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Rosetta scientists are allowed to wear their favorite shirts

Sad news: Alexandre Grothendieck, one of the 20th century best mathematicians, died.
Philae was the first man-made object that landed on a comet (thrice), after it made two "unnecessary" jumps (a two-hour jump plus another eight-minute jump). But an important British member of the team (he's really the #1 scientist-in-chief in Rosetta) is already finding himself under some heavy criticism, as BMWA1 pointed out.

Try this video, and go to 1:42, to see an interview with this man. His tattoos are all about Rosetta.

This man was acknowledged to be important enough to be a spokesman for the media as well and CNN wrote a story (!) called
Philae researcher criticized for shirt covered in scantily clad women
Holy cow. Many other left-wing media including The Washington Post and The Guardian wrote hysterically negative "stories" while the center-right Telegraph and The Daily Mail reported on Taylor's appearance mostly positively. Pathetically enough, the far left-wing The Independent attempted a character assassination based on the claim that "Taylor can't park his car".

Yesterday, I was giving a 2-hour talk in Northern Bohemia. It was about black holes that were covered from all conceivable modern physics perspectives (including introductions to both theories of relativity, black hole thermodynamics, holography, ER-EPR, comments on Interstellar, LHC deadly black hole panic, and roles that black holes played in papers when I was publishing them etc. etc.) – a fun topic, I think.

We usually present lectures and courses that focus on "theories" or "frameworks" – which is a "horizontal" presentation of the knowledge. But sometimes an "object-oriented", more "vertical" cut through the scientific insights could be more motivating.

I took a train. The percentage of – especially young – people who are using tablets and smartphones – has approached 100% incredibly closely.

So I was actually below the average in the total effective time spent with electronics. Among 20 people who happened to be in the same compartment of the 4 trains during the day, 17 were playing with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The exceptions were a 50-year-old rural woman, and two 70-year-old men. Some of the 17 – almost always young – passengers were playing both with a tablet and a smartphone, or both with a laptop and a smartphone.

A young couple sitting on the left side of me was using two laptops. ;-) But why I am saying it: the guy was simply watching a one-hour soft porn movie of a sort. The girl felt just a slightly amused, trying to find out whether I had a problem with that. Of course I hadn't. But I didn't watch it. It looked rather lame – and perhaps too soft, too. ;-)

But let me return to the rocket scientist with the elegant shirt.

First of all, even the title of the CNN article contains several mistakes. The shirt isn't covered by "women". It is only covered by one woman – various drawings of the same person. Moreover, it's not quite true that these drawings are "scantily clad". Some of them are scantily clad, some of them are more robustly clad, or whatever is the right way to use these words I am not familiar with. This is a subtle mistake but it already shows that these feminist witch hunters refuse to get familiar even with the most basic relevant details whenever they launch a witch hunt.

Rose Eveleth, a feminist journalist, would tweet:
No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt.
882 retweets, 641 favorites. Wow. One should be afraid of his physical safety with this many obnoxious witches and bitches. Astrophysicist Katie Mack wasn't terribly original and added this tweet:
I don't care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn't appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM
223 retweets, 258 favorites. I don't really care whether someone has – completely unrealistic and unscientific – dreams about STEM communities with close to 50% women. But what I do care about is the ability of the scientists to think logically. And if someone isn't able to figure out that the two sentences above, "I don't care..." and "...isn't appropriate...", are mutually logically inconsistent, he or more likely she just shouldn't be working as a researcher in exact sciences.

"A long white glowing comet" by Leona Machálková. There's nothing wrong about the mix of comets and attractive women. Original by Jana Kratochvílová, 1979.

A major purpose of the broadcast was to present the Rosetta folks the way they really work (and the dress was shown in an interview that I would call informal), so changing their dresses relatively to the usual state would be a media manipulation. And by the way, I also think it's really one of the sources of pride of the scientific culture that they never rate their colleagues or their results according to the outfit or appearance or other superficial criteria. A tuxedo (or a new white lab coat) is simply not a way to become a better scientist!

Moreover, wearing shirts like that doesn't make women "unwelcome" in any sense. This misconception is just another example showing that while Ms Eveleth, Ms Mack, and others aren't able or willing to think fairly, they are eager to whine in every conceivable and inconceivable situation. You know, there are also many T-shirts with physically idealized men, like Superman.

