The Big Link Stink
Or, Don't Take Skeptic X Through the WoodsJames Patrick Holding
We all know how Skeptic X wishes for links, no doubt after using that "pigs fly" metaphor so many times. We had some idea that he would soon be writing an article whining about what he thinks are a lack of promised links on this site; knowing I had given him such links, I figured this would be fun. It was. First of all, Skeptic X tries to weasel out of that "90% of the website" gaffe by claiming that he was confused by my demand for an 8-year advance payment. Riiiight. He still missed that little clause that said it was per article, so this is nothing but Mr. Skilled Rationalizer at work again, trying to explain his way out of another honking enormous reading gaffe that would make Laubach give Skeptic X a wedgie. The manure pile deepens further as the Rationalizer rationalizes:
Since it would be impossible to know in advance how much band space my articles would occupy over a period of eight years, I could see only a demand that I pay 90% of the cost of his website and make payment for it eight years in advance. At the very least, then, [Holding] communicated his demand very poorly, but that would be nothing new for him.
Skeptic X asked me about this on a forum this very day and I explained to him about server costs and occupation of space; you can see more of that conversation on one of the forum links we give on the What's New page. Not that it matters. This charge of poor communication is X's cover charge for poor reading and poor attention to detail. It's a lame and pathetic excuse for his own mistakes, the same lame excusing he's been using to justify things like lying about his religion to make his pay through Bam Bam Bible College. If Skeptic X would rip off people like that, it's not below or above him to invent such rationalizations for embarrassing reading errors like this one. The roast has been carved with a big letter J.
Now even the most goofy Skeptic can see through these flimsy excuses, if they are not already convinced Skeptic X is set in the flesh, so he spends the next few lines whining about how he tried to negotiate debate guidelines with me. He is right to say that I "stopped negotiating and went off on his own to begin the debate". It became obvious that Skeptic X was taking too long to decide which shoe went on which sock, and since he doesn't sign a contract with every shmoe who shows up on his Errancy list, he didn't need no guidelines anyway. As an aside he claims his replies on the Land Promise are still in progress, which means, he stopped months ago and may get back to it in 2034. He's approaching where I pinpointed one of his biggest, boneheadiest errors in the lot, and the excuse he comes up with should make the cover of Skilled Rationalizing magazine's Excuse of the Year.
So then. Skeptic X then provides a correct copy of my promise to link to articles I agreed to debate on -- which so far was just Land Promise and Olivet Discourse. All the others are his idea, and he's regretting it and quitting two topics for every one he brings up. He then beefs a bit about the time he wasted discussing the matter with me before I knew he'd have a website to host his material. Now watch this. He quotes me:
It's clear you have far too much spare time on your hands, so this coming Saturday check: http://www.tektonics.org/tilldebate.html
There's nothing there now, but by Saturday late morning there will be. I would strongly suggest you find someone to host your end until theskepticalreview.com is online and running. I will be linking to the Sec Web's copy of "Yahweh's Land Promise" and my response will be beneath via link. If/when you mount a defense, inform me of the URL and I will link back to that. And so on.
There we go. Now check that page and what's there? You can see it. Links to both debates in progress. So what's Skeptic X's McProblem? Skeptic X claims I am "reneging on that promise" for he says he went there and:
In checking his Tektonics website, I found the following articles that were presumably "replies" to my rebuttal articles in the different debates we are engaged in, and none of them contain links to my articles that were being "answered."
Scrambled Skeptic X with Sausage, Part 3
Scrambled Skeptic X with Sausage, Part 2
And so on. But whoa just a minute. Read my lips, Skeptic X. The links back to the answered articles are right there on the page named tilldebate.html -- the page X found these articles from. In fact, here's a huge equivocation on Skeptic X's part: tilldebate.html contains links only to ONE of three articles with the "sausage" title. After that you get to Parts 2 and 3 with continuation links on the bottom of the articles. And in between the articles he cites are -- what? Links directly to his own website and the exact articles in question. Hello? What exactly is the problem, here? He has his links. What more does the egotist want? He wants special treatment is what he wants:
When I say that I "found" these, I, pardon the expression, literally meant that I found them. I started searching at [Holding]'s latest entries to his website in his December 20, 2002, update and by working down I found these "replies," none of which contained the links to my articles that he was "answering." As readers can see in the quotations above from his own e-mail messages, he promised that he would supply the links, but they are not there.
