I get email


Over in the comments, you may notice a response from a guy named John A. Davison. He commented here on a post about Skatje Myers’ post about how poorly argued Sam Harris’ book “The Moral Landscape” is.

His comment was:

John A. Davison says:

Slatje has even let a senile old fool like myself hold forth on her website. I say good for Skatje. She is sure a cut above her father!

jadavison.wordpress.com

I linked to his blog and checked it out.

Take a look.

John A. Davison has six posts, and almost every comment is from John A. Davison. None of the comments I read linked back to another blog, so I couldn’t verify that the person actually existed or not.

Little red flags shot up. 

“Maybe this John A Davison character is certifiably nuts,” I thought to myself.

This may not be a big deal to you, but there are 100s of comments on Davison’s blog. And Davison is practically the sole source of these comments.

Does that strike you as odd? 

Soon after his blog comment, I got an email from Davison that said:

Jeremy,
Why don’t you tell your readers exactly who you are right up front?
I responded and I wrote:

I’ll bite, John.

Why don’t I?

All the while, I thought to myself, “John Davison contacted me via my blog that is called ‘Le Café Witteveen’. Witteveen is one of the rarest names in America. My photo is on the front page of my blog. John Davison called me by my first name. My last name is on the page and it’s in my masthead. What am I missing?”

He responded and said:

Jeremy
I think it is because you are insecure, the same reason that the vast majority of blog users hide their credentials and real identity. I don’t tolerate anonymity on my website and I don’t think anyone else should either. I’m in the minority of course but that does not mean my perspective is  without merit.
John

Just for fun, let’s put this conversation in bullet point form.

  • John A. Davison found my blog and commented on it.
  • John A. Davison found my email address in my “about le Café” link.
  • In the “about le Café” link, I write egregiously vague things like, I’m an “atheist” “photographer” living in “Chicago”. I’m not a “scientist” but have a love for “science.”
  • In my “about le Café” section, I write if you want to contact me … here is my PERSONAL email address.
  • In my “about le Café” section, I write my full name.
  • John A. Davison emailed me and told me I remain anonymous because I’m insecure, that I’m hiding my “credentials” just like the vast majority of “bloggers”.

Let’s assume that I’m the crazy one in this conversation. Maybe someone stole my identity and commented on his blog, and I’m flailing my arms about for nothing.

Regardless, he found me through my blog. That means that putting my name and who I am and what I represent on the front page of my blog is CRAZY. Writing my name and contact info on my blog in the “about” page makes me one of many insecure, anonymous bloggers on the Internet.

Do any of us have to consider the status of John A Davison’s mind any longer before we achieve the conceived notion that he might be the weirdest, most oblivious commenter on this blog that we’ve ever seen?

If obvious, direct access to Jeremy Witteveen is seen as an insecure anonymity, how can anyone take any observation or analysis of anything academic or otherwise … seriously?

And, boy, oh boy! John A Davison is angry that no one takes him seriously. He published something or another that evolution is bunk … and it says he published it ON HIS BLOG.

Whoop-dee-fucking-do.

Let me read your published work, John. None of the links to recommended books on your stupid blog work. If you’ve been banished from a blog, it’s likely because you exhibited crazy behavior like telling a non-anonymous person they were an insecure anonymous blogger.

If you aren’t a Poe, you are the weirdest person to step into Le Café Witteveen. It’s difficult to take anyone seriously who from second one demonstrated nothing but oddity.

The other way we can look at this is, John A. Davison has been published on another blog … mine … so give him credit for something.

UPDATE!!!

The saga continues below the fold. Per John’s request, I’m publishing our email correspondence.

Continue reading

Apple has more money than your government


From Business Insider:

[T]he world’s largest tech company has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government.

That’s because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not.

Do you know why Apple has more money than the government? Because they have convinced people like me to buy their products. I’m an atheist to religion, but a fervent believer in Apple product consumption.

Read more:

Let’s ease into this


Whatever happened to that rock-n-roll trend to break down the music to some minimalistic drums, guitar and thuddy bass line while the singer spilled some erotic lyrics like in Van Halen’s Panama?

Back in my high school band, my brother wrote these sections into songs. They were hilarious callbacks to a recognizably hilarious songwriting technique.

All this is to say, let’s ease back into our return from Carbondale. We got back late last night. Today is our vacation from vacation.

I’ll catch up on some blogging. Some laundry. I need to get ready for a big week.

Our time away was good. Out of a bit of a need to detox from the Internet and because it was too difficult to connect out there, I left my phone in our bedroom, and stayed off the grid for a few days.

Our hosts’ home is full of books and magazines, like The Atlantic, National Geographic and Newsweek. Book-wise, I read through a lot of “Game Change” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. And then I spent a while with “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen.

Some critics tout Jonathan Franzen as being the best living American author according to clippings that were neatly folded and stuffed in the front of this copy of the book. These two separate articles gave Franzen a virtual blow job and explained in not-very-convincing terms why you should accept his manhood in your mouth as well.

Everything I read from “Freedom,” my mind wandered around aimlessly without paying any attention to the words written.

I guess I’m not going down on Franzen anytime soon.

