Sunday, August 14, 2011

Something that Happened In Meatspace!

So, we all know that I've become a minor nobody in a pile of professional nobodies regarding Rebecca Twatson.  It is, therefore, surprising to note that some people have been out in the real universe doing things. Anyone remember that muslim group who were hijacking prominent atheists outside of the Holy Coffeehouse in Ireland?  Well, sometimes turnabout is fair play, bitches.

Here's a breakdown of the video so you'll know what to expect.

Part 1: selected excerpts about all of the good the program they're discussing will do. Also, red camels feature heavily here. Apparently, they're the best riding beast one can get. I am going to look into these red camels at a later time (after I'm able to laugh at it properly). This is the first 4 minutes of the video. Other than for the lulz, it's easily enough ignored. (Though, the price figures on what else the money could be doing are nice to see; they should be repeated. They were trying to get a person to pledge a thousand pounds to run a program to teach 100 muslims enough about islam that they wouldn't become apostates.

A charity event I'm plugging for next month can make much better use of that. For about 67.5% of that, an entire MSF team can be funded.  For about .3% of that, one person can be treated for Malaria. 9.5% of that will inoculate 500 children from measles (a disease that actually kills people). 5.2% of that treats one child of mild malnutrition.  

Part 2:  the Atheist Messiah using well-learned guerrilla terrorist tactics dials the numbers on his phone. He lays down the tactic, genesis of the idea and the disguise he'd wear for the attack. This is about the next 3 minutes of the video. (this ends at the about the 7 minute mark)

Part 3: he attacks!  Church of England is a nice place to start off!  Pascal's Wager seems to make a welcome appearance. And then Pascal's Wager gets shoved up their burqas. (Except they aren't wearing one; they're men - naturally).

This caller is on youtube as TheRationalizer. He does a fine job of addressing "science" of the Koran. He's not a scientist, but he's thoughtful and well-studied in the relevant fields. I'd recommend his work to anyone to see what can be done if one is intellectually curious, unafraid of cracking a book on physics and mathematics and evaluating what one is told against what mathematics and science can do.

[Edit: another example of meatspace shenanigans seem relevant here given  a conversation happening at Abbie's place right now; instead of making a new post for its own sake, I can fit it here quite comfortably.]
Dan S. apparently, thinks that it's words alone which do the work. And that swastikas are evil!  See post 1250.

Incident to a comment, I'm including a picture of the swastika - two different ones, each one which has a different directionality. The direction is irrelevant to the symbol.


Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Are you confusing Fylfots with swastikas?
The 'feet' are of opposite chirality.

Justicar said...

Hello there, Michael Kingsford Gray! Welcome.

I'm not sure you have the correct understanding of fylfot/swastika. For one thing, one means the other; although, it must be admitted that there is an effort to get one to mean the opposite of the other. However, I'm uncertain that this has yet succeeded.

Further, the directionality of ones in Korean go both ways, and have different orientations with respect to the planar (which is also true of fylfot, which makes sense considering that these are synonymous terms).

I am by no means a scholar on this, but I am quite certain that the cardinality of the symbol is not a factor in either its inclusion, or exclusion from being a swastika.

Indeed, a quick google search turns up one of each direction as being used in a Hindu way. I'll edit in a picture.

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

I 'learned' this 'fact' from a WW2 era (~1943?) copy of the magazine "PIX", read by candlelight in my parents' cellar at the age of (say) 8 years old.
The mag was noted highly rated for its intellectual content even then, but some of the 'fantastic facts' have proven to be true.
I'm guessing that this one is not. :(
But unlike OB or PZ, I am glad to stand corrected! :)

But I did get the term "chirality" correct. It is not cardinality.
I didn't learn this from reading PIX magazine though. I learned it in University chemistry classes, the one time that I managed to stay awake for long enough.

Justicar said...

