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Massimo Pigliucci
Rationally Speaking
a monthly e-column by
Dr. Massimo Pigliucci

Author: Dr. Massimo Pigliucci
Subject: Rationally Speaking
Format: Live Chat
Date: July 13, 2003

Dr. Massimo Pigliucci is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he teaches ecology and evolutionary biology. His research is on the evolution of genotype-environment interactions, i.e. on questions of nature vs. nurture.

Massimo spent some time with us on July 13th of 2003 in a casual chat session where we discussed a variety of topics ranging from the creationism vs. evolution debate, nature vs. nurture, and the current state of affairs in American politics. Enjoy reading the below chat transcript and look forward to future chat sessions.

Transcript of live chat session

connected: ezChat version 0.54

Chris OConnor:: Hey Michael!

ZombieHatesYou joined

Chris OConnor:: Hey Zombie

ZombieHatesYou:: Hiya

NaddiaAoC joined

ZombieHatesYou:: Hi Naddia

Chris OConnor:: Hey Cheryl

Chris OConnor:: brb...reading it

ZombieHatesYou:: I just read it.

Chris OConnor:: ok

NaddiaAoC:: Hi weirdos

ZombieHatesYou:: *is not weird!*

ZombieHatesYou:: *tries a different color*

NaddiaAoC:: Anyone with a name like ZombieHatesYou is definitely weird.

ZombieHatesYou:: Oh, pshaw

Kostya@booktalk joined

Kostya@booktalk:: Hi!

ZombieHatesYou:: Hello.

Chris OConnor:: reading....will chat when done

disabledpublishing joined

disabledpublishing:: hi

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi zombie

Kostya@booktalk:: for a minute I thought that no one wants to talk to me

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi kostya

ZombieHatesYou:: Hi Michael

Chris OConnor:: Nah, I am reading the article again...but we can talk about anything

Kostya@booktalk:: Hi Michaelangelo

Chris OConnor:: Massimo debates Creationists

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: is kostya massimo?

Chris OConnor:: and does quite well

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I debate creationists sometimes

ZombieHatesYou:: I debate them, too. I'm a masochist.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: nods

Kostya@booktalk:: I am not Massimo

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hello not massimo

ZombieHatesYou:: lol

Kostya@booktalk:: You asked...

disabledpublishing:: i back from being sick

Kostya@booktalk:: Hi publishing. I am sick as a dog. I have a bad case of flu, so I'll try not to breath on anyone here...

Chris OConnor:: Shauna - I'm glad you are feeling better

Chris OConnor:: I have been on antibiotics for the past week

ZombieHatesYou:: Damn, I wonder what happened to Genryu.

pigliucci joined

disabledpublishing:: do we get to chat casual after the chat

Chris OConnor:: Massimo!

ZombieHatesYou:: I think my phone card is dead, or I'd call him to see where he is.

Chris OConnor:: Welcome!

pigliucci:: Hello everybody!

ZombieHatesYou:: Hello, Massimo.

disabledpublishing:: hi

Kostya@booktalk:: Hi Massimo

NaddiaAoC:: Hi Kostya, Shauna, and Massimo!

Chris OConnor:: Everyone, this is you needed that introduction

Kostya@booktalk:: Hi Naddia

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi Massimo

Chris OConnor:: I was telling them how you debate creationists regularly

Chris OConnor:: and spank them

ZombieHatesYou:: Hehe

pigliucci:: thanks for the invite, Chris.

Chris OConnor:: ...but they don't realize they have been spanked.

Chris OConnor:: We're happy to have you

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Zombie debates horny Pakistanis, and spanks them

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - there is no real format for a chat like this.

NaddiaAoC:: *likes to be spanked*

NaddiaAoC:: *wishes she was a creationist*

Chris OConnor:: Oh boy Cheryl

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: :spanks often

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - in time I will have chat software that enables an interview style chat

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: this is like booktalk as done by Fox

Meme Wars joined

Chris OConnor:: But as it is now we just have a casual chat

Chris OConnor:: Welcome Meme

Chris OConnor:: More will soon arrive

NaddiaAoC:: Michael: Damn, I was hoping it was the HBO version.

disabledpublishing:: yes happy to have you

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: casual chats are way better, you get into topics you wouldn't expect and you get more surprises

NaddiaAoC:: Hi Meme

Meme Wars:: Hello!

Chris OConnor:: Michael - I agree.. The chat with Professor Dawkins was fun and casual

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: moderated chats seem to kill the energy of the group and make it more predictable

Chris OConnor:: He enjoyed it

pigliucci:: yeah, casual chats tend to be a bit confusing given that you are always answering a comment made several seconds earlier (and many lines ago... ;-), but I'll do my best.

Chris OConnor:: Michael - I agree

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: I think I found a phone card that works. I am going to go try to track down Genryu. I know he didn't want to miss this. The absentminded Buddhist may have forgotten what time the chat was.

ZombieHatesYou:: So, tra la. brb.

Chris OConnor:: Ok, Zombie

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: also, the smarter you are the more you can use casual chat as a vehicle for good ideas without making them dull

ZombieHatesYou left

disabledpublishing:: tell us about you work

NaddiaAoC:: Massimo: What are you talking about? J/K

Chris OConnor:: probably true

pigliucci:: about my work, let's see...

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I think much of Unweaving the Rainbow was along the same lines as your lastest article

pigliucci:: I study what biologists call genotype-environment interactions, i.e., the way in which nature and nurture (genes and environments) interact.

disabledpublishing:: i read your work today

pigliucci:: Chris, yes, there is much I agree with in Rainbow. Which is interesting, because I usually disagree quite a bit with Dawkins.

Meme Wars:: You do?

NaddiaAoC:: Wow. How interesting! That's along the lines of what we're reading in Pinker's book now.

pigliucci:: disable, which work?

Meme Wars:: Examples?

Chris OConnor:: People tend to categorize skeptics, or science-minded people, as immora or unimaginative or all sorts of nonsensical things

Chris OConnor:: immoral*

pigliucci:: naddia, yes, and I'm afraid I have my large bit of disagreement with Pinker as well... ;-)

disabledpublishing:: july 2003

Meme Wars:: I love to hear about those disagreements.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - if you want to share some of the ways which you don't agree with Dawkins feel free.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: kids in school hate math geeks..probably because they hate math

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - share that too!

Chris OConnor:: Meme - me too!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: scientists are the "school nerds" even in adulthood

ZombieHatesYou joined

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: tell me how you spanked dawkins

Chris OConnor:: Welcome back Zombie

NaddiaAoC:: Massimo: Wow. I would love to read your differing views.

