Life is seriously cutting into my ability to read blogs. It’s becoming a serious problem. I’m starting to get Pharyngula withdrawal shakes (it’s been over a week). If someone wants to work for me as my personal assistant, that’d be cool.
Anyway, I interrupt our regularly-scheduled blogcast to bring you this important message from Hank Fox:
What if there was a Book of Good Living?
Picture it as a collection of wisdom from people all over the world.
It would be all the stuff you should probably do, and the stuff you probably shouldn’t do, and the way you do it all, in order to live a good life. The way you treat people. The things you do in the course of a day. The broad-based forethought that goes into each life, all the lessons your parents, or their parents, or the people a thousand generations back, learned from the mistakes and hard knocks in their own lives.
Always look both ways before you cross the street. When two workmen meet in a narrow doorway, the one with the heavier load has the right of way. Any architect designing a building for use by large numbers of the public – a stadium or theatre, for instance – should include twice as many bathroom stalls for women as for men. On a hot day, your dog likes ice water just as much as you do. If you eat a little bit less, and exercise a little bit more, you’ll lose weight – no diets, books or courses needed.
Go read Hank, he has good ideas and is a hell of a guy.
Also, the guys over at The Atheist Experience are displaying more stomach and courage than I can claim, by delving into the Bog of Eternal Stench that is Men’s Rights Activist forums and The Amazing Atheist:
I’m developing a bit of a theoretical framework in my head about people who are used to making horrifying generalizations about groups of people and their behaviors. It’s sort of a Dunning-Kruger effect for bigotry. The theory is that the more horrible you are, the more you lose the capacity to understand your own horribleness.
Let me lay this out in general terms before I get specific. Let’s say you’re “a little bit racist.” Over a long period of time where you casually drop slightly racist remarks into your conversations all the time, occasionally people will call you out on this behavior, i.e., “Hey man, that’s kind of racist.” Cognitive dissonance being what it is, you start building defense mechanisms against the people who call you out. “Geez, there sure are a lot of oversensitive people in the world,” you think to yourself. “They call things racist that aren’t even racist!”
Most likely you hang out with people who share your points of view, which is likely to be more racist than the general public, and the window of acceptable speech appears to drift in the direction of more racism. But because you’re already used to regarding people who react badly to racism as “hypersensitive,” when you get even more of those negative reactions you just shift further in the direction of blaming them.
“What the hell?” you’ll eventually write. ”When did the world get so blasted sensitive and politically correct? I can’t even make jokes about lynching a nigger without the thought police jumping all over me!”
Such appears to be the case with the Men’s Rights subreddit, an incredibly vile community of proudly self-congratulatory misogynists who are regularly featured on Shit Reddit Says and Man Boobz. It’s also, apparently, a regular hangout for TJ Kincaid, the self-styled “Amazing Atheist.”
If you’re not familiar with him, I forwarded a video about how much he hates feminism to Godless Bitches, who they did an excellent job of picking it apart in episode 2.2.
This morning I woke up to find that my wife Lynnea had been kept awake from an early hour with Someone Is Wrong on the Internet Syndrome, after discovering a thread TJ on Shit Reddit Says. I’ll be posting her compiled explanation of what went down, but first here’s my summary, and why I was motivated to come up with this Dunning-Kruger effect within bigoted circles.
TJ, going under the handle “terroja,” made a casual wisecrack about raping another poster named Lorrdernie with his fist. The MensRights subreddit being what it is, his fellow posters thought that was awesome. Then it somehow became even funnier when he was informed that Lorrdernie was in fact a rape victim.
Yeah… yeah. TJ then went on to complain, when he got the predictable backlash associated with being a heartless asshole, that people were being just so meeeean to him and trying to control him with dogma. Basically he’s a little whiny shit and I will now go back to ignoring him and everything he does.
Anyway, sad times for me. God only knows when I will get back to my former routine (which means that nobody knows, obviously). Go read other people for a while, as I cry.
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