There’s been a few questions asking me about my comments exchange with some thunderf00t fans and what started it. Between YouTube’s confusing comments system and Thunderf00t’s fans obsessively thumbing down my comments (silencing tactic) people are confused as to how it started.
So I thought I’d do a brief post for posterity’s sake and those who care.
The entire thing was set off because some of Thunderf00t’s fans were offended that I suggested I would wear a t-shirt at a conference making fun of the woman who wore the anti-skepchick t-shirt (I was making a point about how to properly handle criticism).
That’s it. People who thought SurlyAmy was acting ridiculous about a woman wearing a t-shirt that mentioned her group were upset that I did not even wear a t-shirt at a conference. They were actually upset that I DISCUSSED wearing a t-shirt at a conference. So they started going after me in comments and thumbing down my comments to silence my speech.
Apparently what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.
Sensitive lot, these Free Speech Warriors. 😀
(The above is copied from the Thunderf00t Fanboy Free Speech Warrior training manual)
When I was at a Mosque at Ground Zero protest a few years ago the Republicans bused in some kids from the Bronx so they could stand around looking all young and innocent for emotional impact while they talked about how a Mosque at ground zero was frightening to children.
Outside of mentioning it in comments and on blogtv shows I didn’t focus too much on the matter. This was politics and these sorts of tactics are fairly common.
One speaker from; “Focus on the Family” used the children by giving subtle looks and gestures at key moments during his speech. He was clearly trying to imply that children in the neighborhood were frightened by this potential Mosque and these were them standing right here.
I found it peculiar they’d have to bus children from schools to a Park 3-5 blocks away (a 3-5 minute walk) so I sidled on over to the bus driver to ask him where they were from.
He responded that they had come from up in the Bronx somewhere (it may have been Westchester but my knowledge of north of Manhattan geography is a bit vague).
I got into a discussion with Richard Carrier in his comments section on a blog he posted on FTB on the issue of the new attempt at creating a group known as; “A+”.
“A+” people would be atheists who are also humanists. The impetus for creating this group came from a perceived problem in the Atheist/ Skeptic community where many of those professing to be skeptics were not being very skeptical.
I’ve watched the argument over sexual harassment evolve over the past week or two and while I can’t really comment on the atmosphere of the skeptic conventions (they’re cost prohibitive so I don’t attend them) I have attended other conventions in the past so I’m familiar with the overall atmosphere.
And before anyone dismisses the convention scene as unimportant I’ll point out that networking in person can be incredibly useful, especially to people whose skills are suited to in-person communication. Convention networking is like any skill set (you know how to do it properly and it’s very useful; you don’t know how and the value of attending a convention is decreased).
So resolving the issue of sexual harassment at conventions and whether it is problematic is necessary.
Aside from anything else? From a strict, marketing perspective; if there is a perceived problem in some area and it impacts on sales then you’ve got a legitimate problem.
I’m told that there is a 22% drop in the number of female attendees at TAM this year and there is no arguing with that number; yes. You’ve got a problem.
If you’re getting similar numbers at other conventions then sexual harassment has become an issue at these conventions-not just at TAM because generally these kinds of drops in attendance are an indicator there’s something wrong with what you’re selling. Continue reading →