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Old 2nd April 2010, 05:28 AM   #223
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If that quoted snippet is the extent of the "spin" she can put on the interview, then I rest my case as successful; that's a near-meaningless statement with some token name-dropping.

Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
I'm sorry. Maybe when I stop making rookie mistakes Jeff will reconsider inviting me as a guest on Rational Alchemy. Quite frankly, I'm puzzled as to why I was considered and rejected. After all, VFF was wanting to chat with me anyway, and nobody (no offense to the MeaniesTM) knows more about her than I do.
You know, I thought about just linking the "butthurt" image here one more time, but perhaps it's time for an occasional piece of serious commentary. Let's try it and see what happens.

First, I'll open with two questions. Do you think Sylvia has ever linked to Robert's website and called it a "fan" site? Why do you think that is?

I think it's partly because you are, indeed, making rookie mistakes. First, you said that you've logged over 100,000 words with Anita in chat logs (inherently private) and Skype chats (inherently private). Do you think Robert's even had 1,000 words of private discussion with Sylvia? Frankly, when you have that much personal contact with a person you're setting up an "anti-" website about, it starts to call into question your motivations, regardless of what you say about it.

Second, take a look at Robert's site again. He spends all his time directly (and calmly, somehow) attacking her predictions -- not her person, not her mindset, and he doesn't spend any effort trying to "cure" her, "fix" her, or force her to admit she's wrong. He provides a repository to precisely what Sylvia cannot abide: concrete, irrefutable proof that her predictions (and therefore her livelihood) were wrong. She wouldn't dare link to his website and try to spin it; anyone looking at that site would come away with the impression "wow, she's wrong a lot". Don't underestimate the importance of the subtext there, though -- by ignoring her as a person, he successfully conveys the impression that there is nothing personal about his interest in her, he is simply attempting to stop what she's doing. You, on the other hand, have taken far too much interest in Anita both as a person and personally for your cause, to the point of linking your own perception of your "skeptical success" to whether or not your site receives the acclaim you think it deserves. That isn't skepticism, that's self-promotion. If that's what you want to do, fine, but don't think that the whole pile of critical thinkers around you can't see it as painfully obvious.

Now, given the above, let's consider why you might not have been invited as a guest 'expert' on RA. You certainly know plenty about Anita, so that's not it. Perhaps it was because, as stated elsewhere, the goal was to try to explore the mindset of a person who had been tested and failed the test... rather than grill that person yet one more time and try to get them to admit that they're just making it up. My impression of you, based on your posts here, website, and other tidbits, is that you simply do not have the emotional self-control required to interview Anita in anything other than an adversarial format; that you intend to confront her aggressively at every opportunity about her claims and try to force her to 'admit' something. I think this is an unproductive approach, personally, and damages your credibility... with results such as we saw with RA.

Repairing that credibility? If I were you I'd remove the entire forum section from your website or make it private for your 'secret room' members only, so you can have a place to discuss her without providing her the ability to point her followers to a place dedicated entirely to talking about her. I'd refocus your articles to be more objective, rather than written from the obvious personal slant, and I'd try to be as dry as possible. I'm not sure you can do anything about the extensive personal contact you've had with her already, but that's all water under the bridge now.

It's your choice, really. But your actions so far have led you up to this not-altogether-unpredictable scenario. You can either respond to this with the standard "your input is not valuable to me" and other dismissive remarks based on who is telling you this, or you can sit down and do some self-examination about how you're handling the whole "Stop VFF" cause, and compare it to one that's remarkably successful.

Oh, yeah. Two other thoughts. I think I'm supposed to be offended by your signature somehow, but I can't think of a better quote offhand I'd like associated with me. To me, that's precisely what the JREF is about, and what "skepticism/critical thinking" should be about -- see claim, test claim. If a test comes back positive, examine controls and retest. If it keeps coming back positive, we all win -- if it keeps coming back negative, when the testers say "enough is enough", that's when the tests stop.

Also, Jeff is mostly correct in his statement that "skepticism is about exploration, not debunking", but I think it should be clarified: Only PART of skepticism is about debunking. Some claims can be directly disproven ("there was no holocaust") by evidence, and that should happen when possible. But claims that are of the "needs testing" nature should be approached from the attitude of "OK, show me" rather than "You can't do that".

Think about it.
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