The Anointed And Free Speech, Part Six

      87 Comments on The Anointed And Free Speech, Part Six

Well, I hadn’t planned another post on The Anointed and free speech, but they keep making it topical.

In case you haven’t already heard, someone at Wikipedia decided to make Dr. Malcolm Kendrick disappear … kind of like in the old Soviet Union when politicians no longer in favor simply disappeared from official photographs of the country’s glorious history. (And that was before Photoshop, which took some talent.)

Dr. Kendrick announced his disappearance on his blog:

I thought I should tell you that I am about to be deleted from Wikipedia. Someone sent me a message to this effect. It seems that someone from Manchester entitled User:Skeptic from Britain has decided that I am a quack and my presence should be removed from the historical record.

To be frank, I am not entirely bothered if I no longer appear on Wikipedia, but I am increasingly pissed off that self-styled anonymous ‘experts’ can do this sort of thing without making it explicit why they are doing it, what their motives are, and if they have any disclosure of interest.

His reasons for trying to get rid of me are the following:

“Malcolm Kendrick is a fringe figure who agues(sic) against the lipid hypothesis. He denies that blood cholesterol levels are responsible for heart disease and in opposition to the medical community advocates a high-fat high-cholesterol diet as healthy. Problem is there is a lack of reliable sources that discuss his ideas. His book The Great Cholesterol Con was not reviewed in any science journals. Kendrick is involved with the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, I suggest deleting his article and redirecting his name to that. Skeptic from Britain (talk) 20:29, 2 December 2018 (UTC)”

Like Kendrick, I don’t care all that much about Wikipedia. Years ago, someone who obviously doesn’t like me or Fat Head created an entry about the film. Yawn. I didn’t care. Someone else later updated the entry to be more balanced. I still don’t care. I’m pretty sure sales of the film have zip to do with Wikipedia either way.

But also like Kendrick, I’m pissed about the urge to stifle dissenting opinions. And it’s not just Kendrick slated to be removed from the historical record. If you check the entries for Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov (assuming you do it quickly), you’ll see the message This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia’s deletion policy. Ravnskov’s deletion notice explains that This article may present fringe theories, without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream view.

Hmmm, now why would someone at Wikipedia want to remove Ravnskov, Kendrick and Eenfeldt just because their ideas are considered “fringe”? Why not simply present their ideas along with criticisms of those ideas and let people decide for themselves? I’ll answer that by quoting from a previous post:

The Anointed aren’t big fans of freedom of speech or of concepts like The Marketplace of Ideas or The Wisdom of Crowds. Two of their most dearly-held beliefs are:

1. They are very, very smart.
2. The rest of us aren’t very, very smart and are often quite stupid.

Consequently, The Anointed don’t view wide-open debate and discussion as opportunities for the best ideas to be discovered and bubble up to the top. They view them as opportunities for the great unwashed masses with their inferior intellects to be fooled and led astray.

One way or another, The Anointed believe they must coerce people who disagree with them into shutting the hell up.

Or just disappearing altogether, at least from the Wikipedia universe.

A few people I follow on Twitter have speculated that Skeptic from Britain is working for Big Food. Maybe. But I have my own two-legged theory: 1) Skeptic from Britain is a disciple of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet, and 2) Wikipedia has been taken over by social-justice warriors.

As the book SJWs Always Lie reminds us, any organization that doesn’t make a concerted effort to stick to its primary mission and avoid an SJW takeover is a candidate for being invaded by SJWs. Once they’re in control, the SJWs steer the organization towards promoting the “correct” ideas and agendas – even if that means harming the organization’s supposed primary mission.

Universities are, unfortunately, a perfect example these days. Read their mission statements, and you’ll see lofty language about a commitment to inquiry, debate, the free exchange of ideas, etc. In reality, college campuses have become ground zero for speech codes and mob protests to shut down (sometimes successfully) speakers the SJWs find offensive. These are not people who believe in a marketplace of ideas.

Earlier this week, a comedian tweeted part of a contract he received from a university where he was slated to perform:

By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion and anti-atheism. All topics must be presented in a way that is respectful and kind.

