Friday, July 31, 2015

How to Publicly Embarrass Yourself

Rebecca Watson is the founder of The Skepchick Network. According to their website's About page, it is "a collection of smart and often sarcastic blogs focused on science and critical thinking."

I wish she'd focused a little harder before making this mistake:

It seems to me that Watson failed as soon as she wrote the title. Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You Fucking Idiots isn't really a title that's crafted to help you win friends and influence people. And in the various titles and references and links, she can't quite decide where to put that word, "fucking", though it seems she's pretty sure it should be in there someplace.

But kudos to her for skipping all the difficult logic and getting straight to the ad hominem. If it weren't for the fact that people are actually on camera seriously discussing the sale of baby parts then whole "it's ridiculous, nothing to see here" thing might work. But that's really the only thing she's offering, other than "it's maliciously edited"

OK, fine... it is edited. This way you don't have to watch them walking down halls, standing behind white coats, riding elevators, discussing lunch, etc. It would seem very easy for her to take the full video (which actually are available... the latest one is over 2 hours long), find the out-of-context bits and show a couple of more minutes on each side to show how it's all very innocent.

But notably, she doesn't.
Instead she calls you names.

Look... of COURSE there are going to be investigations. Investigations are started when someone makes a credible charge to the authorities. That's how the world works. And the only fucking idiots are those who don't think that a credible charge is offered when you actually have people on camera saying they're doing the deed... oh, and you've got four of those videos.

The investigation may come to nothing. There may be nothing illegal going on. And if so... cool, nothing's going on, and that's that. But multiple people at Planned Parenthood said some very questionable things. And that face up there on that video... that's the Poster Child of the Go Look in the Fucking Mirror society if she thinks that calling people idiots will make an investigation go away, or should make anyone feel bad about calling for it.


Keep in mind that the question of whether anything illegal has been done is entirely separate from the question of whether you think it should be illegal.

Here's an example: illegal drugs are... you can say it... illegal. In my Libertarian heart, I don't think they should be. But they are... and that means, all personal wishes aside, if you do the drugs you're going to jail.

Similarly, in the case of Planned Parenthood, "BUT SCIENCE!!" doesn't offer a defense against tissue that's illegally obtained or transferred. That's not being pro-Science... it's being pro-Stupid, and you'd still go to jail. Separately, we can have a discussion about whether the law should be changed, and how.


Furthermore -- and this is a discussion to be expanded at a later date -- I'm getting more than fed up with vigilante justice and blatant disregard of due process, of which this video is an example.

Political Correctness has focused our society on feelings above logic.  It has resulted not only in Political Correctness, but the instant gratification of Internet Mob Justice that can ruin lives without proof, due process, or recourse of any kind. It has even skewed what it means to be skeptical to the point where Rebecca I-run-a-brain-trust Watson has chosen to leverage what critical thinking skills she has to publicly indulge in sophomoric name-calling.

In this video, Watson would attempt to convince you to skip all that due process, and investigation of substantiated claims, take her word for it that there's nothing untoward going on, and go straight to a dismissal.

Presumably, because you're a "fucking idiot", you won't see what she's doing there.

No comments:

Post a Comment