Beg pardon, but I did exactly what I agreed to do and that WAS NOT link to Skeptic X's material from the What's New page, which is apparently what he refers to. He's saying he didn't find what he wasn't told he would get. Brilliant. So the links are where I said they would be; they are all there, right where he was told they would be. In fact Skeptic X even quotes my email where I gave him this specific instruction, and even quotes his reply letter where he acknowledges that he understands this. So, what is this but equivocation, folks? What is this but a burnin' hunk o' straw? The link to his 1991 Land Promise article? It's there -- to Infidels.org where it still is unless that place burned down in the interim. Right where I said it would be, on tilldebate.html. Skeptic X whines, "I sent an e-mail message to [Holding] and asked where his link was, and he wrote back to say that he had put it in another article on his site, so we can already see the game [Holding] is playing." The best game for Skeptic X would be Memory, because he's confusing two instructions, and what letter is this to begin with? Links IN articles themselves were given for items I did NOT agree to debate, but he went on with anyway -- this includes the men with David issue, Abiathar, and a few others. All links are right where Skeptic X was told they would be, and he's a confused puppy with his tail in a sling. (In line with what I note below, I have removed links from Abby and others with a note as to why.)
Skeptic X supposes I won't link to this particular article I am now replying to, and he is right -- not until he issues a full apology for his confusion and misrepresentation, both on the 90% comment above and on this link business. Which means, never. As a result the majority of the rest of his complaint-fest is misplaced gutter leavings and crude psycho-manipulation. The links are there. He's pretending not to see them. So much for his claim that the lack of links means I lack confidence in my replies. Since they ARE there, draw the appropos conclusion from Skeptic X's own mouth.
Now for a few other accessories, beginning with where Skeptic X once again insults reader intelligence based on his assumption that You Must Be Stupid Because You Are a Christian. He doesn't like my satire. Too bad. It's a legit expression, unlike his constant lying and misrepresentation. He doesn't like me using creative verbs like "burbles" to describe his speech. Again, too bad. It describes the worth of his arguments well enough at any rate. But it's primary purpose is entertainment value (as heaven knows Skeptic X himself has become boring enough as is), but just have a look at how stupid and gullible Skeptic X thinks you are: "Unable to answer what I blubbered or burped or burbled or whinnied, he seeks to discredit it in the minds of his gullible choir members, who will likely react by thinking something like, 'Well, if [Holding] thinks that Till just whinnied or burped this, then there must not be anything to what Till said in these places.'" Hear that? You're so dumb that you'd actually reason it out like that based on the use of verbs. You're just plain dumb and easily swayed; why? You must be, otherwise you'd be where Skeptic X is now. Just that same rampant egotism in action. It never occurs to Skeptic X that you already agree, of course, that his words are worth as much as a burp to begin with. From the consensus of those "gullible choir members" that was already the case even before I used such verbiage. Either way we'll wait and see if Skeptic X can engage that deluded fantasy when and if he ever answers Part 3 and shows how we have "not been able to answer" his emissions. He complains more thereafter about lack of links, but once again, it's no more than his old shell game. He does drop this hint in turn:
Of course, he isn't at all consistent in his position on Google searches, because I counted 13 different links that he put into the above article that enable readers to access quickly something he or Glenn Miller or others had written elsewhere that he thinks would help his case if his readers could quickly access them. Why didn't he just leave it to his readers to do their own Google searches to find whatever it was that he was linking them to? Well, any moron could answer that question. [Holding] knows that if he doesn't give his readers links to what he doesn't wants them to see, few of them will take time to search for them.
And indeed, any moron did answer that question; and it's a load of paranoid analogical impairment. News flash: The big diff there is, that I *only* linked to Miller's stuff and my own -- I didn't provide extended quotes to it. If Skeptic X wants to see consistency, he can run his way through our 1000 articles and he will find that the general rule is:
So it runs down to, Skeptic X thinks this is all because I don't want "readers to see how much he is skipping or distorting in his opponents' articles," but as for that, we're still waiting for Skeptic X to produce one actual living example of a "skipped" or "distorted" argument that made a diff, as so far all we have is him whining that I didn't quote him on arguments of his I didn't dispute, or whining that I didn't quote something that was already conceptually refuted. If I refute point A of the argument, and point B depends on A, there's sure as heck no reason to quote B unless Skeptic X needs his ego massaged.