Yeah, that’s what makes comedy great: staying within carefully crafted guidelines designed to make sure absolutely nobody’s feelings get hurt. Can you think of a single comedian who makes you laugh out loud whose act wouldn’t violate that contract? My act was family-friendly by design, but since I made jokes about my parents getting older (which they loved), I’d fail the “ageism” test for sure.  I had a whole bit on dealing with stupid people that would probably fail the “ableism” rule.

The point is, this contract is typical of what we’re seeing in universities – the supposed centers of inquiry and free expression. And yet the SJWs have turned campuses into do not dare offend us! zones. (Historical footnote: the first big campus protests in the 1960s weren’t about Vietnam. They were about free speech. Oh, the irony.)

As for the connection between SJWs and disciples of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet, I covered that in this post about Walter Willett becoming the co-chair of an organization called The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health. As a reminder, here are some quotes from the organization’s web site explaining why people need to eat less meat:

Food production is notoriously energy-intensive. Reducing the amount of energy used in developed countries’ food systems is an important step to lower GHG emissions and environmental impact.

Food production contributes around a quarter of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. By eating limited amounts of meat or none at all we can reduce methane emissions and improve our diets.

Reducing inequalities between countries and within societies themselves will require a huge boost for those at the bottom of the ladder.

There is also a reverse relationship between food and peace, justice, and strong institutions: A lack of these can also be a root cause of dysfunctional food systems, hunger and poor nutrition. Getting it right on food can both depend on this goal, and strengthen its attainment.

This organization isn’t dedicated to making people healthy.  It’s dedicated to pushing the SJW agenda — and telling us to stop eating meat is part of that agenda.

Yes, I’m sure the people who run Big Food aren’t fans of Kendrick, Ravnskov or Eenfeldt. But based on what I’ve witnessed on social media, the people who really can’t stand anyone who says saturated fats and cholesterol are good for you are the SJW/Plant-Based Diet crowd. By gosh, if you tell people meat and eggs are part of a healthy diet, you’re ruining the planet, promoting inequality, and possibly supporting the repressive imperial patriarchy or whatever.

And so you must be removed from the historical record. Sorry, comrade, but it’s for the good of everyone.

By the way, when I first opened Wikipedia, I was presented with a plea to make a donation to preserve the organization’s independence. Yeah, that’ll happen. Because nothing prompts me to fork over a few bucks like seeing “fringe” ideas stifled.

Based on comments here and on Twitter, I see I wasn’t clear about which posts are for which series, which is a bit confusing because of long gaps between the posts on free speech.

The Anointed And Free Speech is one series, and The Anointed, The Experts, and Knowledge is another. Here are links to both series of posts:

The Anointed and Free Speech, Part One

The Anointed and Free Speech, Part Two

The Anointed and Free Speech, Part Three

The Anointed and Free Speech, Part Four

The Anointed And Free Speech, Part Five

The Anointed And Free Speech, Part Six (this post)

The Anointed, The Experts, And Knowledge … Part One

The Anointed, The Experts, And Knowledge … Part Two

The Anointed, The Experts, And Knowledge … Part Three

The Anointed, The Experts, And Knowledge … Part Four

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87 thoughts on “The Anointed And Free Speech, Part Six

  1. guy

    But Tom, if you don’t donate to Wikipedia, how do you expect it to eliminate the dangerous fringe notions from your tiny, vulnerable plebeian mind?

  2. Martin Levac

    Tom, I really enjoyed that video, but of course I’m fairly strongly biased , so meh, right? Anyways, you said “social justice warriors” and I heard that term before from Jordan Peterson, though only recently cuz it ain’t really my cup of tea. The point is it led me to an article on The Washington Post, titled “Why ‘social justice warriors’ are the true defenders of free speech and open debate” by Mathew A. Sears. Never mind that title, go read it if you haven’t already. Then stop just where he wrote “I’m not so sure” and think for a moment just what that guy actually wrote at that very moment. From where I’m sitting, it’s obvious the guy has no clue what the hell he just said. It went something like this.

    Explains open debate (arguably an accurate description). Proceeds to debate openly why open debate is bad.

    Don’t you just love idjits? It then goes on with an appeal in favor of closed debate between people like him obviously. He calls it “true” inquiry and “true” knowledge. But the most significant thing I got from that is that it’s unquestionable to me at this point that social justice warriors and academics/experts like that guy are indistinguishable.

