A reader defends the otherization and gender-shaming of squirrels

A reader who identifies himself as Bradley Levinson sent a comment about my article “More academic madness: Published feminist analysis of squirrel diets and reproduction shows that squirrels, like marginalized human groups, are otherized, gendered, and fat-shamed, ” which analyzed a truly ludicrous piece of feminist “scholarship” published in the journal Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography. Levinson’s comment, like the paper he defends, is unintentionally hilarious, but it also made me realize that this kind of postmodernist nonsense can both accrue and delude followers—just like theology! Indeed, there are many parallels between theology and postmodern humanities work, but I won’t go into them here. (One, of course, is that its adherents claim that you must be an expert in the field to say anything about it.)

The humor starts with the second word, and I’ve reproduced the comment without changing a letter:

This blog entry ridiculing a study of squirrels, place, and gender, and Practically everyone commenting on this blog, have shown their manifest and abject ignorance. You demonstrate that you haven’t the least understanding of peer-reviewed scholarship in legitimate specialized fields of study. Why would you expect to understand or appreciate a sensitive study communicated according to the rhetorical conventions of its own field? You would never make the same demands of a highly technical paper in mathematics or medicine, so why do you insist on lowbrow accessibility in this case? This is a very good journal!

Feminist geography is a field that examines how uses of space and place by human beings intersect with the broader ecological web of our existence. Yes, there is a focus on how power infuses our use of space and place, often to the detriment of the dignity of women and other marginalized beings.

Dr. Lloro-Bidart provides us with a fresh and provocative look at the complex intersection between 2 squirrel species,the humanly modified landscape, and common cultural discourses. This is a highly imaginative piece–urging us to consider new connections that might have escaped our notice before.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves for these ad hominem attacks on a scholar of stellar reputation. Don’t you have something better to do with your time than snipe at those whose ideas challenge you out of your comfortable orthodoxies? Do something positive. Get a life!

Does this need a response? Mine would be brief: although the field of study may be “legitimate” (whatever that means), the paper at issue is a ludicrous specimen of research in any field, and you don’t have to be a specialist to know that. Peer-review means nothing in a field where “scholarship” consists of verifying your preordained conclusions and couching them in impenetrable jargon. Unlike math and medicine, the layperson can perfectly well figure out what the Squirrel Paper was about. As for the journal being “very good,” well, examine it for yourself. I for one was not impressed, and although not all the papers are as dire as Squirrel Paper, there is little in the journal that I see as a lasting contribution to the knowledge of our species. The “rhetorical conventions” consist of bad writing larded with words like “otherize” and “intersectional”.

As for “our comfortable orthodoxies,” I am happy with my orthodoxy, which demands evidence rather than anecdotes, an unwillingness to buttress preconceived ideas and those of one’s peers for the sake of ideological conformity (or to engage in confirmation bias), and abjures ridiculously convoluted writing.

The rest of the comment shows that Mr. Levinson, having already drunk the Kool-Aid, is beyond redemption. There is no piece of postmodern scholarship, no matter how silly, that won’t be defended by an outraged acolyte. (Or, as in the case of Judith Butler, many acolytes.)

As for ad hominem attacks, I simply recounted Dr. Lloro-Bidart’s conclusions and mocked most of them. I did not say, “This paper is bad because the author beat her dog.” Levinson needs to learn the meaning of “ad hominem”! I went after the arguments, not the person—though of course the person constructed the arguments. To that degree, one can say that she is wasting her time with fatuous “research.” If that is ad hominem argumentation, I plead guilty!

79 Comments

  1. Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I myself, do tend to ignore anyone who tells me to “Get a life!

    • rom
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I keep telling myself that, but somehow I ignore that too.

      • Wunold
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Would you feel better if I would ignore you?

        Wait, damn …

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted May 10, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          A life? Where can I download that?

          – old tagline

          cr

  2. Sshort
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Risible. I also noted the “fieldwork” in the aforementioned article was “an urban community garden in the greater Los Angeles area.” Singular. One garden. In L.A.

    As to the journal in which it was published, the second article I found was entitled “F*cking geographers! Or the epistemological consequences of neglecting the lusty researcher’s body.” The. Second. Article.

    Let me counter… it is the brain that is being neglected by these “researchers.”

