THIS blog is sheer genius (which is why it probably won’t make a damn bit of difference, in the long-run):

https://culturallyboundgender.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/the-concept-of-the-culture-bound-syndrome/

This part is particularly lucid:

Gender identity disorder is a culture bound syndrome–not something you’re born with.

Culture bound syndromes include a wide array of medical issues.  Some are very familiar to Americans and Europeans, like anorexia and bulimia, which arise because of the complex interplay between our culture’s views on beauty, food, and (often) femininity.  Others, though, are experienced more frequently (or exclusively) in other parts of the world, which can give them the air of otherness.  For example, the phenomenon of koro–in which, depending on one’s culture, one believes one’s penis to have been stolen or to have started shrinking into nothingness–is experienced today primarily in West African nations and parts of Southeastern Asia and the subcontinent, although it has been experienced as an epidemic in European/American cultures in centuries past.

Similarly, Dhat syndrome is experienced by people who believe very strongly that they are losing energy and sexual function, and are experiencing extreme symptoms of depression and anxiety, because they are losing semen in their urine.  It happens because of religious views about semen and ejaculation in some cultures in India and Nepal.

The idea that trans identity is neurologically innate, set by laws of biology in utero, is one that can only come from a perspective that is blind to historical and anthropological realities.  In some cultures, people who are outside the gender binary believe quite fully that they have chosen their gender path.  In some, it’s a choice made after the mid-point of one’s life, while in others, puberty is when the issue is decided.  What’s more important is that in different cultures and times, the idea of gender identity and what it means to violate the gender binary and have a non-conforming identity is different.

If the transgender identity phenomenon was, as many people have said (ad nauseam with arguments that sound way too much like people saying that men and women have different brains that explain their culturally-assigned differences), genetic/epigenetic and determined at/before birth, this would imply that the phenonemon of painful, debilitating dysphoria would manifest in this way throughout history and in many cultures.  It doesn’t.  While there are gender non-conforming people throughout history, the near-obsessive, anxiety and depression provoking, dysphoric feeling that one’s primary or secondary sex characteristics are “wrong” for one’s brain is a phenomenon that isn’t reflected in all history or cultures worldwide. It’s culturally specific.

What that means is that some elements of our culture are leading to the ways in which gender non-conformity manifests here, including the phenomena of transgenderism, gender identity disorder, and dysphoria.

This blog looks to explore some of those cultural elements from what I hope will be a somewhat different perspective.  Before we start looking at the specifics, though, I’d like to lay out some basics of what I believe and don’t believe, so that we’re all on the same page and I don’t get hate mail based on the fact that one time you interacted with a radical feminist who was mean to you.

What I DO Believe:

The reluctance to acknowledge GID as a culture bound syndrome comes from a history of discrimination against gender-nonconforming people and the greater willingness of Americans and Europeans to accept gender non-conformity if they view it according to their biological/neuroscience model, in which gender identity is innate and unchanging.  In some way, this makes it “not the person’s fault,” which is a sad and upsetting way to see gender non-conformity viewed.

Dysphoria and GID are experienced as real, sometimes painful phenomena.

Gender non-conformity occurs in many cultures and is the result of the fact that the sex-based gender binary makes no goddamn sense.  GID and dysphoria–the specific ways in which gender non-conformity are experienced in our culture–are what I’m referring to when I say that transgenderism is a culture bound syndrome.

Gender non-conformity and non-compliance is different from culture to culture, both historically and in contemporary societies.

A phenomenal amount of energy is devoted to telling people that their gender identity is brain-based and innate, and that there are “male and female brains.”  This notion is incredibly destructive and has little place in feminist thought.

That “third,” fourth, and so on gender identities in other cultures are also culturally mediated, and that in some of these cultures third gender identities work to reinforce rather than subvert sex-based binaries (we’ll get into this later, I promise).

That the concept of transgenderism as currently manifested in the United States can lead to complex issues of identity, appropriation, and acceptance.

What I DON’T Believe:

That being transgender is a “born this way” phenomenon bound by genetics that is experienced in the same way in all cultures.

That referring to GID as a culture bound syndrome is transphobic.  It is not anorexia-phobic to refer to anorexia as a culture bound syndrome–it doesn’t erase their experiences or trivialize them.  Your culture is an important part of you, and it’s not surprising or abnormal that your culture would manifest in important parts of your gender identity and self-concept.