    1. chris c

      Reminds me of a story back in the seventies, this guy went to an Anarchists’ meeting. They spent most of the meeting arguing whether or not to vote. Then they voted on whether or not to vote. At that point he left and didn’t go back.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        I like the Procrastinators of America club. They still haven’t gotten around to having their first meeting …. although they finally protested the War of 1812.

  3. Sandy

    This is atrocious! They are getting plenty of discussion about it (although it appears they have carried through with the threat and deleted him) but they are obviously angry about all those who disagree, are accusing them of being sent to disagree by Dr Kendrick, and are writing them off as ‘sock-puppets’. A clearer case of the anointed at work might not exist. Wikipedia has totally lost me with this one move, and will not only not get any donations from me, but also won’t get any future clicks from me. I always thought Wikipedia was an online information source, but ‘information’ includes everything…not just that which you agree with. Kind of funny that an internet ‘encyclopedia’ (lol) is trying to control the narrative on the internet. Thank you for sharing this information, as abhorrent as it is.

      1. Em

        Wikipedant “experts” did the same thing for NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), dismissing and obfuscating it as an ineffective pseudoscience… right. Like laying on a couch, popping pills, and talking about your mother for 10 years ever actually helped anybody. Ridiculous.

        I’ll never donate to Wikipedia, and you know what, I’ll take a page from your book, Sandy, and stop clicking, too. There are so many and so much better sources of information out there. Like Tom’s blog. I’m a long-time lurker, first-time poster, big-time fan. Thank you for all that you do, Tom. The world needs this.

  4. Firebird7478

    “By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion and anti-atheism. All topics must be presented in a way that is respectful and kind.”

    Well, that leaves out Cheech and Chong, George Carlin, Sara Silverman, Lewis Black, Tim Allen, Jeff Dunham and “All in the Family” reruns on the common room TV.

      1. chris c

        Was it Lenny Bruce or Uncle Dirty who said “humor is based on pick-on” – it was someone back in the day.

        I watched a hysterical comic who first berated all the black people in the audience for “sucking up all the light”, then all the fat people for spilling out of their seats, then the women. It was hysterical because she was a fat black woman aiming barbs at the social attitudes towards people just like her. Never be allowed on stage today.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yup, even family-friend humor has a target. When all targets are off-limits, there’s no comedy.

  5. Kathy in OK

    “disciples of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet” still makes me smile every time I see it. I guess good comedy never gets old.

    BTW, where’s part five?

  6. Anonymous

    “This article may present fringe theories, without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream view.” Means that they support views held by the majority…nothing else is relevant.

  7. Tom Welsh

    The sad thing is that perhaps 99.9% of Wikipedia is correct, fairly accurate and useful. It has tons of material about science, mathematics, geography, history (with a few soft spots, admittedly), sport, culture… Far more than, for example, Encyclopedia Britannica, which used to be one of the best sources before Wikipedia came along.

    It’s only for contentious subjects that Wikipedia is dangerous and partial. If you avoid recent or current politics, anything to do with celebs (which is easy!) and a few other hazardous zones, you can learn a lot.

    And then, just like the social media sites, they have to go and ruin it for the sake of a few angry crackpots.

    1. Elenor

      Really, go try Infogalactic!

      It’s a fork off WIkipedia — but without the insane censoring! And Malcolm can put up/edit his own page with the truth!! And all of you deciding to run screaming (or march away disgusted) from the horrific censoring and blocking and lying that is becoming a bigger part of WP — can get all the GOOD info at Infogalactic!

      There’s also a “news” page: and a “tech news” page: (The tech news page doesn’t seem to be updated as often; but then, I don’t go to that page much!)

  8. Dianne

    Darn — I wish I’d known about plans to delete Malcolm Kendrick from Wikipedia before I made my most recent donation. It wouldn’t have happened. And it will never happen again.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I hope you and thousands of others make them feel the consequences of their stupidity.

      1. chris c

        I’m writing to explain why I will NEVER donate again and pointing them not only to Malcolm’s blog post on the subject but his previous one, where he sums up the 58 preceding posts on “what really causes heart disease” so they know what they have deleted. The responses from “Wikipedia Editor” and its troll chums are enlightening. I didn’t know they had also gone after Andreeas Eenfeldt but I’m not surprised. Reading Malcolm’s blog just to find other people to delete while ignoring the content says a lot for their intellectual abilities.

