Skepticism

Comment o’ the Outrageously Comment-Filled Week!

I was going to make this another dual-purpose CotW post, but the other topic ($cientology) grew to the point that it was overtaking the CotW and threatening to take up all my pre-NYC time, so look for that as a separate post to come soon. Instead, I give you a quick CotW.

This week was insane — we set a new record for number of comments on a single post and amount of arrogance emanating from a single poster, plus we introduced the Afternoon Inquisition, which is proving to be a very popular feature. Thanks to Jen for the inspiration, Sam for the name, and everyone else for jumping in to make up some wonderfully thought-provoking questions.

Anyway, all that means we had literally thousands of comments this week, with quite a few helpfully nominated by your peers to be CotW. I couldn’t decide between two of them, so hell, they both get it. Congrats first to Amanda (not the Skepchick writer Amanda, another Amanda) for turning a news item about carbohydrates and weight loss into something about crotch crabs:

AmandaNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I thought the first link said “CRABS kill cells that regulate appetite” and I was all like, “wait… the cells that regulate appetite are in your *crotch*??” Though, I probably would be too grossed out to eat if I had itchy crotch critters…

And equal congrats to sethmanapio for clearly defining “skeptic” and “asshat,” two words often confused by people who dream up conspiracy theories about 9/11:

sethmanapioNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2008 at 9:37 am

For a person educated in physics like myself and knowledgeable of proper investigations — it is laugh out loud funny.
——————————–
Dude, you misunderstand the term “skeptic.”
A skeptic is someone who doubts. A person like you, who pretends to knowledge without showing any signs of actually having it, and then uses their claim of authority as a means of supporting any crackpot, bullshit theory that applies to their preconcieved belief that the government must be lying, is what we technically call an “asshat”.

I know that last one will probably only encourage more loony posts that may turn this into another 600+ comment thread, but I can’t help but give kudos to a comment that is both hilarious and educational.

So, Amanda and sethmanapio, for your hard work coming up with amusing comments, you win a long weekend! That’s right — just go ahead and take Monday off. Go to the beach, or maybe a barbecue. Enjoy yourselves! Send pictures.

Speaking of stuff to do this weekend, don’t forget that I’ll be in NYC tomorrow! 1:45pm at the Coney Island Museum. Hope to see some of you there.

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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46 Comments

  1. “we set a new record for number of comments on a single post and amount of arrogance emanating from a single poster”

    Wait! Who was the arrogant poster?
    Was it me?

    I mean, “It was me.”

    Let me try again, “Of course, it was me!”

    Hmmmm…I’m not seeing the arrogance. How about-
    “Only someone with a degree in arrogance, like me, would know who the most arrogant poster is.”

    …or is that condescension?

  2. Um, yeah, that thread is still going on. I think props are due to our regulars, though, who kicked ass over there and are still holding the front lines.

    The thing that kills me about that whole thing is that the discussion has nothing to do with the original post. This dude just popped in with a left-field argument. I still can’t quite figure it out.

  3. “As shat” more refers to the posts he makes. “As shat” should be short for “your comments are as useful as shat on a sidewalk.”

    The terms are related, though, as an ass-hat makes as-shat responses.

  4. God, that whole thread was hilarious. I’m new here and man … I was entertained. So thanks to y’all. AND IT IS STILL GOING OMG.

    I need to figure out how to put a cute little picture up so I can fit in!

  5. @marilove
    for the pretty littel picture interface, go to gravatar.com.

    Be careful though, my wife informed me that my gravatar makes me look gay. I’m thinking of switching to something more manly, like a picture of snot.

  6. Ahhhh …. ridicule — not debate, reason or analysis – from the former “magician” who admittedly is cashing in on being a “chick” and professing an interest in science after reading a book by Carl Sagan.

    And she quotes Seth – how fitting. Because Rebecca and Seth both chickened out of debating me.

    Rebecca – you know and I know that you cannot debate me. You are so overmatched. But you could choose someone to debate me. Anyone in the “Skeptics” community. Anyone. Anyone.

    Skeptics???? That is so funny. When it comes to authority figures, you just nod your heads and say – “Yes – we believe.”

