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Messages - Golden Applesauce

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46
Apple Talk / Re: The Case for Politeness.
« on: October 27, 2013, 03:20:05 am »
You know, I'm well aware that I come across as a non entity in these types of situations because I don't actually post when they go down.

I did some reflecting on that and came to the conclusion that I think so much about the discussion going on that I either get distracted by something else in real life or, more commonly, I cannot keep up with how quickly the conversation is moving. It's why, if I do have some insight I feel like I should post, I tend to do it after things have calmed down. It's easier for the way I communicate.

I've also found, for me, that communication is much less likely to happen when I'm emotionally involved in the conversation at hand. It's much worse in person, but my when I'm agitated my brain gets all addled and I turn into a total fucking moron. And I hate it, so I like to wait until I can think clearly.

This feels like a very self absorbed post, describing what is probably a very self absorbed behavior. Does anyone else feel weird when they write something and then scroll through it and see "I" so many times?

Anyway, I'm guilty of the tacit agreement aspect of some threads, because if I read a post and agree with it, I'll move on until I find something to think about, then get caught in the process I've described.

GET OUT OF MY HEAD. I am completely with you on fast moving conversations. I can keep up, or post, but not do both at the same time.

I also feel like I don't have much to talk about besides my personal experiences, and worry that any given post is "now interrupting your thread to talk about ME ME ME!" Lately I've allowed PD to become my main source of science & news, and I don't want to just echo or 'me too' in a post.

47
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 27, 2013, 03:03:34 am »
And having just said that, here's a cross thread reply.

I am also, on an unrelated note, going to add that I won't personally be comfortable identifying as an Atheist until the majority of people who claim that label are taking a stand about denouncing bigotry even when it comes from their own ranks. As a person of color I am very aware of what bigotry looks and sounds like, and I don't know if this is simply invisible to a lot of people, but when you compare them to the bigotry in racist jokes, most of the content on websites like this:

http://www.booksie.com/humor/miscellaneous/city_of_evil_/funny-atheist-quotes-bumper-stickers
http://funnyatheist.tumblr.com/
http://www.atheistmemebase.com/tag/funny/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atheist-Memes/239047102844505
http://thaumaturgical.com/funny-atheist-memes-part-666/
http://proud-atheist.tumblr.com/

...aren't very funny anymore. So, yanno, maybe it's just my personal crusade of the moment, but I will say that I have friends of various faiths who have had my back against racism and sexism for years, some even decades, and I'm not going to leave the favor unreciprocated.

It also occurs to me that this is one of the reasons people are moving towards facebook/twitter and other forms of online communication where you are free to impose your own filters on the content you read.

I don't think that setting up your own echo chamber is healthy, but those formats let you choose the terms on which you take part in a discussion much easier than traditional forums.

I realized that I have seen a fair amount of antitheist image macros... I just tend to not to stick around on sites where they're acceptable, and unfriend people on FB / Twitter who make a habit of it. (As much as I respect Neil Degrasse-Tyson, he says some stupid shit on Twitter.) Some of my disconnect has to do with it being very easy for me personally to avoid anti-me bigotry.

Reflecting, there's a reason I'm on this board instead of an atheist one, and that reason has a lot to do with the stuff you've been saying ITT.

48
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 27, 2013, 02:47:12 am »
Nigel, I've got a hella long thing to post, mind if I start a new one?

I certainly vote for letting this thread die and bringing all the good bits out of it into new topics.

Why?

After 30 pages it gets hard to keep track of discussions. I remember seeing several interesting posts that were ignored in favor of continuing to be butthurt - if they all had to stay in this thread, at best only one or two of them would be able to get momentum to push through rehashing of drama. Easier to link to a topic thread than to say "this thread, one post on page 3, one on page 7, and then 22-26."

49
The only thing I can think by default is woman are superior at being pilots and possibly astronauts due to body fat, bone structure, and muscle ratio under g forces.

They also float better!

50
Is there anything at all that's exclusive to a sex hard wiring function besides menstration etc?
.

Brain stuff or physical? There's some significant differences in circulation.


Brain stuff. Since I know nothing

Males are more likely to have autism or schizophrenia (and females more likely to have depression and anxiety issues, but those are less clearly "hard-wired.")

Androgen, estrogen, and a levels of other hormones vary a lot between genders, and hormones have significant effects on the brain.

51
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 26, 2013, 05:10:37 pm »
Nigel, I've got a hella long thing to post, mind if I start a new one?