Their role is completely analogous to the babe from Matt Taylor's shirt. Most of the real-world men (and even a greater percentage of physicists, I guess) don't have as refined muscles as Superman. Superman is more likely to be viewed as a sex symbol, too. But would the appearance of Superman shirts make the environment unwelcome for men? Well, yes, no, they must surely swallow the fact that some people sometimes wear similar clothes. Why is it any different in the case of Superbabes?

Matt Taylor greatly cares about his work – as his tattoos, i.e. permanent crippling of parts of his skin, help to prove. And I just find it deeply insulting if aggressive feminists such as Ms Eveleth and Ms Mack try to criminalize him. They make it sound as if people were obliged to "care about women in STEM".

Let me tell you something. Women have been almost universally allowed in STEM for almost a century and I have always been welcoming towards them. But if having "women in STEM" would inevitably bring similar feminists who poison everything – even the first man-made (not so much woman-made) landing on a comet – then I would indeed say: It would be much better to ban women in STEM again. The current situation is intolerable and banning women would reduce the effectiveness of this human activity less than the constant witch hunts against folks like Matt Taylor who are those that really drive these activities. You know, Ms Mack, the amount of positive contributions you have made to science is smaller than the amount of negative ones.

So why don't you just get lost, Ms Mack, instead of constantly trying to repel the men who are doing some actual valuable work?

The destructiveness and self-confidence of the feminists keeps on increasing. Two convicted female Russian criminals visited the U.K. where they were greeted as rock stars and have offered this criticism of the current Czech president, too:
Both women were amusingly scathing about the Czech president, Milos Zeman, who last weekend launched a bizarre expletive-filled attack on Pussy Riot during a radio interview. Zeman was another European left-wing leader who – when it came to Russian politics – had lost the plot, they suggested.

“He’s better not to talk about Pussy. He doesn’t know who Pussy is. We’re experts in this and he’s not. We are punk and he’s not punk. He behaved like a usual patriarchal stupid guy,” Tolokonnikova said.
The problem is that your being deviant punk ladies is what makes you less able, and more able, to analyze yourself or anything else. The Czech president may talk about whatever he likes – we have enjoyed the freedom of speech here for 25 years. And incidentally, "patriarchal" is a vacuous adjective. Every civilization known to the archaeologists was patriarchal, at least in the long run, and obscene porn exercises in a Russian church can't change that, pussies.

The Ukraine-founded, now French group of Pussy Riot's colleagues and artists named Female Semen (Femen) showed their "art" in the Vatican today. If this is how the female semen is supposed to work, maybe you should leave this job to the men, too, "ladies". I think that the burning of witches and heretics at stake is a form of superstition but when I see similar "ladies", I must say that it has some point, too. ;-)

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reader Dream Chaser said...

OMG naked women on a shirt, someone hold me!!

Seems like Leftists are the new prudes/puritans.. I would expect something like this from deeply religious conservatives, not "progressives". Horseshoe theory proven right again.

reader Smoking Frog said...

I think it's stupid, insensitive, etc. to wear the shirt, stupid, fanatical, etc. of the women to get all upset about it, and stupid of the media to take them seriously.

reader BMWA1 said...

Some theories about matriarchy have arisen with a view to Late Neolithic Cultures in Central Europe (and esp. formations like Lengyel in Slovakia, Painted Wares Culture in Moravia, about 6000 years ago). These are based on figurines, always female in aspect, that prevail on these sites and some inferred economic attributes, a subject of a paper in fact by the younger Neustupny, Evren, now close to retirement at your university in Plzen on the origin of patriarchy in the Eneolithic, like most archaeology, 98% conjecture. The same has been said of our site in Ukraine at Nebelivka, by the somewhat imaginative Misha, it made Yahoo news two weeks ago and some 'pop sci' publication for what it is worth:

reader Luboš Motl said...

OK, I think that you are misrepresenting the content of Prof Neustupný's papers.

He would write numerous papers about the "Birth of the Patriarchal System", namely:

Neustupný, E., 1967. K počátkům patriarháty ve střední Evropě. Rozpravy ČSAV 77.

Neustupný, E., 1978. Vznik patriálního zřízení. Pravěké dějiny Čech, Praha, pp. 278-280.

The transition was from a "sexually egalitarian" one to the patriarchal one which was viewed as progress.

Incidentally, the most famous archaeological statuette in Czechia is the Venus of Věstonice figurine (a Paleolithic one), and its being female doesn't mean in any way that women were in charge. The figurine was almost certainly created by men and when it comes to biological expectations and rough jobs, the women have similar roles as today.

