All entries by this author

A fish notices the water

Nov 17th, 2014 6:00 pm | By

At Slate: Phil Plait on The Shirt and the fallout after The Shirt and the apology and the moving on.

To be clear, I don’t think Taylor is a raging misogynist or anything like that; I think he was just clueless about how his words might sound and his shirt might be interpreted. We all live in an atmosphere steeped in sexism, and we hardly notice it; a fish doesn’t notice the water in which it swims. I’ve lived in that environment my whole life, and I was well into adulthood before I started becoming aware of it and figuring out how to counter it. I’m still learning.

*raises hand* I notice it!

Boy do I notice it. I … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: An observation from St Carl of Ithaca

Nov 17th, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Originally a comment by Blake Stacey on The most shameful ontological status.

I felt a little of that when the Mars Rover landed safely. I was disappointed there weren’t more women in the room. I hoped there would be more in the future. I was glad to see the few who were there.

This reminded me of something, so I went and looked it up. Everyone open your hymnals to St. Carl of Ithaca, Pale Blue Dot (1994), p. 243, describing the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter:

The impact of the millennium was beginning to look very much like a fizzle.

Then there was a report from a ground-based optical telescope in La Palma in the Canary

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The most shameful ontological status

Nov 17th, 2014 4:21 pm | By

Kiran Opal has a brilliant post on the most recent uproar and its meanings.

She quotes something Josh said that I hadn’t seen.

Official SpokesGay @SpokesGay

Crying is feminine and weak. Being feminine is the most shameful ontological status. Bitches made Matt Taylor weak and feminine in public.
3:46 PM – 16 Nov 2014

Shock of recognition. Yeah.

She provides a lot of resources:

Here are a few articles/resources talking about sexism in science/STEM fields.

(I don’t expect misogynistic dudebros to bother reading things that don’t agree with their views on women, but I hope others will):
Issues Affecting Women in STEM A repository of peer-reviewed research (a huge fucking repository at fucking Harvard for all the people who

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Sam Harris please note

Nov 17th, 2014 3:15 pm | By

From Science Daily: This just in: Political correctness pumps up productivity on the job.

Political correctness, loathed by some as censorship awash in leftist philosophy, actually boosts the creativity of mixed-sex work teams, according to new research published in Administrative Science Quarterly.

I can’t begin to tell you how thoroughly unsurprised I am to read that.

Of course it does. Why? Because the absence of “political correctness” equals the presence of political putdowns and sneers, and what does that do? It distracts the people subject to them, and diverts their energy to being annoyed and defensive and resentful. That is useful to no one.

Ok I’m opining before reading the whole article. Maybe that’s not it at … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Fire on earth v fire in space

Nov 17th, 2014 2:48 pm | By

A photo from the ISS:

Fire on Earth (left) vs. fire in #space (right); without convection drawing the flame up, flames form spheres.

How cool is that?!… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The possibility of expanded unrest

Nov 17th, 2014 1:51 pm | By

Wait what now? Possible future protest is now a reason to declare a state of emergency? So the cops will be there with clubs raised before the protesters even arrive?

That sounds more like intimidation than a state of emergency.

Citing “the possibility of expanded unrest,” Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency and prepared to send the Missouri National Guard to help maintain order in the St. Louis region when a grand jury decision is announced in the Michael Brown case.

Nixon’s executive order puts the St. Louis County Police Department in charge of security in Ferguson “in areas of protests and acts of civil disobedience, should such activities occur.”

Well great, because the police have such … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Life in prison for selling $10 worth of marijuana

Nov 17th, 2014 11:58 am | By

The ACLU has a report on life sentences in prison without parole. Many such sentences are for non-violent crimes.

The number of people sentenced to life without parole
has quadrupled nationwide in the past 20 years, even
while violent crime has been declining during that
period. Not only has the use of life-without-parole sentences
exploded, but the punishment is available for a broader
range of offenses, and those sentenced to LWOP include
people convicted of nonviolent crimes, including low-level
nonviolent offenses.

