Idiosyncratic Art From Logicked

LogickedAs regular readers know, I have a great love of idiosyncratic art. (See, for example, Death Bed: the Bed that Eats.) I am just so tired of polished soullessness. It is much more interesting to watch something from someone who has a vision that is more than a minor variation on a tired theme. One would think that YouTube would be great for this kind of thing, and it is — to a small extent. But we don’t get as much as we ought to because most people think polished soullessness is the height of artistic achievement. This tends to reduce both supply (since most people only have soullessness to offer) and demand (with many people pushing their banal and often cruel opinions on the creators of idiosyncratic art).

I came upon a great collection of idiosyncratic videos by a guy that goes by the name of logicked. He is an atheist who makes videos that debunk videos by creationists. That in itself is not interesting. There are actually a good too many of such videos. I tend to bristle when I hear atheists talking about science, because they generally have a fairly superficial understanding of it. Just the same, they are close enough, and compared to their creationist opponents, they are downright omniscient. Logicked’s science is better than most, but what is great about him is that he is both funny and bizarre.

The videos I’ve watched counter the young earth creationist and supposed chemist (And “scientist”!) John Morris Pendleton. I’m sketchy on who Pendleton is, but according to a YouTube page, “Pendleton is a missionary near Mexico City. He has an excellent creation seminar and literature ministry in English and has also translated creation materials into Spanish. He is a scientist with a BS in chemistry. Pendleton has great appreciation for the importance of Creation Science and commitment to disseminate the truth of God’s Special Creation.” It is interesting, however, that despite his chemistry degree, he appears to work as an auto mechanic — not that there is anything wrong with that, but the Car Talk guys didn’t claim to be “scientists.”

Logicked has taken Pendleton’s videos and cut them up to create a kind of conversation — as if logicked were sitting in the lecture interrupting. It has the effect of Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing, except that logicked often goes into some depth rebutting a point. And, in fact, he has even created a video (which I haven’t watched) called, Mystery Logicked Theater 3000 — Rapture Brainwashing Video. But rather than logicked only doing voice overs or providing yet another pasty white guy talking head, he appears in black, with a black bandanna around his face, 3-D glasses, and one of those horrible top hats that trendy haberdashers now sell.

There is much to like. Primarily, there is the curious juxtaposition of Pendleton with his earnest arrogance wearing a prop lab coat and logicked with his razor sharp sarcasm wearing his Tim Burton meets Roger Corman outfit. There is the constant visual ribbing with flames and other “demonic” iconography. There are strange little skits in later episodes. And there is the hard-driving, noise-infused music that I’m too old to identify. It all combines to create something quite extraordinary where Pendleton is very much a collaborator in the whole thing. Check out this very funny second “episode”:

(Note: Episode Five is actually better in terms of its idiosyncrasies, including “The Oracle of Toronto” and the death of Yahweh.)

People like Pendleton offend me. I really have no problem with people believing whatever they want. But it is wrong to pretend to do science. I think of Pendleton the way I think of the cargo cultists. They did everything they could to make it appear that they were running an airport. But the airplanes did not come back. Pendleton and the other young earth creationists do everything to appear as though they are doing science. But there is a difference. The cargo cultists really believed. I think people like Pendleton know full well that they aren’t doing science; they are just pretending to trick other people. We saw this when Ken Ham admitted that there is literally no evidence that would make him stop believing in creationism.

Logicked expressed some of my frustration in one of his early videos:

And that’s really what it comes down to, isn’t it, John? After all that supposed evidence you presented, after all that garbage you dug up from Answers in Genesis and from other creationist website with no real factual evidence to back it up — only conjecture, pictures, random quotes from random books that I now have to buy just to be able to see what the context is — after all that, none of it matters! None of it really matters, John. It’s all the Bible and it’s always been the Bible and it always will be the Bible and all this evidence you say convinces you has nothing to do with why you’re convinced. So why don’t you just be honest? Why do you bother trying to present all this evidence? All it does is make you look like a liar and a fraud and a fake and a moron. Go back to your little brainwashed churchy world — and that goes for all you creationists out there. Quit pretending. Go to church. Go pray in your fucking closet like Jesus instructed you to. Quit lying!

But that’s not why you should check him out. Much of his material is genuinely — laugh out loud — funny. And the fact that he does it while looking like a 21st century psychedelic Jack the Ripper only makes it that much more fun.

