Category Archives: Other

Freedom is not an end point.

I think it is important to understand that freedom is at the beginning and not at the end. We think freedom is something to be achieved, that liberation is an ideal state of mind to be gradually attained through time, through various practices; but to me, this is a totally wrong approach. Freedom is not to be achieved; liberation is not a thing to be gained. Freedom, or liberation, is that state of mind which is essential for the discovery of any truth, any reality, therefore it cannot be an ideal; it must exist right from the beginning. Without freedom at the beginning, there can be no moments of direct understanding, because all thinking is then limited, conditioned. If your mind is tethered to any conclusion, to any experience, to any form of knowledge or belief, it is not free; and such a mind cannot possibly perceive what is truth.
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“C—- Is a Beautiful Thing” is pretty racist.

UPDATE 3: I censored the name of the song (the missing word, of course, is Color) so people will stop stumbling on this entry while looking for the lyrics.

UPDATE 2: Due to the growing number of trolls commenting, I’ve decided to close down the comments. The US is in the middle of a race war, and this is what you idiots are getting angry about? Get a life.

UPDATE: So this entry is getting a lot of hits and a bunch of butthurt fans are whining that I don’t understand the real intention of the song and that “ching chang” actually means something in Chinese. Are you kidding me? The song clearly is referring to the “I Ching,” and besides, no one listening to the song would know what “ching chang” means, you morons.

***

I can’t help but notice these Behr ads for paint that prominently feature the song “C—- Is a Beautiful Thing.” It’s an anti-racism song, sure, but it’s got the following lyrics:

“Color is an I Ching chang/Fo’ sho’/Ding dang!”

Just to add insult to injury, Behr has an asian-looking woman with her baby on the screen right after that.

The song is not even that old, it’s from 1982. Why do we accept racism or sexism from cultural items because they’re supposed to be positive or beloved? They’re still racist or sexist. Positives don’t cancel out negatives. I guess the schmucks on the Left are sitting on their hands because they’re afraid of attacking an anti-racist message.

Two quotes on public relations.

“Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country… We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society… In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons… who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Edward L. Bernays, the father of public relations (writing in support of controlling people’s minds)

“Like casinos, large corporate entities have studied the numbers and the ways in which people respond to them. These are not con tricks – they’re not even necessarily against our direct interests, although sometimes they can be – but they are hacks for the human mind, ways of manipulating us into particular decisions we otherwise might not make. They are also, in a way, deliberate underminings of the core principle of the free market, which derives its legitimacy from the idea that informed self-interest on aggregate sets appropriate prices for items. The key word is ‘informed’; the point of behavioural economics – or rather, of its somewhat buccaneering corporate applications – is to skew our perception of the purchase to the advantage of the company. The overall consequence of that is to tilt the construction of our society away from what it should be if we were making the rational decisions classical economics imagines we would, and towards something else.”

Nick Harkaway, The Blind Giant

Gender McCarthyism, or Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been…

To deny the people of an exploited group the right to discuss ways in which they are exploited, and the means to redress it, is a criminal act.

Women are an exploited group. As such, they have the right to discuss ways in which they are exploited, and the means to redress it. And yet they are being gaslighted and silenced with rising intensity by a group of fanatics.

This group of fanatics has declared all radical feminism to be persona non grata and maintains lists of radical feminists so they can be silenced and made into pariahs, not because of their ideas, but because they are radical feminists.

This is Gender McCarthyism. Are you now, or have you ever been, a radical feminist?

This group of fanatics is mostly composed of men. This is not surprising, as the people who have silenced women throughout the centuries were, for the most part, men. The violent erasure of women’s writings, women’s knowledge, and women’s lives and livelihood, has been led by men.

But these fanatics have taken the erasure of women to new heights reminiscent of 1984. Now it is the identity of women themselves that is under fire. They use bigoted rhetoric to make people believe that historical women were actually men in disguise. They use bigoted rhetoric to make parents believe that their daughters are male and that their sons are female.

They threaten anyone who dares to speak about women’s issues, including biological ones. They accuse these women of being their biggest threat, even though those who actually want to kill them are other men.

And most importantly, they attack women’s spaces, refusing to acknowledge the right of an exploited group to assemble peacefully and be able to live free from those who exploit them. If there’s one thing that feminist history proves, it’s that women’s spaces are essential for the liberation of women, and that destroying women’s spaces means nothing less than the end of feminism and the end of any hope for a just society. That is precisely what they want.

Even though they pretend to be modern thinkers, their objective is the same as all other genderists throughout history: to stomp down on women, to keep them from being subjects, to keep them from speaking up.

To paraphrase a famous quote, whether it is a right boot or a left boot at women’s throat is of no significance. What matters is that a murder is being committed.

These fanatics believe that any woman who is not feminine enough was, or is, not a “real woman.” Women cannot be strong. Women cannot speak up. Women cannot love other women. Women cannot want to be free.