Imagine me, pool side, in a loin cloth, reading aloud to Tina. 

On Friday morning around 10:30 a.m. the sun was laying down a heat napalm worse than anything we’ve experienced in Chicago. It was 95 or 96 degrees.

I laid two towels out by the side of the pool. I stripped off a sweaty t-shirt that read, “This Beer is Making Me Awesome.” I had “Game Change” with me. I laid down on my belly, propped myself up with my elbows, and opened the book. “Hey Tina, I’m going to read to you from these pages!” I said. And from that position — wearing only my bathing suit — I read several pages to Tina.

She loved it.

“Game Change” is a political look into the last election, attempting to explain the hows and whys of Obama’s victory despite his pathetically short resumé. The writers try to show how Hillary Clinton, the favored hopeful took second fiddle, and then got wooed by Obama to be his Secretary of State. It talked about McCain’s campaign and eventual loss, highly thanks to the impetuous choice to make piss-poor, overly confident and badly educated Palin his running mate.

In a chapter called, “Sarahcuda” Halperin and Heilmann describe McCain’s vetting team missed the mark so hard that they knew they were going to lose from early on. They said that Palin wasn’t even on the short list, but that if they wanted to take the presidency, they needed a “game changer” not a safe pick.

What I took from the portions I read was politics are a joke in this country. Our leadership is dictated by a bunch of morons. It’s a stage show. It’s a popularity contest, and the contestants might be nice people who mean well, but the people behind them are a lot of faceless demons with ambitions that probably do not match yours in any shape or form.

National Geographic, take me away!

One NatGeo article I read was about Göbekli Tepe, an almost 12,000-year-old temple found in southeast Turkey. This was a religious sanctuary dedicated to some form of worship that predates other civilized religions. Archeologists think that the temple predates agricultural advancements. They claim that religion organized hunters and gatherers so the they could focus on staying in one area. Previously, science thought that organized people invented religion to magically encourage a fertile earth. The discovery of Göbekli Tepe may change that.

I read through several other articles and books. I made some headway with Julie Ferwerda’s book “Raising Hell.” I’ll write about that in another post.

I skimmed through an article that claimed it would set the record straight about the Founding Fathers. It discussed how Thomas Jefferson would consider himself a Tea-Bagger, promoting small government and power to the people, but that the party wouldn’t accept him because of his infidelities, his deism and his views on slavery. The writer carefully pointed out that atheists are wrong to claim he was one of them. And theists are just as ridiculous for wanting him on their side.

Jefferson did not accept the virgin birth, the resurrection nor the Trinity as true. But Jesus was an alright guy, and world philosophies were important to his views.

I wish more people saw the world a little more realistically as Jefferson seemed to. I mean, who cares if Jesus wasn’t magically born, and he wasn’t the actual son of god in the sense that he’s a relative of the almighty? What if everyone saw themselves as connected to the largeness of the universe, and whether you called that largeness “god” or not didn’t matter?

I’m tired of people claiming god’s grandeur when his book makes him out to be a big douche and his followers make him even douchier. But I’m biased, and I write biased things.

Alright, I’m rambling. So much for this post. It’s getting published, and I’m going to make myself some lunch.

Rest and relaxation


20110728-112134.jpg

There really isn’t a good Internet connection out here in our hosts’ home, so it’s going to be relatively quiet the next couple days.

We didn’t have too late of a night last night. We hit a local store called Walmart, you may have heard of it. We got some beverages and returned to stargaze. We are far enough out that the stars are very visible. I got some cool shots last night.

This morning I ran 2.69 miles and did 20 minutes of pool laps. We had some breakfast and now I’m out by the pool with lovely Tina.

Im going to read the NatGeo article about the origin of religion and keep moving through Julie Ferwerda’s book “Raising Hell.”

Have a honking good Thursday!

It’s Wednesdog!


 

Today’s Wednesdog is brought to you by our doggie fundraiser photo shoot from this past weekend.

(Surprise!)

The above dog is Ivy. Ivy proves how great it is to be a dog. Not only can Ivy lick her own nether region, she can pick her nose and grab wily boogers that get lodged on TOP of her nose.

This is “intelligent” design, only nature did it, and we should all bow down and pledge allegiance to the United States of Darwin. I mean America.

This tongue ability separates us from the “animals”.

Damn, Evolution, you’re cruel.

 

 

Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It’s off to Carbondale we go!


Summers and families are for road trips. You know what I’m talking about!

Every year, Tina, Michael, Jason and I hit the road for a quick trip to Carbondale, IL, where the waters are pure, the people are inbred, and the McDonald’s is delicious!

Just kidding.

Carbondale is a university town. Jason’s parents live there in a large home that can accommodate about 10 to 12 people comfortably. They have an in-ground swimming pool, indoor plumbing, and air conditioning. So it’s perfect for people like us to swoop in and rough it for a couple days.

Jason’s dad (Mr. Bradley) is a retired professor. He and Mrs. Bradley love to collect students’ art as they graduate from the university. Their yard and home are covered in sculptures.

We tend to have a few adult beverages and talk about smart stuff like psychology, science, politics and history. I hate it.

I typically do a video every year as a keep sake. Here are a couple from previous years.