ZombieHatesYou:: Thanks. His line was busy...I suppose he'll show up if he can.

pigliucci:: examples? of gene-environment interactions? well, like plants capable of producing different kinds of leaves when they live in different light environments or animals capable to develop different kinds of jaws (e.g., fishes) depending on the diet they are fed while growing.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - the same plants producing different leaves when exposed to different types of light sources?

pigliucci:: Chris, yup, exactly.

pigliucci:: about Dawkins...

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - Dawkins would not accept this?

Meme Wars:: Or identical twins exposed to different diets?

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - you do specialize in plant evolution correct? I think I have read that on your site.

pigliucci:: I actually met him a couple of times, and I like the guy. We disagree on the role of genes in evolution. he sees all evolution from a "gene's eye-view", while I consider genes just one among many players in the game.

Meme Wars:: I believe Pinker asserted as much.

pigliucci:: Chris, yes, my actual scientific work is on plants.

NaddiaAoC:: Massimo: So are you saying that you more strongly favor the nuture side than the nature side? Is that how you disagree with Pinker?

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - excellent stuff! Ok, name some other players? Group selection?

disabledpublishing:: what do you thank about scienits that belive in god

Chris OConnor:: Shauna - uh oh

Chris OConnor:: lol

Meme Wars:: 40% genes, 10% parenting, 50% environment.

pigliucci:: I'm going to be able to address only one out of three questions here... ;-)

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - take which ever one is more fun to far as the 3

NaddiaAoC:: LOL. We're going to have to schedule private chats with Massimo.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: scientists who believe in God should be tortured and burned at the stake after giving a public statement denouncing theism

Meme Wars:: But the environment factor is more how it accidently affects embryology.

pigliucci:: so, no, I'm not a "nurturist", but I think the key to the problem is in how genes interact with their environments. while it is true that genes code crucial info for the building of an organism, it's also true that genes by themselves do absolutely nothing.

Chris OConnor:: Naddia - there will be no spanking.

Chris OConnor:: interesting

Chris OConnor:: Michael - ummm...ok

NaddiaAoC:: Chris: SHHH! Don't give me away!

disabledpublishing:: dna is alot of ir

pigliucci:: so, I guess I think a better metaphor for genes is to think of them as receipes rather than blueprints. a receipe doesn't make any cake unless there is an apt environment and a lot of other things going on.

Chris OConnor:: I think the key to really understanding the nature vs nurture issue will
be by studying twins

disabledpublishing:: i am studying it now

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - are any of your books about this topic?

Meme Wars:: That is deeply covered in The Blank Slate.

pigliucci:: twins are helpful, but not a panacea. you can't control the environment in which they grow up.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: dna is a liberal myth designed to render us impotent and
helpless so the nanny state can make us into good socialists. Fortunately God won't let
that happen, because Armageddon is coming soon. Did I mention hell?

NaddiaAoC:: *wouldn't mind studying a pair of 20 year old male twins*

Meme Wars:: But one does know the environment is different.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: naddia, are you an intellectual groupie?

pigliucci:: I haven't read the Blank Slate yet, but I have read other works by Pinker, and I would be surprised if he paid more than lip service to the role of the environment... ;-)

Meme Wars:: And that is all that statistically matters.

pigliucci:: naddia, you are incorregible... :-)

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - very true. And two twins in the exact same household are still
experiencing completely different environmental conditions. They are not treated the same and do not occupy the exact same space and see things identically o their twin. There is simply no way to mirror perfectly.

NaddiaAoC:: Michael: What does "intellectual" mean?

Meme Wars:: He pays alot of service to Environment, but not in the nurturing role.

ZombieHatesYou:: It's a dirty word, Naddia. Best not to speak of it.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: maybe it works to say "the stable parts of the environmentthat are constant from generation to generation influence genes more than transitory events"

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: naddia--like reading books and stuff

NaddiaAoC:: Zombie: That's what I thought.

disabledpublishing:: what role dose dna play

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I sure hope environment is a major factor.

pigliucci:: I have argued in print that the nature-nurture problem is currently unsolvable for humans (while we know a lot about it in plants and some animals) because you can't do the right experiments. that's because of both logistics (it takes 30 years to grow a human...) and, obviously, ethical considerations.

Meme Wars:: Yes, but not in a way that is pleasant.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: DNA has tyrannized and oppressed us too long. We must bomb it.

NaddiaAoC:: Michael: I only read books with thick cardboard pages that play songs when you turn the pages.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - good point

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: naddia--ok, you're just a regular groupie who got lost en route to the phish concert

Meme Wars:: Identical twins, one gets virus, other does not. They are now steering a different embryological path.

disabledpublishing:: i sill new to dna

pigliucci:: meme, right, good example.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: how much does the chemistry in the womb affect development?

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - can't we approximate the contributions of both nature and nurture? Of course we cannot solve this 100% where we know exactly how much each contributes, but surely we can make some progress.

Meme Wars:: That is why Pinker assigned parenting from 0 to 10 percent influence.

Meme Wars:: This confuses readers, when he also says environment has 50% influence.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: environment and genes evolve together. Every species has genes that somehow reference or address genes in every predator and prey in the chain

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the meaning of a gene is how it plays out in the whole

pigliucci:: Chris, again, I'm skeptical in the case of humans. We can say that genes definitely affect human behavior, and we can say that the environment definitely does too. What we have no experimental handle on is the interaction between these two factors. Unfortunately, in animal systems this interaction sometimes overwhelms the individual contributions of genes and environments.

Meme Wars:: Environment being time and nature of events affecting morphology and embryology--by the way, embryological effect continue until death.

pigliucci:: meme, it is exactly that sort of percentage assignment that Pinker does that makes no sense at all from a biological perspective. he is just making numbers up.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I see what you're saying

disabledpublishing:: you right chirs we don't know how much it play

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - But 76.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Chris OConnor::

pigliucci:: :-)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: which spot?

Meme Wars:: It is from a combination of twin studies and also studies of parents raising children not genetically related to them.

Chris OConnor:: haha

Chris OConnor:: nice Michael

pigliucci:: I'm sure naddia would answer: the g-spot!

ZombieHatesYou:: You lie, Chris. It's 77.2 %. Let's not try to mislead the people.

Chris OConnor:: ROFLMAO

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hey, don't steal naddia's lines

Chris OConnor:: thats too funny

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: leave some conversation material for the others

Chris OConnor:: Naddia can't speak after that one

Chris OConnor:: haha

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: naddia, can you wait till after the discussion to do that?

NaddiaAoC left

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: uh oh

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - oh she left!

disabledpublishing:: what do a skaite meant

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we crashed her computer

Chris OConnor:: She will be back

Chris OConnor:: hehe

Meme Wars:: These detailed multiple studies showed that parents and peers have little to no effect on developement.