    • barn owl
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      It’s utterly risible. The problem, from my perspective (cancer researcher and anatomy/neuroscience educator, undeniably biased), is that in addition to making a pretty good living propagating this stuff, many of these “researchers” enjoy a lusty cavalcade of conferences and sabbaticals in Nice Places. Often they receive travel fellowships and other stipends to attend these conferences, and to pay for their AirBnB’s while they’re conducting this “research” in exotic locales. I can tell you they’re not reviewing grants at some hotel out by Dulles Airport, which is often the extent of my work-related travel in a given year. 😛

  3. Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    It’s pretty easy to determine who the rational scientist is here. And, I laughed out loud at the dancing squirrel, and will remember to use this line in various circumstances 🙂

    • Kevin
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      The squirrel was magical. In all seriousness, reactions to contention are generally predicable, but doing something unexpected can catch people off guard and attain a sense of reflection at the arguments being put forward.

      Acute oddness can often lead to spontaneous introspection: What am I doing here? Is this argument worth pursuing? Am I even right? Is this guy right?…

      • John Dentinger
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        “And you may ask yourself
        What is that beautiful house?
        And you may ask yourself
        Where does that highway go to?
        And you may ask yourself
        Am I right? Am I wrong?
        And you may say yourself, “My God! What have I done?”
        –Just seemed appropriate . . . .

        • BJ
          Posted May 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Letting the days go by, let the oppressive white cishet capitalist hegemony hold me down, letting the days go by..

  4. MKray
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Re: ` the complex intersection between 2 squirrel species,the humanly modified landscape, and common cultural discourses.’
    1. 2 squirrel species
    2. the humanly modified landscape
    3. common cultural discourses
    Since 1., 2. and 3. are in different logical categories, perhaps the writer could explain what their `complex intersection’ entails?

  5. Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    But the choir sings on…

  6. Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Oh man, I love the squirrel meme.

    And Jerry makes me smile–a source of spunk and juicy vocabulary for me, too.

  7. Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “Dr. Lloro-Bidart provides us with a fresh and provocative look…”

    … and Bradley Levinson criticizes you for being provoked by it. How ironic.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 11, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      In Levinson’s world it would seem that disagreement is not a valid response.

  8. Geoff Toscano
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    This theme has already cost me so I’m making no comment.

    You do have to admire the unintentional humour, mind you! Oh sorry…that’s a comment.

  9. pck
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Could the publications in this journal simply be seen as works of literature or other art, using the language of academia as a medium?
    I assume it doesn’t do much for most people but it clearly affects some people considerably, and isn’t that the purpose of art?
    I can’t really object to this type of writing as I believe that the arts should be supported with taxpayer money, and complaining that it’s not art I like seems silly.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      If that was what it was, just let someone say so, and let the chips fall, etc.

      I’ve heard *that* when people, for example, defend Heidegger’s bastardization of German, his reactionary philosophy, etc. Well, ok, but I for one would hope there are better German poets.

  10. Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Personally, I loved the paper and think it is an incredible contribution to scholarship with immediate practical implications. I’m going to stop buying expensive squirrel-proof bird feeders and instead proceed to fat shame the squirrels.

  11. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    This Levinson, below, is linked with Lloro-Bidart & therefore a reasonable chance he’s the PhD who doesn’t know his argumentum ad hominem from a hole in the ground: http://www.indiana.edu/~iuncate/facultyvita/brlevins.html

    He publishes as Bradley Levinson & also in various combos with his middle initials A & U.

    Here’s his google scholar for anyone who enjoys impenetrable article titles! https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?start=20&q=Bradley+A.+Levinson&hl=en&as_sdt=1,5

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      the second link – not all results are him of course

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I have no information about whether you’ve identified the correct author, as I don’t reveal emails or personal information that wouldn’t be public in the comment itself.

  12. Craw
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Of course that second word ignores the “rhetorical conventions” of this site.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Using that word does actual violence to our host and his readers. He’s invaded our safe space and otherized us in a condescending and abusive manner. The fact that he is a man, and presumably white, makes this type of behavior inexcusable. He, of all people, should know better.

  13. Simon Hayward
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Two comments:

    First, on the issue of “a very good journal” Per Wikipedia:
    According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2015 impact factor of 1.180, ranking it 13th out of 40 journals in the category “Women’s Studies”
    I don’t know how IFs are in the Women’s Studies field – I know that would be very low in my own area, but I also know that a lot of good maths and physics journals also have low IFs – because few people read and cite those papers (or perhaps understand them).

