Actually, several of the chapters of this book are very likely completely wrong and the rest are on shakier foundations than I believed 9 years ago (similar to other works of social psychology that accurately reported typical expert views at the time). See here for further elaboration.
I'm on the fence about recommending this book now, but please read skeptically if you do choose to read it.
I agree with your point about there being at least two distinct ways to interpret the non-central fallacy, and also the OPs point that while ad hominem arguments are technically invalid, they can be of high inductive strength in some circumstances. I'm mostly critiquing Scott's choice of examples for introducing the non-central fallacy, since mixing it with other fallacious forms of reasoning makes it harder to see what the non-central part is contributing to the mistake being made. For this reason, the theft example is preferred by me.
I think the Martin Luther King scenario is a particularly bad example for explaining the non-central fallacy, because it depends on a conjunction of fallacies, rather than isolating the non-central part. The inference from (1) MLK does/doesn't fit some category with negative emotional valence, to (2) his ideas are bad just is the ad hominem fallacy (which is distinct from the non-central fallacy). The truth (or falsity) of Bloch's theorem is logically independent of whether or not André Bloch was a murder (which he was).
Does this add you to an email list where discussion is happening, or merely put you on a map so that others in the area can reach out to you on an ad hoc basis?
I asked around about this on the ##hplusroadmap irc channel:
15:59 < Jayson_Virissimo> Yeah, sorry. Was much more interested in the claim about peptide sourcing specifically. 16:00 < Jayson_Virissimo> Is that 4-5 weeks duration normal? How flexible is it, if at all? 16:01 < yashgaroth> some of them might offer expedited service, though I've never had cause to find out when ordering peptides and am not bothered to check...and it'd save you a week or two at most 16:02 < Jayson_Virissimo> What would you guess as to the main cause? Does it really take that long to manufacture or is it slow to ship, or is there some legal check that happens that isn't instantaneous? 16:04 < yashgaroth> the legal check isn't an issue, though I'm sure all the major synthesis houses are aware of the Radvac peptide sequences and may hassle you about them - especially if you're not ordering as a company...shipping's not a problem since overnight is standard, so I'd say manufacturing time combined with the people ahead of you in the queue 16:04 < yashgaroth> and manufacturing includes purification, which is an important step for something you're ingesting, even if you're just snorting a line of it 16:07 < Jayson_Virissimo> yashgaroth: do the labs have any legal risk of their own if you are ordering something like Radvac sequences as a private person, or are they "hassling you for your own good"? 16:09 < yashgaroth> nah they're usually okay legally on their end, though most of them won't risk selling a small quantity to an individual since 'plausible deniability' wears a little thin on their end when you're buying sequences that match the Radvac ones
Are there any English language sources where I could learn more about the legal issues surrounding human experimentation in Russia such as the one you mentioned?
What explains the 4-5 weeks delivery time for special lab peptide synthesis?
Mati_Roy makes the case for Phoenix here.
Full Disclosure: I'm in Phoenix.
A similar "measure function is non-normalizable" argument is made at length in McGrew, T., McGrew, L., & Vestrup, E. (2001). Probabilities and the Fine-Tuning Argument: A Sceptical View. Mind, 110(440), 1027-1037.
I've been working on an interactive flash card app to supplement classical homeschooling called Boethius. It uses a spaced-repetition algorithm to economize on the students time and currently has exercises for (Latin) grammar, arithmetic, and astronomy.
Let me know what you think!