Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Stupid Mail

Oh, Skeptic Tank's still sore because the last time he came here I kicked his ass around as shown in that link to that post the other day.  He's chicken and figures trash talk and a hilarious pose of intimidation is either bothersome or inhibiting.  Actually, I think my remaining hens are both smarter and braver than he is.  I made fun of his handle and it got to him to the extent he changed it. 

As I said yesterday, everything said about me at Duncan Black's Geritol and Vodka cocktail set is a lie.   It's not as if they ever bother to read things they characterize, they don't go in for even a modest level of complexity or work.   The good news is that they will never do much of anything but grouse and reminisce over the 60s and 70s, brag about what they had for lunch, brag about purchases or the recycled tapes of their garage band because if they tried to do more than that, it wouldn't be helpful.  

Update 2:  So, I'm thinking either he never read The Brothers Karamazov or he did and didn't get the glaring themes of the book.  Dostoevsky was right that the pose of intellectual skepticism leads to destructive nihilism and that with it comes all manner of evil doing, including that of the Trump regime.  I can't imagine missing that point as it's one of the central themes and part of the plot.  As is the conclusion of atheism that if there is no God then everything is allowable.  I've pointed that out here a number of times, without a conception of mutually held moral obligations then the only limits on the desire to do evil of all kinds are a. a weak position from which the would be evil doer figures they can do it or b. they figure they won't be allowed to get away with it, substituting human consequences for God imposed consequences.  And they might be able to escape from human ones.  Stalin was one of the great examples of that.  


  1. Skepticism is a pose, ultimately. Used as an analytical tool, it is valuable. Used as an identity, it's fake. And empty. And hollow.

  2. Marcello Truzzi, the guy Sagan stole the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" from, one of the early organized "skeptics" thought about it enough so he realized his fellow "Skeptics" were really anything but skeptical, they were the holders of a rigid ideology of denying possibilities. After he helped found CSICOP he found that unlike him, his fellow "Skeptics" didn't want to test ideas, they wanted to ban ideas without any testing at all on the basis of their already very old-fashioned, outmoded materialism. Since he was the editor of its journal and he wanted to publish various viewpoints, they fired him from the editorship and he left the organizations, becoming one of their more skeptical critics. He dropped the word "skepticism" as a label.

    His friends say that shortly before his death he'd said he intended to write a criticism of the "extraordinary ideas require . . . " line which is one of the dumber things that often gets said by atheists and others. If the same requirements that confirm "ordinary" claims aren't sufficient to support ideas some people deem "extraordinary" they can't be any more valid for supporting ideas claimed to be "ordinary". Which a lot of the "Skeptics" don't like because, for one thing, a lot of them are so-called scientists who accept many outlandish claims on far lower levels of research far less rigorously carried out than many of those who actually research claims deemed to be extraordinary and their professions would evaporate if they were required to live up to their avocational faith claims.

    Truzzi also was one of those who pointed out that the "Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal didn't conduct any investigation but only condemnation and ridicule. The one time they tried to carry out an investigation it was a total fiasco of incompetence, refusal to take criticism, lies, cover-up and dishonesty. Since the issues were directly in Sagan's field (they were trying to debunk neo-astrology) he certainly knew from the first months of the scandal that his fellow lovers of science were incompetent liars whose "investigation" supported the claims they were trying to debunk but, so far as I've ever seen, he and his fellow "Skeptics" who stayed with CSICOP never owned up to it. He was a total jerk outside of his one area of professional competence, the very model for his student, Neil Degrasse Tyson who even copied Sagan's quickly wearing smarty-pants style.

    "Skeptic Tank" was at least honest enough to unintentionally give a clue as to where a lot of what he claims belongs.