Friday, October 18, 2013

Google it, PZ

PZ Myers has a particular posting style.

There's the type of post where he hates by proxy.

For example, one of his latest posts is titled "Who the hell is @Becky_Garrison?"

The post quickly links to his fellow FreeThoughtBlogger, Stephanie Zvan, who has documented practically everything Becky has said on Storify. Storify is now a tool for women's rights now that the Atheism+ crowd has figured out what it's used for instead of merely yelling an screaming about how @ElevatorGATE used it.

Interestingly enough in the hands of the Zvan, it does the same thing - meticulously documents the opinions of men and women she disagrees with.

In any case, PZ Myers is happy to hate Becky, and by the fifth sentence answers his own question:

"I have no idea who she is, nor do I care. But I did learn something from her ill-founded accusations and weird evasions, I think."

PZ then launches into a bizarre rant where he says that if he were added to the Atheism+ Twitter block bot "haters" list, he wouldn't mind and wouldn't say a word. He goes on to say that he has criticized other groups because he loves them so much.

So the block_bot is of zero concern to me. I could be put on it, and I’d shrug my shoulders and bravely soldier on. I don’t use it, so I’m doubly unconcerned.

Of course, PZ blogs about the most asinine stuff, why wouldn't he blog about his addition to the Block Bot if it were to happen?

Surely his addition would have been a huge deal. However what has changed is that David Silverman, President of American Atheists, was added to the A+ Block Bot list and it caused a huge kerfuffle.

If Silverman qualified for addition, surely Myers would. It's now clearly not if Myers will be added to the bot, but when.

To save some face, Myers is preemptively sharing the falsehood that he would not care if it were to happen. The theme is "I support you anyways!" as a message to his fans that they should not find themselves enraged by the ridiculous decisions made by Atheism+, the mind-virus meme created by this fellow bloggers.


The second type of post is the one where PZ performs a drive-by on the reputation by glibly name-dropping while making ridiculous comparisons.

For example, the new go-to name for racism PZ uses is Pat Condell.

In a blog post about something else entirely, PZ drops his name:

For some strange reason, this tirade by a guy laying out his criteria for a girlfriend reminds me of Pat Condell and his friends.

This is in a post labelled "How can you call him a racist? He says he isn’t!". The shot at Condell is in reference to PZ Myers' earlier post about Condell, in which he accuses Condell of using feminism as a cover for hatred of immigrants.

The argument made in the earlier post is that Condell puts too much blame on immigrants by citing statistics that cannot truly be compared. It's a valid point.

While it's true that Condell needs to be more careful about hyperbole and statistics, it's funny to hear who is definitively racist from a professor from a place by many accounts is one of the whitest states in America.

While Condell may be a showing a racist bias by misreading statistics and trying to blame the problems on immigrant muslims, perhaps PZ Myers has a cleverly hidden racist bias from his choice of location. PZ Myers covers this and boosts his own profile by labeling other old white men that would take his internet crown racists before they could even think about doing the same.

Further, PZ Myers' host desecration could be a simmering prejudice against Catholics that is merely a manifestation of his swelling hatred of the growing latino population in the United States.

Or we could just avoid dropping the "racist" label on people willy-nilly.

Moving on from racism and name dropping...

The final type of post that stands out as interesting at this time is the article in which PZ Myers has failed to any sort of fact-checking and basic research.

One example of this is the Hobby Lobby nonsense, in which PZ Myers hate-reblogs a post about a Hobby Lobby excluding Jewish customers: (titled "You People")

My values involve never setting foot inside a Hobby Lobby store.

The funny item in all this is PZ Myers wrote his post on October 1, 2013 while what could be said to be Hobby Lobby's  "anti-Semitic incident" was already over by many accounts the day before - September 30, 2013.

It's merely curious that an atheist would care that a store is purposefully excluding Hanukkah merchandise. However it is downright negligent to post outdated information based on reports that would so readily seem to be an isolated incident to be immediately dealt with by corporate public relations fixers.

As it turns out, the employee of some random Hobby Lobby store in New Jersey was not actually in charge of company policy in this regard. Fancy that.

But it gets worse. PZ Myers turns out to be even more naive than he appears.

In a post titled "Justine", PZ Myers attempts to cover the recent treatment of a woman's account of her sexual assault. The comments on the woman's blog were quite awful.

As PZ Myers puts it:

Do not read the comments on Justine’s post unless you really want to lose all faith in humanity. I repeat, do not read the comments. They are the true horror here.

This part is accurate. The comments were horrendous.

But then PZ Myers promptly screws up in his description of the comments:


Weirdly, Richard Stallman shows up to lecture everyone on how to properly refer to GNU/Linux.

What? 

Weirdly?