In the meantime Skeptic X plays the part of the user and the loser. He tells us, "I have received apologies from his readers for his conduct that they consider inappropriate for someone claiming to be a Christian..." Not that he names names or quotes quotes; in the meantime, we do get letters -- once every three months on average, out of about 2200 letters in that time span -- asking "why do you use so much sarcasm" and 19 out of 20 of those, when referred to our material here, say "oh" and leave it be. The rest persist in decontextualizing, and are balanced by the 30 letters per month that say they love our sense of humor. So much for majority rules.
Next up, Skeptic X spins a charge of "damage control" and says:
...he knows that he must do everything possible to minimize the chances that his readers will see the articles he is claiming to "answer." He is also aware of how this must look even to his readers, so he is trying desperately to rationalize his refusal to link his articles to the ones he is "replying" to. In an article entitled "Open Mouth, Insert Brain: Some Intructions [sic] on How to Use Search Engines Effectively", [Holding] desperately tried to justify his refusal to put links in his articles by stupidly claiming that anyone who knows how to use google.com could easily find whatever articles he is "answering."
O-kay...now who saw that contradiction? I am "trying to minimize the chances" that you'll see Skeptic X's articles (which you actually already have, but he assumes you'd all deconvert if you really HAD seen them, so you must not have)...by, um, explaining to you how to find them. That made sense. Now Skeptic X skillfully rationalizes a couple of reasons why he thinks this won't help, and one of these is that he avers -- rightly, actually -- that a new article takes time to show up on Google and other engines. Yes, it does. However, every one of Skeptic X's articles I have responded to up until recently have been OLD articles that have laid on Infidels.org for years, and thus are accessible via Google. The exceptions? You guessed it. The new ones on his website that I do link to, per my promise. Skeptic X has no complaint whatsoever. It took about a dozen searches for phrases in my instructional article for Skeptic X to get the point, but he wasted his time with an irrelevancy, and then went and wasted Stevie Carr's time and Jeff Lowder's time asking them to do the same. Skeptic X must not have much confidence in his own search abilities, which is no surprise given his ineptitude in not even knowing that you don't search for a specific article by plugging in "Bible prophecy". At any rate his complaint that readers of a new article here "won't be able to find [his] article with a Google search, no matter how many key words and expressions, taken from quotations, that they type into the search window, because the article won't yet be in the Google archives" is irrelevant because up until now I have been providing the links faithfully, despite his lack of notice of what is plainly in front of him.
So that's Whine 1 debilitated. Whine 2 is another case of Skeptic X's analogical impairment, as I used as an example of how to use search engines effectively a case where I found a poem by Ogden Nash, one partly satirizing Lord Byron, by inputting a unique line of text. From this Skeptic X draws the conclusion, "[Holding] accuses skeptics of being stupid, but this example he used shows just how stupid he is. He is comparing internet articles of people who are relatively unknown to the likes of Lord Byron and Ogden Nash. Of course, one could do a Google search and easily find a particular poem written by Lord Byron or Ogden Nash, because these were both literary giants, whose works have found their way into major anthologies of British and American literature, but what about an internet article by either [J. P. Holding], er, excuse me, 'James Patrick Holding,' or Farrell Till? That will be a different matter entirely." It will? No, it won't, and Skeptic X has just verified yet again the adage that Skeptics Named X in Particular are Stupid. Excuse me, but does Google know that Ogden Nash was a literary giant? What code did Google.com use to let their machines know that Byron was a big kahuna? Do be real, Skeptic X. This is exactly the kind of stupidity that makes Skeptic X think he can plop "bible prophecy" in and find a specific article. That's not how Google works. It doesn't care how famous a person is who wrote what is on a website. Google is a democratic searcher that looks for what you ask for. As for the comparison, it's Skeptic X again claiming that I can't ask for money and Dan Barker can, because he's bigger than me. It's getting to where we wonder if the mental disorder Skeptic X has is catching.
Skeptic X has a few more whines; he says that:
For example, I have completed and posted a nine-part reply to [Holding]'s preterist position. It is entitled "Humpty Dumpty Takes Another Fall," Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc. All nine parts were posted weeks ago, but as of January 1, 2003, if you did a Google search using "Humpty Dumpty Takes Another Fall," you would get a hit only to Part 1. The other eight parts were not yet in the Google archives.
That's nice. And that means readers are guaranteed to find all nine parts unless Skeptic X's webmaster is a blithering idiot. As I recall Rob Miles does end every Part 1 with a link to Part 2, and the end of Part 2 to 3, and so on, so that means that readers have all they need to find the material. Not that they didn't already, since I clearly link directly to Humpty Part 1 on tilldebate.html already. So much for Skeptic X's renege dregs.