38 thoughts on “Idiosyncratic Art From Logicked

  1. Well, now I know how I’m going to waste the rest of my day. It was going to be old “Star Trek” episodes but these are great.

    I sense a bit of a contradiction. You praise low-budget indie filmmakers; they had an idea, and they stuck with it. This Pendleton fellow strikes me the same way. He’s a lunatic, sure. I doubt he’s a conscious liar (Ken Ham is a conscious liar, and sociopath to boot; the kind of person who thinks lying is acceptable in the service of some greater good.) Pendleton reminds me of the fundamentalists I grew up among. They aren’t dishonest; they just see what they want to see and ignore things that prick their bubble.

    It’s funny how creationists attack evolution. They note, correctly, how the fossil record has enormous gaps in it. Of course it does! We’re amazingly lucky to have any fossils at all. I don’t know what the ratio is of Species We’ve Discovered Fossilized Remains Of to Species We Haven’t; it must be astronomically huge. (Or subatomically small, depending where you put the “=” sign!)

    Thing is, every new fossil we find fills in more of the gaps and refines our understanding of the past. Creationists take random words from a rambling text composed over thousands of years by thousands of different authors and intentionally leave out the parts that undermine their argument. Logicked points this out well when explaining that a “National Geographic” cover story contained information later discredited by scientists.

    I was kinda bummed that he ripped “National Geographic.” It’s a good magazine, especially for kids. (Not “National Geographic For Kids,” the actual magazine intended for adults is good for kids. Most stuff meant “for kids” is stupid and demeaning to kids.) The photography and especially the maps are outstanding. I fell in love with maps reading it as a kid. It was like the encyclopedias earlier generations had around for their kids to pore through. You get to travel to more interesting places in your imagination. It’s a magazine that makes kids curious about places and people and things they don’t know. It also has boobs; but, at eight or so, I liked the maps better.

    Back to Pendleton. Why do I suspect he really believes this shit? Because “sorry, ladies.” He talks about organisms being more giant in a more oxygen-rich environment (it’s such a pure loony segment, it’s gold) and, after mentioning bears and grasshoppers and such, prefaces cockroaches by saying “sorry, ladies.” One isn’t quite sure what he’s apologizing for. Either that cockroaches are associated with slovenly housekeeping (women’s work) or that the insect has the letters “cock” in its English name. (Seeing as the videos are made in Mexico, Pendleton could have said “la cucaracha.”)

    This is a guy with some serious hangups about modern life and a wish that the world was Mayberry. (The performers in that show were mostly liberals, and one ended up marrying another gay man before he died, but we’ll leave that aside.) I don’t pretend to understand what degree of mental illness it takes to wish away the real world, with women and Black people, and want some fantasy never-was of Dad with his pipe and slippers in the recliner. I grew up with people who wanted that and I still don’t understand it. Everyone, to some extent, wants a world that isn’t real, and tries to make the world that way. Fundamentalists insist their unreal world IS real. You just don’t see it because Satan’s agents have clouded your mind. It’s deeply sad.

    I see Pendleton and I feel sorry for him. I saw Ham in that debate with Nye and I wanted Nye to smack Ham right in the face. If there hadn’t been an audience and moderator, I’m guessing there would have been some face-smacking. By Ham. Nye is too nice for that.

    • Logicked does have one very typical atheist trait that annoys me: an almost religious reverence for the scientific process and peer-review. I used to work for a journal editor and so I know: peer-review is not the pure process that people outside of science think. I’ve been on the other side of it too, and it doesn’t look any better. I also have a problem with his dismissal of popular science journalism, which I think is actually great — better than it has ever been.

      The problem with the record of species is that over time species evolve very slowly. It is only after many generations that a single species geographically divided turns into two species. So it doesn’t even make sense to talk about holes in the genetic record. But the creationists are the same as the acid rain, cigarette-cancer link, and global warming denialist: they are just trying to muddy the water. Fifty years ago, they were asking for what we have in abundance today. So today they ask for more. I like logicked’s quote above on this issue: it all comes back to the Bible.

