It Came From The 80s – The Flamer’s Bible!

Anyone who’s been anywhere near the atheoskeptoblogosphere in the last two years might well have noticed an undercurrent (or over-current) of hate-speech, flaming, obsessive trolling, twit-stalking and general petulant shit-slinging – especially if the target is a feminist blogger. But it’s nothing new – online communication has been around for ages; as such, the anonymity inherent in it has always provided cover for keyboard warriors to dispatch rhetorical missiles and toxic word-sludge across the globe, the nation or just the building – all with no social consequences.

Without further ado, from some time in 1987, I present a selection of tips for being an Internet Tough Guy:

The twelve commandments of flaming

  •     Make things up about your opponent: It’s important to make your lies sound true. Preface your argument with the word “clearly.” “Clearly, Fred Flooney is a liar, and a dirtball to boot.”

 

This might be familiar. How about: “She’s a misandrist! She’s a Feminazi! She hates men! It was only an invitation to coffee at 4am! She’s frigid!”

  •     Cross-post your flames: Everyone on the net is just waiting for the next literary masterpiece to leave your terminal. From rec.arts.wobegon to alt.gourmand, they’re all holding their breaths until your next flame. Therefore, post everywhere.

 

This one’s never been so important to the career troll: you can’t expect every one of your hate-chorus to just be reading your blog, so to increase your back-pats & pingbacks & likes you need to facebook, tweet, instafreakingram, blog, re-blog and link to everything in whatever dark, mouldy corner of the ‘net where there are no standards of behaviour when it comes to Approved Enemies.

  •     Conspiracies abound: If everyone’s against you, the reason can’t possibly be that you’re a fuckhead. There’s obviously a conspiracy against you, and you will be doing the entire net a favor by exposing it.

 

This is now known as the Galileo Gambit: They made fun of Galileo, and he was right.
They make fun of me, therefore I am right. However, the counter to this comes from Robert Park: It is not enough to wear the mantle of Galileo: that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right.

  •     Use foreign phrases: French is good, but Latin is the lingua franca of flaming. You should use the words “ad hominem” at least three times per article. Other favorite Latin phrases are “ad nauseum,” “vini, vidi, vici,” and “fetuccini alfredo.”

 

Accusations of ad hominem abound on the internet – usually as soon as someone gets insulted for acting like a douche. However, a true ad hominem is dimissive of an argument based on who’s making the argument, i.e. “You’re a douche therefore your argument is wrong.” Much of the time you hear an a.h. invoked, it is done so in response to a simple insult, e.g. “You’re a douche and your argument is wrong.” To avoid confusion, please be sure to dismiss someone’s argument on its own lack of merit and then call them a douche.

  •     Accuse your opponent of censorship. It is your right as an American citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the net (as guaranteed by the 37th Amendment, I think). Anyone who tries to limit your cross-posting or move a flame war to email is either a communist, a fascist, or both.

 

FREEZE PEACH! “Because the country I live in has granted me the right to say anything I want (of course there aren’t caveats – I can walk onto the White House lawn and threaten to stab Barry O because FREEZE PEACH is absolute!), it therefore follows that I get to follow you around the internet and regurgi-hate on every single one of your online properties. The fact that you own your twitter account, facebook, youtube account or blog doesn’t give you the right to decided who gets to talk to you! StasiNazi #bullies baawww!”

Um, yeah it does. A website/media account, as far as you’re concerned, is someone’s property as much as their doorstep or the counter of their store – if you don’t like when they shut the door in your face, try modifying (or at least paying attention to) what comes out of your face.

Go and read the rest – you’ve probably seen all of them in the last week.

Ray Comfort is a fucking idiot

“Fucking” being the operative word in this case. That is, he reproduces, or can or will reproduce (oh god, I sincerely hope not) sexually. With another person.

However, he is under the following mistaken impression about Darwinian evolution (a mistaken impression about evolution? Ray? Say it aint so!):

Darwin theorized that mankind (both male and female) evolved alongside each other over millions of years, both reproducing after their own kind before the ability to physically have sex evolved. They did this through “asexuality” (“without sexual desire or activity or lacking any apparent sex or sex organs”). Each of them split in half (“Asexual organisms reproduce by fission (splitting in half).

Ray Comfort, you are a fucking, fucking, FUCKING idiot. At no point, ever in human history, or even pre-human history, have “we” (bipedal apes) reproduced via splitting in half. At no point, ever in Darwin’s history, did he “theorise” that humans ever could or ever did reproduce asexually. That is possibly the most unimaginably, mind-bogglingy brain-rapingly stupid thing you’ve ever written on your blog (which is really, really saying something).

