Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

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Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Coito ergo sum » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:27 pm

O.k. - so, here is an interview that occurred a few weeks ago on Bloggingheads. Some relative unknown by the name of Professor Althouse from some Wisconsin university was interviewing Watson. http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/37611 The interview lasts 70 minutes. My view of the video is that Althouse was pleasant and polite, and did not appear to have an overt agenda of any kind. Watson was given ample opportunities to answer any and all questions posed, and in fact they were slated for an hour, but went over 10 minutes beyond that.

After the interview - a week or so later - Watson wrote this blog entry: http://skepchick.org/2011/07/a-weird-ti ... gingheads/

This time, she is apparently obliquely alleging that Althouse pulled a switcheroo, claiming to be on Watson's "side" (on what, we aren't told), but then for some reason the interview went horribly awry. In her blog, Watson writes about two ways the interview was "frustrating," and apparently Watson felt that she wasn't given a chance to answer appropriately. I can't see from watching the video where she gets that, but everyone will have to judge that for themselves.

Althouse responds to Watson's attack here: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/re ... -time.html

I enjoyed the conversation and tried to keep it interesting and enjoyable, and I had the impression that she was enjoying talking too. We went 10 minutes over an hour, and afterwards we talked, and she said she enjoyed it. So it's weird for me to read this.
The "this" being Watson's latest complaint about someone who wronged her - http://skepchick.org/2011/07/a-weird-ti ... gingheads/

This reminds me. I forgot to ask her a question I wanted to ask about the atheist in the elevator — the man who asked her if she'd like to come to his room for coffee. I wanted to know what she said to him at the time. We know that later, she slammed him in a blog post. And now, here I am, slammed in a blog post of hers days after the encounter. So I'm kind of empathizing with the elevator guy.

Email me, elevator guy!


I liked Althouse's rebuttal, and I am very confused about what Watson is really complaining about here.

What is really amazing is PZ Meyers. PZ jumps on Watson's blog and writes this:

Wait, what does that dingbat Althouse have to do with science?

She’s rather loopy — it was a poor match for you.


So - Meyers sees nothing wrong with calling a woman a "dingbat" - which is exclusively or almost exclusively used toward women, a la Archie Bunker of All In the Family.

Watson responds to PZ Meyers:
I didn’t know anything about her prior to agreeing, except for that she was “on my side.” Bah!
No worries about PZ using a sexist term towards a woman - he's in the in-crowed, right? And, he's been the biggest defender of Watson's honor since the beginning, so, wouldn't want to rock the boat there. But, here Watson basically claims to be sandbagged - this was supposed to be some sort of fawning interview by someone "on my side", and Watson implies it turned into a hatchet piece.

If you listen to the interview, though, it was pleasant and none of the questions were impertinent or "gotcha" type questions. And, Watson had as much time as she wanted to respond with whatever she liked.

And, PZ Meyers chimes in again to attack Althouse and defend the honor of the "fair" Watson....

Ooh, ooh, call me, call me! I can answer that one!

You don’t have to publish peer-reviewed papers to be able to speak competently about science. You just have to understand it, and you have to get it right.

Althouse doesn’t understand science in the slightest, and she always gets it wrong. Look at her stance on climate change, for instance, or her silly crusade to defend her favorite lightbulbs.

Watson, on the other hand, has for example done a fine job on explaining alternative medicine and how homeopathy doesn’t work. She actually understands the basic science and communicates it well.

Get it? One has demonstrated her misunderstandings of science, the other has educated people about science.


I wonder - if PZ Meyers ever comes here, what's the evidence for Althouse not understanding science in the slightest? And, she "always" gets it wrong? Always? Really?

And, let's assume that is true and Althouse has zero understanding of science - how is that relevant to the interview? Althouse didn't attack Watson at all, and all she did was ask questions. She didn't adopt any contrary positions, or argue with Watson as if it was a debate. She interviewed Watson and elicited Watson's answers and opinions. One wouldn't know Althouse's opinions on a single issue, whether scientific to Elevatorgate, from listening to the interview.

Watson also wrote separately:

Yeah, her weird baggage about feminism was another frustrating aspect. It came out of nowhere, to me, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it.


What does that even mean? Althouse just asked questions throughout, and it was a discussion. Something "came out of nowhere" to Watson? Really? You're bitching about that now? Watson - news flash - when you get interviewed, you might have to handle some unforeseen questions. If it's some sort of affront to have some view or "baggage" about feminism "come out of nowhere" you have an eggshell sensitivity. I mean - how do you handle it? You listen to her question. You answer it to the best of your ability, and you add any explanatory material that you think you need to or want to. If you feel as if she has interrupted, then you say "wait - may I please finish my thought there?"

PZ Myers - a college professor, right? Said this also:
Just finished listening. One side of the conversation was excellent; Althouse is a clueless flibbertigibbet. If you do bloggingheads again, get a better partner!


Flibbertigibbet is another sexist term - it means a flighty or foolish person or a gossip, but it has classically applied only or almost exclusively to women.

And, it's an interview, PZ - Althouse was asking questions. What, exactly, was the problem? Were they attack questions? Did Watson get stumped and sandbagged? I mean, FFS, you'd think Watson had been promised a day at the beach and been sent to Antartica instead, the way this is being characterized by Watson and PZ.

And, then Watson says:
“I don’t see why you think it was a weird interview.”

Because I’m not a polemicist and I have no desire to out-shout an opponent when I think I’m having a discussion.


What a disingenuous person this Watson is... "out shout?" Really? Watson must rely on folks not actually watching these videos, because, for the record, nobody "shouted" at Watson at all. And, "not a polemicist?" You were being interviewed, Watson. You're going to get questions, and if the interviewer is doing his or her job, then some of the questions might tax you, or might cause you to have to think.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Cormac » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:16 pm

Just a quick note - over here dingbat and flibbertigibbet wouldn't have sexist connotations.

