Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Not Stupid, Slightly Stupid, and Very Stupid

Although thousands of people enjoyed their visit to the Biblical Museum of Natural History this week, there were quite a few visitors who were extremely disappointed not to see the creature they were most excited about: the Brazilian strawberry salamander!

I would like to reiterate what I wrote in a previous post. People who believed that it was a real creature are not stupid! In fact, among those who fell for it was a PhD biologist. And it's clear that if it hadn't been April Fool's Day, many more people would have fallen for it. After all, it was presented in a convincing way by a reputable institution. It's not stupid to assume that the institution is telling the truth.

On the other hand, certain other things do strike me as slightly stupid.

Did you know that there's an asteroid which just passed very close to earth? Of course the key important factor about asteroids is their size. This one's size was described as follows:

Now, I'm pretty fluent in the size of giraffes, and I think about them a lot more than the average person, but even I would find it much more useful to simply have the size of the asteroid in meters, or to visualize it in terms of something of a similar size, not a multiple of giraffes. But at least it's a nice easy number, right?

Gaaah! I know the size of a hippo, I can estimate three hippos, but half a hippo?

But it gets worse!

On Friday, another small asteroid, designated 2022 GU3, is also set to pass by the planet:

All I can say is that it's a good thing it's only 9.6 American buffalos. If it was 9.7 then I'd start to get worried. 

But the record-holder for stupidity in my book this week is the employee of a certain airport in Europe that I was at. 

As a frequent flyer, I get to use the business lounge. My flight was called, and I decided to quickly pop to the bathroom. Unfortunately, when I tried to exit the bathroom, I discovered that the door was broken and it had locked automatically with no way of opening it. Since it was a business lounge, the bathroom was set off in a quiet area, and I couldn't call out to anyone. And the doors and walls were floor-to-ceiling, so I couldn't crawl out under them or climb out over them. I had my phone, but my flight was about to board, and who could I call that would come quickly? Rummaging around in my bag, I found a plastic knife, with which I managed to force the lock open.

I quickly went to the desk and warned the staff that the door was broken and that I was only able to extract myself with a knife. "Thank you sir, let me take a look" said the staff member. I took him to the bathroom and he walked inside the cubicle. "Here, take the knife," I said. "No sir, no thank you, that is not necessary," he said, and closed the door, promptly locking himself in with no way of extracting himself. 

48 comments:

  1. We live in the Thousand Year Reich of Stupid.

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  2. I would like to reiterate what I wrote in a previous post. So-called PhDs who believed that it was a real creature and didn't bother checking with Google at their fingertips are indeed very, very stupid. How someone like that gets a PhD in biology is a real mystery, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the scientific establishment. Now if it was a PhD in education or psychology, I would understand. But biology? Assuming you yourself are telling the truth, more likely somebody is pulling your leg.

    And the funny thing is, Rabbi Slifkin himself says such a person is stupid!

    "Well, yes, it is true that we cannot categorically disprove the existence of spontaneously generating creatures. But how someone can raise this as a serious argument is beyond me. After all, we also cannot categorically disprove the existence of werewolves, vampires, leprechauns, or Santa Claus. But no reasonable person will believe in their existence, for reasons that I explain at length in Sacred Monsters."

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    1. Hey Happy,

      Would you like it if I referred to you as a so-called "person" (it is after all your moniker). A person can have a PhD in biology and be an ecologist. While aware of biology at an environmental level, they may not have more than working knowledge of reproductive biology and gametogenesis.

      Bear in mind, the April Fool's day joke was intended to be convincing enough for a person to be fooled unless they did deeper investigation.

      The "so-called" as you like to call people out on (I have seen you use this more than once) is a demeaning. But after all, you are a "so-called" person.

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    2. The strawberry salamander is inherently more believable than the others. Plus, the others have been looked for extensively and would have been found by now. Given that time and methods, the strawberry salamander would be debunked too.

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    3. Yossi, by "deeper investigation" do you mean opening Google and typing in "strawberry salamander"? Are you also the recipient of one of these biology PhDs? The ones that you say know nothing about biology, believe in spontaneous generation in 2022 if a blogger says so, and think using Google is "deep investigation"? If so, we are all in trouble.