OK then, I shall attempt to be charitable. If you’re not simply a fucking clueless idiot, then you’re one of the following: (a) laughably, pathetically ignorant, (b) in complete understanding of what you read but flat-out lying through your teeth about what evolutionary theory says, for some reason, (c) unable to read & comprehend words of your own language that are put in an easily decipherable order that clearly & unambiguously describes a concept or idea or (d) deliberately baiting atheists with what you know to be complete falsehoods in order to rile them up and expose to your loyal cadre of credulous Raytheists exactly how unpleasant atheists are, all of the time (not just when responding to such blatant falsehood). It could even be (e): you’re a cynical charlatan who takes great delight in simultaneously pissing off & misrepresenting atheists & scientists while taking the money of history’s easiest, softest, most stationary targets: hardcore evangelists who take the Bible literally.

If it’s simple ignorance or carelessness at the root of this ridiculous error, that could be excused – except that you frequently present yourself as some kind of authority or expert or, at the very least, a knowledgeable & educated layman in the areas of evolution and the development of life, all in order to lend credence and credibility to your supposed debunkings of it, which eliminates (a). Obviously you can read & write English and I’ve even seen you speak it on youtube while masturbating a banana, so (c) is out. Option (b) – you’re a bald-faced liar – is very likely, I think, as is (d) – you just like baiting atheists or just anybody who believes evolution is a well-supported theory backed by literally millions of pieces of evidence gathered over 150 years by humans (including so many transitional fossils that it would pretty much require a textbook to list and describe them all), but amassed over the past 3.7 billion years by the natural processes of our planet, with much still waiting to be discovered. Option (e) – that you’re a charlatan, ripping off credulous idiots in the full knowledge that what you’re peddling is bullshit – is very, very possible (because you wouldn’t be the first) but I don’t think it’s likely.

It’s hard to tell which of those it is. You appear earnest and stupid and ignorant enough to believe what you’re saying (which would require of even the most cynical of charlatans and gifted of actors a Herculean effort to either not burst out laughing at the idiocy of your statements and gullibility of your patsies or to simply not choke on the vomit that would arise in most rational people were they to attempt to portray your fantasies as truth) and you display a deep misunderstanding and dislike of people who aren’t religious, or who just understand what science is (which would explain why might enjoy baiting them with your fabrications and seemingly deliberate misunderstandings on a website called ‘atheist central’). Flat-out liar? Well, only if you know what you’re saying is bullshit – you don’t seem to know much at all that’s useful, which really just leaves my original position: that you’re a fucking idiot. Oh, and a charlatan – because you do take peoples’ money – the fact that you believe your own bullshit doesn’t change the fact that you are indeed a peddler of complete bullshit. And you’re an ignorant cretin – the evidence you seek is all around you, yet you refuse to read & understand it. So, I suppose you’re a mix of all of those … you’re a standard-issue creationist evolution-denier, ripping off the faithful and spreading ignorance, while simultaneously demonising anyone who disagrees with your narrow, literalist reading of the Bible, while at the same time completely misrepresenting the arguments and points of view of your opponents in order to argue against them (because I think we all know if you attacked the arguments of evolution as they actually are – and not how you see them – you’d fail dismally). So, you can add fucking liar to that list too.

A lot of the time, Australians are quite happy to claim New Zealanders as their own if they’re successful: Russell Crowe (though we’re happy to give him back after hearing his band) and Phar Lap the legendary racehorse are just two. In this case, I’m sure I speak for all of rational, unretarded Australia when I say “America, you can keep him.”

Found via Raytractors. Go there 🙂

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Cancer – now a fungus!

At a forum I’m a member of, someone posted a link to this story about a doctor who claims that (a) he’s discovered cancer is caused by the candida fungus and (b) that he can cure it with – get this – fucking BAKING SODA. Naturally (get your yawn ready) he’s been expelled! by Big Medicine because it’s all just a conspiracy to support profit-making medical treatments.

Here’s the orginal post:

I thought this was a joke–especially after 10 minutes of Monty Python-esque rambling about white lumps–but after reading the article, I can’t help but wonder: “what if?”

Basically he’s arguing that cancer is a fungus (or rather is caused by a fungus), and he has cured it with simple pH-raising baking soda injections, and that cancer is a huge money-maker for the disease-care industry, and doctors and drug companies don’t want to mess with the status quo.

It’s actually kind of scary. But wouldn’t we always want to believe that the simple truth is being suppressed by rich doctors and drug companies? Nevertheless, I would kind of hope it isn’t true, so I don’t feel as helpless for not doing anything about it, or maybe so I can keep giving money to cancer “research.”

Has anyone heard anything along these lines? has it been debunked? just another conspiracy theory?

