Visual sexism

ad fail, AKA “Fargo, sometimes you suck”:

skeptic fail, AKA “how very 1863 of you”:


18 comments on “Visual sexism

  1. David Marjanović says:

    What’s up with 1863? Mesmer was earlier, orgone was later.

    I suppose the ad designers at Skeptoid wanted to parodize one of those pseudosciences, and their male privilege prevented them from noticing they had just made yet another ad with a woman for decoration on it.

  2. Algernon says:

    Ugh. Really?

  3. Jadehawk says:

    What’s up with 1863?

    it’s the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that cover.

  4. llewelly says:

    For years I loved skeptoid. Then came their weird episode “defending” SUVs. Which amounted to little more than denialism of air resistance. Next came their episode defending DDT. Which amounted to the DDT-ban myth, and denialism of the evolution of resistance to DDT. Now this ad …
    Penn Gillette,
    Michael Shermer,
    and now Brian Dunning.
    Libertarianism is not a good influence on skepticism.

  5. Jadehawk says:

    Libertarianism is not a good influence on skepticism.


    and did they seriously have an episode defending DDT?! jesus fuck, I thought that was the territory of nutcases like c*m*rd**n

  6. Paul says:

    Libertarianism is not a good influence on skepticism.

    Understatement. Libertarianism works by Faith, and starting from that you can convince yourself of anything if your faith in your premises is strong enough. Further, anything that threatens the faith must relentlessly be destroyed. So you get “skeptics” defending DDT — and not in a measured, potentially sane way like “the problem is with repeated exposure over a period of time, and it might be usable at temporally disparate times allowing for mutations that allow resistance to die out since they add to the genetic load and make the population less fit than those without when DDT is not present, which would at least be a testable hypothesis and not pure denialism. Nope, libertarian faith leads straight to denialism, starting with how markets and externalities really work and branching out from there.

  7. David Marjanović says:

    Oh yeah. This immediately jumped to my mind, too, but I had forgotten the name and probably never knew the date… and of course the painting triggered a scandal when it came out, while the crickets seem to be chirping all over the Skeptoid ad.

    and did they seriously have an episode defending DDT?! jesus fuck, I thought that was the territory of nutcases like c*m*[*]rd**n

    On the one hand, the myth that it was a bad idea to ban DDT (resistance? what resistance?) is very widespread. My generally well-read and very intelligent grandfather was an adherent, and it goes without saying that libertarianism just… doesn’t exist over here.

    On the other, the obvious job of organizations like Skeptoid is to debunk myths like that one, so I’m really surprised to learn they did the opposite.

  8. Jadehawk says:

    well, the scandal over that painting broke out because it so massively broke with convention and tradition.

    The skeptoid cover OTOH is, by virtue of resembling the paining so much, the exact opposite in social terms: it’s so conventional and tradition-bound, it is using a style that was “edgy” almost 150 years ago. hence the silence.

  9. David Marjanović says:


  10. llewelly says:

    David Marjanović | April 15, 2011 :

    On the one hand, the myth that it was a bad idea to ban DDT (resistance? what resistance?) is very widespread.

    Use of DDT for controlling disease-bearing pests remains legal almost everywhere in the world. It is technically incorrect to call the regulation a “ban” unless you are promoting some use other than control of disease-bearing pests.

  11. llewelly says:

    Jadehawk | April 15, 2011:

    … and did they seriously have an episode defending DDT?!

    Tim Lambert’s disection of Brian Dunning’s DDT podcast.

  12. Jadehawk says:

    aah, deltoid, how I love thee…

  13. Paul says:

    On the topic of Libertarianism…

    Went to see Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 because a work acquaintance with Libertarian leanings was lonely and wanted to catch a flick, and I’m self-sacrificing to a fault. God, I want to puke. So much audience applause.

    Of special note was that all the people in the background holding signs like “where is my job” or “looking for work” were white, because otherwise the target audience would simply think “they need to stop being lazy and get work, the bums” instead of realizing that the point was to show how the horrible government is putting people out of work by requiring completely new products be demonstrated safe before they are used in public infrastructure, among other bureaucratic faux pas. Extra credit for the line “I studied Engineering, I know Rearden Steel is the best product on the market”, when the application is one that the product hasn’t even been small-scale tested on. I need to use that one at work…

    Even more bonus points for how a factory that basically designed an engine that could run on atmospheric AIR (not even pressurized) went out of business because they flattened wages. The junior engineer that designed it quit, and somehow with plans and a prototype they couldn’t do anything with it. Ignoring the fact that in any place I’ve ever worked at, the junior engineer wouldn’t have any rights to his invention anyway and a wage flattening would have given him a RAISE. God, I’ve lost my will to live.

  14. Paul says:

    Oh, and they seriously referred to the wage flattening as “giving to each according to their needs instead of their contributions”. urk.

  15. Jadehawk says:

    there’s some deep irony in your altruism towards your libertarian friend…

  16. David Marjanović says:

    …I hope the libertarian friend will notice it sometime.

    *tea made from cocoa shells, rooibos, cinnamon, aniseed, licorice, and vanilla, all of them from organic farming, for Paul*

    I’m off to read Deltoid.

  17. David Marjanović says:

    DDT ban myth bingo on Deltoid. From 2005.

  18. The two men in the painting are obviously nerds, so rapt in the techie talk of the time that even with her clothes off, the woman couldn’t get their attention. So this is where “Dumb and Dumber” got the idea!!

    Libertarians are more comfortable with uncertainty, complexity and emergent phenomena like markets. That is more suggestive of mathematical insight and an understanding how little we really know than “faith”.

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