    Second – a comment from a colleague who knows about squirrels:
    Fox squirrels were first introduced circa 1850 during the gold rush days as a forage species to be hunted. Western greys were considered too scrawny — talk about body shaming! Eastern grey’s were introduced shortly thereafter and both have spread along the west coast taking up college campuses and neighborhoods according to the amount of predation risk

    He also noted that the area in question has three squirrel species – the eastern fox and the two grey squirrel species and that their distribution follows water and food availability and predation risk. The western grey is more resistant to drought so outcompetes the other two species in more “wild” areas, the eastern species thrive where humans provide water and the fox squirrels deal with predators better than the greys.

    Now going back to writing about prostate cancer, where I don’t need to use elliptical language!

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      One other thing – from Richard Dawkins

      Dawkins’s Law of the Conservation of Difficulty:
      Obscurantism in an academic subject expands to fill the vacuum of its intrinsic simplicity

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        I hadn’t seen that law before but I most fervently endorse its validity.

        There is no subject so simple but that some asshole doesn’t come along and complicate it.

        cr

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      There is a paper in the other-izing of the skinny native squirrels right there.
      ‘I like big nuts and I cannot lie…’

      • Bilious
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Are you paraphrasing, and rhyming with, Taj Mahal?

  14. jaxkayaker
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Jerry, if only you knew anything about scholarship in a specialized field of research, you would never have written your critique of that paper.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      I hope you’re joking with that comment.

      • Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Definitely joking.

      • jaxkayaker
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I was joking, based on the letter writer’s comments, specifically: “Practically everyone commenting on this blog, have shown their manifest and abject ignorance. You demonstrate that you haven’t the least understanding of peer-reviewed scholarship in legitimate specialized fields of study.”

  15. Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I read the paper. Amid the pomo jargon, she makes a valid point about disparaging language and so-called non-native species. But, to me, the language used is anti-immigrant rather than anti-woman. Non-native species are invasive and “don’t belong here.” And because, of necessity, they supplant native species, they are harmful or noxious and must be eradicated.

    • Sastra
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      I had a professional gardener come through my garden last year. She mentioned 3 or 4 times that she could provide replacements for my hostas. I kept telling her but I love hostas. Later, I asked a mutual friend who also gardens what the problem was with hostas. “They’re not native.”

      I live in town. I doubt my hostas are going to jump my fence and invade the forests. It must be a virtue-thing.

      • Posted May 10, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Ha Ha. Walking through a park last week, I casually remarked to a park volunteer that the Scotch Broom was pretty in bloom this time of year. I was treated to an angry ten-minute diatribe on the harm this invasive non-native plant causes. It seems the park has been engaged in a futile decade-long attempt to eradicate the plant. I guess my innocent remark was considered aiding and abetting the enemy.

        • Merilee
          Posted May 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          And maybe even blasphemy??

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      And her shaming of those who disparage non-native species will hardly help native species that are being supplanted.

  16. Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The “rhetorical conventions” of math and science papers *are* accessible. You may need to spend a week or two digging through citations and reference materials, but there are always utterly clear definitions and methods at the bottom. Twenty years ago I pursued studies in both engineering and philosophy. The engineering prepared me to read and apply papers in almost any scientific field (at least at an introductory level). But critical theory is a different story, it seems to be just a lot of word smithing and wheel spinning around constantly evolving social complaints.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think you’ll find many philosophers into “critical theory” (as originally understood, anyway).

      As for the “rhetorical conventions” – one also has to learn the subject matter. This is why most of what passes for “rhetoric of science” work is worthless, since one cannot distinguish form (rhetoric) and content if one doesn’t know what the latter is about and how it is used, etc. (This sounds like Plato’s complaint, and it is.) Worse, some deny there *is* content.

      • Posted May 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        When I think of “rhetorical conventions” in science and mathematics, I can only imagine it refers to formally defined terminology, established theories and methods of exposition. Certainly in mathematical writing the “form” literally is the “content.” I’m aware that philosophical interest in critical theory has been dwindling toward zero. But proponents of critical theory often claim roots in modern or post-modern philosophy or even science (psychology and sociology). My point, though, is that the legitimate sciences are penetrable and clear, if difficult. Critical theory, on the other hand, continues to appear formless and void even after decades of my attempts to penetrate it.

        • Gareth
          Posted May 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          If you go back to the 1800s, you do find people who described their newish fields as critical .
          You had your pronto-arceologists, who often described their work as critical history. Their work involved not taking dead Greek dudes or the bible at face value, reading between the lines somewhat, and then digging holes in the ground to double check if it was really true and discovered all sorts of old lost ruins in the process.

          In a sense, they continue this tradition in the former vein, do a hell of a lot of the middle, and then call it quits before even attempting the latter.