I certainly vote for letting this thread die and bringing all the good bits out of it into new topics.

52
as how genes express themselves and how the brain forms changes based on the environment, then sex differences in the brain (hotly contested area, btw) seem from what I have read, to actually not be a major hardwired-from-the-factory  thing at all.

Tarod, I'd recommend Delusions Of Gender by Cordelia Fine. She has some interesting things to say about how culture influences the science behind trying to see if there are sex differences between the brain, and there is also this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176412/ that states brains are intersex and not exactly gendered at all.


As for gender and brains (I'm taking gender to be different from the biological sex) and this is anecdote, one of my MtF friends had their estrogen vs testosterone levels checked and her t was very low.

Androgen imbalance; EFO, who identifies as agender, also has an androgen imbalance. In her case she decided to treat it, partly because she also has very heavy periods and the treatment helps with that.

FTR the treatment has also helped with her depression.

Also FTR, I have a hypothesis that one or more of our environmental pollutants is an androgen disruptor and that we will see more and more such disorders along with a decrease in male fertility.

There's a lot of people very worried about environmental estrogens and other endocrine disruptors are causing both boys and girls hit puberty 1-3 years on earlier on average compared to historical records. There's also correlations with obesity and growing up under stress.

University of Michigan has a general outline with lots of citations for further reading.

I couldn't find it, but there was a good study where they put irritants that mimicked a fungal infection in beetles and observed their immune and sex response. At simulated minor infections, the beetles conserved sexually energy and boosted their immune systems, but after a point they went into kamikaze sex maniacs. I think the other research in the area focuses more on predation stress on prey animals reproductive strategy, but there's broad evidence that an evolutionarily favored response to high stress is panic reproduction mode.

I'd lay very good odds that high stress environments fuck with both your androgen & estrogen levels.

53
Apple Talk / Re: PICS VIII: 10% LARGER THAN PICS VII
« on: October 26, 2013, 04:36:25 pm »


No idea how well that would hold up in court.

54
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:16:42 pm »


I still don't think what Nigel posted was cool.

Why was it not cool?

Was it because it made an unfavorable comparison between something you like and something you don't like?

Was it because you thought that I was literally saying that Atheists are exactly the same in every way as White Supremacists?

Was it because people couldn't unjerk their knees enough to go "Huh, that's a weird comparison, I wonder why she would say that?"

Was it because there is a really uncomfortable kernel of truth in it, and that's what has people so fucking pissed off that they can't even think?

It was because when people disagreed with you, you said their disagreement was knee-jerk because they were insecure. Then just in case people didn't take it personally, you explicitly said that it was meant to be personal. Then when people did take it personally, you made fun of them for having their "fee-fees" hurt, after Roger and ECH had picked that statement apart as being offensive and dehumanizing.

It reminds me a lot of the atheists who say that religion is nothing more than a coping mechanism for insecurity, and that religion is one big security blanket for manchildren.

I'm not really sure what you were expecting? Provoking a reaction and thought provoking are usually opposites, and you were clearly aiming for the former.

55
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 04:17:52 am »
What is an MRA?  :?

Male/Men's Rights Activist. Yes, they are exactly what they sound like.

Ohhh, those guys. Yeah I can see why people would take issue with them.

I'm curious how they link a-theism to male rights. Does it involve lots of "evolutionary psychology" ?

56
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:34:38 am »
What is an MRA?  :?

57
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:13:57 am »
See, I think the idea that the universe has to contain purpose is a strange belief. But there's a reason why I never bring this shit up in polite conversation so we'll probably just have to agree to disagree.

The universe contains more than enough purpose to blow my mind without ever involving anything supernatural. We don't stand a chance of understanding even our own tiny corner of the universe, let alone the fantastic order that is the rest of it. Ever. Let alone why or whether there even is a reason. IMO.

Agreed, though I was using the word "purpose" more in the context of agency.

For all I know, we're all part of a much larger organism that has agency. I think Kai has mentioned something along those lines in the past as well, as have many others in other contexts.

Although I doubt such an organism would be any more conscious of its cellular processes than we are of ours.

I'm willing to be shown wrong, but this superorganism agent sounds a lot like constructions philosophy majors come up with when they want a diety that is buzzword-compatible with what they think their friends do in science class, whose existence they can defend pedantically in class, but is ultimately meaningless and of no consequence to humans even if true.