NaddiaAoC joined

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - Did you create the term "rationalistic fallacy?"

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: peers only affect the gene pool they pee in

ZombieHatesYou:: Welcome back, Naddia.

NaddiaAoC:: OMG! Chris, did you freeze me? That's just wrong!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: our witty banter crashed your computer

pigliucci:: meme, there is little human plasticity (i.e., response to the environment) for morphological traits, but we have abundant evidence that behavioral traits are a different kettle of fish.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - maybe I should be paying you Royalties, because I use that all the time

Chris OConnor:: Naddia - I didn't and wouldn't do that

Timothy Schoonover joined

Chris OConnor:: Tim!

Chris OConnor:: Welcome!

NaddiaAoC:: No. I could read what you were writing but couldn't reply. I think I was being pinned down by a demon.

Timothy Schoonover:: Hello

NaddiaAoC:: Timothy!

ZombieHatesYou:: Hello, Timothy.

pigliucci:: Chris, I don't know if I came up with the term rationalistic fallacy for the first time, but I never heard it anywhere else. no royalties needed...

Chris OConnor:: I liked your essay on The Rationalistic Fallacy.

disabledpublishing:: hi tim

Chris OConnor:: I have committed this fallacy over and over.

Meme Wars:: Yes, but the behavioral traits are unpredictable, even in stable environments.

Chris OConnor:: But sometimes thowing logic at a mystic will eventually impact them

Timothy Schoonover:: I seem to remember seeing rationalist fallacies applied to Descartes

Timothy Schoonover:: err fallacy

pigliucci:: I think the RF explains a lot of frustration by rationalists who try to simply explain to others certain things, and then naively expect them to walk away with their minds changed.

Meme Wars:: The results one seeks in a controlled environment are often not the ones that are desired or predicted.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the rationalist phallus

disabledpublishing left

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Measuring the Rationalist Phallus is a good book title

pigliucci:: the RF doesn't mean that there is no point in arguing or explaining. Just that it may take going at it several times and from different points of view.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I liken that to clipping weeds at the base. You have to get to the roots or the weeds will continue to grow. Explain one mystery and you have clipped a weed...maybe. But teach people how to think critically and you remove the weeds roots.

NaddiaAoC:: It takes SO much thinking and honest contemplation for a mystic to come around to a rational way of thinking. Something you say may eventually impact them, but it won't happen overnight.

disabledpublishing joined

NaddiaAoC:: Michael: I agree! And it should have lots of pictures!

ZombieHatesYou:: Sometimes, things that seem so right and logical in our own minds...we expect others to see that immediately, too. That's the sort of mindset you find in fundamentalist theists, methinks, too.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: :agrees

pigliucci:: Timothy, Descartes was a rationalist, and he did engage in some fallacious argumentation, but I never actually read that term applied to his work by any professional philosopher.

disabledpublishing:: i got booted '

Timothy Schoonover:: I could be wrong, its only a vague suspicion

NaddiaAoC:: Chris: Very true.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: vague suspicions are enough for the president

Timothy Schoonover:: we must liberate descartes then?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we can trust them

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: yes

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: free him from our skulls

Meme Wars:: What are the top disagreements you have with Dawkins and Pinker?

Timothy Schoonover:: hehe, before he's uses weapons of mind destruction

Timothy Schoonover:: ugh i can't type

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I know you're not a big fan of George Bush.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: math destruction

Chris OConnor:: Ahh...we can stick with Pinker and Dawkins

disabledpublishing:: i never saw your work before today

pigliucci:: Meme, I disagree with both Dawkins and Pinker about the role of genes in evolution, as I mentioned earlier. And it isn't a matter of percentages, I just think of genes and environments in a different way from what they seem to.

Meme Wars:: Could you clarify?

Chris OConnor:: Disabled - Massimo has several books you might want to look into. And there are many chat transcripts available where he debates pseudoscientists like Duane onle.

Chris OConnor:: online*

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I am a fan of Bush, I think his character has a lot of depth. To be such a tragically flawed person who wants to please so can't fake that kind of acting. He believes in his character.

pigliucci:: Chris, the one about Bush is probably the understatement of the month... ;-)

disabledpublishing:: ok

pigliucci:: Michael, sadly, I think there is a lot of truth in what you say.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I know...and it would be fun to talk about.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'm wondering if Cheney or Rumsfeld had the wmd reference put into the speech without telling george it was iffy

LanDroid@booktalk joined

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: or if george knew

pigliucci:: Chris, where do you want to start?

ZombieHatesYou:: I was at the Ann Arbor street art fair today, and I saw a bunch of people wearing shirts with Bush's face on them. It said 'International Terrorist' on the shirt. I thought that was good.

NaddiaAoC:: Hi LanDroid!

Chris OConnor:: Massimo is Italian and I'm sure has a completely different perspective on world events...sees things from within and without

LanDroid@booktalk:: Howdy y'all!

Timothy Schoonover:: He believes his job is to rid the world of evil

NaddiaAoC:: Kostya: Are you still here?

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I am bothered by how the world views the US

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Italians would never win office in the US

Kostya@booktalk:: Naddia, yes I am here

Timothy Schoonover:: i dunno, though, at that level of politics, is *anything* truly innocent?

Chris OConnor:: Welcome LanDroid

Meme Wars:: Neither would Brights!

NaddiaAoC:: Kostya: Good! I have to keep track of my fellow Cincinnatians!

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I loved your article on the US being a rogue nation...but I don't necessarily agree

Timothy Schoonover:: So have any of you looked into this Deist thing regarding Pinker?

pigliucci:: My perspective is more European than Italian, and I am very weary of not coming across as a snoddy foreigner who just wants to criticize.. Then again, the second national Italian sport is criticizing one's own government (you know what the first Italian sport is, right?)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: If the guerilla war in Iraq lingers, it may actually encourage Jihaad, by showing that US soldiers can be killed.

Kostya@booktalk:: Naddia, I see.

disabledpublishing:: i won't vote for bush next year

LanDroid@booktalk:: Kostya's from Cincy too? I'm in Greenhills.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - No, what?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: pig--we criticize our government too, we just act offended when others do it

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - making love?

pigliucci:: Chris, soccer!

Chris OConnor:: hahaha

Chris OConnor:: Ok

Meme Wars:: Bush has made such a mess, I feel sorry for any President that will have to clean up after him and try to save face with our european allies.

