Frankly put. I am a FAKE GEEK GUY. I admit it. I like geek stuff, but I don’t love geek stuff. Not the way most geeks do. I’m an interloper on the geek scene. I’ve seen the movies, but I don’t know the canon. I am not a true fan.

All those things about not really loving the source material and “just watching the movies” or only reading the one book that everyone has read. That—all of that—applies to me.

But here are some things that have never happened to me. I have never been quizzed about who Data’s evil brother is to prove I like Star Trek. I have never had to justify my place in a midnight line to see Spider-man II by knowing who took up the mantle of Spider-man after Peter Parker’s death. (Peter Parker dies? Really? That’s so sad!) I have never had to explain who Nightwing is in order to participate in a conversation about Batman. (Nightwing is like….Robin on steroids, right?) I have never been asked how battle meditation works in order to voice my opinion that Enterprise shields would probably make a fight with Star Wars technology one sided. (Battle meditation is something that was in that Jedi role playing game, wasn’t it?) I have never had to beat everybody in the room (twice) at Mario Kart to prove I liked video games. I have never had my gender “honorarily” changed by having enough geek interests to be accepted (“you’re one of the guys now”). No one has ever insisted I tell them the difference between a tank and DPS in an MMORPG before allowing me to discuss raiding Molten Core. I have never been dismissed as a faker at a prequel screening because I didn’t know which admiral came out of light speed too close to the planet’s surface in The Empire Strikes Back. I have never been quizzed about Armor Class in order to get past someone who was blocking my path to the back of a game store where my friends were waiting at the tables. I have never been told I’m not a real fan. I have never been shamed for coming to a convention despite my lack of esoteric knowledge. And I have never, ever, EVER been invited to leave a fandom because I didn’t like [whatever it was] enough.

Every one of the things I have listed, I have personally witnessed happen. To women.

That’s not elitism. That’s sexism.

"The Boy Who Isn’t Really All That Special"

Danny walks down the hallway, into the living room
Everyone is fast asleep, but Danny is filled with doom and gloom
He may not ever realize, but his subconscious already knows
That’s he’s just really not that special, and it obviously shows.

Even though he’s only seven, it’s still abundantly clear
That he ain’t curing any disease, or winning Boy of the Year.
No society changing inventions will come from his average mind,
And his thoughts and/or opinions will never alter the course of humankind.

He doesn’t know that yet, and he’ll always be told a lie
That he’s a unique snowflake, and a special lil’ guy.
He’ll belabour under this myth for a lifetime’s worth of years,
Living an average life filled with average happiness and tears.

But does it really matter if Danny isn’t the special-est guy on Earth?
And the world won’t feel any impact from his death or birth?
Because if EVERYONE is special, then no one really is
Each person has their role to play, and being Un-Special is his.

Posted 2/16/2013

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eruditefag asked:

I'm just wondering, what are your academic credentials? I've been perusing your tumblr for some time and as a scholar-in-training of Classics and ancient Mediterranean archaeology I must say that some of things that you have posted concerning the ancient Mediterranean were either misleading or entirely erroneous.

Wow, how rude are you?

I get this exact question at least once a week, usually more, and honestly, it doesn’t make me defensive, it makes me wish I was even LESS qualified than I am. I sure as hell wish I had my f*cking good credit and financial status back instead of being slowly soulcrushed under a mountain of debt.

Almost everything I write about I either knew before college, or learned through my OWN research, because as I’ve said time after time after TIME, THIS IS THE STUFF YOU DON’T. LEARN. IN. CLASSES. IF YOU WANT THE STUFF YOU LEARN IN CLASS, GO TO CLASS. AREN’T YOU LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT AND GET YOUR APPROVED TRUTHS IN THE APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENT.

You some in my inbox with your knickers in a twist asking for my frigging papers and C.V. with your “This isn’t like what I learned in class AT ALL” like THAT SHOULD BE A SURPRISE TO ANYONE. If you don’t like me challenging it, GO DO SOMETHING ELSE.

If it makes you feel good to cast me as some kind of insidious peddler of lies to the gullible, then have at it. I honestly do not care. If you’d rather not take a look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are so committed to the idea that unless you spent thousands of dollars sitting in a classroom and getting a piece of paper that says you were there, you should not be “allowed” to talk about certain things (spoiler: it’s because that’s what you’re doing, and I’d say that makes you pretty invested in the institution of education).

If this had been a message on “You said this thing and why did you say that” or “I think you are wrong about [blank] and here is a thing I read that says otherwise” we could have ACTUALLY HAD A CONVERSATION that people can learn from.