Women who remain silent, women who follow along with the program, are not targeted. It is those women who stood up for themselves, and those women who stand up for themselves now, those are the targets to be silenced and erased.

These fanatics are also science deniers, because they deny the biological reality that males and females operate under. They deny the existence of sex and believe that gender is an innate property of individuals. This is a form of quackery and has nothing to do with actual biology.

The goal of erasing sex as a biological fact is to eradicate feminism as a movement dedicated to women’s liberation. A group cannot have boundaries against their oppressors if they are not allowed to define the basis of their oppression. If anyone can be a feminist and anyone’s interests are feminist interests, then feminism means absolutely nothing.

The current ideological battle is a framing and political battle for the survival of half the human race. If the fanatics win, and women-only spaces are abolished, then any possibility of furthering women’s rights will be legally eradicated.

What I want to say to these men is the following:

Your bizarre misogynistic and science-denying ideology is leading us to disaster. What you’re preaching is wrong and hurts everyone, men, women and children, every single day. If you care at all about the truth and helping other people, reconsider what you’re doing.

Take responsibility for the bigoted things you do and say. Stop targeting women who speak up and stand up for themselves. That just makes you a sniveling coward. Speak your truth and let others speak their truth. Don’t let gender demagogues dictate you what the truth is.

How to pass as an extrovert.

Our society expects you to be extroverted, especially in the workplace. For people who are more or less profoundly introverted, this can be a harrowing fact of life, a constant reminder of how non-conforming you are. People may hassle you because of it.

No doubt every introvert develops their own methods of dealing with this. This entry is my own personal list of things that one can do to deal: perhaps it can help some people. I’ve found that the advice available on the Internet is incredibly bad and glosses over the hard parts, portraying introversion as a shining beacon of light in a sea of mediocrity. That may be so, but it’s also hard.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that the objective is to pass as an extrovert, not to become an extrovert. Your goal is to fool people. As J.R. “Bob” Dobbs used to say:

“Act like a dumbass and they’ll treat you like an equal.”

In no other area does this maxim apply more than passing as a Pink in the workplace. Imitate them enough and you won’t stand out.

I won’t spend much time on obvious advice that you’ve already figured out, like trying to get a job or a role that requires the least contact with the public or coworkers.

The most important skill in passing is how to deflect attempts at conversation through verbal self-defense. There are many resources on this topic, but insofar as passing as an extrovert goes, your main focus should be on shutting down unwanted/unsolicited conversations through sarcastic comments or white lies.

Ignoring people or responding aggressively can only make you look even more out of place. You want people to leave you alone, but you work around people (I presume) and rejecting everyone will lead to a hostile work environment for you.

As an antinatalist, I don’t want to have conversations about having children. So here’s how I shut it down:

“Do you have any children?”
“Nope.” (curt answer, not offering anything)
“Why don’t you have children?”
“I’m already enough of a child, and we don’t want to have another one. *laugh*” (sarcastic comment, shutting down the conversation)

At this point just walk away and don’t be afraid of leaving it at that point. This is normal enough not to arouse suspicion. If there are questions or conversational patterns that occur time and time again, think of pat answers to shut them down, either a sarcastic comment or a white lie. If anyone asks you to come to a party or whatever, come up with a good-sounding excuse not to go and you’ll be scot free (don’t use the same one every time unless it’s something that can always apply, like having a second job or needing to babysit or whatever).

Developing a persona may help you deal with people better. For example, being known as a harmlessly grumpy person will allow you to evade conversations much easier. Getting an intellectual reputation may also help. Depending on the place you work at, this may be ridiculously easy: I have the reputation of being an intellectual at work just because I read non-fiction books.

Always take care never to speak your mind, unless you trust the other person or unless you can turn it into a good conversation stopper. I’ve gotten into some amount of trouble by not being able to control my mouth, and I don’t easily stay on guard, so that’s something I have to work at.

That’s why finding that one person you can relate to can be very beneficial (unless of course you’d rather not talk to anyone at all). But finding them may be difficult. I’ve had some success with wearing a t-shirt (when possible) which was funny to most people but had a message that would be obvious to the few people who understood it (when someone came up to me and said “they let you wear THAT?”, I knew I’d found someone!). I’ve also had some success talking about the books I read or judging people’s answers to points I make.

Charismatic personalities are another major problem for introverts. You know who I’m talking about, that one person who’s friends with EVERYONE and wants to be your friend too. In that area I feel like it’s better to just get along with that one person and get them on your side, if you can grin and bear it. Charismatic personalities have a big influence on everyone else around them and can “vet” you. Rejecting such a person may be a huge hindrance to your attempts to pass.

All of this can work because you can get away. Family is another matter entirely. I don’t have personal experience with that and I can’t imagine how hard it is to have to deal with a prying or bossy family. My main advice would be to just go along with whatever they say, agree with their “advice,” but don’t actually do anything. Delaying and trying to set down clear boundaries seems to me to be the name of the game, although neither might work with an abusive family. Please post in the comments if you have experience in that regard and have more suggestions.