The Venus is much fatter than the supermodels today because at that time, it was really a virtue for survival of the whole tribes. Today, it's not so essential to have these fat reserves etc. But even today, you will see that a substantial portion of the population agrees with the standards of the Venus' times. For example, to fight the anorectic supermodel meme, a group is publishing a 2015 calendar "Zdravý holky" (Healthy chicks) with photos of above-average-weight girls.

reader Ann said...

I remain completely baffled why anyone finds a celebration of human physical beauty, whimsical or serious, an affront or a hostile gesture of some kind. ??? At some level the cultural fascination with sexy gals (and -guys-) reflects the importance of reproduction, of the desirability of healthy fertility for our species. Women who are not beautiful goddesses are in positions of wealth and power and intellectual prominence, thus demonstrating that an admiration for beauty where it does exist is NOT preventing the multitude of other experiences and paths that women can/are pursuing in society. Such a silly one-dimensional straw-man rant.

reader John Archer said...

What if he were an in-your-face homosexual with scantily clad men dressed only in leather shorts and bondage chains painted on his skimpy, armless teeshirt?

Would he come in for any stick, or rather would he be said to be proudly asserting his gayness and applauded for it?

Would anyone then daring to offer the opinion that his taste in apparel was, say, merely "rather tacky" not be quickly branded as a homophobic bigot by the right-on progressive brigade?

Answers on a postcard please to ....

Anyway, I thought we were all meant to be celebrating diversity? Only just not his diversity in taste — right? So not all 'diversity' is good then? There ought to be an official list of what's 'acceptable'. How about an NGO for taste? The EU and the UN could fund it to lobby them them for regulation. The ECHR could knock up a new set of taste crimes.

reader Tony said...

In the sane world there would be somebody else who would have been criticized and the press would be writing: how can that woman carry all that fat? Why doesn't she exercise? How can a smart person do that to her body? That's a bad example for children.

reader kashyap vasavada said...

Let us forget about this stupid controversy about shirts and tattoos and get back to science! The landing on a comet is a great achievement. But something went wrong. I understand the lander is resting on its side and in the shadow of a cliff. Didn't they have stabilizing gyroscopes so that it lands upright and didn't they choose landing site from pictures sent by Rosetta? I know, very weak gravity must be a big problem.This is not meant as a criticism. I would like to know some technical details and will appreciate comments from anyone who knows about these details.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Who is the fat female? Do you really endorse this criticism?

Research shows that the life expectancy is maximized for BMI around 27 which is classified as overweight, not normal. Most of these anti-obesity things are superstitions.

reader Luboš Motl said...

They couldn't quite plan the surrounding surface.

The stabilization jets went wrong but they were not needed.

The gravity is about 10,000 times weaker than on Earth.

reader Gordon said...

It seems these women want the media to film a Potemkin
workplace with stony-faced men in white shirts and ties a la
IBM 360 workrooms of the 60s reporting to their female supervisors. Taylor is their worst nightmare---an actual interesting character enthusiastic about science, blasting the boring caricature of a scientist to pieces, and actually making the somnolent and generally incurious sit up and actually consider something beyond themselves. Instead of apologizing, he should have quoted Feynman's response at a public talk when he was heckled by some feminists---"Don't bug me, man."

reader John Archer said...

These tumbling asteroids and comets — just looking at them I have some difficulty in assessing in which direction their angular momentum vector is pointing. It's the same sort of thing if one lets a pen roll off the palm of one's hand—giving it some spin about its longitudinal axis—as part of tossing it in the air and trying to give it a final flick to impart a rotation initially perpendicular to that axis. It's difficult making out what's going on with such a brief take. Or you throw it so high you can't see it. :)

It's hard work being a dilettante experimentalist.

Do you have any theoretical tips that might help me out, Luboš? :)

P.S. I understand Feynman was an expert at tossing plates in the cafeteria. A Nobel-Prize winning hooligan! Fancy that! Something to aspire to. :)

reader Tony said...

As a libertarian, what I really endorse is that everybody should do whatever hell they want, as long as they are not harming the others. But when I see 400 lbs talking political correctness, I switch to the above.

OTOH, there is a huge problem with obesity in the US. I mean it is unreal what one can see in some areas, we are talking moving mountains of fat.

reader Tom Weidig said...

Watch this. He broke down in tears! In the middle of the most important phase of a 15-year old mission where he needs to say the lander he is being put on pressure.... :-(

reader Luboš Motl said...

