Let’s Talk About Priorities

Here’s a question for you: I think Vox Day can be over the top cruel sometimes, and I think his racial theories are, generally, bunk.

I think John C. Wright can tend towards elitism (though in his case I do think he’s working on it, but still).

I even think that Zippy sometimes gets a bit too obtuse in his jargon (sorry, Zippy – I still heart you).

So why do I read and have a lot of respect for all of these people and pretty much none for folks like John Scalzi, Jim Hines, and all feminists ever?

Because they value HONESTY.

The “Sheila” incident is an excellent example. For my newer followers, Sheila was a commenter from the blog lotharlorraine. She was passive-aggressive and believed some vile things that she tried to spin as being reasonable (Abortion is murder and also should be legal! Mothers have almost no responsibility when it comes to abortions, and if you think otherwise it means you don’t care about raped or suicidal women! I am a Catholic, but have little to no respect for my Church’s actual teachings! If you don’t support mandatory government funded contraception you don’t care about single mothers!), and whenever I called her out on it she would passive-aggressively accuse of me of being an awful women-hating misogynist.

The thing is, Sheila was nice. Sure, she accused me of being a terrible person, but very nicely, with few exclamation points, and when I called her bullshit bullshit she pointed out I was mean and pouted. This got her points from Marc (the blogmaster) who accused me of not being nice enough and thus hurting my cause.

And then there was Ross, who claimed I was the equivalent of Torquemada and he was Jesus because I was mean, except he originally did it behind my back then whined when I forced him to confront me.

Perhaps this is the biggest difference between SJW’s and conservatives: I, and Wright, and Vox, and Zippy, have zero respect for lying liars who lie all the time. We all might be mean, but we’re honest. And anybody who is honest about what they believe and why they believe it, and speaks of their opponents honestly and to their faces, will always have my respect no matter how much I may disagree with them otherwise.

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38 Responses to Let’s Talk About Priorities

  1. Very well said. Though I’m not sure how “elitist” John is (you only have to read his post on “what is sci fi” to make that a hard claim). I think you’re on the right track as to what his flaw is but it’s not exactly elitist. Need another term….

    • Yeah, you’re right. He’s…perhaps too sure of himself?

      I’m in no way judging him. My flaws are extremely similar, if not the same. But still.

      • I think that Wright’s main problem is that he’s sometimes too quick to assume that people who disagree with him are just wasting his time rather than disagreeing in good faith, and consequently treats them with undeserved brusqueness. That thread a while back where he said that the treatment of Guantanamo detainees wasn’t torture because the Apostles received worse treatment is a case in point: he seemed, IMHO, to be dismissing people who disagreed (which included you and me, as I recall) rather than actually refuting them.

        That said, I still make sure to read his blog several times a week.

      • Ilíon says:

        That said, I still make sure to read his blog several times a week.

        Yeah, I read Wright’s blog — but I don’t bother to waste *my* time trying to interact with him. Like Vox Day, he has already proven himself to me to be a fool.

  2. Ilíon says:

    Whatever else he is, Vox Day isn’t actually honest. There are a number of issues about which he’ll say things he knows to be false.

    For example, he *knows* that “free trade” does not entail “open borders” — he’s not stupid, after all, just dishonest — but he constantly asserts that they do.

    For example, he *knows* that “the Jews” of whom he’s always pointing out their vicious anti-Americanism (and anti-Christendom) are *leftists* and that they tend to hate Israel as much as they hate America and all of western civilization, abd that they hate Judaism as more (or more) than they hate Christianity. Yet, he’s *always* trying to link them to Israel.

    • Well, let’s say then that I was quite impressed with how he stood up to the SFWA. His expulsion was a massive load of horse manure.

      I don’t think Vox hates Jews, though admittedly it’s hard to tell with him sometimes.