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    4. "The strawberry salamander is inherently more believable than the others" 馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃ What next? Are little green aliens "inherently more believable" than the Loch Ness monster? Are ghosts "inherently more believable" than vampires? Are you also a so-called biology PhD? I guess anything is inherently more believable than that 馃槄.

      By the way, R Bleich was also saying that spontaneously generating lice are "inherently more believable" and can't be found because they are extinct. To which Rabbi Slifkin responded "But no reasonable person will believe in their existence". So, uh, yeah.

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    5. @Happy, you're too excited to think.

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    6. The Loch Ness monster is real. I've seen it.

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    7. @HGLP

      Lacking scepticism and stupidity are not synonymous. While it bothers me to some degree that a Biology PHD would not have immediately seen that such a creature is highly unlikely to exist, it does not surprise me that much. While getting a PHD is (no doubt - I do not posses one myself) hard work, critical thinking or even a reasonable education in fields fairly close to your speciality are simply not prerequisites to it. (And I have plenty of experience with both PHDs and other supposedly highly educated people being basically clueless in adjacent, and unfortunately sometimes their actual, fields.

      However I personally don't think any of this rebuts RNS' main point that people, even pretty intelligent people, will often accept information presented to them as fact. That's even true of people who are generally critical thinkers. We all have our blind spots where we will numbly accept information that will make others rightly cringe to see us do so. Unfortunately that's human nature.

      Furthermore, your assertion that "Rabbi Slifkin himself says such a person is stupid" is incorrect for a similar reason. If you read "no reasonable person will believe in their existence" as meaning that anyone who does believe in their existence when told of it - before doing independent research or being presented with the rationale for them not existing - is stupid, then yes you would have a point. But that is clearly not what RNS means by "no reasonable person". RNS' own point is that the rishonim etc. who believed in it were in fact perfectly reasonable and certainly not stupid. But yes, if someone, having been presented with the rationale and scientific history of belief in, and demonstration of the falsity of, spontaneous generation still believes that it happens, that person is not being reasonable (although it still does not mean that the person is "stupid").

      I think you yourself are a case in point. I don't think you are stupid; in fact all evidence points to you being a pretty intelligent human being (or a very strangely trained next generation autoregressive language model...), however I find precious little that you write on this blog to be "reasonable" by my definition of such.

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    8. Anon, so do the thinking. Pray tell me why the strawberry salamander is more believable than extinct spontaneously generating lice. What "methods" have been used to debunk such extinct lice that would not also apply to the strawberry salamander? Certainly not basic biology, as our friend "Yossi" tells us that even biology PhDs do not have access to such arcane knowledge.

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    9. Yoni, you are getting hung up on semantics ("stupid" vs "unreasonable" vs "clueless"). If it is unreasonable for somebody in 2022 to believe in spontaneous generation, and especially so with Google at their fingertips, then it is insulting to compare Chazal to such an unreasonable person. But it is certainly consistent with the blog author's attitude towards Chazal and the Torah in general that he would make such a comparison, don't you agree?

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    10. @HGLP

      It's not semantics; you could replace "unreasonable" with "stupid" and the thrust of my argument would remain. It's not unreasonable or stupid to come to a conclusion when counter evidence has not been presented.

      Once again you miss the point "it is unreasonable for somebody in 2022 to believe in spontaneous generation" - yes in the context of an informed debate, no in the context of someone unfamiliar with the debate having been presented one side only as fact. Yes google is available, however it would indeed be unreasonable to expect everyone to google every new piece of information presented to themselves. Whether the "smell a rat" enough to go do more research will depend on their familiarity with the subject matter, the bona fides of the one presenting the information, the level of import they put on accepting or rejecting the new information, what else they have on their plate etc.

      Yes we know that you think Chazal (whatever that means for the purposes of this conversation) were sceptical of all science of their day and did extensive research into it while RNS thinks otherwise. Confirming that your and RNS' attitudes to Chazal differ is an exercise in stating the obvious.

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    11. Yoni, ok, thank you for getting to the heart of the issue.

