Are New Atheists Wishing 2018 was Over Already?

The atheist activist community has begun the new year on the wrong foot.  First, the atheist conference designed to unite the warring factions got into a fight over the conference, causing it to be cancelled.   Then, Steven Pinker, who has always been somewhat under the radar with his New Atheism, has become to subject of a smear campaign led by various social justice atheists like PZ Myers.

What you might have overlooked is that the Friendly Atheist published a new atheist book entitled Queer Atheist back on December 17, 2017.  The author is Camille Beredjick  and it was edited by Hemant Mehta and published by the Friendly Atheist Press.  Well, it looks like another book flop.  Even though the book has been out less than a month, and Mehta has extensively promoted it, at the time of this writing, it has an Amazon sales ranking of 149,000.

What does that mean?  According to this analysis:

A single sale will cause any book to jump to a sales rank of approximately 130,000. Maybe 70,000, maybe 150,000. Two sales in a day will bring it up to around 30,000. The actual rank can be on either end of these estimates, depending on how many other books have sold that day on Amazon.

None of what I publish sells well enough for me to be able to offer personal tes­timony beyond what two copies sold in a day translates to. But the available info says that a book ranked steadily at 5,000 is selling about 11 copies per day. A book with a steady rank of 100,000 is averaging a little more than one copy per day.

Despite Mehta’s extensive internet presence, it’s selling……about a copy a day.

So two weeks into the new year, and what do we have?

Another failed conference?  Check.

Another nasty internet feud among the atheist activists?  Check.

Another atheist book flop?  Check.

But who knows.  With all the usual stuff out of the way, perhaps there is no place to go from here but up.

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7 Responses to Are New Atheists Wishing 2018 was Over Already?

  1. Dhay says:

    > Friendly Atheist published a new atheist book entitled Queer Atheist back on December 17, 2017.

    “Queer Disbelief”:

    No reviews yet on Amazon or Goodreads. The latter’s blurb includes “This book is about … how religious believers can be both an obstacle and a path forward for true equality …”, so it’s not going to be unremittingly anti-religious in tone.

  2. Michael says:

    Not a single review after 3 weeks. Not that’s bad.

  3. Dhay says:

    Last year, in the first two completed weeks of 2017, twenty three new Street Epistemologists joined the List of 10,000.

    This year, in the first two completed weeks of 2018, nine new Street Epistemologists joined the List.

    (The List currently lists 527, a rate of 225 in the last year, hence 42 more years to go to reach target).

  4. Dhay says:

    Some parts of the ‘atheist community’ split and wars have been going on for some time. One is that between Richard Carrier and:

    Unfortunately, he then sued us for the effrontery of merely questioning his behavior. He sued Skepticon. He sued The Orbit. He sued four individuals and three organizations, demanding over a million dollars for this slight.

    As PZ Myers comments, before appealing for donations to the common ‘legal defense fund’, the apparently impoverished Carrier:

    Carrier is somehow paying all of his legal costs alone, which has us mystified. He wasn’t rich to begin with — before this suit, he often complained about his poverty, and admitted that his wife (now his ex-wife) was covering most of his living expenses. He doesn’t have a job, but instead makes a mediocre living as an itinerant classics scholar (it’s as remunerative as it sounds) with a Patreon account. Yet he’s burning money on legal expenses at least as fast as a whole group of us combined are.

    Sounds costly. Bet they all of them wish 2018 — or will it go into 2019 — was already over.

    Watches eating popcorn.

  5. Dhay says:

    Following on from PZ Myers’ conviction (see above) that someone must be bankrolling the apparently impoverished Richard Carrier’s legal expenses, the quote continues:

    This is suspicious. It wouldn’t surprise me if the usual gang of misogynist MRAs and anti-SJW jerks are backing him, which would be an ugly betrayal of all the things he paid lip service to while he was here, and makes us even happier that he packed up his bags and left.