          • Gareth
            Posted May 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            First sentence should read “If you go back to the 1800s, you do find people who described their newish fields as ‘Critical Something’.”

          • Posted May 11, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            I have no problem with “critical”, in general, but that’s very different from the specific movement that called itself “critical theory”.

        • Posted May 11, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          Form is the content in mathematics? Only if you assume an extreme formalist philosophy of mathematics. I’m a factionalist, so I’m perfectly happy to say number theory is about numbers – but numbers are fictions.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      I think the original commenter’s (the one on which Jerry reported) fixation on “rhetorical conventions” betrays the utter lack of content in fields like cultural studies and social geography.

      Math and science use plain language to communicate content about physical or abstract phenomenon. It is true that terminology often plays a large role, but terminology is not rhetoric.

      A rhetorical convention to me is something like the standard Intro-Methods-Results-Discussion of most scientific journals, or the tradition in mathematics of only citing recent sources (subjective, of course, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone citing material from prior to 1965, at least in mathematical analysis).

      Rhetoric is not equivalent to content.

      • Posted May 11, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        I mostly agree, but I have the impression that “rhetoric” is more associated to phrasing within sentences and paragraphs. Maybe it also covers the overall structure of exposition. But I do think rhetorical conventions arise, for instance the introductory paragraphs in my narrow subject follow such a strongly established convention that they tend to trigger plagiarism detectors. These statements are “conventions” in that they communicate minimal new content but are nevertheless universal. I think there are many such conventions for stating totally expected or well known things, with the new information being relegated to a small percentage of the paper’s words. The conventions serve to verify the authors are in the loop, that they have a suitable awareness of the field and topic. I imagine the conventions serve the same function in critical theory, just without so much content.

  17. Posted May 10, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Is this the same Bradley Levinson, anthropologist, whose work focuses on Critical Theory?

    http://education.indiana.edu/brlevins/

  18. Posted May 10, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    This is a highly imaginative piece

    I doubt Bradley notices the irony in that statement.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      That was my reaction too. A pity it wasn’t also informative or very credible.

  19. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Ironically, one of the early usages of the word “postmodern” is in opposition to attempt to accommodate modern thought with Catholic theology. There was a movement in France to reconcile Catholicism with modern thought called “modernism”.

    In 1914, J.M. Hibbert wrote “The raison d’etre of Post-Modernism is to escape from the double-mindedness of Modernism by being thorough in its criticism by extending it to religion as well as theology, to Catholic feeling as well as to Catholic tradition.”

    Later, PM was for a while mainly a school of art criticism.

    PM goes obviously wrong when it appropriates jargon to obfuscate.

    My father is an academic in the humanities who has never trusted post-modernism. 20 years ago while visiting him, he picked up one of my computer magazines and he said “I have no ability to understand this stuff”. I said, “But you understand all these debates about post-modernism”. He replied, “But the stuff in your computer magazine actually means something!!”

  20. J.Baldwin
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    “…so why do you insist on lowbrow accessibility in this case?

    Here’s why: All of this kind of writing broadly falls under the rubric of “cultural studies.” CS as a field (in its own rhetoric) is a political movement aimed at “emancipating” marginalized peoples from oppressive social structures. But writing in this field is exclusionary in the extreme.

    What is more oppressive than creating an academic social system so larded with obscurantist rhetoric that it excludes the very people/groups you’re writing for? Marginalized people are utterly cut off from accessing the so-called “knowledge” by virtue of its impenetrable language, implicitly “shamed” by their own illiteracy and lack of educational attainment (hell, people with PhDs can’t understand much of this stuff). How are you emancipating marginalized peoples by creating an elitist clique that by its very existence excludes many marginalized groups?

    Given their political commitments, of all academic writing, these pomo fields should be the MOST accessible but aren’t.

    …And don’t say “lowbrow.” Doing so, I hear, is not only offensive but an actual act of violence against the uncultured.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      “Cultural studies” at McGill was through the English department. I met some students in it who stumbled (because it is basically pomo pseudosociology in some cases) into an actual hardnosed course on the sociology of religion I took. Terrified of exactness, subjectivistic, etc. Ouch. Too bad, because sometimes they attempt to address interesting problems. (Not squirrel fat-shaming though.)

  21. barn owl
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m worried that sending Jerry pecans from Texas for his squirrels was somehow cultural appropriation that’s going to offend and otherize our native Fox Squirrels.

  22. Taz
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I completely disagree with the squirrel meme. If they’re going to answer in interpretive dance, I’m going to start asking squirrels a lot more questions.

