End of the Line

Hey there every peoples…
I screwed up bad. I screwed up real bad. Not the kind of “it’s ok, we’ve all been there” bad. The “how dare you! You are utterly despicable!” bad.


My Jurassic World review (specifically part 3) has gotten me in real hot water. I expected insults of course. But its far worse. In trying to take on fanboys I became the fanboy. I am so much worse than those I sought to critise. And I got exactly what I deserved:

Actually the real “cancerous dinosaur fanboys” are those biased scaley monster-lovers, not those who support accurate depictions.
And for the last freaking time, THE SUCKERTIP IS NOT AN OVIRAPTOROSAUR AND NOT A HYBRID!!! It’s a modified scansoriopterygid! Geese pls…

 

The whole showing weapons one could take dinosaurs down with is…weirddd —–>response—-> One of those “yeah I totally have 12 authentic japanese katanas” ppl

 

Who the fudge is this person? I didn’t read the article but they seem like an epic douchebag.

 

What a boring person. Does he think a scaly dinosaur couldn’t be shot?

 

What a stupid article.

 

His “about” and “grand vision” sections lead me to believe that this gentleman is, in fact, a walking boner that has learned to type

 

So, people who want more accurate dinosaurs in popular media are considered fanboys now? When did this reversal of roles happen? I am just 1/5th into the article and think I have had enough stupidity already.

 

Don’t read it, it’s a waste of time. Written by a hateful idiot who doesn’t have a point to make. ——–> response ——-> Yeah read a few paragraphs and realize it was not worth reading further.

 

It’s classic victim-role-change.

 

I agree with , don’t look too close, it hurts deeply in the Prefrontal cortex.

 

Can’t we just let this guy be? Even if we think he’s stupid as all get out, which he may be, I mean, is he really hurting anything? I mean, you can lead a horse to water, there’s still plenty of people who don’t acknowledge evolutionary theory so it may take some time for people to get used to feathered dinosaurs, even though we are very used to it by now. Just some thoughts. ——-> responses:

-As far as I’ve seen no one’s commenting on the blog, and I’d advise people to not to comment, but I do think Nic is at liberty to comment on what he very well likes on his own Facebook wall.

It’s easy to point out things that people are bad at.

“It’s easy to point out things that people are bad at.”

Eh? It’s also easy to be bad at things. So, nobody should point these things out when they happen?

I’m not saying nobody, but I will say that I try to keep it minimal, but I’m hypocritical here too. Im less stressed, I stopped caring about every little idiot on the Internet, it’s worked well for me, but indeed that’s ‘me’ so I want this to be me sharing my experience, I’m not trying to force it on anyone else. I’m not trying to tell the man what to say on his page either, I’m sorry that’s how it’s came off, I’ll try to do better next time. His opinion is valid as is yours, I have just been in a ‘disarmament’ mode lately I suppose.

I think I see what you’re saying—that there’s value in adopting a placatory stance, but am a bit confused by:

“His opinion is valid as is yours”

Nic’s? Mine?

I would not think the linked blogger’s opinion was just as valid as that of scientists or artists. Opinions of willfully uninformed folk are seldom valuable

Yes, those two. Not the blogger. I’m not advocating any validity for the blogger, just saying, I don’t feel compelled to pick on him either.

 

Talking about something on facebook isn’t the same as ‘taking action’ of any sort, right? We’re allowed to callout epic douchebagery.

 

sure, but I just prefer to share cool things rather than stupid ones. I didn’t read the article but why is he a douchebag exactly, what did he do to harm you?—- response—–>

For example he called one of my fake theropods “What?! You didn’t build a better fake theropod, you just spliced an oviraptorsaur with Ahnold.” It isn’t even a hybrid and also not an oviraptorosaur. Didn’t he notice the teeth? And he’s calling himself a palaeontologist? Oh, my! It’s a scansoriopterygid. Besides that he failed in writing the name “Arnold” and the term “oviraptorosaur” and realizing, that I have other more terrifying fake theropod designs. Same goes for Brian Engh’s designs, of which he chose one of the less terrifying ones. He specifically chose these theropods, so he can just “prove” his point, that there’s nothing better, than Indominus rex and scaley dinosaurs in general.—–> response ——> Mind you, Nic, “Ahnold” is, I presume, a textual rendition of how Schwarzenegger said his own first name back when he didn’t have a coach for his accent.

 

He’s calling us out and being openly insulting. ——> response ——->ok, my bad, didn’t realize that.

