Bill Maher Jumps the Shark (Again) On Ahmed Mohammed


#1

Maher made it clear that of course the Texas teen deserves an apology for being arrested over a clock, but said there’s nothing wrong with being a little suspicious when there’s a young Muslim student with something that “looks exactly like a fucking bomb” and there are young Muslims “blowing shit up” all over the world.

Link.

Proving once again that sometimes self-proclaimed rationalists are terrible at rationalism. (Also, I’m consistently surprised at the number of people who think raw circuitry could be explosive. Fucking science education in this country. I tell ya’.)

ETA: Shame on his sister, apparently, for trying to protect him from embarrassing himself, something all teenagers are extremely prone to doing.


#2

And Dawkins called him a fraud:


#3

Yeah, now we are back at the phase of beating this kid up in the streets for fraud-walking his clock teardown to the White House. What a country!

They didn’t OFFER him admission to MIT. They just said, “Please come visit us! Now go get a 2400 on your SAT so we can give you a serious look.”


#4

I was prepared to be genuinely surprised that Dawkins finally called Bill Maher out on his anti-science nonsense (he’s an antivaxxer). Then I clicked the link. Apparently the power of Atheism is stronger.

He’s fourteen and he put it together in twenty minutes. If he wants to call it an invention, I’m not going to finely divide words. I agree it’s unsophisticated from the point of view of someone who has been working with electronics since he was eight, but everyone starts somewhere. What do you expect? It’s not like he went to school claiming to cure cancer. He made a doohickey, something every single nerd has done and been excessively proud of.

Actually, by the time he takes it, I’ve heard the scoring system will return to being maxed out at 1600.


#5

Correct. My first doohickeys were taking the motors out of toys and fashioning new battery compartments and fan blades from paper and aluminum foil. Hardly “inventions.” But I was immensely proud of my accomplishments. I was probably 8 or 9, like you said. By the time I was 14 I think I’d moved on to software.


#6

Mine was turning an LED on and off again,but I was only 34.


#7

I hope you did it with a car battery to make it interesting.


#8

I wrote a poorly written “fake virus” in QBASIC when I was sixteen. It was so poorly written that it would make your system crash and was therefore, sort of a real virus. It actually started as an attempt to get the cascading letters effect from The Matrix. I thought that I had written the most amazing program ever. Ah… youth.


#9

I really need to score one of those reactors shaddack has mentioned…

But anyway, does anyone take Maher seriously? I’ll bet he doesn’t even know what a detonator looks like–a phone. (FBI, cia, NSA, this is purely a discussion mocking Maher. I’m sure you can understand that).


#10

So much this. You suck until you don’t suck. We all gotta start somewhere.

I had one of those crappy digital alarm clocks with the red seven segment display. The case cracked and that made the transformer buzz, and that kept me up at night.

So I cracked the thing open and mounted the guts on a board. No more vibration problems. And at that age, I might have said that I built the thing, and meant it.

As others have said, it’s disgraceful that we’ve let adults in our society believe that raw circuitry has explosive properties. And it’s infantile.


#11

Dawkins and Maher have somehow managed to take their practice of “Atheism” so far that it rivals religious fundamentalism in terms of its irrational biases and prejudices.


#12

the last time i watched maher was 4 or 5 years ago and one of the guests said something about israel’s policies towards the palestinians that would not have caused anyone in europe to raise their eyebrows or even caused a left-of-center israeli to disagree with and he took her to task demanding she walk back her statement and then never called on her to speak again during the broadcast. i gave up on him at that moment.


#13

I think this bears repeating always, especially in relation to @navarro’s point. Imagining the Palestinians as the oppressing force to the IDF is, to put it kindly, delusional.


#14

My first “invention” was filling a balloon with silly putty to make “sculptural rubber”. BRILLIANT! at age 8. But then I got a letter from Richard Dawkins calling me a fraud and never invented again :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:


#15

Now you’re here, with the rest of us failed inventors who got Dawkinned at tender ages. I think he’s a pedophile and gets off on insulting children.


#16

I call it ‘evangelical atheism’. I find most people who do it are dogmatically anti-religion - because, “all religions are about putting ‘faith’ over 'evidence.”


#17

Wouldn’t that make him a misoped, or something like that?


#18

I’m guessing its similar to filling a balloon with corn starch or fine flower and sucking all the air out before tying, but without the mess when the balloon breaks. (Not intended to be a reference to drug smuggling whales.)


#19

I still remember the time he came by my first-grade classroom, knocked the vinegar-and-baking-soda volcano we were building to the floor and screamed “THAT’S NOT HOW PLATE TECTONICS WORKS!” before spitting on our teacher and stomping out the door.


#20

Christ, what an asshole.
Oh, wait, sorry. Darwin, what an asshole.