    Well, it’s possible Carrier’s lawsuit for loss of earnings and reputational damage after being both publicly disinvited from Skepticon and ejected from the FreeThoughtBlogs platform for alleged or actual sexual misbehaviour — it’s possible he’s being crowd-funded by “the usual gang” of misogynist MRAs (Mens’ Rights Activists) and anti-SJW jerks; it wouldn’t surprise Myers; for myself, I’d like to see the evidence of that — the few people commenting on Carrier’s blog (they have to pay to support Carrier in order to comment) indicates he hasn’t many supporters — and if none, to question and doubt that.

    There’s the occasional rich and philanthropic atheist, but endowing a Chair at a Florida university, Camp Quest, etc, is a much more worthwhile use of money for anyone except a Jesus-myth fan. So probably not.

    A third possibility is suggested by the recent allegations of sexual misbehaviour against Lawrence Krauss, and the very old news (since May 2012) that women have kept The List of sex pests confined to to the ‘whisper network’ because:

    “Why don’t you just publish a list of names?” you ask. … There’d be a flood of accusations that people are lying or oversensitive.

    Not only that, but I fear the consequences. Look at what happened to Rebecca Watson when she simply said “guys, don’t do that” about an anonymous conference attendee. Imagine the shitstorm if there were public accusations of sexual misconduct of some very famous speakers. I’m not ready for the flood of rape and death threats. I’m not ready to be blacklisted and have my atheist “career” ruined by people more powerful and influential than me. I’m not ready to be sued for libel or slander. I’m not ready for the SSA or other organizations I’m affiliated with to also be harmed by association. And that’s exactly how all of these other women feel – hence the silence … It’s a terrible Catch 22.

    [My emphasis.]

    There’s a threat, perceived to be a very real threat — and at least one actual threat made by a rich, famous atheist conference speaker and a blog post consequently deleted — that threat and fear of being sued for libel or slander comes across strongly from multiple sources.

    So who would have an interest in seeking that those who disinvite and shame someone who’s a prominent speaker at atheist conferences are punished with an expensive lawsuit, expensive whichever way judgement eventually goes? Who would have an interest in instilling fear in anyone contemplating naming and shaming another prominent speaker at atheist conferences? Well, probably another prominent speaker at atheist conferences.

    If — if — Carrier is indeed being bankrolled by a prominent speaker at atheist conferences, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Lawrence Krauss, he whose shit has recently hit the fan; there’s other rich, famous atheist conference speakers who might fit the bill.

  6. Dhay says:

    Looks like someone else is considering bankrolling Richard Carrier’s legal costs; in his 28 July 2018 blog post entitled “Dang, we’re still being sued for defamation, and the guy has acquired deeper pockets” PZ Myers quotes a letter from a Mario Quadracci to Myers’ lawyers:

    It is my intention to fully fund Richard Carrier’s lawsuit against your clients, unless you can persuade me he has misled me as to the facts, and that your clients do have a realistic chance of prevailing at trial.

    But he’s apparently not sure he will actually do so, and he’s evidently very naive:

    So in reflecting on whether to support Dr. Carrier, I want to test the facts of the case. Accordingly, I am giving you the opportunity to dissuade me. … [… by sending Quadracci the entire defence case.]

    Yeah, yeah, the defendents will jump at the chance, won’t they. I assume Myers’ lawyers sent the letter to Myers expecting he would have a good laugh at Quadracci’s simple-mindedness.


    On a Carrier-related note, Carrier has clarified on his blog the various social media channels he uses, and how he uses each for different purposes, running in turn through: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, Secular Academy, Instagram, YouTube and Tinder:

    Yes. I’m on Tinder. And often swiping wherever I am. I’ve had a lot of great adventures in result. But honestly, if you want to ask about going out with me, just contact me directly and straight up ask (ideally by email or Facebook messenger). Be intelligent and adult about it. And be ready to respect a no. How you communicate and interact with me from minute one is important. It’s a big part of how I decide if you’re someone I would be comfortable or enjoy hanging out with. Honesty goes a long way.

    Well, that’s one way to advertise you’re on Tinder. Makes it look like an afterthought.

  7. nsr says:

    Given that Carrier looks like an overgrown hobbit and sounds as if he’s one of the creepiest guys out there, I’d be amazed if any self-respecting woman wanted to so much as give him the time of day. One would have to be pretty desperate for romantic company to self-advertise the way he does.

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