Does believing that a higher level structures humans are a part of can be meaningfully described as an organism, and that said organism has agency, change anything about the way you live your life? For all the flack religions get about their beliefs not bing falsifiable, they do impact their followers' behavior. If there is a god that is a the ultimate source of truth about how humans should behave, it is of cosmic importance that humans know what that god wants them to do. Abrahamic religions devote considerable resources to that task. If the universe and everything in it are all reflections of a unified source, then self reflection and purifying yourself really does improve the whole universe. Buddhists and some Hindus spend a lot of time meditating. If there really is an afterlife based on your successes in this world, then it makes sense to bury people with lots of really cool grave goods. That's exactly what we find when we crack open burial sites across the ancient world.

What does all this purpose and agency floating around in the universe imply about what you think or do, besides feel more spiritually connected than those poor, insecure atheists?

How could I, or anyone, show you wrong about something that isn't even a hypothesis so much as airy speculations? I neither believe nor disbelieve in the idea that life as we know it is part of a larger living organism with agency, though I will say that life as we know it contributes to ever-larger systems, and that is observable. I have no idea what happens on a scale larger than we can observe, and as I mentioned previously I have little reason to care.

You can have "spiritual connection", which I think is better simply termed "connection", without faith or belief in deities or purpose or a "higher agency".

Sorry, I misread you. ECH said that he thought believing the universe having purpose was strange, and you responded by asserting that the universe has lots of purpose without really explaining why. I thought you were going somewhere with it.

58
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:04:51 am »
Belief specifically in neptune might be dumb.

Why?
If he is understood to be some guy swimming around in the mediterranean causing earthquakes them that is a rather strange belief. Just as strange as the idea of jehovah having a literal cease and cloud throne.

I'll concede that a literal reading of, letís say, Homer probably isn't very representative of reality.  However, isnít it possible that Neptune does exist even if he doesnít have a beard and sea throne just like Jehovah not having a beard and cloud throne doesnít automatically discount the existence of God?  And ultimately isnít the idea of multiple gods just as possible as a single God?

I don't mean to single you out, Twid, but Iíve noticed that most people who believe in some form of deity (or a variation thereof) but donít subscribe to an established religion tend to believe in a monotheistic deity (or consciousness, spirit, being, etc).  Iím curious why that is. Is the idea that a single God created the universe, set it in motion, and then stepped back any more or less possible than a group of deities doing the same?  Is the idea that the universe as a whole is one massive organism any more or less possible than the idea that each individual galaxy is an organism, and the universe as a whole is simply a school of organisms swimming through the cosmic sea?

A lot of people throughout history, at least European and Near Eastern history, tend to gravitate towards monotheism.  I wonder why that is.  I wonder what about our human nature leads us towards the idea that a single deity is more logical or more possible than multiple deities.   But isnít there the same amount of evidence for polytheism as there is for monotheism?  I accept that God might exist because thereís no proof to the contrary.  But couldnít the same be said for multiple gods?  Or maybe some kind of infinite number of animistic spirits?  For all we know the Big Bang could be what happens when a celestial Mike fires up the misaligned cosmic ball mill.

Or maybe it just seems like our nature drives us towards monotheism because I live in a culture/hemisphere that has had a lot of contact with monotheism throughout history?

It was pretty much just one sun baked desert tribe that made the leap from "Our god is better than your god" to "Our god is perfect in ways we can't even describe. Your god just plain doesn't exist." The practice of telling people that their god(s) don't exist became extremely popular over the next couple millennia, to the point where people would seek out new territories on the off chance they could discover people and tell them their god(s) don't exist. Then said people got really good at sailing to new territories, and now the various empires of "Knock, knock, your god is fake" control most of Europe, Africa, the Americas, and dryer and colder parts of Asia.

The surviving major power bases of polytheism, pantheism, and functional atheism ("Gods are very real, but they play no part in salvation/enlightenment) are all in Asia. India traditionally hasn't been very evangelical, except for Buddhism. China recently went through a phase where it decided to disbelieve in gods, agriculture, and economics all at the same time, and it's taking some time for them and their neighbors to recover from the entirely predictable results of that.

Follow-up to add:
The new wave atheists who do nothing but go around telling people they're stupid for believing in g/God(s) can thus be thought of as the 4th Abrahamic religion, taking the seed idea of "{God} doesn't exist" from monotheism and extending it to its logical conclusion of no god existing.

59
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 02:35:28 am »
Belief specifically in neptune might be dumb.