      When you say "no in the context of someone unfamiliar with the debate having been presented one side only as fact", you have in fact admitted my point. He compared Chazal to people who in 2022 are completely unfamiliar with the non-existence of spontaneously generating creatures. So unfamiliar, so clueless about basic science, that they will not even "smell a rat"! Is that not insulting? It's like comparing Chazal to somebody who thinks Canada is a city in Alaska.

      Secondly, Rabbi Slifkin himself said that Rabbi Bleich was extremely unreasonable for believing in extinct spontaneous generating lice. He compared it to belief in werewolves, vampires, and Santa Claus. His evidence was that it "runs contrary to everything we know about biology". In this recent post, he says that it's perfectly reasonable for PhD biologists (who certainly have more than a good working knowledge of "everything we know about biology") to believe in the strawberry salamander. And not even "smell a rat"! Does this make any sense? Obviously not. Where's the "intellectual honesty" when we need it?

      In your last paragraph, you make the mistake of thinking that the strawberry salamander illustrates that Chazal believed the science of their time. But it does not, because the science of 2022 is that there ARE NO such creatures! What it actually illustrates is that some people will believe anything, even things completely contrary to the science of their time, as long as they heard it once from a "respectable source" (BTW, it's amazing he cites himself as a "respectable source" without a trace of irony. 馃ぃ馃ぃ). And then comparing Chazal to such people.

      I'm sure the Rabbi didn't do this deliberately, he probably didn't think it through. But it clearly illustrates his general lack of respect for Chazal, to thoughtlessly make such a comparison. Of course, he's digging in, because he can never admit he's wrong. There's the amazing "intellectual honesty" he blathers on and on about. Nu nu, what can be done?

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    12. @happygoluckypersonage April 21, 2022 at 12:36 AM, "Anon, so do the thinking."

      Actually, I'm having second thoughts about my critique of your comment. But not enough time to investigate. I think it's more appropriate to admit that now, while the discussion is going on, than to first admit doubt (or certain retraction) a few days late. So if possible I want to put that comment on hold and I ask your indulgence.


      "What "methods" have been used to debunk such extinct lice that would not also apply to the strawberry salamander?"

      They would apply but only after they would be used (which won't happen now that those "creatures" have been "exposed" as false by their author). The methods are thousands of hours of searching for it itself or something similar. This has happened regarding lice. They looked and found not it nor anything similar. (You perhaps are aware of the claim regarding the mud-mouse/shpringmoiz, that Link's Urvelt was quoted inaccurately by the Mefarshey Hamishna.)

      Extinction is usually not used as an explanation for something which has nothing similar surviving.

      Much of Rabbi S's carefully contrived fairy tale has parallels in the world that we know. Eventually it could be debunked in a world that has learned to question and will devote time to investigate. The implication, if it is dignified, is that there was less of this type of skepticism in the times of the Rishonim or even Chazal.


      In some of your comments you so to speak attack on multiple fronts, necessitating to compose a multifronted defense which I'm not always prepared for. It would be easier to stick to one issue, as R Coffer recommended.

      But I'll add something intertwined with the above that connects to something you might want to bring in. Namely, that the Torah was given to Chazal to decide Halacha according to their ancient science. IIRC you said this too. And since according to their ancient science lice aren't ParaVerava, their Halacha that they may be killed on Shabbos is correct.

      Every one of Chazal was greater than all of us put together - who are no more than grasshoppers in our own eyes compared to them - nevertheless it's not part of our obligation as Jews to assume they were greater in science knowledge and method than their gentile contemporaries. Or refused to rely on them. And the Halacha was given to be decided by that ancient science.

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    13. Anon, I feel reservations about arguing with your comment since I agree with a good part of it. Also, you are a 转诇诪讬讚 讞讻诐 and very polite. Nevertheless 讘诪拽讜诐 讞讬诇讜诇 讛' 讗讬谉 讞讜诇拽讬诐 讻讘讜讚 诇专讘.

      1. What relevance is thousands of hours hunting for such lice if according to Rabbi Bleich they might be extinct? Who cares if extinction is not usually used as an explanation? This is an unusual case, and in this case it is Rabbi Bleich's explanation!