According to data collected and analyzed
by the ACLU, 3,278 prisoners are serving LWOP for drug,
property, and other nonviolent crimes in the United States
as of 2012. Our data on the people serving LWOP shows
marked geographic

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Pressing

Nov 17th, 2014 11:40 am | By

Naturally Christina Hoff Sommers is contemptuous of TIME’s cowardly failure to tell feminists that they are pompous idiots for doing something Christina Hoff Sommers doesn’t approve. Naturally the only True Feminism™ is that approved first by Richard Dawkins and then by Christina Hoff Sommers.

Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers · Nov 16
TIME caved to pressure. Has stopped poll on most cringe-inducing word because “feminist” was winning by a landslide. http://time.com/3576870/worst-words-poll-2014/

How dare TIME cave to pressure? How dare anyone cave to pressure? How dare Little Rock Central High School cave to pressure and allow African-American students to enter the building? How dare the mobs outside Little Rock Central High School cave to pressure and stop screaming at those students? How … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The Ebola count ticks up

Nov 17th, 2014 10:53 am | By

Damn. Martin Salia, a surgeon who caught Ebola while working in Sierra Leone and was flown to the US on Saturday for treatment, died this morning. His case was too advanced.

He was given the experimental drug ZMapp on Saturday. He also received a plasma transfusion from an Ebola survivor. That treatment is thought to offer antibodies to fight the virus, said doctors at the hospital. He was flown from Freetown in a heavily equipped air ambulance for treatment in the United States at the Nebraska Medical Center.

But within the first 12 hours he was in complete respiratory failure and had very low blood pressure, doctors said during a news conference.

It was too late.

Martin Salia contracted

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



TIME says “oops, our bad”

Nov 17th, 2014 9:07 am | By

TIME apologized for including “feminist” on its facetious poll of words to be banished from the empire.

Nancy Gibbs, the magazine’s managing editor, penned an apology that is included as an editor’s note above the article:

Time apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.

Why did that not occur to them as soon as someone suggested the word? It’s not a subtle or nuanced thought, is it.

In

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Would he smile approvingly?

Nov 16th, 2014 6:19 pm | By

Originally a comment by themadtapper on A complaint to HR would be valid.

The thing that completely blows my mind about the whole ordeal is that in ANY professional context that shirt would be considered unprofessional at best and outright inappropriate in almost every case. And people like Richard Dawkins know damn well it would be. If Dawkins went to a speaking engagement at Oxford and a fellow speaker showed up wearing a shirt like that, would he smile approvingly? I very seriously doubt it. At the very least he’d give it a sigh and a shake of his head, but most likely he’d ask the speaker to please not go out on stage like that.

The only reason … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Imagine if the feminists had gotten their claws into Columbus!

Nov 16th, 2014 5:38 pm | By

Well this is classic.

Ha! Where to begin? How about with what happened to the people who lived on the continent that Columbus “discovered”? How about the cluelessness of using Columbus for a fantasy of genius scientific genius strangled by political correctness? How about the blithe assumption that there couldn’t have been anything to say to Columbus other than “We are struck dumb by your masculine awesomeness”?

I found that by looking at the feed of this guy:

The Danny C. XP @thedannycxp · 32 minutes ago
@OpheliaBenson In the end, @mggtTaylor and @RichardDawkins have advanced the frontiers of science. You’ve written a blog shitting on people.

Oh zing! I thought I was advancing the frontiers of science but … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



A complaint to HR would be valid

Nov 16th, 2014 5:04 pm | By

An informative comment at PZ’s (on PZ’s post about Glenn Reynolds):

Yesterday I completed an online sexual harassment training for the community college (in the US) where I am currently teaching. I was thinking about this while I was going through the course and this shirt would ABSOLUTELY fall under sexual harassment. That’s not to say that the person would lose their job over it, if it was a one time thing, but a complaint to HR would be valid. Most likely in this scenario (if it happened where I teach) the person wearing the shirt would be told by their supervisor that the shirt is inappropriate and may be brought in for a talk with HR. Either way

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Rally the troops

Nov 16th, 2014 1:15 pm | By

David Futrelle points out the replacement of the fading GamerGate with the new and exciting Shirtstorm.

By all rights, the furor over rocket scientist Matt Taylor’s cheesecake shirt should have died down by now. After being chided earlier this week for marring the celebration over the landing of a space probe ON A GODDAMNED COMET by doing interviews in a tacky shirt covered with half-naked ladies, Taylor offered a brief but heartfelt apology. You would have thought we’d all be able to move on.