      I thought the “sorry ladies” was a reference to the fact that women are supposedly afraid of bugs. In my experience, men are at least as bad as women. But it is the same kind of thing you are talking about. I don’t really know what Pendleton is all about. I too feel sorry for him, because he seems to be lost. He’s found something that claims to be the truth, but I don’t think it works that well for him.

      As for idiosyncratic art: you are right! Pendleton is very much such an artist with his terrible image overlays and his model dinosaurs and his lab coat. But I don’t find him an interesting artist. There isn’t much other than his creationist argument that is all standard stuff that he’s just put together in a series of lectures. Compare that to the truly bizarre idea of an evil man whose soul is locked in a bed that kills people who lie on it. And it has such wacky scenes as a bottle of wine being taken into the bed, emptied, and then spit back out. So I guess I should make a distinction between good and bad idiosyncratic art.

      If you are implying that Jim Nabors is a dead homosexual, I must disagree with half that statement!

      • Oops, Nabors is not dead. Good for him! I have to watch out or I’ll become one of those old people who gleefully track every ailment of everyone else in the nursing home. Really? Mrs. Beauregard has a brain tumor? How awful. Tell me more.

        Maybe you are right about the “sorry ladies” bugs thing. Are they scared of bugs and go “eek!” and jump on a footstool? I’ve long thought that there should be a dating service based on vermin fear. Most people I’ve met have a totally irrational fear of some small critters and totally aren’t bothered by some others. My SO is terrified by spiders, which I regard as extremely useful creatures. I shriek in a very high pitch if I see a centipede or cockroach, and don’t even mention bees in my presence. So my SO squashes roaches for me and I am in charge of guiding spiders onto a piece of paper and throwing them outside, where something will eat them, but not on my conscience. This arrangement works fairly well. Throw in bats, rats, mice, lice, and the rest of the small-critter world which terrifies humanity (really, the microscopic critters living happily on your toothbrush should be scary enough) and you’ve got a dating profile, right there.

        Maybe the distinction shouldn’t be between “good” and “bad” idiosyncratic art but between personal vision and groupthink. Pendleton is committed to his vision, but it’s something handed to him by others that he latched onto to fulfill some odd psychological need. Stuff like “Manos” is truly awful art, but it’s at least personal. Nobody else could have come up with that. I guess one could argue that groupthink art is more important, as it affects more people, than idiosyncratic art. Or that the difference between an idiosyncratic artist who is well-respected and one thought of as a fool/hack is really a matter of public opinion; people like Picasso because other people like Picasso. Too confounding an issue for me to wrap my tiny brain around right now, I’m not as bright as Banksy.

        • I think your relationship with your SO is very typical. In my experience, women have this thing about spiders and often not with things like beetles. I find it odd. I’m not fond of any of these creatures, but I just deal with them. Well, we have this very small red spider here in California that I find charming. And ladybugs are charming.

          I don’t know on the art front. One thing that makes Pendleton not interesting is that he is 99% propaganda. A big problem with “Manos is that it shows almost no creativity. Harold Warren really didn’t try very hard. Compare that to Death Bed where it is often totally incompetent but sometimes brilliant. Do you know the Casals scene from A Late Quartet? It is supposedly a true story and I think it has much to teach us.

          • Well I can tell you two that, a year after you two wrote this, I can say that the reason I am interested in going to Mars is that bugs will die almost immediately when we land so I can avoid them FOREVER.

            I know they are here for a reason but they need to stay out of my sight.

            • I believe they will come. And there won’t be as much space so you will see them more. I recommend staying on the Earth where it is nice and warm. But if you don’t like bugs, why the hell are you in Arizona?! Move to Portland or Seattle!

      • “Logicked does have one very typical atheist trait that annoys me: an almost religious reverence for the scientific process and peer-review.”
        If it comes off that way, I apologize. I’m very aware (not sure how aware I was in 2012, though…) that peer review is flawed. A month’s subscription to, say, Nature should disabuse anyone of the notion that it is a perfect system. But it is a good and a necessary system. Otherwise, you end up with…well, creationist journals.

        “I also have a problem with his dismissal of popular science journalism, which I think is actually great — better than it has ever been.”
        Some popular science journalism (New Scientist, for example) is utter crap. But mostly, it’s fine in terms of communication of the basic ideas to the general public. But absolutely not as a source in a scientific discussion, unless the topic is specifically whether the magazine said what someone said it said.