        Which particular branch of The Anointed do you think it is? The Vegans/SDA/cereal companies, the drug companies (what a coincidence, another pro-statin study just came out), or all of them?

          1. Walter

            There are plenty of other actors who have motive, means and opportunity. Big Sugar, “Ethical Drug” companies, Nutritionists, American Heart Assassins, Big Grain, Soda Manufactures, Doctors’ associations, Adventists,
            and processed “fodder” manufacturers.

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              Sure, I’m only speculating. But the people he’s targeting are the same people the vegan zealots are always trying to take down.

          2. Stuart

            My money is on the vegans. They don’t like Malcolm and the other LCHF proponents because they advise eating animal products and such heresy just has to be punished dontcha know. I seriously doubt that Malcolm, Andreas et al are a sufficiently serious threat to Big Food and Big Pharma to make it worth their while to indulge in these petty antics, because although these LCHF docs are well-known to us they are not to the general public.

            IMO boycotting Wikipedia because some vegan zealot deleted content that offends his/her crackpot beliefs is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Like Tom Welsh I find Wikipedia useful as a starting point in researching something for the first time but I’m aware of the possibility of bias in any subject likely to attract partisans of whatever stripe. Unless somebody is prepared to fund Wikipedia with a billion-dollar annual budget it has to depend on volunteers to provide both it’s content and it’s moderators. Anyone who has been in the management of a non-profit organisation is familiar with the problem: those who volunteer include a high proportion of egomaniacs, personal aggrandizers, agenda pushers and general ratbags. Since most members aren’t prepared to put their hand up, sometimes the organisation has no choice but to accept them due to lack of any other suitable volunteers. If you don’t like what the moderators are doing on Wikipedia, why don’t you volunteer to be a moderator yourself to redress the balance? That’s a lot more constructive than belly-aching on the internet.

            BTW in the interests of truth in labelling that college’s no-tolerance policy should be renamed the “intolerance of free speech” policy since it allows banning anyone who expresses an opinion they don’t agree with.

  9. Geoff

    When I did a search for Dr. Uffe Ravnskov wiki the first search was for the French wikipedia, which interestingly does not have the threat for deletion notice.

    SJW should be replaced as NPC. These people are not warriors at all.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      True. Warriors take risks. There’s no easier and less risky (no skin in the game) way to boost your own ego than to simply parrot the “correct” positions.

  10. Lori Miller

    Take heart: 95% of survey-takers in Denver and 96% in Indianapolis still want to hear “Baby it’s Cold Outside” on the radio. Maybe stations will start playing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” “The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen,” and “Father Christmas” by the Kinks again. It would be like oldies radio turning back into rock music stations playing irreverent music instead of getting weepy over sick children (which really happened).

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      When “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is interpreted as a date-rape song, you know some people have truly lost their minds.

        1. Lori Miller

          I just discovered Twisted Sister’s version of O Come All Ye Faithful, in the style of We’re Not Gonna Take It, which was to the tune of O Come All Ye Faithful. Lots of treasures on Amazon’s Classic Rock Christmas playlist.

  11. Pascal

    I think the hypocrisy of the SJW movement is the worst part. I’m a disabled closeted-LGBT hispanic multi-raced immigrant atheist-jew. by their standards I should be queen of the underprivileged olympics, but because of my political views (plus I think all this privilege stuff is bunk), I’m treated with contempt. As soon as you stop being a victim all of these labels mean nothing to them. Its only”racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion and anti-atheism” when they are the “oppressed”.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      But they’re very tolerant. They tolerate all races, ethnicities, sexes, gender identities, religions, etc. as long as you agree with them. They are only intolerant of the most important difference, which is a difference in viewpoints.

  12. Wikipedia editor

    This is nothing to do with SJW’s. It is because quacks like Malcolm Kendrick are anti-science. Low-carb dieting is not supported by mainstream science, it lacks robust peer-reviewed scientific evidence. Carbohydrates are not bad! LCHF is a fad-diet and pseudoscience, nothing more than repackaged Atkins bullshit.

