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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I don't know whether to laugh or feel sick (Page 1)

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Author Topic: I don't know whether to laugh or feel sick
AchillesHeel
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I'll let the Huffington Post article speak for itself.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/louisiana-students-loch-ness-monster-disprove-evolution_n_1624643.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

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Samprimary
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see originally I thought this was some sort of a clever demonstration trick by them, where they were teaching children that nessie is real specifically for the purpose of stating something like "see you can make up anything and teach it as fact, just like your Darwinism, doesn't make it any more true"

ah but no, it isn't even that, it's just creationists hard at work being creationists

edit: asdf?

quote:
"The [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross ... In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians," the textbook reads, according to the Herald.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the `Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? `Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."

Indoctrinate much? Gotta get em while they are young!
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Stone_Wolf_
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When I was a teenager, in northern rural Minnesota, my uncle asked me (trying to convince me of the falsehood of evolution) "If evolution is real, why aren't we still evolving?"

I don't know if it's just wishful thinking on the part of my memory, but I remember saying: "Because you don't understand the concept of evolution."

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AchillesHeel
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Hmmm

"Why do you think we aren't?"

"Maybe you just need to do some more evolving before you can notice it."

"Prove to me that you can understand Pythagoras Theorem of right angle triangles first and I will teach you biology."

They clearly become more pithy as I keep going, the ones I am holding back are down right dismissive and snarky.

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Samprimary
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'if we aren't still evolving, why do I not look exactly like you did at my age?'
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Teshi
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I am always amazed by how many people believe in magical things, even when they're sensible.

"If the Monster doesn't exist, why are there so many photographs of it?"

"If Chinese Medicine doesn't work, why do so many people use it? Why did it get invented?"

"I heard Chinese Medicine only works for Chinese people that's why it doesn't work in tests."

"Homeopathy works because my uncle uses it and he's not sick."

I've genuinely met someone who didn't realise that ghosts not existing was a possibility. He just accepted ghosts as real.

How do you handle that?

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AchillesHeel
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Teshi, that is exactly why once a month I have dinner with a large group of strangers simply because they are all atheists. It is a small luxury to have conversations knowing that no one will be using the "just because" argument.

[ June 30, 2012, 08:37 AM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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Stephan
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I sort of thank creationists for creating less of a competition for my children in the work place.

It really comes down to, "We don't need evidence" vs. "We have evidence, and we are searching for more."

My new favorite quote, just for fun.

quote:
“Nobody that has seen a baby born can believe in god for a second. When you see your child born, and the panic, and the amount of technology that is saving the life of the two people you love most in the world, when you see how much stainless steel and money it takes to fight off the fact that god wants both those people dead, no one, no one can look into the eyes of a newborn baby and say there's a god, because I'll tell ya, if we were squatting in the woods, the two people I love most would be dead. There's just no way around that. If I were in charge, no way. We need technology to fight against nature; nature so wants us dead. Nature is trying to kill us.”
― Penn Jillette


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King of Men
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Ok look, getting in a good dig at the opposition is a fine thing, but let's try to keep our arguments sorta halfway consistent, ok? See if you can spot the contradiction:

quote:
Nobody [...] can believe in god for a second. [...] god wants both those people dead

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Stone_Wolf_
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Penn Jilette is a comedian...that was not serious commentary.
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Orincoro
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I think Jillete is conflating the "lord god" and the God of Einstein in a single statement: that is, you can't believe in a feeling, thinking, reacting being, when the nature of the universe, the processes of cause and effect, are all working against your survival.
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kmbboots
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If "nature" wanted us to die (how are we defining nature and how does it want exactly?) how are we alive in the first place? How did humans at all have babies before all the stainless steel and money (those are not part of nature?) was available. Even now, nature is not part of childbirth?

I think Mr. Jillete is confused about nature as well as about God.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Pretty sure stainless steel and money are definitely not a part of nature.

Also, see my above post.

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Orincoro
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As I said, "want" and God are often shorthand terms for more secular ideas. The laws of the universe are often described as what nature "wants". Having heard quite a lot of what Jillete has said in the past, while I don't find him to be much of a philosopher, I do think he's quite clear, in general, with his conception of the universe. He's not so concerned with being consistent in the way he expresses those views- he's a comedian.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Pretty sure stainless steel and money are definitely not a part of nature.