Chris OConnor::

ZombieHatesYou:: lol...Soccer.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and we fear criticizing while we feel afraid or in need of leadership

pigliucci:: Well, all right, there's that too... ;-)

Chris OConnor:: hehe I thought so

Kostya@booktalk:: LanDroid, I am in Fairfield

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the liberal backlash should come within a few years though

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: maybe even in 2004

LanDroid@booktalk:: All righty, just up the road a lil' piece...

pigliucci:: Chris, I'm interested in your disagreement with my article on the US as a rogue nation. what in particular?

Timothy Schoonover:: I support you on it : )

disabledpublishing:: we are like rome takeing over

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - Do you feel that Bush lied to the world about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction?

NaddiaAoC:: I actually live in Northern Kentucky, but for the sake of having people assume I'm literate I say that I'm from Cincinnati.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - Ok, here is my disagreement

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think the US actually has very open goals. It wants to transform the middle east into a zone of trade on the belief that trade prevents war (basically true) and that it's profitable

ZombieHatesYou:: *looks around for the WMD...even looks under the couch* No WMD. Hmm...

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I don't know if Bush lied or was lied to

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: one or the other

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I don't see a single country in the world that is willing to put its citizens in harms way to help other people.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the WMD were probably sold to someone outside Iraq if they existed

pigliucci:: Chris, I think Bush knowingly embellished things in the belief that he is right. I saw Gish doing something like that during a debate on creationism. As Martin Luther said, a lie is not a lie if it is in the service of god...

Timothy Schoonover:: Hm, michael, there is also a big investment in trading arms in that area too

Meme Wars:: Bush is not in harms way.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: timothy--true

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and oil

disabledpublishing:: are bush bulling a empie

pigliucci:: Chris, but that's my point: it should not be a single country, it should be a matter for the UN.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - Take Liberia for example. Maybe I am ignorant of all the ways we would profit from helping Liberia, but on the "surface" it looks like any future military action we might take would be taken for the explicit goal of assisting the people

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: but it's mostly about a vision of tyranny being ended by whoever has the balls to do it, and freedom leading to prosperity for all

Meme Wars:: I believe the embargo was working.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it's sort of a myth but an appealing one for americans

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it's how we prove our manhood as a nation

Timothy Schoonover:: Saudi Arabia is the #1 US Arms purchaser

Meme Wars:: But that the U.S. was not surviving the embargo (oil).

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: I can't see how it's 'helping people.' I mean, it certainly wasn't an altruistic act for us to go in there and bomb Iraq all to bits.

Meme Wars:: And wanted to cut it short.

LanDroid@booktalk:: I disagree with the war and think Bush & Co. lied about WMD, but "Bush = Terrorist" and "US = Rogue Nation" goes way too far...

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Liberia would only be to help the people, which is why we're not as interested in a big investment

ZombieHatesYou:: Bush thought we could gain from it.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I agree about the UN, but why doesn't the UN get some balls?

pigliucci:: Chris, interesting about Liberia (by the way, I was actually born there, but that's another story). I think that's why Bush is so hesitant: no oil, no strategic interest, just helping people, so why risking political fallouts?

Timothy Schoonover:: What can they do Chris?

Chris OConnor:: Zombie - I disagree

NaddiaAoC:: What does WMD stand for?

pigliucci:: Chris, the UN can't get balls if the US keeps castreting them...

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: You're allowed.

ZombieHatesYou:: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Naddia

NaddiaAoC:: Ah, thank you.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Liberia isn't on the axis of evil. The Axis of evil is seen as the middle eastern zone where anti-american dictators rule over resources they don't deserve

Meme Wars:: And the U.S. has yet to pay up on its dues.

disabledpublishing:: any one wants us to rule thw world

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the neoconservatives are right about the need for a transformative policy, but wrong about how they go about it

pigliucci:: It seems to me the US wants it both ways: it is international community when they need help, it is my way or no way when others disagree. not very democratic, is it?

LanDroid@booktalk:: Bush may get involved in Liberia because of the backlash after we did nothing in Rhuwanda (sp?).

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it should be a global effort, not something done by one country on its terms

ZombieHatesYou:: Agreed, Massimo.

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - here is my reasoning. Forget the oil and profits. Anytime people are being abused, oppressed and killed...the world needs to stop it. It pisses me off when I hear about women being raped and people starving. We all must fight this crap together.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: pig--yes, exactly (did he just call him "pig?" LOL)

JPRT464 joined

Meme Wars:: The secret energy meeting were about Iraq, I am sure.

ZombieHatesYou:: Rwanda, LanDroid.

Meme Wars:: Otherwise, why were they secret?

LanDroid@booktalk:: The U.S. wants Ted Turner to keep picking up the tab for the U.N.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Bush has no concept of multilateralism. His brain is pure linear and he relies on his staff to keep him informed, and they all have limited interests

NaddiaAoC:: Hi JPRT

Timothy Schoonover:: That sort of stuff happens all the time Chris, it just isn't politically expedient nor in the interests of global stability to pursue that

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and he's a feeling type, so he feels good as long as he can congratulate his people and enjoy the game

pigliucci:: Chris, I'm not disagreeing with you on stopping the crap in the world, I just don't think the current way is the best way (or the most honest way) to do it.

Chris OConnor:: Richard! Welcome

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: That happens right here on US soil. Nothing's done here...why don't we clean up our own backyard before galloping off to save everyone else.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: bush congratulates and praises others because of his own deep desire for praise

Timothy Schoonover:: not that we should just look away

Kostya@booktalk left

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and if hte world won't praise him, it don't exist

ZombieHatesYou:: *pokes a query mark in up there*

disabledpublishing:: he lied about wmd

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: only those who praise bush get an audience

LanDroid@booktalk:: Good goal on "stopping the crap", Chris, but we also are rather isolationist and don't want to be the world's cop - shunning multilateralism makes this worse.

Chris OConnor:: I watched a movie last night and my stomach was turning. What was it called? hmmmm... ith Bruce Willis in Nigeria

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: so you need a stealth movement that praises bush and by praising him, draws him into controversy

ZombieHatesYou:: LanDroid: I like to refer to the US as 'The World's Hall Monitor'

Timothy Schoonover:: I would really like to see our voting system become representative

Meme Wars:: It is quites suspicious the ones rewarded to rebuilt Iraq, with no active open bidding allowed.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we can't be the world's cop...but I think we seek external wars to avoid dealing with our internal toxic memes

ZombieHatesYou:: "YOU! No running in the halls!...psst, bomb that guy. He walks funny."

Meme Wars:: Bush has blatantly awarded those who contributed to his campaign.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: true meme....and these are the people who constantly talk about the good of the free market

Timothy Schoonover:: i agree with you on that michael

LanDroid@booktalk:: Yeah, Zombie, look at who is getting a "free hall pass" these days...

pigliucci:: Meme, and it is astonishing that nobody seems bothered by it!

