This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Sarmatae's Profile

Sarmatae's Avatar Joined almost 4 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by Sarmatae

More Discussions by Sarmatae

Latest Comments by Sarmatae

Go to: Lego bible too racy for Sam's Club

Sarmatae's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Sarmatae

I'm behind this decision 100%. I couldn't think of anyone better qualified to decide what is appropriate for me to purchase than the management at big box stores and those at their corporate headquarters. I'm comforted to know that the annals of corporate power are protecting me from myself by only providing the most high quality vetted material.

Oh look it's a Larry the Cable Guy Christmas special on sale! I don't care who you are that's funny right there.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 04:16:24 UTC | #893759

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Sarmatae's Avatar Jump to comment 600 by Sarmatae

Comment 591 by Jay77

Yes, that's Craig's voice at 2:56 and he did in fact say that about the empty chair. What exactly are you trying to point out here?

I would say in the clip that Craig seems to expressly approve of such sophomoric grandstanding done on his behalf.

There's a big difference between a person who goes around themselves creating various publicity stunts for not debating them and that of a sponsor or organizing group that sets up various ad campaigns themselves.

No that's just not a very accurate picture about the relationship between a public figure and those who are organizing on their behalf. The person in question, whether it be Richard or Craig or anyone with a "public image", has paramount authority to what their name is attached to. Richard could probably tell you that, on and off at times, it takes up at least a good bit of his time and some of his attention, just keeping straight where and with what his name is being associated.

Usually the more popular a speaker is the more staff they will have to make such decisions too. A manager with "access" to public relations resources or just a public relations(PR) firm directly is hired to handle such things. Book tours, TV appearances, talks etc...(It can actually be more complex than that, I know of some who has several managers depending on what sphere of public influence) The particular circumstances are dependent on the public figures type of popularity in public image, their choices and expenditures etc.

In the most ambiguous, questionable situations when a public figures name is going to be associated with something the manager/PR company is planning, there are always communications with the public figure themselves. The final decision is made by the public figure with recommendations from the manager/PR firm. That's not to say it's done every time, just where it's mostly very important or very ambiguous. Mostly in these situations there will be a 'release' of some sort with the public figures reaction for yet more publicity and for public reaction. Such as when you hear a promotional video and Criag gives his impression about an empty chair or buses for example.

This is the nature of the machine in public perception management. So yes in fact all the things Craig's organizers do has to have his blessing (pun intended). There is no way they could build any type of public perception without it. It's just a messy fact about a public lifestyle/career that you have to make sure your name is not associated with anything you do not expressly condone. It's the bane of public life that your name can even be associated with many things a public figure doesn't even want to be associated with in fact. Say, if some Neo-Nazi group comes out in favor of Rick Perry's campaign. The onus is then on Perry, he has to publicly disavow their support. To do otherwise is tacit approval of their support. The key to this is if said favor/support is within the the public figures awareness, if it is brought to their attention. So in this case with Craig in the video, not only is his approval not just tacit or even implicit, he is clearly aware and seems genuinely pleased and approving of what his organizers/handlers/managers/PR firm, whatever he employs, has done with his name attached to it.

All this plausible deniability rubbish you're putting forward about these organizers and the people who handle his PR acting of their own accord is just that, rubbish. Do you suppose people with public images like Richard', Craig, the Governor of Massachusetts, or whomever are just along for the ride? Of course not, that's putting the cart ahead of the horse. That is the way the public perception is played. If a reporter asks Craig what he thinks of the empty chair that is precisely the time he is supposed to show his approval/disapproval. Is it expressly, implicitly, tacitly condoned? Or Is it repudiated?

Nothing gets done by these organizers to represent Craig or any public personality that they don't condone. It does at times get pretty complicated. If some public figure can't for some reason publicly condone something associated with their name and they are fully aware of it, and they do approve, then tacit silence is the response. Because that ensures plausible deniability in public image. If it's damaging to a public figure and they do not want to be associated then the onus is on them, when it is brought to their attention, to deny any association. Craig's reaction in the video shows that he is pleased with the job the organizers have done in their asinine publicity stunts and he is showing you his pleased approval right there in that promotional video about their actions. To state otherwise is very disingenuous or shows ignorance in how these things are actually played out.

I'm looking this over and the subject is much more nuanced. Playing public perception is almost an art form to some. I could go on for hundreds of paragraphs about the finer points of the political art of answering questions without answering for example. I had given deep thought about writing some article for submission here. A 10, 20 or maybe even 30 point comparisons between Craig's showman polemics and that of used car, snake oil salesmen or political hucksters. Once the methodologies are pointed out it's actually quite humorous. Honestly I'm too tired right now, I'd be lying if I didn't admit my octogeniety (I just made that up he he) wasn't weighing on me heavily today, been stretching myself thin. This is comprehensive enough to accurately cover this situation. I might not be able to get back to you till tomorrow if the thread's not dead and anyone responds.

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 07:41:35 UTC | #883872

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Sarmatae's Avatar Jump to comment 262 by Sarmatae

Richard can't debate Mr Craig, they are at cross purposes to begin with. I've seen both debate quite a few times and I think I can reasonably ascertain what each of their basic motivations have been.

Richard's purpose in debate (though I notice he seems to have a predilection for a less confrontational, conversation format) seems dedicated to education. Opening minds to new possibilities on how to think, to broaden minds, wherever that may take them.

William Lane Craig's purpose for debate is to go for what he perceives as "winning for jesus". Not seeking understanding for the sake of knowledge, so that he can add another swing to his batting average at best.

These tactics, empty chairs, buses, seem as shallow as the antics one would see on WWE, wrestlers calling each other out. As melodramatic as Craig's world of showmanship is, I don't see Richard tossing the purpose for his entire career aside just to satisfy a traveling showman. It would be like hearing David Attenborough on reality TV, giving the voice over commentary about the strange behavior of the homo sapiens that inhabit the Jersey Shore. Sure that's essentially what he does in documentaries but if you can't see the difference then there is no help for you. Surreal to say the least. BTW isn't Craig a month late for St Giles' fair? I would have thought his sideshow booth would have been towed to the next county by now. Or was he not with that show?

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 07:39:41 UTC | #882817

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Sarmatae's Avatar Jump to comment 246 by Sarmatae

Comment 160 by yeoberry

@ Cartomancer

Now you've ventured into my area of expertise: the Christianity of the early modern era (particularly in England). And you don't have a clue. Christians were at the root of the scientific revolution and Puritanism in particularly was fundamentally in support of science...Snip

I'm only at comment 160 when I post this. I will not usually post until I have read the whole thread. In this case I'll make an exception. I can't describe my anticipation properly, I hadn't realized I'm a Synesthete, because I taste something bittersweet coming. Don't you all envy me, in this titillating moment of antici-


Fri, 21 Oct 2011 03:03:03 UTC | #882766

Go to: [UPDATE]Heads-up to everyone - Bill O'Reilly response expected on Friday Oct 14th

Sarmatae's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Sarmatae

Clearly this promise of a response was a ruse just to get people who objected to tune in to the show with baited breath. I'll call it being O'Reilly rolled. Or something.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 09:30:55 UTC | #881761

More Comments by Sarmatae