Wednesday, 3 July 2013

On ....random things

So I don't blog often, usually because I need something to rant about, but I figure I can knock a few topics into one post and rant a little on each we should be good to go, so here goes;

On Justin Vacula and Skeptic Ink. - I started reading SIN for Vacula, although I don't always agree with him, especially when he gets a little MRAish, I find his reporting to be well done, and by all accounts he was both polite and professional at WiS and EWTS, the only offence being that people chose to take at their being a man of dissenting viewpoint present. Although I've found some excellent other blogs such as Notung, Background Probability and The Hellfire Club (which I also read pre-SIN), and others I never gave two shits and a shake about John Loftus before. Now, as far as I can tell, he is nothing but another cowardly internet dipshit, who may have lost the christianity, but retained a whole lot else he learned from William Lane Craig. It may not be the same as another infamous internet echo chamber, but I still have no use for those who promote groupthink. I'll quote my comment on the site as that sums it up:

"Justin Vacula is no longer a part of Skeptic Ink because his communication style and areas of focus are not compatible with the mission and values of the network."
The Skeptic Ink Network's mission and values are not in line with the values and mission of this skeptic then. Which are actual activism an critical thought, not a massive circle jerk and back patting over making fun of yet another stupid preacher. - Shadow of a Doubt

I'll still follow the others though, since I'm one of those assholes who uses AB+ and no one is making ad revenue from me anyhow.

On going for the high hanging fruit - some people may have noticed I occasionally throw barbs and get into little twitter spats, especially with smart folks like Matt Dillahunty and occasionally Richard Dawkins among others when I take to disagreement with them, and I sometimes get asked why I do so when I usually come out looking worse.

Two reasons; Firstly; there is no point going after the low hanging fruit, if I wanted to start a youtube career I would make videos going after VenomfangX, Rebecca Watson, Paul Elam etc. there is no point in going after the extremists to prove that they're wrong. Extremists usually are, instead I go after people with more reasoned positions, who in turn are open to being reasoned with.

Secondly, I apply my own skepticism to myself and my own views. By challenging ideas from people I know and respect as skeptics and sound logicians, I can put the validity of my own views to the test, you should try it sometime. Dillahunty is usually pretty accessible and Dawkins will often respond if you catch his tweets shortly after he posts them. You'll find most "celebrities", major or minor, will often provide some insight, or at least a good short convo on twitter if you remain polite.

On fitness - As always I am trying new things and have recently been using the bulgarian bag. Probably only good for another week or so as there isn't a whole lot to do with it but swinging it around is a great ab, shoulder and core workout, and probably good for the rotator-cuff area as well. BJJ has been slow, with the new business venture I've recently started I haven't been training as much as I should, but I get in a few times in a week. Still hate the "De La Riva" position due to my general lack of flexibility, but I'll get it in time.

On books - Currently reading Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series and very much enjoying it, good solid fantasy, interesting characters, sarcastic as hell main character and overall very cool. Highly recommended for fantasy fans, in the words of the author:

"The Cool Stuff Theory of Literature is as follows: All literature consists of whatever the writer thinks is cool. The reader will like the book to the degree that he agrees with the writer about what’s cool. And that works all the way from the external trappings to the level of metaphor, subtext, and the way one uses words. In other words, I happen not to think that full-plate armor and great big honking greatswords are cool. I don’t like ‘em. I like cloaks and rapiers. So I write stories with a lot of cloaks and rapiers in ‘em, ’cause that’s cool. Guys who like military hardware, who think advanced military hardware is cool, are not gonna jump all over my books, because they have other ideas about what’s cool.
"The novel should be understood as a structure built to accommodate the greatest possible amount of cool stuff." -Steven Brust.

On Vidya games - Playing through all the games I got on steam sales and humble bundles without putting much time in, currently Serious Sam HD, which is an awesome throwback to classic shooters, Saint's Row the 3rd, which is an over the top version of GTA, and as always, planetside 2 and Minecraft. Looking forward to trying The last of us within the next week or two.

That's all for now.


Stand up and Fight!

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