        “I assume that atheists are libertarians and so I assume that about logicked.”
        It’s an incorrect assumption. Generally I prefer to go issue-by-issue on my politics, but “fuck the government, let everyone fend for themselves and screw your regulation, I got mine” is nowhere close.

        “I tend to shy away from it, but as an indication of where fundamentalism leads, I think it is great. It is just that it has so many jingoist and racist connotations that I don’t like it.”
        Jingoistic and racist how? Islam is a horrid religion that drives some people to do truly evil things. In modern times, see the Islamic State, which has everything to do with Islam. And Islam is not a race (a race being something you can’t convert into or out of). Maybe you’re referring to the fact that some ignoramuses think “brown = terrorist” or confuse Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims? That’s not very common, though, and has nothing to do with 9/11 as an illustration of the dangers of faith.

        • @ Lockicked: If Islam had never been invented, if the Mideast were polytheistic or had converted to Christianity or Buddhism — you’d still have terrorists. (Even if the region were primarily atheistic.) They’d use different inspirational teachings, dress differently, use different forms of violence. But they’d be there.

          The cause of terrorism is historical exploitation of the region, first for near-slave labor and later for oil. The fact that many terrorists are not themselves victims of exploitation — often they are middle class and bin Laden was rich — doesn’t mean they aren’t driven to violence by the fallout of exploitation. Most of the clerics who started the Islamic splinter groups preaching violence were reacting to persecution by local governments, most of which were either directly created or assisted by countries interested in cheap labor/oil.

          For example, Iran elected a democratic, mostly secular government in the 1950s, one which sought to expand freedom and equality for poor citizens and women. They planned to pay for social reforms by kicking out the Anglo-Iranian oil company (now BP) and nationalizing the industry. Britain and America instigated a coup overthrowing the government and installing the Shah, a brutal dictator. The Ayatollah came straight from this.

          There have been terrorists and suicide bombers all over the world of every faith — including atheists. You see more violence in Muslim countries because they have a long history of anti-democratic rule.

          While Islamic fundamentalism is indeed vile, most Muslims are not. And the jingoist/racist associations Frank talks about are real. Anders Brevik, the Norwegian terrorist, was inspired by the European racist right and many American anti-Islamic writers. They did not make him insane — his unfortunate brain did that — but their hate speech gave him a target for his insanity, the liberals allowing Europe to be poisoned by Islam.

          (And anti-Islamic groups in Europe are strongly supported by those who want to roll back European social services — just as racism is used by American politicians hoping to do the same.)

          I don’t know if we’ll ever stop having religion — or religious maniacs — but history indicates that more equal and democratic societies tend to see religious fundamentalism wane. And of course there have been vastly evil secular fundamentalist movements, like Stalinism, Maoism, etc.

          I’m not religious, and I’d prefer to see religious fundamentalism decline. However good people can find inspiration in religious teachings, just as bad people can. Most marchers in Selma were religious, just as their opponents mostly were.

          For the record, the Ottoman empire — while basically greedy and evil, like all empires — treated Jews far better than almost any other government in history. There is still a sizable Jewish community in Iran, although I’m sure they face more prejudice now than they did before the Israeli/Palestinian conflict began.

          • Good point about the two sides at Selma. It seems to me I have an article coming out in a couple of days (remember: I’m on vacation!) where I talk about what a useless religion Christianity is if it can allow believers to come to opposite conclusions on important questions. I think that’s true of most religions. I should learn more about Jainism, because I’d like to believe that they wouldn’t be so messed up. But they probably are. Reincarnation has a very ugly side to it.

          • “There have been terrorists and suicide bombers all over the world of every faith — including atheists.”
            If an atheist killed a bunch of people and said he did it because he was an atheist and he hated them for criticizing Richard Dawkins, I would believe him. If a Christian killed a bunch of people and said he did it because he was a Christian and he hated them for making fun of the Bible, I would believe him. If a Muslim killed a bunch of people and said he did it because he was a Muslim and he hated them for insulting the Prophet, I would believe him. Prove beyond a reasonable doubt some other personal motivation for any particular case, and I’ll change my mind for that case. Somehow, it seems that atheists and Christians are capable of killing in the name of their sincerely held beliefs, but Muslims are not. No, I won’t deal in double standards. Sorry.