ZombieHatesYou:: *giggles*

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: pig--we're just coming out of a national fantasy

NaddiaAoC:: LOL Zombie

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I hate to sound like a "cynic" after your last article, but I am not very confident our species can continue on an upward path (culturally and technologically) for much longer.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: fear of emasculation drives males to overrule females and go to war to prove their manhood

ZombieHatesYou:: Naddia: It's funny because it's true.

disabledpublishing:: we will alway be in iriq

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: 911 made us feel castrated and impotent

pigliucci:: Michael, I'm afraid the national fantasy will keep going for some time.

Timothy Schoonover:: the american public needs a straw man to beat...the real problems are just to much trouble to worry about

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and with our rationalist phallus, we had to go forth and recover our self-respect

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: by kicking some ass

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: spanking something

NaddiaAoC:: Zombie: That would make a good newspaper comic.

Meme Wars:: Well, even those Americans that have their doupts about this war, they say little as the gas prices drop for their monster SUV's.

Chris OConnor:: I feel all empires fall and we will someday fall. I don't even mean the US necessarily. I mean humanity.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: strawman politics is very common now

ZombieHatesYou:: Michael: Can't they just compare dick size and get it over with?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: true meme

ZombieHatesYou:: That's all it really is, in the end.

pigliucci:: Chris, read my column on why it isn't desperate to be a liberal semi-optimist... ;-)

Chris OConnor:: How much longer can we keep from a nuke war?

ZombieHatesYou:: 'Mine's bigger...and I'll prove it.'

disabledpublishing:: do you have a web page

Meme Wars:: Yes, and the weakness of the modern world is energy.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: if humanity falls, it will be incredibly painful for those who endure it. They will curse the generations before them for doing nothing.

LanDroid@booktalk:: Long Dong Silver for President!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: just wanted to say that. Resume comparing meme sizes

Chris OConnor:: Lan! Holy &%^^!

Meme Wars:: Iraq has given the USA another 15 years of energy breathing room.

Timothy Schoonover:: rofl landroid

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I will read it

pigliucci:: disable, my web page (assuming you were asking me) is, which right now is not working because of a bizarre problem with my domain name. try the much more difficult to remember:


NaddiaAoC:: LOL Droid!

ZombieHatesYou:: I have to say I find Massimo a much better chatter than I did Mr Dawkins. *end gratuitous flattery here*

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I'm afraid of a nuke war, nuclear winter, and humanity regressing into something similar to the Dark Ages

Timothy Schoonover:: The war cost what, 80 billion, is that figure right?

Chris OConnor:: Zombie lol

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: chris--I'm determined to see that not happen

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: if enough people are also determined, it won't happen

Chris OConnor:: Michael - which is why we are involved in The Big Bang Tango I'm sure

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: Stock up on canned ham, darling.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: but it probably will because of lack of determination

pigliucci:: Chris, I keep thinking it won't happen, but you know, in the general economy of the universe it wouldn't be such a big deal... ;-)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I can imagine the last people, dying from radiation sickness, saying "at least there are probably other planets up there with life"

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - exactly! It really wouldn't. Life would go on. We are one species of millions. The planet would continue.

LanDroid@booktalk:: On the other hand - won't the current difficulties in Iraq and the attitude of the Int'l community make it more difficult for the U.S. attack unilaterally?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: there'd be lots of ufo cults and end times militias

Meme Wars:: Nuclear exchange will not happen on a large scale. Frog jump out of that boiling water pretty quickly. It is the slow rise of temp that boils the frog.

Meme Wars:: And that is the insideous population increase and resource consumption.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: The US may end up trying to take out N Korea's nuclear reactors.

pigliucci:: Meme, the frog analogy was used to great effect in "The Story of B" by DanielQuinn. Excellent book for both optimists and pessimists.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: that would be in character for the white house

Chris OConnor:: Meme - the problem is the male ego. War is almost always the result of the male ego and desire to conquer and dominate. This is my opinion of course.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: chris--and females giving praise to men in uniform

JPRT464:: Chris, did you see Jared Diamond's article in the Atlantic on how civilizations collapse (reviewing some interesting conclusions about the collapse of the Maya) and we have no reason to believe that ours is exempt.

Meme Wars:: Never heard of that book.

ZombieHatesYou:: Michael: I met a group today that advocates colonizing Mars...speaking of ufo cults.

LanDroid@booktalk:: In character Michael, but still difficult to believe after the horrors of the Korean war...

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: if our civilization collapsed, at least bookburning would be difficult

disabledpublishing:: thank you for the page

Meme Wars:: Behind every male is a female to take in the booty.

NaddiaAoC:: *prefers a man out of uniform*

Chris OConnor:: One person does something stupid and the next has to look like a man/leader and they do something stupid. Before you know it the sky is filled with ICBM's

Timothy Schoonover:: If Jeremy were here, he'd say the male ego and its concurrent dilemmas are instintual

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Lan--the current leaders don't really like ground wars. They like bombing things.

Meme Wars:: If males laide down their arms, the women would be fit to be tied!

Chris OConnor:: ummm...ok Meme

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we wouldn't go into N Korea on foot, we'd bomb them and then say "oh no! now we have to send troops" when N Korea attacked

Meme Wars:: They would say, "Be a man! Get out there and get me some resources for my nest!"

Chris OConnor:: So what do we do about North Korea Massimo? Nothing?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: meme--yes

disabledpublishing:: we are falling face it

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "be a man" is what it's about

Chris OConnor:: Is it really none of our business? By "our" I mean the entire civilized world.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: when society lets women sexually taunt men, that's what they get

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we must upholster our women

pigliucci:: Chris, on N Korea we engage the international community, starting with China. which is exactly what it's been done. noticed how the US hasn't invaded yet.

LanDroid@booktalk:: Yes Michael, that's a given and a disaster I think they will avoid. I don't think they're THAT dumb.

Chris OConnor:: Michael - what fabric?

ZombieHatesYou:: lol @ upholster

ZombieHatesYou:: With shag carpeting?

Timothy Schoonover:: I don't think we'll bomb NK

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I agree with that. China has more at stake too. They should be involved.

ZombieHatesYou:: Fashionable. And functional, if it's stain-resistant. Also keeps us warm in winter.

Meme Wars:: North Korea doesn't have any resources for us, um, I mean oil.

LanDroid@booktalk:: Michael, what does "We must upholster our women" mean? Kink?

Chris OConnor:: Meme - Do you really think all US foreign policy revolves strictly around oil?