    You think I am wrong about anything I have written. Prove it. You know – proof, evidence. You say I am arrogant? Ok – I’ll accept that. Because I don’t just talk the talk — I walk the walk. Pick anyone to debate me on any subject I have addressed. I will destroy whomever you pick. Because that’s what I do for a living. I am that good.

    I’ll put up all the costs. We’ll have a real debate. We’ll film it. And you’ll eat it. James Randi — another magician – takes pride in exposing frauds. Bring him on. He’s a fraud. He won’t agree to debate. What fraud want’s to be exposed?

    Come on – find somebody. Anybody. You think I am wrong? Prove it.

    You know you cannot accept my challenge. So go back to what you do best. Just use ridicule or any other excuse for not defending your points.

    Or surprise me. Because I am very skeptical that you are anything but a lot of hot air. Are you afraid? You seem afraid.

  7. Hey, um, your beliefs are ridiculous. They are, therefore, deserving of ridicule by definition. No one will debate you because you’re a dipshit.

    OMG how did you manage to figure out all the conspericy theories in the world! You’re like so smart, you need to stay off the grid! NASA is gonna send their aliens after you and stick you in the hollow inside of the planet!

  8. Yes Hanes – we already know that ridicule – a disreputable form of debate – is all you got.

    We already know that you “skeptics” are frightened like little rabbits when it comes to defending your points. That has already been established.

    If you do not have anything new to add – no need to be repetitive.

    BTW — my baby sister was a rocket scientist with NASA. before she took a job at GE. Trust me – I know a lot more about NASA than you do. ; )

  9. That’s interesting… My good friend Kelley works at NASA. Or maybe he did work at NASA… I forget if he just changed jobs or is just getting ready to change jobs. Sobriety is more conducive to remembering this sort of thing. Oh well, doesn’t matter. The real reason I’m replying is because I just found it high-fucking-larious that you seem to think debate proves something. That’s not how science works, dipshit – and a good thing. Oratory skill has fuck-all to do with the truth-value of a statement. The only thing funnier than that is that you think somebody on this planet is frightened of you. You talk a mediocre game at best, chummer.

    You know what I think? Granted, it might just be the rum talking, but I think you’re trying to launch a career in bullshit. That’s what all this challenging people to public debates and shit is about. You know what would work better? Start with your name. Follow that with… well, pretty much anything. Write a book. Publish a newsletter. Whatever. Once you get your name out there, maybe someone will bother to address you, and then you can peddle that into another book or something. Maybe you can get on Penn and Teller’s show.

    I had some more to say, but there’s a pretty girl who’s tired of me nerding it up on the computer, so I’m off. Take it easy, guy. Try to talk the wife into putting out so you can vent some of that frustration, you’ll feel better.

  10. Aliens?

    You are asking me about aliens?

    Did I say anything about aliens?

    My baby sister has a degree in materials science from Rice University and she was hired by NASA and tasked with checking the integrity of the tiles on the Shuttle.

    Hanes? Wait a minute. I remember you now. You are the one who believes in bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster – right? How’s that working out for you? Are you still on your medication?

  11. No Hanes – NASA did not do anything to me. I just met some of my sister’s NASA bosses at a party. Just ordinary guys.

    My alma mater – Rice University – where I got my degrees in physics and philosophy – donated the land to NASA’s Houston control, and in return NASA supplied instructors for Rice’s space science department.

    But it was all strictly science. Science is my background – what’s yours?

    Let’s see ….

    Rebecca is a magician who read a book by Carl
    Sagan.

    Seth is bitter and angry as a graduate student in computer science.

    Kimbo studied psychology?

    Rys is an out of work, depressed, suicidal spoiled kid supported by his parents.

    What’s your story?

  12. Hey Rys — Rum, girls, drugs – no purpose in life because your parents support and spoil you.

    Yea there’s lots of those in Houston. Oil? Land?

    Not oratory – Rys. Logic and evidence. Two things you all don’t have — that’s why you are CHICKEN.

    bwaak bwaak bwaak : )

    James Randi?????

    A Magician??? LOL

    What a Joke. Shooting fish in a barrel.