Also, see my above post.

Really? Because in a sense, everything humans do and create is "part" of nature. I find the popular interest in this particular delineation to be odd at times.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
nature
noun
1.the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
2.the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization.
3.the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers.

Source.

quote:
natural
adjective
1.existing in or formed by nature ( opposed to artificial): a natural bridge.
2.based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.

Source.
quote:
artificial
adjective
1.made by human skill; produced by humans ( opposed to natural): artificial flowers.

Source.
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Rakeesh
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We're animals. The things we build are a part of nature in that sense, unless incredibly complicated termite mounds, beaver dams, bee hives, so on and so forth aren't. It's certainly not the common definition of 'nature', but it does fit with one of them-even in your linked definition-without stretching.

Anyway, it doesn't change our resonsibilies in either direction, but for quite some time there's been a common idea among us humans that we're separate from nature. Plants, animals, minerals, and people. But just because we're the best at complicated creations, changing our environment, and intelligence/problem solving doesn't separate us from nature. And in any event, it's not as though somewhere there is a referee watching a finish line and when something crosses it, he marks your time and exclaims, "No longer natural!"

Remembering that we are part of nature is actually a more helpful outlook anyway.

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kmbboots
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So babies born without "unnatural" assistance are...what? Contrary to nature itself? Childbirth that ends tragically despite "unnatural" assistance is what technology "wants"?

This is silly in a variety of ways.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Wow.
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Rakeesh
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I'm not sure who you're replying to.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Boots calling a comedy routine silly...
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Teshi
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I don't think Penn Jilette is really a paragon of a well-constructed argument. He's a lot of a sound and fury but not exactly the most thoughtful of people. I doubt he's really all-out joking in this section though. He's frequently serious enough to show that he's a skeptic.

Let us assume that he is arguing that the only reason humans are doing as well as they are is because of artificial technologies such as medicine, sterilised medical stainless steel instruments and a team of people there to deal with any problems that occur (who are required to be there through their jobs).

Living without human-invented/discovered technology and science is a very different story.

I can't decide if this rant overlooks or is supposed to reference the fact that in the Christian tradition, at least, painful (which I think we should read as difficult and dangerous rather than just 'ouch') childbirth is a punishment. Clearly, people have been asking this question for a long time: "If god really cares about people, why is childbirth so freaking dangerous and painful for humans whereas it isn't so much for other animals?"

Answer? It's deliberate.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
nature
noun
1.the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
2.the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization.
3.the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers.

Source.

quote:
natural
adjective
1.existing in or formed by nature ( opposed to artificial): a natural bridge.
2.based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.

Source.
quote:
artificial
adjective
1.made by human skill; produced by humans ( opposed to natural): artificial flowers.

Source.

Yeah, see, an etymological response is not what I was looking for. But nice try.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:


I can't decide if this rant overlooks or is supposed to reference the fact that in the Christian tradition, at least, painful (which I think we should read as difficult and dangerous rather than just 'ouch') childbirth is a punishment. Clearly, people have been asking this question for a long time: "If god really cares about people, why is childbirth so freaking dangerous and painful for humans whereas it isn't so much for other animals?"

Answer? It's deliberate.

Well, the Christian tradition gets it more or less right anyway, if only by chance. The painful birthing experience is an evolutionary price payed for the rapid development of the human cranium. Humans are now born much earlier, and with much larger brains, than even a few hundred thousand years ago. All part of aiding humans in early language development. But evolution hasn't had the time to sort out the details. But it's all a circular thing anyway- we're smarter, so we find ways of keeping our young and mothers alive, and we get smarter, and it gts harder, and we find new ways.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Biggest heads + bipedalisum = painfull/dangerous birth.

Ever seen a quadruped give birth?

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Orincoro
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No. The point is not bipedalism, it's the size of the head at birth in comparison to the size of the birth canal. Humans have an exceptionally large head for their bodies, and so are born less developed than quadrupeds. The pre-industrial infant and mother mortality rate was, if I recall correctly, significantly higher than for most animals.
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
No. The point is not bipedalism, it's the size of the head at birth in comparison to the size of the birth canal. Humans have an exceptionally large head for their bodies, and so are born less developed than quadrupeds. The pre-industrial infant and mother mortality rate was, if I recall correctly, significantly higher than for most animals.