Why?
If he is understood to be some guy swimming around in the mediterranean causing earthquakes them that is a rather strange belief. Just as strange as the idea of jehovah having a literal cease and cloud throne.

I'll concede that a literal reading of, letís say, Homer probably isn't very representative of reality.  However, isnít it possible that Neptune does exist even if he doesnít have a beard and sea throne just like Jehovah not having a beard and cloud throne doesnít automatically discount the existence of God?  And ultimately isnít the idea of multiple gods just as possible as a single God?

I don't mean to single you out, Twid, but Iíve noticed that most people who believe in some form of deity (or a variation thereof) but donít subscribe to an established religion tend to believe in a monotheistic deity (or consciousness, spirit, being, etc).  Iím curious why that is. Is the idea that a single God created the universe, set it in motion, and then stepped back any more or less possible than a group of deities doing the same?  Is the idea that the universe as a whole is one massive organism any more or less possible than the idea that each individual galaxy is an organism, and the universe as a whole is simply a school of organisms swimming through the cosmic sea?

A lot of people throughout history, at least European and Near Eastern history, tend to gravitate towards monotheism.  I wonder why that is.  I wonder what about our human nature leads us towards the idea that a single deity is more logical or more possible than multiple deities.   But isnít there the same amount of evidence for polytheism as there is for monotheism?  I accept that God might exist because thereís no proof to the contrary.  But couldnít the same be said for multiple gods?  Or maybe some kind of infinite number of animistic spirits?  For all we know the Big Bang could be what happens when a celestial Mike fires up the misaligned cosmic ball mill.

Or maybe it just seems like our nature drives us towards monotheism because I live in a culture/hemisphere that has had a lot of contact with monotheism throughout history?

It was pretty much just one sun baked desert tribe that made the leap from "Our god is better than your god" to "Our god is perfect in ways we can't even describe. Your god just plain doesn't exist." The practice of telling people that their god(s) don't exist became extremely popular over the next couple millennia, to the point where people would seek out new territories on the off chance they could discover people and tell them their god(s) don't exist. Then said people got really good at sailing to new territories, and now the various empires of "Knock, knock, your god is fake" control most of Europe, Africa, the Americas, and dryer and colder parts of Asia.

The surviving major power bases of polytheism, pantheism, and functional atheism ("Gods are very real, but they play no part in salvation/enlightenment) are all in Asia. India traditionally hasn't been very evangelical, except for Buddhism. China recently went through a phase where it decided to disbelieve in gods, agriculture, and economics all at the same time, and it's taking some time for them and their neighbors to recover from the entirely predictable results of that.

60
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 25, 2013, 02:05:08 am »
See, I think the idea that the universe has to contain purpose is a strange belief. But there's a reason why I never bring this shit up in polite conversation so we'll probably just have to agree to disagree.

The universe contains more than enough purpose to blow my mind without ever involving anything supernatural. We don't stand a chance of understanding even our own tiny corner of the universe, let alone the fantastic order that is the rest of it. Ever. Let alone why or whether there even is a reason. IMO.

Agreed, though I was using the word "purpose" more in the context of agency.

For all I know, we're all part of a much larger organism that has agency. I think Kai has mentioned something along those lines in the past as well, as have many others in other contexts.

Although I doubt such an organism would be any more conscious of its cellular processes than we are of ours.

I'm willing to be shown wrong, but this superorganism agent sounds a lot like constructions philosophy majors come up with when they want a diety that is buzzword-compatible with what they think their friends do in science class, whose existence they can defend pedantically in class, but is ultimately meaningless and of no consequence to humans even if true.

Does believing that a higher level structures humans are a part of can be meaningfully described as an organism, and that said organism has agency, change anything about the way you live your life? For all the flack religions get about their beliefs not bing falsifiable, they do impact their followers' behavior. If there is a god that is a the ultimate source of truth about how humans should behave, it is of cosmic importance that humans know what that god wants them to do. Abrahamic religions devote considerable resources to that task. If the universe and everything in it are all reflections of a unified source, then self reflection and purifying yourself really does improve the whole universe. Buddhists and some Hindus spend a lot of time meditating. If there really is an afterlife based on your successes in this world, then it makes sense to bury people with lots of really cool grave goods. That's exactly what we find when we crack open burial sites across the ancient world.

What does all this purpose and agency floating around in the universe imply about what you think or do, besides feel more spiritually connected than those poor, insecure atheists?

edit: restored full quote b/c keeping track of this thread is getting hard.

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