Stevie, that guy is sharing his (stupid, skewed, and misinformed) opinion on matters which he obviously doesn’t fully understand. We are sharing our opinions (in private, mind you) on his opinions. How’s that a problem. ——-> response ——-> I guess it’s not. Sorry. ——> response ———-> No need to apologize. We are just sharing thoughts.Also just think about all these less knowledgeable people who may not be as informed about paleontology as you or anyone else here and who will read this article thinking it actually presents valid points. This person is presenting his opinions as fact, or at least as more reasonable alternative to accepted and/or sound hypotheses. Disinformation of any kind hurts the public perception of paleontology and paleoart, so I really don’t think we should encourage it, or let it pass.

Personally I find it offensive for me and for other paleoartists/paleontologists to be called “fanboy/s” from a fanboy.

 

Just an example: “For those of you who don’t know, phylogeny is the practice of using relationships to predict soft tissues in animals.”

The guy is talking about what “phylogeny” means, without having any idea what phylogeny actually is.

 

Woah, just wasted five minutes on that article, and I was only scrolling through it to see if there was a concise take-home point. It goes on forever…

 

I see what you mean, I guess I was just born to be a defense attorney. I don’t think there is anything wrong with criticizing the guy, I just feel bad for him, but maybe he is in blissful ignorance. I would hope most folks could tell that he’s got more knowledge about Turok the Dinosaur Hunter than Paleontology, but nowadays, you do present a valid concern. It’s still not as bad as my (unfortunately) neighbors, the creation museum folks! So I guess when disinformation is disseminated, yes I agree, bad thing.

 

What is this stream of consciousness writing trying to get to? Someone wanna tl;dr this, ’cause I dunwanna.——–> response ———–> tl;dr Guns are better than feathered dinosaurs. ——–> response ——-> Some context: It’s someone who notes the overwhelming presence of dinosaurs in paleontology-inspired media items to the detriment of other fossil vertebrates and sets his sights on the dinosaurs themselves instead of the socio-economical factors that make market-oriented decisions a necessity for museums and other purveyors of such material.

 

…. you ruined my eyes again…

 

Actually, feathered dinosaurs had won gun one time. Google Emu war.

 

Nothing more then a Awesomebro type who happens to be slightly more well put together word wise but none the less my brain cells are still dying looking at it…

I could respond to each of those. But what’s the point? I would only be getting myself in deeper. After all, I tried to take on scientists when I’m the idiot who is currently on vacation but forgot his wallet at home. But the name calling isn’t what prompted this. It was these comments (one of whom is from a friend):

I’ve had a chance to look over stuff (I have not been through your entire post with a fine-toothed comb, but I’ve read through the whole thing), and I looked at the gist of the comments. So, there are several different things here (sorry, this will be long). 1) I don’t like name-calling, and I generally don’t do it-at least not in a public forum. I think the people on the Facebook post do not know you and probably have not corresponded with you, so they may not know your passion for paleo. Even so, in my mind that doesn’t justify personal attacks or public speculation about motivations. 2) That said, as I see it that’s exactly what you did in your blogpost. In the title itself, you refer to people as fanboys/girls, and you make it clear in your text that the people you are talking about are the scientists that have problems with the scientific issues in JW. In every definition I’ve ever heard, “fanboy” is used to mean someone who picks a side based on preference and not evidence; that implication is deeply insulting to a scientist. So, you had already established name-calling and personal attacks on intelligence and integrity as the standard for discussion. 3) There are two different issues at play with JW – 3a) did the movie have any redeeming scientific value, and 3b) does it matter (ie was the movie good anyway?) So first, 3a): sorry, but I disagree with you. I think JW was a travesty from a scientific standpoint. Within the context of the movie they made the attempt to emphasize that “these aren’t real dinosaurs”, and I’ll give them some points for that – they essentially explicitly turned it into a monster movie. But this was a disappointment to paleontologists because the original JP did attempt to make some effort to conform to the science of the day (if imperfectly at times), while JW pointedly ignored the science of 2015. Now, they weren’t OBLIGATED to follow modern science, but it would have been nice; after all, it is the hard work of generations of paleontologists that allow us to even know of the existence of dinos, and it would give the movie some redeeming social value if it furthered education. If I want a monster movie, I’ll go see “Alien” or even “Godzilla”. And, sorry, but efforts to try to justify the movie’s science are going to met with scorn by scientists; in my opinion, and that of most other paleontologists, there is just practically no good science in the movie. Incidentally, you also mentioned “Crystal Skull”, which is an interesting choice: every archaeologist I know absolutely loathes that movie, and are generally deeply offended by it (as was I, although it’s less personal for me), for much the same reason that many paleos dislike JW (although CS is much, much worse); it uses the work of scientists to develop a movie idea, but then ignores or even corrupts that work. You are trying to argue with scientists that are specialists in the very things you’re discussing, so of course they’re going to call out your errors (that’s not a reflection on you, by the way – some of these folks know far more than I do about these specialized areas. If I made those statements, they would call me out as well.). Then there’s 3b) – does it matter if the movie’s science was bad – can it be a good movie anyway? That is a matter of personal opinion. I did not really like it, nor did my wife. My son did like it, as did the reporter I saw it with (I think). I’ve talked to several paleontologists that said they really enjoyed it (but I’ve talked to none that said the science was good). If you liked the movie, great – but like it because you think it’s a good movie, not because you think it furthers paleontology or science in any way. Finally, 4) you drag in a certain amount of dino vs. mammal debate into your comments. Paleontologists joke about that sort of thing a lot, but it’s not as real a divide as you seem to think. Most paleos have a lot of respect for each other and their work, and many work on a variety of different things. As you know, I’ve published on whales, squirrels, protorosaurs, and stromatolites, among other things. Most of my collaborators have also published on other groups. My liking one group does not extend to a hatred of others. Where animosity typically will arise is over journal decisions (the in-joke is that if you want to have a paleo paper in “Nature” you better have a feathered dinosaur), but that is NOT a reflection on the scientists that did the work. So, I hope this helps. I suspect it’s not exactly what you wanted to hear, but it is my take on things. You are ambitious in your goals on paleontology, and that’s great. But remember, essentially in discussions like this you’re punching above your weight; many of these folks have a much greater range of exposure to paleo than you do. That doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer; quite the contrary! But it means that there’s a lot you can learn from these folks as well (as can we all).

