This Would Explain Greg LadenBlather and his LadenHosen

2 08 2010

Science writers play rough. They like hoaxes, humiliations and Oxbridge-style showdowns that let them use words like “claptrap” and “gibberish.” There’s a reason people don’t call themselves deconstructionists and pick fights with science anymore.

. . .“The ship is sinking,” mused PZ Myers, the writer of the [ScienceBlogs] site’s top blog, Pharyngula . .

[W]hile I found interesting stuff here and there, I also discovered that ScienceBlogs has become preoccupied with trivia, name-calling and saber rattling. Maybe that’s why the ScienceBlogs ship started to sink.

Greg Laden Blog Full of Unscientific Crap [even PZ Myers Calls It Out]

School Sock Puppets “Laden” with Logic Disorders

Evidence Mounts for Greg Ladenblather as Flame War Flashpoint

Unboxing Our Lizard Brains



24 responses

2 08 2010

Now there is a name I haven’t thought about in quite a while. And I liked it that way. Thanks JJ 😉

2 08 2010

//ScienceBlogs has become Fox News for the religion-baiting, peak-oil crowd. //

That sums it up perfectly.

2 08 2010

Sorry! I’m a Scorpio, got a lo-ong memory for being done wrong. Unscientific yet also undeniable, what can you do? 😉

3 08 2010

I don’t know. I could make any argument I’d like by cherry-picking ScienceBlogs (home of 80+ bloggers, spanning different disciplines, last I checked) the way this author did. I remember that Greg used to pull stuff off of Alasandra’s blog to do the same thing. It’s easy to do – especially when you have personal vendettas to carry out, as Greg seemed to have.

Btw, after googling this author, it’s ironic that she brings up FOX as her employer (the NY Times) had to retract one of her stories because she never bothered to fact-check allegations of racism, before spreading them herself (just as FOX did with Shirley Sherrod)… In this case, it doesn’t sound like she even read the ScienceBlogs statement of purpose, let alone a large enough sample of blogs.

3 08 2010

Whoa, the plot thickens, good catch Lynn, target-practice pissers and team-color asshats on all sides?? (What’s an intellectually honest non-ideological Thinking Parent to do?)

3 08 2010

What I remember is how nakedly GL wanted to pack his ladenhosen and move on up, to the higher-status neighborhood among peers he wanted to impress, into his very own personal Science Blog. It seemed back then as if loud and showy bashing of homeschoolers (in general and also specifics, like COD, Nance and me) was his audition, and that it worked. That’s when ScienceBlogs fell in my estimation . . .

3 08 2010

Speaking of FOX, did you see that they won Helen Thomas’ coveted first chair in the White House press room? What’s THAT about??

3 08 2010

They are buying their way to the front row now while it’s cheap, because once they out Palin in office everybody will want to be there.

3 08 2010

…put Palin in office. Although given the recent history of republican office holders, outing her is a definite possibility too 🙂

3 08 2010

Ooh, fun game for the day! — what kind of secret life would it be most delicious for us to discover in said outing? That she is a classical scholar or a romantic poet who cares not for fame and fortune? That she is black or Muslim or both? That she is a Russian spy (think how easy it would have been to embed her in Alaska as a mole baby Manchurian Candidate, for example, since the land mass was presumably in view from Mother Russia all along . . .)

3 08 2010

And speaking of Sarah Palin’s power of story as JJ has enjoyed doing from Day One, what if there really is a Soviet Union political connection buried deep in her subconscious and she’s using it against us for real, maybe even without knowing it herself? Let’s “out” it before it’s too late! I love it when a theme comes together!!

Sarah Palin’s psychology and the power of archetypes

It’s classic Palin. And, as often is the case with Palin, the video doesn’t feature a single word about policy — as many of her critics have pointed out. But they are completely missing the point. Indeed, this video and the response to it are a perfect illustration of why we need to widen the scope of our political analysis.

We are awash in crises right now — crises that require smart and creative policy fixes. So why is somebody who so rarely deals in policy fixes so popular? It’s because Palin’s message operates on a level deeper than policy statements about the economy or financial reform or health care or the war in Afghanistan.

To really understand her appeal, we need less policy analysis and more psychology. Specifically, we need to hear from that under-appreciated political pundit Carl Jung.

