Patterico's Pontifications

4/11/2006

Wild Moonbat Captured With a Single Screenshot

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 1:13 pm



[Captured by guest-blogger See-Dubya]

Okie on the Lam has done us a valuable service today. You probably heard about the loonball in Austin–but I repeat myself–who advocated a ninety percent reduction in the world’s population in order to save The Planet from Mankind. (If you haven’t, there are links on the Okie’s site.) The original reports about what said loonball, Professor Eric Pianka, actually said have come under attack. The Okie, however, has found a blog post from a sympathetic eyewitness who not only recorded what Pianka said, but voiced her agreement.

The blog was since taken down, but the Okie found the Google cache of the site and, to prevent more Orwellian airbrushing of history, took a screenshot.

You know, it’s kind of scary. There’s a tradeoff here; if you say anything too stupid these days the odds of having to answer for it are higher than ever. Paradoxically the same technology that gives everybody a voice also holds those voices to account. On balance it may be a good thing; it makes it harder to lie and dissemble and we may get better information. But it also chills the speech of those who can look down the road and foresee consequences, while the ignorant, rash, and foolish are undeterred. The result is that smart people are gradually self-censoring, but stupidity proliferates.

Self-censorship isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think mean and stupid things all the time that I never even think about telling anyone, much less putting on the internet. I do this both because I’m ashamed of those things but also because I know there will likely be consequences if I say them or post them. I think that discretion ultimately improves the quality and usefulness of what I write–and what most people write. Nobody wants to wade through unfiltered neural firings and petty rages transcribed for their own sake.

But at the same time, every time I hit that post button or open my fool mouth, I worry that I might actually be saying something not just wrong and/or dumb, but career-endingly dim or offensive that will come back and bite me some day and that I simply will never be able to live down. My family’s welfare could suffer because of something I post here on a blog under a tissue of anonymity, or an e-mail to a colleague, or a remark offhand in a meeting that someone with a blog might transcribe. I worry, but I still write things and say things. And so do other people who are smart enough to know the risks. Go figure.

Self-censorship, aka discretion, is a double edged sword. As is candor.

There is, however, a useful side effect even to the proliferation of candid, unfiltered stupidity: in cases like the one Okie caught, it enables us to recognize fools, liars, and knaves where before we had to rely on guesswork and biased sources.

17 Responses to “Wild Moonbat Captured With a Single Screenshot”

  1. You probably heard about the loonball in Austin–but I repeat myself–who advocated a ninety percent reduction in the world’s population in order to save The Planet from Mankind.

    Who is the loonball? the ID proponent pushing this story, or the ecologist lauded by the texas academy of science?

    actus (ebc508)

  2. Hmmm…well, I’m going to say the one who welcomed the destruction of ninety percent of humanity.

    See Dubya (2d09bf)

  3. Hmmm…well, I’m going to say the one who welcomed the destruction of ninety percent of humanity.

    And who says he welcomed it? The evolutionary scientist, or the ID nutcase?

    actus (ebc508)

  4. Did you read the link? A supporter of Prof. Pianka who agreed with his conclusions blogged about what he said and included that quote.

    See Dubya (2d09bf)

  5. A supporter of Prof. Pianka who agreed with his conclusions blogged about what he said and included that quote.

    There’s no quote there.

    actus (ebc508)

  6. Oh, self-censorship, such a costly lesson to learn, at least for me.

    It has cost me a rank in the military because I thought it was more important to voice my objections to my superiors and make snide remarks to point out their stupidity.

    But I think that one must not over-censor themselves to point of looking like an unopinionated and nonthinking sheep. Sometimes things just need to be said, consequences be damned.

    The trick is to know what to say and how to say it (tact) and still come out with your farts smelling like a rose. But the neural firings are healthy, at least for me, when they are molded into a coherant and articulated rant.