    Malcolm Kendrick is a liar, he says cholesterol levels have no effect on cardiovascular disease and gives dangerous medical advice. He writes nonsense to sell books.

    I am glad these low-carb diet nutters are getting deleted from Wikipedia. They are anti-science like this website is!Perhaps Skeptic from Britain will delete a few more of you guys? Hopefully Tim Noakes.

    Michael Greger and John Mcdougall are happy about all this 🙂

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      You are, of course, completely full of shit. Malcolm Kendrick is not anti-science. If you ever bothered to read one of his books, you’d see he is very much committed to good science. That’s why he disputes the Lipid Hypothesis. He points out over and over where the actual science doesn’t support it. He cites the actual data. He points out the inconsistencies. He explains how it’s the “cholesterol kills!” crowd who have to ignore the data in order to believe what they believe. Of course, to grasp all that, you’d not only have to read what he actually writes, you’d have to be intelligent enough to follow the data and the logic.

      However, if you have evidence that he’s told actual lies, feel free to cite it — which you won’t, because you’re a moron.

      1. chris c

        This is the guy with about half a dozen Twitter accounts all featuring musclebrained hulks (there’s a clue) who sells posing pouches for a living. He suffers from roid rage obviously but I don’t know if it’s steroids or hemmorhoids. Both would not be much fun.

        In fact it’s the low fat diet which is the fad, and before it was invented there WERE no epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Since then many uncommon diseases have become commonplace and changed in incidence. The curious thing is that Holy Health Grains didn’t have as much impact then as they do now, I suspect other players like “vegetable” oils, and of course the trans fats derived from them, and currently interesterified fats whose health effects appear not to have been researched. Well we don’ need no steenkin’ research, they are vegan. End of.

          1. chris c


            Someone I know who collects vintage farm machinery reckoned that some of his combines would no longer work in modern wheat because they couldn’t be driven slowly enough to avoid overloading (these were from the sixties).

            Yields of other crops have increased too but not to the same extent. The amount of diesel and chemicals required to grow this stuff doesn’t bear thinking about, and even more will be required in veganworld where there is no manure.

            The other downside of increased yields is the reduction of minerals and other micronutrients as the soil is depleted faster.

    2. ghost whistler

      Instead of merely asserting he’s a liar, can you point to evidence?

      Is that not the point you’re trying to make: that science requires evidence. In which case I respectfully ask you to provide proof that Kendrick is lying and wrong.

      I agree about SJW’s, I wish people would stop using that clumsy and stupid phrase. Let’s stick to the point.

    3. Lori Miller

      As long as you’re being a prissy little do-gooder, how about editing Neal Barnard’s entry so the public knows he made up at least one book chapter out of whole cloth? See my two blog entries on The Power of your Plate:

      And Denise Minger already shredded T. Colin Campbell’s reputation, but I’m happy to add my two cents to Wikipedia:

    4. Ed R.

      Yes, of course LCHF is a fad diet. It’s only been around a couple of hundred thousand years. Or are you fondly recalling how, during the last ice age, our ancient ancestors were happily gorging on the tropical fruits that they had flown in from one of the many other tropical planets?

      Carbohydrates are not all evil. Nor are the ones we have in our diet the same as those we were accustomed to even one hundred years ago, much less ten thousand or one hundred thousand years ago.
      In other words (whatever gender pronoun or lack of one that you prefer) Wikipedia editor, you are an idiot.

    5. Martin Levac

      Dear Wikipedia editor,

      I’d like to share with you a fairly recent discovery in the field of nutrition science. It’s two experimental studies by Dr Christopher Gardner – the A-TO-Z study, and the DIETFITS study. In the first, he found that Atkins did best in all things measured. In the second, he found that none of the hypotheses derived from the first were true, specifically with regards to insulin resistance. It’s important to note that the second study failed to replicate the results of the first, specifically with regards to low-carb and low-fat diets and weight loss. It’s also important to note that Christopher Gardner is a self-proclaimed vegetarian. In fact, we can hear him speak in a video on Youtube of that surprising result from his first study because he went in with the belief that low-fat – not low-carb – would do best. Title of the video is “The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?)”.