            • That’s not what I took from his comment. In fact, I took the opposite: how is it that Christians could be on both sides of the issue in Selma: because their Christian beliefs were not what was the core issue, even though they both used the same book to defend their beliefs.

              • Christians can be on opposite sides of issues, and Muslims can, and Buddhists can, and whatever other religious group can, not because they are not driven by their religion when they say they are, but because they have different religious beliefs. There is not one Christianity, there are many, and they are radically different. Same goes for Islam. And this is the problem I was talking about with James’s comment. Don’t you think that when someone tells you to your face “I’m doing this because I’m a Christian” or “I’m doing this because I’m a Muslim”, it might actually be the case?

            • It’s not that Muslims who kill don’t believe the afterlife will reward them for murder — I’m sure they do! It’s just that the political history of the region helps explain where these bizarre beliefs came from (you wouldn’t have seen much of them 200 years ago.) Also that if we want to reduce violence done in the name of Islam, we should reduce poverty and lack of democratic rule in Muslim countries.

              I also try to look for motivations behind Christian fundamentalism’s rise. In America it was mostly a backlash to civil rights (still is in many ways.) But racism doesn’t come from Christianity! Racism in this country was first stoked to justify the taking of land from natives and the practice of slavery. It used the Bible because that was the common religion. The Bible didn’t make America racist, it justified it (because any holy text can be used to justify anything.)

              Take your specialty, creationism. Although it’s old junk, it was largely gone in this country by WWII. It’s back because business interests in the 1950s were pushing fundamentalist churches that preached (among creationism, and other idiocies) that government should roll back New Deal controls on business, and that the labor movement should be killed. Although it didn’t really take off until the civil-rights era (Billy Graham was both a huge anti-labor guy and a huge anti-civil rights guy.) The history’s way more complicated than that, as you know, but I’m not far off in my summation.

              • Look for reasons all you like. If you think fixing something will fix the religion problem, go for it. But my original post merely identified that the personal motive for the attacks was religion. And when it comes to fixing the religion problem, I prefer to attack religion instead of taking indirect routes through political change.

                • I’m tired and Frank’s right, this thread is hard to follow. I’m the one who mostly gunked it up because I enjoyed your videos so much. And I was a little drunk . . .

                  Hey, come back sometime to a new thread and I’ll add a few bucks to that subscription service. Not Koch money or bin Laden money, but as the Bible tells us, we shouldn’t lie about how much we’re promising to pay people. Or maybe it says we should. I haven’t read the whole thing. It has boring parts.

                  (It also has the “Song Of Solomon,” which is lauded as erotic poetry and comes across sexy as watching someone else watch their favorite porn.)

        • Ugh, do I have to read all the comments to figure out what I was talking about?

          I’m glad you aren’t a libertarian. As an old ex-libertarian, I write about them a lot. I still maintain a lot of those beliefs. But as an overall framework, it is a total failure, as I lay out in many dozens of articles around here.

          On the final point, I’m afraid we are getting into the “meaning of is is” territory. This is not something I like to discuss, because it is a deep issue. But basically: what is religion to people? Is it the accumulated “wisdom” found in a bunch of holy books? If that’s the case, then people fail miserably at being religious. I think religions are more like clubs. You can be a Catholic or an Elk. And it doesn’t much matter which. This is why very soon, American Christians will have as much problem with homosexuality as they now do with divorce or shellfish eating. Given this, I don’t see anything in the Muslim holy books that make its followers any more violent than the other Abrahamic faiths. Did the 911 hijackers commit their crimes because of their religion or because the other people in their club were doing it? I would say the latter. In one way, it doesn’t matter. But it does matter in this way: if you took the religion away, you would still have the violence because you would still have the club. I just don’t believe it works like this: “The book says jihad, so let’s jihad!” Rather it is, “We want to commit acts of violence, how do we justify it?!”