And you would also have thought that would be what Matt Taylor would like even more than everyone else – but never mind that, that’s not important when there’s a new opportunity to vomit on … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



“She should not be employed by any publication in any way”

Nov 16th, 2014 12:47 pm | By

Another piece of ugliness, in case we’re running short: a petition to “fire” Rose Eveleth (although it doesn’t say fire from what).

Rose Eveleth is the woman that started demeaning a scientist in his finest hour for wearing a T-Shirt that was gifted to him by a female friend who designed and made it.

Such behavior is appalling and should not be encouraged.

Nobody should be shamed for what they are wearing, and feminists should be all too familiar with that sentiment.

This sort of abuse behavior should not be tolerated and we, the undersigned, would like to see action undertaken betting anyone who would instigate and encourage the harassment Matt Taylor received.

She should not be employed by any

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Why Matt Taylor broke down

Nov 16th, 2014 11:16 am | By

Originally a comment by Jafafa Hots on Bullied by identity politics.

He could have been upset that he screwed up, and distracted from what should have been an unalloyed celebration.

This. Whether he thinks the furor over the shirt was silly or not, whether he is a misogynist or not… the one thing you can be almost positive of is that he is very passionate about this project.

People working on space missions dream of days like the ones that have just passed. They work for years for a mission that might fail in an instant or in sudden silence and leave nothing whatsoever to show for the effort and money spent.

These people are about as passionate about … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



“He is responsible for the giant leap”

Nov 16th, 2014 10:54 am | By

I missed something in the text of that fundraiser to buy an expensive prezzy for Matt Taylor to console him for his “abuse” at the hands of the monster feminists.

Matt Taylor is a project scientist for Rosetta, the first human made object to have ever landed on a comet.

He is responsible for the giant leap. It is a glorious moment for human space exploration and future.

Instead of receiving the recognition he deserved, he received tremendous backlash due to the fact that he was wearing a T-Shirt depicting scantily clad women.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaait a second there. No “he” is not responsible for the giant leap. Of course he’s not! What an absurd claim. The whole team is responsible for … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



For his abuse

Nov 16th, 2014 10:43 am | By

It’s nice to see that Richard Dawkins still has some compassion for his fellow human beings, at least. After yesterday we might have thought he simply didn’t know what that might even be, but happily we would have been wrong. He has compassion. He has compassion for people he takes to have been abused by feminists.

Richard Dawkins retweeted
Pharaoh @bpaladin9 · 12 hours ago
@RichardDawkins Richard small token of appreciation is being made to Matt for his abuse. Please consider twting it. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/matt-taylor-rosetta-project-scientist

For his abuse.

Let’s take a look at that fundraiser.

Title: We want to buy a gift for Matt Taylor, project scientist for Rosetta

Details:

Matt Taylor is a project scientist for Rosetta,

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Bullied by identity politics

Nov 15th, 2014 5:54 pm | By

No, that’s not what happened.

Richard Dawkins retweeted
SimpleHarmonics @HarmonicOz · 24 hours ago
@RichardDawkins @SamHarrisOrg @billmaher A man of science has been bullied to tears today by identity politics.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/11231320/Rosetta-mission-scientist-Dr-Matt-Taylor-cries-during-apology-over-offensive-shirt.html

Just for a start – it’s perfectly possible that Matt Taylor was upset with himself. I felt bad for him while watching and afterwards, and I still do, but not because he was “bullied” – I felt bad for him because he was upset. He could have been upset that he screwed up, and distracted from what should have been an unalloyed celebration.

And think about it in terms of the likelihood. Is it really likely that he was upset enough to get teary because feminists “bullied” him? … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage

Nov 15th, 2014 2:09 pm | By

Here’s one collection of all the clichés about The Shirt, written by Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit. It could have been written by Christina Hoff Sommers or Richard Dawkins or Brendan O’Neill or any other hack Limbaugh-lite opinion-giver.

So how are things going for feminism? Well, last week they took one of the great achievements of human history — landing a probe from Earth on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away — and made it all about the clothes.

No we didn’t. Not “all about.” That’s just typical hack cliché hyperbole.

Yes, that’s right. After years of effort, the European Space Agency’s lander Philaelanded on a comet 300 million miles away. At first, people were excited. Then

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)