      If you are already familiar with those studies, I imagine that one of your main contention about the first is that the low-fat group (Ornish) did not actually do what the book says, specifically with regards to total amount of fat eaten. It so happens that the low-carb group (Atkins) did not do what the book says either (specificaly with regards to total amount of carbs eaten), so the contention is valid here too, or rather that it is not a compelling argument to confirm nor refute the results. Also for this contention, we can hear Christopher speak of his intent with the A-TO-Z study, which was to test real-world results rather than absolute clinical perfection. In this sense, he succeeded in providing us with a reliable study which we can all refer to in the event we consider changing our own diet.

      On the face of it, we could just ignore Gardner’s studies as irrelevant to the topic of cholesterol and heart disease, but we would be naive to do so. Of all things measured in either study, disease markers were included. When I said Atkins did best in all things measured, this includes those disease markers as well. One such marker is cholesterol.

      As to the contention that “low-carb dieting is not supported by mainstream science, it lacks robust peer-reviewed scientific evidence”, we have to be clear on what that means. Must the science be mainstream, or must it be science, or must it be robust, or must it be peer-reviewed, or all of the above? As we can clearly see, both studies by Christopher Gardner is science. Yet again, we can clearly see that both study papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, which can be found through PUBMED. And as we can see equally clearly, neither study is mainstream, or at least rarely mentioned, if at all. As for robust, the peer-review process should have determined that as a matter-of-fact in light of their eventual publication, which they have been, so it’s a non-issue.

      Now for the main point of my comment. Would you characterize Christopher Gardner as a quack too? It would certainly make it easier for you if you wanted to dismiss those two studies. To what end, I couldn’t imagine, because if his work helps you improve your health, you’d be missing out on some of the best nutrition science available to you currently.

      It’s quite a propo that you mentioned John McDougall. You should visit his website and find a feature on Christopher Gardner, who was a guest speaker at the McDougall Advanced Study Weekend in Santa Rosa, CA. If at this point you flip 180 and start calling McDougall a quack too, all bets are off.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        You make several good points, all of which will be ignored by the Wiki editor (who I doubt is actually a Wiki editor).

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup, saw that, which adds to my suspicion that the anonymous editor is a disciple of the Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet. They love to go after Jimmy.

  13. SteveR

    Going up even further in my estimation as a great scientist and human being, Richard Feynman is said to have made the observation that now applies to the Annnointed “It is not that there are questions that cannot be answered that bothers me but rather that there are answers that may not be questioned”

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Spot-on. Consensus has nothing to do with good science. In fact, consensus is the antithesis of good science.

  14. ghost whistler

    Really disappointed to hear this language. As a keto person I thin it’s very important to get through the dietary dogma that undoubtedly exists.

    But please drop this silly perjorative, ‘SJW’. It is an infantile phrase used either by bad faith actors who care nothng or actual social justice, or those who don’t understand the politics involved.

    No one is coming to take away your free speech, nor your opinions. This is a right wing bogeyman deployed to assert privilege and power.

    Yes we can all point to a few shouty people but they don’t represent anything, no individual can. One person doesn’t speak for everyone who eats LCHF either.

    As someone who cares about the structures of power that exist in our society and how they are routinely used against the poor, the disadvantaged (including through food poverty), and minority groups (muslims are not the enemy for example), it is really disheartening to hear people buy into this rubbish. And it is rubbish. Don’t let these people divide us, it’s hard enough fighting againsgt the forces of orthodoxy when they want to poison us with sugary soda and junk food.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      No one is coming to take away your free speech? What planet have you been living on lately? You care to explain why Dennis Prager’s videos are “hate speech” and needed to be banned from YouTube? Did you read the “contract” with the comedian? Have you failed to notice people being bumped from jobs because someone dug up a 10-year-old tweet that someone found offensive? Are you aware of what happened to Peter Thiel? I could cite examples all day. Yes, I will call them Social Justice Warriors, because the term is every bit as pejorative as these infantile, crybaby, group-thinking, anti-free-expression morons deserve.

      1. Dianne

        Tom, you simply have to stop pussyfooting around and mincing words the way you do, and learn to come right out and say what you think.

      2. ghost whistler

        Clearly we live on the same planet, speak the same language, and, where diet is concerned, I think share the same values. I care about the stigmatisation around fat for example.