    Smitster (ae580c)

  7. Now you’re being obtuse. Okay, from the google cache, for Actus:

    Dr. Pianka’s talk at the TAS meeting was mostly of the problems humans are causing as we rapidly proliferate around the globe. While what he had to say is way too vast to remember it all, moreover to relay it here in this blog, the bulk of his talk was that he’s waiting for the virus that will eventually arise and kill off 90% of human population. In fact, his hope, if you can call it that, is that the ebola virus which attacks humans currently (but only through blood transmission) will mutate with the ebola virus that attacks monkeys airborne to create an airborne ebola virus that attacks humans. He’s a radical thinker, that one! I mean, he’s basically advocating for the death of all but 10% of the current population! And at the risk of sounding just as radical, I think he’s right.

    Amazing. Two people listening to the talk from radically different perspectives heard him say the same thing.

    See Dubya (2d09bf)

  8. A thoughtful person considers what he/she writes and if they waver in their willingness to put their thoughts in play the field will be left to the moonbats. Don’t waver.

    kent (d382e5)

  9. See Dubya

    actus is being actus… ever the pedantic twit.

    BTW… Cathy Young does some digging here. She also located a cache transcription of another Pianka speach that has mysteriously “disappeared.” A few excerpts:

    I point out that there used to be a lot of lizards and a lot of snakes living in these hills and that they’re all disappearing because of this approaching urbanization. I plead with them not to let their cats and dogs run loose — cats are born killers. They let dogs run loose so they can play with the deer. Well you can’t do that — dogs are wolves — they pack up and they kill things. And they don’t belong out there. Another thing people do is put out feeders for birds. And that brings in the urban birds — so blue jays and things that shouldn’t be out there replace the scrub jays that should be there. I’ve seen rattlesnakes disappear.

    One of these new [inaudible] came up to me when I pleaded with them about not letting their cats kill lizards — one of these women made a huge mistake — she looks at me and she said “what good are lizards?”

    [Laughter]

    I looked at her in the eye and said “what good are you?”

    [Laughter]
    ————–
    We have to get off our anthropocentric high horse. Biodiversity has a value beyond how it can be used by humans. Other things on this earth have been here longer than us — much, much longer — and they have a right to this planet too. And that includes wasps that sting you, ants that bite you, scorpions
    ———–
    We still allow you people to have more than two kids. Our tax system is completely backwards. We encourage you. We give you a discount for having kids. You should have to pay more when you have your first kid you pay more taxes. When you have your second kid you pay a lot more taxes, and when you have your third kid you don’t get anything back, they take it all. Our tax system is bad; it’s backwards.
    ———-
    one species out of these one hundred and thirty-eight that thinks it can violate the rules of the natural world that thinks it can grow indefinitely and that’s us — homo is bad.
    ———
    HIV is a pandemic spread worldwide. It’s increasing in frequency in a lot of places and it’s a big concern to everybody. But, it’s not gonna be the one that gets us cause HIV is too slow, it lets us live several years so it can pass itself on to new hosts.

    Uh, it’s no good, it’s too slow. […]

    Now it is only a matter of time until Ebola got here evolves and mutates a little and it will be airborne, and then I think we might finally get a take. And when it sweeps across the world — we’re gonna have a lot of dead people.
    ———————–
    But you notice the estimated population red line with a collapse and without a collapse and things are gonna get better after the collapse because we won’t be able to decimate the earth so much. And, I actually think the world will be much better when there’s only 10 or 20 percent of us left.

    Cathy also locates a statement from a commenter on a Kos thread… Neil Sinhababu who talked with people who work with Pianka

    I just asked them if this sounded like something Pianka would actually say. The grad student laughed and told me that Pianka is in fact crazy, and has repeatedly said in classes that it’d be good if devastating diseases would wipe out 90% of the human population. There were freakish references to “our friend, AIDS.”

    It appears Pianka has been spouting off about bad old homo sapiens for quite some time..not just one incident of loose lips and mispreception.

    Darleen (f20213)

  10. See Dubya — thanks for the link, and the kind words. When yesterday I saw that Serenity was no more and one of my readers alerted us that Google Cache had captured an early version of the post, I knew what needed to be done.

