Sure some said “Don’t be a dick.” but it just so happens that I know that won’t push people out of their rut.

Phil Plait sparked the tinder with his “Don’t be a dick” speach …
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/17/dont-be-a-dick-part-1-the-video/

I thought this was great advice at first. I tend to be ‘gentle’ in my preferred approach. These days I lack the patience for it, but that would be my preferred approach. Or rather, would have been.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Phil. And I think there is plenty of room for folks who follow this blueprint. And he’s right in this, there are lots of folks sitting on fences, which a gentle approach is going to be more successful for.

Sadly however, when it comes to humans who a doggedly set in their ways, humans who have built worldviews that allow them to ‘otherise’ anyone who doesn’t share their narrow view of the world. That justifies supporting organisations that hide child rapists, support slavery, witch hunting, wholesale abuse of women and children and so forth. Approaching them and their supporters gently will get you exactly no-where.

You need to put your hob-nail shit-kicking steel toed boots on, bring a big motha-fuking axe and bring their worldview down around them, or at least smash a bit hole in it so they can see that the world isn’t just what they painted on their walls.

This is where this tactic gathers up the fence sitters, not directly, but as they watch the hard-headed come around or be brought down.

I’ve become sick and tired of biting my tongue as folks around me wave pseudoscience, and I gently suggest that the real story is more complex.

An example – one of those dumb-ass memes about how drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning ‘activates your internal organs’.
No more mr nice guy, let’s just be real folks
Bullshit – if your organs have shut down overnight – YOU ARE DEAD AND CANNOT DRINK WATER.
Drinking water is good – do it. But don’t think that when auntie doris dies of organ failure, you can re-activate them by pouring a glass of water down her throat.

Sure no-one is going to be harmed directly by the advice to drink a glass of water in the morning. It’s reasonably good advice. But when you add this mealy mouthed, LIE about activating organs. You start or support a process that WILL cause direct harm. Drink water because it’s an important thing to do. Not because some snake oil sales jerk wants to set you up to sell some fakery.

The same goes for religion and politics. I will not hide my lack of belief to asurge anyone’s easily offended belief. Why should I? Why should I smile fakely and pretend it’s ok to hide my beliefs and pretend I am something other than I am?

And when you turn up at my door trying to be a smart ass and playing dumb ass word-games in the hope of tripping me up and making me look like an idiot. I often play snarky pseudo-insut games with old friends from schools, but some take it too far, making it known that they mean what they say. Don’t expect me to sit around and smile meekly at that. No more. If you come to take a game too far, you’d better be good. And if you think that baseless blind belief is a good basis for an assessment of reality, you are entering the battle of wits unarmed. I do not consider this my fault and will not accept the blame for it.

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~ by scawalrus on October 27, 2013.

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