        You mention Dennis Prager; the guy behind Prager U. This is not a person you ought to be learning from. His videos misrepresent facts and push a terrible agenda. They have nothing to do with free speech. I have no idea to whom you’re referring when you allege they are considered ‘hate speech’. However that doesn’t take away from the fact he is an extreme conservative reactionary with a demonstrably toxic worldview. Why would you choose to listen to him? What do you think he and the people he hosts can teach you?

        What “contract” are you referring to? I can’t comment on things I don’t know about so unless you can provide citations I cannot give you an answer. However what I can say is that much of these claims, the curtailment of free speech, the claims about college campuses becoming puritannical or whatever, are at best heavily exaggerated. Often reported without context. For example, if you have Milo being ‘oppressed’ by college students for not letting him sspeak, do you try to find out why? I can tell you: it’s because he was doxxing students and putting their lives at risk. Do you think forcibly outing students for being trans is ok? I don’t. Is that free speech, or is it hate spech?

        All this is is the voice of aggrieved privilege; a lot of powerful established people and groups who resent having to concede their power. Look at how BLM gets treated – just for asserting, correctly IMO, that black people’s lives are not treated witht he same respect as white people. The establishment regards that as a personal attack, an attempt to take away its power, when all people are asking for, quite reasonably, is to be treated the same. To not get shot by racist cops. To live ina society without racist policing period!

        Sure you can point to outlier cases. For anything.

        You can cite as many examples as you want, but those are just claims. You need to provide evidence. I have never heard of Peter Thiel, what specifically has he done that is the issue here.

        Your attitude is ridiculous and it’s disappointing that instead of recognising an honest attempt to engage in discourse – something you claim is being repressed – you reject it in favour of insults and mere assertions.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I’ve listened to Dennis Prager many times. I’ve also read many of his columns. Gee, thanks for sharing your opinion that’s he’s not someone I should be learning from, but I happen to find to him very illuminating. The idea that he’s “toxic” … well, that just makes me laugh. You and I have very different opinions about him. In fact, based on your comments, you and I have very different opinions about a lot of issues.

          The “contract” is quoted right there in the post. Read it.

          If you’re at all open minded about how much speech is or is not being suppressed on campuses and elsewhere, I’d suggest you go read “The Silencing” which was written by a woman who worked for Bill Clinton. She is most definitely not a conservative. She is, however, appalled by what she calls the rise of “illiberal liberalism.” She cites example after example in her book. If you have evidence that she’s simply making up those examples, be sure to come back and let us know.

          Yes, I’m sure it annoys you when I slam Social Justice Warriors. No surprise, since it’s obvious from your comments that you share much of their agenda.

    2. Colin MacDonald

      You find the term SJW unhelpful. Fair enough, I guess you could characterise it as name calling, no doubt the terms “snowflake” and “virtue signalling” upset you too. A bit more civility in public debate wouldn’t go amiss.
      But when you assert that food companies are trying to poison us, I think, yep, you are indeed an SJW.

    3. Benjamin David Steele

      I would put it this way. There are many people who do a low-carb diet and who support free speech while also self-identifying as SJWs or who could be identified as such by others. Also, don’t forget a large number of low-carb dieters are vegans and vegetarians, were in the past, or have written books directed at vegans and vegetarians: Dena Harris, Will Cole, Terry Wahls, Nina Teicholz, etc. I’ve seen dozens of vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based cookbooks that are designed for low-carb, keto, and paleo diets.

      There is no advantage to narrowing down your audience to only people who share your preferred political ideology. Those behind these attacks on free speech are probably related to corporations and other powerful institutions, not SJWs. You see that with the wealthy and powerful transnational corporations hidden behind the support of EAT-Lancet. Sometimes those corporations might use the language of SJW, but at other times they’ll use the language of libertarianism or anything else. It’s simply empty rhetoric to gain profit or achieve whatever agenda of those involved.

      Don’t let them manipulate you with their games. There are a wide variety of organizations with diverse agendas using all kinds of rhetoric, as part of their seeking to censor and silence. The Koch brothers have long used libertarian rhetoric to promote authoritarianism and fascism. Does that mean we must attack all libertarians? That would be counterproductive. We need to learn to look past the rhetoric to the actual motivations behind the words or how we interpret those words. We need to develop both intellectual defenses and psychological defenses.