 

I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t make it through that third review (and you’ll note I chimed in on your first) as it was written in a far meaner tone then anything I’ve seen the “fanboys” write. The opening to your third post (as far in as I made it) trends over the “hyperbolic, mean spirited manner, looking down on others who don’t share [your] opinion” line. Again I stopped reading it. You were being very mean about other people not agreeing with you. Whether they did it to you or not, calling the kettle black never resolved anything.

Now I haven’t had time yet (I’m just waking up) to check out that link, thank you for getting it, but perhaps keep in mind arguing that trained dedicated experts are nothing but fanboys, and that factual reality isn’t the greatest thing ever to someone who has dedicated their life to studying it is incredibly rude. I can perhaps understand why he would lose his patience when someone is telling him his opinion based on literally years of incredibly hard work isn’t as good as their amateur actual fanboy view point.
I will also be upfront and say I hated this film for its lack of anything resembling real science (as the genetics presented were beyond laughable).

Everyone of them (even the mudslingers) is right. In trying to call out some perceived atrocious behavior I was worse than any of them. But i have learned a few things. Apparently hating a movie without seeing it is just fine. Not only that, hating a blog post without reading the whole thing is ok too. Being an asshole is perfectly acceptable as long as you are doing it for science. And as long as the guy calling you out is a bigger asshole, your asshole behavior is off the hook. Not raging at a movie makes me the fanboy, and not viewing said movie as the worst thing to ever happen to dinosaurs makes me an “apologist” and a “biased scaley monster-lover”. When in an argument, it is ok and intellectually honest to hide behind facebook and snipe the the other guy in a way he cannot respond to. Also, never try to engage people who are smarter than you. Which in my case is pretty much everyone. I was always punching above my weight because I am a moron. Hell, I’m so stupid I cant even tell when people are joking. I spent weeks writing that review and it was brushed aside so easily. As it should be.

So before I embarrass myself any further I’m just going to end it here. This will be my last post (there may be another one. But that depends if they can actually follow my directions and figure out how to post it). It’s obvious from the minimal views and dearth of comments that no one cares nor will notice that I closed up shop. And since I’m your classic armchair paleontologist, nothing of value will be lost. I mean, if I did anything like that at Siwtek’s or Naishe’s places, I would have been torn to pieces because they have actual followers. Look at all the people heaping scorn on me int that first comment block. When my posts were automatically shared on facebook: no likes, no comments, just a share. No one in this situation came rushing to my defense (there was one person and while I appreciate him sticking up for me he was late to the party). I am all alone. As it should be.
Anyone who has actually read my blog will know I suffer depression. I have been on the longest down streak of my entire life (spanning the whole summer). It is safe to say that I may have been venting when I wrote my review. Me and my therapist use a scale to gauge my mood: 0 is baseline, 30 is very happy, and -30 is bordering on… well you know. I would say I was a solid -18 when I wrote that post. Right now, I am at rock bottom. Well, I was already at -30 before this whole mess started. The the stern words and ad hominum dog pile were just bad timing.