      2. Rabbi Slifkin's argument was that spontaneous generation IN GENERAL "runs contrary to everything we know about biology", not just the specific case of lice. Thus he succeeds in debunking even theoretical extinct species. And comparing them to Santa Claus.

      3. What's your source that thousands of hours have been spent searching for such lice (assuming they're not extinct)? Where did you find such a comprehensive study searching everywhere in the world? Or are you just assuming that they must have, because they sound so sure of themselves? As I mentioned in #2, Rabbi Slifkin himself didn't use such an argument. I'm not saying you're wrong, just what's your source?

      4. "Eventually it could be debunked in a world that has learned to question and will devote time to investigate. The implication, if it is dignified, is that there was less of this type of skepticism in the times of the Rishonim or even Chazal."

      This is a complete fantasy of the secularists and maskilim. The idea that Chazal or Rishonim didn't learn to question or investigate is utterly against everything we know about them. Surely you know this too. That's why it's so insulting to compare them to strawberry salamander believers in 2022.

      But here's another thing: It's not just Chazal. The idea that the ancient philosophers didn't learn to question or investigate, didn't learn to do empiricism, is also utterly, transparently, laughably false, a fairy tale of the atheists who wish to show how "enlightened" they are compared to the "dark ages". When the ancients believed in Ptolemaic model, they knew of the possibility of the geocentric model, but felt that the balance of proof, including both philosophical and EMPIRICAL proof, was heavily against it. And guess what? Similar to Newtonian mechanics, Ptolemy's model WORKED for most practical purposes! They could make predictions based on it. See these

      http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-great-ptolemaic-smackdown.html

      https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/38927/was-the-geocentric-model-correct-at-all

      What is true, however, is that the ancients lacked A. the accumulated body of knowledge later generations had B. advanced technology C. communication and transportation enabling studies involving thousands of people and subjects all over the world

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    14. Rabbi Bleich is a renowned Talmid Chacham from whom we can learn very much. Yet I'll use an example from Rav __, (who I never learned by), who said the largest daily Shiur in Brooklyn for like a decade or two. He would quote Gedolei Hador, praise them with sincere and expansive reverence, and then argue with them. If I may argue with Rabbi Bleich, he is saying something unprecedented. That something not in existence today, not itself nor anything similar, used to exist. Now, 诇讗 专讗讬谞讜 讗讬谞讜 专讗讬讛 in the absolute sense, but as it seems, so many have looked and not found it currently, and it wasn't found in the past either. It happens to be that that which they saw centuries ago we also see—spoiled meat out of which lice and other creatures generate [*actually lice/nits in the hair is something else], but the collective “we”--诇驻讬 讞讻诪讬讛诐 讛讗讞专讜谞讬诐--have tested and found that they generate from a parent. And that throughout nature they generate from a parent.

      Various scientific assumptions are routinely studied by hundreds of students nowadays and already for a while. In soft areas this is basically worthless. Spontaneous generation is simple to test the hard way. It's quite certain that it doesn't exist. If anyone discovers it they'll become a celebrity, so there is a motivation to find it. Famous names in science, for whatever that's worth, were involved with this subject and studied it extensively throughout several generations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_generation#Modern_tests

      Something else is at work here. For an average 拽砖讛, R Bleich's answer would be rejected. But here the honor of Chazal is considered to be at stake. Under these conditions we'll accept what he says. But what if Chazal's honor isn't at stake? In that case it would revert to an average 拽砖讛, and we'd just reject R Bleich's answer as usual.

      So the question is whether Chazal's honor is indeed at stake. At some point I started to say no, and you responded that I know I'm wrong. But if I don't know that then there's nothing more to say about it so you should say that I really do. A few times you explained your view and even wrote an additional comment to clarify, but I didn't get it. Apparently in my mind I accept R Bleich's answer despite my protestations.


      Regarding extinction, it parallels evolutionary “missing links”. A proof against evolution (that prompted saltationary theories like Goldschmidt's hopeful monster and punctuated equilibrium) is the missing links. But you'll say that they're still to be found.


      “It's not just Chazal. The idea that the ancient philosophers didn't learn to question or investigate, didn't learn to do empiricism, is also utterly, transparently, laughably false ... When the ancients believed in Ptolemaic model ….”

