Humans, not machines

I Just listened to a Youtuber whom I admire greatly, go off on a seven minute rant on the subject of how much he’d want to set the dogs of reason and unreason upon some unnamed fuckwit who had deeply insulted him at a time when that kind of thing really is not welcome. He decided not to reveal in the end what it was about, because to do so would only make matters worse.

I’m purposely not saying who it is. Who any of the following people are. Figure it out if you must. What I want to say is that people will never have anything to fear from me for being human. Everybody fucks up, bar none.

I follow a fairly accomplished scientist online. He introduced me to the kind of weird crap that young earth creationists use to justify the unjustifiable. To explain away the bleeding obvious. He also showed, without a word out of place, where the arguments used by the current clutch of feminists go wrong. You can’t do that kind of thing without getting a significant number of people very angry at you, and the counter-strategy of both these groups of people are the same: Flinging huge amounts of bullshit at the thorn in their side. People have subjected him to the full repertoire in the Right Thinking People’s arsenal, up to and including making death threats to him and his family, trying to get him fired from his job, celebratory messages on the death of his father, and more. Is anyone really really surprised that he responds in kind now and then? I still follow him.

I follow a famous biologist on-line. Yes, easy to guess from the following. He’s well known for his forceful attacks on religion as such, and he has a lot of bile to spill. He also has a dedicated set of people who are determined to take any of his utterances, twist it into the most unsympathetic meaning possible, then use that travesty against him. If they can’t, they make shit up. Now and then, he formulates his thoughts in ways that may seem callous, tactless. I can usually guess what he meant, but there have been cases where he sould have re-read his words a few times before posting. I still follow him.

I follow a young woman on line. She is a science communicator, and runs a free podcast where she has hour-long conversations with an impressive range of very interesting people. Recently, she became a hero when at a moment’s notice, she helped crowdfund a Muslim apostate’s ticket out of a country where the government would have killed him for renouncing Islam. She also went on television for a company that claims to suck carbon out of thin air and turn it into plastic. To do so, they would have had to suck through a tiny tube a volume of air the size of a skyscraper. I still don’t know why she would get involved with scam artists, but everybody fucks up now and then. I still follow and admire her.

I follow another woman on-line. She makes Atheist-themed videos, women’s rights type videos, and plain funny videos. They are usually a pleasure to watch, and not just because of her looks. She has a wonderful way of getting to the core of a problem and present it in a funny, relatable, and clear way. Recently, she was caught lifting material from other people and presenting it as her own, which she really should not have done. She still makes videos that are every bit as interesting as any of them. I still follow her.

There are a few things that I will immediately dump someone for. But I will always remember that these people are not machines. They do not exist simply for my entertainment, but have lives of their own to lead. I can’t count the number of times where my mouse has hovered over the “send” button of a true bomb of bile, then to decide not to bother. I get offended as much as the next guy, but those who are in the public eye like these people are, have to deal with a true mountain of shit all day.

I will remember they are human. I will remember they are still what I admire them for. And I will still follow them.

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