That being transgender, inclusive or exclusive of SRS and hormone treatments, makes you somehow a bad person.

That transgender and non-gender conforming people should be subject to employment discrimination, street harassment, et cetera.

That people with gender dysphoria or a strong aversion to their culture’s typical gender identity are “faking it” in some way.

That it’s off-limits to discuss the ways in which our culture mediates and creates the phenomenon of gender identity and transgenderism.

Interestingly enough, a rather stark bit of evidence for at least some variant of the above hypothesis is the phenomenon of forced sex-changes, in iran:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexuality_in_Iran

 

Karl: in his own words

(Note: this doesn’t qualify as “doxing”, because the information is already publicly-available.  If the stupid dickhead wants to complain about it, he can attempt to remove his qrz profile.)

This is a direct dump from Karl’s QRZ profile.  It will give you a deeper insight into exactly what sort of “person” he is:

Hello, my name is Karl, from ‘Pennsylvania Dutch Country’ (which is actually Pennsylvania German, but that’s another story). I have gear for every US ham band from 160 meters through 900 MHz, as well as receive capability below, between, and above these bands. I enjoy DXing and ragchewing on HF SSB, and local VHF/UHF FM operating. I have a special fondness for HF AM (as well as VHF), though I don’t really have a worthy station set up yet. I also like Field Day, but otherwise am not really a contester. I am not a paper chaser; I don’t bother with awards or QSL cards (nor have I gotten into the various implementations of virtual QSL cards). I like CW, and have recently been getting back into the mode after not using it much for a long time. I did quite a bit of packet, RTTY, and AMTOR operating back in the day, but haven’t done much digital since the onset of ‘sound card’ modes (I always liked real data controllers, like a TNC or Kantronics UTU). I have the equipment for such operation (like many other things), just haven’t devoted much time to it. I’ve always really liked shortwave listening, VHF/UHF scanner listening, and some AM/FM/TV DXing here and there. I’ve also played around with weather fax, SSTV, ATV, DRM reception, LF beacon reception, decoding digital voice, and various other bands/modes.
I have recently become quite interested in SOTA (Summits on the Air), a very cool activity involving portable operation from mountaintops. So far I have only activated a few summits, though I have worked over 120 summits as a chaser, and I am hooked! SOTA is also providing the incentive which I have needed to get back into CW.
CURRENT STATIONS
If you work me on HF or 6 meters, I am probably using my Yaesu FT-450 or FT-817 with HL-45B amplifier into the 80 meter horizontal full-wave loop at the LRTS club site (club call W3AD; more details below under resurgence of interest). For anyone who cares, this site is just over the line in Lancaster County, a fraction of a mile from Lebanon County, in grid square FN10tf.
Mobile station: Yaesu FT-857D with SGC SG-237 autotuner and 6 foot/1.8 meter whip + Icom IC-2720H with Austin dual-band whip in Jeep Wrangler
Portable gear: Yaesu VX-7, VX-3, FT-817, Alinco DJ-G29T (the VX-7 and FT-817 are easily my two favorite radios EVER!)
I also have numerous other transceivers and receivers; these are the ones I use most often. For whatever reason, I have definitely become a Yaesu fan. Icom and Kenwood (as well as other companies) just don’t have anything interesting to offer at this point.
OTHER INTERESTS
Outside of radio (is there such a thing?), I worked my way up from being an electronics technician to an embedded hardware and software engineer, having designed industrial control systems for various markets. More recently, all of the ‘opportunities’ I’ve found have turned out to be dead ends. While I look for work, I’ve been developing some amateur radio accessories which I hope to turn into a product line. Of course, investment is at least as hard to find as a decent job…
Other hobbies include geocaching, hiking, off-road driving, listening to EDM (especially trance, house, and techno), rifle and pistol shooting, collecting old computers and calculators, high-end LED flashlights, and using superior/alternative computer hardware and operating systems (ARM processors and Linux for example, such as on the remarkably cool Raspberry Pi). Of course, most of these tie together: I always have an HT along when I’m out in the woods, geocaching has some striking similarities to SOTA, the Jeep has an HF/VHF/UHF setup in it, and my interests in computers and radio both go back as far as I can remember.
Very early on, I recall writing a BASIC program on a TI-99/4A which displayed random data on the screen, and I pretended it was a satellite data downlink. Not many years later, I digipeated packets through the Mir space station and back to myself (for whatever reason, ISS has never intrigued me the way Mir did). I also wrote a BASIC program which turned a Radio Shack Color Computer into a repeater controller, and later a simplex repeater controller. That was while I was still in college, before I even started repairing equipment professionally, let alone designing it. I can’t say that amateur radio caused my interest in and pursuit of the electronics field (though it has certainly been a huge part of it); I’ve always just been into all of the above for as long as I can remember. Keep in mind that the entire field of electronics initially developed as a result of the pursuit of radio.