      From the example of the Ptolemaic model you generalize. But I seem to recall instances which indicate the opposite. 1- that they thought women had a different number of teeth than men. 2- they erred how many lobes are on each side of the lungs. 3- they stated that the human spine turns into a snake a number of years after death.
      (This last item is also in Chazal. According to Ramchal Chazal were saying a secret and disguised it in the contemporary science whether it was true or not. Lehavdil the ancient philosophers had no secret meanings.)

      Did Chazal rely on gentile philosophers-scientists? An Adam Gadol said that 讜讻谉 诇注谞״讚 讘专讜专, 讻诇 讚讘专 讛诪转诪讬讛 讻讝讛 砖谞诪爪讗 讘讚讘专讬 讞讝״诇 讻砖谞讞拽讜专 讜谞讚专讜砖 谞诪爪讗 砖讛讬讛 讻讘专 诪驻讜专住诐 讜诪拽讜讘诇 诇讗诪转 讘拽专讘 讞讻诪讬诐 [诪讗讜讛"注] 讘讝诪谞讬诐 讛诇诇讜. Since I have drawn heavily from this Gadol among others in 讞讻诪讛 讜讬专讗讛, I'm relying on his judgement that it doesn't impugn Chazal's lofty levels. But 1- I don't impose it on others who can't deal with it. And I would sincerely discourage anyone else looking to bring it to those who can't deal with it. 2- I'm open to be persuaded otherwise.

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    15. Another point is how heavily do we analyze our and other's words. A Gaon we all know was offered to be Chief Rabbi of Israel and eventually declined the offer and his great light shined on Klall Yisroel in a different way. When he was still considering the offer, a wise man told him, if you want a camp (the zealots) to find fault with every one of your Psakim, take the job.... So suppose he took the job and made a comparison. The zealots would say it's wrong/terrible and his friends would say he only meant it as an illustration. What about himself? Well he's not against himself and wouldn't think to meet the zealot's bar. Now I'm not calling you a zealot—as I said this minute it's only an illustration. When Rabbi S brings in Santa he isn't, according to my personal impression, talking with a sledgehammer. There's a certain mildness to his presentation. Because I agree generally speaking to his approach it comes across gently to me. Yea, Santa illustrates and I'm not paying close enough attention if there's a discrepancy for what I'm anyway predisposed to understand. For you this isn't true. But forget about us. Rabbi S himself thinks that his Nimshal, spontaneous generation, already doesn't make sense and needs no proof, just a Mashal that's in the ballpark and even stronger and simpler, not a perfect match at all, that brings across the point.

      Have you interacted with someone going through a bad day? Out of nowhere they're Medayek what a nasty thing you said.

      But again this whole comment is spilled ink if I know I'm speaking the unthinkable and certainly know that I'm wrong.

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    16. "he is saying something unprecedented. That something not in existence today, not itself nor anything similar, used to exist."

      Like the strawberry salamander? Remember, you are trying to prove that extinct spontaneously generating lice, which the ancients actually talked about, is wildly ridiculous, but the strawberry salamander, which nobody ever heard of, totally makes sense. You haven't shown that distinction even a little bit.

      "Apparently in my mind I accept R Bleich's answer despite my protestations."

      I never said that. I don't accept his answer either, because I like my own answer much better. But somebody who thinks it's totally reasonable for PhD biologists to believe in spontaneous generation should not compare his answer to Santa Claus.

      "But I seem to recall instances which indicate the opposite. 1- that they thought women had a different number of teeth than men. 2- they erred how many lobes are on each side of the lungs. 3- they stated that the human spine turns into a snake a number of years after death."

      I am not familiar with the lung example. But the teeth one is particularly famous. And it's silly.
      Aristotle made HUNDREDS of accurate EMPIRICAL observations in his books, but moderns latch onto this one mistake to "prove" that he didn't do empiricism. Let me ask you this: How many of the moderns actually examined women's mouths to count their teeth? I can guarantee you that barring dentists, almost none of them did! They just relied on someone else's observation. Yet they sit around poking fun at Aristotle for doing the same, and generalize from that to something completely, provably false, that he didn't do empiricism.