  13. BTW — Rys

    The Skeptic Sites list the rules of Logic.

    Then you violate every rule in every post.

    We can create a debate format where the rules of logic will be strictly applied. Debate is all about logic. You ridicule debate – it’s because you don’t know shit about logic.

    Rebecca does not know shit about logic.

    If any one of you could handle logic — then you could debate. None of you know the first thing about science or logic.

    That’s why you’re afraid of debate and use ridicule instead.

  14. I did not only study psychology, but I see no need to sing my laurels from the rooftops like you. Rational evidence is better than bullshit, no matter who presents it. So why must I punctuate my statements with my CV?

    Incidentally, we tried evidence and reason with you. Now your getting insults because what’s the point of us diligently getting sources that you’re not going to acknowledge? Maybe if you had been more interested in actually discussing, and less in acting like an arrogant prat, we might have gotten somewhere. There are many people who post on this site who do not agree with the majority, and they are able to have a reasoned discussion about that. What’s wrong with you?

  15. TrueSkeptic: I’ve not followed the debate so I can’t weigh in on whether you’re right or not, but even assuming you are, you’ve got a terrible personality. I can’t imagine even being able to stay in the same room with you for extended periods, you’re insufferable.

    It’s fine if you don’t care what others think of you, but then don’t object when they react to you the way that people tend to react to someone who feels the need to establish their superiority to everyone on the god damn internet. That’s the hallmark of insecurity.

  16. You guys, this is too much!!! I was outta the loop for about a week and I spent a good little chunk of time catching up on the most entertaining thread ever yesterday (you know, the one in which an alleged Rice graduate who is also a lawyer and holder of a degree in physics has the time to, uh, “contribute” so much copy to the comments – and I loved how he was writing comments “from court”. Prosh!!!)

    I bet that not only was his sister a rocket scientist, but his mother a famous Opera singer/spy, his dad holds the secret patent to the car that runs on air (but is being held in a prison on some remote cay), and his baby brother just got back from the olympics. And his uncle won a nobel peace prize. And he is a direct descendent of Napoleon…and his wife is a Rothschild.

    When kinda smart people who had a semblance of an education go crazy (or pretend to, to troll), it’s far more entertaining than your garden variety uneducated schizo. Trust me, I know. The REAL prince of Wales used to come into my work all the time.

    On a related note, yesterday I went to a yoga class because my back is killing me and after lamenting the “vaccines: are they safe?” book in the lobby, I saw that some genius had put a David Icke seminar poster on the bulletin board. Good thing I didn’t notice that until after the class, or my prana/qi would’ve been all teh fukkd up!

    (speaking of qi/chi, maybe this TS is the phoenix-like return of Kilik ?)

  17. Granted, I have yet to read through that entire million-post thread, and I plan to waste most of my Saturday doing so. But just from reading this one — come on, is this guy for real? He screams “troll poking fun at the skeptics” to me. Attacking Rebecca from having learned science from Carl Sagan books, and her past as a magician? How can he be serious?

    Oh well, guess I’d better go sift through a few hundred posts and decide for myself.

  18. Rys is an out of work, depressed, suicidal spoiled kid supported by his parents.

    Bwahahaha! Still trying this tack? I told you before, dude – you can’t hurt my feelings. You just don’t matter enough. Tell you what, though: If you can find one instance of me receiving money or support from either of my parents since I was 16, I’ll give you a thousand-dollar bill wrapped around a gold bring from Ft. Knox. I’ll hand deliver it riding a T-Rex driving an Abrahms tank.

    Then you violate every rule in every post.

    Same deal for this. Show me even ONE post where I violate every rule of logic (I’ll assume the “every post” bit was hyperbole), and you get the prize listed above.

    You see, no one’s going to debate you because you think a debate is comprised of you throwing out a rapid-fire list of unsupported assertions, ignoring when your opponent proves you wrong on any of them, then crowing victory if you’re still breathing at the end.

    It’s called the Joe Rogan method. See? You’re not even original in your bullshit. I’d say you should banned as a troll, but you’re just too funny to get rid of.