NON-INTERESTS
My amateur radio non-interests would include such things as D-Star, Echolink, and the like. Proprietary codecs, hideous audio quality, lack of interoperability, and dependence upon inferior hardware and operating systems as well as the internet are not hallmarks of real amateur radio. If you want digital audio, get a cell phone (which, at least on a proper GSM network, sounds better than any digital two-way format; CDMA, on the other hand, could give D-Star, DMR, etc. serious competition in the garbled, underwater sound category). If you want to talk to someone on the internet, use a VoIP phone. One significant advantage of amateur radio is its robust simplicity, all of which is thrown out the window when it becomes dependent upon overcomplication and outside networks.
Another annoyance is the proliferation of continuously active repeater link systems which tie up numerous repeater pairs with redundant, overlapping coverage of the same content-free conversations. Bizarrely, some such systems automatically shut down at night; I suppose emergencies only occur during business hours or something. Makes one wonder if such systems have anything to do with fulfilling the mandate of amateur radio or providing any useful service, rather than merely feeding someone’s ego…
SEMI-INTERESTS
SDR definitely has major potential as a way forward, as long as it is implemented properly. Making it dependent upon inferior mass-market hardware and operating systems (Intel processors and Windows for example) is the opposite of a way forward. Besides the stability and reliability issues, I much prefer a radio to look and feel like a radio, not a black box connected to a lowly PC. Computers are useful accessories for radio communications, but I would rather not have a hard drive crash or virus (or myriad other failures) compromise basic radio functionality. Not to mention, waiting for a radio to boot up is simply absurd.
I have mixed feelings about eSSB. Good audio is always a nice change, but it seems somewhat pointless to run massive amounts of audio processing gear on SSB, which doesn’t have a carrier to quiet the noise between speech components the way AM does. Additionally, the excessive bass components which are often present make correctly tuning an SSB signal much more difficult, and can detract from readability depending on conditions. Good quality AM, on the other hand, is one of the most pleasant things I’ve ever experienced on radio.
HOW I GOT STARTED
I was interested in amateur radio for years before I finally got my ham license at age 14. I always knew I was going to become a ham, I just didn’t know when. A local club advertised a Novice class, finally giving me the opportunity to get involved. I upgraded to what was later known as Technician Plus immediately thereafter. I had a lot of fun on 10 meter SSB with a modified Realistic TRC-458 base station CB rig, and 2 meter FM with crystal-controlled radios and then a Ten-Tec 2591 synthesized 2M HT (one of the worst transceivers I have ever used!). Unlike some people, I will also admit that I was pretty heavily involved in 11 meter CB operation around that time, and had a lot of fun with that as well. That band, despite its obvious shortcomings, is still somewhat nostalgic to me.
About 5 years later, while in college, a member of the club in that town offered study sessions for the General class upgrade. I attended those, and did lots of CW practice on 10 meters with another local ham, getting to where I could copy 15 WPM pretty solidly. I went to a VE test at a hamfest, and jumped from Tech Plus to Advanced. I passed the Extra theory as well, but never got my CW speed up to 20 WPM. It took about another 15 years until I finally got around to the Extra upgrade. My call is still my original Novice call sign.
RESURGENCE OF INTEREST
I’ve gone through various phases and levels of activity, though I have always made a point of having an HT with me and mobile VHF/UHF radios in my vehicles even when I wasn’t particularly active. More recently, I have also had an HF mobile setup, though I haven’t done much operating other than local VHF/UHF activity. We’ve also had a decent setup at our radio club site on a local mountain (W3AD, the Lancaster Radio Transmitting Society, http://www.lrts.org/), but I hadn’t done much operating overall from there for years either.
That all began to change during the winter of 2012/2013. N3TUQ and I started to discuss what we could potentially do to improve the HF station at said club site. We had been using a 75 meter dipole fed with ladder line, along with an LDG autotuner and balun. It worked reasonably well on most HF bands, but it had trouble tuning up on some bands, it received a lot of noise, and it created RFI problems. We wondered what more might be possible.