I would not be so naive as to imply you misused chirality; that is indeed used correctly. I just didn't want to use it because you used it, so I selected a few different words to avoid the appearance of copying you. =^_^=

I have read various accounts on the swastika. But, as I said, I'm no scholar on this type of thing. However, I've read enough on it to reasonably conclude that there's a non-trivial effort to bifurcate one version from the other, particularly since Hitler's adoption of it soured a thousands of years old symbol for what I'll loosely call the very opposite of Hitler.

Until the WWII thing, I can't find any sources which make a distinction of any kind between the two.

Normally, I wouldn't know anything off the top of my head about this kind of thing (it's nowhere near my field) except that I was so shocked to land in Korea and see fucking swastikas everywhere. It really, really disturbed me, and I just knew that I couldn't have landed in a modern day SS training facility.

So, after getting over the shock, my first stop was the USO at the airport in Korea to find out what the fuck was going on with this, and where might I find some literature on it. It wasn't the first time they'd had the question and the gentleman behind the counter handed me a pamphlet on it, setting my mind at ease.

As soon as I got settled in, I went to the hotel to find a library that I might read more on the topic. (The internet barely existed in those days).

So, this just happens to be something I know a little bit about because to not know anything about it would have perpetuated a great discomfort I felt.

Russell Blackford said...

You might add that while I've been vilified left, right, and centre of late, I've actually been working on what I hope will be an important book (my new book, _Freedom of Religion and the Secular State_).

And, y'know, if Ophelia would like to work with me on some stuff ... I'd still be happy to collaborate with her, as I've offered in the past. I'm very, very fucking angry with her right now, for misrepresenting me, but she's a good writer. Her essay in 50 Voices of Disbelief is excellent. She's a FUCKING good writer.

OTOH,coffee is coffee. And unprofessional behaviour is unprofessional behaviour.

Justicar said...

Well, I'm not sure if I can believe your sentiment here, Russel. I read that your pants on fire!

Freedom of religion. Hrm. That seems like a dandy book to write to Ophelia, rather than with her. She seems to recognize religion when people point to a god, but fails to recognize the one to which she's a parishioner.

You may work with her if you wish, but I'm petty and have a long, long memory. I am opposed to working with the willfully deceptive on matters other than trivia.

(we all lie to varying degrees, but normally about inconsequential things)

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Russell, I am given to believe that she has also managed to get up the nose of one of her fellow authors, Jeremy Stangroom.
As I used to respect her work, I trust this is only a temporary shabby phase that she is undergoing, but quite how temporary is anyone's guess…
I may have been seen to 'vilify' you myself, (on occasion), but one thing of which I am absolutely certain: you strive your utmost to exhibit honesty and integrity.
Traits that do you proud, sir.

P.S. Tickets for the 2012 Global Atheist Convention go on pre-sale 2011-08-18 9am AEST for AFA members.
Are you in the speaker's list this year?

Justicar said...

I have seen no reason to think either of you is willfully dishonest, or intellectually lazy or whatever. I am sure there are many things on which we'll disagree. I do not for a moment think that such disagreement is attributable to chicanery on anyone's part.

As it happens, people are capable of looking at the same set of data and drawing different conclusions, none of which needs be patently wrong. It might be true that none is correct, but it doesn't follow any is necessarily, obviously wrong and that the only way one reaches any given conclusion is owing to some kind of need to lie or fit an agenda.

Of course, it's far easier to demonize an opposing viewpoint than it is to actually take on that view and demolish it.

Sometimes I just want to be a cat; their lives seem so simple and peaceful.

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Egyptian cats get to live forever, as well.
I want my mummy!

windy said...

The swastika is still used in some official insignia in Finland, including the presidential flag.

Justicar said...

Michael Kingsford Gray, when my children ask why the cat is being "weird" (which is to say being catlike), I tell them it's because 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt cats were worshiped as gods. And they've not forgotten.

Windy! oh em gee! I'm calling up the Hague to rat them out! Maybe I should rethink this . . .