Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

Post-Mortem Analysis of the Feminism Debate, Part III

k22013839This is the final article in a 3-part series Feminism Debate between Sargon of Akkad and Dr. Kristi Winters on April 30, 2016. This was a formal debate between two prominent YouTube personalities and tackled the highly-emotional topic in a structured and formal fashion.

In the first part, we gave a short overview of the debate process in order to lay the foundation of what to expect in a formal debate, and how it’s different than most people realize. In the second, we looked at a high-level summary of the debate, examining the strategy and tactics used by the participants.

This last article will provide an analysis of this specific debate, and discuss means (and reasons) by which these should continue, as well as improve. Read more…


Post-Mortem Analysis of the Feminism Debate between Sargon of Akkad and Kristi Winters

June 5, 2016 2 comments

This is an examination of the YouTube debate on the merits of Feminism between feminist Dr. Kristi Winters and anti-feminist Carl Benjamin, a.k.a., Sargon of Akkad, on April 30, 2016 (I had hoped to have this completed in a more timely fashion, but personal circumstances delayed me). Unlike the travesty of “debates” that exist nowadays, this was a genuine effort between the two parties to engage in a formalized process that included proper argumentation, rebuttal, and citation of sources.

As some people may know who’ve read me before, I’ve been absolutely incensed with what’s been happening on university and college campuses now (probably taking things a bit more personally than I should, but then again, probably not). I’ve been mortified about how we are losing the struggle for academic inquiry on many topics, chief among them feminism, and seeing a good-faith effort to engage in this way was a good thing.

This blog is a bit long (no… really, it’s long), so I’ve broken it down into three parts (see Part 2 and Part 3 if you want to skip to either of them). If you’re interested grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or beer keg, or wine cellar) and buckle in. We may be here a while. Or not  (you may not have even gotten this far). Read more…

My Response to Snopes’ Response to Me

March 28, 2016 14 comments

Claim: Snopes claims that Emory University students didn’t lose their minds over chalk graffiti that said “Trump 2016”

Screen shot 2016-03-28 at 9.06.49 AMWhat’s True: Snopes focused on the media aftermath

What’s False: Everything related to the event itself

I woke up this morning to a message from a friend that I had been included in a Snopes article. In particular, Snopes had decided to copy a tweet that I had made concerning Emory University:


Evidently Snopes used my tweet, along with three others, to indicate a “mostly false” narrative condemning the ultra-sensitivity of Emory’s college students. However, could it be that Snopes is cherry-picking to form its own Social Justice narrative?

Read more…

Balancing Act: The Struggle Between Orality and Linearity in Computer-Mediated Communication

This is a recovery of a peer-reviewed article published in 1996 in the New Jersey Journal of Communication (now the Atlantic Journal of Communication).

Full Citation:

Metz, J. M. (1996). Balancing act: The struggle between orality and linearity in computer mediated communication. The New Jersey Journal of Communication, 4, 61-70.000

Read more…

A Brief History of the Internet

March 6, 2015 1 comment
Dramatic, but untrue.

Dramatic, but untrue.

You probably thought that the Internet was created to survive a nuclear attack. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the true origins of the Internet had no military usage whatsoever.

How do I know? I talked to several people who actually created the Internet (well, it was called the ARPANET back then). I took the material from those conversations, as well as other primary and secondary historical sources, and prepared a chronological description of how the Internet (as we knew it in 1994) came into being. Granted, this is a predominantly US-centric historical account – much work was being done in England and France at the same time, but their influence was beyond the scope of the paper.

This history is incredibly valuable. For example, it’s important to note that in today’s debate about Net Neutrality and government intervention, the story of the Internet’s development is a key component that is overlooked. Many of the metaphors used in 2015 about what the “Internet is for” and “why it exists” are, quite simply, dead wrong. Having a better understanding of the history of the (arguably) most important technological development since the Gutenberg printing press can, and should, provide a solid foundation for that debate.

Note: This is a peer-reviewed academic paper presented to the American Historical Association in October, 1995. It is also text prepared for, but ultimately excised from, my doctoral dissertation. In an effort to preserve the text it has been reprinted here, but artifacts from the original digital file (which was heavily corrupted) may remain.  Read more…

Misunderstanding Cyberculture: Martin Rimm and the ‘Cyberporn’ Study

Time CoverThis is a paper that was peer-reviewed and presented to the annual Popular Culture Association conference, Las Vegas, NV, March 1996. Images and links, obviously, were not included in the original. Any strange artifacts in the text were a result from the rescue attempt to save the article from potential file corruption.

Full Citation:

“Misunderstanding Cyberculture: Martin Rimm and the ‘Cyberporn’ Study.” (with Rod Carveth). Paper presented at the annual Popular Culture Association conference, Las Vegas, NV, March 1996. Read more…

Global Warming, Intelligent Design, and The Null Hypothesis

November 24, 2014 3 comments

You’re probably not going to read this. It’s long. It’s technical. People just don’t want to read long, technical material any more. There aren’t going to be any pretty pictures, and there will be a minimum of snark. What’s more, this is one of those posts that is going to upset a lot of people, both liberal and conservative alike. It’s also one of those that will likely cause the immediate reaction to be flat, bald-faced dismissal and angry rejection.

So why write it?

I write it for a couple of reasons. First, when it comes to rational debate on these subjects I see very few. If I want to throw my voice into the wind, I’m going to try to make sure it’s one of the reasonable, rational ones.

Second, I think that the bulk of people who wonder about controversial topics such as these actually do want to understand how to process facts and data. I think they don’t know how to evaluate evidence, and are stuck in a loop where the most intellectual arguments are “a whole bunch of smart people believe X” or, worse, “if you don’t believe X then you are too stupid to justify wasting oxygen.”

So, for this blog post, I’m going to explain why the approach to justifying Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is exactly the same argumentative style as Intelligent Design (ID), and why they’re both wrong.

Read more…

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