We came up with the idea of a rectangular horizontal loop, approximately a full wavelength long on 75 meters. We figured out that we could install it in a slightly different location than that of the dipole. We hoped that this would cut down on noise and RFI issues, as it would be farther from the power lines, towers, guy wires, main operating building, and the equipment shelter containing repeaters and other equipment.
Some research turned up CNC machined Delrin insulators called Ladder Snaps, which would allow us to construct open-wire feedline from 14 AWG wire, which should outperform the ladder line. We also decided to use proper antenna wire and rope from DX Engineering. The plan was hatched, parts were ordered, and then we waited for decent weather. Even before it arrived, some of the undesired trees and brush which had overgrown the area where we wanted to place the loop began to be cleared.
MAKING IT HAPPEN
The following spring, we assembled a group and got to work. Before long, we had the envisioned loop constructed and installed at roughly 20-25 feet/7 meters. One intriguing characteristic was made possible by a special Delrin insulator from the same supplier as the Ladder Snaps: the entire antenna and feedline are constructed from a single, contiguous piece of wire. There are no joints or splices anywhere. The new open-wire line is suspended by ropes, keeping it away from all metal and other objects from the feedpoint all the way to the operating building. Inside, it connects to the balun, and from there about one foot of Teflon coax leads to the tuner, minimizing loss in that critical (and often overlooked) area. We also put extensive effort into cleaning up other potential noise sources at the site. Most of the computer networking hardware has been moved into the shelter with the repeaters. Most switching power supplies have been eliminated, with much of the site running from several banks of 12 volt batteries (which also back up the repeaters), with a single large switching supply (with an added EMI filter) inside the shelter to charge them.
THE RESULT
The results of this effort have been nothing less than spectacular. I have operated HF from this site on many weekends since installing the loop, and not even trying terribly hard, I have already worked all 50 US states and over 150 DXCC entities. All of these contacts were made with no more than 100 watts (many from my FT-450), while some were made with just 5 watts from my FT-817, and others with an HL-45B amp boosting it to 50 watts. It has become common to break through pileups, and I have received many reports like ‘big signal’. The elevation of this site (roughly 1170 feet/356 meters above sea level) certainly helps, but the antenna still outperforms anything else we have ever tried up here. It tunes up more easily and consistently on virtually every band from 160 through 6 meters than the old dipole ever did. It also does not appear to have any significant directional characteristics, as I have worked DX all over the globe. At one point, I was told that I had the strongest signal on the entire 20 meter band by a European station with an SDR display. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that I have worked Europe on 75 meter SSB with no trouble in August and September. I never dreamed that such was possible without transmitting 1500 watts into phased arrays or Yagis and receiving on Beverages. More recently, winter conditions actually let me work Europe on 75 meter SSB with 5 watts from an FT-817!
The loop is amazingly quiet on receive. 20 meters in the summer (barring something like a thunderstorm or power line noise) often has an S0 background noise level. I’ve simply never experienced anything like this; that’s likely why I have done more HF operating in the last several years than I probably did total in the previous 25 years. That activity level is also what prompted me to update this page, as people are actually looking me up here now. 😉
MAJOR RFI DISCOVERY
I made an interesting discovery as a result of trying to minimize the receive noise at this site. We used to take it for granted that there was simply a lot of noise everywhere, as there were so many switching power supplies strewn about and so on. We figured that’s just how it was, and we had to live with it. Now, the bands were actually quiet for the most part. However, there were still certain frequencies where significant noise spikes were present. One in particular got my attention, and became the focal point of my investigation: a strong, rough carrier near 14.273 MHz. Tuning around, I noticed similar signals on other frequencies. I found a pattern: they occurred at regular intervals of approximately 61.06 kHz. I started calculating and tuning in other multiples, and soon realized that the same signals recurred across much of the HF spectrum.
TRACKING IT DOWN