Timothy Schoonover:: Nor is it politically teneble for the current admin, then really be called warmongers

Meme Wars:: Yes.

disabledpublishing:: we will bomb nk

Meme Wars:: Examine history.

pigliucci:: notice that N Korea has asked all along for dialogue, they want help, but we (the US) don't want to be seen as "making concessions". Like Israel with the Palestinians, which is why they keep bombing the hell out of each other.

ZombieHatesYou:: It's probably a big chunk of it, Chris. I wouldn't say all of it, though.

Timothy Schoonover:: Chris, it revolves around self-interest

LanDroid@booktalk:: Yes, somehow force Japan and China to take the lead on North Korea.

Timothy Schoonover:: and it always has

Meme Wars:: North Korea has nothing to offer us.

Chris OConnor:: Meme - I sure hope you're wrong. At this point I have to have more confidence in the people running the show. I know most/all of you don't share this optimism.

Timothy Schoonover:: when oil serves the self interest of the US, then it revolves around oil

Meme Wars:: We are out for ourselves.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it's not all about oil

disabledpublishing:: we are the ruler of the world now'

ZombieHatesYou:: Good point, Massimo.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it's about honor, feeling non-impotent

Timothy Schoonover:: That's worth repeating Meme

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the idea that you must strike back when hit

Meme Wars:: North Korea is a pesky mosquito we hope others are more irritated with.

Timothy Schoonover:: Self-preservation, the only moral absolute

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: bush was raised with spankings, so he needs to spank

Chris OConnor:: Tim - everything revolves around rational self-interest. It is in our best interest to do something about N. Korea because if we don't they can become a threat to us. There is nothing wrong with doing things for your own interests.

LanDroid@booktalk:: Important fact: I am currently drinking a dark beer named "Old Leghumper". AHAHAHAAAAAA! It has a photo of a dog learing at some female human legs on the bottle. Deeelish!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: sometimes honor comes ahead of self-preservation

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the nazis were all about honor and should have known they'd lose

Meme Wars:: Its also about trade, profit, cheap labor (Oh yes, Korea might have cheap labor!)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: suicide bombers are after honor, even though it never works

ZombieHatesYou:: *has a bottle of Rat Bastard root beer around here somewhere*

pigliucci:: there is an interesting book by Kaplan on "warrior ethos" and how the US is talking Christian values but in reality adopting the "end-justifies-means" attitude of the ancient Romans.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I agree, massimo

NaddiaAoC:: Tim: How is self-preservation a "moral" absolute?

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I agree too

Meme Wars:: Yes, end justifies means.

Timothy Schoonover:: yes, but US self-interest impinges upon the self-intesrest of other states, and cannot therefore be called rational chris

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we may be unconsciously provoking terrorism against ourselves in a self-defeating way

Timothy Schoonover:: it was a cynical remark naddia

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: self-interest also requires cooperation

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: or at least marketing

disabledpublishing:: i agee piglucci

Timothy Schoonover:: but you must value you your own preservation, otherwise you have nothing left to value

Meme Wars:: But not at the expense of others.

pigliucci:: Timothy, self-interest is not necessarily irrational. It becomes so if by pursuing it to the extreme one ends up causing arm to oneself, like any time you live in a community rather than on a deserted island.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: timothy--nobody would serve in an army then

Chris OConnor:: Tim - have you read any Ayn Rand? She is big on rational self-interest. Self interest doesn't mean always doing what is in your own best interest at that moment. The qualifier is the word "rational."

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: is it self interest of the tribe, or self-interest of the species?

Meme Wars:: We are way beyond self preservation!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: or of the individual?

disabledpublishing:: we like romes

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: survival of the family is seen as lower than survival of the nation

ZombieHatesYou joined

Meme Wars:: With our huge homes and monster SUV'S!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: amen meme

NaddiaAoC:: But honor is a form of self-preservation. There is no honor without the awareness of an audience. Whether its an eternal life you're preparing for yourself or glory in the minds of your contemporaries, it's still a form of self-preservation.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we're consuming out of guilt for overconsuming

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: a viscous cycle

pigliucci:: Chris, Ayn Rand, there is another person I vehemently disagree with, even more than with Dawkins or Pinker...

Timothy Schoonover:: Chris: Yes I have, I've studied her, not extensively, but scholastically at least...and that was my point

Meme Wars:: We are doing what we can to keep energy cheep so americans can continute to waiste it and our children's future.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: honor is symbolic self-preservation with reference to status in a pack

LanDroid@booktalk:: Yes Meme, and bombing a bankrupt country inspected by U.N. and patrolled no-fly zones...

Chris OConnor:: It is the US rational best interest to strive to make the world free from tyranny. Why? Because we don't want it in our personal lives, and if we allow it to exist elsewhere it could someday be imposed on us.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: ayn rand's mental type bothers me...they tend to be clueless socially and justify it through snobbery

LanDroid@booktalk:: Oh good, what are your disagreements with Dawkins and Pinker?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: like my country for example

Chris OConnor:: Ayn Rand came from a totally oppressed society and she is a bit biased

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: tyranny prevents free trade which is the best way to prevent war

Tim OConnor joined

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: open economies fight against closed ones

NaddiaAoC:: Hi Tim

Timothy Schoonover:: She is horribly biased...she wants laissez faire capaitalizm for one

Tim OConnor:: Hello

Chris OConnor:: Tim O'Connor! My older brother folks!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: true chris...the neoconservatives are also influenced by the soviets

Chris OConnor:: Welcome Tim

Meme Wars:: No, we supoorted the Shah of Iran, Saddam, and supported "has been Laden"

pigliucci:: Lan, sorry, but we went into that earlier, and I would hate to bore the others by repeating it. we can talk about it again some other time.

LanDroid@booktalk:: Welcome older bro!

ZombieHatesYou:: Shoot. My son is crying. brb

disabledpublishing:: hi tim

LanDroid@booktalk:: Oh sorry, I came in late...

Chris OConnor:: Lan - it will be in the chat transcript

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we support our future enemies often

Meme Wars:: We support countries that surpress their people as long as they are not communist and will give us good deals for our corporations.

NaddiaAoC:: Zombie: Just give him a big dose of Benadryl. That should quiet him for the night.

Chris OConnor:: Laissez Faire would NEVER work

Chris OConnor:: Under Laissez Faire a company could by the lot next to your house and build a chemical plant

Chris OConnor:: Don't like it? Move

Chris OConnor:: Is this room lagging?

LanDroid@booktalk:: I used to like A. Rand, but tired of the zero tolerance of gray areas and the "with me or against me" mentality.

NaddiaAoC:: I don't thinks so.