It’s not Palin’s positions people respond to — it’s her use of symbols. Mama grizzlies rearing up to protect their young? That’s straight out of Jung’s “collective unconscious” — the term Jung used to describe the part of the unconscious mind that, unlike the personal unconscious, is shared by all human beings, made up of archetypes, or, in Jung’s words, “universal images that have existed since the remotest times.” Unlike personal experiences, these archetypes are inherited, not acquired. They are “inborn forms… of perception and apprehension,” the “deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity.”

This is the realm Palin is working in — I’m sure unintentionally — and it’s why she has connected so deeply with a large segment of the public. In fact, her evocation of mama grizzlies has a particularly resonant history in the collective unconscious. According to the Jungian Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, “The bear has long fascinated mankind, partly because of its habit of hibernation, which may have served as a model of death and rebirth in human societies.”

As a matter of fact, another very popular Republican politician once used the image of a bear in an ad. The bear was used differently, but to powerful effect.

There’s a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it’s vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear…

Simple. Forceful. Policy-free. And a very successful ad for Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984. It raised the question of whether Walter Mondale would be strong enough to stand up to the lurking bear — in this case, the Soviet Union. Reagan won 525 electoral votes to Mondale’s 13. . .

3 08 2010

Are real ordinary Americans strong enough now, to stand up to the lurking Mama Grizzly?

3 08 2010

One more quick defense of scienceblogs: I’ve been wandering around over there for a couple years now and have never seen anyone blog on *any* topic the way Greg blogs about homeschooling. 🙂 “Naked” is a good word to describe his obvious personal resentments; he even comes across as a little deranged, at times, which is too bad (for him) because, buried deep below infinite layers of madness, he may have a kernel of understanding about one or two aspects of the homeschooling movement. I think. He plays such silly word games, it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, I won’t (continue to) drone on; there have already been a number of good responses to the Heffernan article. One I liked is “Where Can You Find Science on ScienceBlogs?”

3 08 2010

My ears also perked at hearing Chris’ tease about “out(ing) Palin.” If, among “pro-family” types, the most outspoken advocates turn out to be exactly what they condemn, maybe Palin is secretly a rational, thoughtful person.

3 08 2010

Or at heart an uncaring or just careless mother, a la Scarlett O’Hara. There have been such dark suggestions.

3 08 2010

Lynn, I don’t read at Sb much, just follow links now and then, usually Pharyngula (he’s in Snook’s blogroll) so I don’t know: are the blog you linked above and the ones he in turn links, all conversing with a whole different community of commenters then? Or is he missing the real point of the problem, which isn’t that more science is needed, so much as that scintillating, trustworthy commentary on science is buried under endless excrement from science brats behaving badly?

3 08 2010

BTW, it’s not unique to “science” that the community attracted to comment would be territorial, snarky to a fault and eventually devolve into ritual tribal dismemberments for fun and profit. Nance and I found the same thing by accident in the “young feminists” online cliques, and the FSM knows it happens in homeschool cliques too! Not only the Christian ones either. (Again, Nance and I made perfect targets even for where we belonged, apparently; every group tells us its abuse of us is unique to our own personal unworthiness, that we deserve it, as we’re publicly flogged, ridden out of town on a rail and then shunned. Why do you think we generally stay here “at home” at Snook now??)

But with homeschool cliques, it goes on after we’re not there to kick around any more, or the conversation dies down without ready targets to inflame the base. With young feminists and then Greg and the Ladenhosen, it later proved not to be just us nor our homeschooling. That’s why the NYT column hit a nerve with me. It sounded like the eventual implosion I’d expect, suggesting they aren’t nearly as smart about complex organisms and systems as they tell each other they must be. 😉

Repost of old comment here:

Nance sent me to read this “law professors” blog and it was worth it, the comments particularly.

It gives me some comfort, that there are still really bright folks figuring stuff out and speaking about complex issues the way I tend to, instead of just repetitively spouting their own simplistic agenda as incontrovertible truth and twisting reality to fit as needed.

3 08 2010

JJ: “…different community of commenters…?”

That’s an interesting question. So, the Sb network is sorta like the White House press room where science brats have grabbed Helen Thomas’ coveted first chair and, just as FOX has its own audience, so do the brats. That could be true — especially as flamethrowers like PZ write political blogs that attract bratty cultural warriors like me. 🙂

Maybe the NYT column hit nerves with me, too. Among assorted gripes, it irked me to look at my desk and see an article reporting the latest dead baby to succumb to whooping cough at the same time that I hear sciencebloggers (and their commenters) called “rude” to anti-vax people… The parents of the dead baby may have planned to immunize, I don’t know; regardless, it was other parents who killed their baby. Other parents that we need to be polite to… [steaming]

3 08 2010

That’s so true and I’m sorry it is. The “be polite” or as we hear it “keep sweet” Control thing, like in the polygamist cults, is misused along with everything else but it’s a particular peeve of Nance’s (where is she this week, maybe finally getting a long-deserved rest for a few days?)