  19. Hey Rys — Rum, girls, drugs – no purpose in life because your parents support and spoil you.

    Yea there’s lots of those in Houston. Oil? Land?

    Sorry, blew right this post. Still not 100% sober. First off, let’s go ahead and tack that drugs comment onto the list. Same prize.

    I know it’s hard for you to wrap your brain around the concept, but I earned my money. All of it. No scholarships. No grants. No inheritance. Hell, I’m not even careful with money. No long-term investments or interest or any of that kind of thing.

    See, the new American Dream is to live above your means and dig yourself as deep into debt as you can get. It doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out how to make scads of money in a system full of people like that. Then, I spend it. I spend it on booze, and partying, and travel. Then I go home and have sex with my girlfriends. I know you wish you could live even one day the way I live my entire life, but wishing won’t make it so. Here’s some free advice from me to you – next Friday, instead of staying up into the wee hours arguing on the internet and watching crappy movies, then crawling into bed and hoping your wife will pretend to sleep while you rub against her a little, why don’t you go down to the nearest bar or pub or nightclub or whatever – somewhere you’ve never been – strike up a conversation with a stranger, buy the house a round, bring a couple of pretty girls home, and either convince your wife to try a four-way or at least give yourself a damned good reason that you’re not having sex with her that night.

    Trust me, it’s money better spent than on watching me shoot a rifle.

  20. I’ve lost too much time to this… um… conversation? Whatever it is, it’s sucking my weekend out through my eyeballs.

    As much as I enjoy getting wrapped up in a good internet drama, this is unraveling at a rapid pace – too fast for me to keep up.

    Also, it’s a lot like listening to my third graders try to debate something… there’s always some comment made out of left field by somebody who is just parroting what they’ve heard from an adult, and then everyone gets confused and starts throwing insults. Granted, the insults here are often more entertaining, but I get to enjoy this particular form of entertainment all week – why spend my weekend on it, too?

    Have fun with TrueSkeptic, guys. Please say something witty on my behalf, as I’d really like to jump in there and get at him, myself. Alas, I have papers to grade!

  21. And she quotes Seth – how fitting. Because Rebecca and Seth both chickened out of debating me.
    ———-

    Well, more accurately, TS, being aware that I was kicking his ass here in the comments, begged me to please, please take him on in a different forum. To which my response is:

    You brought the stupid to my party. Don’t get your panties in a twist ’cause I pointed it out.

  22. But it was all strictly science. Science is my background – what’s yours?

    ————

    Science may be your background, but that must have been before the lobotamy. Because currently, there’s no evidence at all that you know anything about logic, reason, evidence, structural engineering, physics, mechanics, demolition, law, rockets, NASA, or even the basic layout of Rice University. You think that momentum is a force and that the second floor of a skyscraper has to hold up all the floors above it. You think that a target moving away from a high powered rifle at less than 300 feet has to be led, and that you have to stop to reload between shots with a bolt action.

    Even for a troll, you are remarkably poorly informed. Read a book, and come back when you’ve gained a few bytes of data.

  23. I’ve been reading Skepchick on and off for well over a two years now, but since I’ve mostly been “off” for the last year or so, I’ve subsequently been surprised by the re-design of the site and the influx of quality personnel. And I am duly impressed. Good job, girls and guys.

    I’ve been prompted to de-lurk and comment by a vast amount of very funny and very smart readers and one very, very annoying and insufferable douchebag.

    I may be a lowly English/Theatre major from a third-tier university (possibly fourth-tier) who waits tables for a living, but even I can see through TrueSkeptic’s copious amounts of bullshit.

    That 400+ comment thread was quite an education in obfuscation, so much so that I don’t know whether to be intrigued or horrified. That a man who claims to know so much can produce so little to back it up is simply flabbergasting.

    I’ve seen some amazingly dense, obtuse, and arrogant commenters in my time, but TS goes far beyond the call of duty, comes back, and then does it again. He’s like a boomerang made of fail, dumbass, and “Please, God, make it stop!”

    He’s, no doubt, old news by now, but kudos to all the folks who called him on his constant dipshittery and put him in his place. And thanks for the laughs. Now, on to that Wolverine Vs. Batman thread…

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