Here’s my response:

Yeah well, I heard the whole HIV/AIDS thing is a scam by latex manufacturers to make people buy lots & lots of condoms. Oh, and there are pyramids in freaking Bosnia. And the world is 6000 years old! Don’t believe the Big Science Conspiracy!!one!1eleventy!!1

This chap is claiming that the fungus allegedly responsible for cancer, Candida, is also responsible for asthma, food allergies, depression, weight gain, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and vaginitis. Well, he’s got that last one right – vaginitis is a thrush infection most commonly cause by the candida fungus. So why doesn’t it cause vagina cancer?

Unfortunately, Dr. Simoncini is yet another brilliant doctor who has been ousted from the medical community due to his revolutionary simple ideas of how to cure profit-making diseases.

A. the reasons people get “ousted” from medicine are usually along the same reasons people get “expelled” from the scientific community: pseudo-science; extraordinary claims with no evidence; “studies” which are biased and uncontrolled; improper methodology; beginning with assumptions and working backwards to justify them; mistakenly conflating coincidences for cause & effect. Until this “cancer = fungus” connection can be reliably proven, repeatedly with unbiased double-blind testing, this doctor and his alleged baking soda cure should be regarded with the utmost skepticism.

If his simple treatment really cured cancer I would expect any doctor worth the term (and especially oncologists) to be jumping on it and using it to treat all their cancer patients, not vehemently denying it to funnel profits into Big Medicine. I know people who have cancer and some who are, for now, in remission. I worked for a short time at a lab in a dedicated cancer treatment hospital in Melbourne. I know that if something came along that could make cancer go away without the need for painful, debilitating chemo & radiation, their doctors would be on it in a second, “profits” be damned. People become plastic surgeons for money; people become oncologists to treat people with cancer. I cannot imagine any self-respecting paediatric oncologist deliberately overlooking an effective cancer treatment while simultaneously looking an 8-year old brain cancer sufferer (and his parents) in the eye and telling them there’s no more than can be done and they’d better just make little Timmy comfortable.

B. the only people “profiting” from cancer are cranks who prey on credulous, desperate people who are running out of options. Having a cousin, aunt and close friend who all recently survived three different forms cancer and the associated chemo & radiation treatments, I get really, really pissed off by this kind of bullshit.

C. Mercola.com bills itself as “The World’s Most Popular Natural Health Newsletter”. Now, effective as many natural remedies can be, a lot of people who use them unfortunately think that any modern medical treatments are not to be trusted, because they’re “unnatural” and because people make money from them. My naturopath wife (who’s about to start studying medicine – i.e. proper doctorism) encounters this anti-modern point of view all the time and has a lot of trouble convincing people that natural medicine has its limits and that people should be able to recognise them and use a combination of modern and natural treatments – if & where appropriate. More than once, being aware of naturopathy’s limitations, she’s referred a client to a doctor for a more modern & comprehensive treatment, only to be met with fierce, almost dogmatic resistance to the thought.

Basically, every single “practitioner” that’s appeared in my lifetime who has claimed to be able to cure cancer, or proclaimed cancer is caused by an easily-cured and until-now undiagnosed simple disorder or infection (for which he happens to have discovered a cure) has been shown to be lying through his ****ing teeth. Inevitably, they pop up for a while, charge extortionate amounts of money for their “breakthrough”, get their fifteen minutes and then slither back under the rug, never to be seen again. There is no reason to treat it as such until sufficient evidence is furnished. Frankly, I don’t see it happening.

——-

As you can see, that really got my back up. The original poster asks “It’s actually kind of scary. But wouldn’t we always want to believe that the simple truth is being suppressed by rich doctors and drug companies?” Why the fuck would anyone want to believe that? Is such an elaborate conspiracy, necessarily requiring thousands upon thousands of participants in pretty much every nation on Earth, even possible to conceive? How could such a large group of doctors & oncologists be content to sit by and watch people die in their thousands & make lots of money, rather than treat them with whatever is proven to be effective? There are ways to make money that are a lot easier, require far fewer years of hard study and less morally repugnant than working yourself into a coma to become an oncologist and then just sitting back rolling in cash while your patients fucking DIE because you’d rather have an Aston Martin than treat a kid with bone cancer with whatever treatment works.

I’ve read the article and I urge you to do so as well. It simply reeks of unfounded assertions, paranoia, conspiracy theory and special pleading.

Completely regardless of the truth or not of both the fungus claim and baking soda cure, the paranoid, anti-modern tone of the article is, unfortunately, typical of many “alternative” health articles and, naturally, assumes that Dr Simoncini is right straight from the start and Big Med is just picking in him because he’s right and they’re afraid they might lose some profit, which instantly triggers my bullshit detector. That is not science and it is not medicine, it is faith & an over-developed victim complex. Just because Dr Baking Soda is being “persecuted”, it doesn’t mean he’s bloody Galileo. If people like Dr B.S. want a seat at the big table, let them satisfy the requirements every other treatment has had to satisfy in the history of medical science, from the humble aspirin to the mind-blowing world of neurosurgery.

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