Skeptic X then relates how he searched on 1/1/03 for one of my own articles posted 12/24/02, and how he found nothing. That's nice. Who cares? The article he searched for -- my extended review of The Bible Unearthed -- isn't a response to any Internet item and I don't care that no one can find it right away. Skeptic X manufactured another irrelevancy in his attempt to dig dirt. Skeptic X calls my instructional article a "duplicitous attempt to pull the wool over his sheep's eyes." If you're one such sheep who can't find where Skeptic X lives, lift your paw and give me a baaaa. So far though all the sheep have been saying is "baaaaa haaaaaa haaaaa haaaaa" -- after finding, and reading, and not being convinced by, Skeptic X's articles.
And back again to the idea, that gee, I link to Miller's material and inside my own site, so I must be a hypocrite. Skeptic X's charge only sticks if he finds an article, sorry, where I both link AND quote from the article in question, and was not asked to do so by the original writer. The one he notes linking to Miller's article on Thallus is no such example. The same for the examples Skeptic X pulls from my article on the definition of pistis, and on Edgar Jones (whose site, he failed to mention, we did NOT link to either). Skeptic X cracks open the paranoia box and yelps:
You can be sure that if [Holding] found these works "extremely useful," then they present biblical views that support his own. If, however, all that [Holding] has said about links not being necessary is true, why didn't he just list the titles of these works and then tell his readers that they could find them at Google? The question is stupid, because anyone who has an intelligence that's even below average would know that internet links make access to materials readily accessible but that few readers of an internet article will take the time to go to a search engine and try to find an unlinked article with key words and expressions. Hence, the omission of links to articles [Holding] is answering increases his chances that readers will never see just how much he hopped, skipped, and jumped over in "replying" to those unlinked articles.
As noted above, we're still waiting for a proven and effective example of "hop, skip, jump" that isn't just Skeptic X in the air as his behind gets raked over the coals. In the meantime note that this is a guy who thinks you WILL take the time to read his ENTIRE collection of long, repetitive, overblown articles, but WON'T take time to use a search engine. Can we say, "selective cognitive dissonace"?
Skeptic X rehashes his previous canard about new documents online -- irrelevant in this context, as we have shown -- and has this whine as well:
"Were You Expecting it?", which [Holding] touted as a reply to "Stevie Carr" and Brooke Trubee, was posted December 13, 2002. [Holding] quoted both Carr and Trubee in the article, but if he quoted them accurately, none of their articles can be located by using key words in a Google search. Needless to say, his article gave his readers no links to the articles by Carr and Trubee that he was "answering."
Skeptic X has his mind in reverse; the article was not "touted as" a reply to Brooks and Carr but was an item on the Spanish Inquisition. Brooks and Stevie come in only later, not as primary subjects but because I was alerted to their comments on an Internet Infidels forum. And sorry, but Skeptic X missed that there IS a link to that forum -- he needs to check the sentence, "See here for all the goofy details." There's a link there right to iidb.org and that doesn't stand for Ignorant Intolerant Dumbbell Bigots. Though with Skeptic X in the club, you never know.
So in conclusion, Skeptic X says that this "is more than enough to expose [Holding] as a liar" and sums it up:
Now here's a close of our own. A reader recently suggested that we ought to disconnect all links to all persons -- not just Skeptic X -- who openly disrespect me by using my real name rather than my writing name. In light of Skeptic X's patent lies about the 90% comment above, his continuing equivocation, and his continual shifting to new topics in order to avoid the old ones he's getting licked on, thus proving he is a worthless opponent even more so than ever, I have decided that our reader is correct. Any person who shows such disrespect for a person's privacy deserves no links, and Skeptic X will get none, unless by July 1, 2003, he orders erased or replaced all references to my real name on his website. That's plenty of time to get it done, and enough time so that Skeptic X can't whine that we are "hiding" his responses from readers. Skeptic X wants to quote his trophy apostate? I refer in turn to a Skeptic who told me that it doesn't matter at all why I or anyone else uses a pseudonym; it should be respected even if I just like to use one. Skeptic X has had this free ride long enough, and now it's time for the 70 year old to grow up and cease the temper tantrums. He has no excuse for not making the change and is a liar if he claims otherwise. We'll just see where his priorities lie. Update: Obviously this deadline has passed and we will remove links at our convenience.