          • “Did the 911 hijackers commit their crimes because of their religion or because the other people in their club were doing it?”
            Because of their religion, and because other people in their religious club were doing it. The religion IS the club. Remove the religion and the club doesn’t exist. Some other club may exist, but religion is what it takes to get people to believe that death is not the end and suicide murder or other extreme violence will result in personal reward. Have you watched any of the Islamic State sermons or listened to any of the rhetoric coming from the imams? Who knows, maybe the leaders are just cynically using religion as a tool, but the followers are converting because they believe the religious messages coming from those leaders. These people aren’t just pretending to believe what they say they believe. They really believe that death is not the end, and that the afterlife will be all the better after the glorious martyrdom. The love of the Prophet and his message is greater than their love of life, and to physically fight in the name of Islam is not only moral but in fact the only way to be moral. It’s fascinating how people will take a Christian at face value when they explain the absolutely insane things they believe, but when a radical Muslim does the same, they can’t possibly believe it – It’s all political, and they’re just masking it so extraordinarily well that they are indistinguishable from religious fanatics.

            “I just don’t believe it works like this: “The book says jihad, so let’s jihad!””
            This book says the world is 6000 years old, so the world is 6000 years old…people don’t just pretend to believe the stupid things their books say. Some of them actually do. It’s easier to gain and retain such nonsensical beliefs when you belong to a religious group that believes them, yes. And that’s the problem.

            “Rather it is, “We want to commit acts of violence, how do we justify it?!””
            Even if that’s true (which I doubt), how does the fact that they consider their religious doctrine a legitimate justification not just to others but to themselves in any way diminish the argument for the harm of faith?

            • I’d like to table this until next week when I am not on vacation. I think we are talking past each other anyway. Hopefully, you and JMF can have a lively discussion. Although I fear we are getting out into the weeds on an issue that none of us really disagree about. But I will comment thoroughly next week.

                • I wrote a general response as an article, Religions Reflect Not Define. It’s not specific to you. It is just that generally, I think people do things for fundamental reasons — usually economics, because that’s my focus — and that they justify those actions in whatever way they find handy. I think the neuroscience on this is pretty strong.

                  But I don’t want this discussion to get out of hand. I find myself a lot of the time in arguments over minor points with people who I agree with 99%. It reminds me of the People’s Front of Judea. And I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t much want to write about atheist issues because people get so upset about minor issues. Part of that is the Muslim issue, but the bigger issue in ontology and my defense of the religious impulse. Atheism requires that we simply don’t engage with certain issues. Of course, I actually do, because I approach it from a mathematical standpoint. Math is fundamentally a mystical endeavor in a way that physics (my area of expertise) is not.

                  To get a good idea of where I’m coming from, I recommend reading, New Atheists and Non-Overlapping Magisteria.

    • @JMF:
      “I was kinda bummed that he ripped “National Geographic.”
      Don’t worry, that’s entirely in the context of scientific sources. It’s a fine magazine for entertainment and some education. I tend to overstate my distaste for John’s sources, just for effect.

      “The opening clip montage features a plane flying into the World Trade Center, so Logicked is probably on that conspiracy-theory train”
      What, the government-setup conspiracy theory? Not in the slightest. Some radical Muslims hijacked some planes and flew them into some buildings for glory and virgins.

      • Wow, fancy meeting you here! I love the videos so much! I grew up in a household that would have approved of everything those preachers stand for, so it’s great fun seeing them shredded. And material like yours isn’t just funny — it helps people escape religious dogma. (I know Python’s stuff helped me!)

  2. Second, pointless thought:

    Logicked is Midwestern/Canadian or I’m living in Tokyo. I thought I heard that accent watching the dinosaurs video, but in Episode Five he uses “eh” to end a sentence and references Babe The Blue Ox. That’s local, you betcha.

    The opening clip montage features a plane flying into the World Trade Center, so Logicked is probably on that conspiracy-theory train, yet this is not the worst thing in the world. I have friends who believe that stuff. It seems to be one of those dumb liberal ideas that’s attached to most smart liberals these days, and it’s basically harmless, if a tad racist. (So Iraq War II isn’t evil because it killed Iraqis, it’s evil because of the huge cover-up scheme that killed U of S of Americans. Tad racist.)

    Mostly harmless, though. The people I know who buy into that aren’t in any way consumed by it; they worry about genuine modern problems. “9/11 was a setup job” simply lingers in the back of their minds, as another reason they hate Republicans, and they have enough real reasons that I don’t begrudge them the fantasy ones. They don’t seem to mind that I think they’re batshit on this, either, so we agree to disagree.

    I’ve given up politely responding to people on liberal comment threads about this. “It is what it is,” a favorite newfangled phrase of mine. We fight the fights we can fight.