Which is why I predict caesarean sections are going to lead to even bigger heads.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
I sort of thank creationists for creating less of a competition for my children in the work place.

[Smile]
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
If "nature" wanted us to die (how are we defining nature and how does it want exactly?) how are we alive in the first place? How did humans at all have babies before all the stainless steel and money (those are not part of nature?) was available. Even now, nature is not part of childbirth?

I think Mr. Jillete is confused about nature as well as about God.

We had babies, but nature killed a lot more than medicine stops from happening now.

Population Curve

Obviously he doesn't think that nature consciously wants us to die. I also understand that some faiths believe their god wants us to learn and fend for ourselves. But it is medicine, not a god, that started the population boom over the last couple hundred of years.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
No. The point is not bipedalism...

quote:
…adaptation to bipedal locomotion decreased the size of the bony birth-canal at the same time that the exigencies of tool use selected for larger brains. This obstetrical dilemma was solved by delivery of the fetus at a much earlier stage of development.
Source Bolding mine.
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Rakeesh
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The pelvis narrowed as a result of evolving into bipedalism, not as a cause. Had we remained upright (ish) primates looking out over tall grass, the narrow pelvis wouldn't be nearly as burdensome. It's the size of the head at the top of the biped, not the two feet below, that is problematic.

Which the link you shared actually mentions, right in the second note. Actually, the first one does too, really.

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Stone_Wolf_
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As does my first statement that Orincoro disagreed with. [Roll Eyes]
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Rakeesh
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*shrug* Your first statement is actually neutral as far as causes, but it doesn't say that the reason was because of bipedalism, just that it was a part. Your second statement, though, with the misread quotes, does. No need to get huffy.
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Orincoro
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I actually thought he was referring to the fetus shape, not the pelvic shape.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Rakeesh: I am so fed up with your pathological need to argue. I am really struggling to deal with an overwhelming sense of animosity toward you. Do me a favor, and help me not hate you, kay?

Orincoro: That makes sense...please try and ask for clarification of such miscommunications in future instead of simply telling me I'm wrong.

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Rakeesh
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Did I trick you into saying that, too, Stone_Wolf? Or is this 'assuming the worst' that you so regularly accuse me of doing?

Anyway, do please note that I haven't insulted you or said anything except a mild semi-correction, and the closest thing you could reasonably object to was being called 'huffy' in response to your eye roll. Which as it turns out, you were being quite huffy.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm telling you I need your help to not hate you, because my attempts to do so are failing.

Your response is a great way to help me...hate you.

If all you want is one-up-man-ship and to be "right" then by all means, continue.

If you actually want to aid me in my attempt to not despise you, then please, less argumentative, less sarcasm, less dickishness.

If I can't pull it off, and I end up hating your very existence, then...we will work something out. I am trying to avoid that.

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PSI Teleport
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I'm looking forward to a time when we've all evolved into a species that is nice to everybody.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Boots calling a comedy routine silly...

Good comedy is usually somewhat less...muddled.
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Rakeesh
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It's hard to do good comedy when it's so message oriented-for any message. Preachy comedy can be good, but it's quite a lot harder to pull off I think.

--------

Let me reiterate: the closest I've come to being as personally insulting toward you in this conversation as you were to me was to say you were being 'huffy'-this in response to an eye roll. The most antagonistic thing I said was to partially disagree with you with regards to s discussion which is interesting to me.

If that makes it easy for you to hate me, there is a problem, but it's not on this side of the computer monitor. You don't need my help to do anything, which is fortunate, because if *this* is an example of my making you hate me, you won't get it.

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Stone_Wolf_
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So, how do you suggest we deal with the fact that I wish you ill?
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Rakeesh
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Well on my end my plan is to basically do nothing, and get on with it. So far it's working out OK. Had I said anything in this conversation that merited or prompted that level of personal attack and malice (which hasn't, by the way, been exactly a secret for quite some time), my plan might be different.

But if I need to create a plan so you won't be 'goaded' into personal attacks and wishing of ill when I call you huffy for rolling your eyes, then yes, my plan is to do nothing. I would think twice about doing more for someone I was on friendly terms with, much less someone who actively wishes me ill.

