July 03, 2012

Gnu Atheists, hypocrisy, irony, petards and train wrecks

All of those items in the header are coming together at the "premier" blog site for Gnu Atheists, Freethought Blogs.
A blogger booted for attacking another blogger there, then whining about it on Google+. (Greg Laden two years ago, over #arsenicgate and my telling him that NASA had good budgetary and other reasons to engage in PR fluffery, threatened to have me "banned from the Internet.) Whine away, Greg. Hear that petard hoisting?
Meanwhile, your "wife," Stephanie Zvan, has an interesting dilemma. Support her "husband" and voluntarily quit FtB herself, or support the #skeptatheistchick movement and stay? (I had my first run-in  with her over the Julian Assange accuser(s) and her unwillingness to look at this through anything other than a 12th-wave feminism position.)
And next? Some sort of thought policing, I guess, as FtB cofounder Ed Brayton notes here
Other changes are in the works as well, mostly out of the view of the public — new rules, new policies, new ways to make decisions that I hope will avoid these kinds of unpleasant situations in the future.
No details from Ed, just that it's going to be more top-down. Well, we have long known that his co-founder, P.Z. Myers, is far from being a denizen of free thought on his blog, and that goes beyond banning people who threaten him, which is another thing. The longer he's been at this, the narrower his tolerance range has become, I think.
Speaking of PZed, it looks like his tolerance there has definitely narrowed. There's your train wreck, to the degree it's true. The 4Chan types hitting Freethought Blogs. This all connects, at least indirectly, to #skeptatheistchick issues; see below.
Now, talking about 4chan may be dumb, but it wasn't that dumb, and it wasn't like Justin deliberately invited them over to comment.
Meanwhile, said Justin shows the email by Laden that led to Laden's downfall. Yep, threatening someone's job, even worse than threatening to ban them from the Net, will get you in trouble.

Meanwhile, video blogger Thunderf00t got himself banned for other exercise of free thought, even if it was kind of stupid.

Soon enough, Justin will probably challenge something too much, along similar lines and he'll be the next to get the book. 

And, before that, there was PZ and the #skeptatheistchick meme, and lack of free thought. Already a week ago, Rebecca Watson, #skeptatheistchick High Holy Priestess herself, had distorted what at least one non-FtB blogger, Coffee Skeptic, had said about her, Tweeted that to thousands of her Twit followers, then refused to correct the error, which had gotten picked up by P.Z. He then refused to let the blogger comment on his blog. There was childishness on both sides, but more of it on his. (Shock me. And shock me that P.Z. ain't going to provide the backstory.)

And, I'm far from the only person to wonder if Ed knew modern Urban Dictionary-type definitions of "loosey-goosey" before he used the phrase to describe his original plans for FtB. Given the #skeptatheistchick fun (and should that be spelled without a final "K"?) and 12th-wave feminism, etc., it's laughably ironic as hell.

Beyond that, I had, more seriously, at one time wanted to cut Ed more slack and blame FtB's problems more on P.Z. That said, I don't think that's quite such the case any more.

All of this reminds me what a good online friend once said at Google+: He'd like to see people in the sweet spot Venn diagram intersection of atheism, "scientific" skepticism, and all-around liberalism. Unfortunately, we don't have a group blog site anywhere like that, and not just at FtB.

I'm not wading further into the cesspool at this time, other than firing a random potshot like this.
Let me just say, as I've said before, that this is proof positive that atheism in general and Gnu Atheism in particular is no guarator of superior morals, superior intelligence or superior everyday common sense.

Ever since Dan Dennett invented the word "brights" for metaphysical naturalists and then lied (you did, Dan) about how that wasn't meant to imply religious people were "stupids," Gnu Atheism, sometimes on matters small, sometimes otherwise, has proven the three points above, plus has shown just as much tendency and ability to shoot itself in the foot as anybody else.

We'll have a Gnu Atheist sexual abuse scandal eventually, too, folks. It will happen.

Update: The fun gets funner. John Loftus thinks that Ed Brayton, P.Z. Myers and the smaller fry want to read him pontificate. John, they don't. It's called "buy a clue." Write about it in your next book.

Update 2: Loftus and his amazing "why am I not in Wikipedia" ego still don't get it, as, while bashing with the one side of his mouth, he still presents himself as the savior with the other.

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