Wow, is this crying real or just a theater? Did the feminist bitches really destroyed the man?

Yup, it's at least contributing to destroying the experiment, too. The sluts don't care. They're happy. After all, every success like that is just another example of the fact that these achievements are made mostly by men which they don't like, so the worse, the better for them!

reader scooby said...

Yes, much ado about nothing. Just some scientists and geeks letting off steam. I'm guessing that this guy made a bet that he would wear this shirt in front of the cameras and won it, or he lost a bet and had to wear the shirt 8).

reader Tony said...

Ah, if you meant which particular female, I lost her in Twitter feed. But google 'belgian minister of health' for illustration.

reader papertiger0 said...

The problem with government sponsorship of scientific endeavor is...
the same now as it was in the time of Tycho.
Can't wear your favorite shirt and wear a beard. Have to hire a bunch of women as window dressing for the scolds. Otherwise the gov will pull your funding or hand over your project to an incompetent kiss ass.

Tycho died due to kissing ass of the fund manager, so the loud shirt guy is getting off easier.

reader John Archer said...

"The sluts don't care."

They're not too bothered about the knock-on effects on his wife and children either. Not very nice.

But look on the bright side — maybe some obliging violent sex-offenders will be spurred on to take out revenge on the bitches on his behalf, making a friendly contribution to civil society for a change while having some fun at the same time.

It's important to be positive about these things.

Onwards and upwards! Right up 'em — make 'em bleed. :)

reader BMWA1 said...

Yes those are the ones (pardon me, I am a botanist, but work with these archaeologists a lot). Also I maybe I should have specified things, the content of work that I am referring to has been critically analyzed by him, that I was merely trying to characterize the background of work by some work about which he wrote (e.g. Gimbutas), but your comments are all completely valid. I was not intending to engage in a long discussion, so I am impressed with the reply, yes, I know those sites incl. Vestonice, and am not in disagreement with the speculations. Also, Kolar (a Moravian, working Brno) has recently published some isotopic studies that verify some dietary shifts on an empirical basis just last year in Arch Rhozledy, I will look up the reference next time I am in the Celetna library, but thanks for the reply (btw, what do you think of the new MH 17 evidence?).

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, thanks for the comments...

If the satellite pictures are genuine, it's quite some smoking gun, almost comically definitely selling the question... it can be Photoshopped, too, by anyone.

reader Shannon said...

Unfortunately it seems that Philae is living its last minutes. It won't have time to send us any results of its findings... :-(

reader Shannon said...

The man could always say that it is a shirt with Femen on it ;-)

reader Richard Warren said...

I have some sympathy for the guy. I would have had respect for him if he had told them to bugger off.

When I noticed that this project was 10 years old it made me wonder whether the ESA guys are capable of repeating it or doing anything as ambitious today. This does not bode well.

Anyway, he got a rude reminder of the real business he is in. I suppose government space programs have been more political theater than anything else as long as I can remember (the actual accomplishments being sometimes real but always secondary to the military and political aspects).

reader Justin said...


Sad news about Grothendieck, I would say it's eerie, I was thinking about Grothendieck just before I clicked this forum to find that he had died, but I think about this amazing mathematician all the time, so it's not too eerie after all.

reader lukelea said...

Many early horticultural societies (before conquest) were matrilineal and, often, matrilocal. Female fertility goddesses were prominent also -- among the Iraquois and in early Mesopotamia, for example, but also many other places. This is usually explained by the fact that agriculture was developed by women originally, which was natural since in hunting/gatherer societies they were the ones who gathered seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries and thus, most likely, learned how to "cultivate" plants.

Women also supplied most of the calories in such societies, since meat from hunting was not the main staple (as it was during the Ice Ages for example). So naturally the status of women was relatively high (even though they never "ruled" in matters of war and peace -- that was always the men's sphere)

Later, when it turned out that agriculture tied people down to a place, thus making it possible for one group to over-power another and reduce them to servitude, patrilineal and patrilocal institutions started top prevail. It was the strong over the weak and even though the average peasant was living in servitude he was able to compensate, to a limited extent, by exercising authority and physical domination over his wife and her children.

reader efalken said...

As with Lawrence Summers apology, it made it worse. He will never be liked by them, but he also lost his integrity. Don't apologize to hysterical people.

reader JollyJoker said...

I thought the shirt was stupid, but just got evidence he's cool

Hope he has this tattooed

reader Roby 83 said...