But PZs interventions seem remarkably partisan and emotional.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Coito ergo sum » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Cormac wrote:Just a quick note - over here dingbat and flibbertigibbet wouldn't have sexist connotations.

But PZs interventions seem remarkably partisan and emotional.


And, inappropriate given the lack of any offense given by Althouse....I mean, even if we assume Althouse is stupid, biased, religious and has it in for Watson, the interview was benign, friendly, and not in the least challenging (especially to someone like Watson who is accustomed to public speaking, presenting her ideas, and supposedly educating people on various issues).
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Animavore » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:46 pm

"flibbertigibbet" - :hehe: That's a good one I must remember that.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Coito ergo sum » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:59 pm

There is something strange about this woman–beyond the strangeness of dyeing your hair an offbeat color without touching up your eyebrows so they sort-of match.

And I am back to wondering why, if someone comes on to you in an elevator, you don’t simply decline and get on with your life.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby anna09 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:05 pm

So she's still a whiny, manipulative, self-important, attention whore? I'm shocked. :coffee:
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Cormac » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:25 am

Coito ergo sum wrote:
Cormac wrote:Just a quick note - over here dingbat and flibbertigibbet wouldn't have sexist connotations.

But PZs interventions seem remarkably partisan and emotional.


And, inappropriate given the lack of any offense given by Althouse....I mean, even if we assume Althouse is stupid, biased, religious and has it in for Watson, the interview was benign, friendly, and not in the least challenging (especially to someone like Watson who is accustomed to public speaking, presenting her ideas, and supposedly educating people on various issues).



Agreed
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Cormac » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:33 am

Coito ergo sum wrote:
There is something strange about this woman–beyond the strangeness of dyeing your hair an offbeat color without touching up your eyebrows so they sort-of match.

And I am back to wondering why, if someone comes on to you in an elevator, you don’t simply decline and get on with your life.
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All atheists are smug? WTF. What a scrote this Skepchick is turning out to be.

(In any vase, I'm self-satisfied, not smug... and I'm also right)
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby laklak » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:06 am

She seems a bit....tense....recently. Probably just needs a good shag, from a complete stranger, someone she just met. Like a random guy in a restaurant or bar, or even an elevator. A little while on all fours barking like a dog and she'll feel much better. Trust me, I know about these things.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Seabass » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:08 am

Coito, I think you might be obsessed. Is she showing up in your dreams yet?
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Tero » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:16 am

And this is somehow interesting? Universities and even businesses are full of dingbats. Im not saying I had to work with 2 or 3...

But the video was 70 minutes! Even the dingbat can't hold an audience that long however she might be experienced speaking.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Tero » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:33 am

I think I just could not make a living as a professional atheist. Too much talk, too much work, too much wasted time. But I could sell some t-shirts:


OK, back to skepchick.

Plus she talks about smug. Whats the point of being an atheist if you cant be smug?
So I had to back up and explain that no, atheists are not all smug just because they think they know the truth. Religious people, I tried to explain, think they know the truth and further many think that others who don’t know the truth are going to burn in Hell when they die. I would have gone on to explain how these same people believe this entire Universe was created especially for them, and what’s more smug than that, but Althouse kept interrupting me.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Xamonas Chegwé » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:40 am

Moved to The Wilder Web. :tup:
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Coito ergo sum » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:56 am

Seabass wrote:Coito, I think you might be obsessed. Is she showing up in your dreams yet?


LOLz...I love the drama and minutia. The dramaz from Skepchick is like having a front row seat to a three-ring circus.... obsessed, no. Enjoying it immensely? Absolutely!

And, frankly, on the serious side, I objection STRENUOUSLY to the twisted, false "feminism" this dogmatic twit preaches. She advocates more of a 1950's style speech/behavior code, just with a new vocabulary applied. She's advocating the same paternalism that prevalent before the sexual revolution. She doesn't think she is. But, she is.
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Re: Another Skepchick War! Watson v Althouse

Postby Coito ergo sum » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:03 pm

Tero wrote:
Plus she talks about smug. Whats the point of being an atheist if you cant be smug?
So I had to back up and explain that no, atheists are not all smug just because they think they know the truth. Religious people, I tried to explain, think they know the truth and further many think that others who don’t know the truth are going to burn in Hell when they die. I would have gone on to explain how these same people believe this entire Universe was created especially for them, and what’s more smug than that, but Althouse kept interrupting me.


She seems have this idea that certain questions just ought not be asked, and that if one dares to EVEN ASK certain questions, whether "come to my hotel room for coffee?" or "don't you think that this stems from atheists being smug?" then the solution is character assassination of the questioner. So what if this Althouse nutter asked "are atheists all smug?" - What's wrong with a plain answer - no atheists aren't all smug, or aren't smugger than other people generally speaking.

And, this idea that she was interrupted and prevented from completing her answer is just not factual. Anyone can watch the video, and Watson was perfectly able to assert herself. Interviewers commonly interject and try to keep an interviewee from steering off on tangents, or try to hold an interviewee to answer the question rather than avoid it, but in this case, in a 70 minute interview, by and large Watson was clearly not prevented from saying anything she wanted to say.

I did find it interesting that during this interview, Watson states explicitly that people who attend atheist conventions and atheists in general are not any more sexist than the general public. Her point on sexism at atheist conventions is that it's not that there is more sexism there than out in the general public, but that anytime you get a room full of men, it seems to be a natural thing that the men are sexist against the women. She then said that the men don't even know they're doing it - but, not knowing you're doing it doesn't, of course, excuse it. LOLz.
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