NaddiaAoC:: You're the only one talking. Hehe.

Timothy Schoonover:: I'm getting warp messages

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: rand wasn't very self-aware, she identified with her writing persona and wasn't so good at accepting her emotional self

pigliucci:: Chris, I agree (on laissez faire). it's amazing how many people think that "the market will take care of it". It did with Enron, eventually, but it also left hundreds of thousands of people without jobs or retirement acounts...

disabledpublishing:: i don't know her work

Meme Wars:: Yes, but Laissez Faire won't work because it cannot solve the dillema of the "Tragedy of the Commons".

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: kind of the opposite of bush

Tim OConnor:: The Shah was an angel compared to what the good people of Iran have in his place ...

LanDroid@booktalk:: Waddya mean laissez-faire would noever work? That is what Rand advocated!

LanDroid@booktalk:: noever = never

Timothy Schoonover:: The welfare state is preferable to laissez faire

Meme Wars:: And the winners of laissez-faire will eliminate their competition and end competition.

Chris OConnor:: I am a 3/4 Objectivist.The Laissez Faire stuff is ludicrous

Timothy Schoonover:: its just a huge economically polarizing machine used to justify gross wealth and severe poverty

LanDroid@booktalk:: Rand wanted ZERO Gov't regulation, ZERO power over business enterprise freedom. Ridiculous.

NaddiaAoC:: What's Laissez-Faire? Is that extreme liberalism?

pigliucci:: Timothy, the welfare state has problems of its own. I prefer a system of managed capitalism, which is what most European nations have adopted. The US does that too, but I think it is too close to the free market end of the spectrum.

Timothy Schoonover:: It's extreme capitalism

disabledpublishing:: i behind on my reading

Chris OConnor:: Naddia - No, it is a hands-off policy where the government doesn't get involved in regulating is a free for all where the market is supposed to take care of itself.

Timothy Schoonover:: I don't know enough about economics to make a decision massimo

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think laissez -faire is fine until it interferes with people's rights

LanDroid@booktalk:: Laissez-faire, French basically for "let do" or "let it alone" - total free market capitalism without Gov't regulation.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: if it leads to monopoly, consumers should have some way of organizing to change it

pigliucci:: Timothy, I doubt anybody knows enough about economics, starting with the economists... ;-)

NaddiaAoC:: Chris: Is that only regarding the economy, or does it include social and moral issues as well?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and since people can't address every issue that way, the government has to do some regulating

Timothy Schoonover:: its only good for the bougeousie (sp?)

Chris OConnor:: Naddia - Almost no government regulation at all. If people don't like what you are doing they won't buy your goods or services.

Timothy Schoonover:: the propertied classes

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: people tend to forget why systems are in place, assuming that getting rid of one thing will fix everything

Chris OConnor:: Naddia - Good question. I think just the economy.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: but you start removing safety nets and regulations randomly and you find out why they're there

Chris OConnor:: Michael - exactly.

Meme Wars:: Yes, aggree with pigliucci--managed capitalism for the good of the people. An Engine needs a throttle, otherwise it will wreck with passengers inside!

disabledpublishing:: all stocks are down'

ZombieHatesYou:: All right. I am back.

pigliucci:: Meme, good way to put it.

Timothy Schoonover:: To be honest, I lean more towards Marxism economically than anything else

NaddiaAoC:: Zombie: WB

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Hitler thought he could simplify everything and get rid of "impotent bureaucracy" and he screwed everything up and sunk all his energy into a war that couldn't possibly succeed

ZombieHatesYou:: Thank you, Naddia.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: that's how afraid he was of impotence

pigliucci:: Hey guys, I hate to say this, but it has been a (delightful) hour, and it is my bed time. My wife just called... (sorry Naddia ;-)

LanDroid@booktalk:: Good point, Michael - modern conservatives seem to think Gov't programs were installed in a vacuum for no reason whatsoever...

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Lan--exactly

disabledpublishing:: no work

Timothy Schoonover:: Thanks for coming!

ZombieHatesYou:: It was wonderful to chat with you, Massimo.

Chris OConnor:: I'm in real estate and I can give an example....Deed Restrictions. Spend $150,000 on a home and have your next door neighbor open a junk yard and see how much you care for the "freedom" of Laissez Faire capitalism. You instantly loose equity in your home.

LanDroid@booktalk:: Thanks!

NaddiaAoC:: Massimo:

pigliucci:: it was my pleasure. Chris, anytime you want to do this again let me know.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: night massimo

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: you didn't give naddia her spanking

disabledpublishing:: night

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - thank you very much for being our guest!

Chris OConnor::

pigliucci:: good readings and thinking everybody. good spanking naddia.

Timothy Schoonover:: I think one of our next books should be on ECONOMICS\

Chris OConnor:: Massimo - I sure will. Thank you!

Meme Wars:: Thank you for honoring us Pigliucci!

Chris OConnor:: hahah

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: what was the book people liked about the clash of civilizations?

Timothy Schoonover:: night

NaddiaAoC:: This is obviously a spankless group. But thanks for chatting with us, Massimo!

Chris OConnor:: Naddia had her impact on Massimo

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: was it the lexus and the olive tree or a different book?

pigliucci left

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: a spankless task

Timothy Schoonover:: *goan* @ michael

Chris OConnor:: That was fun

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: spankenstein

ZombieHatesYou:: That went really well, I think.

Chris OConnor:: Better than most Thursday night chats for sure

Meme Wars:: I wished we could have followed up on the details of Pigliucci’s disagreement with Dawkins and Pinker.

Chris OConnor:: Zombie - where was Genryu?

ZombieHatesYou:: Much more organized than the Dawkins chat. Genryu will be unhappy he missed it.

ZombieHatesYou:: I have no idea, hon.

LanDroid@booktalk:: The Lucifer Principle mentioned the clash of civilizations.

Tim OConnor:: Chris: that was because I showed up.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: yeah, Lucifer principle was good

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it covered a lot of stuff without being boring

Meme Wars:: It was also a shorter chat. The one with Dawkins lasted almost two hours!

ZombieHatesYou:: He disappeared right before 9, and hasn't been back on. I tried calling, but the line was busy. Something must've come up.

Chris OConnor:: Meme - Yes, that would be relevant. I can get in touch with him and see if he will discuss it on the forums

Chris OConnor:: Yes, Tim O - you saved us!

NaddiaAoC:: Tim: Yes. You were really the gel that held this chat together. Thank you for being here.

disabledpublishing:: now do we have our weekly casual chat

Chris OConnor:: Everyone say hello to my big brother Tim!

Tim OConnor:: No problem Naddia. Glad to help!