Listening on a handheld receiver and shutting down every possible source of RFI in the entire site did not eliminate the signals. We determined that some of them were actually coming from a neighboring site used by another amateur club. After much research and experimentation, I finally found the source of the signals: 100BASE-TX, otherwise known as 100 megabit wired Ethernet networking. Not any particular device, but the standard itself. I found a spectrum graph of a 100BASE-TX transmitter, and it shows broadband noise from the bottom of HF through at least 150 MHz, with the strongest peak around 15 MHz. No wonder I first found it on 20 meters! I now also know the mechanism by which it radiates: the use of unshielded Ethernet cable of any grade lower than good Category 6. Cat 5 or 5e cable is not sufficiently well balanced to contain these signals, and by its very nature performs a differential to common mode conversion.
CONFIRMATION
I have since confirmed this in numerous installations, both commercial and residential, with a very simple (in retrospect) technique. Take a handheld radio with HF receive coverage and a VHF/UHF rubber duck antenna, and tune it to 14.275 MHz AM (I typically use a Yaesu VX-3 and a Maldol Active Hunter antenna; any similar setup should provide similar results). It may be necessary to open the squelch on the radio. Hold the antenna next to an Ethernet cable with an active 100 Mbps connection on it, and there is virtually guaranteed to be a strong signal present. Move the antenna along (and perpendicular to) the cable slowly, and the signal will increase and decrease in strength several times per inch of cable. This is literally a result of each individual twist in the twisted pair converting some of the differential signal into common mode radiation. The worst offenders can be heard for some distance away from the cable, even with such an intentionally insensitive receive setup. Note that shielded Cat 5 or 5e (if properly terminated), as well as quality unshielded Cat 6, do not generate nearly as much interference. This also totally explains the various reports I’ve heard over the years of ‘wireless routers interfering with 2 meter HTs’ and such. It has nothing to do with the wireless aspect; a wired 10/100 switch does exactly the same thing. It should also be noted that I tried extensive experiments with ferrite cores and grounding; no combination of the above (not even 8 cores on a single 6 foot patch cable) made any significant difference in the radiation from the cable. Think of the cable as being similar to the leaky coax which is often used to radiate signals along its length intentionally inside tunnels and similar settings.
CONCLUSION
I conclude from my research and experience that unshielded Cat 5 or Cat 5e should absolutely never be used for anything higher than 10 Mbps Ethernet, especially in an environment where any type of HF or VHF receiver will be used. Note that gigabit Ethernet generates a similar overall spectral profile, though with different modulation characteristics; it appears to generate more of a broadband hash than discrete carriers, but still causes interference.
UPDATES
I recently discovered that even some unshielded Cat 6 cable is capable of radiating considerable RFI. As already dictated by common sense anyway, shielded cable is simply the only way to go to assure a clean installation.
Further research has revealed the origin of the 61 kHz spacing between the RFI carriers. 100BASE-TX uses a 125 MHz clock, which is divided by 2047 in a scrambling circuit. This is intended, ironically enough, to reduce EMI by spreading the signal across a wide portion of the spectrum, rather than generating very strong peaks at frequencies such as 31.25 MHz (125 MHz / 4) which would otherwise be generated by the MLT-3 coding scheme used. 125 MHz / 2047 = ~61.064973 kHz, which totally explains the spacing of the offending signals.
Additionally, I have found similar carriers offset by 1/2 of the expected 61.06 kHz spacing in certain portions of the spectrum. This appears to be particularly pronounced in the upper HF and VHF region.
RADIO REVIEWS
I have written eHam reviews of various radios and accessories. Here are direct links to some of my favorites:
I’ve also written reviews for various microphones, older HTs (Yaesu VX-5 and Standard C558A), the SGC SG-237 tuner, and others. Stay tuned for more as time permits.
THE FUTURE
This is a work in progress, and will be updated as I have the opportunity. I plan to add pictures, and possibly move some of the content to my own web page; I just wanted to put the info out there in some form as a starting point. Hopefully someone finds some of this to be interesting and/or beneficial.
I love the stream-of-consciousness rant about networking cable.  It has nothing to do with his personal “ham shack” (IE: the busted-ass jeep) – and everything about the desperate desire to dazzle random passerby with his (nonexistent) “intellect”.
He used to do exactly this sort of bullshit “back in the day”, at the local ham radio club meetings — nitter-nattering on about his then-current obsession (6JB6 tubes), at the least appropriate times.
For example:
Q “Hey Karl how’s your mom?”
A: “Oh, she’s the same as always – not interested in the fact that I’m trying to design, using these 6jb6 tubes I got out of that old TV my parents had in the garage.”
This sort of thing is also the primary reason trying to learn anything from Karl is such an infuriating experience: there’s something extremely unsettling about mind-numbing pedantry from somebody with the attention-span of a ferret on meth.