No shit! Richard Stallman showing up in a thread about sexual assault to explain "GNU/Linux" terminology would be weird, to say the least!

Let's look at what Stallman said, lifted from the thread:

RICHARD M STALLMAN says:
I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re refering to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/LInux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX. 
Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project. 
There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux” distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux. 
OCTOBER 12, 2013 AT 8:00 AM
Then later, "Stallman" adds:

R.STALLMAN says:
>Someone looks in my general direction
>OMG, halp!! I’m being raped!!!!1 
OCTOBER 12, 2013 AT 9:03 AM
A concerned "Nat" responds:

NAT says:
Not that I’ve had much interest in what you had to say the past decade or so but I’ll be sure to no platform you should you appear at any conferences I happen to attend. After reading the comments on here I’m amazed Justine left them open but it does flush people out of the woodwork. 
OCTOBER 12, 2013 AT 9:14 AM

To which this "Stallman" adds:

R.STALLMAN says:
Shut up bitch, we as men must liberate all the pussy. You might think your body belongs to yourself, but it belongs to the community, to everybody, otherwise we don’t live in true freedom. Stop being a selfish cunt. 
OCTOBER 12, 2013 AT 9:47 AM

Back at Pharyngula (PZ Myer's blog) the a comment shares Nat's disgust:

Kevin (#4)
Shouldn’t he be called Richard Lippman-Stallman if he’s going to bang on like that?

Of course, the comments were not made by Richard Stallman.

This is so painfully obvious that even some Pharyngula commenters try to remedy the issue:

Vicar (#13)
The “GNU/Linux” reference shows that at least some of the people who are posting those comments think it’s all a game. (I am not excusing them, they are awful people who deserve all the excoriation they get and then some.) Stallman’s little mini-rant on how Linux should be called GNU/Linux because Linux distributions usually contain the GNU toolchain is something that people of that ilk toss in to show to amuse each other.
soegija nirwan (#77)
“Richard Stallman” posting that lecture on GNU/Linux was a popular meme a few years ago; it’s not really him.

It's straightforward for everyone with basic research skills to see through "Stallman"'s comments.

Searching the web for the first sentence in this "GNU/Linux" lecture:


I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re refering to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/LInux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux.

This bizarrely specific sentence yields tens of thousands of hits, with the paragraph being shared by people who are obviously not Richard Stallman.

Not only is it clear that Richard Stallman is not the one sharing this body of text, there is little evidence immediately available that he actually made such a statement to begin with. There happens to be a fairly elaborate Wikiquote entry on Richard Stallman, with a related discussion page mentioning that the text lacks a reliable source.

The troll in the comments on Justine's post cannot even be said to be putting effort in trying to adequately impersonate Richard Stallman. The comments made are a plain copy paste of a rather bizarre meme.

When the founder of the Free Software Foundation is telling one to "liberate the pussy" in any given comment thread, perhaps it is time to be skeptical about the identity of the authors participating in the discussion!

It is entirely possible that PZ Myers' reference to Stallman's comments was in jest, but that more than one social justice warrior fell for this ruse allows us to consider that PZ Myers actually thinks Richard Stallman could be asshole enough to share his opinions in this manner.


Putting the Stallman fiasco on pause and returning to PZ Myers' earlier rage about Becky Garrison for a moment. At the end of the post about Becky Garrison, PZ writes:

So please, stop trying to fit a complex set of diverse voices into your pathetic, simplistic narrative. And if you find something we say bruises your fragile ego, just stop reading us. We won’t mind. Actually, we’d prefer it if you freaking narcissists would take a hike and leave us alone.

This has to be the most nonsensical "poor me" statement PZ Myers has ever crafted.

What is Myers' ask of Becky Garrison, Pat Condell and Richard Stallman?

Essentially:
"Stop reading my posts and leave me alone"

It would seem that PZ Myers is allowed to write posts that routinely skirt the definition of outright character assassination and those involved can be expected to somehow forget all about it.

It speaks to the sorry state of American education that a professor that claims to be from the internet ultimately fails to lift a finger to do a trivial amount of research using the internet and routinely fails to realize that he's writing daily open letters to the very same people he claims to want nothing to do with.

It's a true statement to say that there is an old man in Minnesota that thinks a national chain of hobby stores is run by Nazis and that notable names in computer science like to show up in blog comments to correct women in their use of computer terminology before espousing their desire to "liberate" their genitalia.

Maybe the most unhinged person in Minnesota is not Michelle Bachmann...

1 comment:

  1. Note that Richard Stalmann wont post things there.
    http://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html

    "I generally do not connect to web sites from my own machine.."
    "I do not use social networking sites"
    " I never post on Twitter."
    "I reject Facebook and Google+"..

    ReplyDelete