  15. Martin Levac

    OK, so, this is how I see the whole deletion thing. Motive is irrelevant, it’s the method that matters. We could discuss motive ad nauseam, but it’s the deletion mechanism which is the root cause, or rather which allows this sort of thing. Deletion does not merely delete the article page, it also deletes the history and this is irreversible even if somehow the article page is restored later on (we can read how this works on the ‘Wikipedia: Deletion reform’ article page). And if I’m not mistaken, the history page for the deletion discussion is also deleted so this is really stupid methodology.

    So, whatever the motive, it’s the tool which allows this motive to manifest to the extreme. If instead Wiki had some sort of safety mechanism that archived both article and history, we’d be laughing about it instead of being depressed (or whatever state of mind of your choosing).

    There is a Wiki article about edit warring, which is basically two opposing biased editors fighting over content, independently of Wiki methodology, or rather by abuse of said methodology through biased interpretation of it. There are Wiki rules that are intended to reduce edit warring, but the point is deletion is the ultimate form of that. So, that’s where we’re at where someone somewhere is given the power by Wiki mechanism to win his personal war, and someone somewhere will find a way. Murphy’s Law.

    But here’s the Big Giant Problem With That Shit. We’re discussing this whole Wiki mess on Tom’s blog (and basically everywhere else for that matter), which isn’t ruled by an extensive methodology and certainly does not allow any Tom (no pun intended, Tom) Dick and Harry to just delete shit. So, I guess we’re writing the history of the deletion of history?

    Ima re-write a well known quote here, if you don’t mind, Tom, though I guess you could probably do a funnier re-write than I could.

    History is written by the victors. But we got the intarwebs now.

    P.S. After a quick search for THINCS stuff, I noticed a certain pattern. I can’t be sure if it’s a general or a specific goal here, i.e. whether the intent is to ‘purify’ Wiki in general or remove specific references to opposition of the lipid hypothesis, which is arguably more strongly represented by individuals rather than by any particular piece of science we could cite (never mind understand). Cuz the pattern seems to be invoking a few Wiki rules such as those that relate to individuals’ pages (like an author, actor or politician for example), but most importantly whereby the page fails to meet the rule invoked. See how that works? For any page, there will be a rule which it will fail at least to some extent. Thus, for any page you want gone, find the rule it fails, invoke it, done. In a few years time, we’ll be discussing how Wiki failed by design, cuz it’s clear to me now that it’s currently in the process of failing. So, for example, check out the Fringe Theories rule and how so easy it is to abuse it for any purpose.

    1. Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

      The comment about deletion of wikipedia pages is incorrect. When pages are deleted with ordinary deletion, they and the page history still exist. There are administrators who will provide a copy of deleted pages on request, and they can include the history. (Anyone may export a page or set of pages with full history, but full site dumps — with full history — have become absolutely enormous.) Proper process on Wikipedia, if one disagrees with a deletion or thinks the topic will now acceptable — i.e., adequate sources have appeared –, is *not* to recreate the page, which will lose the history, but to request either userification (the page is undeleted and moved to user space to be worked on) or undeletion, which can sometimes be done on request to the deleting administrator, or through Deletion Review.

      Ordinary deletion on Wikipedia does not actually delete the material, it can be read (and restored) by any administrator. There is another process called suppression, which hides material from even administrators, but it can still be read by “oversighters.”

      I’m very familiar with the shenanigans of the pseudoskeptical faction on Wikipedia. They have corrupted the project, and to deal with that would require organization, and very few have the understanding to pull that off. They are organized, that is part of how they have managed to dominate, but their power is still limited. They generally lose when there is wide attention to what they are doing, so the main problem with Wikipedia is that the community is asleep and tolerates abuse until it touches their own special interests.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I chose not to use a name for exactly this reason. However (see tonight’s post soon) Sceptic From Britain accused me (incorrectly) in a Wiki talk section of exposing his real name publicly. So if the name someone gave in comments isn’t correct, that means … what? They are making up a complaint on Wiki to spread more misinformation? Could be, but I don’t know. I’m not going to name anyone in my posts because I have no way of verifying.

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