      Secondly, how do they know Aristotle didn't examine himself? How do they even know he's wrong? In the ancient world most people were missing teeth. More likely he examined and found women missing more on average.

      Thirdly, in that very passage about teeth he mentions that it was based on empirical observations (although not necessarily his own).

      Since the teeth example has been demolished, since the even more famous geocentric example has been demolished, you should seriously question the garbage that the atheists are feeding you. Whatever rapid scientific advances have happened recently are not due to the "enlightenment" but to the other factors I mentioned.

      "Did Chazal rely on gentile philosophers-scientists?"

      Perhaps they did, but they definitely questioned, investigated, were skeptical. You can see this all over Shas. And as I said before, the gentile philosophers l'havdil likewise investigated to the best of their abilities. You can see this from their own writings.

      "When Rabbi S brings in Santa he isn't, according to my personal impression, talking with a sledgehammer. There's a certain mildness to his presentation. "

      I didn't see the post that way. I didn't see mildness, I saw anger. Look at the follow up post "Twisting oneself into a pretzel". Is that also mild? And whenever the Rabbi writes about this topic, about Rabbi Meiselman, there is a palpable rage. He obsesses on the same topic in hundreds of posts over 15 years. He uses very strong terms like "despise", "detest". He accuses his opponents of dishonesty or outright lying. He calls them mentally ill. Now maybe you will say they goaded him into it. But is this mildness?

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    17. That last comment starting from ""he is saying something unprecedented... is me

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    18. I haven't got the time or patience to read through all these comments. But let me briefly clarify something. It was perfectly reasonable for *anyone* in antiquity to believe in spontaneous generation. Nowadays, for anyone to seriously research the topic and conclude that it happens is entirely UNreasonable. But it is nevertheless reasonable for an average person, or even a non-specialist scientist who is not paying careful attention, to assume that the strawberry salamander was real.

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    19. "But let me briefly clarify something...."

      No, let me clarify something.
      -It doesn't take "serious research" for somebody with basic science literacy in 2022 to be suspicious of claims of spontaneous generation.
      -It certainly doesn't take "serious research" for a PhD biologist to know that spontaneous generation "runs contrary to everything we know about biology" and therefore be suspicious of such a claim
      -"serious research" is not required in this case, all it takes is half a second for a Google search
      -You compared belief in spontaneous generation in 2012 to Santa Claus
      - You compared Chazal to people who in 2022 weren't even suspicious of spontaneous generation, who couldn't even take half a second to do the "serious research" of a Google search
      - You can never admit you're wrong

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    20. "You can never admit you're wrong"
      pot - kettle

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    21. Nu Yoni, that's all you have to say? Do better.

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    22. Both Happy and Rabbi S have sometimes admitted to being wrong.

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  3. This story is too hokey. Airports toilets do not have private floor-to-ceiling lockable doors. If they did, they would provide a good space to shoot up and smuggle drugs.

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    1. Says someone who has never been in a airport business class lounge. I have, and they have lockable floor-to-ceiling doors. At least some of them do.

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    2. I can state for a fact that some business class lounges have small separate bathrooms - try the BA lounges in Heathrow or the United Polaris lounge in Newark, for example.

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    3. He said "European airport," so scotch Newark and Heathrow. The story does not stand up on several counts. For 1, how did he get a knife, even plastic, thru security? 2nd, how did he use the knife to jimmy the lock? 3rd, do not tell me ANYBODY checks a busted lock by locking themselves in. 4th, he just left the clerk inside as he rushed his flight? Why does the story just trail off? Answer: cause the story is as conkokted as the salamander.

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    4. The bathroom layout of public areas in airports has no correlation to the layout in private areas like lounges. Anyone who makes such a categorical statement of "fake" based on their experience of the former while lacking experience the latter is moronic. Seriously. Airline lounges can also have lockable bathrooms with showers, which I have also used. Along with proper metal cutlery for eating the copious food being served in their buffets.

      Le Neryorkais, you obviously think janitorial staff are budding technology workers that just need a leg up to boost their pay by several times. Yes, such lack of intelligence is displayed by unskilled workers.

