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Comment Re:All the haters are just proving his point (Score 1) 786

The upmodded and insightful posts here are not hateful. Many insightful posts aren't denying that there's an issue. But they are overwhelmingly objecting to the tone of this topic. They are rightfully pointing out that the language used is very much the wrong approach.

My post was made before the more insightful, level-headed posts had bubbled to the top. Most of them at the time of my writing were spewing hate. Probably my bad for not waiting an hour first. :)

Comment Re:All the haters are just proving his point (Score 1) 786

But no, we ain't gonna do that, eh? Haven't you seen misandristic behavior online? Why do you think that exists? Are you okay with it? If not, what can be done about it? Let's have a day to talk about it.

I would love to see that discussion, actually. For myself, a white male, I've not felt myself a victim of misandry (my spellchecker does recognize that word) or seen that behavior online, at least not to the point that it has worried me. If your experience is different, I say again, let's have a discussion on misandry and the proliferation of misplaced misogynist complaints. But let's leave insults and vitriol out of it (speaking generally, not to you personally).

Comment Re:All the haters are just proving his point (Score 1) 786

Combined with how computer science curricula are getting changed in a bid to appeal to women (which often seems to mean dumbing it down, because women need things easier for some inexplicable reason?), making the current group feel alienated with their own favorite subject, and how nerds/geeks as a group are known to be often harassed or bullied, the shield raising shouldn't really surprise anyone.

Those are good points, and what I wanted to hear (i.e., here are the reasons for the "shield raising"). I was a bit taken aback by all the vitriol when Bruce's points, whether grounded in reality or not, seem to come out of a sensible and compassionate concern.

Comment All the haters are just proving his point (Score 3, Insightful) 786

What's with all the Bruce hate? What is wrong with discussing a "gender empathy gap", why it might exist and what we might do about it? If you disagree with his point then offer sensible counterpoints of your own, but when you insult him or his ideas you're just reinforcing his point that the tech world is full of socially challenged asshats.

I would also think that Bruce's contributions to open software would merit some reflective humility, to maybe sit back and think a bit about what he's saying. Haven't you seen misogynistic behavior online? Why do you think that exists? Are you okay with it? If not, what can be done about it?

Thank you Bruce for openly speaking your concerns and ideas. I hope we can find a way to foster a more humane and empathetic open source community.

Comment Re: So?! (Score 1) 344

For astrology, it's been discredited over and over and over.

It's also been validated over and over and over but not by anyone with a reputation to risk. The bias against astrology is so strong that it is usually discredited without being properly understood, and the successes are ignored. And it's near impossible to get the funding to do a proper serious study.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

I'm hoping that the standing wave of electrical energy in my brain that makes me "me" will persist in the quantum sea or foam or whatever and that the "me" part will go on to something different. I don't actually believe it will but it's a nice thought to have.

That was nicely said. I personally believe that there is a 'me' identity that persists, but that we can't really understand its nature, any more than we can truly understand ourselves (a lifelong struggle, that). I certainly can't prove such a thing and accept I could be wrong. But it feels right to me.

And I hope y'all would accept me at the beer table. Cheers.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

The dehumanization of anyone, regardless of how they may be broken, will inevitably lead to suffering. How to deal with psychopaths is a debatable topic. But we have to see them like ourselves, with all the challenges that brings, if we are to stop violence like we are seeing today.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

I mean, for example, isn't the belief that God does not exist as dogmatic as believing God does exist? It's an objective question. Either belief can be attached to, to the point of justifying violence. And neither belief on its own is likely to cause a person to be violent, unless circumstances pressure them into it.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

However, "Christian" and "Psychotic" do imply certain very specific things that are generally agreed upon. I don't think the same can really be said of the term "atheist".

When I think of atheist -- meaning, "there are no deities" -- that seems fairly specific to me. Unless you include being open to other possibilities (higher consciousness extant in any form, but not deified) as part of atheism. Now we're straying into philosophical semantics!

I don't know whether it's right to say religious ideology or national ideology are more to blame for rises of violent opposition. Maybe there's a study somewhere. In any case, I agree it's all madness. I think we're living in a time where religious ideology is about to explode in many forms. What will the Christian right's response to this be? How will this effect the presidential election? Interesting times, to put it mildly.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

And it's the same way with atheism- it's a single specific data point, and that's all it is.

I hear your anger at those with a fanatical agenda. I feel that way too. Makes me want to kick religion in the nuts. But you can also say that "Christian" is a data point. "Psychotic" and "Bald" are data points. I hope you don't take my comments as against Atheism. But if I begin to separate others based on a perceived polar opposition to myself ("Muslim" means anti-Christian, "Sane" means anti-psychotic, "Haired" means anti-bald, "Religious" means anti-Atheist, or anti-rational), then the capacity for violence exists. You as an atheist are just as likely to be a thoughtful, reasoned, compassionate person as a Christian or Muslim. And any atheist can be just as likely to be a fanatical violent criminal as any religious fanatic.

My original point is that religious fanaticism thrives in extremely violent conditions because of the deep trauma created by those conditions. Plus without a stable societal structure to educate its people and deal with those who are mentally unstable, the broken and corrupted more easily arise as leaders with a violent agenda. What some of these people have been through, whether it's Western bombs, Assad's biological weapons, or ISIS's abject cruelty, they have little left to lose. Long seething rage plus hatred plus a perceived cause to fight for will equal deadly outbursts every time.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

Yes, it's this too, but without the shared delusion of religion and a supposed afterlife, no one would be so keen to machine gun groups of complete strangers, would they?

Pretty sure Hitler, Stalin and Mao didn't use religion as an excuse to create massive violence. Doesn't matter if religion is in the picture, when hate is stirred up it will find a vehicle to express itself. Religion is an offshoot of dogma, or an attachment to a belief to create a sense of security. Atheism is also a dogma and can produce just as much violence.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 4, Insightful) 728

While those of us who don't follow or practice any religion look on in horror at what fanatical religious beliefs produce. :(

I think it's too easy to say that this kind of violence is simply the consequence of religious fanaticism. It's not the religion that produces the violence, it's the extreme violence that these people have lived under that produces traumatized, unstable minds that are prone to becoming fanatic via whatever dominant fervor surrounds them. Whether it's Islam or some kind of state nationalism or some kind of philosophical ideal, whatever it is that gives them a clear conscience to kill those who have harmed them, that's the banner they carry.

The challenge to humanity is to break away from the "us vs them" mentality. Those we call terrorists are still humans like us. None of us can say how we would react if we were brought up surrounded by the horrors that these folks have. That is not an apology, only a perspective. Healing can only come when we truly understand the reasons why these events are happening and not write it all off to religious fanaticism.

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