Why do the atheist and skeptic communities foster misogyny and racism?


Tweet by Richard Dawkins in defense of rapist Michael Shermer.

There has been a great deal of discussion on the constant stream of misogyny and racism coming from the leading figures of the atheist community (Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, Sam Harris, Lawrence Krauss) and the skeptic community (DJ Grothe, Ben Radford).

The minority of representation of women and POC in the leadership and speaker lists of atheist and skeptic organizations is also an obvious result of the misogyny and racism in these organizations. The reactions to other events, such as the harassment of Rebecca Watson, has made clear that the atheist and skeptic communities are, by and large, against women.

I have seen a great deal discussed on these issues. I have not, however, seen a lot of discussion as to the why. People (like Sam Harris) have tried to argue that the issue of low representation of women and POC is the result of some inherent lack in the part of women and POC. This of course is misogynist nonsense.

One thing both these communities have in common is nerd culture. While one does not have to be a nerd to be an atheist or a skeptic, there is certainly a strong association between the two. It is well known that scientists have far higher rates of unbelief, and in general it seems likely that love of science and technology entails higher rates of unbelief as well.

The problem is that nerd culture, while glorifying science and technology, is very toxic and masculinist. There is a strong correlation between nerd culture and rape culture. The controversy over video game sexism and the attacks against female journalists, designers and programmers, as well as the depictions of women catering to the male gaze in video games and comic books, have demonstrated that.

Nerd culture means living in a world of male fantasy and rejecting the right of females to exist.

They live in a world of perpetually scantily clad superwomen who fight crime in ninja lingerie and kevlar camisoles. They live in a world where super-soldier women strike anatomically impossible fighting stances that show off not only their ample asses but their massive breasts. They live in a world where happiness is a harajuku schoolgirl getting the tentacle rape she so desperately deserves. They live in a world where the once feisty and feminist-era proud Princess Leia is nothing more than a cosplay centerfold.

Nerds are represented in the media as lovable weirdoes, so it may seem harsh to associate nerd culture with rape culture. But I defy any defender of nerd culture to name one aspect of nerd culture which is not demeaning or annihilating of female existence and female perspective.

Another thing they have in common is ultra-rationalism, which I have previously described. The ultra-rational is characterized by the belief that one is more rational than most people, while exhibiting irrational traits brought about by overconfidence. Because they adopt one position on a consciously rational basis, they take it for granted that their positions are based on reason, when this is generally not the case, or at least not noticeably more than non-atheists or non-skeptics.

One characteristic of ultra-rationalism is a complete bungling of the concept of burden of proof. They believe that personal experience, even when not used to prove a scientific point, is automatically invalid. The inevitable result of this mindset is that accusations of sexual harassment are trivialized or rejected, while “scientific” conclusions about women based on “just so” stories are widely accepted.

It is somewhat understandable that atheism is ultra-rational, since it is after all a reaction to theology, which has adopted all the trappings of logical argumentation (although, sadly, not the intellectual rigor that should go with it).

The third thing they have in common is white privilege. There are very few POC in these communities. Nerds tend to be white people who have the luxury of not needing a strong sense of identity (beyond being nerds), unlike POC and immigrants. For many people, religion is an identity and a community, and atheism does not measure up to that standard.

I don’t know about skeptics, but atheists certainly look down on other cultures, especially Islamic cultures. Accusations of Islamophobia have been issues at various prominent figures, including Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

While I agree that the term Islamophobia is inadequate to describe this attitude, I certainly think bigotry and white privilege are good words when Richard Dawkins makes tweets like this, or Sam Harris says things like: “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it.”

Richard Dawkins, who has made himself a leading figure of atheism and evolution, is now also known for his misogynistic attitude, exemplified in his Dear Muslima mockery of a sexual harassment victim,
and his otherwise bizarre and illogical statements, such as when he called for tolerance of “mild pedophilia” or when he tried to classify rapes as “bad” and “worse.”

Of course, his ultra-rational defenders believe firmly that Dawkins is making perfectly logical statements, even though this is the kind of stuff we expect from someone who’s slipping away from reality.

What is the solution? It seems so far that the only viable solution is a “new wave” of atheism to replace “New Atheism.” Atheism+ is certainly a step in the right direction, although it may turn into the same kind of insanity as the “social justice” tumblr groups. That much remains to be seen.

Phil Robertson on raping and killing atheists.

Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot ’em and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’ Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’ If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right.’

“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson explaining his rape fantasies about killing atheists

That Axe Body Spray ad: what about the racism?

I’ve seen a lot of people muster feminist criticism against this ad campaign by Axe Body Spray. However, I haven’t seen anyone mention the racism of it. First Nations men have traditionally worn braids. Chinese men have also been depicted with braids for a long time. To portray men with braids as being emasculated is therefore a White concept which is inherently racist and reinforces the imperialist conceit used against First Nations people.