  3. Arakes says:

    “Because they value HONESTY.”
    Well, at least for Vox Day, I can assure you that he does not value honesty at all, he is rather a shameless liar. Random example: he claims that his book “The Irrational Atheist” has inspired scientific research but has not been cited in the respective publications, he says:
    “I was curious when I saw a report of the study in the news, so I emailed one of the authors and asked her if her team had derived the hypothesis from TIA or from this blog. She emailed me back, confirmed that they had in fact gotten it from TIA, and asked if I would like to be cited. I thanked her and told her it wasn’t necessary because I was merely curious if it was sheer coincidence or not.”
    [ http://voxday.blogspot.de/2014/08/pz-admits-hes-wrong.html ]
    This is a lie, the authors of this paper have never heard of Vox Day or his book. If you don´t believe this, then drop them an email and ask yourself – their addresses are easy to find on the title page of the paper that was allegedly inspired by Vox´s book.
    He is over the top cruel AND dishonest.

      • Arakes says:

        I did. I send them the quote above and asked if it is true that Mr. Beale contacted them and that this is what they told him (it was already clear in advance that Vox could not have been entirely truthful in what he wrote because no scientist would ever respond with “would you like to be cited?” AFTER the paper has already been published – scientific papers cannot be modified after they have been published).
        This is what the PI (i.e. the person who conceived the research project) wrote back:
        “Hi [name withheld],
        I don’t know whether Theodore Beale spoke to Caitlin or Tessa, but he didn’t speak to me. Caitlin, Tessa, do you remember an email along these lines?
        Anyways, I thought of the hypothesis independently and indeed have never heard of the book The Irrational Atheist.”

      • That’s interesting, and odd. Thanks for the info.

      • I’m not even clear on what he was trying to say there. Here’s him almost immediately in the comments:

        I” guess attributing it to the original source was considered sufficient.”

        I have no doubt that they thought, erroneously, that the encyclopedia is the original source. I very much doubt that they read either TIA or Encyclopedia of Wars. I am 99 percent certain they just got it from Wikipedia. None of these people care enough about me one way or the other to bother.

        Certain Wikipedia editors, on the other hand, are clearly determined to minimize literally everything I have ever done. I’m astonished that they haven’t removed the reference to my Indian heritage yet. They kept trying to remove Psykosonik’s Billboard chartings, which were right there on the Billboard site, so it’s hardly surprising that they want to deny this.

        Notice that it’s not even in my Views; apparently my opinion of John Scalzi is more notable than a logical proof that observably settled a decades-old debate. But hey, that’s Wikipedia. That’s why I always double-check every thing I get from there.

        …But then, I’m caring too much about this. I’m impressed with how he stood up to the liberal dickheads of the SFWA. If it turns out he’s lying about this, that’s unfortunate, but I’ll get to sleep.

      • Arakes says:

        “I’m not even clear on what he was trying to say there. Here’s him almost immediately in the comments:

        I” guess attributing it to the original source was considered sufficient.”
        I have no doubt that they thought, erroneously, that the encyclopedia is the original source. I very much doubt that they read either TIA or Encyclopedia of Wars.”
        – What Vox says here refers to something different, to this claim of his here:
        “Anyhow, as was brought to my attention two years ago, I was the original source of the data Atran cited in a 2012 article called “God and the Ivory Tower””

        And what I wrote about above refers to this exchange between Vox and PZ:
        Vox: “It’s a bit ironic that PZ is so intent on claiming that I am not a scientist, when he was the original inspiration for my hypothesis, successfully tested in a study by Boston University scientists, that atheists are not neurotypical and that there is a positive correlation between atheism and autism.”
        PZ: “Strange. I am not autistic to any noticeable degree, and have never been diagnosed as such. That makes it odd to claim I am the inspiration for a “hypothesis.
        But I know that paper!

        Most importantly, there is no citation of Theodore Beale, or Vox Day, or The Irrational Atheist, or ‘that misogynistic asshole on the internet’. You’d think this would be rather obvious: you don’t get to count it as a citation if you aren’t cited.”
        Vox again. “I was curious when I saw a report of the study in the news, so I emailed one of the authors and asked her if her team had derived the hypothesis from TIA or from this blog. She emailed me back, confirmed that they had in fact gotten it from TIA, and asked if I would like to be cited. I thanked her and told her it wasn’t necessary because I was merely curious if it was sheer coincidence or not.”