But let’s look on the bright side here. My stupidity will no longer plague the internet. You wont have to worry about an epic douchebag insulting innocent people over their love of science. No more insipid displays of “I have 12 authentic japanese katanas!” (even though that was not the point, but i’m a “hateful idiot without a point to make” so don’t worry  about missing the point because it was never there to begin with). No more will you have to worry about a “hateful idiot” fumbling to make no points and spreading disinformation to unsuspecting people. And when you think about it, you are actually getting a 2-for-1 deal. Not only will this “walking boner that learned how to type” no longer be typing, but since every effort to get the Grand Vision off the ground has failed miserably, the “walking boner” won’t ever realize his stupid dream of opening his own museum. Win win! Plus, since such a “boring person” isn’t writing anymore, no one will have to suffer his boringness.And you’ll be pleased to hear: I was planning on going to SVP this year, taking a 2 week long odyssey of discovery to be absorbed in the fossils of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. But there is no way in hell I could afford it or take the time off from school, so you won’t have to worry about me causing anyone’s “brain cells dying” across the southwest (including at a major scientific conference). And if I can’t discuss science accurately, then thank god I didn’t actually become a paleontologist. Nothing like a self-aggrandizing idiot to soil the good name of any profession. So you should all be real proud of yourselves. Your words of wisdom have stopped another idiot from desecrating science!

And that is all she wrote. I will miss doing this a little. But there are so many better writers out there. Go read them. At least they actually know what they are talking about. And they aren’t vicious, mean spirited assholes. So thanks for sticking with me but I appear to have hung myself and have nothing else to contribute.

Farewell…

3 thoughts on “End of the Line

  1. A few things that I think you should consider. First, I think that you are over-reacting to the situation. Jerks will always be jerks, no matter what. Sometimes they leave hurtful comments just to be spiteful and vindictive and without any real purpose to it. Anyone who works in a public forum, such as you or me, has to be prepared to deal with all kinds of crap. When I first started my own blog two years ago, I fully expected there to be all kinds of vermin creeping out of the woodwork to harass me through the anonymity of the internet. Thankfully, this has not happened yet. So, what I’m essentially saying is don’t throw your hands up in the air and think that this scenario is some horrible catastrophe, because it isn’t. When I read your opening lines, I thought that you might have murdered somebody or something like that. You didn’t “screw up real bad”. You voiced your opinions and some people didn’t like them. Don’t assume that the whole world suddenly turned on you.

    Second, people who read your posts REALLY need to lighten the hell up! Damn it, you’re not that controversial. It’s not like you’re saying God’s a Republican (ugh, I actually made myself shudder when I wrote that). Some people enjoy living in their self-created worlds where nothing changes. They believe in things according to a set list of dogmatic ideas, and they don’t like it when people say this is not so. I’m reminded of the movie “Inherit the Wind” as I’m writing this, and if you haven’t seen that movie, you should.

    Third, it is easier than you think to get drawn into a see-saw battle of biting insults and comments when dealing with these people. When one person does it, the other side thinks it’s appropriate to shoot right back with the same ammo. And soon, before you know it, there’s a rapid-fire exchange of bad language, insults, and sarcastic put-downs. Perhaps in some of your comments and in some of theirs, you and they were trying to be both insultuing and witty at the same time, like some modern-day comedians, but this plan backfired due to people perceiving the language differently than intended. Or perhaps you just got angry and you let your emotions get control over good sense – it happens to everybody, including me.

    Fourth, based upon some of the commentary that I saw, especially ones from people who specialize in certain areas (I never use the word “expert” because it’s utterly impossible for a person to know absolutely everything about a given subject), you need to resign yourself to the fact that there are other people who know more about something than you.

    Fifth, don’t be so argumentative and defensive about everything. If people in general cannot conduct themselves properly, then they need to either amend their behavior and social skills or they need to keep their mouths shut.

    Sixth, why the hell is everybody getting all up about “Jurassic World”? It’s only a @#$%&*# movie!!! It’s not meant to be scientifically accurate, it’s meant to be entertainment. If people want to see a scientifically accurate media presentation on prehistoric life, then they can always watch high quality paleo documentaries. They’re kind of hard to find today, due to all of the crap that the entertainment industry puts out, but you can watch them. Yes, I understand people’s claims that people can become misinformed about scientific subjects based upon incorrect representations, but these are also people who have a very hard time separating truth from make-believe. When I saw “Jurassic Park” I was only 7 years old. I thought it was so cool, but I also knew quite a bit about dinosaurs by this time. I fully knew that Velociraptor wasn’t as big as they portrayed in the movie. I also recognized that they made the T. rex way too large, looking like it was 60 feet long instead of 40. And as impressive as the special effects were, I was able to recognize some of the images as being fake.