Seems to me what this world needs is some sense of PROPORTION. A bunch more introspection before flamethrowing would be helpful too.

When it comes down to it, isn’t this ALL connected and always the same power of story, always the dilemma of whether it can ever be moral, to use the kids for our own ends?

3 08 2010

ABC News:

“‘Keep sweet’ — that means don’t question,” Nicholson said.

. . .This mantra was what eventually led Nicholson to break from the group at the age of 18 . . . “all I could think about is ‘I just want someone to love me.’ And then it hit me, I could be going from bad to worse.”

Nicholson was also bothered by the actions of her school teacher, Warren Jeffs — the man who would later become the group’s prophet. . .

“He was the headmaster and I believe his evil reign and mind control began then,” she said. “The charges are nothing compared to what I know he’s done.”

Nicholson’s break from the sect was complicated. . .
She’s now working to rescue other girls from what she calls the chains of polygamy by redefining the mantra that haunted her childhood.

“For me, ‘keep sweet’ now means peace and talking and communicating and … questioning,” she said. “For me, having that inner peace keeps me sweet. I think I’m a sweet person now.”

3 08 2010

JJ: (the) “keep sweet” thing, like in the polygamist cults

I once belonged to a monogamist cult (called Saddleback Church) that did the same thing. Annoying.

BTW, I’ve decided to just abandon my blog and take over yours, in case you hadn’t noticed. 😀

3 08 2010

Excellent, that will improve the art right away . . . 😉

30 01 2011

Derailing for Dummies: How to Sabotage Civility and Ruin Conversation!

Just follow this step-by-step guide to Conversing with Marginalised People™ and in no time at all you will have a fool-proof method of derailing every challenging conversation you may get into, thus reaping the full benefits of every privilege that you have. . .

Read on, and learn, and remember… you don’t have to use these in any particular order! In fact, mixing them up can really keep those Marginalised People™ on their toes! After all, they are pretty much used to hearing this stuff, so you don’t want to get too predictable or they’ll get lazy!

If You Won’t Educate Me How Can I Learn
If You Cared About These Matters You’d Be Willing To Educate Me
You’re Being Hostile
But That Happens To Me Too!
You’re Being Overemotional
You’re Just Oversensitive
You Just Enjoy Being Offended
Being Offended Is Great For You
Don’t You Have More Important Issues To Think About
You’re Taking Things Too Personally
It’s Only The Internet!
You’re Not Being Intellectual Enough/You’re Being Overly Intellectual
You’re Interrogating From The Wrong Perspective
You’re Arguing With Opinions Not Fact
Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone
Unless You Can Prove Your Experience Is Widespread I Won’t Believe It
I Don’t Think You’re As Marginalised As You Claim
Aren’t You Treating Each Other Worse Anyway
But If It’s Okay For Marginalised People To Use Those Words, Why Can’t I?
But You’re Different To The Others
But It’s True! – NEW!
Well I Know Another Person From Your Group Who Disagrees!
I’m Just Saying What Other People Believe. I Never Said I Agree
I Said SOME Marginalised People Do That, Not ALL
“It’s A Conspiracy!” – NEW
You Have An Agenda – NEW
A In B Situation Is Not Equivalent To X In Y Situation
Anything You Can Do – NEW!
But I’m Not Like That – Stop Stereotyping! – NEW!
You’re Just Suffering Privilege Envy – NEW!
Who Wins Gold in the Oppression Olympics?
You Have A False Consciousness
You’re Not Being A Team Player
You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore
You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry
You’re As Bad As They Are
Surprise! I Was Playing “Devil’s Advocate” All Along!

30 01 2011

No matter how wildly different the issues at hand were – whether they were matters of race or gender identity or sex or class – the same arguments by the privileged were put forth over and over.

(A note: I am aware issues of race, gender, sex and class frequently intersect.)

. . . I was so struck by the similarities in the derailing model – how very textbook it was, right across the board – that I wanted to make my own contribution and underline how common these tired, infuriating tactics are for all of us. I also perhaps conceitedly hope it will make us variously marginalised people more aware of these factors and how they affect those outside our experience so we stop doing it to each other as well.

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