THIS is an impressive summation, in itself:

To state it plainly, indoctrination means to heavily influence someone into believing a particular set of ideas, whether they are political, cultural, or religious. Most often, this is done when the individual is particularly young, when he or she lack the ability to reasonably conclude whether or not a statement is true. Those who’ve experienced heavy indoctrination may be unaware of competing theories, alternate hypotheses, or even whether the ideas hold any merit at all; those ideas are simply believed and held dear for an unknown period of time.

I’d never advocate for one to indoctrinate their child with strong atheist ideas either; I think it’s very important that we teach children how to think, not what to think. I attended a religious institution as a young boy, around the age of 11 or 12. Up until that point, I will say, I wasn’t too concerned with religious beliefs. I rarely attended church services with my family, occasionally took part in religious traditions, and prayed now and then; I was far from a firm believer and I don’t think my parents ever were either. We were simply doing what everyone else was doing. That was, I think, the most important part of my experience as a child; I was never taught these things to be true by those whom I respected the most.

Since I was enrolled in this religious body, I do have firsthand knowledge regarding the practices of indoctrination. The pre-kindergarten class was heavily populated; the surrounding school district had a reputation of holding poor pre-kindergarten class, leaving this particular school the only option for many parents. We as older children often read them Bible stories, rehearsed prayers with them, taught them Christian hymns, and so on and so forth. What bothers me about it now was that I gladly took part in it. These poor children had no choice in the matter. They were being taught by their authorities that these particular sets of religious beliefs were true, without a chance of error.

And most of these children would stay in this particular school system, as most who had attended were my age. Almost all would tell you they knew God was real, Jesus walked on water, healed the sick, rose from the dead, was resurrected and ascended into heaven on the third day; to them, all of these things were as real as you or I. Never did they entertain the idea these things might not be true and neither were they influenced to challenge those beliefs. They weren’t taught about other faiths and why other individuals find those to be true. It was a terrible environment for a child to have been brought up in and I sincerely hope I am not the only one to have escaped from the information they forced on everyone. I even refrained from challenging out of fear I’d be mocked or punished; in a way, I indoctrinated myself into thinking religious beliefs were off the table to debate.

So what age are children most vulnerable to indoctrination? Children are typically open to believing almost anything told to them, without question. During early childhood, children are most receptive which is why education is most important during this period of time. Learning comes faster, the memory is crisp, and children are generally open and willing to accept new information without inhibition. The age of reason is typically considered to be around 6 or 7, when the child begins to have the capabilities to weigh options and reach conclusions. This is when we must be vigilant when trying to help them develop the how to think approach. The Socratic Method effectively helps the child develop the critical thinking skills needed to maintain a healthy thought process. This period of time hasn’t gone unnoticed by those who seek to mold the mind of the young for religious reasons.

Most Christian church organizations heavily involve children in many different events. Sunday school, summer Bible camps, wilderness retreats, catechism or confirmation, plays, and musical ceremonies top that particular list. These organizations are quite aware how impressionable children are and it appears as though they’re taking full advantage of that. Some evangelical Christian organizations fully and publicly acknowledge what they’re doing.

In Islam, indoctrination is taken a bit more seriously. From a very early age, Muslims are taught to memorize the Koran; sometimes, this often holds importance over studying other more earthly curriculums. This has two significant disadvantages. Firstly, this has a long lasting effect on the child’s cognitive development, as it’s primarily based on one particular source. Secondly, as a result of that, they will learn to reject other sources of knowledge simply because it deviates from what Islam teaches. This then, as I state previously, creates an “us” versus “them” frame of mind, completely carrying the Muslim believer further from enlightenment; never questioning and always accepting, brainwashing at its best. The very same can be said for most of the orthodox Jewish population. Anywhere religious instruction exists, expect indoctrination to take place.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/05/15/childhood-indoctrination-religions-greatest-weapon/

 

The above is just about the best summation of the topic that I have encountered so far.

Another illustration of why I don’t engage in debates about “religion”

Look at this image:

 

Quite frankly, any discussion about “religion” needs to  begin with the following point:

Until — and unless – one explicitly defines the term “God”, discussion is impossible.

What typically happens in most “discussions” is: A very specific definition of “God” is smuggled in — without anyone specifically acknowledging that fact.   Worse, this happens on both ‘sides” of the ‘discussion’ in many cases.