This isn't my problem, it's yours-if you're actually unhappy with lashing out like that, that is. But then, so far it's either me goading you or me not helping you enough. I'm not sure when and how I incurred this sort of obligation.

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Teshi
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quote:
Good comedy is usually somewhat less...muddled.
I think Penn Jilette stopped caring about being all that funny a long time ago. Mostly he just rants from what I've seen.

That isn't to say that the gist of what he is arguing is wrong though, just because he's speaking more loosely than he could be to be accurate.

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Stone_Wolf_
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It would help me if you stopped lying...

Personal attacks? Lashing out?

Regardless, since you have never had more then a casual relationship with truth when it comes to me, I won't be holding my breath.

For my part I will try and be civil, and step away from talking to you as needed to maintain civility.

For your part, I ask nothing of you...do as you see fit. At this point there is very little you can do to make me think any less of you, although there is a lot that would improve my opinion of you. But again, I am not holding my breath.

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Marek
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
I'm looking forward to a time when we've all evolved into a species that is nice to everybody.

while this would be nice in some ways, it would make a lot of the clever, yet not so nice things i say about people obsolete, o I hope I am notified.

Also, hey there PSI [Wave] long time no talk, i still think of you every time i wear my KamaCon shirt

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Rakeesh
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quote:
It would help me if you stopped lying...

Personal attacks? Lashing out?

You labeled me as dickish, and after being called 'huffy' suggested I was working to make you hate me, and that it should be my responsibility to help you stop. This isn't the first time you've become personally insulting and blamed me for it, either.

I don't know if you just forgot the whole calling me dickish thing (yes, you actually said it would help you for me to be 'less dickish', which is of course a paper-thinly veiled insult that fools no one), but that's what happened. It was not a lie when I said you made a personal attack-it was the plain truth, and you're lying about it now.

Oh-"gee, I guess cursing is allowed now."

quote:
For my part I will try and be civil, and step away from talking to you as needed to maintain civility.

For your part, I ask nothing of you...do as you see fit. At this point there is very little you can do to make me think any less of you, although there is a lot that would improve my opinion of you. But again, I am not holding my breath.

Heard it before. Didn't turn out to be true then, either. At this point I'm not even sure you mean it or not.

As for not asking for anything...dude. You asked me to help you stop hating me. You put the responsibility for changing your own behavior on my shoulders, and asked that I change. I don't even know at this point if you simply remember what you want, or what. You're not even trying any editing or anything-you asking me for something is still right up there.

Now, that said, I'm going to again do the thing you make sound so difficult, the thing you've failed repeatedly to do-at least until the next time you lie about something you've said (probably here, in this case), or make a personal attack on me, or say something about a topic I'm interested in.

Here it goes. Ready. Watch:

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Stone_Wolf_
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You have this strange habit of taking your memory of what someone said to anyone in any thread and attributing it as current and relevant.

For instance, if you look up our combined posts back and forth and look up the word "bully" you will have said it at least five times as often then I, and most of mine were refuting that I ever said it to you, a point I directly challenged you about, and you ignored the challenge and kept on attributing to me.

I asked (past tense) for help, you said no, so I moved on with the conversation. And asked you for nothing.

Here is another for instance. I told Orincoro I was "done"...two months ago...in one thread...and then you attributed me saying I was done with you in two separate threads...recently.

As to responsibility...I asked for your help, generally when someone asks for help with something it doesn't change the responsibility. It is an unreasonable assumption that because I requested your aid in a mutually beneficial goal that my behavior is now your responsibility.

Also, you might learn to delineate between labeling a person and their actions. Your actions towards me are argumentative, sarcastic and dickish. But as long as you don't violate the ToS then you're good. Dickishness behavior is not a rule breaker.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
while this would be nice in some ways, it would make a lot of the clever, yet not so nice things i say about people obsolete, o I hope I am notified.

Also, hey there PSI long time no talk, i still think of you every time i wear my KamaCon shirt.

It's strange to think about how much of our cleverness might really be based on sticking it to our fellow primates. A good deal of our humor certainly is, either by poking fun at others or showcasing how good at it we are by doing so to ourselves.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

Orincoro: That makes sense...please try and ask for clarification of such miscommunications in future instead of simply telling me I'm wrong.

Relax. It wasn't a mistake on my part, it was a lack of clarity on yours- or rather, it was a an overly laconic response.
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