    Seven, people seem to forget that the dinosaurs portrayed in all of the JP movies are not meant to be real dinosaurs. The characters in the first Jurassic Park movie explain this rather thoroughly. Due to time, much of the preserved dino DNA had degraded, and there were lots of gaps in the genetic code. So what did the genetic engineers at JP do? They spliced the dino DNA with the DNA of other animals in order to fill the gaps, which had drastic repercussions if you read the book and saw the movie. In the book, the T. rex is able to shoot out its tongue like a chameleon. In a deleted scene from the movie, the Velociraptors in the kitchen scene flick out their tongues like lizards tasting the air – this scene was removed at the insistance of Jack Horner because he says “We know that they didn’t do that”. Really? You KNOW? You mean you actually saw a Velociraptor in real life and you can tell for certain that it couldn’t stick its tongue out? Okay, now I’m getting into a rant on Jack Horner, which I probably shouldn’t get into – I have a horrible habit of digressing from my original point. My original point is that the T. rex, raptors, and other creatures portrayed in the JP franchise are not dinosaurs – they are artifical genetically-modified THINGS that merely LOOK like dinosaurs! So, that being said, this whole back and forth arguement about how the dinos in “Jurassic World” were not portrayed accurately is completely beside the point. These are not meant to be dinos that were scientifically raised from the dead. These are creatures which were created by man and were designed to look fierce and scary and generate a “wow” response from the public – they were never intended to look 100% like they would have during the Mesozoic.

    So, in conclusion, I’ll say the following: Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – lighten the @#$% up! Shut up, take in a deep breath, and realize that all of you are getting into an increasingly heated arguement over something that never should have been argued over in the first place! It’s only a God-damned movie! I’m sorry to see that that a simple film critique has rapidly escalated out of control and has resulted in hate speech, threats, insults, and all forms of bad behavior. Come on, people. Take a step back and see what you’re doing. I’d like to think that all of you are better than this sort of nonsense. Be good, be kind, be able to laugh freely, and be able to get on with life.

  2. I don’t really have (or want) a dog in this fight, nor would I say that I’m qualified to comment on the science, but I do feel a need to say something.

    I have read your posts from time to time and have always been struck by your knowledge and your passion to create a museum of paleontology on the central coast. SLO is a richly fossiliferous area and I wonder how many specimens are gracing someone’s backyard or serving as doorstops. I’ve seen it myself.

    I am saddened by the tone today. Internet forums, especially, often seem to be populated with cliques of the “in” crowd that seem almost primitive and tribal-like in their attacks on perceived outsiders. It’s a pity.

    I, too, would have preferred that the makers of the movie had put feathers on at least some of the dino’s, yet I also note that there is still some disagreement.

    http://dinosaurstop.com/2015/06/05/most-dinosaurs-had-scales-not-feathers-fossil-analysis-concludes/

    http://m.rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org//content/11/6/20150229

    I would say, let this be a learning experience. Don’t take it too seriously. And keep dreaming. Maybe one day we will have our own museum.

  3. I just found that blog out of the internet, only to read it won’t be running anymore… but somehow, I understand how you feel, and why you took this extreme decision. So, I just wanted you to know that, as a Ph.D student in paleontology, I do not think your opinion on JW’s dinosaurs is lame. In fact, I think puting feathers on JW’s dinosaurs doesn’t make any sense, and I would have been offended, as a spectator, if they ended up giving them those scientifically up-to-date – but either way inappropriate – feathers.
    I mean, in the JP/JW universe, the million years-old DNA could not change between the first and the last movie. Even if they picked up new samples, the DNA is still the same! And you are also right when you speak of the need for an aesthetic continuity. On the other hand, I do believe that feathered dinosaurs can be scary… but in another franchise, please!! It is not about nostalgia, or scientific accuracy, but consistence into a fictional universe. Well, I can understand that losing the we-will-change-the-way-you-people-see-dinosaurs effect does matter for some of your readers, but still.

    (although it is true that the movie have a few more problems haters can focus on… you speak of genetics, but even on artistic grounds, there are some moments that are very disturbing, like the way the T.rex and the raptor look at each other at the end of the movie… XD)

    En un mot comme en cent, I hope you find the courage to continue this blog, not only for me but for you. Do not give up on everything because of others – as you wrote somewhere else in your blog:
    “One person can make a difference and every person should try.”- John F. Kennedy

    Cheers, good luck with your therapy and with everything else🙂

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