ZombieHatesYou:: I did, Timothy. We didn't accomplish much discussion at all.

Timothy Schoonover:: Heyas!

disabledpublishing:: hi tim

NaddiaAoC:: Tim: I don't know. Unfortunately I slept through the Dawkins chat.

Chris OConnor:: Tim - I have received dozens of emails from people who have read that transcript and thought it was a total blast

Meme Wars:: I will be analyzing the chat with Dawkins later.

Chris OConnor:: Well, maybe he was a bit passive

Chris OConnor:: Meme - oh no

Chris OConnor:: LOL

ZombieHatesYou:: I think Mr Dawkins was probably overwhelmed. People were throwing questions at him right and left before he could answer the first ones.

Chris OConnor:: Zombie - you're probably right

ZombieHatesYou:: The end result was sort of chaotic.

Timothy Schoonover:: And since we really didn't have a format, we just went in circles

Meme Wars:: He did come strong against Religion and really into "I'm a Bright!"

ZombieHatesYou:: And he'd never been in a chat before, correct?

Chris OConnor:: As soon as I can get some better software we will have some structure

Chris OConnor:: Zombie - correct

Timothy Schoonover:: I can see that, but I don't know how we could have improved the time

LanDroid@booktalk:: I read the Dawkins transcript, wasn't here, but it was his FIRST chat session and I gather he was a little overwhelmed - not possible to address every query.

disabledpublishing:: chirs can i pm u

ZombieHatesYou:: Right. So that contributed to the chaotic bits.

Chris OConnor:: Shauna - sure.

Chris OConnor:: Yes

Meme Wars:: And I believe Dawkins had the small screen. If he didn't read fast enough, the question was gone before he had a chance to respond.

ZombieHatesYou:: It was wonderful to meet Mr Dawkins, but he was way overwhelmed.

ZombieHatesYou:: I will forgive him.....this time.


Timothy Schoonover:: And also the names, he commented several times on our monikers

disabledpublishing:: i have a few things to ask

Chris OConnor:: I kinda like the chaos. The only solution is to "gag" people and have one or more people interview these authors. Who really wants that? Isn't the fun part actually chatting directly with them?

ZombieHatesYou:: No one ever likes my names...

Timothy Schoonover:: I almost regret pulling that Gluepot stunt

LanDroid@booktalk:: Yeah, had to get used to the "culture".

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: You didn't have to gag anyone with this chat.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: interviews are usually boring

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: real chat forces the guest to actually interact

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it brings out things you wouldn't get in an interview

ZombieHatesYou:: I think this chat was a hell of a lot more productive than the Dawkins chat...

LanDroid@booktalk:: We could have a few pre-organized formal questions perhaps.

Timothy Schoonover:: I agree Zombie

ZombieHatesYou:: Like all the spanking, huahua?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: you could always introduce topics

ZombieHatesYou:: I don't think it's a matter of formal questions...

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: have one or two people whose job is to bring up the central topics whenever people drift

Chris OConnor:: Every scientist will be different

ZombieHatesYou:: Just taking turns.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: yes zombie

LanDroid@booktalk:: Possibly because Massimo is used to chat, internet, etc.

Chris OConnor:: Its a matter of personality

ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: No way? :O

ZombieHatesYou:: =P

Chris OConnor:: Zombie needs a beating

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: imagine an interview..."Would you like to spank any of our readers?"

Timothy Schoonover:: I like the idea of submitting certain discussion topics in advance, so they don't feel like their walking into boiling room or anything

ZombieHatesYou:: Beat me, baybeh.

Chris OConnor:: Michael ROFLMAO

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: did you guys hear about that shooting women with paintballs thing?

NaddiaAoC:: LOL Michael

LanDroid@booktalk:: Damn, I missed the good parts of this chat!

ZombieHatesYou:: "Because they would consider it quite an honor if you gave them a good spanking in the name of science."

Chris OConnor:: Tim - as soon as I get some chat software I will do that

Tim OConnor:: I am gonna run. Thanks for inviting me Chris. Sorry I was late. I had just finished reading Massimo's article and he left

Chris OConnor:: Bye Tim! XOXOXOXOX

Timothy Schoonover:: Nice to meet you Tim

ZombieHatesYou:: Bye Tim

Timothy Schoonover:: I love your name

Timothy Schoonover:: best name in the house

Chris OConnor:: hehe

ZombieHatesYou:: My name is better.

ZombieHatesYou:: *sniffs*

Timothy Schoonover:: yeah but you eat brains!

Chris OConnor:: Horse pucky

ZombieHatesYou:: I do not.

Tim OConnor left

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: now that would liven up intellectual meetings...regular spankings

Chris OConnor:: Good point Tim

NaddiaAoC:: *would definitely be willing to take a good spanking for science*

Timothy Schoonover:: yeshuh!

JPRT464:: I came prepared with some questions for Pigliucci, but the discussion had already sizzled off along those political lines, which are occupying everyone's attention these days.

Chris OConnor:: Ok, I need to save this whole transcript folks

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I always wanted someone to do calculus porn...porno that has math lessons and stuff

Meme Wars:: What were some of those questions?

Timothy Schoonover:: Massimo is an excellent conversationalist

ZombieHatesYou:: I will save it and send it to Genryu. Shame he missed it.

Chris OConnor:: So I am done. This takes a bit of time.

Chris OConnor:: Tim - I agree

MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: like a perverted sesame street with advanced math and stuff

Chris OConnor:: In the future we will host debates

ZombieHatesYou:: Oh, you can't cut and paste

ZombieHatesYou:: How terrible.

Chris OConnor:: I might get some software that allows voice chat too

ZombieHatesYou:: How do you save it if you can't cut and paste?

JPRT464:: Who is the next person we will chat with?

Meme Wars:: JPRTR64, What were some of your questions?

ZachSylvanus joined

Chris OConnor:: JPRT - We hope Stephen Pinker

Chris OConnor:: Zach!

ZachSylvanus:: hi all

ZombieHatesYou:: Hello, Zach.

Chris OConnor:: You slow poke

ZachSylvanus:: Sorry, fell asleep after work

Kostya@booktalk joined

NaddiaAoC:: Michael: OMG. I fantasize regularly about Big Bird.

Meme Wars:: Debates! Cool! B)

Timothy Schoonover:: It's the big pecker isn't it naddia

Chris OConnor:: Ok, you all chat. I am copying this transcript

ZombieHatesYou: Chris!

LanDroid@booktalk: Heeeee!

NaddiaAoC: Tim: Hell yeah

ZombieHatesYou: How do you save the chat if you can't cut and paste?

Timothy Schoonover: Go to text mode zombie

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