy (particularly the latest inexplicable heap on the Skepticblog post about the 24 hour SGU episode calling for her resignation) or about any number of bickering incidents that seems to happen now on a regular basis (particularly when either involving women or women’s issues) mostly instigated by a singular loud group with an apparently limitless amount of free time, but why would I bother? What would it add?

Commenters might show up to either agree (and though that feels good, no offense, but so what?) or vehemently disagree while calling me a femenazi, accusing me of having a secret feminist agenda, or some otherwise depressing bullshit keeping me from wanting to even bother with this anymore. People tend to come out of these things even more entrenched in their view than they were at the start and there are hundreds of other places they can go to do that. My commenting on the issue wouldn’t resolve anything and might even make it worse by providing yet another target for the loudest and most obnoxious assholes out there.

Also (this will seem like an aside, but I have a point, I promise) weirding me out a bit was that I blog under a different name elsewhere where a commenter, who also comments here, apparently despised everything I ever wrote on that blog at the same time as praising me on this blog. I am the same person with the same opinions and essentially the same writing style. Surreal.

But I realize this commenter did show me how easy it is for people to get a fixed view of bloggers or other skeptical personalities and then squeeze everything they do into their predetermined narrative. I think that is what is happening to people like Rebecca. Some skeptics are apparently incapable of considering a person as a sum of their actions and expressions, agreeing with some things they do and not other things (for example, though I thought Rebecca’s reaction to Dawkins non sequitur was appropriate, saying she was done buying his books etc just exemplified the thing I’m currently complaining about!). I am guilty of this, too. I met a certain someone at TAM7 who seemed like a complete douche, later confirmed by other issues, and have not been able to listen to their podcast since. Though lately I have been better able to disagree with certain people on some key issues yet support them on others (for example Rebecca and Dawkins) and that’s fine for me, mostly due to becoming aware of the issue in the first place, for some reason I can’t seem to get past my emotional aversion to this particular person. So I’m not trying to be all superior here, I just think that the skeptic propensity to act like a 4chan message board while at the same time acting we’re above such things doesn’t contribute to meaningful discussion.

So though I’m done here, I will continue to participate in the skeptical movement in my other projects and from now on I have no opinion about the latest childish nonsense that’s got everyone in a snit and I have no interest in people who are going to reduce me to my vagina. Those people I just feel sorry for. And while I’m sure at least one person reading this (if he does read it, and because I’ve seen him do this elsewhere) will admonish me for not sticking around and trying to educate, particularly on feminist issues, I shouldn’t have to point out that it isn’t my job to make sure that supposedly critical-thinking grown adults in the year 2011 are not racist, sexist, or any other bigotous -ist. Either they won’t listen or, like I said, there are hundreds of other places where they can find that out.

This all maybe came out sounding a big high and mighty, which was not my intent so with this last bit I will hopefully clarify. I am moving from a level of discourse, in which I feel I was participating in unproductive way, to one that is more skeptically active in the real world, in my professional life, and in my government. I hope that we can, as a movement for those who choose to call it that, move from this distasteful adolescence of useless bickering online and try to give each other the common courtesy of assuming that everyone here is a human being deserving of understanding and patience rather than vitriol and, in rare but highly publicized cases, what basically amounts to hateful propaganda. Yes, I have opinions, but that doesn’t mean have to publish every one of them online, inviting assholes to come piss me off. I just don’t have room for it in my life anymore.

I didn’t intend to leave on such a negative note, but the positive is that I will have more time to participate in real-life activism — without the bother of anonymously being called a whore, bitch, or other asshole nonsense — and I will be happier doing it.

Thank you for reading and commenting to every genuine contributor to adult, sane discourse in the comments. I will see you elsewhere on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I’m the worst blogger ever

Where have I been? To arsing lazy to write anything, that’s where. I’d say I was “too busy”, but what that really means is that I had other things to do and they ranked higher on priorities. I dunno, is anyone still reading this thing? I do still have opinions. Or should I just pack it in? Because who cares about yet another anonymous blogger’s narcissistic opinions?

Explaining my absence

Hey everyone….who’s still reading. There has been some busy life stuff for a change in the last little while that has taken me away from the internets a bit. But I will be back after it is resolved. Not bad busy life stuff, just generally busy.

Stay slick, skeptics! XO

Haiti

In case you’re not already aware, sort yourself out:

Try Canadian Red Cross or perhaps:

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

There are plenty of relief charities out there. Some are listed here.
Pick one.
Donate.
They are wicked poor and need help.

Now.

Coming up this weekend…

It’s been a slow blog week for me. I’ve been busy with another super-secret-until-tomorrow project and real life stuff. But here’s a sneak preview for this weekend:

– I’m going to finally post about that video game article I posted about last week.

– I’m going to take the plunge into propaganda land and watch both Religulous and Expelled this weekend. I will be posting my thoughts after each. I think I should buy some alcohol before attempting this feat. +15 Stamina and well-fed bonus FTW.

Yours Truly on Skeptically Speaking

Skeptically Speaking is a Canadian skeptical radio show produced live on Friday nights (well, nights here at AST – 5 PM PST and 8 PM EST). Listeners can call or send in questions for guests to answer and a copy is made available after the live show on their site and in the iTunes podcast directory.

Check out Episode 25 of Skeptically Speaking for yours truly asking a question of Derek Bartholomaus of the Jenny McCarthy Body Count site.

Also on the show – Some Canadian Skeptic (who was smart enough to whore his blog) asking a question of some guy named Adam Savage…whoever that is. Some kind of MythBreaker or something…I dunno. Anyway he seemed like a nice guy so I’m sure he’ll make a name for himself some day. Keep reaching for that rainbow, buddy!