      • Gotcha, thanks.

        Weird. An odd thing to stake a claim on.

  4. GRA says:

    The good think about honesty is that you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

  5. Syllabus says:

    I think the comparison between VD and Wright is somewhat illegitimate. Wright, though he can sometimes be intemperate and irascible and, as you said, somewhat arrogant, is fully cognizant of these flaws and attempts to deal with them when it is pointed out to him that he is displaying them (at least from what I’ve seen). Vox, on the other hand, seems to relish other people calling him out on stuff, not because he sees it as a chance to improve, but because he likes to rub it in their faces and talk about how they’re such nasty people for [reasons]. Again, this carries the disclaimer that this is what I’ve observed, and there may very well be counterexamples of which I am not aware.

    Which isn’t to say that he’s dishonest as such (though I will admit that his continual reference to Scalzi as a rapist, which I initially assumed was merely satire or mockery, has gone on for rather a long time for such things), only that he’s a dick. JCW is sometimes a dick, too, but he’s much, much more self-aware as regards those things than is Vox.

    • To be fair to Vox, I’ve actually found him to be surprisingly tolerant of people who disagree with him as long as they don’t attack him.

      I think he’s too hard on Scalzi, but on the flip side Scalzi did start it and is a dick in his own way.

      Like I said, the main reason I admire Vox is because he stood up to the SFWA after their horseshit expulsion. I also think he’s right about the state of sci-fi generally.

      My comparison isn’t meant to be one to one. I’m just grouping people together that I don’t necessarily agree with or even like a lot of the time and pointing out why I respect them more than SJW’s.

      • Syllabus says:

        To again be fair, I would far rather deal with the kind of dickishness Vox exemplifies than the kind of dickishness that Scalzi exemplifies. There’s something about the censorious, simpering attitude the latter takes towards his pet issues that pisses me off much more than Vox being a kind of a general loudmouthed jackass.

        And Scalzi’s writing tends towards message fiction. I hate message fiction.

      • Ilíon says:

        To again be fair, I would far rather deal with the kind of dickishness Vox exemplifies than the kind of dickishness that Scalzi exemplifies. There’s something about the censorious, simpering attitude the latter takes towards his pet issues that pisses me off much more than Vox being a kind of a general loudmouthed jackass.

        I quite agree; I just wish he were intellectually honest with his dickery.

      • Syllabus says:

        Well, that’s only half-true. There’s some message fiction I like – like the Narnia books – but that’s in spite of their being message fiction, not because of it. Other stuff, where story and writing skill is subordinate to message – like the Sword of Truth series or much of Ayn Rand’s work, for instance, along with some of Scalzi’s stuff – and where the story is kind of bleh anyway just gets my goat.

      • Ilíon says:

        To be fair to Vox, I’ve actually found him to be surprisingly tolerant of people who disagree with him as long as they don’t attack him.

        Oh, come on! If you’ve read enough Vox Day to have written this OP in the first place, then you’ve read enough Vox Day to know how it goes when someone disagees with him substantively.

        He’s tolerant of easily refuted disagreement. I’d even say that he *is* tolerant of disagreement that is a personal attack (I think he finds that sort amusing). But disagreement that bids fair to convince the open-minded reader that he was wrong about something? Meh.

      • Mostly I mean that, at least as far as I’ve seen, you’re not going to turn into McRapey.

        That is one where I think he goes too far, by the way. Scalzi wrote an obviously satirical blog post and Vox has been using it to call him a racist ever since. One might as well call Jonathan Swift a cannibal. That said, Scalzi’s a dick.

      • Ilíon says:

        That is one where I think he goes too far, by the way. Scalzi wrote an obviously satirical blog post and Vox has been using it to call him a racist ever since. One might as well call Jonathan Swift a cannibal. That said, Scalzi’s a dick.

        But the *point* of Scalzi’s “satire” was that you and I and every other non-leftist white person is a “racist”. Therefore, I disagree that Vox is going too far, or even going on too long about it.