    One of Brenna’s friends/supporters took me to task for my harsh treatment of her in my original post, making a case for what a wonderful, caring person that she actually happens to be. Maybe so, and she couldn’t bear the shame of having those words on Blogger forever. If the pro-Pianka supporters weren’t conducting such an assault on Forest Mims I probably woundn’t have bothered — but since they are, the record needed to remain intact.

    Still, why someone who is thought to be so normal and wonderful would agree with Pianka is quite beyond me. Maybe the prof. is quite the Svengali.

    Okieboy (686931)

  11. Two people listening to the talk from radically different perspectives heard him say the same thing.

    Not so different: they both want Pianka to have been an advocate for this.

    actus (6234ee)

  12. Why don’t the Malthusians act on their beliefs – on themselves?

    Gbear (95d12a)

  13. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are still out there waiting patiently for the time when they can ride among us again. Modern technology has delayed their return, but they’re only waiting in abeyance. They will return, count

    Black Jack (dcffee)

  14. So two Man hating fools get into a cat fight, both playing to an audience. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a little fact finding without the snark and superiority complexes.

    We could lose billions to disease. We could lose billions to an asteriod strike. We could lose billions to massive volcanic eruptions around the world. While bad for Humanity as a species such an event would be no more morally good or morally wrong than feline behavior. Wishing for or initiating is what gives it the ethical element.

    What makes Pianka’s wishes really bad is the assumption we don’t belong here. That we are interlopers, the permanent invasive species. It makes him and his supporters creationists in tweed instead of denim; with all the moral fortitude of the intelligent design herd.

    We are embodied souls (that is my experience), and we share our world with souls embodied in different forms. While we are here we are in this world and we are of this world. How we treat our environment impacts those who come after, and reflects upon us. We are responsible for what we do.

    But, at the same time, we are not responsible for what other responsible humans do, have done, or will do. The corrosive philosophy of a Pianka is no more than Augustine’s collective guilt dressed in socialist drag and doused in meerscham scented tobocca smoke. ‘Tis a fraud and a contumely draped in academic geegaws instead of religious trinkets. Malarky made of tripe from Kobe instead of Chicago.

    Tofu filler instead of barley.

    We are responsible for how we fare as a species And really, that’s all we need to be.

    Alan Kellogg (cf2ad5)

  15. Still, why someone who is thought to be so normal and wonderful would agree with Pianka is quite beyond me. Maybe the prof. is quite the Svengali.

    Yeah, a lot of the academic weirdos happen to have rabid followings among the disaffected, angry, radical, and/or bohemian college crowd. Witness Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, or Peter Singer. These types of adacemic charlatans know exactly what buttons to push on the gullible kids.

    JVW (d667c9)

  16. I suspect many wouldn’t mind some % of earth depopulation … if THEY could select those who would be deleted. Now, 90% may be a bit extreme to all but the reallll hard core (smiley face?) ….

    The theme is hardly a new one and has been the basis for many fiction pieces. A massive solar flare, for example, is common one postulated mechanism. _Flare_ is a book by Zelazny and Thomas that considers this, but the short story “Inconstant Moon” by Niven went there quite some time before. The latter can be read on-line here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/adam.milner/books/inconstant_moon.htm

    But biologicals have been cast in the role before Pianka et al came along. Anyone remember the 1971 Charlton Heston flick “Omega Man”?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067525/

    There was another sci-fi book whose premise was that a “charitable” foundation which was famous for providing health care throughout the poor of the world (especially overpopulated nations such as India, Pakistan, China, latin America, etc.) was actually also administering a protocol that made very young fems sterile when they eventually reached puberty. Cannot recall the name! But is fairly recent.

    My point is that their wish has been captured many times before. They are not even new to it.

    jim (6482d8)

  17. I opened my original post about Pianka with thoughts on fiction becoming reality, and that Tom Clancy had covered this ebola-attack situation in two novels, Executive Orders and Rainbox Six. In the latter, he has a cabal of elites trying to kill everyone except for a hew hundred thousand “selected” to receive the antidote. Only radical environmentalists were “worthy” of being selected.

    Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven & Pournelle uses a comet to decimate human-kind.

    None of it looks like any fun!

    OkieBoy (0ee0e0)


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