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    5. U r making up excuses cause u r "fan" of Natan. He said NOTHING about a buffet with METAL cutlery, or that he stashed a plastic piece of it into his bag. And if they serve food buffets, there r personnel with or near it.
      2nd, I am not eager to call anybody stupid. The janitors I have worked with r far from "stupid" enough to check out a busted lock by stepping into the locked space. And, I do not enjoy declare other humans stupid.
      Shimshon, I am no "moron," I assure u. But I do not believe stories that do not add up, no matter how outstanding the narrator is. In court, this witness would fall apart under cross-examination.

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  4. Or those reporting on the asteroids are trying to inject some spice into an otherwise dry story.

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  5. Or those reporting on the asteroid are trying to inject some spice into an otherwise dry story.

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  6. Similar story to your airport bathroom story happened while my daughter was in Sem in Gateshead. Cleaner locked herself into the broom cupboard. Only after some time banging and shouting did another cleaner hear and come to her rescue. The first one then proceeded to demonstrate to the second cleaner just how she managed to lock herself in ... from the inside. Took quite a while until they were found. Cue much hilarity in Sem about the intellectual deficiencies of some Geordie cleaners.

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    1. I know. Sem girls get a bang out of conKoKting stories about how dumb outsiders r.

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  7. I agree with you, RD Slifkin that measuring an asteroid in buffalo lengths is silly, but not for the reasons you give. In your position as director of an institution focused on Biblical natural history, I would expect you to promote the Amoh as a suitable unit of measurement for a smallish asteroid. Or rather,given that an asteroid is a three dimensional object, the preferred unit of measurement should surely be the Kezayis.

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  8. How do you get a knife strong enough for that through security?

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  9. Asking you to do the right thingApril 20, 2022 at 3:20 PM

    In the "very stupid" category I thought you would include the members of your national religious community who are trying to stir up deadly confrontations with Muslims in Israel with their very stupid Temple Mount/Old City marches.
    No law in the Torah is telling them do this. It seems they put ideology over the safety of their own lives. They don't care if they jeopardize the lives of Jews everywhere in order to express their national religious sentiments.
    How about a condemnation, Rabbi Slifkin?

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    1. What's wrong with the marches? Your ok when gays do it but when nationalist do it, it's stupid? I think you have it the other way around, sir.

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    2. Asking you to do the right thingApril 20, 2022 at 9:06 PM

      I guess you missed the part when I said these marches are known to incite Muslims in Israel and around the world to commit deadly violence against Jews. Especially now during Ramadan and especially now when there has been a sharp uptick in deadly terrorist attacks the past few weeks!
      But Rabbi Slifkin is apparently okay with this. He only feigns shock and bewilderment at Chareidim when they endanger their lives at religious gatherings like Meron. Then it suddenly becomes a unique charedi failure of leadership and a stubborn refusal to work with the police and the government!

      Delete
    3. There's a mitzvah d'orayta to go up to the Har HaBayit. You could look it up.

      There's also a mitzvah d'orayta to enforce our hold on the Land of Israel. You could look it up.

      Delete
    4. Asking you to do the right thingApril 21, 2022 at 2:28 PM

      @Nachum:
      Even when these marches can endanger Jewish lives? I wasn't aware that these mitzvos are docheh pikuach nefesh. Please show me where I can look that up.

      Delete
  10. That person will presumably stay there until he dies. Cohanim need to know the name of the airport to know to avoid it. After all, 讘注诇 谞驻砖 讬讞诪讬专 on 讟讜诪讗转 讗讛诇 of a Goy.

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    Replies
    1. zichron devorim are you a racist?

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    2. That's not for me to decide. Others must decide for me.
      But the Halachos of Tum'as Mes seem to differentiate between races/religions (All Jews, of a Jewish mother, are Metame. But someone of a non-Jewish race who converts is also. So it's complicated)

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  11. All of these comments suggest a very unhappy and petty group of people How disappointing, Zeman Charutenu ?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Perhaps the staff member was looking to have some quiet time

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  13. The flight staffer locking himself in is the king of stupidity!

    ReplyDelete

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