      • Syllabus says:

        That is one where I think he goes too far, by the way. Scalzi wrote an obviously satirical blog post and Vox has been using it to call him a racist ever since.

        In point of fact, I think you mean “rapist”. To the extent that Scalzi buys into the bullshit critical race theory that people like Nielsen peddle, yeah, he’s a racist (though I don’t know precisely how much he buys into it past the inane mentions of “privilege” and other such accordion terms), but that’s not the object of Vox’s ridicule.

      • You are correct, that was a typo.

      • He’s tolerant of easily refuted disagreement. I’d even say that he *is* tolerant of disagreement that is a personal attack (I think he finds that sort amusing). But disagreement that bids fair to convince the open-minded reader that he was wrong about something? Meh.

        Ah I see I’m not the only one who has noticed that. XD lol Especially if you catch him committing what he’s critiquing others of.

      • Ilíon says:

        … Especially if you catch him committing what he’s critiquing others of.

        Yep.

        Of course, it’s *easy* to do the very things you fault others for doing — we’re all sinners, after all. The real test (for manliness, maturity, intellectual honesty, etc) is how one reacts when it is pointed out that one is doing the very thing one faults others for doing.

  6. Crude says:

    This got her points from Marc (the blogmaster) who accused me of not being nice enough and thus hurting my cause.

    For an SJW, appearances are everything in discourse. Everything. ‘Seeming mean’ == ‘Being mean’ == ‘Being wrong’. That’s why so many of their conflicts revolve around accusations and counter-accusations of who was being mean to who.

    As for Wright – his biggest flaw, I think, is that he is an extremely deliberate, thoughtful wordsmith, capable of exceptional elegance. Always. 24/7. Probably even when describing his favorite breakfast cereal.

    Vox? He’s an asshole. But so am I, and we both admit it and actually try to be reasonable, so how much can I bitch.

  7. James Parliament says:

    Tossing in a thought:

    I think honesty comes close, but may not actually apply. Instead what about being of a single mind, rather than being duplicitous?

    I don’t know Scalzi from Adam, and haven’t bothered with his blog, but the type of person described is someone whose intentions are always ambiguous, if not outright hidden. (Here, I think Crude is dead-on about appearances). To him, it’s the appearance that matters, even if he does not quite believe what he’s saying. Duplicity.

    Vox, JCW and others strike me as onicitous [making up the singular version]. You know what they’re about, and you’re sure you know what they’re about because you can so readily disagree with them. You value the forthrightness more than lockstep agreement.

  8. Cane Caldo says:

    To me it is vital to first separate professing Christians from everyone else. So, beyond acknowledging the brute fact that Scalzi and Hines are untrustworthy, I don’t bother myself with them.

    Professing Christians, however, can be judged by their fruits. If we are to say such people are honest about anything, the priority must be to establish if they are honest and faithful Christians.

    16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    Keep in mind that acceptance of one’s own “jerkiness” is very often the flourishing of a vague thing; a mirrored cloak that obscures and flashingly distracts from real fruits of the flesh. “That’s not enmity, strife, envy, fits of anger, dissension, or divisions you see–it’s just that I’m a jerk.”

    Some people are sort of jerky (awkward in a brusque way, or too blunt), but if it is truly a mere quirk of personality, then they will still exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, etc.; just in a blunt and brusque way. Their apologies will be blunt and humble. They are as quick to laugh with others as at them, and quicker to laugh at themselves. They seek friendship in the midst of disagreement or misunderstanding; which is an awkward thing to do. They will do good to others for no good reason.

  9. James Parliament says:

    @Syllabus – “Accordion terms”. Gonna borrow that.

  10. After some interactions with Zippy, I’m questioning how honest he really is, but I’ll admit to operating from a limited data set.

    What’s funny is that a lot of Vox’s issues (even the dishonesty referenced above) often comes down a problem of salesmanship.

  11. Well, I know that if I ever want traffic, I should just talk about Vox Day.

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