A disgusting news: Matt Taylor attacked also by Sean Carroll. Finally I understand why his tenure was rejected. Bad science, bad humanity.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Wow, terrifying. It's really horrible if fucked-up politicized self-serving sleezy scumbags like Sean Carroll are allowed to influence such things.

Sometime around 2004, I was invited to give some talks at Caltech with the idea to consider a job. I would never say Yes to their questions or apply because the place looked kind of frustrating to me. Some energy probably increased when Carroll got there - however, it was a change in the negative direction.

reader Shannon said...

More and more women journalists love to play this Stalinian Tribunal where men cry in front of the camera. We have that in France media once a week. I don't understand why these men don't tell them to fuck off as it is then that they are respected. What is wrong with guys these days ?

reader Dilaton said...

Now I would really like to start some rocket science projects with the goal to shoot thouse witches to tumbling space rockets, where their dangerous hyperactivity can decay without doing any harm :-(0) ...!!!

Lumo do you have Taylor's mail adress and could you write him a nice mail, maybe with a link to this TRF post, for him to see that there are people who dont agree with the terrorism of those bitches these days?

reader RAF III said...

They're pussies.

reader RAF III said...

It would only have been stupid of him to wear the shirt if he had anticipated and wished to avoid the reaction of the SJWs. I'd wager that he was entirely oblivious of such a possibility, being immersed in a project of actual importance.
It is irrational, and probably impossible, to be 'sensitive' to people who expect the entire world to accomodate their deranged sensibilities - so to hell with them. They should be treated with derision if not ignored.
His response was pathetic.

reader RAF III said...

He should have taken this advice:

reader Dilaton said...

See also here

and here

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Dilaton, I only know his Twitter account

He would need to be calmed and comforted in some way and you could do it - I probably couldn't.

reader John Archer said...

Isn't this now another make or break thing for the feminazis? Well, maybe not break but definitely make —i.e. to ratchet their agenda up another big notch.

What bothers me now is that if they can get him fired (the next obvious move in this game) then there's another nice lessen to anyone that if you don't toe their line in every little detail they can really screw up your life and your wife and kids' lives too.

It was this kind of thing that prevented the police and others investigating paki/muslime gangs grooming and sexually abusing an almost unbelievable number of young teenage white girls in places like Rotherham and Oxford — they were afraid of being labelled as racists.

In both cases they're accumulating a mountain of payback.

Meanwhile Matt Taylor could well be in need of some 'robust' defence from this nazi-style intimidation. If it comes to it, I doubt he'd be able to provide it on his own. It's not just his fight though. As much as one might be delightfully entertained by a legion of Breiviks tooling up to act on his behalf perhaps there's more coordinated—if less satisfying—way to release the tension. But what? The fungal filaments of this totalitarian shit have worked their way into every organ of state, and 'civil society' is riddled with it too. We need some penicillin for it. Truckloads.

reader Uncle Al said...

If Alexandre Grothendieck's gender identity is "lipstick lesbian," I fail to comprehend wymyn's dogmatic displeasures. We must embrace the essence of feminist theosophy (whatever it is at a given moment). Not Safe For Work (depending on where you work):

Tales From the Leather Nun (1973), Last Gasp Eco-Funnies. publisher
ISBN-10: 0867190434
ISBN-13: 978-0867190434
"The Leather Nun 'gets hers'"

The Leather Nun reaches behind a huge and bloody crucifix. She flips a toggle. A rather impressive content pops out of the loincloth. Her comment:

"It's OK - we're married."

Who can argue with that? 100% Vatican-approved.

reader papertiger0 said...

The deeply religious, leftists and progs, always wipe their dirty conscious on conservatives.

reader Rehbock said...

That may overstate it a bit here in US. But if a male journalist had criticized what a woman wore, well ,,,,
This Taylor fellow did not have to apologize. He should have said that he will defer to the woman he will be undressing with on how too dress.
Future tense - obviously needs one to help him and many now know :-)

reader John Archer said...

Good suggestion. :)

Also, he could/should have said his wife bought it for him (and maybe she did, or was with him when he bought it) and then texted her quickly to make sure she was 'on message'.

"How dare you insult my wife, you fucking ugly bitch! Don't be so damned rude. She bought it for me and decides what I wear. Now fuck off."

reader MikeNov said...

Couldn't he just declare that he was showing solidarity with/participating in a slutwalk?

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