    • I was assuming Canada because of the French and the Oracle of Toronto. I’m terrible with accents, so I will yield to you on that.

      I assume that atheists are libertarians and so I assume that about logicked. I hope it isn’t true, but it is my working hypothesis. I suspect that WTC image is not about a 9/11 conspiracy. It is a common example that atheists use of the dangers of religion. I tend to shy away from it, but as an indication of where fundamentalism leads, I think it is great. It is just that it has so many jingoist and racist connotations that I don’t like it.

      • Really? You can’t catch accents? Years of watching BBC stuff has got me fairly good at this. I can pretty much tell Welsh from Scottish from Irish in a few sentences. The difference between a French-Canadian Midwest accent and a Scandinavian Midwest accent is trickier. And I’m clueless on the regional differences in American Southern accents, which make up a huge chunk of my home country and I should really learn about those.

        Absolutely no-one in human history talks like the people in the movie “Fargo,” you betcha.

        • I believe I suffer from aural dyslexia. I do not hear language accurately. It’s a weird thing. That doesn’t mean I don’t hear accents, but I’m not good at identifying them. It would be like people who can tell that Beethoven and Brahms were different but not really be able to explain the difference. I’ve thought about making a study of it, but I’m busy enough as is.

        • Hey Frank: none of the best-known atheist writers are or ever were libertarians. You should not assume atheists are libertarians. There perhaps was a time in which this was a reasonable default, but it is not true anymore. I started reading blogs after I found writing by left-wing atheists. By now, they perhaps are the minority.

          However, I’m disinclined to read Internet libertarians whether atheist or not. As far as I’m concerned, the evidence by now is in – privatization and shedding public services increases employment and decreases economic and intellectual activity for the vast majority. Thus evidence-loving intellectuals, atheist or not, must reject libertarianism.

          I know you, Frank, like to draw on the writings of some libertarian writers but unlike them, you would concede that libertarianism is not essential to whatever good ideas they have.

          • I only assume he is a libertarian because I don’t want to be disappointed! Historically, you are quite right. But I have noticed the opposite trend. It seems to be the effect of Ayn Rand.

            Where I’m coming from on the issue is having read some atheist writer and note libertarian (or just straight conservative) thought leaking through. And it drives me crazy for the reason you mention: they claim that they are evidence based, but libertarianism is not evidence based at all.

            I don’t know that I draw on libertarian writers. But there is no doubt that some free market approaches do work to solve problems and reduce suffering. It is just that there aren’t that many. And people who insist upon them are almost always discarding far better collective solutions. I am above all a pragmatist. Whatever works. Libertarianism doesn’t work and libertarians really ought to know this by now.

            Here’s something: libertarianism doesn’t work marginally. That is, most arguments depend upon a perfect system. When societies have taken half measures, they haven’t worked. Libertarians have balked. But with collective action, this isn’t the case. I believe we need a universal basic income. But we can point to the half-measure of Social Security which works great. After the financial crisis of 2008, libertarians only response was, “There was still too much regulation!” Systems almost never work that way where they get worse and worse until the very end when they suddenly work. If something is a good idea, half that something will usually help.

    • There actually was a lot of awesome 12th century science. Sadly, many people were more open minded back then than they are now. But you are right: Logicked’s videos are wonderful. I’m very impressed — obviously.

      I like your blog! Santa Cthulhu is great. As for Cuba, I doubt anyone will take relations with the US as Cuba succeeding. Those who admire the regime, already do so (in fact, relations with the US may be seen as capitulation). The US policy has always been shortsighted — as it continues to be with Iran.

  3. Thanks, Frank. This was a nice surprise. I’m glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed some of my videos. Have you been keeping up with the newer Kent Hovind series? It’s far superior, because I no longer have ears. Everyone loved to complain about the ears.

    I might rattle around in the comments section for a while, if your comment system will stop being so determined to consider me spam and let me post a comment without having to retype the entire thing. Don’t mind me.

    By the way, I feel compelled to urge you to Like/Comment/Subscribe. Don’t be angry. It’s a disorder.

    • I’m glad you discovered the article. I had more or less forgotten about it. Although I hadn’t forgotten about you because you have a memorable look.

      I can’t “like” you because I’m not on Facebook. But I just subscribed, and I will check out your new stuff.

      Thanks for coming by!

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