Typically (especially here in the U.S.) self-described “atheists” are implicitly – or explicitly – relying on an (implicit or explicit) definition of “God” which has been smuggled in/carried over, typically from Christianity.

In other words, in the vast majority of such “debates”, the following equation is assumed:

God = Yahweh

Now, right away, that “stacks the deck” – on both sides  – without admitting the nature of the “con-game” being perpetrated on both sides.

The term “theism” serves as a convenient cover (especially among the “New Atheists”), because they  don’t have to admit –  even to themselves – that they remain securely – and immovably – trapped in a conceptual “box” imposed on them by THEIR OWN OPPONENTS.

Actually, several layers of such “boxes”:

Let’s take an easy example: the “Former Fundie”:

https://valerietarico.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Loftus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Barker

http://atheistuniverse.net/profile/BettyJBrogaard

You get the idea: folks who were explicitly ‘raised” (IE: indoctrinated/enslaved by) the least sane/most blatantly irrational variants of Protestantism, but who were too intelligent/curious/rational to just mindlessly swallow everything without trying to understand at least some of it, first.

Now, here’s the thing:

You need to specify what it is that you “lack belief” in:

In their case, a conceptual taxonomy would consist (roughly) of the following (from general to specific):

“Theism” -> MONOtheism -> ABRAHAMIC Monotheism -> Christianity -> Protestantism -> {insert Denomination/sect/cult here}

Now, it should be obvious that it is entirely possible to fall ANYWHERE across the above spectrum of “belief” – at each level.  The only real caveat to this is: it is not possible to “believe” more strongly at a more specific level, than at a higher one.

For example, it is self-contradictory to be a “weak atheist” in regard to “theism” in general, but a “strong theist” with regard to the specific KJV-only subculture in which you were “raised”.

That would “unpack” to the following claim:

“the existence of gods is unlikely, so I’m willing to say that I don’t believe in any gods — but IF I DID, such a god would HAVE TO EXACTLY CORRESPOND to what Paster Billy-Bob from “Cousin-Fuck Junction” was screaming about at the all-night revival meeting, before they brought out the rattlesnakes.”

There’s a not-particularly-funny joke I found a while back:

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, “Stop! Don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, are you religious or atheist?” He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?” He said, “Christian.” I said, “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? He said, “Baptist!” I said, “Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? He said, Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are your Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

Okay, so that’s not a very good joke, but you get the idea.

The whole “religious belief” thing is both hierarchical and granular:

It is hierarchical in that one can (fairly easily) observe a progression from more general claims, to more specific ones.

It is Granular, in that ones “beliefs” consist (implicitly or explicitly) of a whole “stack” of the above-mentioned statements.

That’s part of what makes the topic so damnably complicated.

 

 

 

 

Yet another person managing to be a MORE SUCCESSFUL version of Karl:

If Karl had any sort of skill or dedication, he could produce something at least broadly equivalent to this level of production — EASILY, either with amazingly inexpensive off-the-shelf “modern” gear (they ‘still” make dedicated video cameras), or with some of the stuff he has crammed into the storage units/trailer-hoard.

I’m sure there’s at least one video camera in among all of the rest of the (unsorted) scrap.

Hell, if he wanted to be “clever” about it, he could demonstrate the video-titling/editing capabilities of his Amiga machines, by using them for the editing/video titles, etc.

That would be genuinely educational *AND* a demonstration that he wasn’t an utterly incompetent, pretentious ass-wipe.

In other words: evidence that he is someone other than himself.

 

 

Just one example of what Karl *could* be doing, if he was knowledgeable/dedicated in any way:

Now, notice a few things:

  1. The guy in the video obviously doesn’t have a vast amount of space.
  2. The guy obviously planned out what he was going to say during the video (thus cutting down on the amount of time it would take to create such a video).
  3. The guy actually knows something about the subject.

To my way of thinking, this single, relatively modest Youtube video is infinitely more valuable than Karl’s myriad storage units full of (unsorted) scrap.

This guy is, effectively, doing what Karl has been CLAIMING to want to do, for as long as I’ve known him.

Yes, it is relatively modest (as compared to Karl’s pipe-dream) — but it is actually something.

Yet more evidence that Karl can’t even be successful at hoarding.

I’ll admit that creating a video such as this would probably require Karl to refrain from binge-listening to “creepypastas”/loitering in various parking-lots/masturbating to David Icke videos — for at most, a few hours.

The fact that it would require him to actually expend effort means that it will never happen.