  23. Merilee
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Where to begin??

  24. Peter
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    More:
    Lloro-Bidart, T (2017) A feminist posthumanist political ecology of education for theorizing human-animal relations/relationships. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION RESEARCH 23: 111-130 DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1135419
    Abstract
    * This paper contributes to a nascent conversation in environmental education (EE) research by using ethnographic data and extant theory to develop a feminist posthumanist political ecology of education for theorizing human-animal relations/relationships. Specifically, I (1) engage feminist methodologies and theories; (2) give epistemological and theoretical attention to nonhuman animals; and (3) address the field of EE’s minimal engagement with the interdisciplinary research agenda of political ecology. The paper begins with a literature review examining how feminist and/or posthumanist scholars have theorized human-animal (or human-nature) relations/relationships. Next, I outline the conceptual frameworks guiding the analyses of ethnographic data I collected at Long Beach, California’s Aquarium of the Pacific and follow with a brief overview of the study. I conclude by outlining the major tenets of this article’s conceptual framework, which contributes to a growing conversation in EE regarding human-animal relations/relationships and lays the groundwork for other political ecologies of education. *
    Part of the article consists of interviews with Jennie, a caretaker of birds at some place called Aquarium. This leads to the following (for instance):
    “Jennie also affectively and emotionally engages with the lorikeets in a sort of relational epistemology that undoes the subject-object divide pervading educational spaces. In these relationships, she comes to know and see the animals as persons, both because she recognizes the [positive and negative] characteristics of personhood in them (playing, singing, physically interacting, biting, acting aggressively, making rules) and because of the affective labor she performs in order to care for them. While the macro-political context in which these interactions occur indeed constrains Jennie and the birds (the birds far more than Jennie), the preceding analysis demonstrates that there are products, or affects, that constitute ‘biopower from below’ as Jennie develops relationships with them and cares for them as persons.” (I left out the references to a lot of similar writing – clearly this is a field of ‘research’).
    Lots of crap about a sensible and sensitive attitude by a caretaker of captive birds. Science? Scholarship? No.

    • Craw
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      A lot of this kind of crap uses “autoethnography”. That means “anecdotes about me”.

  25. Bogi Trickovic
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Just wait for “A Journal of Feminist Genetics”. The title of one of the papers could be: Sex-biased gene expression – a tool for oppressing female fruit flies.

    Or this one: No such thing as wild-type and a mutant – on means of otherizing individuals in a hetero-normative Drosophila populations.

  26. Posted May 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, he was right in this statement: “This is a highly imaginative piece”

    • somer
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Just remember everything is “a story”

  27. bric
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I recall that Einstein said “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”
    I really feel sorry for the grandmothers of these scholars – supposing they actually want to explain what they are doing

    • Gordon
      Posted May 10, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I know that my grandmother’s response to the explanation would have been somewhat blasphemous

  28. Posted May 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I initially hoped that Mr. Levinson’s text was satire.

    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      I won $20 from a reader who insisted it was satirical.

      • Christopher Moss
        Posted May 11, 2017 at 5:16 am | Permalink

        From Wikipedia:
        “Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture that states that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views.”

        I was thinking Mr. Levinson had unintentionally transgressed Poe’s Law.

  29. Sabine Stevens
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I think you’re all nuts😉 Love your blog

  30. somer
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Rather than engaging in genuine ad hominem attacks I think a certain person should read up on some science and learn to defend their arguments other than in the language equivalent of emoticons

    “You should all be ashamed of yourselves for these ad hominem attacks on a scholar of stellar reputation. Don’t you have something better to do with your time than snipe at those whose ideas challenge you out of your comfortable orthodoxies? Do something positive. Get a life!”

  31. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    For the record

    I like how PCC(E) posted this, and hope for future posts like it.

    As for my comment: I don’t have time to comment on this, it will be a waste of my time.

    I am glad to see other readers taking up the charge.

  32. Posted May 11, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The world is on the verge of total political lunacy, and we’re debating squirrel behaviour?

    • Wunold
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Says one who took the time to comment on it. 🙂

  33. Wunold
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Says one who took the time to comment on it. 🙂

    • Wunold
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      Thanks WordPress to disconnect my reply from Phil’s posting after reminding me I forgot to enter my e-mail address.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        It does it to me all the frickin’ time 😦

        cr

  34. twig
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    it frustrates me muchly!

    I think squirrels,

    like the rest of life on earth,

    need

    clean food,

    clean water,

    and a place to live;

    maybe less studying and more letting live would help 🙂


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