But no, instead you decided to make it about who I am and whether or not you think I’m “qualified”. I mean, come on. Let’s be frank. What you’re saying is really about whether or not someone is “rising above their station” by having this blog. Because if I was a flight attendant, or a migrant worker, or a middle school custodian, or a restaurant server, or someone else “unqualified”, you get to feel superior and fart all over the place about how nothing here really “counts” as anything TRULY academic, right?

News Flash: if you need an excuse to ignore medievalpoc,  you are already free to do that anytime. STOP MAKING THAT MY PROBLEM.

To the future rebloggers with “notice medievalpoc DIDN’T answer the question”, nope! And I’m not going to, either. Enjoy your debunkery. I’d rather people think I’m somehow “unqualified” than continue to legitimize a system of elitism, gatekeeping, and other unsavory practices I fundamentally disagree with.

Listen, I know what it’s like to struggle with money. My dad only makes $500,000 a year. Don’t tell me that I don’t understand what it’s like for black people to be poor in the U.S.
—  Unknown major.

I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating this, but I’m literally not. This is genuinely what he said, I’m not joking.
Tell me if you can spot what is similar about each of these hero-vs.-villain match-ups:
  • Superman vs. Lex Luthor
  • Batman vs. The Joker
  • Batman vs. Bane
  • Tony Stark vs. Obadiah Stane
  • Tony Stark vs. Whiplash

In each of those instances, the match-up is between a person who inherited his wealth and/or abilities and a self-made man who came up from nothing. And each time, we’re rooting for the former.

"What?" you say, "You want us to root for the Joker, you sick bastard?"

No. I’m saying the movie made it so that that was your only other choice.

—David Wong, from "The 5 Ugly Lessons Hiding in Every Superhero Movie"

Of course, there is nothing inherently elitist about reason or the scientific method. Critical thinking involves applying a few simple rules that are accessible to everyone, at least in theory. And indeed, a lot of people become skeptics for the best of intentions: to spread the word of reason and critical thinking, to arm the masses rather than shoot them down. In highlighting bunk and deception wherever it occurs, their aim is to protect the vulnerable against the hucksters, charlatans, politicians and priests who exploit them.

But such is the character of skepticism that good intentions quickly get swamped by bad ones. Look past the crocodile tears on any online debunking forum, and you’ll quickly find that the majority of visitors are not drawn there by concern for the victims of irrationality, but by contempt. They’re there to laugh at idiots. I’m not going to plead innocence here: I’ve often joined in with the laughter, at least vicariously; laughing at idiots can be fun. But in the context of skeptic sites, the laughter takes on a bullying and unhealthy tone. It’s never pleasant to watch a group of university graduates ganging up to sneer at people denied their advantages in life, especially when for some of them it’s a full-time hobby. It’s an unfair fight between unequal resources, and far too few skeptics care about this inequality or want to do anything about it.

You’re not a real Shiny Hunter if you use the Masuda Method.

You’re not a real Shiny Hunter if you use the Poke Radar.

You’re not a real Shiny Hunter if you use the Shiny Charm.

You’re not a real Shiny Hunter if you use Double Grass.

You’re not a real Shiny Hunter if you use 6th Gen. Period.

It’s good to know that gamer elitism is alive and well, in fucking Pokemon of all places.

Online forums, whatever their subject, can be forbidding places for the newcomer; over time, most of them tend to become dominated by small groups of snotty know-it-alls who stamp their personalities over the proceedings. But skeptic forums are uniquely meant for such people. A skeptic forum valorises (and in some cases, fetishises) competitive geekery, gratuitous cleverness, macho displays of erudition. It’s a gathering of rationality’s hard men, thumping their chests, showing off their muscular logic, glancing sideways to compare their skeptical endowment with the next guy, sniffing the air for signs of weakness. Together, they create an oppressive, sweaty, locker-room atmosphere that helps keep uncomfortable demographics away.

Why I Am No Longer A Skeptic

All too familiar with the point being brought up here, you can see this attitude all over the science community of tumblr. Our dysfunctionality and lack of friendship among each other despite our shared interest in the sciences is precisely because of that attitude. They don’t welcome new members with open arms, and anyone who chooses to take a different route because of the demographic society has put them in is met with ridicule or constant derailment. It’s sad to see really, because you watch as people go from dedicating themselves to science and reason, to being snotty assholes shortening their groups of friendship by the day or dedicating themselves to prove a personal point completely unrelated to their supposed love of science and its progression.

OMG you’ll never guess what just happened! My roommate asked me if she could have all the clothes I was throwing out. I was like, ‘uh, how about no! If you can’t afford clothes that’s not my problem!’ She got all mad at me for some reason, and I was worried that she’d try to steal them while I was in class, so I had to set the bag on fire before I left. Ugh, poor people have no shame!
—  Second year med-school student